Everyone has their story of when they fell in love with The Tragically Hip.
For me, it was at a cottage weekend up north when I was in my second year of university. I’d never cared much for the band before that, never really gave them much of a listen (always associated them with the music that the douchey hockey players at my high school listened to). Then, as a group of us were sat down at the dock as the sun was setting, I heard the heron call that starts into Wheat Kings, followed by those beautiful first lines, ‘Sundown in the Paris of the Prairies, wheat kings have all treasures buried.’ It was the first time I’d actually listened to the poetry that flowed out of Gord Downie’s mouth, and in that setting, at that point in my life, when I was studying Canadian Lit at school, when I was engrossed in the art and history of our country, I fell in love with The Hip.
And it wasn’t until Saturday night’s show that I realized how much the rest of the country loves The Hip, too. Sure, listening to a band’s songs and singing along to the radio is one thing – but when 1/3 of the country pauses their weekend to tune in to what will likely be a final show due to the enigmatic frontman’s incurable brain tumor, the impact of losing The Hip starts to set in.
Hi everyone. My name is Lauren, and I’m a slave to my inbox.
I can’t remember the last time I woke up in the morning and didn’t check my e-mail within two minutes of cracking open my eyes. As soon as I turn off the alarm on my phone, I hit the ‘mail’ app and start scrolling, as if by instinct. The worst of it is that for the most part, the e-mails are ones that I don’t really care about (30% off at blah-blah-blah), or are ones that stress me out before I’ve even eaten breakfast. Instead of enjoying the peace of the morning, my mind is racing trying to plan how I’m going to tackle the day and get to all the action items in the e-mails I just read. HALP ME!
I realize that something’s gotta give – that I can’t let e-mail run my life or my thought processes. Because the moment you become a slave to your inbox is the moment you lose the ability to live in the present. Your mind is forever wandering, regardless of whether you’re at a baseball game with your partner or a cottage weekend with your family. Rather than be more organized and more on-top of things, with each e-mail that comes though, you become less productive and get distracted from whatever it was that you were currently working on. It’s a sick cycle and one I NEED to break.
In the same sinking e-mail boat? Keep reading for the six ways I plan on cracking down on my e-mail habits in an effort to increase my productivity and get my life back…
Growing up in Canada, I didn’t have much exposure to anything Australian. Sure, I had aunts that moved there from Scotland and yep, we all watched Crocodile Dundee, but besides seeing Paul Hogan running shit in NYC, my exposure to Australian culture was pretty low-key.
Then, as an adult, I started working for a travel company called Contiki that’s basically a household name in Australia, and since then, my life has never been the same. I can no longer count on my fingers the number of Aussies I know, and I use more Australian idioms than I care to admit. When I moved to the UK, I thought I’d be working with a bunch of Brits in the Contiki office, but nope – they were all Australians (and one Kiwi!) that quickly became some of my closest friends. It’s also how I met my Sydney born-and-bred boyfriend Damien, and since we got together, every day has been a barrel of laughs as we discover the differences between our two cultures.
Turns out, though, Australians are really similar to Canadians. We’re both easy-going, can handle banter and love to explore the world. But as much as we’re similar, I’ve also come to learn that there are some things that Aussies just do better than anyone else…
I love Toronto. I really, really do. There’s nowhere else in Canada I’d rather live. But if there was any other place that would give my beloved TO a run for its money, it’d be Quebec City.
Earlier this summer I got the chance to scoot across to Canada’s little slice of Europe for a foodie adventure with Porter Airlines and Fairmont. It was pitched as a trip that explored the provincial cuisine from Quebec City to the Charlevoix region, eating our way through the region’s famed Flavour Trail. And eat we did. In fact, I have never eaten like this in my life. From city to country, we stuffed our faces with traditional delicacies, fresh local farm goods and washed it all down with perfect wine pairings. Was it heavenly? You bet your ass it was.
The trip kicked off by basically blinking my eyes and going from my condo in Toronto to the airport in QC, thanks to Porter. There was a wee bit of turbulence, but besides that, the flight was exactly the way you want it to be – convenient, seamless, and over in the amount of time it took me to enjoy a glass of wine. Plus there are those free shortbread cookies in the lounge, sooooo…. #winning. Sidenote: I actually don’t remember a time when Porter wasn’t at the Billy Bishop Airport, nor do I care to remember such a time. So convenient!
Once we arrived, we checked-in for a night at the ultra-luxe Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, i.e the castle on the hill, i.e. the most photographed hotel in the world. Even though I’d been to Quebec City in the past, I’d never stayed at this property, so I was pretty excited to see what awaited me….