Last modified: mardi, 02 septembre 2003
Beginning of September 2003
Ok, I'm going to try and give news more regularly now on... maybe.
So, on top of finishing a very busy month professionnaly, I've just finished a very busy month socially: I have let down karate a bit and I hope that it's going to start again at the Y (YMCA gym) near my place so I don't have to go to Université de Montréal's CEPSUM. The instructor gets a bit on my nerves I must admit. I liked the ones who replaced him during his holidays better. I've also kept roller-blading with Karine and today with Magali.
I've finally almost got everything sorted in my "new" appartement and I've started Pilates classes... well, so far I only went to one class, but I'm suppose to keep at it. All the classes should go back to normal as from this week but I'll go back seriously only next week as i'm about to go away.
I've shot the first "vox pop" for our tv program "Le Nouveau Monde" (The New World) so I've had my first experiences as "reporter" and also camera-woman. Cool! Since then I've also recorded my first intervension as tv "columnist" and it will be online soon. I talk about the climate in Québec.
Karine has gone on holidays for 2 weeks, but I've been very busy socially with new acquaintances through the tv program: Matthias from Belgium, Magali from Frnce et Karim fomr the Ivory Coast. There are also the Quebec girls Isabelle (director) and Nathalie (researcher). I've gone back also to participate a bit more to Laurent & Laurence's immigration site, that I had let down a bit. I meet a whole bunch of these on Saturday on Sainte-Hélène island.
I've signed up to Communauto to be able to rend cars when I want, even for a few hours. So, I went to Gatineau, near Ottawa with Jean-Philippe (from the immigration site) for a hot-air balloon trip. We were up at 4:30 am hoping to be in the air à 6 am but the morning flight was cancelled for lack of wind or too much, I'm not sure. It's difficult to have the right conditions to fly a hot-ail balloon. So we had to wait for the evenir flight at 6 pm. BUt it was worth it. Incredibly beautiful. I hope the pictures will come out ok. Then I drove back to Montréal. 21h awake in a row, that's a lot. I arrived here totally wrecked.
Today I went roller-blading with Magali. Tomorrow I see Karim to organise our recording about chatting up in Québec. The whole thing doesn't look too good as it was supposed to be later and I don't have time this week as I'm leavinf on Friday.
Indeed, I'm going to explore the North-Coast of Québec during a week on my own. I've booked cool hotels along the way, in Tadoussac and in Sept-Îles, then a little house in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan during 3 days where I'll see whales with the research station Rorqual and then I'll go to Natashquan to see the end of the road and I'll come back through Baie-Comeau and Saint-Irénée, where I want to buy a piece of land someday. Here's for my projects for now. We've got loads of other projects with Magali to, cycling and so on. In other words, no time to breathe. But that's cool!.
Mid August 2003
Oh boy! Indeed I've got some time to catch up here... :) Last news dated back end of Avril! Many things happened since then again!
I had left my story when I was studying Middle-Ages and I was preparing my long stay in France. So I'll go on
End of April - Beginning of May
I've continued to see Karine and the girls (Sophie and Béa) and to do yoga, karaté (I have now my yellow belt), taï-chi and singing. I was alos quite a lot on Lonely Planet également forum in April but it didn't last long. I've got to know a 'captain' there that I then met in Paris. Nice but no love at first site so, according to my principles now on, i don't even try if there's no love at first site :) I've also of course been busy organising little meals and parties to say a temporary good-bye to my friends here. I was really happy that Deb drove me to the airport! It's cool to finaly have friends that are intimate enough to really feel that I finaly have a real social life.
I've worked a lot on hotels descriptions for Expedia Web site.
I spend the whole month of May in France. First in Paris with Marie-Pierre. The mission for these 2 first days in France was to find something to wear for my sister's wedding in June. Which I did between seeing moving with my cousin Julien. I in fact worked a lot in May despite being back in France, which was planned as I couldn't possibly just take 2 months off. In fact I could have, but didn't really feel like it. This stay was intended to see if I could indeed work at my parent's place in Le Mans. ANd yes, no problem, but in fact it will be better to have a whole week maybe without any work at all... maybe... or less work at least.
And Prune and Thomas (My cousin Jérome and Jeannick's baby) are growing up ...
