Happy to introduce Brother Geoffrey, affectionately known by his brothers as Geoffrey the Baker. He is an English monk, and his white robes show him to be of the Cistercian order. He lives in an abbey somewhere in our imagination, and we can imagine that it is the smell of bread emerging from his wood-fired oven that makes him so happy.
That and the chapel bell.
People in the village simply called him the Happy Monk, because he loves baking bread. Some think he looks a lot like me. I don’t know about that, but I’ll tell you one thing: his oven sure looks like mine!
Another thing I can tell you: Geoffrey’s picture, here, is drawn by Ella Sharp Morton, an extraordinary photographic artist and illustrator who lives in Toronto. She takes pictures of northern landscapes, sometimes with degraded film, to show the degrading effect that climate change has wrought on this sensitive landscape. She also uses a darkroom technique called mordançage that illustrates the same idea. In fact, they look downright apocalyptic!
Ella is also my daughter, and I couldn’t be a prouder baker!