Revealed: Boris Johnson on Donald Trump

Anti Brexit campaigners Led By Donkeys have amused the passing London crowds by projecting a video of Boris Johnson’s less-than-flattering comments about Donald Trump onto Big Ben, just as the US President is visiting the UK capital.

Don’t be fooled by the two politicians these days having nothing for praise for each other, back in 2015, Johnson was scathing in his condemnation of the then-presidential candidate.

To see the comments that graced Big Ben last night have a look.

Website Client Questionnaire

CopywritingLet’s start a conversation

Writing content for websites is not unlike going on a blind date. It’s important to build up a rapport and understanding as quickly as possible.

The best way to do this is by asking questions; the alternative is a lot of awkward silence.

Please try answer as many of these questions as possible, if not all! 

Building websites and populating them with content is a collaborative process and requires client involvement at all stages, so please tell me a bit about you and your business.

Once you have completed this please cut and paste a copy and email it to me at Mark the subject as New Website Copy and the name of your business/URL.

Company Contact
Address Email
City, St, Zip/Postcode Phone#
Phone# Are there other decision makers? Please specify.
Website address – or desired Domain(s)



About your business

Please give a brief overview of the company, what you do, sell and/or produce?

What is the purpose of the site?

This section covers the general purpose and goal of the site.

Please put an X next to the planned for outcomes that apply to you.

The site is designed to:

  • Explain products and services
  • Bring in new clients
  • Provide customers with information on a certain subject
  • Deliver news or a calendar of events
  • Carry a blog that addresses specific topics/interests
  • Sell a product/products online
  • Provide support for current clients

Is this site already online? Or is there a time frame or deadline to get this site online? (If there’s a specific deadline, please state why.)

Target market

Who will visit this site? Describe potential clients. Young, old, demographics, interests etc.

Why should visitors do business with you rather than with a competitor?

What problem are you solving for them?

What action(s) should the user perform when visiting your site?

People who visit this site should be moved to do something. Please, put an X next to those actions that apply to you.

  • Call
  • Fill out a contact form
  • Fill out a quote form
  • Sign up for a mailing list
  • Search for information
  • Purchase a product(s)/service(s)


  1. In three seconds, describe what your business offers?
  2. Why do people need what you are offering?
  3. What needs do you believe you are fulfilling?
  4. The goal of a home page is to encourage people to dig deeper into the website. Can you, therefore, describe two or three calls-to-action that should drive people to different aspects of what you are selling?
  5. What do you offer that can’t be found elsewhere?
  6. Can you list all the sections/pages you think that you’ll need (see below)?
  7. How will customers benefit from your content, products, and/or services?
  8. What message do you want to get across?:
    1. Do you want to inform prospects about the full range of services to gain additional sales?
    2. Do you want to inform prospects about what makes you different?
    3. Do you want to persuade prospects to change their brand loyalty to your firm?
  9. What tone of voice do you want to convey with the words?
  10. Who are you (NB people tend to buy people, they don’t buy agencies)?
  11. How do you work (NB what makes it easy for clients and gives them peace of mind)?
  12. What is your unique selling proposition?
  13. What is the benefit of using you over any other similar business?
  14. What is your competitive edge that would persuade clients to choose them over anyone else?
  15. Do you have any testimonials from happy clients?
  16. Have you won any awards?
  17. What are the Products/Services you offer?
  18. What are the benefits of each of these?
  19. What can be said about each of these that will inspire a good first impression?
  20. How is your site different from your competitor sites?
  21. Do you have any testimonials from happy clients?
  22. Will/do you have landing pages that speak to specific subjects?
  23. Will/do you have pictures that help tell your story?

The Individual Pages

(Samples below are just an example to get you started, please fill this section out as completely as you feel able.)

Page Content Notes
Contact Us
About Us


Do you already have any written content?

Do you have images/photographs prepared for these pages?

What are the websites of your closest competition?

Please include at least 3 links to sites of your competition. What do you like and don’t like about them? What would you like to be done differently or better?

What websites have content you like?

Along with putting down the site address, please comment on what you like about each site’s content, eg style of writing, the tone of voice etc. These do not have to have anything to do with your business but could have features of which you approve. Please include at least three examples.

