Pick me! Pick me!

I have never voted for any Prime Minister of Canada or Premier of Ontario in any national or provincial election; yet I have never missed an election since I turned eighteen and became eligible to vote. In the last election, in fact, only 24,727 people voted for Justin Trudeau, representing 51.2% of the votes inContinue reading “Pick me! Pick me!”

Small is beautiful

I have a penchant for small books. Not measured in amount of pages, rather with respect to the physical size. Small books are more convenient to carry on a journey, fitting easily into the side pocket of my leather briefcase without bulging or distorting its shape. They are comfortably cradled with one hand, left orContinue reading “Small is beautiful”

How I spent my summer vacation

Summer brings up memories of driving and holiday excursions. Growing up, vacations normally meant visiting locations in Ontario, always involving a vehicle, and most of the time including relatives from the Netherlands. My parents owned a car for their entire life in Canada. A vehicle was a necessity living outside the city limits with veryContinue reading “How I spent my summer vacation”

Canadian Fiction in East Africa and India

The idea I am putting forward is that new Canadians bring their storieswith them, and these stories then become Canadian stories. Canada‚Äôs pastlies not only in the native stories of the land itself, but also in Europe, andnow in Africa and Asia; Canadians have fought not only in the World Wars,but also in the warsContinue reading “Canadian Fiction in East Africa and India”

Tanzania redux

I just finished M.G. Vassanji’s novel, The Book of Secrets. The story takes place in Tanganyika (German East Africa) and Kenya largely during the first World War years and into the aftermath of their independence. The protagonists gravitate between the cities of Moshi, Dar-Es-Salaam and the fictional Kikono; Voi, Mombasa and Nairobi respectively. The bookContinue reading “Tanzania redux”

No Reservations

News of the 215 unmarked graves of children found at the Kamloops Residential school broke on May 27. The country was horrified with many honouring the lives lost in some form including leaving small shoes at the steps of our institutions. The tragedy was magnified six days ago when the Cowessess First Nation discovered 751Continue reading “No Reservations”

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

This post is not really about Zen and it is only a little about motorcycle maintenance. In my attempt to get the bike back on the road, I had to conduct a little repair and in the process surrendered to a Zen-like understanding in all things mechanical. Spring arrives later at the cottage, two hoursContinue reading “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”

Stop all the clocks, let the mourners come

I have been writing about my visit to Kamuli, Uganda for a submission to a memoir writing competition and in that process a re-examination of my time has led me into a deeper understanding of the events. In previous posts about my uncle, Father Kees de Cock, I had described my quest to affirm someContinue reading “Stop all the clocks, let the mourners come”

The Sun Rises in the East

The choice of Asian Canadian writers is considerable, a number of whom are ranked among the best the country has to offer. This month’s selection from my literature collection takes the reader to Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Singapore, Korea and Japan with protagonists rooted in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. The choices were deliberate, covering as muchContinue reading “The Sun Rises in the East”

True Confessions of The Constant Gardener

Hello. My name is Henry and I am a gardenaholic. It has been 12 days since I last planted something new into the garden. Although, I must confess, I transformed an existing clump of shrubbery into a quasi-garden yesterday. Just a little one. Really. The day started innocently with the intention of weeding the earthContinue reading “True Confessions of The Constant Gardener”