What They’re Saying Behind My Back…


“You really must have a blog I say for the hundred and 99th time.”

~Rona Maynard, former editor of Chatelaine magazine, author of My Mother’s Daughter, insightful blogger and the woman who kickstarted this very blog

“Just read this jules…will post it on my twitter if you know what i mean. It was wonderful. I hope you write a book about your family. What a great story. People would love to read about your zany peeps. As always jules, your writing is clever, sharp, to the point, brimming with wit and really well put together. cheers to you. Hope you’re having a good day…that you’re intact and enjoying life in whatever lane you choose…”

~Jann Arden, Rockstar, Author of Falling Backwards, CBC radio show host, Ambassador of the Prairies and dog slobber lover


“Upon reading your most recent blog installment, my heart opened and I absorbed the smells and sights right off my computer screen. Thank you. It made me imagine coming to visit you in Toronto and follow you around like a puppy in tow, charmed at seeing the world from the froth of your wake.”

~Jules Tortolani, animation director come Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncturist, Class of 2014, NY

“This was a sexy bit of writing Jules! If I had a cigarette it would be lit and gone before one key was hit!”

~Leslie Rowe Wright, suburban socialite, server with panache, genuinely beautiful human being


“I wanted to say that i LOVED your blog – although it totally freaked me out, and now i am all bloody worried about you being in the Congo, even though i realize it’s your path or you wouldn’t be there.. let me just say that i think you are brilliant and courageous beyond words and i would really like to get your updates when you write them .. they’re fascinating, funny and horrifying—an irresistible combo … so I am re-posting!”

~Sass Jordan, Rockstar with the straightest and platinum-blonde-est hair since 1982


“jules, you still remain the bravest person I know. Your passion for so many aspects of Africa will always be a part of who you are and I am sure you will find a way to return again and continue to see the good where so many of us who have always led more sheltered, softer lives don’t dare to set a foot but will remain curious and see it through National Geographic’s eyes or something similar. Thank you again for sharing the good, the bad, and the downright ugly qualities of what will always be to me, a truly grand and mysterious continent! I loved the ways you have shared your observations and experiences through your wonderful writing. Thank you for going where I cannot and sharing all that you have.”

~Connie Lockwood, my exuberant camp counsellor and deservedly retired art teacher


“Jules……..you know I love your writing. You scare the shit out of me, yet make me laugh at the same time. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face on a somewhat downer of a day. You are to be admired for more reasons than one. As much as I love Africa and dream about going, the more I read your stories the more I think….yeah, I’ll stick with my…Animal Kingdom. You’re brave and you do belong to Africa.”

~Noelle Gallant, devout Twitter fan from Prince Edward Island


“I had tears in my eyes and laughed out loud and felt so sorry you have to leave that wonderful place so dear to your heart (or are you planning on coming home from the Congo?). That still remains to be seen. I have made copies and also given out the website for others to read– all just can’t believe your stories and say you’re such a gifted story writer. But I knew that…..”

~Mom,  the best one ever (who, shhh, occassionally shudders and holds her breath when she sees her name in a blog post)


“Thanks to you Jules for having entertained my evenings here in Lubumbashi. Really looking forward to seeing you around in a couple of months for other adventures and maybe plot for new stories. Hope you’ll not be disappointed once here….and that you’ll find plenty of things to write about and let your eyes, body, senses capture all the emotions Congo will force upon you.”

~ Chantal Jacques, co-director of the J.A.C.K. chimp sanctuary, inspiring vagabond now living in Zambia


“Girl, you can really write. But I told you that before. :)”

~Caro Soles, author and no-nonsense instructor with ever-present perfect lipstick at George Brown College who taught me that chickens LAY eggs and humans do not LAY in bed


“I think I’ve plainly stated that I believe you’re the best writer I’ve ever come across … right up next to my beloved science fiction writers. I’m a skipper – If the book is boring, too preachy or descriptive I give up and just read the ending. But I not only don’t want to skip your writing, I am actually dismayed when it’s over. I like feeling that.”

~Kay LeFevre, wedding videographer, bon vivant, my daily Facebook go-to for a laugh and intense birder with a cause


“Another gem of unique tabulation and dialogue of your trip, dining experiences, historical sites and various beers available in Quebec to the palate. One in particular caught my eye–the Venison Burger your choice and the Wild Boar Burger by Kim. (Not sure on that one). But the Mountain of Fries accompanied by Rosemary Maple Mayo definitely a bonus. Once again a reading enjoyment for the day surpassing the Expositors Sports Section***no contest.”

~Dad, reformed sports & comics section only reader, now serious blog commentator and spellchecker


“My name is Kris and I am the neice of SANDY WILSON….your story of how she touched your life as a teen at BCI touched my heart and brought back a flood of wonderful memories of her. It was a tragic loss to our family and to many of the lives she had touched throughout her short life. I would love to hear more from you if you are still monitoring this site! I know she is still watching over all she loved and laughed with…THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART”

~Kris Waters, niece of Sandy Wilson, an artist and teacher with brains, zest and verve


“Ok – so I’m a little late in reading this but I do eventually get around to reading all of your writing you send (even if it is almost 2 years later!) I loved it! 2am & I am wide awake. I guess the 2pm coffee & 7:30pm nap didn’t help. Nuts! At least I am being productive…”

~Kiley, remarkably supportive sister (despite childhood biting and scratching attacks), but slow reader


2 thoughts on “Testimonials

  1. connie

    Well Jules, what is next for our intrepid traveler? Having read this – and I really enjoyed it! – I suspect that your mind has been whirling with ideas of what to do and where to go – whatever order doesn’t really matter. I believe I can feel it. I myself am restless but am sadly lacking what I need to get too far. (It is times like this that I regret not being able to work and save more money for some long trips and luxurious get-aways. Fibro really sucks.)

    So, whatever you are thinking, planning, or even speculating . . . just go with your instincts and have a hell of a great time doing it because I am looking forward to the pleasure of reading your future blogs! Your writing style is one that really does make us feel as if we are there with you because you relate your experiences in such a manner as to appeal to nearly all of our senses . . . and that is fantastic! I also love the visuals that you carefully select to enhance your blogs.

    I love, love, love your writing through all the laughs, the broad smiles, and the tears. Thank you for continuing to share your passion for life!

  2. noelle gallant

    For god sakes!!!! I’m just reading this now and thank you for including me in such wonderful company!!! xoxo ps. I changed my email address, and I’ve been missing your wonderful blogs, posts, etc. ….or the honeymoon stage for you and Kim is still going on, and it’s being a big distraction in your writing world. Thank you and as always… a delight.

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