Terror Times Two

I was in New York on September 10, 2001 to meet travel editors. I wrote a lot. I travelled a lot. So, I thought, why don’t I do both at the same time? A friend got me an interview with the managing editor of Condé Nast Traveler, which was…

It was 20 years ago today……

...that 9/11 happened. So please spare a memory for those who died and for how our world has grown much less stable in the past two decades because of it. One good way is to watch Spike Lee’s film that captures New York’s faith and fate…

Five Royal Scandals

My wife is the ultimate realist. But she’s always been a royalist too, which proves you can hold two opposed ideas in your head at the same time and still function. But it’s getting worse. She used to glance sideways at the cover of Hello…

The Good, the Baad, and the Lucky

“None of our staff has been beaten, attacked, killed, as far as I know,” she said. That’s what an Afghan woman who runs a women’s shelter said last week after the Taliban over-ran her town. By any account, women in Afghanistan, already…

Labour Daze

Oh well. It was a blessed summer, with an added month thrown in when May became as warm and sunny as July. But all that was so last season. Fall has landed, with duvet-nights, sooner-sunsets, anti-vaxxers pricking the body politic, and a sense…

Passport, please

Yesterday, I saw an Instagram post with a photo of a Viagra pill. You know that pill, the blue one with the word “Pfizer” in the middle. Above the pill were these words: “You trust us with your penis.” And below: “Trust us with the…

Manufacturing Addiction

Back when I was a drug addict, quality control didn’t exist because the manufacturers and sales force were drug dealers. You could die because what you smoked, snorted up your nose, or injected into your arm was laced with some deadly poison…

The Last Weekend of the Summer

I say make hay while the sun shines. Not in the same way weekends revved you and saved you in the past. But in a new way. In other words, this weekend, do something you’ve never done before. I’m not talking about climbing Mt. Everest here.…

Vax or Die

Jean and I are newbie road-trippers. Last summer, we strapped our kayaks to the roof of our car and set out to Lake Superior from what was once our cottage on Georgian Bay which the pandemic had transformed into our ‘sanctuary-home’. At…

A Woman’s Work

In 2009, Jean and I went to Afghanistan for two reasons. The first was to see the Kabul Widow’s Feeding Program in action and raise money for it when we returned.  It had been set up by Care Canada before the Russians arrived, before…

Why we call Saturday’s blog “OG.”

It’s short for “Omnium-Gatherum” which is the long, Latin way to say “Things I fell across on my way to tomorrow.” As always, we start with something newsworthy and end on something musical and hopefully inspirational. This week’s…

The Dog Days of August

We’re in them right now, the hottest, most sultry time of the year. Their name comes from the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, in the sky at this time of year. But the phrase likely entered our brains when Noel Coward wrote the song “Mad…

Broke, In More Ways Than One

Paul Goldberger had dinner at our home 10 years ago. Back then Goldberger was the architecture critic for the New Yorker having done the same at the New York Times. Goldberger was speaking the next day at a RamsayTalk and we’d invited a tableful…

The Beautiful Game

“Of course we should form a women’s pro soccer league in Canada.” Yes, we should. But not like how we did women’s pro hockey. This time, let’s make it work for the players and for the millions of girls who form pro soccer’s growing…

Faster. Higher. Stronger. Quitter.

No one knows before an Olympics what it will be remembered for. We knew when the Tokyo Games opened on July 23rd that COVID would play a role. But we now know before they close tomorrow they’ll be remembered for three things. The first is,…

The Anti-Everything Inquiry

An essential chapter of the fascist playbook is to blame foreign actors for your troubles. Poland, Hungary, and China do it today as a matter of official policy, as did America under Donald Trump. But Alberta? In July 2019, just three months…

I’m the Best.

I’m tired of the phrases “award-winning” and “best-selling.” Tired because they signal puffery and bullshit over skill and achievement. Which is odd since they were born meaning the opposite. I don’t mean award-winning as in the…

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend

The “August Long Weekend” began as a bank holiday, which is the term to describe a day when the banks are closed in the United Kingdom and the Crown dependencies.” It’s not that banks get to willy-nilly declare a holiday like the one…