Room for Debate – Part 1

This is my first time in Trinity-St. Paul’s even though I have lived in the neighbourhood for many years. I have always been curious to see inside the heavy stone walls. I am here for the local mayoral debate. As one would expect, there is lots of talk, some of it interesting. Most of the thoughtful words are spoken by the poet candidate, Howard Gomberg.

The acoustics are great, but it is stuffy and I am finding it difficult to concentrate. Audience faces look tired, yet there is not too much

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Sound Distractions Challenge Language Learning

For me, sound distractions make learning a new language particularly challenging. Recently, I started my third session of French classes at Alliance Française which is located in a converted, big, old, red brick house. This session, my classroom is in the basement, directly below the lobby which means the sound of footsteps overhead. Not just occasional footsteps, but many footsteps, as my teacher is particularly punctual and begins before other students have entered the building.

One of the perks of Saturday morning class, is that French café culture is introduced to us with coffee and croissants. As a result, the kitchen is full of students talking and eating during break. Unfortunately, our classroom is beside the kitchen. For some reason there is a vent on the wall between the two rooms and when we return from our break before others, the hum of chattering voices wafts into the room. I miss most of what is taught during the interruptions from footsteps and chattering, making following the larger lesson difficult. C’est la vie.

Everyone Wants a Strapless Gown?

Leslie and I got to Richies’ warehouse sale by about 5:15pm just as it was starting to get busy. Karen is coming to town this weekend to shop for a wedding dress and we were there to scout out the possibilities. Leslie was right; walking through the ballroom felt like being in a movie. All it took to convert the non-descript suburban hotel into a place of wonder were a few hundred brides-to-be, each in a white strapless gown. Women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities wandered the ballroom wearing their favourite dress while searching the racks for another more perfect dress.

The sense of being in a movie was clinched by the exasperated look on the face of the guy at

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