Saturday, April 19, 2014


A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

At this time of year, clear blue mornings appear a degree or two warmer than those that preceded them, forgotten as they are after three-day stretches of wet grey weather.

Yesterday opened with a light blue sky. Below it, a pink tunnel of cherry blossoms, the neighbour's towering rhododendron (also pink) and a reddening quince.

Last week I cut back a wild geranium that was flooding onto the lawn, the area before it now a dark brown patch.

Not sure what to do with this patch, whether to patch it with sod from another part of the yard or leave it, see what happens.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970)




A scene from the film version of D.H. Lawrence's long short story, "The Virgin and the Gypsy" (1930), where a smitten Yvette travels through the rain to visit the Gypsy, only to hear from his wife that he is not home. Upon returning, she meets him travelling in the opposite direction, on horseback. He invites her to "warm places," but she declines. As he rides off, she has a change of heart.

Some memorable lines:

Some silver, for my luck.

Beware the voice of the water.

Be braver in your body or your luck will leave you.

A horse will go up a hill.

It's a stallion.

Be braver or your luck will leave you.

I am expected home for tea and there is no more to be said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lacho Drom (1993)




Years ago, when my friend Julie Marr was programming the Ridge Theatre (when there was a Ridge Theatre), she told me to come see a film they were showing, a film she had seen first on VHS but did not think much of, until she booked a film print and saw it on the big screen, where it came alive.

The film is called Lacho Drom (1993) and is about the passage of the Romani people and their music, from India to the British Isles.

The clip above is my favourite scene in the film, the one that makes me weepy. Where are the mother and son going? Or are they waiting for someone? Why is the mother so sad, and why does her son love her so much?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

Last night was a "blood moon", a lunar eclipse; today the moon is merely full. Weather permitting, I will spend time with her, ask her the kinds of questions that only occur to me while in her presence.

When I was a child, my mother would take me to visit her Aunt Kippy. These were very different visits than those with her Aunt Dodie. As a child I was unsure why.

For the longest time I thought the difference was related to the difference between these two women. Only later did it occur to me that the difference lay not in who these two women were, as people, but the purpose of our visits.

As a child I saw more of Aunt Kippy than I did of Aunt Dodie. As a grown man it dawned on me that my mother only visited Aunt Dodie when she was happy, and Aunt Kippy when she was sad.

Sunday, April 13, 2014