Archive for 13/05/2013

Fugitive Edition



Few places in the world are as beautiful as Queenstown in wintertime. The tiny resort town in the South Island lies nestled between Lake Wakatipu and the towering snow covered mountains, becoming a picture perfect representation of winter bliss. Winter is Queenstown’s busiest time of year with shops, restaurants and bars running in full swing, not to mention the area’s many ski fields and golf courses. Want something that will get your blood pumping? Try one of Queenstown’s many adventure sports such as bungy jumping, paragliding or jet boating.

Overseas tourists are surprised to learn that Queenstown is not an isolated community far out in the country. The town is served by its own international airport just 10 kilometres away. Queenstown is easily accessible by road. Christchurch is a 6 hour drive away, Dunedin 3.5 hours and Invercargill 2.5 hours. Making the drive to Queenstown takes the motorist through some…

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Brad Spurgeon's Blog

This is not to put myself on the same level as Nick Mason, the drummer for Pink Floyd, whom I interviewed for a story about car racing that ran in the International Herald Tribune and on The New York Times web site. But I thought that because the interview was on a music theme – and racing – it had its place being pointed out and linked to from this page, specifically from one aspect related to my worldwide open mic musical adventure and that I did not have space for in the published story, but which is completely relevant to this site.

During my interview with Mason, who is an amateur racing driver and who owns many classic racing cars, I told him about my open mic musical adventure around the world in conjunction with the Formula One races. I told him that although I loved doing my…

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I Read Books


If anything, reading this will make you thankful for your own mom; who most likely isn’t “Holly Golightly turned Mummy Dearest”/robot/compulsive liar/playgirl/gold-digger/evil alien created from old Chanel handbags and Jimmy Choos (can you say multiple personality disorder?). But don’t get mad at me for spoiling, because amazingly enough, almost all of these become apparent in Wendy Lawless’s story right from the start. On the back cover you’ll find some reviews spouting nonsense like, “you’ll laugh, you’ll cry”. But listen to me when I tell you, it will mostly be crying, or cringing at the most. Abused and lied to, Wendy and her sister travel with her mother across the globe, amazingly adapting to her mother’s numerous money-stuffed boyfriends, along with late nights fueled by cocktails. Managing to connect her thoughts and memories to her varying ages throughout the book, Wendy does a fantastic job of making her voice heard. This in-depth narration…

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All The Books I Can Read

Boomer & MeBoomer & Me
Jo Case
Hardie Grant
2013, 334p
Copy courtesy of the publisher/The Reading

Jo is a single mother of Leo, in his second year of primary school. She shares custody with Leo’s dad in an amicable arrangement that seems to work well for all involved and works, often from home, as a freelance writer and editor of a newsletter for a bookshop. Leo didn’t seem to have many problems in kindergarten but now that he’s moved up a year, there seems to be some issues with fitting in.

Although intelligent, Leo’s social skills often seem lacking and although his antics often win him friends in the schoolyard, sometimes things go awry. Perhaps due to his upbringing, Leo has always been treated more like an adult than a child and he seems to have an easier time relating to and conversing with them. He’s also happy to…

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The Searching Scribe

latin quarter2Unfriendly, dismissive, and rude.

The above descriptors are sometimes associated with Parisians, but believing they’re accurate would be as silly as believing that every meal in Paris is served with frogs’ legs and escargot. From a North American perspective, it’s as silly as believing all Canadians  bathe in maple syrup (why the hell would we bathe in it when we can eat it?!).

The truth is there are assholes everywhere, it’s a lovely feature of the human race (but luckily it’s not the dominant one.) I was eager to tap into the friendliness of Parisians which I knew was their dominant trait (gotta have faith!), but like with any place, it’s not this automatic thing where you loiter around cafés and parks until someone decides to talk to you. You have to put yourself out there, you have to walk into a room where everybody’s having a conversation without you, and…

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