One ha’penny, two ha’penny!

I suffer from a common affliction called earworm. At any given moment, there might be two or three musical tunes on permanent rotation in my head. They’re not all playing at once, mind you. When one earworm fades or shows weakness, the next earworm asserts itself and assumes control. There are legions of these songs waiting in the queue.… Continue reading

The Ocean Within Us

The water temperature was 7ºC yesterday when I went for a late afternoon swim. Colder than usual, but the water was flat, calm, reflecting the pink and orange of sunset.

These were luxurious conditions for a long, slow cold-water swim. A flock of gulls circled and dove at the water out past the Living Rock Island.… Continue reading

Fences and Walls

A poem comes to mind — a controversial one — as I see new fences appearing on Pender, where there once were none. Or bigger, bolder ones replacing older fences.

It’s Robert Frost’s famous poem, “Mending Wall.” Read the full poem here.

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down …” it says part-way through.… Continue reading

The Honest Baker

Jeffrey Hamelman, veteran baker and author of Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes

Jeffrey Hamelman has a problem with artisan bakers.

The legendary American baker and author, writing in the Bread Bakers Guild newsletter, thinks there’s nothing wrong with just being a baker.

The increasing use of the term “artisan,” he says, is a ploy that “elevates bakers’ importance while at the same time separating them from other woefully “non-artisan” bakers.… Continue reading

A Hard-Earned Homecoming

Feb. 13, 2:45 am. Air temperature: -3.8ºC (25ºF). Mildrith internal temperature: 977ºF (525ºC)!

For days, I’d been keeping an eye on the weather forecasts.

An arctic outflow was making its way south, they said, bringing lower than seasonal temperatures. And that, combined with windy conditions, could produce wind chills of up to -20ºF. Snow was expected in coastal locations.… Continue reading