person injecting a red apple by using a syringe

Old Friends Acting Our Age

Derek has a weekly breakfast with a bunch of guys he’s known since high school. One of them just had a pacemaker installed. Another, an emergency appendectomy. Still another will have to lie face down for weeks – WEEKS – after eye surgery to repair a detached retina. Four people we know have COVID-19. And all of this happened within the last week.

Small blue cottage in Port Stanley with a wooden deck out front and green chairs on it. The cottage has an orange door.

Cottage Life

My back yard in the north Toronto neighbourhood of Willowdale was the closest thing to a cottage that I ever owned. It was private, fenced in, surrounded by cedars. I could enjoy the inground pool without feeling watched. On long weekends, it felt like the entire city emptied and headed for cottage country. I only had to open a sliding door to get there.

The Weekend, The Book and Other Things

Saturday was hotter in London, Ontario than it was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Dubai, that over-populated, but-it’s-a-dry-heat, desert playground, where 40C+ is the norm. Where millions of people hustle through the world’s tenth-busiest airport on their way to spend their wealth at luxury stores while the sun beats down with a relentless burn. No wonder we didn’t want to go outside. …


When I told my brother about how I ended up with a mittful of Starbucks cards, he called it Ungifting and suggested I might be on the leading edge of a new trend. I’ll share the story and let you decide.  …

At A Loss

There are some things that forever change you. You’re one person before it occurs, and another person afterward. In my immediate family, it was the accidental death on Christmas Day of my uncle Caz, my Mom’s little brother, at just 34. Collectively, a generation before mine would have said that about the assassination of President Kennedy. You could also point to the date in 1997 when Princess Diana’s life was cut short. And, of course, 9/11. …

Review: Cake

Hollywood as a whole expected Jennifer Aniston to get an Academy Award nomination for her starring role in the movie Cake. Unfortunately, she was passed over. Her character, Claire, is suffering from chronic pain and in a support group where she’s the only one who’s not all sunshine and sweetness. She hurts and she’s wearing her anger about it on the outside.  …

A Fact is a Fact

Seems to me a good laugh is warranted at the end of this particularly challenging week. This comic strip reminds me of one of my favourite exchanges among many in the TV show Friends. Ross Geller, the paleontologist, is trying to explain evolution to Phoebe Snow, the air-headed, mystical musician. Phoebe challenges him and says, “it’s just an opinion”.  Ross is nearly out of his mind with frustration and responds, “It’s a proven fact!” Phoebe retorts, “And that’s YOUR opinion!”   …