montréal Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:47:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Snow Sat, 19 Jan 2013 23:57:55 +0000 plume and piaf playing

Piaf and Plume playing in the snow.

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Espagnole Sun, 06 Jan 2013 22:51:24 +0000 photo

This is an ad for Spanish language courses at Montreal’s biggest English university, which says that learning Spanish might yield you 480 million new friends.
However, I don’t think they would dare to make a similar ad with “Make 1500 million friends by learning English”. That wouldn’t go over well.

Piaf Wed, 12 Dec 2012 22:45:43 +0000 piaf_door3

We have a new dog, Piaf, and she can do this all day long.

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Contest Sat, 14 Aug 2010 14:50:41 +0000 Somebody I follow on Twitter posted a tweet. (You know you should follow me too, don’t you?)

Screen shot 2010-08-14 at 10.36.12

I checked out the original tweet and the contest details and decided to retweet as well, you’ll never know.

Screen shot 2010-08-14 at 10.39.02

And then, on Friday the 13th, I got these tweets:

Screen shot 2010-08-14 at 10.32.20

Yay! I had won!

I never win things but now I did. So on 7 October we’ll be flying in this gigantic plane, the biggest passenger plane in the world, to Paris, making a lot of people jealous. This plane is normally not flying on the Paris-Montreal route, but it’s a special flight celebrating the 60th anniversary of Air France in Canada.

Air France A380 Landing
Air France A380 Landing

Okay, Paris is not my dream destination, that was Thimphu, the capital of the kingdom of Bhutan, who’s former king invented the GNH index, the Gross National Happiness Index. But I’m sure we’re going to have fun.

Now we’re researching a cheap hotel in Paris. If you know one, please leave a comment.

Update: No need for an hotel anymore. A friend offered to loan us her apartment in the centre of Paris for the weekend! Thanks for all the tips, in comments or by email.

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Hammock Sat, 10 Jul 2010 13:44:22 +0000 hammock

Two days ago I bought Alison a hammock for her birthday. I had no idea how I came up with that gift, she never asked for it. Then I saw this photo, taken 3 years ago, that I used for our calendar. Subconsciously I must have been inspired by it.


Unfortunately it rained and thunder-stormed all day yesterday so Alison couldn’t try it out. (Fortunately it cooled things down a bit, after a week of sweltering heat with temperatures of 30-35 and high humidity)

She likes it. She stole my iPad and just read the whole Internet. And Plume likes it too, just as Poupoune did before. She eats her Kong toy and enjoys the rocking motion of the hammock.

Plume is slowly taking over the special place Poupoune had in our lives. I still love Poupoune, but she’s getting older and isn’t as active anymore. She still goes on walks, but usually not in the morning when she’s too stiff of arthritis. She seems reasonable happy although she’s a bit jealous of all the attention Plume gets. To keep her busy we gave her a Kong for own and that seems to have helped.

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Timber! Sat, 26 Jun 2010 14:14:39 +0000 fallen tree

Alison asked if she could use the ladder: “I want to remove the vine out of that almost leafless tree so maybe it will do a bit better.” I went into the basement to get the ladder, which took some effort since I really should clean up, and put it up against the tree for her. Then I went inside to continue my work on the computer.

A few minutes later Alison came in. “Uhm, I think the tree fell down.” I asked if she was okay and then went outside to see what had happened. The tree had snapped off at its base, just below ground. Apparently the reason it didn’t have much leaves was that it had rotted away, probably because the strangling vine had deprived it of nutrients. Fortunately it didn’t fell all the way to the ground which might have injured Alison, but just fell a metre until it rested against the neighbour’s garage. I hate that garage, since it takes away a lot of sun from our garden, but for a change it proved useful.

I interrupted my work, got my electric saw out of the garage, and went up on the garage’s roof to cut the tree in pieces. That went pretty quick and a few hours later the whole tree was in my car and I was underway to deposit it at the Eco Centre at the end of our street. Usually when I come here to deposit debris of one of my renovations it’s very busy with contractors. But today it was Sunday and there was hardly anyone. So I was relatively quick back to work.

