Ice Cubes, Kangaroos and Canadian Cows

Canadian Weekend 1979This week from the Time Capsule: the magazine Canadian Weekend November 1979.

Some things just read differently now. For example the headline: “Wonderful WONDERFUL Wonder Weed“… the article is talking about seaweed.

My favourite article is “Kangaroos Are Peculiar to Canada,” tidbits from student essays compiled by a teacher of Canadian history in the U.S. “There are many animals peculiar to Canada. Just for one, it would be peculiar to see a kangaroo there.”

Given the present U.S. brouhaha over Canada’s dairy industry this quote should probably be noted: “While most cows can only give milk, some Canadian cows have been taught how to give dairy products.”

Now for my own compilation – a found poem made up of phrases taken from different headlines, articles and ads in the magazine.

Two nice ice cubes
Is this all there is to human life?
Bartenders have a knack for
unique blending
sad songs
a large ego
passages from Emerson or Thoreau.

Trying to swim across
the line between
a solid gold toilet
and challenge and adventure
things are all pretty much touch and go

if you get my drift.
Hold up another ice cube.

Canada is filled with the Great Outdoors. One of their main products is Utopia. Kangaroos Are Peculiar to Canada

Doors to the Past – Open or Leave Closed?

Mulroney-Reagan Trade Deal 1988 - Warren Allmand MP ReportLast week I wimped out of my Time Capsule project (my door to the past).

The booklet I pulled out was distributed by our Member of Parliament in 1988 detailing the reasons why the Mulroney-Reagan Trade Deal was not a good idea.

Quite the coincidence that I should find it now, given that President Trump has just opened the door to renegotiating the trade deal (now NAFTA)….

I did try to make a blackout poem with a page of the text but it just didn’t work.

This week the Time Capsule produced the 1995 Quebec Referendum booklet giving the pros and cons of voting oui/yes or non/no to opening the door to Quebec leaving Canada.

1995 Quebec Referendum

1995 Quebec ReferendumI really don’t want to remember the night of the Referendum. The result was so close. Scary. It took a long time for the sad sour feeling to fade.

I didn’t feel like playing around with that (plus it was in French – fine if we’re chatting but not so easy if I’m trying to be creative!) so I broke my own rules and dipped into the Time Capsule a second time.

Ah! Much better! Real (printed) photos! And a door among them…

The photo is pre-digital (and I’ve no idea where the negative is) so I had to scan it to upload it but then had trouble pasting it into this post. Do you know the trick for doing that properly? If so, I’d be very grateful if you’d share the secret or put a link in the comments box below.


This old barn is one of my favourites in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. I love the ramp up to the higher level and the huge doors that open onto the threshing floor.

Eastern Townships barn, QC

I’ve been passing the barn for more than twenty-five years but every time I stop to take a photo. Just can’t resist!


Inspired by Norm.2‘s Thursday Doors

Finding the Right Door


It’s taken me years to finish my collection of short stories. Now I’m in that lovely but frustrating floaty ‘what-next?’ phase.

EthiopiaIt’s not that I don’t have plenty of projects to work on (two other story collections are in the pipeline) but I’d really like to sink my teeth into something totally new.

EthiopiaAnd I feel there’s some idea lurking out there, not so far away, waiting for me… Something important.


It’s just a matter of finding the right door….


Doors to hermit caves in Ethiopia

Inspired by Norm’s Thursday Doors

Security – For Thirty-Seven Days

Weekly Photo Challenge: Security

In the Middle Ages anyone who had committed a serious crime would be given security for thirty-seven days if they used The Sanctuary Knocker on the door of Durham Cathedral.

In that time they had to decide whether they would stand trial or leave the country – or (according to the site I’ve linked below the photo) try to reconcile with those who had suffered from their wrongdoing.

I found The Sanctuary Knocker quite mesmerizing and ominous. Was it looking into my innermost soul to see if I was guilty? It’s actually a replica but obviously imbued with the right aura!

