Monthly Archive: December 2014

Merry Christmas

I’m reading for the umpteenth time my favourite piece of seasonal literature, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas, and thinking festive thoughts. Season’s Greetings and best wishes for 2105 to all those loyal souls who look in on my blog.

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Common Ground

With Justin Trudeau and the Liberals ahead of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives by as much as eight points in the final months before a general election, what manner of man is Justin Trudeau and what are his leadership skills? Some answers flow from a reading of his just-published book, Common Ground. First off, he is self-deprecating, no prima donna trying to ride on his father’s political coattails. Indeed, he says Pierre was poor at retail politics and did little to nurture the party’s grassroots. Justin says his political chops come more from his maternal grandfather, James Sinclair, a minister...

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Nature morte

The twenty-one works by Paul Cézanne on display in an exhibit entitled “The World is an Apple” are a coup for the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) which is celebrating its centenary. The still lifes by one of my favourite nineteenth-century French artists feature pears, ginger pots, flowers and skulls in addition to the aforementioned apples. Cézanne’s work is noted for the angles he uses. In one painting it appears as if he moved his easel several times to render the tableau with no regard for the wonky perspective that results.  Unlike Vincent Van Gogh who described his paintings in...

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A lifetime of friendship

I had lunch with my three oldest friends today. We all attended the University of Western Ontario 50 years ago. We’ve held this regular Christmas gathering at the Old Mill for a long time. As a first step we declared that matters of personal health – the organ recital I call it – were not open for discussion. Otherwise, you get into a lot of kvetching and complaining. We did, however, congratulate ourselves on surviving for another year. Among the four of us there is a lawyer, a dentist, an accountant and me, the writer. Topics ranged from Stephen Harper...

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