22 June 2007


I'm at the Association of Canadian Archivists' conference in Kingston, where I'm giving a talk tomorrow. It's my last bit of official work for the Archives Hub. It's an excellent conference and it's been a great introduction to the Canadian archives community for me, so early on in our emigration journey. I have been having occasional pangs of guilt at leaving Mike alone with the children and the new house to deal with (particularly as the water pump decided to stop working today, so he had to call someone out to fix it).

Our possessions are now on Canadian soil - they are now on their way to Toronto from Montréal and hopefully we'll be able to usher them through customs some time next week. The couple who own the cottage we're renting this week lent us some spare mattresses and bedding, so at least we'll have something to sleep on while we sort out the beds.

We noticed a nest in the smaller of the two barns when we looked around the house on Tuesday, but we weren't sure if the birds in it were alive or not (they were completely immobile). But apparently they were flying round the barn today, learning how to fly, so that was a relief. I think we're going to be seeing a lot more wildlife here than we've encountered before, somehow.

19 June 2007

The green green grass

We took possession of our new house this afternoon. Hurrah!

overgrown barnyardThe grass around the house has been kept short, but beyond that the farm looks very overgrown indeed - a scythe might be a useful tool to start work with. It all seemed a bit daunting to me, but Mike seems keen enough to start work on taming the jungle.

Inside the house we'd been left with a strange assortment of things - two sets of curling tongs and a packet of cous-cous, for example. There is a small fridge, complete with dodgy-looking portions of processed cheese and a very iced-up ice box. In the basement there's a lovely big chest freezer, which needs a clean, but will be great for all those vegetables I'm planning on growing next year.

Getting the electricity supply transferred into our names was pretty quick, but getting a phone line took ages as the previous occupants hadn't cancelled their one. But we got there in the end, and by next Monday we should have high-speed internet to the house too.

Next stage is ordering some beds, so that we can actually move into the house properly. We're still in the cottage we rented in April for the time being.

One of the other things we did today was to enrol the kids in their school. The school secretary showed us around and introduced the children to their new classmates. We registered them so that they would be collected by a school bus and signed them up to go to school from next week. It's the last week of school before the summer break, so it shouldn't be too onerous for them. The school covers the grades between kindergarten and grade 8, so the children will be there for a few years yet. It's got an impressive amount of green space around it and its own soccer pitches, gym and science lab - none of which their previous school in south Manchester could boast.

We also swapped our UK driving licences for Ontario ones. That was straight-forward, although the sight test was a bit scary - even with my new glasses, the second set of numbers I had to read were teeny-tiny. There's no way I'd have seen them without my specs.

It's been quite hot and humid today and it is now raining and thundering outside. Yesterday was hot and sunny too, but there has been a nice breeze off the lake which has taken the edge off the temperature.

We've only been here 48 hours but it feels like we've achieved an awful lot in that time. Only trouble is that the 'to do' list is still growing - even faster than the grass on the farm.

06 June 2007

All packed up

Huge heap of teabagsCan you tell we've had a load of removal men in the house for the last two days?

I was at work, but Mike did a grand job of supervising the packing up of the house contents and the removal firm did an amazing job of wrapping everything up and shoehorning it into the container. We now have two folding chairs, our beds and a few lamps left in the house.All our wordly goods in a container The 'export wrapping' was incredibly thorough - all our furniture looked like ghosts of their former selves in their white casings. We've already realised that we packed the only key to the windows of the house - I'm sure there'll be other things that we will have sent off on the boat that we'll wish we hadn't. It sails on Friday and we're not quite sure when it is arriving at the other end.