The Story of My Life so Far - Part 62 - New furniture and new friends in Halifax

in story •  last year  (edited)

This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 61

New Furniture

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

New Friends

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 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48
Part 49 - Part 50 - Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54 - Part 55 - Part 56
Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61

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Your story reminded me how I moved to a foreign land, starting with absolutely nothing. No furniture, no friends, no family to help me along the way. The only place I started was Ikea. The best furniture store that help me to build my little place which I called "Home" :) Absolutely love your article!!

Tabernac! original IKEA furniture!


Yes, indeed! The IKEA store was in fact in Dartmouth, NS. This was the first IKEA store opened in North America, in 1975. I believe the store closed during the 80's.


You have heirloom Ikea furniture? Oh my! Are you going to decide before you 'go' how to split it up between your kids or will you just let them fight it out? 😉


The bed I bought 40 years ago in Nova Scotia is now in our family house, the Abbey, in France.
It is no longer mine only, and my children will not fight to get it back. There are plenty of other items in my house for them to argue about. 😉


Oh right! I forgot the post you did about the plants in your apartment! 😁


How far is that from Wolfville?


Approximatively the same distance as it is from Truro.

Its a good chapter for you life story and i can imagine how tough it is setting up in a new place like that. Your style of writing seems to be very precise and detail oriented prably from your time as an officer and that really carries into your work and adds to the writing.

Wow.. what a beautiful plot. We need to have that type of story writers who put all basic ingredients in their story..Like above.I am highly inspired.@upvoted and resteemed.@vcelier Do you have any idea about international mother language day?If you don't know then visit my blog or click this link is a very touching true story,i am sure you will like it.

Interesting story. I find it very surprising that book shelf purchased in 1979, about 40 years ago is still this eye-catching. That book shelf must have been a top quality one and must have cost a fortune Bro

great read, i like the painting

i like it post very good

Très sympa la peinture!

Whoa! Moving can be quite scary at first, 1979 I don't think my Dad have met my mom, but the way you narrated the story felt like it was yesterday only someone very detailed can do such. Keep waxing strong sir.

So nice work!

beautiful story

I love your writings, it's like watching history unfold on a very personal level. Thank you for taking the time to write here. I was thinking of you yesterday, thinking about your stories, and I wondered what you find most surprising about 2018? So many things have drastically changed over the last few years, and I wondered if you ever envisioned life, such as it is now, when you were a young man? I hope you will take the time someday to write about it.

You have a way of telling stories in a simple way yet embedding enough details in them. By the way, to have kept those remaining furniture from that time in good shape(like the bookshelf) is an amazing thing to do. I'll be waiting for the next episode.

The details with which you narrate your story which happened over 25 years shows how great of a writer you. Few people in the world has your type of gift. I almost clapped after reading this. Waiting on the next one.

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