Month: July 2018

Impotence and Gasworks

My wife said, on reading my Last Post, ‘It looks like you’re telling the whole world you’re impotent. And you’re not.’ Bless her. Impartial, naturally, and blunt (Polish Catholic American Canadian), I have to agree with her. There is no impotence here. Impotence is absent. But let me tell you what there’s lots of – as I crest the hill of 65, and open my lungs and breathe deeply – there’s Gasworks. In one end, and out the other, oh yeah baby – the machinery might be starting to creak, at sixty five, but the gasworks is just getting started. […]

Two guest rooms and a washer

Reflecting on the indignities and rewards of middle age, the American author David Sedaris (I got this from the FT) writes, ‘Yes, the washer on my penis has worn out, leaving me to dribble urine long after I’ve zipped my trousers back up. But I have two guest rooms.’ And I think, as 65 peers with hilarious malice through the window, ‘How nice to be middle-aged. Won’t be seeing that again.’ Time, it turns out, is a movie you can’t see twice, a book that is always and only in it’s first, tumultuous, embarrassing draft. A book, moreover, where you don’t […]

Life goes on, and then it gets better

It has been a busy week. Last weekend we were in Cape Town, Rob and I, staying in Constantia with my mom: high tea at the Cape Grace Hotel, on a perfect afternoon at the V&A Waterfront, was a treat for us all. Sunday it was brunch with old friends Ian and Pam at the Gardener’s Cottage in Newlands – golden sunlight streaming through oaks, the blue outline of Devils Peak giving way to the bluer sky beyond. Monday was business: meetings with colleagues from UCT and the Harvard Kennedy School, decisions to be made with a provincial government department. […]

Canada Day, yeah!

For my first Canada Day as a brand-new permanent resident, Rob took me off to Pelee Island, on the ferry, where we watched a Canada Day parade as bright, as happy, as easy-going and genuine as a village fete or a child’s birthday party. It was infectious and entertaining and innocent – simply lovely. This Canada Day, July 1st, 2018, finds me reaching back into my files for an image through which I can share a sense of celebration, of Canadian pride, and gratitude, to my adopted country. A Canadian citizen, I post this from South Africa, the still-troubled land […]

Spotted Eagle Owl

We were returning from the far side of the Madikwe Game Reserve, after dark, after a long drive to see the wild dogs. As we neared our lodge the ranger shone his light on this owl – a Great Eagle Owl, he said. I checked the SASOL Birds of South Africa yesterday, after processing this photo, and (bird expert that I am not) thought it was a Spotted Eagle Owl, not a Great – though still great to observe, in the darkness, staring down at us with those huge yellow eyes. So I posted the image on the BirdLife South […]