Friends of the Richelieu. A river. A passion.



"Tout cedit pays est fort uny, remply de forests, vignes & noyers. Aucuns Chrestiens n'estoient encores parvenus jusques en cedit lieu, que nous, qui eusmes assez de peine à monter le riviere à la rame. " Samuel de Champlain


"All this region is very level and full of forests, vines and butternut trees. No Christian has ever visited this land and we had all the misery of the world trying to paddle the river upstream." Samuel de Champlain

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Owning a home


"And if you owned your own house - had taken up residence elsewhere - at whatever distance you could achieve - then you were safe. No more clawing fingers - no more cloying demands. Freedom. Freedom from the dead weight of the past." - Timothy Findlay, Spadework

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Ten Catmandments



- Thou shalt have no other gods before thyself

- Thou shalt not kill, or at least, if thou art going to kill, thou shall have a game of football with the thing thou is going to kill before thou properly finishest it off

- Thou shalt repeat the internal mantra " I hate this! It`s fucking great!" about the majority of life experiences.

- Thou shalt not drink the water put out for thee by thy humans. Thou shalt instead demand to drink the freshest water in Christendom straight from the tap, although if that is not forthcoming, thou shalt protest by drinking any old rainy algae-spattered crap thou might find in next door`s garden.

- Thou shalt ignore any toy thy human has bought for thee, especially the really expensive ones, but thou shalt dearly cherish the packaging of said toy, and have hours of fun with it.

- Thou shalt forget thy mother and father quite quickly when seperated from them, and if thou happens to see them again, thou shalt sniff their bottoms then hiss at them intimidatingly.

- Thou shalt snack voraciously, stealing at least one fish before the age of three, always remembering to leave something black and hard to remove behind after every meal, and getting irrationally excited when thy biscuit dispenser is topped up, even though thy new biscuits are just the same as those underneath.

- Thou shalt not commit adultery, except in a kind of "dry hum" way, with thy owner`s cleaniest knitwear and bedding.

- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour`s cardboard box.

- Thou shalt never forget the rule that thy affection towards thy human should rise and fall in direct proportion to the amount of miscellaneous crap stuck on thy fur at the time.

Tom Cox, The Good, The Bad and The Furry

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Let the cards fall where they may...


Life is like a game of Solitaire: if the cards fall in the right way and you play smart, you`re a winner. But if the cards simply do not cooperate and no matter what you do, you have to tell yourself that it was simply not meant to be, and move on.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Solitaire



I`ve started playing Solitaire again. The kind with a real deck of cards that you have to shuffle by hand. I play on the dining room table. When the cats let me.

I hadn`t played since I was a teenager. Once my homework done, and if what my parents watched on TV did not interest me, I would play Solitaire for hours on end on their dining room table, listening to the rock and roll hits of the Dave Boxer show on CJAD, signing along to the love songs.

While the cards went slap slap slap on the tablecloth, I dreamed of my first boyfriend, and yearned for those summer days spent necking while listening to the Beatles on the portable record player. He was the only boy I really enjoyed making out with.

For my father, seeing that I was smitten, forced me to go out with other local boys. But none compared to that soft, tender touch, those blue eyes looking back at me. Only with him did I feel secure enough to be myself. With him, I felt I could do no harm. In his arms, the world was a good place to be in.

But once summer vacation was over, he went back to the big city. Living a life completely different from my own, I thought. Did he think about me then? Was he as fond of me as I was of him? Or was I just a summer fling, convenient time out from school and city life? Those are the questions I was asking myself at the time...

All these memories come flooding back now while the playing cards go slap slap slap on the tablecloth, some 50 years later. Some say they would give anyting to be young again. Not me. For me, being a teenager was a very lonely, frustrating time.

For my parents had the very strict way of thinking that girls did not call boys they were interested in. A young lady had to wait for the phone to ring, playing hard to get.

And he never called.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Power of the State

Above: from the cover page of local newspaper

"When you encounter the implacable power of the state it`s a deeply destabilising moment. In an ordinary life it happens very rarely - maybe never, maybe once or twice, but your individual being, your individual nature, seems suddenly worth nothing - you feel expendable - and that`s what frightens you, fundamentally, that`s what makes your bowels loosen." - William Bayo, Sweet Caress

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Frailty of Life

Photo: Blue Ridge Discovery Center

"How frail each life is. We mow a meadow, and kill a thousand butterflies. The racket of the mower, the sound of a fist hitting flesh, an american bomb striking a Middle Eastern city - perhaps in the way of these things the only difference among them is that of scale, We keep on walking toward clamour and then cannot accept what that clamour shows us." - Jane Urquhart , Sanctuary Line