What are the Keywords people use to find you?

If someone is searching for your product/service, what types of search terms (single words or phrases) might they use?

Please list all the possible search terms you can think of.

Once you have completed this please cut and paste a copy and email it to me at Mark the subject as New Website Copy and the name of your business/URL.


Building a Business Online

building a cannabis packaging business online

building a cannabis packaging business onlineThe structure and content for the Green Fold custom cannabis packaging business’s website launch. Customer reaction: “Your content looks great! Thank you.”

Page 01

Green Fold custom cannabis packaging promises your brand the complete package with the customization you like. Instant quotes. Fast turnarounds.

Page 02

At Green Fold’s custom cannabis packaging and sourcing website, we enable you to customize products built by you with your branding – and see the results in real time.

Our belief at Green Fold is that great things come in custom packages. With the Green Fold website, you can produce large printed shipping boxes, small cartons or just about anything in between.

With the variety of materials, shapes, colors, and sizes Green Fold offers, you can create something really exciting for your customers to see on the outside, to stoke their excitement about what’s waiting for them on the inside.

Page 03

You don’t have to settle for plain packaging with Green Fold. Your products deserve so much more and we have a complete range of packaging solutions from glass jars, through exit bags to a selection of tubes and boxes to make your products stand out.

Glass Jars

When you select from our range of glass jars your top-of-the-range weed will get top-of-the-range packaging. You can make your brand stand out with our range of high-end glass jars combined with our custom labels.

Exit Bags

When your customers put their purchases in one of our custom-printed carrier bags, your brand will be cost-effectively communicating with the world. All of our bags are supplied with a standard quality thickness, but we can make them thinner or thicker as you require. There is a wide variety of features and materials that you can choose to incorporate in the exit bags that you choose.

Child resistant exit bags

Your customers will always leave in style when they are carrying one of Green Fold’s custom-printed and child-resistant exit bags. A Green Fold exit bag is specially designed with an easy-to-use push-and-slide zipper.

We also have exit bags that are designed with sleek silicone grips. Our customized child-resistant exit bags will underpin your brand’s identity as well as enhancing your brand’s recognition. The large surface areas that our range of exit bags offers are ideally-suited to effective branding imagery.

Cartridge and disposable pen child resistant tubes

Green Fold offers both CBD and THC “hash oil” pens, which vaporize cannabis distillates and oils. Our “hash oil” cartridges come with a mouthpiece, a chamber, and a heating element. This latter piece is activated when it comes into contact with a vape battery. You fill the chamber of the cartridge with oil or distillate containing concentrated cannabis cannabinoids and terpenes.

Our products are made in the USA, from materials approved by the FDA. They are re-sealable and air-tight. Plus, if you like we are able to customize the canisters you choose with high-quality labels, which are also made in the USA.

Green Fold’s custom-printed range of labels for pre-roll tubes is an ideal way of branding all your pre-rolled products.  The pre-roll tube labels we offer can be cut to size.

Folding boxes and folding cartons

At Green Fold we specialize in manufacturing the packaging you need to whatever you specify in terms of specific dimensions and requirements.

With our Folding boxes and folding cartons, you can transform your brand into the total package complete with customization and a fast turnaround.

It has been said that great things tend to come in small packages. But at Green Fold it is our firmly held belief that really great things come in custom packages of all sizes.

If you want small cartons we can provide them. When you need large printed shipping boxes nothing is impossible to our industry. We are able to supply everything in between too.

Our team is capable of working with a vast variety of shapes, materials, colors, and sizes, so you can create something that is exciting on the outside, so your customers will be inspired to find out what’s to be found on the inside.

At Green Fold we aim to give you plenty of freedom to unpack your wildest creativity and to develop your designs to suit your brand and your market – and all done as efficiently as possible.

Page 04

Glass Jars

When you select a glass jar from our range we offer the best in terms of custom jar builder so your top-of-the-range product will get top-of-the-range glass jar packaging.

Page 05

Exit Bags

When your customers put their purchases in one of our custom exit bags, your brand will cost-effectively communicate with the widest possible world.