For more about the Knocker and the Sanctuary Seekers.

Durham Cathedral

Finding Treasure in a Shoe Box!

Out of the Time Capsule comes a shoe box. Great excitement. What’s inside? Letters? Sea shells? A fragment of a dance I once composed? Something of immeasurable value?

Off with the lid.

treasures from the Time Capsule


1) a caviar tin lid, bright blue, shiny. Was that a special occasion? One to remember? Then why don’t I remember?

2) a rock. Glued to it, a fabric leaf, and to the leaf three small bobbles (one grey, one red, one grey). ??????????????????

3) a dinosaur, plastic, red with blue fin rising from its back, mouth wide open, spiky teeth.

treasures from the Time Capsule4) a playbill for ‘Swing’ from 2000. Hey, look at those great songs “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “I’ve Got a Girl in Kalamazoo,” “Cry Me a River”…

But the show was in New York. I’ve been to New York twice: once on my way to work in Bogotà in the ’70s and once a couple of years ago. I wasn’t in New York in 2000. I don’t think I was in New York in 2000.

The show certainly looks as though it was a whole lot of fun.

5) a programme for ‘School for Scandal’ – was that the time we met up with friends for an ultra-elegant afternoon tea before the show and the kids discovered packets of balloons in a drawer in the table and tried to blow them up? By the time we adults realised what was going on, everyone in the restaurant was looking aghast. The balloons were condoms.

6 and 7) two trophies – one for ‘Best Etiquette’ in a golf tournament, the other with a plaque reading “B. of N.Y. Canada Day 77 – Fittness Award 2 Mile Run.” (I Google to check if that stands for Bank of New York – but why would the Bank of New York be sponsoring a Canada Day run? And why wouldn’t it know how to spell Fitness?)

Recognize any of this? I ask my husband.

He seizes…

8) a big round button with the words “First Prize” and featuring a jolly orange cat waving its paws. “Hey! That’s my special Father’s Day button,” he says.

One orange cat button circa 1989. Priceless! (And for the rest, there’s recycling. The rock will go into the garden.)

treasures from the Time Capsule

FREE For the Asking: All-Coarse Teeth

The Larkin Plan Winter-Fall 1919-20Inspiration from the Time Capsule comes this week from The Larkin Plan Fall & Winter catalog 1919-20.

Originally soap producers in Buffalo, NY, the company was founded in 1875.


FREE For the Asking:
Black Liquid Shoe Polish
Serviceable Mackinaws and Raincoats
pearl buttons
oil heaters
Charm and Daintiness That Pictures Cannot Portray
Comfort Itself
Nightgown No. 14
Exhaust Pipe Enamel No. 463
exceptionally serviceable Hose
Smart Skirts and Pretty Waists
A particularly strong, good-looking Velocipede,
the little girl
made of heavy steel with seamed joints,
eleven rows of
all-coarse teeth
painted red

Not So Easy Being Green!

Weekly Photo Challenge: It IS Easy Being Green!

Well, actually it’s not so easy to be green in March in Montreal!

Easier in England where I’ve spent the last few weeks. It was a very stressful and sad time. But every morning during the 45 minute drive to the hospital I would soak in the colours of daffodils, primroses, and the blossoming trees…

In particular I found the sight of the green, green fields spreading out each side of the road very comforting.

When you see something green you know it is alive, right? It also means balance, calm and harmony. So it is a great color to have around when you are trying to restart yourself after a hard day. It is the reason we feel so great when we are out in the open. Color Psychology

I arrived back in Montreal just in time for the biggest snow storm of the winter so it was back to white. It snowed again all day yesterday (Friday). No green in sight….

Montreal Musée des Beaux Arts

..until I came across the photo below as I was cleaning up my desktop. I had to use it!

frog - Montreal Botanical Gardens

The frog was in the reeds at the edge of a lake in the Montreal Botanical Gardens (2013 Montreal International Mosaïcultures).