Living with Stuff

It’s a commonplace that kids these days are growing up with way too much stuff. In our family, one grandparent makes the observation weekly while three others do everything in their power to ensure its truth. Stemming the stuffal tide is impossible. You might tame a few close relatives but then there’s the far-flung wing […]

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Once upon a time there was a mayor

In all the chatter around the Rob Ford story, there’s been a lot of parental soul-searching about how to explain the situation to kids. Radio shows have hosted call-ins, parenting blogs have pontificated, child psychologists have been consulted. Parents seem traumatised by their kids’ questions: Is he a bad guy? What’s crack cocaine? My kids, […]

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Scotch Squares

My mother’s recipe box is a little tin chest lovingly plastered with green floral shelving paper. The box dates from the 1970s, an era when mothers not only owned recipe boxes but decorated them, even cooked from them to judge from the grime coating my mother’s. In this box resides a recipe that has shaped […]

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Ho Ho Ha Ha

I’m in the living room of a stately 19th century villa in Cologne, Germany. The light is dim, the curtains drawn against the grey afternoon outside. On the floor, lying side by side like proverbial sardines in the can, are 25 middle-aged Germans. They’re read more

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