The time has come when we must pack our bags and leave Montréal to return to Australia. This past couple weeks has been full of emotions. Happiness that I will again see my family and friends in Australia, excitement and fear over the future and challenges ahead, and of course the sadness of knowing that we will not be living here anymore.
I fell in love with Montréal from the start. And there are many things that I will miss. The unique colourful homes connected wall to wall with their steep staircases, running up Parc du Mont-Royal in the summertime and taking in the city view before running back down to return home, the huge selection of incredible food of all cuisines, the back alleys that stretch for as far as the eye can see, and the amazing group of people we have met through our experience here who have shared a part of their lives with us.
Although we are leaving there will be constant reminders of our Montréal experience. For one, our little one was conceived here. And two, I leave here having finished a yearlong book project about this great city (will fill you in soon I promise!). I have no doubt we will return for a visit. The lure of good food, sights and friendships will be too strong to stay away from for too long. So I won’t say au revoir, but simply à bientôt for now. Thank you Montréal for an amazing experience.
From here we will be taking the long way home. We will travel to the West Coast of Canada to take in the sights of the Canadian Rockies and Vancouver. And then bask in the sunshine of Hawaii for a few days before finally returning home in time for Christmas. I’ll be sure to share a few pictures of our journey with you.
When I first moved to Montréal I was unsure of what I would do in this new city. I had started taking photos a little while before arriving but I was still trying to find my style and feet in the industry. I had plenty of time to fill in my day and was desperate to form some sort of routine so I wouldn’t feel too homesick. Part of that routine was to visit Olive + Gourmando. I would walk to get my morning coffee and a salad to go for lunch. It wasn’t much of a routine but it was something I looked forward to everyday and forced me to leave our temporary apartment for a while.
Recently I was asked to photograph for Olive + Gourmando. Of course I said yes.
The menu is creative and fresh and the place has a feel of quality and substance about it. And still many of the same employees I remember from my first visit are behind the counter serving. A good sign I think. Owners Dyan and Éric have done a great job with their creation. I find the presentation of the food and the interior to be very inspiring.
Anybody who knows me knows that I try to control everything. It’s not something that I’m particularly proud of but it’s part of who I am. This time last year I was trying to control my body. Reid and I were hoping for a little one but it wasn’t happening. Growing up I always thought it would be so easy. You are told to be careful of falling pregnant. But nobody really said it might take a while.
I’ve spent countless nights on my iPhone looking up forums of other women talking about a similar difficulty. I tried to cut this and that out of my diet, started fertility yoga, and talked to a number of doctors. Tears fell on many occasions with Reid by my side. Why is it that I can control so many other things in my life but I can’t control this? What is wrong with me? Are we not fit to be parents? Why is it so easy for some? Many questions went through my mind over and over, often making it difficult to sleep.
Months went by and I was beginning to lose hope. Maybe it will never happen. Has age crept up on me and I missed my window? I always pictured a family of my own but never imagined life without it. Can I be happy and accept that maybe I won’t be a mother?
I don’t know exactly what thoughts were running through Reid’s mind. He is a quiet thinker and always a tower of strength. The positive one saying it will happen. Saying we are doing all we can. And probably more able to accept only two of us being a family.
In July I turned 32. It was on that morning that I found out I was pregnant. As you can imagine it was a pretty amazing day. The smile couldn’t be wiped off my face for over an hour. And every hour I was asking myself if it was real. Of course as the day went on so did my thoughts. What if I’m a bad mother? What if we can’t afford it? Where will we be living? We are still so young. Like I said, it’s part of who I am. While celebrating over dinner I could see the fear in Reid’s eyes also. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts.
I’m happy to say I’m now 17 weeks along. It has been a roller coaster of a ride. The 2 months of morning sickness, changing body, constant craving for salty things and incredibly weird dreams. As hard as it is to actually believe it is real, that there really is a little person inside there, I often find my hand on my stomach now waiting for that little nudge to make themselves known.
I’m not sure if my trying to control things will ever change. But I’m slowly learning that sometimes the most amazing things will happen on their own.
Today it was good friend Valérie’s birthday so we met for lunch at Dinette Triple Crown. This place is pretty cool. A tiny counter located on rue Clark it has only two benches and a handful of chairs to sit. The walls are filled with jars of pickled vegetables and a simple menu on a vintage board hangs above the counter.
Their menu is American style consisting of Southern fried chicken, pulled pork, cornbread, coleslaw and mac & cheese among a few other items.
Seating is limited but the cool part, they pack you a picnic basket which you carry across to Parc de la Petite Italie to enjoy on one of the picnic tables. It comes complete with a table cloth, real crockery and everything you need for an enjoyable picnic lunch. Your drinks (we went with lemonade) are poured into Mason jars for easy carrying. Little bottles of sauce are also provided to add some extra flavour to your meal.
And when you’re finished you just take everything back in the picnic basket to Dinette Triple Crown. It’s a great concept and the perfect thing to do on a nice sunny day like it was today.
Bonne fête Valérie! I hope you enjoyed it and have had a great day x.
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Dinette Triple Crown
6704, rue Clark Montréal
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I’m excited to finally be able to share with you some work I did a little while ago. A new UK magazine launched this week called The Simple Things. It’s a beautiful magazine filled with all those simple things that make life enjoyable and celebrate the things that matter most.
It covers all things from enjoying food with loved ones to growing your own vegetables, making things by hand and escaping to a favourite place to be with your own thoughts.
I’m happy to say that I’m a part of their first issue. I helped with two stories for the issue. The first is a market lunch story about visiting your local market and cheesemonger and finding out about what cheese works best for your menu.
Thank you to Valérie and Marc-Antoine for being my lovely models :)