Posts By: Janice Behrens

Janice Behrens

The Good Life – The Smells of Home

Aaaah, now it finally feels like home. Having moved into a new house in a new neighbourhood almost a year ago to the day, I now realize that there is much more to what makes a house a home than the dwelling and even the people who live in it. One of the most important… Read more »

The Good Life – Bring on the Feast

The thing I enjoy most about the Christmas season is the opportunity it brings for indulging in luxury. Before you accuse me of shameless materialism, or start to think that I’m wealthy or privileged, I’ll point out that I’m not talking about the sort of luxury that only a well-padded bank account or a high… Read more »

The Good Life – A Slice of Paradise

I no longer remember where it originally came from. It’s written in red permanent marker on a piece of yellow foolscap spattered with a couple of decades worth of spilled tomato sauce, red wine, oil and who-knows-what-else. For many years now it’s been committed to memory, and remains folded at the bottom of the kitchen… Read more »

The Good Life – From Routine to Ritual

My partner, Bill, has pinned a quote on the cork bulletin board behind our messy Ikea desk. It’s from Samuel Beckett, the Irish playwright, and it says “Routine is the cancer of existence”. I take it to mean that when we are stuck in a rut, just going through an endless series of unenjoyable daily… Read more »

The Good Life – Yuletide and the Senses

Every year it begins right after Halloween, when the stores start erecting their window displays for the maelstrom of shopping that is about to descend on us. I’m talking about the annual complaints from friends, relatives and coworkers that the Christmas season has become “so commercialized” and that it has “lost its spirituality”. I often… Read more »

NEW: The Good Life – The Importance of Living Free

A few years ago I heard a CBC radio interview with the American counterculture novelist Tom Robbins, author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Skinny Legs And All. He said that the ultimate archetypal battle facing the human race is not the struggle between good and evil, as we have been conditioned to believe… Read more »

Harry Lime Walks Again

There is a scene in the great 1949 Orson Welles film The Third Man in which the characters played by Welles and Joseph Cotton are suspended in the enclosed cage of what was then the world’s largest ferris wheel. The period setting is the fairgrounds in the Russian-occupied sector of post WW II Vienna —… Read more »

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Corresponding with friends and relatives has become quite common in the past few years, thanks to the invention of e-mail. However, the act of sitting down, pen in hand, and producing a handwritten letter has become virtually a lost art. This is unfortunate, because writing a letter by hand and sending it through Canada Post… Read more »


At least for those of us fortunate enough to have steady jobs that allow us a little expendable income during the month, we in the western world have an enormous range of freedom and choices at our fingertips. We are surrounded by books, movies, music, theatre, and all manner of sports and recreational possibilities. We… Read more »