Well, we’re now in the final week before we physically relocate to Edmonton, Canada. Everything has moved up a gear and instead of being in the planning and organising mode, has now turned into physical action. As I write this, all our worldly possessions are in the process of being packed up into a container which will be shipped to Canadian shores in the next few days. There are boxes, packing materials, chaps who clearly know what they’re doing – and me, hovering around and assigned the critical role entitled ‘provider of hot beverages’. Mind you, I can offer quite a selection – particularly in the alcoholic spirit department which I haven’t been able to diminish in any significant quantity. The wine on the other hand has been surprisingly easy to consume ….
It’s turned into a logistical challenge – of the like you used to see on ‘The Crystal Maze’ (for those who are not familiar, it was a UK TV challenge programme aired mostly during the 1980’s with Richard O’Brien). We’ve had to pack suitcases with the clothes and stuff we’re going to wear and use in the next month – or for however long it takes us to secure a Canadian house, as our container of goods won’t be appearing until this has happened. The thought – ‘how long is a piece of string’ – is regularly springing to mind. Having never experienced winter in Canada (and yes, there is snow for extremely long periods of time plus temperatures which can drop to -40), we’re also having to take clothes warm enough to see us through – or last until we can get ourselves to the nearest shop where the appropriate attire can be purchased.
For those who have been enquiring about the current status of the 9 mountain bikes mentioned in a previous blog, these has required negotiations only familiar to the UN. I’m pleased to say an agreement has been reached and only 6 are entitled to reside in the container and have been approved to be shipped. I’m sure there will be subsequent pleas for the purchase of additional items when we arrive in Canada – but I’m already ready with my response!!
Then there’s all the documentation that we need to carry with us – just to enable us to open bank accounts, enrol kids into schools, secure a mortgage, get through customs and obtain the ever essential family permit entitling us to live over there. I’m now adopting the ostrich approach – with my head in the sand, I’m not even giving any thought to what happens if any of the above doesn’t happen …. it’ll be fine (fingers crossed and with a fair wind behind us). As a contingency, at least I haven’t got a tenant for our house as yet so we’ve still got somewhere to return to should it all go ‘pear-shaped’ over the next few days.
When all our stuff disappears to Canada, we’re then left with sorting out the remaining items which are either a) staying in the house for a future tenant to utilise, or b), going into UK storage at the end of this week for a significant period of time. Either way, we need to make sure there’s nothing of any essential note that we’re going to need in the next few years which finds its way into the wrong box …
The kids are very excited and I’m just glad they’re still in school this week. Every box that is being packed unearths toys or books they haven’t seen in a while and in typical fashion, becomes the essential toy they just need to take back out and put in a different place. I’ve felt as though I’ve been transported into one of those magic tricks where you could swear you put something in one box, and before I’ve turned around, it’s disappeared somewhere else. Suffice to say, it’s going to be nothing short of a miracle that we manage to get 75% of our stuff in the right place, at the right time, and with the right person!
Let’s just hope the cat doesn’t get put into UK storage, and one of the kids misplaced and left in the Canadian container of goods …