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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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Disappearing Parks

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I read in the weekend newspapers that, in the name of security, Montrealers are about to be turned away from two popular green spaces around the city's water supply, the Rutherford Park on top of the McTavish Reservoir
( )
and Dupuis Park along the aqueduct in Verdun
Here are some photos of the McTavish reservoir on the slopes of Mount Royal behind the McGill campus.
1. Looking across the playing fields towards downtown...
2. the track around the perimeter of the park...
3. If security is really the issue, something will have to be done about this fence running down McTavish Street! A normal sized adult could easily slip underneath it.
4. The embankment on the south side of the reservoir with the McGill campus on the right...
5. At the corner of McTavish and Pine Avenue..
6. Downtown from the southwest corner of the resevoir, looking down McTavish. Left to right, the leacock Building, Morris hall and the McGill Student Union.
7. McGill's natural history museum, the Redpath Museum. You can see the Three Bares in this photos too (

Caine says:

“But times have changed. ...We only have to remember the events of September 2001. I am not saying we are expecting terrorism, but that was a wake-up call for everyone and we want to make our strategic infrastructure more secure.”

Asked how, specifically, recreational activities in the parks could compromise the security of the reservoirs, Sabourin said it is theoretically possible for people to dispose of hazardous wastes in the parks, which in theory could seep through cracks in the concrete and other membranes protecting the reservoirs and contaminate the water supply.

How awful. And unnecessary it seems to me - terrorism obviously isn't an actual concern, this is almost 8 years after 9/11 and I'm not sure why it was brought up in the article.

As for the second reason given, what's the reasoning for thinking it might be a problem? If it hasn't been one so far, it's a specious reason to lock up green spaces.

5th May 2009, 03:41