08 December 2006

The C word

Today my husband broke the news about our planned departure to his mother. He's down visiting her as his dad is back in hospital and in a bad way. Sounds like she didn't take it too badly, and he's already sorting her out a new passport so that she can come and stay with us.

"I mentioned the C word", he told me.The Advent Calendar, Christmas 2005
"What, Christmas?" I replied, rather stupidly.

I had no idea he was going to tell her about it. They've agreed that there's no point in telling his dad, who has maybe two months left of life at best. It's a great relief that Mum knows now, as the children kept mentioning things about being in Canada and nearly giving the whole thing away every time we saw them (we didn't dare tell them not to mention it, as it would be bound to have the opposite effect!). There never seemed to be a good time to tell them, particularly after the cancer diagnosis. I've told quite a lot of other people now, including my boss and immediate colleagues, although I have to say that I haven't put the news on any of the Christmas cards that I wrote this week - it seems better to tell people face-to-face, somehow.

At the parents' evening the other week my daughter's teacher asked us about our plans. She was pleased that we won't be going until next summer, as she didn't want to lose her from her class. She also was confident that she'll settle in well to a new school and a new country, which was reassuring.

21 November 2006

Cartæ visæ

Our passports, complete with their visas, arrived back on Saturday. Very exciting, but then you begin to think about all the things that you need to do before you can actually leave the country, and start to panic.

We made a start by clearing a car-load of rubbish from the garage on Sunday afternoon and taking it to the tip. A small start, but as least now I can park in the garage without it being quite such the precision exercise that it has been for the last month or two.

We're getting some mixed reactions from friends and family. Most think we're making a sensible move, but some admit to being in a state of denial (probably because they're not daring to believe it's true...).

27 October 2006

Top of the ladder

A letter requesting that we send our passports off to the Canadian High Commission arrived on Saturday. We posted them off today and will expect to get them back, complete with shiny visas, in a few weeks' time. Then we'll have to officially land in the country sometime before the end of August next year. So we've finally got to the front of the long queue (or somewhere near the front, anyway).

The stepladder-top pictured belongs to my father-in-law. I love the way it shows how much painting he's done over his lifetime, in a restrained-Jackson Pollock kind of way.

29 August 2006

Not nearly an armful

Had the medicals and x-rays today. All very straightforward and relatively painless - apart from the bit where they took a blood sample. My son was very intrigued about the blood test.

"What did she just do?"
"Took some blood from my arm."
"Is she going to put it back?"

Oh, and the parental wedding date has been fixed for a different weekend in June. Hurrah!

25 August 2006

Blood pressure rising

Came home yesterday to find my better half looking pale and clammy, convinced that he'd lost the family's passports. We need them for our medicals on Tuesday. Last time we had them was after our research trip to Canada earlier in the year. So it was a case of trying to remember which bags we brought through passport control.

He found them ten minutes after I'd got home, but that's the sort of stress we don't need...

Talking of unwanted stress, my father has recently announced that he is going to be getting married next year. That's fine, good for him, but there are already problems because I couldn't make the date his fiancée had set her heart on. I was planning to be at a conference in Canada on the weekend in question (and have already submitted a proposal) - typically it is the only weekend in the whole of 2007 when I had something pencilled into my diary. They hadn't actually booked the church when I dropped this bombshell, but I haven't heard since whether they have changed the plans or not. Sigh.

Hope we'll both be more chilled when our blood pressure is taken on Tuesday!

18 August 2006

Tick tock, tick tock

The official clock has started ticking - a letter arrived from the Canadian High Commission today, asking us to organise medicals to prove that we aren't going to be a drain on Canadian society. Child #1 has her arm in a sling at the moment, with a suspected fracture of her elbow - perhaps not the best advertisement for a hospital-free family...

07 July 2006


Bad news on the family front. Father-in-law has just been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Life expectancy seems generally to be less than a year. Horrible all round, and as far as emigrating goes this makes things particularly complicated. Mother-in-law is lovely and she would want to be near us if she was left on her own (we've discussed this already). She doesn't know about our emigration plans, although I think she has her suspicions. Now we have to decide whether we plough ahead, or shelve things for a while. Trouble is, in some ways the emigration process is a bit of an unstoppable train once you're on board, and at certain points you run out of options.

Ho hum.

03 July 2006

First post

Just starting on an emigration journey from the UK to Canada. We spent a few weeks exploring the country in May and June, and I came to realise that going to live in a new country would be like trying to prepare a meal in someone else's kitchen. Hence the name of this blog.

It's very early days yet, but we're getting towards the top of the emigration queue (we sent our application off in July 2004), so it feels like it will be sooner rather than later...