|John amid the boxes and books of Janice and Jim's West End apartment, where they are packing up for a move down the street.|
|Jim's old kilt fit John perfectly, so with his Scottish ancestry, he couldn't resist!|
|Some of the many volumes of Great Books of the Western World that will move from Jim's bookshelves to ours.|
We knew we shouldn't take the kilt, but it fit John perfectly and it's the real, hefty deal. Made in Glasgow, its label says it is "Hunting Stewart, Canadian Scottish Regiment." Its provenance is murky and it has a few moth-holes, but it comes complete with jacket, stockings, garters, sporran, and yes, a nasty-looking dirk. As for why would John wear such a thing, both his paternal grandparents came from Scotland, he took Highland dancing as a pre-schooler, and his pride in his ancestry includes reading How the Scots Invented the Modern World. Now the question is how to invent an occasion for John to wear this outfit: Perhaps the people at our local beach on Saltspring Island should be very afraid.
As for the books, they include such authors as Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Dante, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne, Lucretius, Shakespeare (lots), Darwin, Gibbon, Goethe, Marx and Engels, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Freud. At one time, most of these names would have horrified me, but my liberal studies course at Simon Fraser University has given me at least a glancing acquaintance with them. None are easy, but they now seem possible, and maybe even an enjoyable challenge. The books come from Jim, an English professor, who always calls his books his "friends." Now I hope they will become mine.