Tuesday, 29 September 2009

A sign of things to come

It has rained all day today. Gets You Wet rain my mother would call this - the type with barely space between the drops. I feel like I've been given a taster of what it will be like to be in the house all day, day after day, week after week. I exaggerate (I hope) but even the dogs look bored.

I have plenty to do, don't get me wrong....ironing, unpacking, cleaning, but it's all BORING. No wonder people 'lunch' and get their nails done - it relieves the tedium. I'm going to have to take something up. Writing, of course. I've already started that but I'm a woman who likes variety - start a million things and finish none - keeps the synapses synapping. Here's my To Do list for today:
- ironing
- find DVDs (in unpacked boxes)
- buy birthday card
- send birthday card
- go to camera shop
- go to knitting shop (don't ask)
- turn pool pump on

Once upon a time not so long ago my To Do list included:
- finish £100m submission
- draft tender for 4 year developer panel
- meet CEO regarding presentation
- write presentation for CEO
- sack someone
The last one's a lie but you get my drift.

I think I'm going through the HolidaysOverThisIsYourLifeNow phase. I'm sure with the help of long brisk walks and a vat of wine I'll get through it and move on to the ThisKnittingPatternIsNice phase.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Meet the parents

My mother keeps asking me if I've met any of the other parents - parents of my daughters. I'm not sure why. Perhaps she thinks that I might have something in common with them. Not necessarily so judging by my most recent encounter with parents of a school friend. In fact, so far from anything in common that I was for once speechless. My husband is often speechless but this is more from choice than necessity so he didn't help the 'conversation'. Needless to say I either need to start loving all things sport or forever alienate myself from some parents. The latter is my natural choice. I think we are a cross between curiosity and novelty so people find us interesting, purely due to our nationality and accent, hence so far I've been invited to gentle yoga (for the chronically unfit), ice hockey ( for the chronically fit) and for tea at a sweet shop ( for the British). When will I meet people like me?

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Seeing the sights

A neighbour, who incidentally seems to drink more wine than me, took me around to see the local places of interest yesterday; places to walk the dogs, places to shop and places to ski. This was punctuated by glasses of the aforementioned and a jolly insight into where I can get both dog poo bags and made-to-order wine. You order 30 bottles (minimum), they brew it, 5 weeks later you 'bottle' it (some law demands this to dodge some tax or some such thing) then, if you have any sense, you order your next 30 to be ready 5 weeks later. Now, here's what I've worked out - this equates to less than 1 bottle per day until the next batch is ready. Whilst I drink lightly my husband is a raging alcoholic(he'll argue that it the other way round but don't listen to him, he's a raging alcoholic) so one bottle a day won't suffice. Do I order 60 bottles? 60 BOTTLES!! I was tormented by the beauty of the system and the thought of ordering 60 bottles of wine and making up some lame excuse about 'having a party' or 'stocking up for Christmas'. Then the answer came to me - I'll get my neighbour to order for me. They are used to her alcoholic ways and better judgement on her than I.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Brunch, or as we know it 'eat all you like'

For my birthday yesterday (I won't harp on about not getting a present from my husband) we all went to Mon Village for brunch. Brunch is an interesting concept - breakfast for lazy people, or lunch for greedy bastards? I could list everything they had on offer but apart from that being boring you wouldn't believe me. Mussels and trifle for goodness' sake. And it was in 2 rooms - hot in one, cold in another. Needless to say we ate until we hated food then waddled home. And still no present.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Furniture disguised as boxes

Hurray, all of my furniture arrived. I successfully managed to direct half of it towards the wrong rooms, due of course to the inadequecies of the removal men labelling boxes as 'clothing' and 'bedding' as opposed to 'teenager grunge gear' or 'Geordie's ill-fitting gear'. Eldest tore through every box marked 'clothing' (including one with only bedding in - toga party?) until she found hers. I have forayed into the first few boxes hoping it would feel a little festive - 'ooh, what's in this box?'. Actually it's receipts for stuff I bought in 2003 and the drip tray for a George Foreman grill I slung 2 years ago.

