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A Necklace of Memorable Days

by Factotum

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"Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonising preoccupation with self."

Iris Murdoch, The Nice and The Good

What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. The main requisite, I think, on reading my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write as the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.

V. Woolf

" She strung the afternoon on the necklace of memorable days, which was not too long for her to be able to recall this one or that one; this view, that city; to finger it, to feel it, to savour, sighing, the quality that made it unique."

Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being

"Why did I write any of my books, after all? For the sake of the pleasure, for the sake of the difficulty. I have no social purpose, no moral message; I've no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions."

Vladamir Nabokov

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St Ann's Church Site

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A while back, I went to take more photographs of the Farine Five Roses sign
before it gets taken down. One of the vantage points for photographing the
sign is the site where saint Ann's Church used to stand. The church, the
centre of the Irish working class district called Griffintown, was built in
1854 and torn down in 1970 as the neighbourhood was largely demolished to
make way for the Ville Marie expressway. All that's left today is a park
with benches along the former nave of the church, and a few foundation
stones. The bottom photo shows row houses in the bottom block of Mountain
Street, facing the park.
19th Oct 2006, 12:05   | tags:,,

Euphro says:

Very evocative shots :)

19th Oct 2006, 12:07

damn you euphro, got there before me ;-)

evocative is exactly how i would describe these shots, especially the second and third.

19th Oct 2006, 12:09

Viv says:

agreed and love the term 'row' houses!

19th Oct 2006, 12:38

swamprose says:

Around 1859, 100,000 Irish arrived on the 'fever ships' in Montreal, of which 20,000 stayed on. The rest went west and south.

6,000 died in the 'fever sheds' of Griffintown.

I find this place haunting.

19th Oct 2006, 13:40

factotum says:

...and many more died during the period while the Irish labourers were working on the construction of the Victoria bridge. One of these days, I'll go and photograph the Black Stone commemorating the deaths. It's not far from the site of Saint Ann's.

19th Oct 2006, 13:46

swamprose says:

please do the Black Rock. I haven't seen it in years, and the Victoria Bridge is one of my can also tell me to go to hell and do it myself sometime..:)

19th Oct 2006, 13:47

villager1963 (ichebert-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

Nice photos. I grew up in this area. I have a small site on Sony Imagestation where you can see some photos of the area, which was known officially as Victoriatown, but is perhaps better known as Goose Village.

The Imagestation site address is:

8th Mar 2007, 02:08

factotum says:

Thank you for the link to your Imagestation album! Swamprose, n.b. that there is a photo of the Black Rock among Villager1963's photos.
It will take me a while to look at all your photos. Thank you.

8th Mar 2007, 02:17