Posts Tagged ‘Montreal’

June & July 2014: Sad and Happy Times

October 20, 2014

So after months of deliberation, we still couldn’t quite sort out what we were going to do. Niagara/Hamilton still had so much appeal due to low housing costs, proximity to Toronto and some fantastic friends … and wine. Toronto itself still felt a bit too expensive and in the long term would mean that saving for things like a house or holidays would be a tad trickier, although job prospects were likely to pay much higher. Blurg.

Then my parents suggested they come get us and at least bring us to Ontario to get us that much closer to actually making a choice. My job hunting from Montreal in the hopes that employment would guide us was not proving fruitful and we really did need to shit or get off the pot.

So we moved. And as we were moving I got the terrible news about my friend Awn which I’ve mentioned in a previous post. And being close to family and old friends seemed like a pretty good idea.

I loved my job at Cult. I felt so proud of the work I was doing and being self-employed was lovely. But Montreal wasn’t right for us on so many levels. It’s an incredible and vibrant city. But it was a heart vs. a head thing and it just never felt like home. There was no sense of permanence and I think you’ve got to listen to those cues.

I think to say that the past few months have been a struggle would be a bit of an understatement but I also feel like I’ve had to tackle worse things. The trip back to Essex County to live with my parents came with a sense of relief because we were actually moving … towards something. My parents generosity was really incredible as we’d likely still be hemmin’ and hawwin’ in Montreal pondering whether to sell everything we owned in order to start over or abuse our friendships in order to make our way to Ontario. But it was also sad. Because I wasn’t going to be the *Assistant Editor* of a culture paper. I was back to square one. Again.

We weren’t even back in the province for a week when we made arrangements to get ourselves to Toronto to head to Awn’s Celebration of Life. I found comfort in cozy things like hot dog stands and the Danforth but the weeks following were pretty much a blur of tying things up with the paper, frustrating job hunting and learning a tune for a much happier occasion, my pal Ryan’s wedding.

We were super chuffed to be asked to sing during their ceremony. Together we chose this tune:

But then we sang it like these ladies:

The ceremony was beautiful, the whole weekend actually was incredible. Ryan is one of my oldest pals. We met in the time of ICQ, via the internets, so to see how far we’ve come and to have a few moments to celebrate was sorely needed and an absolute treat. I’ve loved getting to know his wife Val and all her pals at the wedding were hella awesome. All the photos of the wedding were taken by the talented Juliette Capdevielle (including the one where I was enjoying the joys of tobacco (sorry mum!)) – you should probably go and like her page. Maybe she could capture your special day hmm?

So after a ride on the emo rollercoaster, we decided to have a holiday and join my parents up north in Sauble Beach for a week, where a) we chilled the fuck out and b) decided to make some decisions. And this was where we decided to give Windsor a bash.

We figured: Job hunting sucks everywhere at the moment. Windsor is close to family removing costs for planes, trains, buses for special events like Christmas and allowing for many more fam jams. Houses are all kinds of cheap in Windsor so our future goals are actually at our fingertips. Windsor is right next to Detroit so we won’t miss out on sweet concerts/tours and it’s on the same latitude line as northern California so it’s hella warm compared to pretty much the rest of Canada. Lots of wineries live here and a surprising amount of cute independent businesses. WHY NOT?

So refreshed, we started flat hunting and decided to put the cart before the horse and head out to Windsor, move in and then search for employment while residing in our new home. So much more about this move in my next post.

Roisin’s mum also turned 50 in July so we made her a video. I spared you the French Happy Birthday singin’ and such. But in case you’d find it amusing, enjoy:

So much more later…

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April & May 2014: Melting snow, roller derby and Bombay Bicycle Club

October 15, 2014

2014 was a good year for live music. I forgot to mention that in early January we got to see Neutral Milk Hotel live. That show was out.stand.ing. I never thought I’d get to see them live. I have no photos or videos as we were asked not to take any – and I listened.

In early April we got to see Daughter again, but I have to admit that after seeing them in 2013 at a packed venue with a super enthusiastic crowd, I felt like the show at the Corona really didn’t hold up. It felt like their tunes were sped up and that they’d added extra and unnecessary instrumentation. I’d like to see them again to see if it was just that one show in particular that was a bit off.

