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February 14, 2017


I just learned that here in Quebec there is a day, Nov. 25, St. Catherine's Day, that celebrates girls and single women, a very non-commercial event marked by making molasses taffy. If you don't know the history, here it is:

I also will never forget the huge ad I saw one year in a newspaper shortly before Valentine's Day; the headline said, "Yes, it's a stupid made-up holiday but it's HER favourite stupid, made-up holiday."

Oh Beth I love these mosaics too and devoured them with my own quilterly imagination. The strong contrasts work a magic we don't always dare to go for. Vivian

Nice to know that Valentine wasn't flayed or slow-roasted; clubs and beheading are almost an enlightened form of execution given the times.

Twice only I gave in to the commercial imperialism of his eponymous date. The first (aged about 16) to a young woman who like Grishkin "gave promise of pneumatic bliss", was by far my intellectual superior and whom I held in great awe. She thanked me - most formally - and normal, humdrum, unreconciled life proceeded.

On the second occasion with the card I appended a note to my wife (briefly staying with her parents) saying I'd passed my driving test. Two days later I was made redundant from the magazine I worked on but that was news I could postpone until she returned home.

Subsequently I've opted for booze.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.