Back in the saddle again (so to speak)

Believe it or not, it’s been several years since I’ve been behind the wheel of a car.

It all started back sometime in 2009. I was at one of those speaker events. This was a breakfast and the speaker was an author whose new book had just been published. I honestly can’t remember his name, but the book title is The Green Metropolis.

The point being made in the book is that big congested cities are more environmentally conscious and successful then more rural, less densely-populated areas — which is the opposite of what most Continue reading

Labour Day is upon us and it’s not the end of summer I’m thinking about …

For me, Labour Day has always been synonymous with TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). Well, maybe not “always,” but for at least as long as I’ve been living in Toronto — which is 34 years.

TIFF, for anyone unfamiliar with it, is a 10-day long extravaganza that takes place in Toronto every year right after Labour Day. What has made it unique in the world of film festivals, is that it’s always been accessible to members of the public, instead of just the film industry, the critics and the press. And for movie lovers like me it was one of the highlights of the year.

I say “was,” because I packed it in several years ago, after attending for close to 30 years. No matter Continue reading

If my mother was still here …

… she’d be excited as hell today. It’s her birthday, and she loved celebrating them. She loved celebrating anyone’s, but she’d start anticipating hers weeks in advance.

It wasn’t about the gifts. She never wanted gifts. She did like getting cards, the more mushy the better. She saved them all, every last one. She wasn’t a hoarder at all — quite the opposite in fact — but she kept cards.

But mostly for her, her love of birthdays was about the cake and blowing out the candles — and the Continue reading

My laptop’s been getting a hell of a work out …

… you know that, of course, because I’ve been working so steadily on a new project for the last few weeks I haven’t had time to blog. I’ve been at it full days, I worked right through one weekend, a fair bit of the long weekend and part of last weekend. Which I’m fine with me, because I am loving this project. In fact, I’ll be sorry when I’m done — which I almost am (snivel).

I don’t want to jinx anything, so let’s just say my trusty old MacBook Air is hanging in. But I’ve gone Continue reading

Goodbye Marianne …

We’ve been having a heatwave in Toronto. I’m not complaining. I promised myself, during the endless deep freeze that was our winter of 2019, that I would not complain of the heat ever again, no matter how bad it is. So I’m merely stating a fact.

This past Saturday was particularly oppresssive, with not even the merest hint of a breeze. My apartment is air conditioned so I could have busied myself at home. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to be out, doing something. “Ahhhh,” I thought to myself. This is a perfect day to go to a movie.

Much as I love movies, I tend not to see too many of them in summer, it’s too nice outside and we have Continue reading

The pause that refreshed …

Life is crazy and challenging and chaotic and uncertain. Not just for me, for everyone, everywhere. It’s important for our mental, emotional and physical well-being to shut the world out from time to time, to live in the light, to find joy.

Well, that certainly happened for me last Sunday … 

… when I was lucky enough to be one of about 35 people who attended a casual, intimate, private, classical music concert. Not in the evening, in a darkened concert hall, which is what you’d expect. This concert took place in the afternoon, in a sun-drenched living room.

And on this day the living room happened to belong to a friend and former colleague — Bryan Tenenhouse and his wife Cori Halpern. But it could take place in my living room or yours.

Have you ever heard of Groupmuse? I confess I had not, until Bryan posted on Facebook about a concert at a friend’s home he and Cori went to last Spring. At the time he wrote that he and Cori loved it so much they wanted to host one themselves. Which they did, over two glorious hours, on Sunday afternoon.

What an extraordinary idea it is. Anyone can host. Anyone can attend. That’s right, you don’t have to know Continue reading

Family …

My mother once told me that when she and my father got married there were 200-plus people at their wedding, most of whom were family. Like most children, I never thought about a time when our family would stop growing and start shrinking. Children assume everyone they love will be around forever.

In actual fact, I’m lucky. Most of my family lived long and full lives. I was 15 when my great grandfather passed away, in my 20s when my great grandmother passed. One grandmother lived to 98, the other to Continue reading

So how smart are you, eh?

We celebrated Canada Day this past weekend.  I’ve talked a lot about how proud I am to be Canadian, so I decided to spare you from hearing me blather on about it again. Then I saw this Historica Canada quiz yesterday in Huff Post Canada Weekend Digest and I thought I’d give it a try. I like quizzes anyway and it seemed like fun to see how much I know about this wonderful country I live in — or, conversely, how dumb I am.

I’m relieved to say that out of 30 questions, I only got four wrong. Yeah, yeah, I know. You’re sitting there thinking I should have known them all. Well it turns out I did better than most of the 1002 Canadians who Continue reading