We have celebrated Prune's 1st birthday as well as my sister's hen night. It was nice to see my syster's friends again that I knew already and who were all curious about my life in Canada. The level of stress in the family preceding the wedding didn't let me really relax and enjoy France. Maybe next time... Maybe. In any case, the family stress, work and a cold made me cancel my historical trips of London and Paris really. I should really take a whole month to visit England to visit Oxford and Cambridge and maybe even go back to Scotland, at my own pace. I still enjoyed seeing again many old friends of my parents'. It was cool to see people that have known me for a long time. I spend 4 or 5 days in Paris in May but I had lot of work and a cold. I still managed to see my aunt quickly as I had promised myself and I spend several days with Sylvie which is always nice. I was able to relive the joys of endless strikes in France the whole month. Boy, I'm happy only to be here as tourist now. I haven't really seen Jérome and Jeannick as I wanted but I hope I'll be more able to next tiem. The professionnal piece of news of the end of May was to get a new contract with the publishing company La Chenelière to translate a book on parenting and children development. Karine studied a bit in this area, so it was really good opportunity for us to work together again. She reviewed me.
So June meant my sister's wedding and Prune's baptism.
The crazyness of the wedding preparation were at their peak of course and it was rather amusing to see all the mothers get involved in what meant so much more in the past than nowadays. Well, the wedding arrived and was finished in a blink. The ceremony was very late, 5 pm, and everything was done before we had time to realize it. It was a completely crazy experience, not that totally enjoyable! It was nice to see all the people at the same time and same place that I hadn't seen for so long for most of them. But it was so short. Well, it makes one feels like spending more time with every one of them, which I did a bit. I saw lots of friends of my parents, of my sister's and of mine too during this long stay in France and I hope I'll take more laid-back time to see them again in the future.
BUt I still managed to spend a few quiet days working at my sister's place and discovering my niece a bit more:
Mid June meant other celebrations: my 30th birthday. Ger, Aileen and Dom came from Ireland, Peggy, Laetita and Claire from Nantes and some of family were also there for me. We finally met at my sister's, in the countryside in the middle of nowhere in a beautiful, very hot summer sunday. So that the Irish see a bit of France, I went with them to Angers where I used to studay, and in the medieval old town of Le Mans of course and to Le Mont Saint-Michel on their last day. It was so nice to see them all for my birthday, even if a bit disappointing not to see some others, but time flyes so fast and it was already 2 months ago! I really wanted to come back to Montréal back then, but I would have loved to have more quality time with my old friends too. It will maybe be easier next time. I haven't really got lots of time to see my nanny. But I think that It will never be enough ever again since we still spend time together at the wedding and the day after, but she couldn't make it to my birthday. Maybe I would have been to moved anyway.
I finally came back to Montréal on June 19th and a crazy schedule started right away. Lots of work to catch up with the last 2 celebration weeks and family life weeks and then it was release day for HARRY POTTER V, which was not really a coincidence with my return date. Karine's birthday was on 21th and I saw Deb as soon as the 22nd. So I didn't have time to catch my breath at all. Summer in Québec is always filled with activity and events.
On 25th it was also the first meeting for the tv programme on immigration with Isabelle to which I volunteer thanks to Laurence from the immigration site. The Jazz festival did once again prevent me from going to bed early, but Harry Potter had already quite disrupt my sleeping pattern anyway as I had to finish it to be able to go on with my work. As summer is synonymous with maximum activities, I also was invited to a week-end at Laurence and Laurent's house on Champlain lake. And at my biggest surprise and joy, Laurent was desperate to try his boat. A few days later, I was also discovering Montréal by plane with the same crowd. I'll fly myself too one day, as soon as I have time to start the classes.
And here's July that starts already and to top up my feeling of dizzinessa and crazyness, a series of circumstances completely unexpected got me to lead me, once again, in Garou's "arms". Indeed, I learned completely by chance a few days before the show, that he was giving a very small concert very close to my place. I finally managed to go to the private party afterwards thanks to my unexplainable luck where I had Garou under my nose until 4 am. I had hoped this type of opportunity but reality was there to remind me that time hadn't come yet for a romantic episode, not forgettign the few girls and other people hanging from this neck all the time. What a weird life, these famous people have. So well, as fate seems to find funy to make me meet him regularly, I should be seeing him again one day anyway. As there was no way to let down the crazy activity rythm of the summer, Karine and I motivated each other to improve our roller-blading skills or lack of skills once a week. Shant was also there from time to time to take me to a restaurant and chat. And still my hotels translations for Expedia with some Microsoft and the children book.
