Jane's Space

Jane's news and thoughts.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

January 8, 2007


So here we are in 2007 –Happy New Year to everyone who reads this!

I hope your Christmas celebrations were happy, however you celebrated, (and everyone seems to, yea), and that you could be with someone you loved. I had a wonderful Christmas, full of people.

I saw many people over the holidays- all my family was here, healthy and happy… and I visited with David and Martin and Stephanie and Hamza and Jessica and Robin and Neil and Sheri - Brian and Jehan are both visiting this week. I saw Shannon and her Chris and lovely wee Brigitte. And my friends Chris, and Judi. And Jim and Marjory. There were visits and card games and dinners and presents, late nights and talks, turkey and treats for weeks.

I heard Raoul’s new CD, The Legendary Miles Johnson! I saw Jim McNabb and Teri Loretto and Andrea Cochrane performing together in The Last Disciple of Abraham. I saw Matt Edison's The Domino Heart, in Ottawa, with a wonderfully strong performance by Kris Joseph. I watched Jessica Holmes and Penelope Corrin in the Royal Canadian Air Farce’s New Year’s show - with friends and champagne and the promise of a wintry outdoor hot tub.
I waited in great anticipation for Children of Men with delicious Clive Owen, and was fabulously disappointed in it. In fact I stopped watching its gore 2/3 of the way through. Rotten Tomatoes gives this movie 93%. Why? Its content never comes close to its promise of significance- it’s all exploitation.

I didn't read the newspapers ( I get the Globe and Citizen each day) or watch television or practise the piano or guitar or go swimming. I had a full season of indulgence. I read Dick Francis' latest novel and Doomspell, to share with my granddaughter! I didn’t do the Bofa news or my blog or go to any meetings or teach any drama. I watched my grandson at a hockey practice.


There’s good news about the environment – maybe. The government is finally testing all those chemicals. Mind you, testing will take years and years, and many more deaths. Four federal politicians were tested and found to have many pollutants and carcinogens in their blood. Many hormonal disruptors. And Harper has decided that environment matters to him, and is trying to appear concerned by shoving John Baird into Rona Ambrose’s place. Baird has NO environmental knowledge or concern whatsoever, but is a good battering ram, and is very loud in the House of Commons in “debate.” Once again today though, Harper warned us not to expect any changes in environmental policies and said that you can’t tell Canadians not to heat their homes for 1/3 of the year. Funny, I didn’t hear him mention Alberta’s tar sands in that utterance. Perhaps Baird will learn enough to make him effective in his new job, at policies, not just vote-getting.

So, chilluns -remember— DON’T reuse water bottles. DON’T use fabric softeners. DON’T use spray scents and deodorizers in your house. DON’T get anything with fire retardant in it, or on it. ( pyjamas, sofas, curtains etc.) A lot of makeup contains carcinogens.


I have started teaching drama once a week to children at Interval House in Ottawa. Interval House is a shelter for abused women and their families, and is always full. Harper cut the money to women’s shelters, and Interval House has very few people working there. It’s a great house with caring people, fulfilling a huge need in Ottawa. It deserves support.

I am also working on the Poets’ Pathway Committee. I talked about that earlier in this blog. It is a very exciting project, and there are dynamic people working on it. I am 'over the moon' about it. I can't envision a more worthwhile, all-encompassing, healthful, beautiful project. Time to start re-reading poetry by Ottawa’s Archibald Lampman and William Wilfred Campbell!


I contacted our new poet laureate, John Steffler, and to his immense credit he answered right away.
John Steffler is teaching at Concordia, in the Writing programme. He is a passionate poet who loves the land, amongst other things, and I am reading his poetry, and have ordered his novel. He wrote: That Night We Were Ravenous, The Afterlife of George Cartwright, The Wreckage of Play, Flights of Magic, The Grey Islands, An Explanation of Yellow.


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