It would be remiss of me not to mark the passing of 12 months since we arrived here in Edmonton, Canada. 12 months??? Can you believe it? This time last year we were on a plane (click here for a recap of my blog) and arriving through Border Control, hoping upon hope, that they awarded us permits to stay. The Border Officials were obviously feeling sympathetic (or unwell) that day and luckily for us, they did – and so much has happened since …
Six months ago, I provided a list of what we were looking forward to doing over the Summer. Well, all this we did. We visited Vancouver (have a read), had the pleasure of both sets of grandparents residing with us for periods of time during the Summer (updates here), even ventured further afield and sampled Kauia (very very nice and very very hot), and the kids certainly did get 2.5 months off school with amples of activities and entertainment. A Bar-B-Q (and a huge one at that) was procured, and has been put to very good use – plus, I’ve not given anyone food poisoning as yet, so everything’s good 🙂
You’ll be relieved to hear that my cat – who’s now 20 years old – is also alive, well, and still extremely vocal. Whilst being hard of hearing and slightly blind, she never fails to recognise when the tin of tuna is being opened and beats a hasty path to the kitchen. There was tough competition from one of the Grandma’s over the Summer who also had shared sympathy for these ailments – the only difference being, she could smell the opening of the sherry bottle at 300 yards and it was touch and go I didn’t get the two favoured delights mixed up between them both!
Last week we celebrated our first Canadian Thanksgiving – an opportunity to give thanks for the harvest and all things that were good over the last year. I guess you’d describe it as similar to a harvest festival in the UK. I think the last time I went to one was when I was still at school and we all had to take in boxes of veg, fruit and foodstuffs – and that’s going back a few years …. Over on this side of the pond, it’s commonly celebrated with a thanksgiving meal consisting of roast turkey, all the trimmings, plenty of veg, squash and potatoes. Interestingly, this date coincides with a national holiday both in the US and across Central America who celebrate it as Columbus Day – the day in 1492 when Christopher Columbus arrived in Central America. Now, just to add to the melee, it’s not the same date as ‘thanksgiving’ in the US, which is commonly the 4th Thursday in November. It’s very confusing to the uninitiated.
Wanting to embrace the event, a turkey was procured along with all the trimmings and we spent the day preparing what can only be described as having Christmas dinner in the middle of October. It did feel quite bizarre, and almost as a trial run for the major date in December. Wanting to try out a ‘traditional’ Canadian dessert, we were proffered a suggestion of ‘candied yams’ – sweet potatoes, honey, sugar, orange, marshmallows and nutmeg. On paper, sounded quite feasible and even amidst preparations, looked quite appealing. Let’s just say, it wasn’t to our taste, and even the kids took an instant dislike to the concoction. It’s been subtly suggested to me since, that it should’ve been served as a side dish to the turkey as an additional trimming. Call me antiquated and old-fashioned, but I still can’t get used to all this mixing sweet stuff with savoury courses. Goodness me, whatever next …..
So, what does the next 6 months hold for us I hear you ask? Well, one thing’s for certain, we’ll definitely be seeing snow. Lots of it – although ‘word on the street’ has it that we’re in for a mild winter. All this ‘El Nino’ effect or something along those lines. Trust me – it’ll still be sub-zero temperatures – this classification of ‘mild’ is all relative! I’m about to get winter tyres on my truck in preparation so with any luck, I’ll stick to the snow and ice like glue when it arrives. It’s very technical though – I just want 4 tyres that hold the road. Apparently, I have to also give due consideration to the look, the tread, the wheels, the type of rubber composition, the size – oh my word, I’m way out of my league on this one. One for the husband, me thinks …
There’s our visit to the UK for 10 days in November, and then the snow will definitely be on the ground when we arrive back. We’ll be attempting to ski – another item on our bucket list (bet you thought I’d forgotten), and with these newly acquired skills (and hopefully, no broken wrist this time), we’re off to Banff National Park for New Year. We’ll continue to enjoy living here, spotting the occasional glimpse of the Northern Lights, and maybe the old wild animal here and there (not including the kids). We’ll no doubt mark off another few items from our bucket list and we can definitely say, it won’t be without incident or a large amount of humour and enjoyment.
Bring it on … 🙂