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Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms

A conversation with Sarah Goodey

Please could you tell us a bit about yourself and your photography?

I have always taken pictures. I consider myself an artist who uses photography in her work. I mainly use analogue or film cameras, though I do have a high-quality digital camera on my phone. I also make cyanotypes, which involves placing objects like leaves or buttons directly onto using sun-sensitive paper and exposing them to light to make a contact print. Continue reading “A conversation with Sarah Goodey”

A split life

By Patricia Lightfoot

This week my family celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of our arrival in Canada as visitors, though our landed-immigrant papers arrived a week after us. As we were driven down the Décarie Expressway in Montreal with our babies on our knees in May 1992, we looked at the cement all around and the trees without leaves and we wondered what we had done. The following day, walking around Montreal in the sunshine, perplexed by the mixture of what we knew of as early and late spring and summer flowers in the gardens, we realized that this might work. Continue reading “A split life”

A conversation about The Museum of Possibilities with Barbara Sibbald

Patricia Lightfoot

Barbara Sibbald’s collection of short stories, The Museum of Possibilities, was recently published by The Porcupine’s Quill Press

First, I should declare that Barbara Sibbald is a friend, a colleague and a contributor to this blog. Second, like one of her characters who is reading a short story in “Things We Hold Dear,” “I usually don’t read short stories. I like a longer relationship with my fictional company.” In spite of my usual preference for a more lengthy narrative, I found the stories in The Museum of Possibilities highly entertaining, being tightly constructed and inventive, and featuring unsparing observation of the human condition in its mundane failures, though these are recounted with a dark and witty relish. Continue reading “A conversation about The Museum of Possibilities with Barbara Sibbald”

Moomin magic

By Patricia Lightfoot

As a small group of long-time fans of the Moomin books, we were inexorably drawn to “Adventures in Moominland,” which was advertised as an “immersive, interactive exhibition” hosted by the Southbank Centre as part of “Nordic Matters” – a year-long celebration of Nordic art and culture. After an agonizing last-minute search for the venue, having approached the Southbank Centre for our timed tour by the Millennium Bridge, that is, essentially from the wrong side, we positioned ourselves with only a few minutes to spare in front of the “book cover” that would be the entrance to the exhibition. At the appropriate moment, our guide opened the book, then turned a cloth “page” and led our group of about a dozen adults out of central London and into a darkened forest. Continue reading “Moomin magic”

Looking for Tilling

 

By Patricia Lightfoot

A walking tour of the little town of Rye in south-east England, not far from Hastings, led us through time to the happy, insulated world of Tilling, which is the setting of a number of entertaining social comedies written in the 1920s and the 1930s by author and thrice mayor of Rye, E.F. Benson. If you were to read just one of the books, choose Mapp and Lucia, in which these two redoubtable foes, Miss Elizabeth Mapp and Emmeline Lucas (Lucia), first appear together, Continue reading “Looking for Tilling”

Scottish cuisine

By Patricia Lightfoot

When asked to share a dish typical of my cultural background, I have sometimes felt challenged in a way that someone of Italian or Lebanese origin, for instance, probably would not be. My first thought tends to be not “which delicious dish shall I choose from my birth country’s remarkable and justifiably famous cuisine?” but, rather, is there anything I can think of that someone else might want to eat? Continue reading “Scottish cuisine”

Ookpik – cliché Canadiana or entrée to Inuit culture?

By Carolyn Brown

In a harmonic convergence of craft beer and nostalgia, I ordered an Ookpik on Kijiji, and it arrived Feb. 1, still in its original box. I had had one when I was young, as did many children in Canada and the US, but I fear that long-lost Ookpik ended its days in landfill.

The Ookpik came along just as Canada was becoming cool — culturally, I mean. Continue reading “Ookpik – cliché Canadiana or entrée to Inuit culture?”

Ecco Romani

by Patricia Lightfoot

In Nancy Mitford’s Don’t Tell Alfred, when asked if he would like to live on another planet, Charles-Edouard de Valhubert replies that he is not interested in going to a place where there were “oceans on which Ulysses never sailed, mountains uncrossed by Hannibal and Napoleon.” I understand his sentiment, a product of a classical education and a life spent in Europe, because I now live in a country where the Romans did not set foot, and sometimes I miss their mark on the landscape. Continue reading “Ecco Romani”

Ten famous Canadians

By Patricia Lightfoot

In the 1990s, a few weeks before moving to Montreal, my husband and I were having dinner in France with friends who also happened to be originally from the UK, and the discussion turned to what sort of country we were going to live in for the next three years. We agreed that apart from having a reputation for amiability, Canada did not seem to have a very high profile in Western Europe. Someone then asked whether any of us could name any famous Canadians. “Of course!”, we said. As far as I recall, the list was a bit like this: Continue reading “Ten famous Canadians”

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