R.I.P. Gene Wilder

August 29, 2016


The now-late Gene Wilder was one of the comic geniuses of my youth. He will be missed.

In 1980 or thereabouts, I had a perm and thus curly hair. I was in an expensive restaurant with someone one day, and I noticed that a young lad of about 10 years at another table was eyeing me eagerly.  As time went on, I caught him pointing in my direction as he passionately pleaded with his Mom for something.  Eventually, carrying a small book with him and watched closely by the adults there, the kid slid down from his table and walked tentatively over to me.

“Can I have your autograph, Mr Gene Wilder, please?”

I was surprised, but hurried whispers between my companion and I about childhood disappointment led me to agree; and I signed his book as “Gene Wilder”.  The kid was delighted and rushed eagerly and noisily back to his people. I nodded to them, smiled, and went on with my day.  Looking back, I am still glad I did it.

Image: Sumo

August 29, 2016


Poem: Descent

August 29, 2016


The rustic lane unwinds

its way from the mountain

like a lover leaving her man

after a lingering entwining kiss;


a solitary clump of bluebells

reflects aquamarine raindrops

on the hood of the passing car

like mirrors round as hazelnuts in the mist;


and as I ignore the windowed beauty

the weekend ending burns into my soul

leaving me wondering if, once I’m gone,

she’ll remember me with a cheer or a hiss.


Remember The Ashes

August 29, 2016

DeathofEnglishCricketOne hundred and thirty four years ago, on this day in 1882, the Australian touring team beat England at cricket for the first time in England.  It was a devastating defeat for the English team and their supporters. A few days later, the obituary (see right) was published in the Sporting Times.

Not content with public lamentations, a group of supporters burned one of the bails from the wicket used that fateful day, and collected “the ashes”. They have remained within a tiny urn until this day, and the Ashes — as matches between Australia and England are called — remain perhaps the most bitterly fought regular contest in sport anywhere.

England currently hold the Ashes after their victory in 2015.

Night Music: Words of Love

August 28, 2016

Amendment to REACH Information

August 28, 2016

In an earlier post, I had mentioned that one had to be a member of REACH by August 19 in order to vote at the AGM. I now understand that to be inaccurate. The following is from an email from REACH:

“While we encourage anyone to attend, only members of REACH can vote at the AGM. It’s easy to become a member: visit our new website and complete the membership form, include anywhere from $1 to $25 (it’s up to you) as your membership dues. Email it to us, or drop your application by our offices:

REACH Community Health Centre
102-2732 E Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC, Canada   V5K 1Z9

As a member, you’re eligible to vote in our AGM on September 21, 2016 provided you have completed a membership form and delivered it to us prior to September 14, 2016. Let your voice heard and become a member of REACH today.



Hammershoi — Again, At last

August 28, 2016

More than eight years ago, I wrote an excited post about an artist I had just come across — Vilhelm Hammershoi.



Since then, I have only come across a couple of his images. It was a stunning pleasure, therefore, to find a documentary made by Michael Palin, also eight years ago, that delves deeply into the artist and his motivations.

The documentary lasts about an hour and is well worthwhile!


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