A Necklace of Memorable Days
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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.
" 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."
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I went to a public meeting last evening where I learned that it is
unlikely that any housing will be built on the site where Sainte
Elizabeth du Portugal church once stood. In fact, the housing that
you see here (the back of houses facing onto rue Desnoyers) and the
houses on adjacent rue Cazelais are threatened with demolition if the
Ministry of Transport of Quebec proceeds with its plan to drop the
elevated highway that runs above the neighbourhood down to ground level.
For links to information about the MTQ project, go here
The demolition of a small building in western N.D.G. revealed this
painted advertising for Turret Cigarettes, circa 1930s I believe.
The demolition of Sainte Elizabeth du Portugal Church continues...
23rd May 2008, 01:50
The top shot is an attempt to recreate the 1970s polaroid; the bottom shot, looking back up Brock South show where I think it was taken from.
These are photos that I took this morning when I went out to recreate the mysterious polaroid. In the top shot, that's the Motel Raphael/Knight's Inn on the left, facing Pullman Avenue. In the middle two photographs, you can see the silhouette of the coke crane across the Turcot yards and the canal. In the bottom shot, looking in the other direction, you can see the Sikh temple in Lasalle, the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar.
I'm pretty certain that this polaroid was taken from Brock South
(Montreal West) looking down across Blvd Ste Anne de Bellevue towards
Pullman and the elevated highway-- and I think it was taken in the
early 1970s. Mr F. says that I am wrong about the date, because he
thinks that those two gas tanks were part of the Monsanto plant in
Lasalle that exploded in the 1960s. However, I can see those tanks in
the third picture taken from the roof of 245 Victoria in 1971 as
well. Does anyone know where and what those tanks would have been?
This dry stream bed is found in the wooded section of Mackenzie-King
Park in Montreal, one of the few traces of the Petite Saint Pierre
river which supplied water to the original European settlements in
Montreal c. 1692. Conservationists are trying to preserve the green
spaces through which this stream passes, or once passed, including
Meadowbrook Golf Course and the Falaise Saint Jacques.