Tuesday, February 28, 2006


So the course at the YMCA that I was going to register for at 8.30 this morning (after being out till 3.30 or so - that was silly) isn't actually running this session... or rather the courses are happening, just not for the level that I want... so now I'm researching other schools to learn French at. Suppose I should have found this out sooner, but still.

I will learn French somehow!

Last weekend's visit was very cool, although due to snow and wind and general weather Rob didn't get in till 4am. It's a good job he phoned in advance and gave Brian the chance to back out on doing the airport run! But all's well that ends well. We spent most of Saturday shopping (it's nice to have another pair of hands to carry groceries) and then went to watch the guys play at Brutopia, which was pretty awesome. They have good beer there. It's a microbrewery (apparently) which means they brew their own stuff. I recommend the raspberry blonde and the ginger beer (yes, proper ginger beer!). It was exciting... I wasn't sure if I liked it at first but, as the Kras crew will affirm, it takes eight tries before you like something and I like to think of myself as patient... :)

I went walking on the mountain the other day. It was very cool! I like having a big hill right in the middle of a city, c'est fun (as the Quebecois say). It was a gorgeous day too, unlike today which is cold... I suppose it is still February. Anyways, lots of people were out sledging and skating and cross-country skiing and just wandering around... there were also a lot of squirrels. I mean a LOT. And they're cheeky little things too - if you stand still for long enough they'll come and sniff at your shoes, trying to make out if you have any food. Or maybe whether you are any food, I'm not sure. It felt like the scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... I was saved by the large group of over-excited school children behind me.

Other than that and the bed that Rob randomly decided I needed (and which I do appreciate, thanks hon) it's been a fairly uneventful week. Now I'm off to get someone to teach me French (you'd think it'd be easy in a bilingual city in a "bilingual" country...)

Coffee is thicker than water...


Saturday, February 18, 2006

I need to get better at updating this

But still, I am now. So better late than never eh?

Let's see... the peppers thing is still a mystery, Cozi said that she would do it but I've heard nothing since... I'm as excited as everybody else to know how that went!

It's almost the end of my French class already. I don't know quite how that happened, but still... we had a Valentine's party the other night, where everyone brought food and we just chatted in French about how we didn't like Valentine's day. I must just say that Maria and Claudia's tortillas and tinga (I think that's how it's spelt) was amazing and I want to be Mexican just so I can make food like that. When this class finishes, I'm thinking of taking a day course (ie one that happens at day rather than at night) so that I feel like I have some structure to my time here (and actually have to get out of bed!)

When I got home from that class, there were a dozen red roses waiting for me :) even though I dislike Valentine's day I appreciate flowers! Spencer didn't though, he came down with bad allergic reactions to the baby's breath (I think) that was in the vase too... ah well. I got flowers and it made me happy! (Thanks Rob)

I saw an awesome band on Wednesday, in this random vegan cafe place. It all felt very French at first, with the little upstairs room and the trio of drums, double bass and accordion/piano... these guys had a very Jeff Buckley kind of sound, Mindy you would have loved it! Then later more members of hte band turned up and it all got crazy... there were two performance poets, the original trio, and a guy who was beat-boxing like nothing I've ever heard before... I bought cds. I'm listening to them. They're good.

In other exciting news, Rob gets in tonight for a long weekend visit (it's some holiday in the US, so he can stay here till Monday night) :) . Brian has very kindly offered to do the airport run for us, because he's cool. I'm appreciative.

That's about all for now. I promise I'll update more next week.

Coffee is thicker than water...


Thursday, February 09, 2006


Was just explaining this to Danielle, who wasn't out on Sunday. She said that the girl is very sweet and lovely and really deserves to have good things from her boyfriend.

I feel this is a recommendation for anyone to meet another cool Durhamite and make her, Miles and myself feel good.

(Peer pressure from one person isn't very effective is it?)

Coffee is thicker than water...


A dozen red peppers

It's a strange title, but let me explain.

I was out the other night in a very cool pub (yes actual pub in North America! I was impressed) watching my housemates play music and celebrating Brian's birthday. A good time was being had, when the ubiquitous friends of friends appeared... one of them, a guy called Miles, looked at my DUMC shirt and asked me in a rather threatening manner what I was doing wearing that shirt. I answered that I was a student at Durham, and how did he know what that was anyway? There followed a long story of him meeting a girl in some country and them getting on really well and blah blah blah... then

"Hey, do you still know people in Durham?"
"Yes, of course I do, why?"
"Do you know anyone crazy enough to deliver a dozen red peppers to this girl sometime? It's like a private joke."
"I know some crazy people, I'll do my best..."

Which resulted in lots of drinks being bought and much handshaking and professing of how cool I am. I knew that already, but it's nice to have it confirmed by drunk semi-randoms :)

There's not much other news. I'm ill and it sucks. But at least I'm not feeling sick any more.

So if anyone is crazy enough to deliver a dozen red peppers to a girl in Durham, with a small message from Miles, let me know. It would make his week I think. Not sure about hers, having never met her, but come on, be nice to the crazy Canadian!
Coffee is thicker than water...


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy February!

Just to say that I haven't forgotten about my blog, but I haven't felt like writing in a while, so I haven't. Here's the update:

French classes are good, my teacher is actually from France which means I can understand him (yay!) as opposed to most people on the street who just sound like they're talking a different language. Although even this guy isn't infallible - he answered a question the other day with "Yup, c'est ca". Hmm. But it's fun, we all talk in French even outside the class because there's people from all over - a Swiss German guy, Mexicans, a Japanese girl... so it's fun. On Valentine's Day we're having a party apparently, with "romantic French music" and things... could be fun!

Rob was here last weekend, yay! It was weird, it had only been three weeks and not the regulation three months... I was excited. I even went out to meet him at the airport (it would've been a metro and two bus journey, but then Brian - one of my housemates - gave me a lift. The thought was still there though!), bought sushi and beer and made brownies with my other housemate Spencer and his friend Danielle... I was a little drunk by the time I went to the airport, but what do you expect at 10.30 on a Friday night?

The problem with weekend visiting is that it's really just Saturday. We went shopping (although I was grumpy about that, sorry) and then went to meet Rob's friend Arlen and went out for dinner, which was very cool and we got to speak French (or me and Arlen did, Rob - even though he knows French - decided to speak English, really confusing the waitresses). Then we sat and watched films at home with people and drank more wine. A good time.

That's all for now, have decided to make an effort to write more often. It's like a new month's resolution, if you will. Oh and if anyone wants to get in touch, both the Warrington and Winnipeg phone numbers that are floating around are forwarded to my mobile phone here, so you can all call me for cheap :) so do! Although I did speak to one guy in Winnipeg who was very confused as to why a Brit in Montreal was answering a Winnipeg phone number... hehehe.

Coffee is thicker than water...