good on you stephen fry!Read More
interesting stats on the most popular websitesRead More
The 2009 Montréal en Lumière Festival and other weekend Highlights
Alex and I have just enjoyed our second weekend in Montréal, in which we have not only managed to complete the furnishing of our apartment but have also celebrated Alex’s birthday in style thanks to the Montréal en Lumières festival. The event, also called the High Lights Festival takes place every year in the city and was started up ten years ago as a celebration of life in the city and to get people energised and out of their houses to raise spirits (and profits) in the midst of the bleak winter months! It lasts from mid February until the start of March and includes live music performances, fine dining experiences, activities for kids, firework displays and a whole lot more.
On Friday evening we went to something called the Soireé au claire de lune (Moonlight Soirée) at the Biodome and Olympic Center. The Biodome is a kind of indoor zoo, a set of self-contained ecosystems containing plants and wildlife from all over the globe. There is a tropical rainforest zone (which feels just as hot and sticky as the real thing). It is particularly atmospheric at night when you catch glimpses of bats flying past your head as well as crocodiles and flamingoes by the water’s edge.
Next is a marine zone, with fairly convincing sea cliffs complete with nesting seagulls and underwater viewing areas to see crabs, starfish and even piranhas.
Then there’s an arctic and antarctic zone where you can see antarctic penguins and arctic birds up close (They are kept separate, in case you are wondering).
Something that really brought the experience to life though was that the centre had employed various actors and improvisation artists to interact with visitors as you wander through.Read More
The beginning of our life in Montréal
J’habite à Montréal. I live in Montréal. It still hasn’t sunk in. It’s been a real surprise to me how easy it was to uproot and set up life in another country. There were a lot of things to do, but none of them were difficult or troublesome. In a future post I will write a list of all the steps we went through to get over here & set up. For now I’ll try to give an overview of the start of our life in Canada.
First of all, I must apologize for the recent radio silence, not only has setting up home in Canada kept us very busy, I haven’t had a laptop to work on (since IBM owned my laptop) or very much in the way of Internet access – only using my N95 and in Internet cafés. I haven’t been able to manage much more than a few Twitter updates. I do have my desktop Mac set up now and we are due to get Internet connectivity on Tuesday so I hope to resume normal service now.
Anyway, the good news is that we have found and moved into a nice apartment in Montréal, we have heating and hot water (although no gas yet due to an unpaid bill by the previous tenant – that’s being worked on). We have social insurance numbers, health insurance numbers, a Canadian bank account and Canadian mobile phones (cellphones). These last four things we were able to sort out all in the first day even though we didn’t have an address yet, which was very impressive.
Most of our time has been spent doing admin and furnishing our apartment – some of which is proving particularly difficult with a low budget and no access to a car! We did find time at the weekend to meet up with my IBM podcasting buddy Jean-Francois Arsenault (JF) who showed us around some of the sights of Montréal such as the 1976 Olympic Stadium and the views from Mont-Royal, the mountain giving the city its name.Read More
some quality amateur/budget films hereRead More