The 2 last weeks of July, my young friend Lara, from Spain, met virtually a few years before came do visit. I still had lots of work and this visit kept me pretty busy. We had the opportunity to appreciate the yearly fireworks, a rather rainy Montréal and some beautiful sunny days all the same. After an eventful departure (a cancelled flight and a replacement flight the next days which was 5 hours late), she managed to get back to her native Asturias, leaving me being taken again by the whirlpool of summer activities: my moving to the appartment just above mine. So I'm now in the exact same appartment as before with the same cool view but on the 19th floor, witch means no neighbours upstairs!. Supreme joy! The moving came with the usual number of annoyances: darling sofa that doesn't fit in the elevator, it's hot and I have 30 000 things to do and lots of people to see. Which I manage to do in fact very mysteriously (Jean-Philippe, Karine, Sophie, Shant) and still going to karaté and singing. I did give up yoga and taï-chi quite a lot this summer but I'll go back soon.
And meanwhile, Prune grows up:
Here is the month of August that is already well on its way and which saw me be a camera-woman for the first time, in a rather unexpected way. Which is totally to please me in fact. Then not to lose the rythm, Karine and I decided to go to the Easterntownship where she's from and where I've never been yet. So I discover for the first time, less than 2 hours from Montréal, Magog and Sherbrooke that I've heard so much about. Renting a car and practice my drinving in Montréal was all I needed to trigger the irresistible desire to discover more of Québec. But first, I must finish to get properly installed in my apartment and to finish translating the book about kids.
Work has finaly calmed down a bit but I have got a new client in Seattle thanks to Odile and my month of August is already filled with projects before it has even started. For a few days, I'm gone back to my desire to help my dear Earth, but I don't know how and I have lots of projects in my head to try and make happen before Septembre. How things went fast! My projects: hot-air balloon trip in Gatineau at the end of August and going to see whales in Mingan at the end of Septembre. It's at 1000 km hight there following the Saint-Laurent coast. Magali (my new French friend and translator who also participates to the tv program) would like to go kayaking and to New York. Deb would like to go trecking in Mont tremblant and do a barbecue. Shant is still fathering is bird and would like to join Karine and I to roller-blade and I'm sure I'll see him from time to time to go have dinner somewhere. In other words, summer should be finished before I have time to realize it and it will then soon be the Indian Summer. Then it will be Nicola's visit at the end of October beginning her world tour and then Winter! And not doubt a whole host of other surprises!! Life's beautiful when one is free!!
And Prune keeps growing up:
Beginning of April 2003
Like February, March was really good for work and I almost did half of this planned year budget, but I'm also spending a lot.
I went to the Peace march with Shant and saw him quite a lot actually.
I'm really happy about having started to read again. I'm into history reading right now as I'm more or less planning to write stories set in the Middle-Ages like in Bruge or Venice and found out cool things about Le Mans. In other words I went balistic in buying books online. Dear Amazon.com! I've also got crazy getting stones over the internet to mend my favorite necklace that I broke in the cargo during the storm.
I have seen Deb a lot too, we went walking on Saint-Helen island, to the botanic gardens to see the butterflies, on Mont-Royal before the snow had all melted and to the HydroQuébec electricity museum.
I'm now trying to get organized for my almost 2 months in Europe and trying to plan my stays in Paris and London. This is not going as easily as one could think as everybody seems to have taken their holidays in May and June. Oh well... since I've ordered books on the history of Paris and London, I won't mind spending a lot of time by myself and exploring.
And Purne keeps growing up:
Beginning of March 2003
Ok, It's quite true that I haven't updated this little online diary for a long lont time. Oh well... better late than...
Ok, so lets count down:
- March 2003 is looking good. Lots of work and a montly average far above last year's.