Page 06

Cartridge and disposable pen child resistant tubes

When it comes to cartridge and disposable pen child resistant tubes and custom cartridge and disposable pen child resistant tubes Green Fold has a range of large format canisters that are ideal for carrying flowers.

Page 07

Boxes: Folding cartons/ boxes, ridged/ setup boxes

At Green Fold we have made it a specialism to manufacture the packaging you want whatever your specifications to transform your brand with our folding cartons/boxes, ridged/setup boxes and our folding cartons/boxes, ridged/setup boxes.

Product 1

Glass Jars

It is good advice that one of the best ways of storing your cannabis is in containers that have a neutral charge, like a glass jar.

You can guarantee that when you select from our range of glass jars your top-of-the-range weed will get top-of-the-range packaging. You can make your brand stand out with our range of high-end glass jars combined with our custom labels.

When looking for a good jar for your stash, consider how much you are going to be storing and for what length of time. We offer extra small to very large glass jars so there is a wide selection from which to choose.

All our glass jars are both airtight and offer light tight qualities so your bud will stay fresh for a longer period. We also have glass apothecary jars and gasket-sealed gallon jars.

Product 2

Exit Bags

Exit bags are some of the most popular items people shop for at Green Hold. Among the items we sell are smell-resistant barrier bags that are specifically made to disguise smells as well as for carrying items that have sharper edges, as well as things that do best if they stay away from moisture. Green Fold exit bags and barrier bags are made only with fine plastics. They are available at affordable prices and are particularly suitable for any brand that needs specialty bags.

Exit bags are designed to protect the contents they carry from dirt, moisture, and many other contaminants. You will find many examples that are made using heavy duty plastics, with anti-puncture and smell-proof properties.

Many of our bags are made to showcase the contents, and all can be bought in various sizes so there is bound to be one to meet your needs.

Product 3

Cartridge and disposable pen child resistant tubes

Cartridge and disposable pen child resistant tubes are among the most convenient and cleverly stealthy ways to carry your stash on the move. They’ve recently been seeing a surge in popularity. As a consequence, the market is becoming saturated with many different brands to choose from.

With cartridges rapidly taking more and more market share one of the best ways to stand out against any competition is with a custom-branded cartridge.  At Green Fold, we test our cartridges and can guarantee that they have less than 1% failure rate when they are filled in the correct way and are used with the correct type of oil.

Green Fold’s cartridge and oil experts can work with you to choose the correct cartridge for your brand of oil and then put your brand imagery on it.

Product 4

Boxes: Folding cartons/ boxes, ridged/ setup boxes

At Green Fold we specialize in manufacturing the packaging you need to whatever you specify in terms of specific dimensions and requirements.

With our Folding boxes and folding cartons, you can transform your brand into the total package complete with customization and a fast turnaround.

It has been said that great things tend to come in small packages. But at Green Fold it is our firmly held belief that really great things come in custom packages of all sizes.

If you want small cartons we can provide them. When you need large printed shipping boxes nothing is impossible to our industry. We are able to supply everything in between too.

Our team is capable of working with a vast variety of shapes, materials, colors, and sizes, so you can create something that is exciting on the outside, so your customers will be inspired to find out what’s to be found on the inside.

At Green Fold we aim to give you plenty of freedom to unpack your wildest creativity and to develop your designs to suit your brand and your market – and all done as efficiently as possible.




Easy access rates edge up after Wall Street titan launches high-yield savings account

Savers finally benefit from improving rates following the 1.5% rate from the Marcus account launched online by Goldman Sachs in September.

RCI Bank, which is French-owned has now raised its Freedom Account’s rate to 1.37% and, although it’s typical for banks to only apply raised rates to new customers, the RCI Bank account is giving all savers the benefit of this new increased rate.

The move has been matched by Ford Money, which is also paying the same 1.29% rate to all its Flexible Savers. Smaller building banks and building societies have been scrambling to compete with Marcus’s 1.5% deal since it was launched on 27 September because it pushed easy-access rates to their highest level for two years. The online Marcus account also includes a 0.15% fixed bonus payable for the first year.

