Transforming Quadrupel

Tonight, it’s Le Capsule, a 50-brilliant-beers-on-tap bar, the sort which I’ll never find back home. S gave me the evening off because I keep having miniature panic attacks, and I really ought to be soul-searching, trying to divine the root cause of my anxiety. Instead, I’m getting blitzed on Le Trappe Quadrupel, a beer so…

Transforming Screentime

We worked hard, so hard, to keep our child away from screens in her early years. Current pediatric theory states that children under two years old who even spend time in the same room as an inactive television set are doomed. In many ways, our approach worked too well; now there are nights when, exhausted…

Transforming Prehistory

35,000 years ago, their families found the bear cave. By then, the bears were bones, but the Aurignacians didn’t move in – they preferred to build tents along the cliff face, where the sun would warm the rock throughout the day, leaving enough heat to help them through the icy nights. Yet the caverns cast…

Transforming Monkeys

We’re social creatures. It’s instinctive; we’re primates, pack animals, tribal. We needed each other to live, so natural selection rewarded our ancestors who forged meaningful bonds, not merely based on blood or genes but commonalities of all stripes. An article from the early days of cracked.com sums it up with a lovely moniker: the monkeysphere.…

Transforming Setbacks

At 22, I moved away from my hometown for the first time. I’d been accepted to the National Theatre School in Montreal; it was far from my first achievement, but it felt like a breakthrough, as if the “National” in the school’s name applied directly to me, now and forever. I envisioned career trajectories that…

Transforming Daytripping

One of the reasons we chose Lille as our sabbatical home is its position as carrefour – a crossroads, or jumping-off point to northern Europe. Lille is in the northernmost part of France, and thanks to Europe’s excellent high-speed train network, it’s within 2 hours’ travel of Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Cologne and Frankfurt, and…