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Fence Posts

Retreating from the Retreat

Mar 26, 2018 | Dan Needles | Arts | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | The Current Issue

For most of the century before I arrived, this old house hosted a parade of smoker-drinker-carnivores who poured Paris green arsenic on their potato plants and thought cleansing of any kind was weakening.

The Case for Civility

Nov 22, 2017 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | Winter 2017

That made me think – grumpy old middle-class white guys who live in the country?

Signs the Bubble May Burst

Sep 16, 2017 | Dan Needles | Autumn 2017 | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue

“Painted barns are a symptom of an overheated economy, just like the whiz kids driving around downtown Toronto in a BMW with two payments made on it.”

A frog is an amphibian. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Science Projects

Jun 21, 2017 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | Summer 2017

If you’ve ever wondered why they have height, width and weight restrictions on science projects at your school, it’s because of cousin Eddie’s corn dryer.

Real change happens when a group of like-minded people get together on a Saturday morning to pull old tires and bedsprings out of a river. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Grounding Exercises

Mar 20, 2017 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | Spring 2017

I discovered at an early age that people who work outside with their hands tend to be more grounded than the rest of the population.

Admit there’s a problem. You bought the horse years ago for a ten-year-old daughter who swore she would brush it every day and lavish it with affection. That was before she discovered boys, clothes, makeup and Facebook. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Dr. Purvis’s 12 Steps to Getting Horse-Free

Nov 22, 2016 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | Winter 2016

“Nothing lives longer than a horse with a health problem!” says the vet as he purrs out the lane in his limited edition Land Rover.

“You’re at 40 feet now. What’s your plan if you don’t hit water today?” Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Hard Work for Hard Water

Sep 16, 2016 | Dan Needles | Autumn 2016 | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue

Will it last through the family reunion this weekend? Should I have it tested? How do I explain delicately to the guests that long showers are not an option?

I fought down the surge of adrenalin and said firmly, “You are not going to catch this fish. Just enjoy the moment and don’t do anything stupid.” Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

A Fish Story

Jun 20, 2016 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | Summer 2016

Then the sun emerged and I saw a glint of gold rim on the gravel bottom.

A Puff of Straw

Mar 21, 2016 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | Spring 2016

“I’ve had a little mishap here.”

A Writer’s Retreat

Nov 25, 2015 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | Winter 2015

There was a lot of crumpled paper on the floor, the theme music would falter, and you could see this was all pretty difficult for him.

The Postman

Sep 11, 2015 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | Summer 2015

I shared a party line with Kenny for 20 years. It was a forerunner to the Internet chat room and I found it essential for staying abreast of current affairs.

Ferdinand followed Duke around all day, trying to chase cats with him and bark when visitors arrived. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

A Favourite Duck

Jun 16, 2015 | Dan Needles | Back Issues | Community | Departments | In Every Issue | Summer 2015

Ferdinand followed Duke around all day, trying to chase cats with him and bark when visitors arrived.

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