30 Nov 2018 | Reading and Walking

Jeff Wall, “‘Marks of Indifference’: Aspects of Photography in, or as, Conceptual Art”

I wanted to re-read art historian and photographer Jeff Wall’s essay on the impact of photography on Conceptual Art (and vice-versa) before my end-of-semester review, mostly because during my presentation and influences talk in the Group Studio course, I was called out for suggesting that my photography is influenced by Conceptual photographic practices, and at […]

06 Sep 2018 | Reading and Walking

The Book of the Bivvy

Ronald Turnbull’s The Book of the Bivvy is an odd book. In part, it’s a collection of comic anecdotes about walking and climbing trips Turnbull has made in Northern Ireland, Wales, the Scottish Highlands, and the Lake District. But it’s also a guide that explains how to go about making such journeys, with detailed information about […]

25 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day Five

I was humbled by my blisters twice yesterday. First, I couldn’t walk more than a couple of miles. And then, when we arrived at our destination, Judy, who trained as a nurse, taped the blisters for me. That was especially humbling, because after four days on the road, my feet–to be blunt–stink. I’m still hopeful […]

24 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day Four

A good night’s sleep can do marvellous things. Last night, I was sure I’d be riding in the truck today. I could hardly put any weight on my blistered foot. This morning, the blisters are still there, but after I put on my shoes and socks, I found I was walking almost normally. So I’m […]

23 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day Three

I slept on a high-jump mat in a former grade seven classroom last night, and surprisingly I didn’t dream about being 12 years old. We’re living in luxury here: there’s a kitchen and tables and chairs, and running cold water, although you can’t drink it. Most of us had showers, but I couldn’t face a […]

22 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day Two

Last night, we did all the things solo walkers can’t (or don’t usually). There was cold beer. Dave brought his guitar, and we sang old folk songs. I didn’t know that Matthew could play, but when Dave went to cook his supper, Matthew took over as choir leader. I went to bed when it got […]

22 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Frenchmen’s Trail Walk, Day One

We camped at the golf course in Mortlach last night. It was cold. I broke the half-zipper on my ultra-light, high-tech sleeping bag, which didn’t help. I’m not sure if the manufacturer traded robustness for weight, of if the bag was designed for a slim-hipped youth rather than a man of my carriage. And I […]

06 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Afterthoughts

I’m exhausted today, of course, and my legs don’t feel like cooperating when I ask them to climb stairs or walk across the room. That’s to be expected. I should’ve taken two days to finish the last 40 kilometres of my walk. But I didn’t. I decided to leave everything on the road and push […]

06 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Nine

Last night, my hosts warned me hat there’s very little between Limerick and Wood Mountain , so I’m carrying extra water, which means my pack is heavier than ever. But my feet don’t hurt and I seem to have recovered my stride. After three hours of walking–for once, I didn’t sleep late, and I was […]

04 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Eight

I woke up late this morning, feeling drained of energy despite my day off. I’ve been walking with leaden legs for two hours and I’m about halfway to Limerick. Highway 13 has a wide, flat paved shoulder and a gravel verge beside it that looks as if it’d be good for walking, but because it […]

03 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Seven

All I’ve done in Assiniboia today is eat and sleep. And laundry. That’s what rest days are for. It’s hot again today and I’m glad I’m not out on the highway. Tomorrow will be a shorter day, just 20 kilometres to Limerick. Sunday is supposed to be cooler, so I might try to finish the […]

02 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Six

I slept late this morning and got up stiff and sore and tired. There was coffee in the cupboard so I made a pot. That helped. And for once I enjoyed Ryvita and peanut butter, so I had a decent breakfast. On my way out of town, an old fellow I’d met at lunch yesterday […]

01 Aug 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Five

Since I came back from walking in Spain five years ago, I’ve played a little game with myself when driving down highways. It’s called, “Where Would You Camp?” I look for likely spots where one could sleep rough in comfort. Behind those bushes? On that rock cutting? Last night, I played the game for real: […]

31 Jul 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Four

It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I’m leaning against a fragrant hay bale in a ditch beside Highway 2. I’ve walked 24 kilometres so far and hope to get to 35 before I stop for the day. It’s been a good day for walking, cooler than yesterday and cloudy, although now the sun is shining. I […]

30 Jul 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Three

Don’t believe Google when it tells you it’s only 70 kilometres to Moose Jaw. Maybe if you’re driving. If you’re walking on backroads, it’s more like 90. I’m as wiped as someone who’s walked 90 kilometres in three days can be. I have 160 kilometres left to go. I’ve been in the hotel–the fancy one–for […]

30 Jul 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day Two

Today was hard. It was hot and I was so thirsty. I may have underestimated how much water this walking requires. I can’t eat much without feeling bilious, and the iron rations in my pack have turned out to be unappealing. After 29 kilometres, I’ve stopped beside the Moose Jaw River to rest. It’s a […]

28 Jul 2018 | Reading and Walking

Wood Mountain Walk, Day One

I’m not prepared for this walk. Maybe that’s okay. I’ve always thought that the best way to get ready to do something was to do it. I did try a similar walk a few years ago, and it didn’t work out. But I learned from that experience. My pack is lighter, and my route is […]

26 Jul 2018 | Reading and Walking

Trespassing Across America and This Land Is Our Land

Ken Ilgunas was a cook in an Alaskan oil-field work camp when he had an idea. At least, his friend and fellow cook Liam had an idea. They were concerned about global warming and the part they were playing in what he calls “our country’s wrongheaded conception of ‘progress,'” and they were tossing around ideas […]

13 May 2018 | Reading and Walking

Apple TV Walk

Christine read Edward St. Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose books a while back, and when we learned that they were going to be turned into a TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, she wanted to see it. The series is carried by Crave in Canada, but we’ve had trouble with Crave’s app not working on our TV–so much […]