Going hands-free

About 50 days before our baby was due, an acquaintance at a dinner party asked, “So, do you have your bag ready?” “What bag?” asked my partner, the whites of his eyes showing. He’s the logistics guy. He’s the list, plan and equipment guy. If there’s a bag to be packed, he’s the one making…

The Dirt on Food

“Fuck calories,” says Krista Scott-Dixon (@stumptuous). “Fuck vitamins. Fuck ‘willpower’. Put real cream in your coffee. And have an avocado too. Your relationship with food and eating is your relationship with life.” Her book, Fuck Calories and Other Dietary Heresies rethinks nutritionism manifesto-style – it’s a 41 page debunking of dieting BS, distilled down to…

Remembrance Day

99 years ago, on November 11, the “war to end all wars” ended. The poppies at our local stores have attracted my 4 year old’s attention. “What’s that?” “They’re poppies.” “What are they for?” Oh man. How do I explain this? “They’re to remember the wars. And all the kids who went to fight in…

Say yes to the dancing

My friend has a brain tumour. She mentioned it to me once, almost as an aside, when we were catching up over coffee, and as I mind-rifled through all the things I actually did know about her, trying to fit this new fact into the matrix – her work, her bullshit detector, the power and…

The Last Times: my slightly morbid twist on a gratitude practice

We cross into Oregon after 10 hours of driving – a welcome sign, seriously numb bums and the speed limit drop announce that we have officially left California, the desert, and it’s endless sun, behind. The iPhone plugged into the car stereo is playing a cached playlist from our favourite internet radio station. Dave managed…

Switching to Airplane Mode: what I got out of a 20 day digital detox

We’re in the Redwood Forest. “Did they name it after the song?” my four year old asks. We’d borrowed a remix of Woody Guthrie music from the library once and This Land is Your Land evidently made an impression. I come from a country where the indigenous people believe the world was sung into being….

How to get your professional headshot done: the non textbook version

Jordan Manley took my portrait. I was short on a recent bio pic. My face doesn’t sell my work, so having an up-to-date headshot, despite what the enterprising types say, has just not been a priority. In fact, it’s something I avoid. But Jordan Manley was shooting photos to accompany my feature story and it…

Amateur is not a dirty word

Epiphanies come when I’m feeding out slack. Don’t tell my climbing partner. Because when he’s leading his way up a strenuous pitch of rock, he likes to know that I am watching with rapt attention, feeding out the rope in perfect increments, absolutely focused on his every micro-move, so that, should he fall, I will…

The last flight of Dave “Lucas” McCord

The last time I saw Dave “Lucas” McCord alive, he pulled out his phone to show me his latest claim to fame. He’d made headlines in Iceland, where he was spending the summer, trading labour as a carpenter and driver for some paragliding friends in exchange for a place to stay. He’d been on the…

Reclaim your Pantry: 7 easy things to start making yourself

Hello convenience shoppers. I am talking to you. (That bag of pre-mixed-and-washed salad you are tossing in your cart? You’ll get no judgment from me.) But please, let me try to convince you, even if you’re an entry-level do-it-yourselfer, that it is possible to reclaim kitchencraft. All you need is a couple of mason jars,…