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A Necklace of Memorable Days

by Factotum

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"Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonising preoccupation with self."

Iris Murdoch, The Nice and The Good

What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. The main requisite, I think, on reading my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write as the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.

V. Woolf

" She strung the afternoon on the necklace of memorable days, which was not too long for her to be able to recall this one or that one; this view, that city; to finger it, to feel it, to savour, sighing, the quality that made it unique."

Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being

"Why did I write any of my books, after all? For the sake of the pleasure, for the sake of the difficulty. I have no social purpose, no moral message; I've no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions."

Vladamir Nabokov

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Montreal Landmarks: Ben's

(viewed 2063 times)
Ben's delicatessen, a Montreal landmark, is being demolished, but at least the curved, wrap-around Ben's sign is being preserved by Concordia University.
28th Oct 2008, 00:13   | tags:,,,comments (4)

Saint George's clock

(viewed 1483 times)
This was an article in today's Gazette about the man whose job it is to reset Montreal's pendulum clocks at the beginning and end of daylight savings time:
Although it has long been converted to electricity, Daniel Pelletier the clock historian, says that this clock, on the Saint George's Anglican Church, has the finest mechanism in the city.
The building on the left is Windsor Station.

Griffintown video

(viewed 1226 times)
Here's a short video that shows the interior of the lovely old industrial building in which I have a studio.
Griffintown is the name of one of the working class neighbourhoods that flourished along the Lachine Canal in its industrial heyday, but it is no longer the vibrant residential community that it once was.
This video was filmed in the buildings that were originally the New City Gas Works. Built in the mid 1800s, the company provided gas for Montreal's streetlamps, as well as for businesses and wealthy residents.


(viewed 1408 times)

Sunday on the Canal: October

20th Oct 2008, 13:08   | tags:,comments (3)

Hockey Moms

Hockey moms- and hockey dads and sibs: family skating on the indoor rink at the Atrium le 1000, Montreal's "warmest hockey rink".
20th Oct 2008, 01:42   | tags:,,comments (5)

Last of the museum photos

As long as you don't use a flash, you're allowed to take photographs in the Harvard University museums. I did take a lot, but these are the last ones that I'm going to post. (Some of the others were already posted in Street Phon'ography.)
EDIT: I'm adding one more photograph- a shot of me taking one of these photographs, taken by my great friend Roz

The Mohawk Trail

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The Mohawk Trail, the western part of route 2 from North Adams to Boston
13th Oct 2008, 14:00   | tags:,comments (3)