Collar Thu, 10 Jun 2010 16:01:33 +0000 plume_regina

We, Plume Regina, declare that our bosses are cruel.

[Long time no post, sorry for that. Twitter ( seems to be easier and faster for quick and dirty updates, and I don’t have much patience/stamina/time for writing longer posts. Excuses, excuses, excuses… I should, there are some things I want to write about, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to writing them.]

Plume is doing well. Not so much today though. She has been sterilized two days ago and was licking her wounds. So Alison thought it was better to put this Elizabethan collar on. Now she’s sitting in her basket —she refuses to lie down— panting at a fast pace. I’m tempting to take the thing off again, she’s right: I am very cruel.

Poupoune and Plume are getting along quite well, the animosity of the first weeks is gone. Poupoune still growls now and then, but they sometimes even touch each other when they’re lying on the bed. Something that never happened with Poupoune and Pepe. Plume’s size makes Poupoune less bossy and I think she secretly likes it. No need for to constantly play the boss.

Plume still tries to play with Poupoune, especially when Poupoune is excited just before we go on a walk —she get much more walks these days—, but Poupoune is still refusing to play. In the dog park Plume sometimes plays with other dogs, but she doesn’t have good social skills. She barks at dogs when she wants to play, but her barking is a bit menacing so the other dogs aren’t sure what to do. She’s much better and quieter with smaller dogs and made some friends with those.

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Smoked Sat, 30 Jan 2010 23:10:43 +0000 smoked fish

Just before Christmas a car was parked in front of our house. On top of the car were some styrofoam boxes placed and two people were pacing next to it, trying to stay warm. I went outside to talk to them. It appeared that the parking spot in front of our house was one of the drop-off points of a fish smoking outfit from Kamouraska. I asked if they had some fish for me, but no, you had to order in advance. However, it didn’t happen often, but today somebody hadn’t picked up their order. If I wanted I could have some of the products they ordered. And so I did. I ended up with half a pound of smoked Anguille de Kamouraska (eel), half a pound of smoked of Omble-de-fontaine (a trout species) and in the little pot are some smoked Octopus in oil. They told me all of it was smoked just one day before. It was excellent.

If one of you want to get some, call or email them. I think they deliver once per month or so, in various places in Montréal.

La Boucanerie
111, rue Principale
St-André de Kamouraska

(418) 493 2929
email: laboucanerie@videotron.qc

Cold Sat, 30 Jan 2010 22:46:11 +0000 these boots are made for walking

Poupoune still doesn’t like it when I put her boots on. But she doesn’t bite me anymore, she just growls and shows her teeth. I can even do it myself now, without Alison holding her in a blanket. When the boots are on she stands frozen for a while in protest, but when the door opens she trots through the hallway, happily wagging her tail. Tadadum, tadadum, tadadum…

It was cold today and after a while, even with her wind proof coat, the cold got to her. She still followed us but with difficulty, and was really happy when we were home and she could shed the clothes and boots and warm up near the fire. Oh wait, we have no fire.

She’s getting older and doesn’t have the energy for really long walks. She has a chronic liver condition, and has only a few more years to live, at most. I’m fearing the moment we have to put her down. Of all the dogs I had in my life, she’s by far the dearest to me.

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Apartment for rent Tue, 08 Dec 2009 04:35:54 +0000 kitchen

If you wondered why it was so quiet here: I was very busy renovating one of our apartments. Among other things I redid the plumbing and the electricity, and re-enforced the kitchen floor. None of that will be visible to the new tenant. But she they will see and hopefully enjoy the gorgeous new kitchen and bathroom. I went a little overboard so it took 3 weeks longer than I had planned. It’s hard to be your own client for a perfectionist like me.

Update: We found tenants through CraigsList, our friends’ network didn’t yield any interested. Let’s hope things work out and they are good tenants.

More photos:


washer and dryer


front room


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