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BUSH TO BOOKS: A counter-culture, backwoods upbringing with glamorous, high-fashion career to follow sounds like any autobiographer’s best assets. Adding a husband-and-three-kids suburban lifestyle would be icing on the best-seller cake. In fact, Cea Sunrise Person signs herself that way: best-selling author. That’s based on the HarperCollins titles North of Normal and Nearly Normal that recount her first 10 years in a remote Alberta tipi, an international fashion-modelling career at age 13, and present-day domesticity high on the North Shore. Along the way, she designed and made bikini swimwear worn by Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan and other actresses. Tyro writers will understand that it took six years and 20 rewrites to get her first book published. For the second, “Five agents applied in a week, and it sold in 24 hours.” Next comes a roman-a-clef-hinting novel “about a young woman (named Winter) on a journey of awakening and learning to overcome her shameful past.” Person, who can write 5,000 words a day, has already tossed the 70,000-word draft of a manuscript due at year end. Like any autobiographer taking up fiction, “It is overwhelming all the different directions a story could go.” That may apply in spades to a planned “psychological thriller about two models moving to Paris.” Meanwhile, the mother who spent a summer-and-winter decade under canvas, living partly on sustenance derived from surrounding lakes and bush, believes it’s vital “for kids to learn the importance of nature.” So they all go camping, right? “No! Never!”
CHERCHEZ L’HOMME: Ontario-raised Lily Heise has also written two books — Je T’Aime … Maybe? and Je T’Aime, Me Neither — about her 17 years of seeking romance in Paris. Heise also conducts walking tours there. Her soon-to-release Je T’Aime … Oui will disclose further dallyings with dozens of men, including an aristocrat and a rock star, along with useful related data on bars, hotels and the like. Heise read recently at Vancouver’s literally straitlaced Lace Embrace atelier where corsetiere Melanie Talkington sells her own-design creations and related garments. Her unequalled collection of historic corsets was exhibited at Paris’s Louvre museum in 2014 and featured in a much-sought-after book, though not by Heise.
BOOZE BLANKET BINGO: Paris’s Parc des Buttes-Chaumont’s picnic ambience was recreated recently on the UBC’s campus. French vodka maker Grey Goose celebrated its 20th anniversary there with blankets on the lawn of Cecil Green Park House, named for the 1921 grad who donated $7 million to fund Green College. Guests saw the Gallic theme sustained with a Citroen car in the driveway, a roped-off pétanque bowling court on the lawn and, on the blankets, picnic hampers containing Paris chef Justin Kent’s goat-cheese-and-champagne-dressed salad, poulet au moutard and riz au lait. Abundant, too: straight-up martinis, le grand fizz coolers, cocktails du vin rouge, and Grey Goose espresso martinis as digestifs.
SAI AGAIN: Sometimes screen actress Salli Pateman helped kickstart Yaletown’s restaurant scene in 1994 with her DeNiro’s Bistro. When fellow thespian Robert De Niro threatened to make legal mincemeat of her under Section 3 of the Privacy Act, she saucily changed the ever-growing eatery’s name to Section (3). It closed in 2012, more likely because of stellar rents rather than movie-star huffing. By 2015, having focused on once-restaurant-rich Chinatown, Pateman redeveloped a defunct eatery and recently recreated its Sai Woo Chop Suey neon sign (Sun, Aug. 9). Were she to crib De Niro again for his “Are you lookin’ at me?” line, Pender Street diners would likely reply: “You bet.”
GOING FOR GOLD: The XXI Commonwealth Games will open at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, on April 4, 2018. Thirteen months earlier, the Queen sent the games’ official relay baton on its 230,000 km journey from Buckingham Palace. That was by air to Sierra Leone, a near-neighbour of Ghana that was called the Gold Coast in colonial days. The baton recently passed through Vancouver after visiting Hamilton, Edmonton and Victoria. At a reception, Australian consul and trade commissioner Kevin Lamb and Gold Coast dignitaries noted it “embodies the boundless energy, spirit and vibrancy of the Gold Coast, Queensland and (the games).” The reception also featured one of Maryann Talia Pau and the Museum of Brisbane’s ’s One Mission Stars to End Violence installations that will accompany the games.
LADY, LOOK: It’s a pity Lady Gaga skipped the tribute party Vernard Goud and Georgia Primar staged following her recent concert. She might have acquired some nifty stage costumes from the ones University of the Fraser Valley fashion-design grad Rebecca Zubel and mother Brenda create for the former’s Abbotsford-based, all-sizes Trash Lingerie firm.
DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Recently deceased Howe Streeter Jimmy Gray’s son Joey, son-in-law Chris Nielsen and various pals hoisted memorial frosties Friday during the seventh-inning stretch of a Vancouver Canadians – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes game that “Golden Rat” Gray (he loved the nickname) would doubtless have preferred to attend.