Writing Et Cetera



I wrote this piece about the great Montreal band Esmerine a few months ago. But today I heard that they'll be playing in Kingston at Chalmers Church on November 4th. This is exciting news. Now I don't get out as much as I used to, but this is different. See you there.



Dog in Car Window

Two days ago I was driving into the city from Harrowsmith, where my partner’s mother lives in a fantastic old limestone house. We’d been out there for a swim—me and Sam and the kids—and I was wondering as I drove in whether that might be it ...


arnold schwarzenegger

It’s been a rotating cast  across the street from our house. It’s just a little place over there, a squat unappealing little bungalow, wretched actually, at least until our neighbour Lawrence tired of the same antics I’ll regale you with here, and bought it, re-sided it, re-roofed it, cleaned it up, and finally re-rented it.


A couple of Saturdays ago, I was out north and a bit west of Camden East, looking for the second time at a limestone farmhouse severed somewhere in the distant past from its original 200 acres and now hunkered down, sphinx-like, at the centre of a verdant green acre.


mayor Rob Ford

I know there’s nothing unique in my saying this, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to keep quiet any longer. Because I’ve had enough of Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford. The man’s behavior appalls me.  His actions upset me and sadden me. Worst of all, perhaps, he angers me, and brings out the very worst in me.



tulip chair

That’s right, I bought a chair. Doesn’t seem like the sort of news that should appear at the top of page one, does it? But this is a bit special, and a classic, sort of. The chair is based on the iconic tulip chair, designed in the mid 1950s by the Finnish American architect and designer, Eero Saarinen, and produced by Knoll, the American furniture company.



I had lunch today with a colleague who rarely gets downtown. I’d suggested the Wellington, but waiting outside for her to find parking (you have to live down here to know how to do that in a timely fashion) I remembered that Red House had opened on King, and I was anxious to try it. So we walked the extra block and into a space that’s been transformed mightily since its last incarnation as a dry cleaner’s.



Here we go. I'm going to put aside regular time again to write. There I've said it, and the reasons are many. First of all, it's been almost two years since my last novel was published, and in that time I've written an awful lot of emails and not much else. My life has been turned on its head. I’ve gone from being a midlist writer (here's a link to that world) to being a middle-aged real estate agent.


The Descendants

The Descendants

A few weeks ago my partner and I, on a Sunday afternoon, walked downtown to see The Descendants, George Clooney's latest film. What's remarkable about that fact is that this was our first movie date in years. You see, we have young kids of three and eight, and one of the symptoms of parenthood is that movies on the big screen aren't much different from public drunkenness and afternoon sex ...



yoga crow pose

When I arrived at the Wally Cook Arena one early Tuesday morning in November, Jerry Bolton was at the door waiting for me. He half-scuffed half-skated out into the snow, wheeled and, while never letting the door go, he seemed, I swear, to be attempting a curtsey. “Apres-vous,” he grinned, his face a thick mass of stubble and gristly tendons, and at least half a set of teeth. He had old blue Roots sweats on, double baggy, and a John Deere T-shirt, some beat-up Tiger sneakers green enough that you could argue he was trying to coordinate. A tattoo of the sun on the inside of his right forearm, the blue rays smudged, from age maybe, or the constant clinching.


Bella Bistro

We ate dinner last night at a little place out in Collin’s Bay, just west of Kingston proper. Bella Bistro it’s called (the link is at bottom, and the picture is from their website). The place should be packed every minute it’s open (and I think it often is). Quite simply it’s the best restaurant out that way.  Really good food and wine and beer sourced locally and always brought out to the table by a cheerful crew.



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