About Me

I live in Vancouver and teach English at Douglas College.

I went to school in Calgary and Paris, and to university in Kingston, Geneva, Calgary (M.A.), and Vancouver (Ph.D). 

I worked as a paper-boy (2 years), bus-boy, porter, geo-physics field assistant (2 summers), student hiring officer (2 summers), and teacher (25 years — at UBC, Kwantlen, SFU, and Douglas).

I like to travel, learn Romance languages, watch films and TV series, golf, drink with friends, and write — even on Mexican beaches ...

With Ian at Furry Creek Golf Course, north of Vancouver.

With Ian at Furry Creek Golf Course, north of Vancouver.

A Photo Autobiography

My parents were raised on farms on the prairies. Their ancestors came from Scotland, England, Ireland, and Holland.These old photos can make grandparents look remote and austere. They were anything but that.

My parents were raised on farms on the prairies. Their ancestors came from Scotland, England, Ireland, and Holland.These old photos can make grandparents look remote and austere. They were anything but that.

In Carlyle, Saskatchewan, with my mother's mother in 1984. She lived to be 99 years old.

In Carlyle, Saskatchewan, with my mother's mother in 1984. She lived to be 99 years old.

1960-1964

My mother's father on Carlyle Lake, where we went most summers in the 60s.

My mother's father on Carlyle Lake, where we went most summers in the 60s.

Mom, with crazy sun-glasses.

Mom, with crazy sun-glasses.

Top: mom (with normal sun-glasses), dad, and grandpa. Bottom: me and Allan with packages; Brenda facing off with grandpa's dog Ruff.

Top: mom (with normal sun-glasses), dad, and grandpa. Bottom: me and Allan with packages; Brenda facing off with grandpa's dog Ruff.

My dad's mother -- a friendly, tough old bird.

My dad's mother -- a friendly, tough old bird.

My parents met while my father, a lawyer from Edmonton, was working in small towns in southern Saskatchewan. My dad eventually worked as a corporate lawyer for the Calgary branch of the French oil company Elf-Aquitaine.

My parents met while my father, a lawyer from Edmonton, was working in small towns in southern Saskatchewan. My dad eventually worked as a corporate lawyer for the Calgary branch of the French oil company Elf-Aquitaine.

My mom worked as a teacher and (many years later) as a director in the B.C. Ministry of Health.

My mom worked as a teacher and (many years later) as a director in the B.C. Ministry of Health.

In Hardisty, Edmonton. What is that thing on my head, a bonnet? Is it fair to blame all my strange ideas on my parent's choice of clothing?

In Hardisty, Edmonton. What is that thing on my head, a bonnet? Is it fair to blame all my strange ideas on my parent's choice of clothing?

Beyond the diving tower, Carlyle Lake was an unnerving expanse, with dark green ropes of seaweed and murky depths ... The shallow end was fun though!

Beyond the diving tower, Carlyle Lake was an unnerving expanse, with dark green ropes of seaweed and murky depths ... The shallow end was fun though!

1964-1975

In the backyard of our Calgary home, to which we moved in 1964. My younger brother Scott is shading his eyes, I'm sporting a dapper black jacket and tie, Allan's thinking about quitting Sunday school, and Brenda's posing for a fashion magazine.

In the backyard of our Calgary home, to which we moved in 1964. My younger brother Scott is shading his eyes, I'm sporting a dapper black jacket and tie, Allan's thinking about quitting Sunday school, and Brenda's posing for a fashion magazine.

One of our many forays into the Rockies. I'm waving to the birds.

One of our many forays into the Rockies. I'm waving to the birds.

The French Quarter in New Orleans, 1971. I think my parents dressed us like that so they wouldn't lose us. I'm Waldo.

The French Quarter in New Orleans, 1971. I think my parents dressed us like that so they wouldn't lose us. I'm Waldo.

In front of the Washington Monument, 1971. I can't bear to look at the shirts I wore!

In front of the Washington Monument, 1971. I can't bear to look at the shirts I wore!

Summer camp, 1971. I look happy at this point, but this didn't last. This so-called 'Christian camp' had counsellors who were interested in more than spirituality. This is one of the few childhood memories I despise.

Summer camp, 1971. I look happy at this point, but this didn't last. This so-called 'Christian camp' had counsellors who were interested in more than spirituality. This is one of the few childhood memories I despise.

A mediocre right-wing, I was a fan of Yvan Cournoyer and his Montreal Canadiens.

