News in Montreal

Montreal (well, an hour outside of Montreal) has a Hobbit House that you can stay at. I read this news last week and promptly got so excited that I almost fell off my chair. (Exaggeration. I sit on a couch.)

House House. Image from entrecimesetracines.com
House House. Image from entrecimesetracines.com

This cute little place means that you can visit Middle-Earth without travelling to New Zealand! However, it is already booked solid until the new year. (Who is surprised? Not me!)

If you are interested in booking this cute little hotel for a short trip within Canada. You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

New Zealand

Chances are, you’ve seen the beauty of the New Zealand landscape in a movie or TV show.

New Zealand, picture from Discover Down Under. This is my number one place I want to visit. Look at this view! www.discoverdownunder.com
New Zealand, picture from Discover Down Under. This is my number one place I want to visit. Look at this view! www.discoverdownunder.com

A brief selection of movies that were filmed in this picturesque location include The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, King Kong, Bridge to Terabithia, and Avatar. One of my favourite TV shows also comes from this beautiful county: The Almighty Johnsons. If you haven’t already seen it, you DESPERATELY need to. Like, right now. Norse gods in New Zealand? What could be better?

New Zealand recently started their very own Comic Con, with the inaugural event occurring on July 17-19 of this past year. Armageddon Expo is also happening on October 23-26, 2015. They’ve got quite the line-up of guests. Auckland would be an excellent place to visit in October this year!

As a fan, if I were to travel to New Zealand, I would want to see movie sets as well as the scenery. Lord of the Rings/Hobbit sets have been left intact in various locations, and there are a myriad of tours that you can take, some of which can be found here. A tour that I found of particular interest is run by Film Scouts. They are hired by film companies to scout out locations, but they also run a tour company. You’d definitely get some pretty unique experiences with them!

Weta Workshop, New Zealand’s amazing prop and model creators have a 45 minute guided tour through their Cave. I think I would spend the entire time with my jaw on the floor. They amaze me.

You should read Sail Evenstar’s blog about their stay in New Zealand (Part 1, Part 2)! Great stuff, and quite the thorough exploration! (Facebook, website)

New Zealand has a lot to offer and I can’t wait to visit. If you are interested in going, contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

The Past was like Totally Better

Nostalgia: Sentimental longing for or regretful memory of a period of the past, esp. one in an individual’s own lifetime; (also) sentimental imagining or evocation of a period of the past. – Oxford English Dictionary

Someday we’ll look back on today and think how wonderful the world was and how horrible it has become. I can say that without exaggeration because it’s already happened. It’s happening right now. (I’m looking at you!)

I think it’s part of human nature that we idolize a time where we think we were happier, where life was simpler, where all the horrible things had yet to happen. We latch onto the horrible things in our lives now and glorify the good things of the past.

It’s not that we forget the bad things but their bite lessens with time. We can see it with less bias. There are two quotes that come to mind and I’ll say upfront that I disagree with Doctor Who.

“Great men are forged in fire, it is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame” – 50th anniversary of Doctor Who

“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I’ve found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness, and love.” – Gandalf, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

These two quotes define our cultures beliefs on life. Fire, turmoil, battle, horror, etcetera are what creates great people. It is what makes exciting stories but not people. We don’t define ourselves by our hardships but our successes. When we don’t, we run into trouble.

Back to nostalgia… Nostalgia is our way of whitewashing our past and making sure we mostly remember the good stuff. It’s not that we want to forget the bad but that we want to concentrate on the good. We also tend to make a big deal about stuff that we won’t find important in the future.

A good example for me is writing. When I’m writing I feel stressed to be writing, but excited. I also feel ridiculously frustrated when I first edit. When all is said and done and I have an “almost” finished book (I say almost because my mind will never let me finish. I can always do more.) I feel amazing and only remember the excitement and elation of writing.

In some cases nostalgia is right but in a lot of cases it’s not. The world isn’t worse off than it was twenty years ago. The nineties wasn’t a better time. The internet and technology isn’t leading us to a horrible brain melting doom.

Nostalgia is great, especially with a drink and an old friend, but next time you find yourself saying, “When I was a kid…” stop and try to think of the good things now.

We live in a time of wonder and excitement.

If you need proof:  At the begining of 2014 Biofabrication isn’t Science Fiction.

See you in the New Year my Imaginary Friends!

Éric