Charter Savings Bank launched its new Easy Access account, which pays 1.4%, within hours of Marcus’s arrival. Then, Shawbrook Bank quickly followed by raising its rate for new Easy Access savers to 1.4%. And in the interim, Paragon Bank has also launched a new Limited Edition Easy Access account issue, at 1.37%, while OakNorth Bank’s latest Easy Access account is paying 1.3%.

Kent Reliance Easy Access and AA Savings Member Saver are also up to 1.37%. No restrictions apply to the number of withdrawals that can be made your money is covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (UKFSC) to the value of £85,000, or £170,000 on joint accounts.

If you are opening an account, whatever your savings goals, finder UK can help you find one to suit you. The rates that are available on the High Street may be slightly higher, but the arrangements tend to be much more complicated. For example, the rate on a Co-op Bank’s Britannia Select Access Saver issue 9 has been raised to 1.2%, but savers are limited to just four withdrawals in each calendar year.

Other High Street deals include Virgin Money Easy Access Saver at 1.16%, Coventry Building Society Easy Access Saver 5 1.15%, and Family Building Society’s Branch Saver is paying 1.21%. It’s worth noting, however, that Family BS has now also launched a new Premium Saver, which as well as being available online, can be opened at its Epsom, Surrey branch or through the post. It pays 1.45% on a minimum £5,000, but it’s only going to be possible to add money until 7 December this year.

Prior to the launch of Marcus, the average rate offered by competitors was just 0.55%.

Picture: Shutterstock

Better credit scores to benefit renters who pay on time, thanks to a new initiative.

Credit scoring

Experian, the credit reference agency, says it is now taking account of 1.2 million tenants’ payment habits.

Most of these people, around 79%, can expect to improve their access to bank accounts, loans, and mortgages by enhancing their credit scores. The analysis also indicates that adding rental data to credit reports will increase the proportion of tenants able to prove their identity online from 39% to 84%, which will additionally broaden the range of financial services available to fastidious payers.

Credit scores make all the difference when taking out any financial arrangements like loans. They determine the terms people are offered or whether they will be approved at all.

Bad or limited credit histories have the power to reduce a person’s chances of obtaining often vital finance, like mortgages, car finance, and credit cards. At finder UK we help people find out about all the ways they can build up their credit history and enhance their credit scores.

Prior to the latest Experian move, the majority of people renting their homes had been unable to prove the likelihood of them meeting monthly mortgage payments. But last year, just under 150,000 people signed a petition to demand increased recognition of tenants who regularly pay their rent on time.

The petition’s organiser, Jamie Pogson, claimed to have paid more than £70,000 in rent when it was due but had still found it a struggle to successfully apply for a mortgage.

As a result of the petition, a debate was held in Parliament and afterward, Treasury minister Stephen Barclay argued that lenders should act more favourably to those renters who kept their payments up to date.

Now, tenants’ rental payments appear on both Experian’s CreditExpert and in statutory credit reports as part of a Rental Exchange initiative that has been developed in partnership with the Big Issue Group’s social investment arm.

Data is being reported into the Rental Exchange by over 150 social housing providers, along with local authorities and letting agents. Experian is also working with property technology companies (PropTechs) to help tenants better report their data themselves.

The downside of this initiative is that those with poor records of paying rent on time could discover their credit scores are adversely affected, which would make it harder and possibly more expensive, to gain access to other financial services.

Social housing or council tenants need to ask their landlord to report their rental payment data to the Rental Exchange. Private tenants who pay large landlords or letting agents should request the same, but private tenants can also self-report their payment data via an Experian partner like CreditLadder or Canopy.

Experian Consumer Services Managing Director Clive Lawson recognises that tenants each month pay a large amount of money for their homes and says it’s right these regular payments are recognised “in a similar way as mortgages”.

Big Issue Group MD John Montague says the aim has been to create a fairer playing field for people to access credit because it was recognised that “people in poverty were routinely penalised”.
Picture: Shutterstock

Home buyers warned to beware inflated mortgage fees when offered deals

Lenders are upping mortgage fees to levels that are the highest they have been in more than five years, according to new data.

