On Vancouver Island

On Thursday the week before last, Rob and I flew to Victoria, on Vancouver Island – for those of you who are less familiar with Canada, a large and elongated entity floating off the coast of British Columbia, home to the province’s capital and the living presence of the West Coast First Nations. Victoria is…

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Ice, not snow

Not snow, this morning. Ice. (Snow we haven’t seen in weeks). A thousand needles in the cold wind whipping down the streets. Crystals of ice splintering underfoot. Ice crackling in the trees, like static. Not at all like Vancouver Island, where Rob and I were hanging out this past weekend. Which I will tell you…

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Travel Advisory

For the past week or so, I have been working on setting up a new business blog, for my consultancy work – please take a good look at it, here, and let me know what you think. One of the ‘pages’ offered by the WordPress theme I am using is for ‘testimonials’ – references and…

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Fire!

Life is what happens, John Lennon said, when you’re busy with something else. I was downstairs in my office, working on my new business blog and website – take a look, here – Rob was down town having a massage, and Maria, our 80 year-old Italian neighbour was across the street, visiting neighbours. A quiet,…

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Troubling warnings for the US from the 1930s — FT.com

Keep Calm and Carry On, I say in this blog – but this is not always easy to do, as Edward Luce makes clear in this unsensational but troubling article on stagnating standards of living, acute inequality, and loss of faith in public institutions and the democratic political project that underpins the current electoral turmoil in the…

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The Old and the Restless

Still twenty good years to look forward to, I promised myself, as the hinge of the door creaked open on sixty. Twenty more good ones, barring the unforeseen and the unforeseeable: after that anything can happen. A year later, at sixty one, my mental map of the future held firm at twenty, and so again…

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Harvard researchers discovered the one thing everyone needs for happier, healthier lives – The Washington Post

For a blog that is at least in part about this business of ageing – and so, I guess, also concerned with the question, ‘what makes a good life’ and – tough one, this – ‘have I lived my life well’ – this piece on what makes for happiness in life simply has to be…

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Writer’s Funk

One of the best things that’s happened to me recently is to have been ill for two weeks. If you think that sounds odd, bear with me for a moment. I thought I had bronchitis – evidently my internet-researched self-diagnosis was a little off the mark, but I swear I was sick as a parrot…

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Okay, so what’s all that white stuff?

So … winter hasn’t really put in an appearance this year, right? Not like the last two years, when it hung around forever, nasty and vengeful, like Donald Trump gatecrashing your barbecue. Yuck. But this winter has been – well, not like winter at all. A few days when the temperature was in the minus…

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The Ambivalent Diaspora: What South African Canadians Think

I was referred to this blog this morning, by someone I’d just met, a new professional contact and herself the child of immigrants from Africa. It’s a piece on the South African diaspora in Canada, based on research undertaken by the Southern African Migration Program, and it makes for depressing reading. According to the research, the…

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