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Ashley Fayth – At Home Here in Newfoundland & Labrador
Place of Birth: I was actually born in St. John’s. But bred (as in raised . . . I didn’t do any breeding myself) in Hickman’s Harbour, Random Island in Newfoundland.
Currently Resides: Always the hardest question. Well . . . my husband is from Wales (UK), and can’t stand to be separated from his cricket team for long, so we spend a lot of time there. A LOT travelling. And of course, a good amount in Hickman’s Harbour. Isn’t being a touring artist also indicative of being homeless?
Where’s your favourite place in Newfoundland & Labrador to grab a coffee?
Ick. Coffee. Am I the only person who thinks this? I take my caffeine in (very dark) chocolate form, ie. The Newfoundland Chocolate Company. (NOTE: In return for this plug, I would like one box of Lighthouse Series shipped to my address, please.)
Where’s your favourite place in Newfoundland & Labrador to grab a pint?
Umm . . . I don’t like beer, either. Or tea. Or wine. I’m not a very classy drinker. But I am a fan of vodka, cranberry, and peach schnapps sipped/slurped on my parents’ patio overlooking the harbour after dark. Does that count?
Where’s your favourite place to shop in Newfoundland & Labrador?
Downtown St John’s. So much of my student loan was wasted invested here. Mostly on hats that I never got to wear because it was too windy.
Where in Newfoundland would we stand to see your favourite view?
At the top of Steamer’s Hill in Hickman’s Harbour in December when the whole of the harbour is cold, lit up with Christmas lights, and smelling of chimney smoke. And the ice on the road is all crunchy under your (somewhat inappropriately shoed) feet. It’s a sensory “view”.
Name 3 things I’ve gotta do when I visit Newfoundland & Labrador:
1. Pick berries. From a farm if necessary, but ideally from a pretty meadow. Eat them then and there, on the spot, after they’ve been warmed by the sun.
2. Buy (another) wool salt and pepper cap from the little tourist shop next to the Bonavista lighthouse.
3. In summer, have a fire on the beach. Eat wieners and marshmallows. In winter, have a fire in the woods. Eat kippers, and beans cooked in the can.
What makes Newfoundland & Labrador such a special place on earth for you?
Most people say “the people”. And don’t get me wrong – the people are wicked (in the good sense of the word). But for me, having spent the last year in London, I’d say sometimes it’s the lack of people. Complete undisturbed, undiluted nature. The space.
A trek through the woods on a Fall day, and sometimes it seems like for the first time in years you can hear yourself think. But it scares me a little, too. Mainly because I think that the beauty and serenity of Newfoundland has the ability to make people complacent about their carbon footprint. It’s easy to think that six trips to Tim Horton’s in the SUV, or the gas burned in the boat on the weekend, or the food shipped in from Guam are not having an impact on the environment. So we have to be careful to remind ourselves that Newfoundland is beautiful, but not invincible.
And secondly, because I’m scared of bears. I’ve never actually bumped into one. But I know they’re there . . . just waiting for me to snatch their berries.
Video: Vimeo Page
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