I'm seeing the "girls" quite often (Karine, Sophie and Béatrice, all ex-Berlitz or still there like Karine). Deborah has come back from her 2 months in Australia and Shant from his 3 weeks in Mexico. We should all meet at René's soon. Minh had a little girl a month ago. I saw him last Thursday. I hadn't seen him for months before that. I receive news from Ger and Ireland often. It feels good. I started to invite people for my 30th birtday. According to the latest news, the Irish are interested. I would be so good to see them then. We should go to my sister's in the country side. I'll be in France almost 2 months (several days in Paris and London) while still working of course, since I now know that it's really possible. What a dream freedom.
I'm quite busy with work and my quite cool social life and all my classes : karate, taï-chi, singing and yoga, I'm also supposed to go to the gym twice a week but I haven't keep up with that, besides I'm supposed to start Qi Gong. All these activities are quite good as they make me get out of my place, since, when one's free-lance working from home, it's quite easy to stay home.
As for work, I translate a lot in tourism for Expedia, in technology for Philips and in economics on a school book that i've just finished. Very different and interesting.
And Prune grows up...
- February 2003. Work has started again quite energetically. I had an incredibl month! Good!! :) It was the week of Québec cinema, but I had lots of work and, with the classes, I couldn't really take advantage of it. Too bad... next time.
I also saw Tanya again, with whom I have to force myself to speak French because that's good for her. I should go back to my Russian too. I don't have quite the time to read anymore and not at all to write, but I hope I'll manage to get organized and save a regular schedule to read.
I spent 10 days in California fo a 2 days conference about translation in the entertainement industry in Los Angeles, and I atttempted the ATA (American Translator Association) accreditation exam. The whole point was also obviously to visit LA and I met Odile there also by chance as she contacted me just before my getting there. She lives in Oceanside between LA and San Diego. We visited the area together (La Jolla, San Diego, Laguna Beach...), It was so very nice. Besides I could thus check my project of leaving regularly this way to visit the planet while still working; and indeed, as I had received lots of work before leaving, I managed to work anywhere on my laptop. Cool! In the plane, in the airports, in the train, in my hotel room, in my rented car parked along a Malibu beach, and so on. Perfect life my friends!!!
On a less lively note, it was also the month when my father's mother died We knew this was coming but it's always shocking somehow.
- January 2003 was rather calm in comparison which was a good thing after a busy month of December and before a crazy month of February. Perfect to take the time to organize everything for this new year. Séverine was back in France for heath reason. I thought that was the beginning of a long friendship, but it could be difficult.
And Prune grows up...
- The month of Decembre 2002 was very busy as I celebrated my first year back in Montréal, I got my Canadian driving license and I got ready to go to France for Christmas.
I stayed in France 3 weeks. I had to be there for my niece's first Christmas. I took advance of this stay to visit Sylvie in Paris as I now almost always do; I also saw Marie-Pierre. Jérome and Jeannick had their baby on December 25th and I saw my father's mother for the last time.
- Novembre 2002 was rather quiet even if work started to get serious again. It was also the month of the cinema release of the 2nd Harry Potter. Important in the sense that I spent loads of time writing stories of this kind during my free-time.
And Prune grows up:
- Octobre 2002 was marked by my parents' whole month visit. It was cool and corresponded exactly with one of my slowest month after the problems I had with Berlitz Montréal. We took advantage of this to go a week in Baie Saint-Paul in a cool small house on the banks of the St-Lawrence river.
I decided that I'd like to eventually get a little house in Saint-Iréné. My parents could therefore get a glimpse of my new life here and convince me to finish taking care of issues like getting insurances and so on.
The months ofOctobre and Septembre were also my "intense writing months". I kept busy inventing a variation of the 4th Harry Potter book.
- Septembre 2002 was a bit stressing somehow since I got to know that Berlitz Montréal's new linguistic director (a nuts as it became quickly obvious, she got fired since then) fired me in a sense for rather doubtfull reasons. The director of the office and the production manager did resigned also. So things do change quickly here. The month had been financially very good anyway and I had already completed my year budget. So no worries.
And Prune grows up....
I went for a week-end on the banks of the Champlain lake with Laurence and Laurent from the immigration site as well as the other writers of the site like me. It was very cool and I since then kept in touch with Sébastien and Jean-Philippe.
I also finaly got my sofa delivered and I started to better organize my "eating" habits. Weather was wonderful, a beautiful, hot and sunny 4-month summer. Incroyable! I was dying for natural warmth after these 3 years en Ireland.
