Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

First weather news: a Pineapple Express is on the way passing through Thurs & Friday — it is rumoured to be a light one, so may prove more pineapple crush than express. Do not go out in your bedroom slippers unless you are after soggy toes.


Second: Tim Parks prostate memoir. Jeepers Mr Parks this memoir is the Lincoln Tunnel of urology! Fascinating ! It has pushed Mrs Dalloway aside so I returned to her and I am not sure if that is simply a talent of Mrs Dalloway but that book seems to constantly speak at or back to whatever is being read beside it.

Today Mrs Dalloway in reply to Mr Parks memoir:

“and all the time let rumour accumulate in their veins and thrill the nerves in their thighs…”

Perhaps it would need to be remixed to “and shrill are the nerves in the thighs”

There is a moment of deciphering happening in Mrs Dalloway where the women are looking at the sky trying to figure out the letters the planes are making. It could be said that Mr Parks memoir is entirely laden with deciphering and uncovering.

Mr Parks and his wife Rita have just undertaken a walk that’s not going very well on account of his prostate. For thirty years they’ve been together they’ve walked — isn’t that a mighty thing to have done for thirty years? I think so. But I am a walker. My current pain dilemma is making walking both a challenge and an enticement in equal measure. Dickens. I recall, was also an obsessive walker who suffered with terrible physical pain.

Anakana Schofield: Mobile Reading

My third blog as guest editor this week of the Afterword, the National Post books blog. (Click on text to read the entire piece)

Many of us visit places in literature that we may never set foot in. I have a strange habit of visiting literature as I set my foot down. Walking and reading. Initially I had some problems with my inner ear and was advised to repeatedly do the things that made me dizzy in order to retrain my brain.

I was an occasional walker and reader, however with this inner ear problem it now made me dizzy, thus I took up long walks with a book in hand and copious amounts of vacuuming (which also made me dizzy).

Once my inner ear generously righted itself, I found another handy employment for the combined art of walking and reading. I did not own a car and had a small child to move around. The bus routes did not always suit us, nor did the shelling out for transit. He loved stories and I knew I could easily walk him five or ten or thirty blocks without protest if I read to him. Hence we crossed Vancouver neighbourhoods to the dulcet tones of six of Arthur Ransome’s sailing novels and hiked up and down to the park reading every volume of Le Petit Nicolas.


I had a beautiful walk last night and learnt that even those who wear snow boots take a tumble. A new addition to my tradition of falling over! Tho’ this tumble had the dignity to relate to a weather event. I was exiting the petrol station with my packet of chocolate buttons in hand ($5, they’re imported from Birmingham), it was snowing and all was peaceful and delightful til Whamble! down on my arse, the buttons took flight in an incredible arc into the air and flew two petrol pumps over.

Weirdly no one remotely noticed, so I was able to scramble up and over to them sans molto embarrassment. They were retrieved and with a bit of a batter to the kidney I took my snowboots onward.

I have to say the walk before the tumble was so beautiful and quiet it was worth falling over. I was stunned at how redundant cars are once everyone is asleep and had the whole road to myself, the snow was coming down, turning or rolling nearly in the light of the lamp posts and floating down to me. Perfection.  I had to keep stopping to admire it. You can see the photo of one such stoppage below.

Cerveau-ing Certeau & socks

Yesterday while corresponding with a friend I accidentally renamed de Certeau .. de Cerveau. There was something cervical in way I renamed him, not least because the chapter of his work I was referring to was called Walking. Walking around as de Cerveau, not de Certeau, momentarily.


This morning it was 3 degrees, I was arranging to meet a friend for coffee. She writes back that we are to meet and have coffee outside. By return I admit I am perishing cold inside and can do no such thing. Right now I am indoors complete with thermals and my poor feet are down at the end of my legs begging to be placed inside two foot-sized polar sleeping bags.

Have you noticed the arrival of fuzzy socks? I now see them installed in whole racks of their own. Of course I am referring to shops where they also sell industrial fluorescent jackets, steel toed boots, and hard hats. Tell me they’re also making their debut into the mainstream surely….


There are so many pregnant women and babies, we are in the midst of  a population explosion.

There’s also yet another massive increase in nail salons.

I conclude we must be growing extra digits.

Must apply for a set.

I just sanded and finished the 7 foot hand made table and the tips of my current ones are hardened with varnish.

I was fortunate this evening to enjoy a walk home from gymnastics. The baseball match was on at the stadium so I took a lift up with my males who attended the match with Gpa. It was such a lovely evening, darker than I expected, as Autumn (fall) approaches. I knitted, while I walked which is something I love to do from time to time.

My shawl or cardigan, whichever it turns out to be, is a rainbow wool that is growing and becoming heavy on the needles.

As I wandered home knitting, I was thinking about the thunderstorms forecast on the other side of the country. The night was so still here.


Beckett’s letters have succeeded in doing what nine yoga classes failed to do for me. I read them mainly to discover what books he was reading and to read about his walks. He was a great man for walking.