My Perfect Summer


How are you spending the summer?

I am working all over Europe but in my spare time I’m building my family compound of cabins on my waterfront property on Vancouver Island finally. I’ve had the property for 20 years and have never had the time, focus or resources to start - so my parents are excited it’s finally happening and they love wearing their hard hats buzzing around on a golf cart to make sure all the trees are not being taken down or hurt in anyway. - 

My mom is a natural gardener and she is making sure trees are delicately trimmed - saving all of them is important to me . It’s a labor of love in my home town of Ladysmith. 

My dad has just fully recovered from a stroke and this gave him the incentive to work hard to walk again, eat healthier and take his medicine - 

I love to see my parents holding hands, madly in love still and able to watch (where they were married) the property they started their lives together on be restored as it was - 

Who would be your ideal travelling companion, real or imaginary, living or dead?

Julian Assange - he is so interesting, knowledgeable and fun. We would have the best time - I pray he’ll be able to travel again and live the free life he deserves to do his work and we are a good team. Our time together is always productive. No matter where we are. 
The embassy or prison. His spirit is in us all. If only we were as brave as he is. As you can see everything he has been talking about is happening before our eyes. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the messenger- A pioneer always takes some heat and geniuses can look crazy - but thank God for them - 

How conscious are you of your carbon footprint?

Very conscious. 

I’m trying to fly less and simplify. I’m going to end up in Canada - I prefer to live in a small interior space with big porches and view of nature - with my books and my dogs and remember who I am. I don’t need a lot. 

What’s your summer soundtrack?

Midnightkids I could listen to my sons music all the time. Dylan writes such beautiful happy songs. 

What’s on your summer reading list?

I have 100’s of books to read, reread this summer. Most of my books are in Canada. I carry a few with me and the rest are sprinkled around my sons house. 

Depending on my mood I will read Jung, Khalo or Nin for fun - but I read serious books on Art and politics. Historical biographies, 

Love, poetry - so many books I couldn’t possibly give a list- OK wait. Simply 

- Hans Christian Andersen, "The Emperor's New Clothes", as children globally demand urgent action on climate change, this short tale still shows that children usually say the truth no one wants to hear

- Yanis Varoufakis, "Talking to my daughter about the economy", as the maverick Greek economist just entered Greek parliament, this book explains how did we end up in this mess, a true manual not only for children

- George Orwell, 1984, as hundred years later Orwell's dystopia turned into an instruction manual from Trump to Bolsonaro, it is more relevant than ever to understand the dangers of surveillance capitalism

- In defense of Julian Assange, edited by Tariq Ali and Margaret Kunstler, OR Books, 2019, as Julian Assange faces extradition to the United States, this is an important reader with texts by Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Žižek, Ai Weiwei, me and many others

- Srećko Horvat, "Poetry from the Future", Penguin, 2019 - Srećko my good friend writes how I think. I love his book ‘The Radicality of Love”. 

Love is a radical choice in this crazy world right now. When we need it more than ever. 

Do you favour beach, city or rural destinations?

I’m in love with Ladysmith, Malibu and I’ll miss Cassis which is next to Marseille. I’m sad I was unable to use the beach house I rented there this summer.

But I sent my friends there to enjoy it and bring my dog back to Canada with them. 

I will continue to learn French. I’ll be in France a lot. It is still very important to me. I will get a tutor next time I’m there. I’m not giving up on France. 

Part of living a romantic life is heart break. Melancholy- I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

Live and learn. 

Compiled by Jessica Heron-Langton. Illustrations by Hilary Kirby