Friday, May 25, 2018


Yesterday morning I set out for Amir's to get my hair cut. On my way back I walked west down the lane just south of Kingsway and noticed an apartment building on Parry Street. I was drawn to the entrance, so I took its picture.

What attracted me to the entrance were the vaguely deco details near the top of its archway. Later, while looking at its picture, I noticed that the building is made of cinderblocks, and reflected in the window is a light standard the City introduced to the neighbourhood a few years back in recognition of its Victorian heritage.

There is more, of course.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Rural Cafe Societies

Marianne's voice-over...

     Over what 1960s American film critics called a montage sequence.

...her laconic remembrance...

    From where or when, we are not told.

...of Ferdinand, who appears as a mansplainer, and who Marianne calls Pierrot.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Geoffrey Farmer and the Fitted-Sheet

Not supposed to say anything just yet, but a North Korean "cultural publisher" is commissioning Harry Potter-like stories featuring contemporary artists in pastoral settings. I was given a choice -- pick one of five artists -- and last night I made my decision.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Mullet of Lodgings

I remember the first time I saw a camper without its pick-up. I was eleven or twelve, and the camper was "standing" at the side of a corner house on its spindly retractable legs like a baby moose getting to its feet for the first time. It seemed impossible, on the verge of falling over. Suddenly the door springs open and out comes this old woman in maroon coveralls holding a wrench and a whole lotta anger. "Fuckin' bolt!" she mutters, and I pretend not to hear her.

Monday, May 21, 2018


A hay barn. One of three. Its diagonals yanked from it, a chain tied to its left front leg, a tug from a tractor and ...

Down it came!

As a hay barn, it is finished. But its tin roof will live on as the outer walls of the Shop.

Sunday, May 20, 2018


Yesterday Brian and I drove into Vernon. Brian wanted a haircut, and I thought I did too, but somewhere between Little Kingdom and the Village Green I decided to hold out until I was in Vancouver later this week, when I would visit my usual guy, Amir, and catch up on what he's thinking.

While Brian was getting sheared, I wandered about the neighbourhood, where I came upon an apartment building with an unusual addition at its northeast aspect. Unfortunately the detail got lost in the shadows, but as is often the case with me and my phone, something unforeseen happens -- in this instance, the floral line and the line at the top of those clouds.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Sense of an Ending (2011)

With the ground tamped and the pavers placed, with the thesis project submitted and the previews for Preview in the bag, not to mention the book review I was asked to write for TCR that, at various points over the past three weeks, I was convinced I would not have time for, I allowed myself to drift into the Book Department of the Vernon Sally Anne, where I came upon a Julian Barnes novel whose sadness I had heard about when it was making the rounds six or seven years ago and, with my own unpuzzled piece of sadness in hand, purchased for a dollar and tossed on my bed with an I'll-get-to-you-later smile.

That "later" came the following evening when, after another German dinner, I began to read the unremarkably written first-person account of the equally unremarkable Tony Webster, who we meet in the last year of grade school sometime in the 1960s, where he motors along with three equally though variably arrogant male friends, after which he goes to university, dates Veronica for a year before going through a break up that affects his relationship with said friends, then, in the last seven paragraphs before the end of the first section, bums around the United States for six months before returning to England, where he becomes an arts administrator, marries, sires a daughter, divorces and retires.

Interestingly enough, it is in the second and final section where the writing becomes more remarkable, just as Tony's life takes a remarkable turn towards understanding both himself and the world around him. An example of form following function, but also of English men who, despite coming of age in the 1960s, still suffer from Edwardian adages like You can't hurt me and You love everyone, you love no one. Pity about the ending, with its improbable hook, and Tony still "not getting it," as Veronica would say, when, as Tony's deceased friend (and Veronica's deceased boyfriend) Adrian complained with respect to "the English", Tony, too, could not be serious about being serious.