11 August

Dog Days

Posted in Food, Seasonal Messages

The Romans called this time, the Dog Days of Summer, beginning July 24th and ending August 24th. Dog, after Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, which in ancient times would rise, like Venus, with the morning sun.  A season of super moons and harvest moons, languid days of heat and restless nights. Being a foodie of sorts, […]

21 June

The Longest Day: 2014

Posted in Seasonal Messages

Last weekend I took myself into the river valley, though I thought I had a thousand things to do: duties, commitments, chores. No, into the river valley I went on my trusty bike, down the wooden staircase at the end of 92 Street, down into my soul, a forgotten part of the city, past someone’s […]

1 May

May Day

Posted in Seasonal Messages

On my walk to work, I always pass the Mother Teresa School in Boyle Street. Yesterday morning, before eight, I noticed children out on the swings, slides, and monkey bars swooping and diving like a flock of small birds just back from wherever they go in winter. It was warm enough. And this morning the catkins on all […]

19 April

Beckett: the Egg and the Stranger

A few years ago,  when I was going through a difficult patch in my  life, during a shoulder season like now, not-winter, not-summer, I was hailed one evening by a voice from behind a small drift, with a shopping cart parked in front. It was close to the end of November, but above zero that day and […]

19 March

Spring Equinox Eve 2014

I am neither Persian nor Ukranian but I am curious, and I have found that curiosity is one of the best passports you can have for travelling into another culture or, indeed, another world. Years ago a friend gave me three pysanky, Ukranian Easter eggs. The practice is called pysanky or writing because the symbols are […]

8 March

Stay Attached to the Tree

I met Iftikhar in one of my project management courses last year. He’s a policy “wonk,” with an honours degree from York University and a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from a prestigious institute in Sweden. He speaks fluent, even eloquent English, Urdu, Arabic, among other languages, and like so many new Canadians, […]

20 December

A Thousand and One Doors

A Thousand and One Doors

  Lately, I’ve been reading The Arabian Nights, or what has been traditionally called The Thousand and One Nights, translated by Husain Haddawy from a 14th century Syrian manuscript, the oldest there is. Haddawy grew up hearing the Nights around his grandmother’s hearth on long winter nights in Baghdad. The book could easily be called The Thousand and One Doors. Doors open: […]

31 October

All Hallows-Martinmas 2013

Posted in Seasonal Messages

It is St. Martin’s Day, we’ll eat chestnuts, we’ll taste the wine. Traditional, Portugal+ This is the season of extremes. The land on fire and the land laid bare and all of it happens within a few short weeks, as if the earth blazes in glory before giving itself up to the quiet rest of […]

1 August

Lughnasa, August 1, 2013

Posted in Seasonal Messages
Lughnasa, August 1, 2013

When I tell people that I live in Boyle Street, they often look a little surprised, even concerned. Yes, some pockets are rough, but some pockets are gold. Maybe it’s because many people here have next to nothing that they make the most of the little they have, why some boulevards, tiny porches and postage-stamp […]