Art and beauty in downtown Montreal

To say Montreal was not on its best behaviour when I arrived is an understatement. A freak monsoon and thick layer of cloud blighted the city, which is usually reliably sunny throughout June. It was not the warm, summery welcome I had hoped for, but thus is the nature of travel — the weather doesn’t always behave just because you are on your holidays. The city may not have put all its beauty on show, but I was determined to find some hidden in between the skyscrapers. Fortunately, I was in luck. An ingenious town-planning scheme means that one percent…

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Instagrammed: The Isle of Wight Festival

If there’s one thing Instagram feels as though it was designed for, it’s festivals. My somewhat cynical theory behind this is that festivals tend to be a pseudo-nostalgic experience for most people — especially the young. They’re a way of temporarily appropriating a hedonism that’s really the property of a different era and projecting it onto our lives. It means we can pretend to ourselves that if we’d been born earlier, we all totally would have been hippies, no question. This explains the flower garlands perching on every other teenage festivalgoer’s head. The morning before I went to the Isle…

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