Friday, March 23, 2012

What I did on my summer Vacation- ah Staycation.

Burnt orange is in style among the beau monde or The One Percent, as we now refer to them.

Well, we're about to go back to reality. The temperatures from now on, in Montreal, will be closer to seasonal.

My 'summer vacation' is over. No more breakfasting on the porch and eating bbq out there in the evening, not for another month at the very least. It was indeed like a summer vacation. Or summer staycation. Warmth is so relaxing.

March can be the cruelest month, here in Quebec, as you wait for the snow to melt. And watching snow melt is like watching water boil, it just doesn't happen fast enough. But there's no snow in my backyard now. It all melted this past week.

 Not like in 1971 when I was 16. We had a record snowfall on March 3 to 5th. Here I am a day later, when it was hot. I recall we teens just watched as our Dad shoveled us out. My husband has a similar picture, (except he's one year younger in 1971 and about 7 inches shorter!) He says his neighbour came home in a helicopter after that storm.

I lived in Rosemere Quebec (about 17 miles off island North of Montreal).He lived in Hudson Quebec about twice as far away off island going West.  (A few years ago we had a near record snowfall. My husband had to shovel off the roof, twice, which resulted in  our house being encased in a wall of ice until April. Horrible. My dogs had only a little 4 by 4 foot space to pee and poop in front of the house. Disgusting!

I've continued scoping the web for beautiful home interiors (on real estate web sites) and I can say I found another North American City with homes (wealthy homes) as beautifully decorated as New York and California Homes. Montreal! Who would have thunk it!

Montreal may have been deemed the 149th best place to live in Canada (by Moneysense Magazine) but the rich in this city have taste.

My kind of taste. But then again I am a Montrealer.

Westmount, the Plateau, Ville Marie, Old Montreal, the houses for sale on Sotheby's in the area are stupendously decorated.

And they can't all be owned by Guy Laliberte!

Villas in Spain were spectacular too.

I don't get to mingle much with people who live in million dollar homes. Once, years ago, when I was working as a temp on a fundraising project for a museum I saw into that world.

The woman running the venture was about to be divorced (and freaking out a bit) and while we worked on the fundraising, I also helped her with her social activities. She was planning  a party for 140 or so of her closest friends.  She had an A list and a B list.

That was many many moons ago. I also remember the cocktail party for this event, and the society matrons complaining about how hard it was to keep 3 houses going, the city home, the country home, the other home.

I joked that I didn't have even one house. A woman told me, "It will come." But I knew it would not. I knew I'd be lucky to have one home, which I do have. Way out in the burbs. It is very boring here. I hate it, actually.

Anyway, my grandparents Jules and Maria Crepeau, had a nice house in the City at 72 Sherbrooke West. . Here's a picture from the real estate ad online 72 Sherbrooke West is for sale!! What do you know.  It's a triplex, now, three homes, all nicely decorated. Of course. Montreal! (The photo is copyrighted to Centris, as you can see.)

 I have written Milk and Water about my grandparents. The eplay takes place in Montreal in 1927, the era of US Prohibition..... My grandfather, Jules Crepeau, was Director of City Services back then...So I finally 'got inside' my grandparent's place. They didn't take pictures, indoors, back then. Here are my grandmother and mother (at bottom) in 1929  on the porch of 72 Sherbrooke West.

The inside of their home, I've been told, was piled with bric a brac,4 stories of it,  a few pieces of which I still have. My grandmother dusted it herself, with the help of 'troubled' girls from the nuns'. My favorite piece is my Verre Francais vase. I liked it the best all my life. My aunt owned the vase. And now I own it. Burnt Orange Cloud Pattern.

Odd, I have seen very little Verre Francais in these fancy homes on Sotheby's for sale. Maybe it's not in vogue.

My Verre Francais, Schneider. I am planning to paint my walls yellow, because my house gets little light in the summer. Too many trees in front and it's forbidden to chop them down.