With the latest figures indicating that the average mortgage fee has risen by £15 in the last three months and now stands at £1,005, home buyers are warned to be wary of how fees can bite.

At Finder UK we’ve teamed up with the UK’s leading fee-free mortgage broker, L&C, to provide advice on the mortgage deal that is right for you. Our expertise can help whether you’re buying a home, remortgaging or purchasing an investment property.

It’s wise to be careful because, according to financial information company Moneyfacts, which collated the latest data, while mortgage lenders appear to be concentrating on competing with each other for the lowest rates on the market to attract borrowers, many of them are offsetting their reductions by raising fees instead.

Moneyfacts commentator Charlotte Nelson points out that not only are average mortgage fees rising, but they are now surpassing the £1,000 threshold for the first time since the August of 2013 when the average was £1,001. Nelson describes this as “disappointing” and advises that borrowers need to think twice before making an application for any mortgage, and they should always check the terms and conditions.

The Bank of England has increased the base rate from 0.25% to the current rate of 0.75% since November 2017 but many mortgage rates are being offered much lower than providers’ costs. For example, the average two-year fixed rate currently stands just 0.16% higher than in November 2017 when it was 2.33%.

The table below illustrates the impact fees can have on your payment: it demonstrates that even though the fixed rate is set much lower, the fee-free mortgage product still works out as less expensive in the first year.

Lender Rate LTV Fees True cost after 1st year*
Yorkshire Building Society
1.34% fixed to 31/12/2020
Yorkshire Building Society
1.71% fixed to 31/12/2020

Source: *True cost based on borrowing £200,000 over 25 years on the basis of repayment-only.

Nelson emphasises that homebuyers should take note that the impact of fees can vary depending on how much is borrowed. For example, she says, a low rate/high fee offer may be perfect for people looking to buy property at the more expensive end of the market. But she warns that for average borrowers who remortgage every two years, fees soon add up and it may be better spending any additional cash overpaying the mortgage.

Taking out any mortgage is a big commitment and should not be rushed into without exploring the available options. That’s why finder UK has designed a page to help you better understand how mortgages work and how to compare the different deals that are out there.

Picture: Shutterstock

Money management app Emma adds cryptocurrency exchange integration


Emma, the app that helps people avoid overdrafts and identify unnecessary subscriptions, now offers control over other finances including cryptocurrency assets.

London-based Emma Technologies calls itself the “banking app for millennials” and has already integrated with a number of UK-based challenger banks including Starling BankMonzo and Revolut.

But now, by integrating with a number of cryptocurrency exchanges Emma has become the only app that allows UK consumers to see their cryptocurrency assets along with other more traditional banking products for free.

In a few taps, Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance, Bitstamp, Kraken, Bitfinex and individual bitcoin and Ethereumaddresses, can connect to Emma allowing users to access all their banking and investment data under one secure app.

Emma CEO and co-founder Edoardo Moreni says this represents a first step towards account aggregation not only referring to banking products, but also “several financial services”. Emma, which successfully received Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval at the start of the year, has since been steadily making Open Banking integrations with other digital banking players.

The banking app for millennials who use either iOS or Android devices is a mobile-only solution that aims to help people avoid overdrafts, cancel unwanted subscriptions, keep track of debt and save money. The integrations with Starling, Monzo and Revolut are helping the various banks’ customers understand their money and more easily manage it. Starling Bank’s Chief Platform Officer, Megan Caywood, says the Emma link is a boost to the startup’s ability to offer customers a wider choice of financial products.

The integration works on the basis that, in the modern world, people tend to have multiple accounts, many contracts, several credit and debit cards and are thus challenged when it comes to keeping things under control. Emma wants to make money management easy and much more straightforward by enabling consumers to access all their personal finance information at the push of a button.

Emma (whose name derives from an anagram of the initials of its founders, Antonio Marino and Edoardo Moreni, who met at the Manchester University) was given the nod by the FCA just over a month from the launch of its beta service.

Emma’s ultimate goal is the building of a private wealth manager driven by artificial intelligence. It is being propelled by the advent of Open Banking whose launch coincided with that of Emma. Open Banking means that, with the account holder’s permission, banks are able to share financial information, including transaction histories and spending patterns, with third-party providers who are also FCA regulated.

