Swimming the Neighbourhood

One of the neighbourhood pools we kids frequented, circa 1961. That’s me in the water at the corner of the pool. My brother Ian far right.

Growing up in 1960s West Vancouver, backyard swimming pools were plentiful. My own family had a lush garden instead of a pool. Still, I remember at least six pools in our immediate vicinity.… Continue reading

Bloomsday and the English Major

This Friday, June 16, I’ll celebrate Bloomsday, the fictional day in Dublin that unfolds throughout James Joyce’s famous novel, Ulysses.

I’ve written about Bloomsday before (see last year’s post, Breakfast on Bloomsday). Joyce’s Ulysses is one of the great novels in the English language. Right up there with Shakespeare. It’s a challenge to read but loved worldwide for its colour, language, humour, poetry and grim beauty.… Continue reading

Call Me Ishmael!

“Call me Ishmael.”

Those immortal words begin Herman Melville’s epic novel, Moby Dick.

Those and many other passages from the novel have been running through my mind these past weeks. I’ve finished listening to an audiobook version (borrowed online through the Libby iPhone app) and am now reading e-book passages on Kindle. It was high time!… Continue reading

Breakfast on Bloomsday

A day in the life of Leopold Bloom

What will you have for breakfast this Thursday, June 16? Anything special?

I’ll probably have a slice of toasted Seed Feast loaf from last week’s bake with a smear of peanut butter and pour-over coffee. I’ll raise my first steaming cup to Jennifer and wish her a happy Bloomsday.… Continue reading