03 July 2016

Last post [?]

Ten years ago today I published First Post, the very first entry on Cooking in Someone Else's Kitchen. As I explained in my most recent post, life has rather got in the way of my blogging of late, but this anniversary seems a good time to sit down and reflect about the way this emigration journey has gone.

Ten years ago our small family was about to make a leap into the unknown. We had no jobs to come to in Canada and we knew very little about the country. A lot has changed in those years, both here and in the United Kingdom. Mike and I both have permanent full-time jobs in our respective careers, and our kids have grown up into thoughtful young Canadians.

These last weeks I have been watching the news coming out of the UK with rapt interest, as the country dealt with the EU referendum vote and then its aftermath. One of the best things I've seen about the impact of the Brexit vote was by Michael Dougan, an EU law professor from the University of Liverpool, who presented an analysis of the Leave arguments before the vote and then again after the vote's results were known.

I did have a vote in the referendum, and I voted Remain. My motivation was primarily one  of keeping options open for my kids: having an EU passport gave them the opportunity of living and working anywhere in Europe if they wanted to. If the withdrawal from the EU goes ahead, they will only have the option of living and working in Canada and the countries of the UK (and that's assuming that the UK holds together as one nation). Which is still better than only being able to live and work in the UK, of course, but I feel bad for the British youngsters whose futures have been trammelled by those who believed the empty promises of the Leave campaign.

One of the consequences of the result of the vote has been an increase in British people investigating how to move to Canada. It will be interesting to see if this will cause a spike in applications. This is a country that welcomes immigrants, but doesn't actually make it all that easy to become one, so good luck if you are in the UK and thinking of applying!

And speaking of new immigrants, my mother-in-law (and her dog) will soon be joining us from the UK. She arrives at the end of the month and we are busy making space for her and her things (it's amazing how much junk we have accumulated after being in the same house for nine years!). We sponsored her back in 2010, so this moment has been a long time coming. I'm hoping she'll arrive before civil war breaks out in Britain. Just joking! (I think...)

02 May 2016

Still here...

I thought I'd better post an update in case anyone is wondering why I haven't been posting much recently. The main reason is that I'm back working full-time again, for the first time since moving to Canada. Carving out time for gardening is one issue, but finding time for blogging about it is quite another!

I'm working as the archivist for the County of Hastings and the City of Belleville. I took over the job on a temporary contract last July, and was appointed on a permanent basis in March. In the first nine months I had to move the entire archive to a new location, which was quite a challenge but we are now safely in the new building and settling in. I am loving it.

In other news, Mike's mother has finally received permission to move to Canada as a permanent resident. (We got this news the same day I heard about getting the permanent job - a red-letter day!) We first applied for her to come over in April 2010, so it has been a long process, but now we can move ahead at last. The to-do list has grown again, but at least we can now make definite plans for bringing her here and making changes to the house to accommodate her. Exciting times!

25 March 2016

Winter's last blast

 After a mild few weeks, the weather took a turn for the colder this week. Yesterday an ice storm came through and left a fairly thick coating of ice over everything. This morning it warmed up quickly, so the ice began to melt: we could hear it almost exploding off the roof as we woke up.



The chickens' run resembled an ice rink. And it turns out chickens don't like skating, even if they are Canadian.


31 January 2016

Chickens out


Last day of January and a rare sight: the chickens being able to venture outside. For the last two winters they were cooped up for three months in a row. This winter has been much kinder. There are still a few inches of snow on the ground, but today's temperature is due to climb to 6°C/43°F, so I'm thinking by this evening there won't be too much left.

We have yet to have a day this winter where the temperature has gone below -20°C/-4°F, which is fairly unusual, and the average temperature for the month of January is running at -5°C/23°F, where normally it is -7°C/19°F.

The week ahead looks mild, but then there is a return to more normal winter temperature after that. As this week and last week are usually the cold point of the year, I'm certainly not complaining...

16 January 2016

Library trip

I don't let the weather stop me returning my library books...


It turned quite snowy here this week, with about a foot of snow falling on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Luckily the book drop box has been designed with Canadian weather in mind!

03 January 2016

First and last

...harvest, that is. The first of 2016 and the last of last year's crops, I think.


With winter finally putting in an appearance, and the temperature due to drop drastically tonight, I dug up my remaining swedes/rutabagas and harvested the cabbages, sprouts, purple cauliflower and kale which were still bravely clinging on in my two brassica beds. There were over ten pounds of swedes!

The cabbages were still very small, so I decided to use them up by making kimchi out of them. They're not napa cabbages, which is the usual kimchi one, but I will experiment with what I have, approximately following this recipe, and if it works out, I'll buy the proper cabbage next time I go shopping. I found some baby leeks, carrots and one lone Chioggia beet in the greenhouse, so I've sliced those up and added them to the kimchi mix.



Now I just need to find a way of using up all those swedes...

24 December 2015

Christmas Eve harvest

I know it can't last, but the exceptional weather has continued, with temperatures hitting 15°C/59°F today. I was able to harvest quite a few green things from the garden for our Christmas dinner:

broccoli


kale


small but perfectly formed purple cauliflowers


and both sprouts and Brussels tops


I pulled up a swede/rutabaga, too.

We are promised a storm next week and I'm sure winter proper will be upon us soon, but I am thoroughly enjoying this reprieve, however temporary!