A Picnic with Samson

I’m going on a picnic by the Bow River with Samson the Border Collie mix. We’ll eat our lunch by the Bow River. The first thing I have to do to prepare is pack my canvas backpack with items we’ll need: dog treats and kibble for Samson, a tuna sandwich for me, sunscreen, sun hat, a light sweater, and a cold thermos of water. Samson is a water connoisseur and likes his water fresh and [...]

A Picnic with Samson2022-10-05T10:58:48-06:00

Up, Up and Away

I’m sitting in the waiting room at my nephrologist’s office and staring at the large bulletin board beside the reception desk. The board contains pictures and descriptions of various kidney diseases. As I wait, my sense of nervous anticipation builds. I try to remain calm as I know anxiety will raise my blood pressure reading. I do some deep breathing exercises that I learned from a yoga class. “Breathe in relaxation,” I tell myself. “Hold [...]

Up, Up and Away2022-06-08T14:03:15-06:00

Purse Vigilante in Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey The story of how I became a purse vigilante in Istanbul It was our first evening in Istanbul. My husband, sister, brother-in-law and I had just had an exhausting overnight flight. These four Canadians were looking forward to an early dinner and a good night’s sleep. The next morning, we were scheduled to fly to the gorgeous beaches of Bodrum in southern Turkey. My brother-in-law selected a restaurant near the [...]

Purse Vigilante in Istanbul2021-09-29T15:56:03-06:00


I stare in disbelief at the emergency vet doctor trying, but still unable, to absorb the awful news. Our beloved Rascal, the smiling black and white Border Collie that we walk regularly, has a bleeding tumour on his spleen. He has a few months to live at most. Of the two Border Collie brothers, Rascal and Samson, Rascal seemed the more fragile and delicate. It was only a few weeks ago he was running [...]


Big Head

Photo by Pixabay on I’m waiting in line at the box office to try to get a rush ticket to the ballet Cinderella. It’s sold out online, but I’m hoping that maybe a few seats have popped back up in the system. “We only have single seating left starting at $142,” the lady behind the glass at the box office explains into the microphone, pointing to a few scattered red dots [...]

Big Head2021-09-29T15:57:15-06:00

Finding My Place

Clearing My Mind By Decluttering My House It’s a Friday evening after a long week, and I’ve been looking forward to lounging at home. The whole week has lead up to this moment. I’m propped up on pillows eating chips and watching TV in the living room. Yes, I’m wearing sweatpants. Sounds relaxing, yes? It should be, but something doesn’t feel right. I’m having trouble focusing on the TV. I wrap my blanket around [...]

Finding My Place2021-09-29T15:57:46-06:00

Teaching in Mexico

image source: After a seven-year hiatus, I am teaching ESL again. I am in Los Cabos, Mexico and this morning’s class will be at a non-profit college aimed at giving underprivileged kids an opportunity for higher learning. My sister K., who lives here half the year, instigated this. I’ve been looking forward to it. I even managed to fit in a few of my old ESL books from my teaching days [...]

Teaching in Mexico2021-09-29T15:58:26-06:00

Film Festival Interview: Friends on Facebook

JUDITH MORRISON INTERVIEW CHRIS ROSS, FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK, JENNA HARDER, MICHELLE D'ALESSANDRO HATT American essayist Anais Nin wrote in the 1931-1934 volume of her diary, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” In writer/director Chris Ross’ poignant short film, Friends on Facebook, this notion of self-discovery through friendship is aptly illustrated by a [...]

Film Festival Interview: Friends on Facebook2021-09-29T15:59:48-06:00

A Different Kind of Fairytale

“How do these women do it?” I wonder. I study the svelte women dining in a downtown restaurant. They are daintily eating their mixed green salads. They have perfect blow dries, perfect French manicures, and perfect designer purses tucked beside them. They have chic high heels on. In fact, their shoes are similar to the pair I just fell in love with at the shoe store. I was eyeing a pair of black patent [...]

A Different Kind of Fairytale2021-09-29T16:00:31-06:00

Take Time to Play

I’d been walking to the gym carrying my heavy bag containing everything needed for the day’s activities: runners, gym clothes, toiletries and my trusty to-do list. The sandwich board was parked in front of the shop that sells healing crystals, angels and books on spirituality. When you have a sign on the street right in front of you and practically trip over it, you’re forced to reflect on it. Whether you want to or [...]

Take Time to Play2021-09-29T16:01:11-06:00

Overcoming gym guilt with bagels and jam

Image credit: Irma Kniivila for The Globe and Mail Guilty. I feel guilty as I bite into my freshly buttered bagel. And this is why: I’m eating bagels in the morning when I really should be going to the gym. In fact, I’m beginning to feel like a giant human bagel with blond hair and a doughy, flabby belly. I take a sip of my coffee and the last bite of my [...]

