Prodigies of nature

Prodigies of nature

In the landscape I inhabit, urban wildlife usually comes in predictable forms. Raccoons and squirrels are regular visitors to my backyard and roof, and I see them (or their sad carcasses) all over the city–anywhere humans might be trusted to drop or store food, really. Still, I also sometimes go into my city’s constantly shrinking wild places; maybe … Continue reading

Kids

Kids

Well, I’m not having any children, that’s flat. Having finally, maybe, achieved a level of maturity that would make me a good(ish) parent, I find I am now both too old and broken-backed for it; but I don’t want them anyway. (A few years ago, baby-sitting a certain extra-personalitied darling, I realized that if I had … Continue reading

Measuring misery

Measuring misery

Never mind that dramatic, emotionally wrought title: let’s talk about science. Specifically, let us consider how we may effectively communicate to one another, but especially to doctors, precisely how badly we are feeling as a result of winter illness. From your common cold to double pneumonia and the whole wondrous cornucopia of wracking joys between, I believe … Continue reading

2015: Year of the Woolf

2015: Year of the Woolf

It’s been a satisfying and frustrating year; one of highs and lows, hope and something approaching despair (never actual despair; there would be no talking about full and ripe despair); productivity and slackness; the joyful and the maudlin…. Where am I going here? Straight to Dickens, it seems: 2015 really has encompassed the best and worst of … Continue reading

Corner store

Corner store

There’s something inherently shabby and doomed about corner stores, even when they persist over many years; even new or renovated, they tend towards an atmosphere of decay and fatigue. The official story is that my neighbourhood is gentrifying, and over the past few years, house prices have skyrocketed in confirmation of this claim. However, the houses … Continue reading

Us

Us

Ten years ago today, Brook and I were married; the lovely but very short event (15 minutes!) took place in the beautiful, 70s-style concrete wedding chambers at Toronto City Hall. It was windy and a bit snowy and more than a little cold that day; I had bronchitis or the flu or something and was … Continue reading

Fog and sea

Fog and sea

I was born in Nova Scotia in the merry month of August, so chances are 50-50 it was foggy that day. The province of my birth is a drear place that I suspect secretly believes itself to be the set for a Victorian murder mystery. It has some extreme weather episodes, mostly in winter, but is … Continue reading