And the baby keeps changing.... :)
- August 2002 was the month when I really furnished and tidied the appartment, among which 3 artificial trees that i'm very proud of : a superb willow tree and 2 maple trees. The month of August was also my record month with 12,000$ earnings!
I also "discovered" Harry Potter, after years trying hard to ignore the phenomenon. But chance had decided that I was to translated part of the 2nd HP video game, and I felt it was only professionnal to read the books. And I loved them! It almost became an obsession like everything I get to like and I reread the 4 books twice, and it really gave me the urget o write.
I really discovered the joys of being free-lance at home and being able to work outside in parks whenever I felt. There was aslo a special cycle of Western movies at the cinémathèque québécoise and I really couldn't miss that! I also started singing lesson and I finally improved which I'm very happy about.
The weather was really beautiful and hot and I really appreciated being on the 18th floor with the ability to have all the windows always open for a continuous draught of airand I didn't suffer from the heat like other did. I however absolutely didn't go for a tan :) :)
And the baby changes.....
Well, holidays seem already far away, and I've already achieved lots of things since I'm back.
I spent 2 weeks in Le Mans and vicinity ;-) and saw all the family and obviously little Prune (whose pictures you can see on the main page by following the line Prune, to go back there click on the little Québec flag.) This is not the type of very relaxing holidays since I never really have the time to rest and do what I'd like but it was good to see the family. My mother made curtains for my apartment here and my grand-mothers discovered the great-grand-daughter.
I also spent 3 days with Sylvie in Paris, and that was really great : theatre, cinema, shopping and visiting Paris...
My return here was absolutely crazy since there were big changes awaiting my in Berlitz ... as usual, and since I had to unpack all my stuff and settle in my new apartment.
And all this with the Jazz festival under my windows. Not really relaxing... Now we have the Just for Laugh festival on Saint-Denis, then in a few weeks the Francofolies festival on Place des Arts again, then the Films du monde festival close by. etc... Summer is short in Québec but very busy... Contrary to what I thought I do love the summer too here. There was a storm 2 days ago with lots of lightning. That was cool
It was a bit strange to discover all this new people in Berlitz, among which my new 'boss', Marie-Andrée. She is the linguistic manager and is very cool and fun. She's in charge of the relationships between Berlitz and it's free-lance resources among other things. So she's the one making sure external resources get work and in exchange are available to work for Berlitz. I've got lots of work and I'm making lots of money, especially that Lionbridge also managed to pay me eventually.
Besides, the big news, is since last week, I'm working almost exclusively from home. I still go to see them almost everyday to take a break and to keep in touch.
I also managed to see Henri for the second time and also Deb, Shant and co recently and maybe also this week-end, Romain, Séverine and Yoann, I've even met Sonia, Alain's colleague and himself also for lunch yesterday and I'm seeing Karine, the localization coordinator at Berlitz quite a lot and Suzanne also. I've also finally managed to go and check out a yoga class, I'll start Saturday more than likely. Being at home all day is also helping me organizing lots of little things that I had left on the side for a while (writing this :), scanning pictures, tidying, looking at my accounts, etc...)
The apartment is being organized and furnished little by little. I bought myself a cool desk and shelves for my books. I just ordered a sofa-bed and I'm really looking forward to receiving it in 2 months. I got a high speed Internet connection installed and I'm going shopping with Séverine tonight to by more furniture, a lamp, etc. It's so great to finally buying furniture that I will keep and of being financially able to do it too.
So here we go, everything is going more than alright and much faster than I thought in fact. Maybe, eventually my little house one the shore of the Saint-Laurent in Charlevoix is not so far away after all...
