Friday, December 4, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Yesterday I issued a challenge to the readers of my blog: submit a story, win a bottle of Te Ata Po, the award winning New Zealand wine with a New Brunswick finish. As you might imagine, I was inundated with thousands of entries.

Ouch! Your nose just about poked my eye out, Ian. Or should I call you Pinocchio?

Okay, so there wasn't thousands of entries....there was less than a hundred.


Okay, okay, there was between one and ten.

Tisk, tisk!

Okay, so there was only one entry. The winner's name is Jean Gaudet from Sutton, Quebec. Sutton is located in Quebec's Eastern Townships, so close to the Vermont border that you can almost smell Ben & Jerry's underwear (if the wind is blowing from the south). I've never been to Sutton but I understand it to be an rural enclave for Montréalers who need to escape la village du grand O. I'm referring to the Olympic Stadium, and not Oprah, in case there was any doubt.

The winner, Jean Gaudet, is a lot like me. He's artistic, athletic, resourceful and good looking.

Ian, I'll grant you three out of four. Remember, I consider you to be Rex Murphy's twin, separated at birth.

I'll settle for three out of four. Jean is also spectacularly bilingual as well, lucky canard. He's also a windsurfer. He builds and renovates homes, including his summer place in Les Iles de la Madeleine. He paints (portraits, landscapes, still lifes, etc.). He has size thirteen feet and lives next to a pond. That's about all I know about Monsieur Gaudet. You can read his guest blog below which will enlighten you regarding life in the Eastern Townships....

Today in Sutton les Bains, winter is on the back burner again. It looks like all of fall is concentrated in one day. No more leaves in trees (except for the everlasting beech rust leaves), tons of precipitation in liquid form, cats that come in smelling like mud, and clouds zippin’ by like they’re going somewhere. Go figure …

I’ve rarely seen my pond overflow this much in the fall. Spring is another story with all the mountain snow melting. But today is ridiculous. The spillway is so loud, I will dream of Îles-de-la-Madeleine wave surfing all night. I pity the poor little salamanders trying to hold on to their flat stone in that tidal current.


I know this is just a prequel to the first snowstorm of the season. Can’t wait to put my new snowboard on that immaculate white blanket and carve the hell out of the mountain. Proof that winter is at the door, is that there was 43cm of fresh powpow on top of the mountain last Saturday. All liquefied by now I’m sure.

Oh by the way … comin’ back from Montréal last Monday night, I saw a huge meteorite come down in a field somewhere over there, maybe further but who cares? It was a show I’ll remember for a while (‘till Mr. Alzheimer knocks at the door). Turquoise blue tail and all, as big as … let’s say a football at the 100 yard line (is there such a distance in football? I wouldn’t know). It lasted but one or two seconds, just short enough for my wife who was snoozing on the passenger seat to miss it.

Abada abada, that’s all folks

There you go Mr. Varty, Te Ata Po time?

Jean Gaudet from Sutton, Québec.

It sounds to me like Jean Gaudet is almost a leisurologist. He certainly thinks and writes like one. No mention of work! Jean is also a talented photographer and lateral thinker. Yes, those are bath tubs in the attractive image that he submitted. That would explain the image's title, Sutton Les Bains.

If you'd like to view some of Jean's paintings, then click on this link:

Jean, I'll deliver your bottle of Te Ata Po in person when I pass through Sutton this winter. My diminutive size 12 feet, that normally live next to a lake, are looking forward to snowboarding in the mighty Alps of the Eastern Townships.

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