This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
When we arrived in Halifax, we did not bring any furniture. As the apartment we rented was unfurnished, we had to by some furniture, at least a bed, a table and some chairs.
We discovered a Swedish store named IKEA. We had never heard of IKEA, because in 1979, IKEA had not yet open any store in France. The first French IKEA store opened in 1981. These days, there are 32 IKEA stores in France.
We bought a queen size bed at IKEA. This bed is still in one of the bedrooms at the Abbey.
We did not want to buy cheap furniture, so we looked for quality furniture store.
We discovered a French guy that was selling European furniture and household items.
From his store, we bought a table and six chairs, manufactured in Denmark, if I remember correctly. The chairs lasted for 25 years, and the table is still somewhere in my week-end house, but it is not used anymore.
We also bought there a rather large bookcase, that is still in use in my week-end house in Harrison Hot Springs.
Bookcase bought in Halifax in 1979
My predecessor introduced us to their circle of French speaking friends, that quickly became our friends.
I remember two couples from Quebec.
I don't remember the names of the first couple. The husband had been a building contractor and the family had lived for at least seven years in trailers, moving where he found work. He was starting most of his sentences with the phrase "autrement dit" (in other words), and I found that funny.
The other couple was François Delisle and his wife. François was an officer in the Canadian Navy, but he was also an amateur painter. I remember his name, because I bought several of his paintings, including this one that is hung in our bedroom and that I like very much.
As a NATO exchange officer, every month I was allowed to buy free of taxes 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of spirit.
For my birthday, in October 1979, we had invited our new friends for dinner Sunday night. I had bought 12 bottles of French champagne for this occasion. The invitation was for 7PM.
We had cooked all afternoon. At 7:30PM, nobody had arrived yet.
As we knew that in Canada when you are invited for dinner, everybody arrives on time, which is not always the case in France.
So, we called one of our friends to ask what was happening, and we were told that the night before was the end of daylight saving time. Nobody was late, we just did not know what time it was!
In any case, we had a good time during this dinner.
And we had many more dinners with our francophone friends during the three years we stayed in Halifax.
Continue to Part 63
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Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61