Digital banking is evolving all the time. With Finder UK you can read the latest reviews, browse apps and discover more about the latest developments.

Yolt is the first independent app to connect to the UK’s largest high street banks

Yolt, the app that allows customers to view credit card, banking and savings accounts in one place, has become the first third-party provider to tie up with all nine of the UK’s biggest retail banks.

Along with fintech challengers Starling and Monzo, 18 banks are now connected to Yolt, with users able to access a total of 35 different cards and banks. Yolt users can see the shops where they spend the most money. They can also set budgets and plan for upcoming payments as well as seeing how much cash they have available until payday.

Yolt is now the largest user of Open Banking application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable the app to perform about 1.5 million calls every week. APIs are sets of clearly defined ways for various components, in this case accounts to communicate between themselves.

Key features of the Yolt app are its spending tracker, easy budget settings and auto-categorisation.

The app has been working closely with the UK’s nine largest banks and building societies* since the start of 2018 to make it possible to involve all the big retail banking operations. Yolt is the first money app to make a complete Open Banking API link with the Lloyds Banking Group.

Yolt’s COO Leon Muis says that connecting with all the largest banks through APIs is “a huge milestone”. Muis points out that the Open Banking ecosystem has made it possible and for making users able to stay at the front of the Open Banking revolution and empowered to do more with their own money.

He accepts that the public still need educating about Open Banking, which is aimed at providing greater financial transparency for account holders, but believes that as more people get involved, consumers will see the benefits of having increased control over their financial information.

Yolt was launched in 2016 as a registered trademark of the Amsterdam-based ING group. Does it make it easier to manage your finances? Read this review to see what finder UK says. To find out exactly how Open Banking may help you take a look at this analysis.

Test Your Boundaries

It’s as if the passage of time has passed by Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. Roger Wilsher discovers what the world used to be like by jumping in a canoe and being inspired.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness measures 1.1 million acres. The area is one of the most protected wildernesses in America. There are no roads. No towns. No airports. All you see is water and woods.

The lakes and forests here come directly from the Ice Age . It was 12,000 years ago when Paleo-Indians were navigating the lumps of melting ice left behind by the retreating glaciers and hunting woolly mammoths and caribou around here.

Mastodons – distant relatives of today’s elephants – saber-tooth tigers and beavers that weighed 500lbs were roaming the region. It wasn’t until the 17th century that Europeans first entered this wilderness west of Lake Superior. They were looking for a route to China and the huge beaver pelts that could be sold for a fortune. The only safe way to travel the waters then was in a canoe.

The reason this is called the Boundary Waters is the United States-Canada border that meanders anders along the region’s northern edge of the region.

Not much has changed in the past 300 years or so. The area has been well protected by legislation, including the 1964 Wilderness Act, which returned this vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to its pristine backcountry heritage.

Outboard engines are outlawed on almost all of the 1,000 lakes. The roads and people who lived here have disappeared. Aircraft are not allowed to fly less than 4,000ft high. In their place have been established  about 2,200 campsites and 1,500 miles of canoe routes.

There are around 250,000 visitors annually but you would not know it because the place is so vast. The signs of human presence are few and far between. Look down when you fly high above it and what you will see is a green carpet, cut into occasionally by a few glaciers. When you are on the water it feels like you are in another time. Nature becomes the world and we humans are lucky guests.

The local Ojibwe (aka Chippewa) tribe still lives in the way it did when it arrived in the 1500s.

What to wear

When you plan to canoe in the waters the advice is to travel as light as possible. For clothes yo8u should bring a pair of pants, a shirt plus one insulating layer and a windbreaker.

When you stop for a camp dry shoes will be appreciated, but staying light is the key on a Boundary Waters trip. When you leave civilization behind, remember you will have to carry whatever you bring and with a canoe on your shoulders! Expect to do a lot of lugging with gear on your back and feet on the trail because you will often have to carry your boat between navigable waters. There are literally dozens of these portages as they are known between the lakes. The majority of portages are just a few hundred yards, but some can stretch for up to a mile.

