The Things We’ve Done for Love


February 2019

Love is in the air, NQ readers! To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we asked some interesting locals “What is the wildest thing you’ve done for love?” From young heartbreak, to long-term love, we hope you enjoy their answers.

“The wildest thing I’ve ever done for love is voluntarily put up with a man flu. Like, I’m 30 years old. My husband and I have been together since we’re 13 so you can only imagine what we’ve been through. However, getting past those delicate couple of “Baby, my hair hurts” days truly feels the most feral of them all. And at the end of it, when you’re both barely standing after all the expired orange juice, you’re like: “We did it. That was wild. That was love.”

Emily Martin is a musician, music educator, and one of the minds, and voices, behind Choir Jams.


“The thing with being a little boy with a crush on your grade 6 sweetheart, is you don’t know what to do with the feeling, other than be near the source of it. I’d gathered from TV that if I bought her jewellery, and she wore it, it was some kind of promise we’d be near each other forever.

We were about to be whisked off to romantic St. Pierre for a school trip, so what better time to steal my mother’s wedding ring and propose to the love of my grade 6 life? But, thievery seemed morally wrong. Instead, I chose fraud and deception to score $5, and while in St. Pierre, I bought the most magnificent plastic chain (with pendant!) $5 could buy.

I gave it to her on the deck of the ferry, but the cheap clasp broke as I put it on her, and with it, my heart. We laughed it off though, and held hands when the teachers weren’t looking, and St. Pierre taught me it’s the love that counts, not the absurd ways we try to validate it.”

Chad Pelley is a writer based in St. John’s, and the former editor of The Overcast (you can still participate in the final #overcastburgerbattle until the end of the month!)


“The wildest thing I’ve ever done for love – last summer, I was visiting Inverness, Scotland with my partner Dean. I had started planning a very ambitious plan for us to visit Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, which would have involved a train, a bus, a cab, and then a hike by foot to the middle of nowhere to maybe meet the guides in time to accompany them on a guided tour to the reindeer herd.

After I realized this plan was a bit too ambitious for even me to pull off, I decided now was the time to propose. You know, marriage. I decided to lead Dean on an expedition to find an ancient, fortified hilltop called Craig Phadrig. We wandered aimlessly through the suburbs of the Scottish highlands for a long time. But then I saw a strange and striking forested hill, a large, round mound on the skyline.

It turned out to be Tomnahurich Cemetery, a barrow graveyard hidden within a forest. According to Scottish lore, it’s also inhabited by fairies. I didn’t know this at the time. We had wandered for a long time, and still he patiently followed me through a circling maze of green trees, pink rhododendron petals floating through the air, as I insisted I had to know what was inside. I led him to the top and proposed, he said yes, and it was magical. Love is following your partner into a strange (haunted) Scottish graveyard.”

Zaren Healey White is an activist (one of the founders of the Feminisms ReFramed art show), a writer, and a communications professional.


“As a teen, I went to great lengths to hide my bisexuality while also desperately trying to get girls to ask me out. It never worked out for me, but I came close once. I saved up for a car, a 1994 Dodge Shadow with tinted windows, mostly so I could drive to St. John’s to make new friends. I fell hard for someone I met through a youth orchestra friend, spent months working on a strategy for asking her out, but didn’t do it fast enough and she moved on (and the gas tank fell off my car). It was my first experience with heartbreak.”

Maggie Burton is a musician, violin teacher, writer, and city councillor.

“On the occasion of the first separation from my very first love when I was 19, I mailed a letter to her from Galiano Island, BC to Newfoundland, professing my true love; foolishly including the complete lyrics to the sappy Leo Sayer ballad, ‘When I Need You.’ When she returned and promptly broke up with me, she confessed that while apart, she felt conflicted about breaking up, but when she saw the Leo Sayer lyrics, she was convinced it was the right thing to do…And she left for Arizona!”

Paddy Barry is a photographer who splits his time between Fogo Island and St. John’s.

I couldn’t end the article without including this tune, courtesy of Paddy Barry. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!


Q and A with Filmmaker Benjamin Noah


There is something gloriously epic about this island. It adds incredible production value if you are willing to spend long days out in the cold to get the shots right. Newfoundland is a broad canvas and I want to make ambitious brush strokes, so it’s a good fit.