Tuesday, 22nd February 2005

Photos (from left to right): Quebec City in Quebec, Day 2 of Festiglace 2005, Day 1 of Festiglace 2005, on the road in New Hampshire.

I met some more people at the show, including Richard Cohen. We chatted in a local bar, then later he joined me as I talked to a bunch of guys from the OSDL in the evening, before we headed off to the BLU meeting. Wondered around the MIT campus afterwards, with the help of a BLU member (I need to thank him for giving us an impromptu tour). I had a go on a Gameboy DS, did a little more reading of rml’s book, and went to sleep in time to just about get up for the last day of the show. Met some publishing friends and had some coffee.

At around lunchtime on the final day of LinuxWorld 2005, we headed back towards Canada. We crossed the border in to Quebec without the fanfare that US immigration had treated us to going in to the US (the giant neon sign that says “don’t visit this country” in the form of annoying procedures) – nice place to visit, probably wouldn’t want to live there. Canada on the other hand…well, readers know I love the place. Anyway, we tried dropping Dan off to get a bus to Montreal but the last bus had gone, so we ended up making some alternative arrangements and dropped him off elsewhere instead. He got back ok, and that is the main thing. Andrew and I stayed in Quebec City in the evening.

On Friday, Andrew and I went to Pont-Rouge for the 2005 Festiglace Ice Climbing festival. We attended the evening presentations (very good slides, especially from an USian who used the event to take a jibe at how the Bush Administration is doing its best to destroy the environment and the amazing natural beauty that climbers rely upon). We camped in a tent while outside it was around -22 degrees C. That was an experience – yes I’d do it again, but I’d want to be better prepared. I had visited the MEC store in Quebec City and bought a sleeping bag rated to around -7, but was reasonably warm once inside nonetheless.

Saturday’s activities included my first attempt at Ice Climbing. After queuing for almost two hours in the cold, I was able to don some Vasque boots (I think I prefer the look of the Sportiva boots but am maybe biased by the fact that my other new boots are Sportiva, from MEC), cramp-ons, and a harness, and give it a go. I sucked. Badly. Threw a cramp-on before even being on the face, and had to come down before I could finish. But still, I enjoyed the experience and will definately give a climbing wall a go now – there are some near to where I live, I think.

We stayed in Quebec City, in the old City. We ate at an extremely nice French Canadian restaurant for around 40-50 pounds per head, but this was really really good, and had the full courses one would expect from a top class establishment. In the morning, I went to the railway station as I had a prebooked 08:20 train to Ottawa. Since Andrew had offered to drive, I cancelled the ticket and returned to the hotel. There was some time to wonder around the city and take a few photographs as I went. I popped in to a local coffee shop and had a latte from a bowl with a croissant that formed a hybrid of the regular chocolate or almond types. Yum.

Ultimately, we did drive back to Ottawa, and I unfortunately did have to go back home. Which is where I am now, back in the UK. I managed to sleep for most of the flight – for the first time – although I still did my usual panicy sequence during takeoff procedures. I am sitting and listening to some Runrig, which I was introduced to by ajh (although apparently Alan introduced them to him originally – in any case though, they’re great). I have some music from Canadian bands, including Captain Tractor and The Arrogant Worms. It’s all good stuff. I’ve been inspired to try new kinds of music that I wouldn’t necessarily have tried, and that really rules.

Anyway, to bed. Work and stuff await. FOSDEM 2005 is happening this weekend.


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