The other delight of moving continents is guessing what electricals won't work here without a transformer the size of a suitcase. Microwave doesn't work. Youngest is gutted - you need a microwave to cook a Kraft Cheese 'Dinner'. My relief was palpable. Bright yellow sludge with no nutritional, or taste, value. Worse - my GHD straighteners don't work! The disappointment is only slightly diminished by the fact that my coffee machine does. 4th cup of French Roast so far this morning and I'm feeling zingy!
So, realistically an initial rush to empty boxes, followed by the chore of opening some more, followed by storing the rest in the garage. Echoes of the stages of a relationship?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Slowly does it.

An observation which might be grounds to prove that Canadians are indeed 'laid back'. I say 'laid back' rather than laid back because I hate the term 'laid back' so I am distancing myself from it with the '.
Back to my point which I'm sure will offend one or more Canadians but I'm safe in the knowledge that no Canadians, or indeed anyone else, reads this blog so I'm free to offend away. The whole country is geared to be a few degrees slower than anywhere else. Designed so, not just because they can't keep up mind you. As a few examples - speed limits = slower. Boiling a kettle = slower (don't ask me why, or how I worked it out). My hair dryer = slower. I could blow my own hair dry quicker if I could reach. Service in shops (this is where I could cause some offence) = slower. I'll qualify this by referring to a specific case. I went to Hudson yesterday and there was 1 person looking after 3 different shops. Granted they were all next to each other but it was decidedly creepy when I went from the news agent having bought a birthday card from Mrs Nicely to the Ice Cream parlour and Mrs Nicely pops up again. Twins was my first thought, stalker my second. The truth was that she seemed to be either paying 3 rents on shops or covering for fellow shop keepers. I was a bit wary about going into the grocers over the road but apparently Mrs Nicely's services don't stretch that far. My point being - it's just not efficient or speedy to work in three shops at the same time. In the UK we would just shut the other two and have done with it. No ice-cream for you today Miss Youngest!

Monday, 14 September 2009

New old car.

I bought a used car today. I was made to do it by my husband-at-work. Firstly, I don't like to barter. Secondly, i know nothing about cars. Thirdly, I'm in a strange country. So what could make the whole process even more stressful? Perhaps the garage staff only speaking French? Yes indeed - I bought a car today using sign language and facial gestures. I even managed to get it delivered to the house. Who needs to learn French when we have the universal language of gurning.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Ball or Arsehole....

...neither, I want it for my armpits.
You can't seem to buy some things easily here in Saint-Lazare (or perhaps Canada?). Women's spray deodorant, for example. What's all that about? They do men's spray deodorant so it's not to save the planet. What about this one - dog poo bags. Dogs poo here, I've seen them and I presume people don't use bare hands. In the absence of poo bags I sought out nappy sacks - no nappy sacks! No nappy sacks? What do they do with pooey nappies? Straight in the bin in a country where most of the wildlife spend their spare time rummaging through bins? I'm sure the list will grow (bet they don't have sherbet dib dabs either).

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A Geordie actually in Montreal. Well, Saint-Lazare.

Weeks have passed since my last post - weeks filled with packing, disposing, shouting, crying, drinking, more drinking - and at last we are in our house. It's big. It has pool and a pool table. It has no furniture. We are camping here until ours eventually arrives and then we'll have weeks filled with unpacking, disposing, shouting, crying and drinking. We do have 2 very important things though - a TV and the Internet. Hours of babysitting for just $85 a month. Bargain.

This week is my first week alone, though you are never alone with 3 dogs. In fact I'm never even alone in a room - they gather like carrion wherever I sit and their similarity to carrion increases when I have food. They seem to like it here - lots of long rambling walks through the neighbourhood, squirrels to chase, a basement to use as a racetrack, or perhaps Wall of Death is more accurate.

So, camping aside, we are very happy to be here.