Seems funny, living in a place with so many great landmarks, that we now have so few in our lives. Not so long ago it seemed that everything we did was a first, and now it’s hard to find something that isn’t part of the everyday routine.
Buying snow chains was new though. Last year they had a big old dump of snow here in Vancouver, more than they’ve ever had, and a lot of people didn’t know what to do. Most seemed to think that driving too fast and crashing was the best plan. So a lot of our neighbours have been telling us we need snow tires, and chains. And a shovel. And some blankets. Hell, don’t even bother coming out of the house until March, stock up on tins and firewood and live in your basement.
But I’m British, and we don’t change our own tires these days. We certainly don’t have two sets of tires at the same time. For one thing, we have TYRES, which are much more imbued with a sense of history and Empire. So I won’t be joining the long queues outside the ttire shops when the first snow falls. I shall drive slowly and carefully in the All-Weathers that were already on my car, and put on the chains when the going gets really tough. I’ve tried it once, and it wasn’t too hard. Just takes twenty minutes per wheel. Maybe I better practice again?
The other first that is looming is Christmas. I’ll miss my family, because that’s what you do at Christmas, but we’ve already turned down one kind invitation to do Christmas Dinner with someone else. This emigration is something we did as a team, and there are some moments when we have to draw back down to just that team and say “Ok, this is us. Are we still ok? Is this still the right thing to be doing?” Mrs Dim has had her moments of worry recently. They say the six month point is crucial, but that was when she got her great job, and that kind of carried us over. Now that’s all normal (SOP:Standard Operating Procedure) she’s starting to get the jitters she should have had three months ago. We’re looking at houses again, worrying about the money, suggesting I should get a proper job…
Sidebar for a true story: I joined an online essay-writing group. You choose the assignments you want to write and get paid for them (providing you pass the initial test and the customer is happy, I guess.) I passed the initial test ok, then went to look at the assignments. The first one I saw was an essay on plagiarism. It had all the details of the University where this essay had been set. Some student had been assigned an essay on Plagiarism, and was paying someone else to write it! I didn’t take the job.
It’s nine months since we arrived in Canada, give or take a day, and eight months since we moved into this house. I think that’s cool: Three quarters of a year in the country, two thirds of a year in the house. It still feels like there are things I haven’t got sorted out yet : I still haven’t earned any money in this country yet, though I think about eight grand has stacked up in the UK bank account. We haven’t been able to talk to an accountant or Tax advisor – I think that’s a job for me to sort. We’ve found a mortgage advisor, but the sum she says we can afford is not as big as the ticket on the houses we’ve been looking at. Middle Weasel has just begun her assessment to find out if she’s certifiably bonkers or just a tough cookie when it comes to schoolwork. But we’re healthy and happy, and when the sun shines, like it is today, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be. In fact, it’s not that bad when it’s raining.
Heh, just thought of another first. Mrs Dim and I took a day off last week and went for a skiing lesson. Just the two of us, and a guy called Ryan as our instructor – came from Manchester, of all places. For a glorious couple of hours we were out on the mountain, above the rain and mist in the sun, falling on our asses and laughing like four-year-olds. One of the things that we promised ourselves we would do when we moved here, and we’re doing it.