I had meant to get back to this on Monday night, making it a nice round week since we landed, but it’s been, strangely enough, quite a stressful time.
It ought to be a holiday. We’re staying in an amazing apartment, with all the comforts of home (and several comforts the Wonkey House didn’t have, like a waterproof roof and an effective heating system) we have the whole of Stanley Park on one side and Downtown Vancouver on the other, the weasels are out of school until we say otherwise, and we have a healthy pile of savings. Sure, that last part is supposed to be a downpayment on a house, but hey….
Anyway, holiday or not, I can’t shake the feeling that we should be acheiving something significant every day, and neither, as it turns out, can Mrs Dim. So we’ve picked up a hire car, slogged through snow and rain to examine several possible homes, and spent hours (and I MEAN hours) sorting out a Canadian Bank account – these people are thorough, but not speedy…
The house search was nearly fun. We had made three appointments to view rental houses, but had assumed we’d have the car.We didn’t (various reasons, most of which could be translated as “I screwed up” again.) So we hopped the bus, and then the sky train and then got a taxi to the first house. It was a pit, not quite festering, but well on the way. The landlord assured us he could have it shipshape by the time we moved in, but I reckoned it would take many men many days just to turn it into a dive. We’d checked the map, and it didn’t look too far to the next house so we began to walk. Five minutes later the rain turned into snow. Twenty minutes later the weasels were either howling in misery or going into hypothermic shock. This misery may have affected our view of the second house. Even now I remember it as a beautiful haven of warmth. Unfortunatey, the owners had faithfully restored the 1950’s decor and Mrs Dim felt it was too much to cope with. We called a taxi from inside the house which took us to the Skytrain again and we went on to the third house. It was clean and smart, but we had to go in one at a time because it was so small.
That was depressing, because getting the house is step one in getting the weasels to school, which is the step before I get some time to do some regular work. BUT we did get the car, and that allowed us to go see some of the further flung areas of North Van. Today that meant we got to visit Grouse Mountain, ride up in a gondola and go ice skating…which was weirdness itself. For one thing, it was raining in the car park, but snowing hard on the mountain. For another, an ice rink at the top? Well, yeah, a lot of the folks getting off the gondola were snowboardies and skiers, but there was also a lovely ice rink which the weasels, Mrs Dim and myself rented skates and skated on with great pleasure.
On our way back from the mountain we stopped at yet another rental house. This one was only just posted on Craigslist and it was beautiful. Right in the middle of a family-packed housing area, within walking distance of several schools, clean, pretty, large enough for us AND our junk…It seemed too good to be true, but when we asked if we could rent it, the lady said yes! More than that, she took us to the rental office and we signed papers then and there! WE HAVE AN ADDRESS!
Tomorrow the big ambition is to see a 3d film at the IMAX in Canada place. It’s starting to feel like a holiday again.