Dylan’s Monumental “Royal Albert Hall” Concert

In 1978, after finishing university, I moved into an old apartment with my friend Gary. We were barely into our 20s, and life was opening up. A West End pad one block off “Robsonstrasse” was about as good as it got!

Along with a bunch of shoddy furniture, we merged our vast record collections, which were definitely not shabby.… Continue reading

An Emotional Weather Report

Listen to this song by the gravel-voiced crooner and barfly poet Tom Waits. It’s “Emotional Weather Report” from one of his earlier discs, “Nighthawks at the Diner”. If you like, you can follow along with the lyrics as you listen.

The droll way Waits delivers the song, which equates a television weather report to his emotional state, is perfect.… Continue reading

Happy birthday, Dylan Thomas!

This Friday, October 27, would have been Dylan Thomas’ 109th birthday, and although the Welsh poet lived barely 39 of those years, his words and spirit changed my life. I was not even born when he died in New York in November 1953 under mysterious circumstances. He’s still with me, such as in the Spring when the trees and flowers come to life, and these words emerge:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.

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Abundance: Pender’s Season of Apples

It’s hard to overstate my reverence for The Apple!

A perfect globe, a happy fruit that sits perfectly in hand. Its gentle heft, its smooth skin, even with imperfections, is beauty in itself. It’s a joy to behold, coloured brightly with reds, greens, yellows and a multitude of hues in between. Bring it to your nose and breathe in its fragrance.… Continue reading

Cheese Karma

An artful cheese board: Beautiful to some, but not this writer!

Confession time: I can’t eat cheese.

It’s true! While the world turns to cheese in everything gastronomic, I look the other way. When I order a burger or a salad, I remind the waiter, “No cheese, please,” to ensure no surprises. Scanning a menu, I look for two things: One, for something delicious and enticing, and two, for anything that contains cheese.… Continue reading