Posts Tagged ‘Quebec’

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…


Tegan & Sara @Metropolis Montreal, QC December 16th, 2012

April 23, 2013

I’d taken the opportunity on several occasions to remind friends and family how big of a travesty it was that I’d not seen a proper Tegan and Sara concert. My absolute inability to get my shit together- to just bloody see a show- had gone past mere coincidence into ridiculous territory years prior.

I had weddings, funerals, exams, flights- any kind of engagement that you literally could not work around or get out of, on many nights that they were in town playing a gig. So I just kept thinking- “next time…”.

I said “next time” for literally almost 10 years, it luckily never crossed a full decade…
I waited for the next time as they eventually trumped all the music I listened to and became my official favourite, as I played albums so excessively at a previous job that they banned anything prior to ‘The Con’ :(

Finally I got my chance in 2010 at Glastonbury.

To see a Canadian band live, I had to be in England.

I knew it wouldn’t be a full concert experience as it was a festival but I was more than happy to be in attendance. It was a pretty incredible 30 minutes. My highlight of the whole festival.

In the fall after returning to Canada I started to hear the rumblings of a new album approaching. That album was Heartthrob and it meant a tour. Because Roisin is lovely and clearly the best bear, she purchased some tickets for us to attend their December show in Montreal as my Christmas gift, and oohhhhh the best gift he was. We got to hear Heartthrob tunes before the album even came out and enjoy some classics.

The Setlist

I’m Not Your Hero
Back In Your Head
The Con
Walking With A Ghost
So Jealous
Where Does The Good Go
I Was A Fool
Now I’m All Messed Up
Living Room
Feel It In My Bones

Dark Come Soon
Not Tonight
Call It Off
Body Work

I took quite a few videos but you can actually watch higher quality and better clips from the show over at “wojo4hitz”‘s YouTube Channel.

And now I’ve also acquired VIP tickets to see them again this July for the full fledged Heartthrob concert experience. Exciting times.


Update- what I’ve been up to since September…

April 20, 2013

So what have we been up to since we returned from our adventure?-
First of all we spent about a week in Edinburgh saying good bye to friends, getting new snazzy haircuts, and just eating the things we’d miss before we embarked on our trip to Canada.

I was really nervous on the way back because my folks hadn’t met Roisin yet, also this was her first time in Canada so I was just hoping that in general things would work out and be fine.

We ended up spending about 3 weeks with my parents which was lovely- we were welcomed home with chocolate cake and I was given the Wish Book. For anyone who’s not familiar – The Wish Book is the Sears Christmas Catalogue which as children was the most coveted item in our household. I’ve gone to desperate measures to get one… including grabbing an abandoned copy on someone’s front lawn after I’d given them 24hours to claim it. Am I a bad person?

We relaxed and caught up on sleep, enjoyed some North American television and just tried to sort out what our next move would be.

We were trying to decide between heading to Montreal- or going to Toronto. There were definite pros and cons to both.
Montreal- new city for both of us, I had a few friends there and one indicated that I’d not have trouble finding work and that he’d lend a hand, cheaper rent, allure of new experiences.
Toronto- where I lived before heading to the UK, super familiar, loads of pals, more expensive, heard the job market was tricky.

In the end we decided to opt for the new experience and head to Montreal. So I made some appointments to view some flats, and I made arrangements to stay with my friend Brenden for those first few days. Then we said goodbye to my parents (my mum had made yet another chocolate cake for my birthday which was fast approaching- YES!) and we made our way to Toronto for a quick stop before landing in Montreal.

There we stayed with my friend Bevan who I’d not seen in ages and we got to meet her bloody adorable son Zachary. He’s a keeper.
I also set up a night out at a pub I used to frequent to see some of my Toronto pals before we went to Montreal. It was a lovely evening- really short- but so nice- only complaint here is something went wrong which resulted in me having to pay almost $100 for our bill for food I didn’t eat. Jobbies. Roisin and I had purposely not eaten as we were trying to save our pennies as we were unemployed. I’m still not entirely sure what happened there.

