In terms of speed and efficiency, it’s 4 weeks since our arrival in Canada and we have moved into our new house. Not bad going considering the vast paperwork required (see previous blog), the weather (snow and sub-zero temperatures), and the fact we’ve had to start from scratch in viewing properties, applying for a mortgage and securing bank lending. It’s been worth it and yes, it’s lovely to be in a house once again with plenty of space to roam and for the kids to make as much noise and mess as only kids do.
And we’ve not had it tough at all. In terms of accommodation, ‘husband’ secured us a serviced apartment in downtown Edmonton which proved to be absolutely ideal and perfect for what we needed in the initial weeks of our arrival. In fact, I would advocate its use for holidays and short vacations, especially for those with kids who want the facilities of separate bedrooms and a kitchen thrown in – all the benefits of being in a hotel, but with additional facilities and the freedom to eat and drink what you like without any of the inflated prices. Bonus features included access to a gym and swimming pool which the kids thought fantastic. The new house comes without such lavish items …
It’s still nice to finally be in our own home. For those of you who have diligently kept pace and read my previous blogs, will know that our goods in the UK were shipped on a container in the middle of October (to get up to date click here). I’ve received word (with some relief), that they’ve now made it across the Atlantic and are currently being transported by train from Montreal and due to arrive in Edmonton early next week. Perfect timing considering we hadn’t even viewed any properties in Canada when our stuff was sent. Let’s just say our new home is rather sparsely furnished at the present time – with only 4 beds (thanks to Ikea) constructed and in place. There are 2 new additions – a television in the basement and a new sofa which was delivered today – which all three kids are currently road-testing.
So what are the features of our Canadian house compared to the UK, I hear you cry….?
And even more space.
Those who have astutely been reading this blog will have spotted the reference to a ‘basement’ which now has a sofa and TV residing in it. This is in addition to the utility room, bathroom and bedroom which is also down there. A massive difference to being in the UK and probably bigger than most people’s flats alone. It’s a wonderful space and something which is a complete novelty.
Then there’s the bathrooms. How many sinks and toilets does one family need? Answer: clearly, like handbags and shoes, there can never be too many. I can just imagine a few of you thinking, ‘she’ll regret it when there’s all the cleaning to do’ …. very true. But I’ve also got 3 female kids who are going to be trained in the art of maintaining a clean space. Unfortunately, I suspect the training programme will fall on deaf ears with ‘husband’ who will remain a lost cause ……
My kitchen (notice the change of personal tense with regards to this particular room in the house), has a monster fridge – the likes of which I’ve only ever seen on American sitcoms, a waste disposal, 2 ovens and a walk-in pantry which I’m just having to concentrate on filling entirely (has to be done). I’m also a reformed recycling nerd who, having spent the last 8 years living in a property with antiquated disincentives with regard to conserving waste – I’m embracing this with a vengeance. The kids think it highly entertaining my aspiration to minimise all general rubbish whatsoever and are wondering how long this will last for. As for me, as with most things in life – I’m in it for the long term …
What about my 19-year old cat I hear you cry? Has she made it across the Atlantic? Well – not yet. She’s been luxuriating in a boarding cattery at a specialist animal transporters for the last 5 weeks and is due to fly into Calgary Airport next Monday on an Air Canada flight. I’m not sure what she’ll make of it at all having never been further than the back door for the majority of her life, let alone the sub-zero temperatures, but she’s got a thick coat and I’m sure she’ll adjust. If nothing else, I can’t wait to see her and be reunited. Unfortunately, my husband isn’t of the same mindset ….
And there’s the bikes. Yes, these were culled from the original 9 in our garage back home, and said ‘husband’ has been pining for their return on a daily basis. He’s stopped eating, can’t sleep, is thinking about them constantly …. do you think now’s the best time to mention there were only 2 that made it onto the container?