Overcoming gym guilt with bagels and jam2021-09-29T16:01:46-06:00

Film Festival Interview: Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt

Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt (Photo: Kyle Tait) JUDITH MORRISON INTERVIEW ADAM KING, CANADA FILM INDUSTRY NEWS TODAY, CANADIAN INDEPENDENT FILM, GUESS WHO'S NOT COMING TO BREAKFAST LUNCH OR DINNER?, INDIEFILMTO FESTIVAL, MARCH MERCANTI, MICHELLE D'ALESSANDRO HATT, SPENCER SINCLAIR Remember the 1950s TV show, Leave it to Beaver? Remember the 1970s movie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Imagine if these two quintessential cinematic “parents” were to have a love child. Can you picture it? Writer Spencer [...]

Film Festival Interview: Michelle D’Alessandro Hatt2021-09-29T16:02:50-06:00

Mourning Toronto And Moving On: How I Left

"I found myself looking back and mourning the loss of Toronto. This, I think, is causing me to stay still when I should be moving forward." Calgary. I’m walking on the path by the Bow River. This part was closed for days after the June flood. I miss coming here. We recently bought a townhouse in West Hillhurst that now feels uncomfortably close to the water. Still, walking on the Bow River Path has [...]

Mourning Toronto And Moving On: How I Left2021-09-29T16:03:25-06:00

Window shopping: My obsession with the boots on display

“I’ve become a stalker, I say. I’m stalking a pair of boots.” Downtown Toronto. I’m walking home on slippery sidewalks, my husband’s dry cleaning in one hand and a grocery bag in the other. I stop in front of a shoe store and fumble in my coat pocket for my trusty to-do list. I look up, distracted by the display window, and that’s when I see them: a pair of black suede traditional riding boots. [...]

Window shopping: My obsession with the boots on display2021-09-29T16:03:56-06:00

Turning Point Interview

Janique Farand-Taylor (Photo by Edward Pond) Janique Farand-Taylor was at the peak of her downhill skiing career and only a few weeks away from competing in the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, when she tore a ligament in her knee. “It happened while playing a fun game of soccer,” she says. “I heard the snap and started to cry – not because of the pain, but because I knew my dream [...]

Turning Point Interview2021-09-29T16:04:35-06:00

For Better or Purse

5 p.m. Rush hour. I’m standing at the corner of Yonge and King in downtown Toronto, a banana from lunch in one hand, and my water bottle in the other. I’ve had a feeling of free-floating anxiety all day. I watch women walk by, swinging their arms, unencumbered because all of their things fit oh-so perfectly in their bags. I feel a surge of jealousy and know where all my tension is coming from: I [...]

For Better or Purse2021-09-29T16:05:09-06:00

A Flock of Geese is Landing on the Water – Or Not

This summer, I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about flocks of geese. There were other flocks as well. Although, don’t ask me about the other flocks, I’ve blocked them out. Tonight, on this quiet evening near the end of August, I’m sitting drinking a glass of red wine. I’m celebrating because I wrote my final grammar exam this afternoon. It’s over. I’m relieved that I survived my summer “flock block” and took [...]

A Flock of Geese is Landing on the Water – Or Not2021-09-29T16:05:46-06:00

Keeping up with the Obamas

AP/FILEPresident Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at the Eastern Inaugural Ball in January 2009. How the new administration helped to bring out the romantic in a husband. I looked up at the TV to see Barack twirling Michelle around the dance floor. They were kissing, holding hands, and, at one point, he even dipped her. For the women reading this, I ask you, "When was the last time you were dipped?" "Obama [...]

Keeping up with the Obamas2021-09-29T16:06:23-06:00

The Appointment

CBC Radio / First Person Singular / The Sunday Edition As I undressed, I thought about what a cold, February day it was outside. Not a good day to be naked, even inside. Although the room was actually warm, I was freezing, and I was so nervous, I was having trouble breathing… (Listen to full essay above, read by Judith Morrison, with introduction by host Michael Enright) Published by CBC [...]

The Appointment2021-09-29T16:07:04-06:00

When we want precisely what we need

It was on the last day of the spring session that I decided to quit teaching. The morning started out like any other. I went to teach my ESL class as usual. This group had been particularly challenging because many couldn’t read or write at all in their first language. It was a class of women, mostly middle-aged housewives from China, Iran, and India. They’d often bring me lunch – sushi or Indian curry, rice [...]

When we want precisely what we need2021-09-29T16:07:40-06:00


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