On top of your few items of clothing you will need a canoe to explore the water, a tent, sleeping pad and bag for sleeping, and a portage pack for your food and kit. It’s also a good idea to ziplock your food and label it by meal and day so you don’t lose track. As you are likely to discover losing track out here is not an uncommon hurdle.

Before you start in earnest, it’s advisable to paddle a section of the International Boundary Route to get used to what is to come. To get to the start of your adventure it is sensible to take a water taxi for the first miles through the perimeter lakes, where motored craft are still permitted .

There’ll be plenty of opportunity to propel yourself. The canoe routes in total measure 1,500 miles. With two people paddling, it’s possible for a Kevlar canoe to average three miles an hour. Rest assured, the rhythmic  motion becomes second nature after a short while.

Everything around you is water or stone or wood. The shorelines is covered in red pine. Granite splits the forest in to two parts. Indeed there are granite bluffs that stand a good 10-storeys high and rise from the depths. In addition, there are flat rocks the size of tennis courts cresting a few feet above the water.

The lakes that make up the Boundary Waters are mainly lined with granite. There are fault lines running through the Kahshahpiwi and Man Chain Lakes, creating perfectly straight greenstone and granite shorelines. Vera Lake is surrounded by jasper, an opaque reddish-brown semi-precious stone. Pink Batholith granite is all around Ensign Lake, and boulders blown off the side of a prehistoric volcano lie at the bottom of Kekekabic Lake.

In one granite cliff between Crane and Sand Point Lakes there is a series of dull red pictographs. These handprints and depictions of a large moose are many hundreds of years old. The Ojibwe artists created the images by combining hematite with sturgeon oil. This mixture chemically binds with rock and is reckoned to last for thousands of years.

Into Canada

When you go through Canadian Customs, you’ll discover it’s not just canoeists who frequent the Boundary Waters. There are fishermen here hopefully landing some of the best bass in the world. If you get the chance for a “shore lunch” it’s an experience. It typically begins with hunks of fresh cornbread smothered with butter and washed down with lemonade. Next expect a platter of breaded and fried walleye, or North American pikeperch, with tartar sauce and potatoes. Dessert can be something like turnovers with rhubarb and strawberry topped with whipped cream.

The border is marked by a silvery benchmark spike embossed with U.S. on one side and CANADA on the other that has been driven into a boulder on the rocky islet on the southern end of Lac La Croix. In the middle of the island there is a pile of rocks that was once a native-American lookout station. It is placed in the middle of the fur traders’ route, so an Indian scout could see any Europeans approaching and signal this to his tribe so they could prepare their valuable furs.

Heading south there are a dozen or so islands where there are campsites. Here, it’s possible to see the  Milky Way’s arc, which is known to the Ojibwe as the Path of Souls, until it disappears into the canopy of shadows on the lake’s other side. The air has the scent of pine and campfire smoke.

Although this is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, it probably has nearer to 20,000, when lakes of less than 10 acres are counted in the total. The Minnesota shoreline measures 45,000 miles. Fully, 8% of Minnesota is water and the other 92% houses on average just 67 people per square mile.

Ely is the capital. Here you will find all manner of craft from sea kayaks and canoes, through skiffs and powerboats, to dories and dinghies leaning against the town’s buildings and in the driveways that line Highway 169.

There is one current threat to the pace and tranquility of the region. After more than 10 years of lobbying, a Chilean mining company, Antofagasta, wants to build a huge sulfide-ore copper mine adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The fears are that the wilderness’s currents could carry toxic pollution from this mine into the lake area .

The Forest Service along with tens of thousands of Boundary Waters’ supporters have made their concerns known, and the project’s future does look less likely every month. But the fact it has even been considered a possibility underlines doubts people who know this place have about the integrity, values and good sense of the 21st century’s so-called civilization.

When you are on the water thoughts like this seem so far away. However, when  you pull up at the end the sounds that return, which can be as simple as a car door shutting, seem so unnatural.

After just a short time in a canoe on the Boundary Waters, everything that isn’t pure nature feels very strange. But, there always has to come a time when we’re beckoned back in to the modern world.