Author and playwright Dan Needles is a recipient of the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Order of Canada. He lives on a small farm in Nottawa.
I live in a haunted house. It’s been haunted for at least a century by all accounts, that is, by the neighbours’ accounts.
Two hundred years ago, my ancestors were tossed off the land during the clearances in Scotland and replaced by sheep, who ate less and could be sheared more often.
I seemed to have forgotten how a visit is supposed to go.
There is a lot of waiting around with mushrooms, just like there is in the military or the theatre or government roadwork.
For generations the only people in Canada who had a good word to say about Toronto were the ones living there. Now thousands of them have left to live here.
As a scribbler I have always walked down the sunny side of the concession roads.
A country house has a lot of moving parts that can stop moving at any moment.
Given the choice between a Rolex watch and a 1948 Champion root pulper that weighs 500 pounds and needs sharpening, the burglar is more likely to take the watch.
I often tell my writing students that they are unlikely to get better at writing, but it is possible to get better at not writing.
Dexter wants us to believe he keeps us safe from coyotes, but this is a harmless fiction. The truth is he craves news and gossip as much as any of us.
Chicken police from the provincial marketing board patrol the neighbourhood in big black Escalades.
In the haymow I found a red sleigh built by the McLaughlin Carriage Company about 1910, and I took it home to my own haymow 30 miles north where it sat forgotten for another 27 years.
Science now agrees that changing your mind actually improves brain health.
Age 65 came and went without a gold watch or a cake, or any of those earnest speeches assuring me how much I would be missed.
There was something totally manic about Champlain. He crossed the Atlantic some 27 times without losing a shipmate.
You made up your mind between one or the other when you turned 16 and you drove that make for the rest of your life. If you drove a Toyota into town, as I did, you would be watched …
People seldom bother you when you are up 20 feet painting an eavestrough, just as they don’t come near you when you are beekeeping or forking steamy piles of manure.
Coyotes are like hotel burglars. They won’t force a lock, but if a door is left open, they will slip in and strip the place to the walls.