A mediocre right-wing, I was a fan of Yvan Cournoyer and his Montreal Canadiens.

Next to the '67 Fury in my Royals uniform.

Next to the '67 Fury in my Royals uniform.

I loved badminton!

I loved badminton!

Ice-fishing on the Chain Lakes, Alberta. I'm apparently giving thanks for our catch ...

Ice-fishing on the Chain Lakes, Alberta. I'm apparently giving thanks for our catch ...

My best friend Marshall is on the far right of the previous picture and in the middle here. We were inseparable for seven years.

My best friend Marshall is on the far right of the previous picture and in the middle here. We were inseparable for seven years.

With Scott, Brenda, and mom, at our cabin on Rosen Lake, B.C. I was proud of the wooden basket I made in shop.

With Scott, Brenda, and mom, at our cabin on Rosen Lake, B.C. I was proud of the wooden basket I made in shop.

Stonehenge, 1974. My dad, Allan, and I drove from Scotland to Italy.

Stonehenge, 1974. My dad, Allan, and I drove from Scotland to Italy.

With Allan on the French Riviera, 1974. Right: a psychedelic version of the Exotic Garden in Monaco

With Allan on the French Riviera, 1974. Right: a psychedelic version of the Exotic Garden in Monaco

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Leaning Tower of Pisa, 1974.

Leaning Tower of Pisa, 1974.

On one of our many trips to Canadian cemeteries in Belgium and France.

On one of our many trips to Canadian cemeteries in Belgium and France.

One of the fallen -- on my mother's side of the family.

One of the fallen -- on my mother's side of the family.

1975-1980

My dad got transferred to Paris and Geneva for several years. Here Allan and I are taking a crash-course at the Alliance Française in Paris, 1975. I'm at front, sulking. Allan's behind me in the snazzy vest.

My dad got transferred to Paris and Geneva for several years. Here Allan and I are taking a crash-course at the Alliance Française in Paris, 1975. I'm at front, sulking. Allan's behind me in the snazzy vest.

McDonald's break, Paris, 1975.

McDonald's break, Paris, 1975.

Behaving badly on our Rue de Berri.

Behaving badly on our Rue de Berri.

In Sweden with friends -- Jim from New Jersey and Martin from Stockholm.

In Sweden with friends -- Jim from New Jersey and Martin from Stockholm.

When I was 16, Ward and I travelled down to Italy and Greece with Jim — sleeping in hostels and on beaches. Greece on 5 dollars a day was actually possible.

When I was 16, Ward and I travelled down to Italy and Greece with Jim — sleeping in hostels and on beaches. Greece on 5 dollars a day was actually possible.

With Ward, 1976.

With Ward, 1976.

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1979 in Quebec City with Suzanne, my best friend at Queen's University (Kingston). I would help her with English, and she would help me with French.

1979 in Quebec City with Suzanne, my best friend at Queen's University (Kingston). I would help her with English, and she would help me with French.

In Geneva with Brenda and Scott, who changed his name to Clark (he liked the way it looked on a playbill).

In Geneva with Brenda and Scott, who changed his name to Clark (he liked the way it looked on a playbill).

My girlfriend Monique on a camping trip.

My girlfriend Monique on a camping trip.

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Monique with her mobylette in Geneva and in the mountains.

Monique with her mobylette in Geneva and in the mountains.

My mom, sister, and I returned from Geneva via Asia in 1980. Here are two unfiltered shots from Mussoorie, a hill station in Northern India.

My mom, sister, and I returned from Geneva via Asia in 1980. Here are two unfiltered shots from Mussoorie, a hill station in Northern India.

Crossing a foot bridge over the Ganges, Rishikesh, India, 1980.

Crossing a foot bridge over the Ganges, Rishikesh, India, 1980.

Scary cab ride back to Delhi, 1980. At one point some poor villager literally ended up on our hood.

Scary cab ride back to Delhi, 1980. At one point some poor villager literally ended up on our hood.

With Brenda in a pachinko parlour, Tokyo, 1980.

With Brenda in a pachinko parlour, Tokyo, 1980.

With Brenda at my grandma's apartment in Edmonton, c.1980. Brenda was doing her B.F.A. there; I often came up for badminton tournaments.

With Brenda at my grandma's apartment in Edmonton, c.1980. Brenda was doing her B.F.A. there; I often came up for badminton tournaments.