April in Montreal this year was quite cold, so I spent some time photographing the snow-melting process and learning how to fishtail braid. When things started to warm up, the roller derby season also began. Roisin and I became pretty committed to watching the sport and supporting the fantastic New Skids on the Block.

news_skids_on_the_block_team_2012

I started some culinary experiments, we went on several epic walks around the city and we began discussing whether or not we should stay in Montreal or move elsewhere. Going to Niagara with Scott the previous month had somewhat ruled that area out as an option and although we love Toronto we weren’t willing to pay the price to live there. So we pondered for hours and hours while we walked about where we’d end up.

Roisin turned 23 and opted for a cheap cherry pie as her “cake” – to each their own. I chopped all my hair off, the snow finally melted by May and we did see Tegan & Sara live again at some point during the month. The importance of that event was shattered by us getting to see Bombay Bicycle Club for the first time. They are indeed my absolute favourite. So good live.

And we ended the month with what would end up being our final Montreal concert: The Courtneys. Where’d we go? Stay tuned.

The set list from the Bombay Bike Club show:
Overdone
It’s Alright Now
Shuffle
Come To
Your Eyes
Lamplight
Evening/Morning
How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep
Home By Now
Feel
Lights Out, Words Gone
Eyes Off You
Whenever, Wherever
Luna
Always Like This
So Long, See You Tomorrow

Encore:
What If
Carry Me

After the gig I got to say hello to Jack and I told him we’d chosen one of his tunes to walk down the aisle to which was pretty neat.

K

November-December 2013: Green hair, Santa and a ring

August 1, 2014

The end of 2013 was pretty eventful.

I started to take advantage of some of the perks of working at Cult by attending a few concerts. First, Polica, who were kind of disappointing. I love their albums but they just didn’t really bring it live. They do a double drum kit scenario (which felt like a bit of gimmick), I felt like the high end wasn’t really covered. But what can you do? It’s a rare thing to get a band that delivers both.

We also saw James Blake which was also kind of disappointing. I don’t really know how to explain it. Roisin and I agree that we maybe would have liked to see him in a more intimate venue. There were some incredible moments – but the concert as a whole wasn’t stellar.

And of course we saw more of the Diamond Bones… who continued to be amazing.

In early November I was finally allowed to decorate for Christmas and we also had a visit from Roisin’s producer/multi-instrumentalist pal Lewis who stayed with us for a few days. We took him to Cora’s and tried to tick some Canadian must-have boxes, like, poutine-eating.

Before the weather got really cold we tried to cram in as many epic long walks as we could. For Montrealers, I’m talkin’ walks from Acadie metro to Vendome – that’s the only thing I really don’t like about the winter. It doesn’t allow for that level of saunter/adventuring.

I almost dumped Roisin because she wouldn’t go to the Santa Claus parade with me, I still bring this up frequently to remind her that she has to make it up to me this year. (A Canadian Santa Claus parade tour?) And we also got a metric poop-ton of snow. A lot, a lot, a lot of snow. Which of course made the long trip to my folk’s place for the holidays extra long and treacherous.

But before we left to hang with family- Roisin performed for the first time at the Wiggle Room‘s Voix-de-Ville variety show and won the whole thing. It was a crazy night. Our landlord showed up for the performance, we got to meet people like Vincent Pimparé and we were entertained by the antics of our host Kitty Vanderbuilt. I think it’s one of the best night’s in Montreal- well worth the $10 cover.

Then I started to play around with manic panic hair dye. I grew tired of the whole ginger thing and thought while I was self-employed it’d be a shout to do things that wouldn’t be allowed in other work environments. It also felt festive ;) I took photos with anything I could find that matched the hair colour because I’m lame.

But the most exciting thing that happened was Roisin asking me to marry her. :O EXCITING!

We’d obviously chatted about it loads but little did I know she’d been planning her proposal throughout the whole year: calling my parents to ask their permission and working with meshu.io asking them to make a ring (which they initially said no to as they hadn’t made any before – Roisin’s suggestion has now turned into more business for them as they now make sterling and nylon rings).

She hid the ring in an hollowed-out antique leather bound copy of Alice in Wonderland which I opened on Christmas eve. I didn’t see it coming at all. It took me way too long to say “yes” as I felt compelled to repeatedly say “Really?! Oh my god! Really?! WHAT?!” I’m the worst.

The ring is a map of where I lived in Edinburgh, where we first met (Boda) and where we went on our first date. So thoughtful, so personal *swoon*. My lady is indeed the best lady.