Well, that's it. I'm in France. Tomorrow I'm 29... Good God! Well... I supposedly look much less :)
Work went on pretty hectically the whole month of May and it doesn't look like it's going to slow down any time soon. Good!. The 2 other Berlitz offices in North America (New York et Santa Monika) are firing big time so lots of work is coming to Montréal since Canadian dollar is much more interesting. So lots of contracts are signed and they're even going to have to hire a whole new team to cope with the work load. Most of my translation for Lionbridge is done; there are only 2 updates left, one in June and one in July. In other words, I started the month really tired. It was hard time to go on holidays
I was moving in my new apartment at the beginning of the month, on the 18th floor on Sherbrooke. The view is wonderful and it's exactly the exposition I wanted. I should be pretty proud of myself. But with being so tired and my holidays in France coming up, I didn't have much time to appreciate the place; but more to notice the bad sides of it. It's pretty noisy in spite of being high up because Sherbrooke is a very busy street and Québec art of insulation is pretty inexistent; the air conditioning hole opens right in the bedroom so, unless I have it installed, I have in fact a big 80x60 cm hole in the wall that gives right on the balcony. It feels like sleeping on the balcony. I don't want to know how it would be in the winter! I will have to fill it in with insulating things. The neighbor upstairs has a 5 year old kids that runs pretty often between 8 and 10, right when I would like to relax. I knew I should have taken a last floor. But well... one can't have everything.... right away ;-) Supposedly they're in only 6 months a year... so ... I look forward for the winter :) I'm right above the UQAM and Place des Arts. I will be right above the jazz festival.
My stuff from France which has been ready for the past 6 months have finally been delivered. I wanted to be a bit more permanently settled to have them shipped. Of course, THE DAY when they were to be delivered, the 2 elevators of the building were out of order ! As a result the movers had to deliver the day I was to leave for France!
Well, I'm now on holidays and I'm going to try to sleep a lot to go back to Montréal in grand form. Everything should be cool since the biggest changes are done : the new computer and the new connections to organize myself without Berlitz if need be; the moving in and the tasks of changing address and opening of phone line etc; (I'll have the rest of the summer to furnish and get my high speed connection WITHOUT Sympatico with whom I had SOOO many problem: they managed to make 5 different mistakes in a month and NOT get me the right modem!); the organizing of the company is now finished (I just have to get myself to send the correct papers to the accountant regularly...);
Important tasks to come : find a gym, a yoga class and some singing class. Which has been planned for the past 6 months !
God, I'm running late on this. I must say that I'm still very busy. Which is a good think I suppose. I started to work for Lionbridge in Dublin on some Microsoft projects of course and on top of my regular work for Berlitz in Montréal. it's cool to go back to do things one's used to and that therefore feel easy. I guess that this is what everyone is after : experience.
The month of April for us ended on the end of Oracle in Berlitz. Denis, the pro independent Québec terminologist got fired. There are only Christine, Suzanne, Isabelle and me from the original Oracle team. In other words, the cleaning was properly done. I started some BerlitzGlobalNet University courses but they were ended by Denis' departure.
The month of May seems to be the beginning of my real carrier as a free-lance translator since Berlitz is starting to give me translations paid by the word. This seems to completely change their way of doing things and there is a reorganization wind everywhere. There are lots of big contracts that are coming. Business is good. I translated for Home Depot which is coming to Québec big time, for Mitel, Electronic Arts (video games) and I did some localization work for Minh too.
Apart from that, as far as my social life is concerned, I've met Marc-Sébastien, Curveball on the immigration chat board. We spent a good time in a Old Montréal restaurant. My landlord came back almost 2 weeks but wasn't staying at the apartment, thanks god. I told him that I was moving out at the end of may and that he will have to find someone else; I've met Isabelle with Romain, but I haven't seen her since. I'm becoming pretty good friend with Séverine, one of Romain's friends. Romain and I are still going to our Salsa class on Tuesdays. I had to join the second session. I'm still getting along as well with Minh. I see Shant from time to time and Deb more and more often. That's cool. It's still the great 'love story' with my colleague Suzanne. That's fun.
In fact I thought I hadn't done much these past few weeks except working but I still managed to go brunching with Séverine, Yoann, and then Deb and go to 2 barbecues, un with Shant at his Greek friend's Bob and one at Minh's place with Berlitz people.
Obviously the BIG news of the month is the birth of my little niece Prune who's born on Saturday 11th May at 6pm French time. I look forward to cuddle her a lot. That will be in June during my holidays which I should spend mostly at my sister's place. Then I will go to Paris for a few days before coming back to my new home in Montréal where I'll have a lot of furnishing to do.
I should be pretty busy for the weeks to come since I translate MSN 8 for Lionbridge during 3 weeks and then I leave for France. Thanks god I just bought my new laptop as well as Trados. So I'm all ready.
