Yes, a cat did pee on my drywall. Actually more went on my insulation – which is much worse (being shall we say, more absorbable?), but doesn’t have the same ring as a title. A syllables thing I think.
We are 30-somethings who moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia last year from London, England (though we are Canadian and were in Toronto and various other cities before that). We moved primarily because we couldn’t afford London and were both returning to university.
‘What’ we are is a bit difficult to answer. We’ve both worked in the auction business for many years and actually met 9 years ago when we both worked for the same auction house in Toronto (the now sadly defunct Ritchies). Sam was a rug and furniture appraiser by day and punk rock musician by night (the now, also sadly defunct, Constable Brennan). I was a Canadian and Inuit art appraiser by day and sometime art and design writer by night. In 2005 we decided to leave Toronto and went travelling for 3 months (Mexico and Central America) before relocating to London.
There Sam studied music production and audio engineering and I decided to return to making art and went back to uni to do a fine art degree (and we worked of course – in a series of eclectic and unusual places: pubs, art surfaces workshop, military club, architect firm, social housing organization, cricket charity, and of course, London rep for a Canadian auction house). Unfortunately, as anyone who has lived there will know, London will empty your bank account and leave you living like a 20 year old student happy to rent a one room flat with a bathroom in the shared hallway if it means you can still scrape together enough for a pint and a curry on a Friday night. Good times.
But the novelty wore off after 4 years and we just started to feel old and poor. After a brief, yet seemingly endless year looking after my 94 year old grandmother on the Isle of Man – yes, it seemed like a good idea at the time – we finally came to our senses (though Sam had nearly lost his) and returned to Canada. Having never been to Halifax before (Sam had been once, but it was while on tour with the band so his memories were, shall we say, a little hazy), we obviously decided it would be a good idea to move there, so here we are.
Sam is now studying to be an accountant (this is usually followed by, yes, seriously) at NSCC, and I’m still working on my fine art degree at NSCAD. We sold our loft in Toronto for a good Toronto amount, which enabled us to purchase our house in Halifax with the help of the wonderful Friendly Agent.
Thanks to the help and advice of the very many amazing friends we have made here, our home is no longer an uninhabitable crack house (though the front still looks like it – the source of continual debate. Sam: ‘no one will ever think to rob us!’ Me: ‘but I want to live somewhere that looks pretty, or at least not gross.’ It’s an impasse, primarily due to lack of funds to actually do anything about it anyway.).
The place is definitely still a work in progress, and we haven’t even touched the upstairs flat yet (yep, there’s 2 apartments – another reason we fell in love with it with our heads, not just our hearts). Our problematic tenant (who had been here 31 years! – more on her later) is moving out this summer, so the countdown begins to actually finish what we’ve started down here and then do it all over again upstairs!