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Long live all maidens

easy and beautiful !

Long live mature women also,

Tender and loveable and full of good labor. 

Gaudeamus Igitur

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Books, books, books …. 


Hope you are feeling better. I’ve heard so many people at school complain about serious headaches and migraines this month. I wonder if it is weather (atmospheric conditions) related. Maybe our Canadian bodies expect the cold and snow by now! 

I love Jane Gardam’s writing. Her sense of place and setting is formidable. When I read FILTH it was as if I had never left Hong Kong. Very similar to Paul Scott’s Staying On

So I’m eager to read the short stories. Speaking of books, Jesse asked for Walt Whitman for Christmas, and I would have loved to buy him a special copy. Less that 5 years ago I could have walked to Harbord and found a copy in any one of the great books shops. Now, trendy bars and restaurants have replaced them all. Even the last holdout, Atticus Antiquarian Books, closed in the spring and probably the super-trendy-valet-parking Splendido’s will take over the space, and people who have never read a book will be sitting in what should still be a bookshop.

I remember Dan coming home one day a few years ago and saying, I’ve got bad news and bad news. First, so and so is closing. (Oh I’ve forgotten the name! How sad is that? A famous bookshop that had been around for almost 70 years). The shop had looked exactly like the one in 24 Charring Cross Road – all wood shelves and creaking floors with a knowledgeable staff almost as old as the shop itself. All I could say was, “Oh no, another independent bites the dust.” (Line from You’ve Got Mail) And looking serious again, Dan asked, “Guess what’s replacing it”? He paused for effect. I shrugged, not wanting to know. “Starbucks!” The Starbucks is still there, of course, right at Yonge near Bloor, and I still refuse to set foot in it, no matter how pathetic my indignation seems. 

I’m sure the homework at St. Hildegarde’s has to be overwhelming. I didn’t see The Globe article, but I’m sure there has to be some limit. On the other hand, I am against the school board’s policy of not giving any homework. Isn’t it just as important as all the extracurricular activities most kids are signed up for? I think the issue, with a lot of parents, is not wanting to take the time to discipline the kids or to sit with them for an hour or so. I see parents everywhere, on the subway, on the street, pushing strollers and they’re all texting or talking on their cells. Please - how about talking to their kids who are often literally crying for attention.  

Have to end this now, even though I had a few more things to say about the merits of motivators - from Chapman’s ice cream to a glass of Pinot Grigio to a good book or all of the above. 

Indignant Sarah 

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