Alan Pickersgill

It looks as though the pandemic and consequent social distancing will be in place for a few more months at least. That’s fine with me. I have all the sick pay any retired guy could ever need. If that ever runs out, I have a bottomless bucket of vacation days stashed away. The only reasons I leave the house and go somewhere to do something meaningful are either to walk Charlie around the block or go for chemo. The first treatment comes my way on Wednesday morning. From what I’ve heard about our new nation of self-isolated hermits, there’s a lot of Netflix bingeing goingRead More →

So far, so good. I have managed to steer clear of any stray corona viruses, touch wood with fingers crossed while standing up and turning round counter-clockwise seven times then throwing a pinch of salt over my left shoulder. No covid, regardless of number, has found its way across my threshold. A couple of months ago, I let my guard down. Mind you, back in those distant days, the guards weren’t up very high. Self-isolating wasn’t a word yet. It still isn’t, really. It’s two words temporarily joined at the hyphen. Two months ago, when we were all that much younger, they weren’t even anRead More →

We Are The Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer. Penguin Random House Canada, 2019. 288 pages. There is a Planet B. It’s not always easy to see, but it’s out there. Waiting. This isn’t the super-expensive, elitist vision of the late Stephen Hawkings or the multi-billionaire Elon Musk. They thought we’d have to  leave this planet and find another one. The tough part would be finding one with enough gravity to keep our feet on the ground, enough oxygen to keep our lungs functioning, and enough resources to plunder. We don’t have to go that far. We can remake theRead More →

“I have an $8,000 oak living room set none of my kids want so I’m selling it. A Paki came by and offered me ninety bucks.” This was said to me this morning by an old guy in the neighbourhood who sold his house and is moving out of the area. He’s been having garage sales to unload a lot of the stuff he’s accumulated over the years. I pass his house every day while walking Charlie and I often stop and shoot the breeze with him. Usually casual banter, nothing terribly important. I was taken aback. “Who came by?” I asked. “An East IndianRead More →