Where Are We?

August 6, 2019 0 Comments



Well. It’s been a while since my last post. It’s been quite hectic to say the least. I’ve been buried under a never-ending list of things that needed to be done urgently alongside all the usual administration of a household with young children. I haven’t had the time or energy to invest in much else.

In brief, the year started with a fit of insanity or genius where we committed ourselves to the purchase of a new home in Montreal. Most probably insanity. The jury is still out on that. The documentation and paperwork to kick it off brought us straight into tax return season. Six of them between us, all inter-related and to be submitted in a very short window of time. There was a failed attempt to hire a competent accountant. Much stress and weeping over online taxation forms followed whilst being notified of an audit for a previous year we had thought was done and dusted. There went most of spring.

The temperature rose outside and the first tentative green shoots poked up through the ground. I gleefully tore down the clingfilm insulation that I’d painstakingly attached to the drafty windows. The (now annual) task of packing all our belongings up into cardboard box towers began. Items would be lost to use for the next few months. Moving is a massive time sink that dominates the couple of months preceding and following the actual move itself.

This time we had movers to handle the heavy workload and finer details of the day itself. Just as well, for the logistics of purchasing property in Quebec are not for the faint-hearted. Hours and hours were lost chasing notaries and bank officials and discovering extra documentation and fees that suddenly had to be produced at the last minute. It all became a blur culminating in a surreal sit-down with the vendors, ourselves, our interrupting children, and a team of random people who seemed to feel they needed to cram into the room for the signing of the contracts. Then off we went with a folder full of deeds and new keys.

Moving day was long and painful, but as it was a month ahead of Quebec’s official one, it did not involve a heatwave with no air conditioning. As we were purchasing instead of renting, the new apartment was left in a good state. Last year we had slept on mattresses and moved boxes around for two weeks while cleaning and painting away the dirt and stench of smoke left by the previous tenants before the unpacking could even begin. This was a good start, even if standards were low.

Three weeks later as I struggled to unpack the last of the boxes and placate bickering children, the news came that there was more change (and packing) on the immediate horizon. A work-related emergency relocation of my husband to assist on a project meant staying in Montreal with the boys for three weeks myself, then packing up and making a five-and-a-half hour long flight west for an unknown amount of time.

A mere seven weeks after moving into our new (and hopefully final) Montreal apartment… we were leaving. So far it’s involved a week of irritable and exhausted children and adults in a cramped hotel room. The opportunity to drive for the first time since we left Ireland as I took a brief trip up the coast with fighting children in the back of the rental car. There we breathed in salt water and thin mountain air. Finally we were provided with a downtown apartment which will be home until the end of August. In a stroke of luck we got a fancy upgrade when the planned property was flooded. The extra space will hopefully make the difference between surviving or sinking for an extremely cranky, burnt-out family until we return to Montreal.

Where are we? Vancouver. Not the answer I expected to be giving this summer.