In any case, everything's cool, almost all my little life is organized and is falling into place. I've been relocalized as they say.
Start of April
This month is finished already. God. And it's not because it is shorter than the other ones though...
In any case, Ger's visit already seems far away. He's still thinking of his trip around the world.
I got my cast off my wrist and it is working 98% of its capacities. I had a bone analysis to see if I had any bone problems. I'll have the results in may.
Oracle has finally dumped Berlitz . Suzanne and I should be transferred to Gabriel's team. in any case we're enjoying our wonderful office on the 23rd floor. I'm working lots of hours. The girls in the team are almost all gone, either in maternity leave or resigned or should soon be fired. I'm still seen Minh a lot. As I don't know if I'll keep having work full time, I started to look for other clients. I'm in contact with Lionbridge in Dublin for some QAs and some potential translations... we'll see.
The big news of the month is that I've found an apartment for the 1st of June. I could say the apartment of my dreams, but let's wait to move in to be sure ;-) It is on Sherbrooke close to Avenue du Parc. In other words, exactly where I wanted to be. On the 18th floor with 3 wonderful views: towards the river and the Jacques Cartier bridge, towards the centre and towards Mont Royal. I'll have 1/3 of the rent charged to the company since I'll be working from it too.
I finally managed to understand the tax system here. That took me 2 visits to my accountant and 2 phone calls! Everything should be ok. I pay in the end 27.5% taxes all in all (whether that be employer's expenses since I'm an incorporated company, or taxes on revenues).
I haven't seen Shant for a long time but I'm seen Deb again. Cool!.
I had starting thinking of buying an apartment but I had to give up. I would have to find 35% of the price and what I want will be between 150 000$ and 200 000$. Too bad. Prices are rocketing here.
I went back to Ottawa to visit the museum of civilization with Romain and friends of his, Céline and Pascal. Very nice.
Isabelle has just arrived by boat. Some friends go, some arrive...
I'm going to France in June for 3 weeks. I'm looking forward to experience something completely new : my very first, very little, very new little niece!
And here's the month of March that has already started. God, time flies! Marine from Berlitz Paris was in Montréal to help us with our problems with Oracle. I since then quite get close to a colleague, Minh, French with Vietnamese origins. We often go to restaurants together. Work is getting better and Suzanne and I are getting quite a lot of compliments. We must admit that the team we inherited is quite impossible.
I went to Ottawa with Marine, Romain and David to try and iceskate on the Rideau canal but there was too much people and the ice was not strong enough.
I take salsa classes with Romain. It's interesting but not really my cup of tea, I'd rather do something like karaté.
My account problems got finally sorted and I finally have access ot my money here. It was high time.
Shant, Deb, René and I, got together an evening like 5 years ago. It was cool.
Ger, taking advantage of a working trip to Seattle, came here for a week with me. It was cool and bizarre. He like Montréal a lot and above all my flat.
David, Yoann, Romain, Séverine, Ingrid and I went for a week-end on a chalet in the Laurentides. It was nice to see snow no doubt for one of the last times this year since it hardly snowed in Montréal. I had a big argument with David. It's better like this. I don't have any intention to get my life here poluted with people that make me feel bad.
And here it goes, January is finished... I could say at last... as it was full of events. I keep meeting people and going out at the same time as working as a reviewer inhouse at Berlitz now. I started my 'incorporated' business now. I have finally moved into "my" apartment until July. I also have my right arm in a cast and I've just come out of food poisoning. BUt apart from that, everything's fine :)
Last week-end I went to Québec with Marine and Alain, it was nice to see more snow and the Saint-Laurent even more impressive than in Montréal.
Now I'm settled. I've moved in the apartment and I've got a job as free-lance reviewer at Berlitz. I'm still meeting lots of people and going out quite a lot. I also have a cast on my right hand and I've just recovered from food poisoning :) Last week-end I was in Québec. It was great to see a bit more snow than in Montréal.
At last, I'm back in Montréal, I'm trying for now to organize my life. It's not as easy as it may seem. I've already met lots of people and I'm not going to sleep to early these days so I've some trouble being very efficient with down-to-earth matters and It's pretty hard to realize that I'm here at last.