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Perfect park day

First, a note of appreciation for Peter Bartosh, who is a kind of Johnny Appleseed for cycling. Without his patient persuasion, I would not have resumed bike riding three years ago.

 Contrary to expectations, Leslie Spit wasn’t crowded at all. We had a large curving coast and shore to ourselves for a while. That’s when Danica discovered a huge supply of readymades in the shape of water-worn brick, stone, and wood.


Time to ride

May’s cooler days seem to have passed. Leslie Spit, here we come … along with hundreds of others, no doubt.

It feels like it has been a long wait to get back on the bicycle paths. There are more routes than ever to explore and enjoy.

House takes breathing test

Today our house underwent an energy audit, to see what we can tighten up and make more efficient. Did you know that houses breathe? Seven or eight breaths an hour, perhaps.

One “breath” stands for a complete change of air within the building. A very fit, ideally insulated and sealed modern house can do 3 breaths an hour, but ours is over 90 years old. A little wheezy.


In a couple of weeks, computer analysis of our test results will be rolled in with photographic data, appliance ratings and a survey of our insulation. A report will give us recommendations and we’ll see where we go from there.

Danish grey matter

The 24-piece show of paintings by 19th century Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi drew me back to the AGO. I wondered about the sizes of the pictures and the impact they might have. Would the real paintings have more impact than reproductions?

 I put a star on the portrait of Ida I liked best. It seemed to have some warmth and humanity.

I was a little disappointed to find that, no, the originals didn’t move me much at all. They seem oddly dead. I liked the simplicity of form, the controlled values and solid compositions, but what do they add up to? I thought of Vermeer with the colour, light, texture, sparkle and mystery removed. I thought of Millet without his sentiment of piety.

What did the artist find so absorbing, to keep him working on one of these renderings for months?

“Melancholy Dane” doesn’t fit. Hammershøi’s paintings are flatter than melancholy. Heather Mallick likes him. She thinks there’s something “Canadian” about his work. I tried, but this Canadian is more puzzled than pleased by Vilhelm Hammershøi.