A friend and I were talking about New York the other day. I’ve been there hundreds of times over the course of my lifetime, but I had an instant flashback to one trip, in particular.
I was with my parents, my aunt and cousin. I was young, not yet a teenager. But not as young as I am in the photo with my parents. I was probably a year old, two at the most in this shot.
My parents and I used to go to New York every spring, for easter, for about a week or 10 days. My father went often for business, but as a family we went once a year, although occasionally more often. My mother was born there and Continue reading →
Last week I was having an email conversation with someone I knew years ago in Montreal and have re-connected with on Facebook.
We started off talking about libraries. One thing led to another and libraries led to our shared love of books. Books led to e-books and e-books led to tech and tech led to cursive script, which led to future generations.
Trust me, it made sense. You had to be there.
First she told me about her granddaughter, who’s a junior in University, and all the techie equipment the school expects her to Continue reading →
Well, not literally. I’m talking about the book I’ve been writing on and, more specifically, off for the last nine years.
When my mother was ailing I was struck with an idea for a book about her and me. I tucked it away in the back of my mind for later. I said nothing to anyone until the day after she died, when my closest friend and I were headed back to Montreal for the funeral.
As the words literally started pouring out of my mouth, my friend handed me some paper and a pen and I spent the rest of the trip writing. This
went on for the next three months. It was amazing, the book was literally writing itself.
The blizzard along the eastern seaboard of the United States last week conjured up memories of my childhood in Montreal. Snow storms were no big deal back then. They were a constant.
Winter would not have been winter without two-and-three-foot-high snow drifts piled up against sidewalks and on front and back lawns — for a good four or five months of the year. There were times we had so much snow blocking our Continue reading →
Are you familiar with the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? It was written by Robert Louis Stephenson in 1886. Essentially it’s about the two personalities that live within Dr. Jekyll — one being good, the other evil.
Could have been written about Donald Trump.
I met him once, you know. It was a very long time ago. Not long after he married his first wife, Ivanna. She was a model, one of Montreal’s most sought after. I was working in the fashion industry at the time, for the designer, Leo Chevalier. She was one of our favourites and we booked her constantly.
What I remember vividly is how, after she got married and moved to New York, she never abandoned all the models she’d Continue reading →
But on Saturday night a good friend of mine (with whom, when I lived in Montreal, I used to have the most intense, interesting and fabulous conversations on just about every topic you can think of, but especially politics) sent me an email about some articles she’d read in the Globe & Mail.
She wondered what my thoughts were, she was incensed about one of them, which was written by Jeffrey Simpson.
Back in September I wrote about how I was finally attacking my closets and drawers and cupboards and pantries and shelves and papers. Long overdue it was.
Well I’m happy to say I’m done. Mission accomplished. And you may find this hard to believe but I actually enjoyed it. So much so I seem to have become obsessed with order.
I now wake up in the middle of the night and go through stuff and purge. While I’m watching TV or reading a book I suddenly get the urge to reorganize what I’ve just organized; and I do it! In slightly under two months I’ve gone from thriving in chaos to being OCD.
Clearly I am channeling my mother who is, of course, loving it.
A friend’s grandson just turned 1 and I went to his birthday party. I was talking to her daughter’s (the baby’s mother) father-in-law and Ellen (my friend) said to him, “Fransi and I have known each other all our lives.” He was intrigued and wanted to know more.
Our mothers met in the laundry room of the apartment building where they both lived, in Montreal. I was an infant. Her parents were newlyweds. The Continue reading →
A couple of weeks ago I had a meeting with a prospective client. As soon as we all sat down around their boardroom table the senior client in the room asked me to tell them about myself. As I took them through my various jobs and experiences I realized something:
I always talk about how lucky I am to have worked for the global ad agencies I worked for, on the blue chip accounts I worked on, all the smart and talented people I was exposed to — the ‘bigness’ of everything.
But what I tend to overlook are the small agencies where I also worked. Where I cut my teeth. Where I had no real defined job. Where each and every member of the staff, all four or five or eight or ten of us, had a myriad of jobs we had to do.
We didn’t have the luxury of broadcast producers or multiple layers of account Continue reading →