Then we finally made it to Montreal. Brenden came and picked us up and we started to sort ourselves out. Roisin had won tickets to see The Gossip from Cult MTL early on so we went to that concert and then I started to get sick. Which was awful. I spent my birthday apartment hunting and trying to eat tasty things like a Cora’s breakfast and poutine… when really I was just feeling horrible. I ended up getting an apartment in a single day- so after a week of X Factor and Jeremy Kyle we bid Brenden farewell and made our way to our new tiny and affordable apartment.

We tried to settle in pretty quickly- a couple of body breaking trips to IKEA allowed up to furnish our wee apartment for about $500. We bought some food, Roisin became absolutely obsessed with this cat available at the local animal rescue called Benjamin because he was said to “not be good with other cats, animals, children”. Luckily our apartment doesn’t allow pets… otherwise I’m sure I’d be struggling with this surly kitty.

We made curtains and Roisin reupholstered our kitchen set- started to make our place feel like home. Roisin also acquired my birthday gift which was a total surprise and the loveliest thing ever- literally a necklace with our Eurotrip lasered into wood. SO COOL.

Then I started to job hunt. I had a few of the most embarrassing interviews of my life. One included a test for Excel- which I know and am good at… but I’d not used Excel since 2009… so I was rusty and I just needed practice. So I failed that big time. I just feel like I was making a bum of myself every bloody time I walked out of the house.

We decorated for Halloween and I got Roisin to carve her first pumpkin- we walked around and tried to get used to our neighbourhood but we weren’t entirely sure how we felt about Montreal. I finally got a job around this time at a call centre. I did this for several reasons.
It was a 10min walk from our house so I didn’t have to pay for a metro pass, it was steady work paying more than minimum wage, it had benefits, and I also figured there’s no way in hell I’d want to stay there- so it was the perfect job to take while I continued to look for something that I’d be better suited for. Something more creative and challenging.

So while I waited for that job to start I spent loads of time with Roisin and … The Sims. It’s her fault. She got me addicted to that game just as I was about to start working. It’s so bloody addictive…

The job was exactly what I thought it would be- it did allow me to gain a new friend, Grainne who did training with me- but she left after 3 weeks … we still keep in touch though which is nice. Woo friends! But yeah, call centre work is brutal. Completely awful.

So I applied and applied for more jobs getting no interviews or call backs… apply apply apply…
Winter came along so we purchased new coats and I dragged Grainne and her bf Donal to the Santa Claus Parade… Roisin hated it and caused one of our strangest arguments. I like some childish fun at times. Christmas is important.

We still weren’t really feeling the city. Roisin was working on new material re: her music so she wasn’t at the stage where she was ready to do gigs and open mics. So we didn’t really have that option for income as she didn’t have enough material ready. My job hunt was continually fruitless so we just comforted ourselves with the company of our two friends, going to see this incredible band The 24th Street Wailers, seeing Brenden when we could at Cult MTL events, for me Christmas – decorating and baking and Roisin improving her music skillz.

The winter really was a blur with only a few highlights. One of them being Roisin’s Christmas gift to me of getting to see Tegan and Sara live headlining. I’ve had years and years of really bad luck seeing them live. It’s a long story… but put it this way I had to wait almost a decade to see them live the first time and that was a Glastonbury so it wasn’t even a full concert experience. But finally- this was a real, full concert weee! And it was amazing!!! (I’ll post more on that this weekend)

Getting to go home for Christmas was incredible as I wasn’t able to be with my family for the last two Christmases. The first I was in Manchester and then the year before I’d been out in the highlands incapable either time of affording the trip home.

It was extra special because my parents were performing with members of the Tea Party for this special charity event in Windsor so I got to see the show. Such a lovely experience. Christmas in general was a win.

We made it home just in time for the worst winter snow storm Montreal had had since the 70s. We honestly were ahead of it just by about 3hours. So much snow. We were so lucky.

Then time has just continued to drift by… we had a chill one for New Years opting to enjoy a steak dinner and each other’s company.

Then on February 20th Roisin had to start her journey back to Edinburgh. She could only stay for 6 months so it was time to get her visa sorted and to do so she had to go back to Scotland.

So I spent the rest of February on my own… continuing with the most fruitless job search ever attempted in history… waiting. Just waiting for news on Roisin…

(More to come ’cause these recaps are huge)