How to write from Canada with a 5-hour jetlag – ZZZzzzzzzz

Letter from Canada, on the way back to UK

To round off my contributions after working and holidaying in Canada recently I tried to think up some witty, informative prose to share on the way back to UK.

How to write from Canada with a 5-hour jetlag

My lapse of creative grunt was attributable purely to altitude, impending jetlag and painful symptoms inexplicably similar to those of a hangover.

This was while watching my plastic water bottle morph into the shape of a Barbie doll at 37,000 feet (ever noticed that? Cabin pressure is equal to about 8,000 feet above sea level which explains everything, so I’m told) and waiting for the child in the seat behind to kick me in the 2nd lumbar vertebra for the twentieth time.

Bye-bye homeland, hello goo-goo brain

Needless to say my utter brain fail had nothing whatsoever to do with the severely refreshing family party celebrated the night before (and into the morning of) our departure date during which time I managed to sample just about every fine wine produced in the Niagara Peninsula, Prince Edward County and possibly the Yukon as well for all we eventually knew or cared.

No, this lapse of creative grunt was attributable purely to altitude, impending jetlag and painful symptoms inexplicably similar to those of a hangover.

But I did write some useful stuff while in Canada, diddle I?

Well, some people think I did, anyway. Here’s the run-down, with a comment or two on how the articles concerned could be of interest to you (if, of course, you haven’t read them already):

Introducing your Canadian correspondent
Oh, shucks, this is embarrassing. Here I promised the world and delivered a country smaller than Belgium. But, I did deliver in creating workshops that everyone found fun and useful, stuffing my face on gorgeous food and wine, and basking in temperatures the Mediterranean would be proud of. And I shopped a bit, too.

Want to write securely? Get a Blackberry
No surprises for guessing why criminals the world over think Blackberry phones are the cat’s willie. These phones may be “old tech,” bolshie to use, clonky and clunky when compared with the silky smoothness of an IPhone, but you try to hack into one … Blackberry’s security software is gaining much respect comparable systems can match. This article explains how.

Can you write in Canadinglish?
Most people can’t, and especially when you telescope Brit and Canuck words in a mish-mash that would make even the most heartfelt Toronto Blue Jays fan’s eyes water. Try this challenge and prove your devotion to the lingo…

Here, Canada – let me write you a sandwich
Sandwiches matter to me, speaking as a writer. For many of us they represent the ideal means of sustenance while working. My travels in Ontario and Québec lead me to believe that pre-packed sandwiches on which I and so many of my colleagues thrive, exist only as crumbling messes. White bread with so many airholes in it you’d think it was a prototype of  new orthopaedic insole, filled with protein-influenced junk that’s coloured as brightly as Las Vegas and flavoured with chemicals that can dissolve granite in under 30 seconds per pound. I don’t think so.

How the SO WHAT? test transforms your elevator pitch
This test started out as a laugh but has become a useful and usable yardstick. “So what” may seem like an obvious question that’s about as subtle as an air raid (as my dear friend and colleague Roger Frosh would say) … but it works. This article shows you how to to make it work for you.

Why a personal hook in your elevator pitch is so precious
In the workshops I delivered in Toronto we covered some interesting topics and some even more interesting concepts and ideas emerged from those. Getting up and speaking your precious elevator/60 second pitch is hard enough, and is even more challenging when there are others in the room who do what you do. This article helps you create a differential that’s tough to argue with.

Did you find my letters from Canada helpful?

Hope so – please share whether or not you did. (And if not, why not?)