Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms


March 2016


by Michelle Munro

Juba is like a frontier town during a gold rush – red dust in the air and everywhere else, 40 degrees in the shade, African vultures circling overhead, rapidly erected shops with facades last seen in a Western, violent, but still a respite from more volatile parts of South Sudan, lots of money (development dollars), people from throughout the region (and globe) flooding in to cash in on the bonanza and lots of drinking.  So after a rather trying few days, I wandered up the road to the beauty saloon (what they call a hairdresser/esthetician here). Continue reading “Juba”

A clothes-free year

by Barbara Sibbald

No, I won’t be leaving a wake of 911 calls when I walk down the street. Clothes free doesn’t mean au naturel, it means free from the burden of buying clothes. Burden. I choose the word carefully now, a quarter of the way into the year. It is the right word.

It began in mid-December when I was overcome by post-shopping remorse after dropping nearly $500 at a pre-Boxing Day sale on a new (albeit very warm) winter coat and various irresistible accoutrements, including a circle scarf and a light-weight “high performance” (what dat?) down vest. I justified my purchases climatically: I live in Ottawa, I need to keep warm and the frigid winds were flowing through my old coat. But still: $500? Continue reading “A clothes-free year”

Graphic novels and Goethe

by Amy Flora

On Thursday, March 3rd, the Goethe Institute in London hosted a talk with Barbara Yelin and Reinhard Kleist about their respective graphic novels that have just been published in English. The moderated talk gave both authors the opportunity to discuss their books and writing process, and provided an inside look into the development of their artistic style. Continue reading “Graphic novels and Goethe”

The charm of the miniature

by Patricia Lightfoot

I liked those photos that used to circulate on social media of the older, red British phone boxes transformed into lending libraries. They inspired me to fill a couple of small shelves in the entrance to our house with children’s books and travel books, respectively. Intended just to be visually pleasing, this installation did cause a couple of friends to borrow travel books, which, I’m glad to say, were returned. It is the small scale and the unexpected location of objects that can be so appealing, as in the little free library that my friend and neighbour Marnie Wellar has constructed in her front yard and has described here. Continue reading “The charm of the miniature”

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