The Imperfect Table

  Scruffy hospitality, Cook Book Clubs and reclaiming the table I hate owing someone a dinner invitation. It’s so high-pressure. I always thought “imperfectionism” was the character flaw until Brene Brown, the vulnerability guru, outed perfectionism as a tactic people use to protect themselves from getting hurt. Ha! I exhaled smugly, I knew there was…

Success, in spite of myself

My local newspaper has folded. And its sister publication, The Pique, which already absorbed the Question’s editorial staff, found space for me, and my column, too, starting February 8. In the editorial yesterday, Clare Ogilvie announced the changes. “Lisa Richardson and her Velocity Project will find a home in the Pique. Pemberton’s favourite writer for…

Put a Word on it: picking a word for 2018

I love the annual word of the year from the various dictionary-makers – for what it reveals about our Zeitgeist. Feminism, youthquake and complicit are 2017’s, from the Merriam Webster, Oxford, and Dictionary.com. But we don’t just have to backcast. We can forecast too. And call down the power of a word, to focus or…

Making Self-Care A Habit (or Eat Breakfast Every Day)

I had a setback. Nothing major. Nothing life-critical. Nothing identity-shaking. I showed up for a class and it had been cancelled. And my day’s plans were derailed. It just required a deep breath, a shrug of the shoulders and a quick pivot. But I nearly burst into tears. I felt kind of undone. I thought…

30 days of power posing

“You have 61 days left in the year,” said the email. “What will you keep space for?” Cue panic-breathing. And: delete. This week, I interviewed someone I’ve often wanted to talk more deeply with. I used an assignment as an excuse to sit down for four hours with a woman I admire, an extremely low-profile,…

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…