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Paul Mitchinson is a part-time writer and a full-time father of two. He writes when he can. » more about me

Canada’s political leaders, as quoted recently in the foreign press:

Stephen Harper, as quoted in George Bush’s recent memoir [via the NY Times’ Maureen Dowd]:

[Bush] writes of a visit to Russia, when Putin showed him his black Labrador, Koni. “Bigger, stronger, and faster than Barney,” Putin bragged.

Later, when W. recounted this to Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, Harper drolly noted, “You’re lucky he only showed you his dog.”

Michael Ignatieff, as quoted in a recent collection of Bruce Chatwin’s letters [via William Dalrymple in the Sunday Times]:

After visiting Chatwin near the end when his hypomania was at its peak, Ignatieff wrote a loving farewell note about a visit which left him, he said,

“full of dark and strange thoughts. You seemed in a realm of exultation – extreme physical dilapidation seems to have sent you shooting up into the sky with the angels . . . Over it all hung an unmistakable air of Nunc Dimittis . . . It is quite possible that you experience this apparent frenzy from inside some deep calm . . . But those who love you – and see only the outside – see someone haunted and in breathless pursuit. I’m not sure it is among the offices of friendship to convey my sense of foreboding and disquiet at how I saw you. I may just be expressing a friend’s regret at losing you to a great wave of conviction, to some gust of certainty, that leaves me here, rooted to the spot and you carried far away. In which case, I can only wave you onto your journey.”

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