Rising from the Ashes: My Journey to Quit Smoking

By Sarah Torgerson Nestled in the heart of Vancouver Island University's Nanaimo campus is one of about a dozen designated smoking areas, where you are likely to come across a handful of generally unhappy-looking smokers wreathed in plumes of grey. I’m often among them. This mecca for the stressed-out and nicotine-addicted is where I take my own study-and-smoke breaks. I started smoking on a beautifully humid evening in November, 2009, while I was living in Perth, Australia. I thought I … [Read more...]

Prettynormal Activity

By Drew McLachlan “I could feel . . . something — like I was being watched.” Willow Friday opened Iron Oxide, an arts supply store in Nanaimo, on January 6th. It wasn’t her first business -- she has operated the House of Indigo Boutique since 2002 -- but she was nonetheless excited to see a second dream come true. So when she first received the keys to the building last May, she invited a group of friends to come see it and help her make plans. “One of my friends instantly had this untoward … [Read more...]