A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

Another one of my crazy ideas has been put into motion. This is exciting, amazing & stressful all at once, and… I wouldn’t do it any other way!!

As most of you know, this year means the beginning of The Rolling Barber, a non-profit organization that I have founded with the goal of transforming an old school bus into a portable hair salon in which we can offer free shampoo and cuts to whoever is in need of one. It’s been a crazy few weeks of setting up the organization, of making a budget, of obtaining donations (from sample shampoos to barber chairs to a school bus!), of getting hairdressers/barbers on board, and so (SO!) much more. Creating such a community project in Ottawa takes courage and perseverance, but many in my community has rallied with me to make this project a reality. I could not be more humbled by the help and positive response I have received. I feel very lucky and I hope to help many others.

Our website is looking fabulous with pictures of our new bus and the partners that we love and that are supporting this initiative with enthusiasm. We have also created a Facebook and Instagram account, so do not hesitate to follow us. I have given interviews on CBC and Rogers (in French) and I have received even more invitations!

Our first ‘dry-run’ (washing, cutting & styling in the comfort of a… room) is on April 8th at the Centre 454, a wonderful social services centre in the heart of Sandy Hill in the Anglican Church on King Edward. We will have three dry-runs (the first two at the Centre 454 and the third at the Cornerstone Housing for Women). In May, I am leaving on vacation with my husband to London and Scotland (stay tuned for more posts) and back in time to roll my sleeves to renovate our bus in June – with the help of my fabulous friend and co-founder François, my wonderful father-in-law and many other members of my family and friends (maybe my husband will even pop by to help 🙂 ).

I can’t wait to load pictures of the restoration, but before that time, lots of adventures await for me in a whole new country: Scotland!

Love you all,

Anne

Lisbon Trains

As a last tribute to beautiful Lisboa before returning to Canada tomorrow evening, we wanted to roam the city going up and down those narrow cobblestone roads finding secluded spots we had not previously seen in late June and simply absorbing the city’s serene and welcoming vibe.

As I am still a little wobbly on my swollen leg (way too much sun on Barcelona beaches… I don’t even why we go; I guess we feel we ought to, but we never really enjoy it much!), we decided to rent a tuk-tuk Renting a Tuk-Tuk in Lisbonto tour the city and climb up to the highest point in Lisbon: the Miradouro do Monte. The view is breathtaking; all those clay stone roof houses all imperfectly aligned to make the perfect city landscape. I wish I was an architect and could work on those old houses that are left to crumble down due to the poor economy or simply rich enough to buy some of those properties and get them back up to their original glory, glazed tiles and all.

Miradouro do Monte

Talking about properties, we actually saw a house for sale when we were in Sintra – an amazing must-go side trip when in Lisbon. The house was an old open-concept with large windows including an inner private courtyard and small garage. We have no idea what the cost was, but at that moment in time, I would have sold everything to buy that place.

Later today, we will make our way to a local restaurant; one of those places straight out of a home kitchen where tables and chairs are arranged in the pedestrian passage and stairs. It’s really something to see. And those restaurants are always full – you can’t even get a reservation for three days running! To make sure you have a table on a preferred day, you have to get there super early, like 7 p.m. (that time is not at all early for North Americans, but for Portuguese, it is considered late afternoon :). Miradouro do Monte

And finally tomorrow, on the day of departure, we will leave our luggage at the train station and go one last time to Fabrica Coffee Roasters, THE BEST (I could even underline the words) coffee place… ok, I could say of Lisbon, or of Portugal, or of Portugal/Spain, or of Europe??? but really, all I can say is that it is the best coffee place which I have been and that includes the famous Bridgehead from home. Those that know me will be quite surprised by this. If I say Fabrica is better than Bridgehead, it is because I really, truly mean it. Plus it is run by many ex-pats who make this place fun and most welcoming.

So this is the end of our trip and of a last tribute to beautiful Lisboa. I hope we are lucky enough to return here… maybe on our way to a new city with new adventures.

Obrigada meus amigos!