Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


January 4, 2017


New Year's Day, the beach at Duck Bay on Savary Island, B.C. 

It is just gone noon and no one else is about. The footprints belong to the members of our small party; the rising tide will soon wash them away. The mountain ranges of Vancouver Island are visible in the distance.

December 28, 2016


The annual Boxing Day walk this year was abbreviated due to the weather here in Vancouver. This is Spanish Banks at approximately 11 a.m. We began with good intentions but ended with frozen extremities. (No jokes about wimpy Vancouverites, please.) Since the fish and chip stand in the distance was closed, we sought warm beverages elsewhere. At least we tried.

Happy New Year to all!

December 20, 2016


November 30, 2016

As a new-hire at the Ottawa Journal in the autumn of 1971 I was assigned to the early shift in the newsroom. Behind my desk by 6 a.m., I was responsible for whatever news was breaking cityside that morning, writing it up and getting it to the editor before deadline at eleven. Much to my own surprise I turned out to possess a facility with the idiom. Snowstorms blanketed the city. Traffic accidents snarled the morning commute. Dog bites man. That sort of thing.

It was a winter...

November 23, 2016

One of the more unpleasant aspects of getting older is that one keeps losing friends, and culture heroes, along the way.

November has been particularly sad in that regard as two of my favourite artists, Leonard Cohen and William Trevor, passed on. Cohen I'm sure you know about but unless you are a writer, or a reader, of short fiction you may not be familiar with Trevor's work. If that is the case, I urge you to rectify the situation immediately. 

Trevor is known in particular...