LONDON , ONTARIO – Striving to make good on my recent and reckless pledge to read every last unread book on my shelves before the Chinese Batflu lockdown is lifted and I’m allowed once again to freely pillage the second-hand shops, I’ve knocked back about fifteen titles in social isolation so far and only have a few hundred more to go. Yeh, I know. Restrictions are incrementally lifting as we speak and it’s starting to look like I might not pull it off.
LONDON, ONTARIO - Regular Hermaneutics readers will know that by about mid-May, it’s time for your host to clamber aboard a chartered bus full of hopped-up zealots to travel through the cramped and sleep-deprived night up to Ottawa where he will take part in - and then file his report on - the latest edition of the National March for Life. For 50 years this annual gathering, timed to protest the legalization of abortion in Canada on May 14th of 1969, has drawn as many as 25,000 Canadians. In more recent years the head count usually comes in at an estimated 15,000 participants.
LONDON, ONTARIO – It was forty-five years ago last November that Nick Drake (1948-74), lying low at his parents’ comfy Warwickshire home and depressed out of his gourd because his life and his brain and his musical career were all spiraling out of control, killed himself by ingesting more than thirty Tryptizol anti-depressant tablets. He was twenty-six years old and left behind three arrestingly melancholy albums of utterly original songs – Five Leaves Left (1969), Bryter Layter (1971) and Pink Moon (1972) – that hadn’t sold worth spit or garnered much in the way of critical attention during his lifetime.
LONDON, ONTARIO – Most years I can expect to endure one cold, usually in January, and about once a decade I will host a flu bug for about a week. While I don’t exactly enjoy these feverish bouts of downtime, they do have their compensations. Aching muscles and protracted coughing fits are a drag but it’s always a treat to be able to book a few days off and devote what energies remain to nothing more productive than reading and watching old movies. And the timing of my annual cold is perfect for tackling that stack of books and DVDs I’ve invariably received for Christmas a few weeks before.
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THE AQUINAS LECTURE
G.K. CHESTERTON AND THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE
ALL LIFE IS A GIFT :
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRADITION :