My friend Damian sent me the following Google Video clips.
I think he might be hinting that it is about time we went back!
My parents recently found out their application to resurrect their Canadian landed immigrant status had been denied. This is quite a set back but not going to stop me pushing as hard as I can to get us back where we belong dammit. We are going to have to go the sponsorship route with me sponsoring my wife and parents (my daughter Amy and I have Canadian citizenship).
A friend told me he was getting bored of me banging on about moving to Canada all the time and I should “just go”. Unfortunately while I could “just go” on my own, I want my family to go with me (or as much as we can, my brother has a nice setup in London that he doesn’t want to leave which is fair enough). I can fully understand people getting cynical or bored of me talking about it though.
Recently I haven’t been quite as jaded about England as I was but still given the choice would much rather be in Canada. I’m sure there are a lot of things about the UK I will miss, probably friends and family most, but it just feels right that we should at least try living there.
For now I have to make do with living vicariously through Canadian blogs, flickr and planning vacations. I am getting twitchy, it is now more than 6 months since we were there last, I am not sure how we have lasted this long.
I have a Canadian birth certificate so wouldn’t need to take this Canadian citizenship test but it is a fun way to see if I deserve it and surprise surprise, I got 80%, I clicked the wrong answer for one question answering “hudsons bay” when I meant to click “fur trade” (“which trade spread across Canada…”) and I took a guess at “When did settlers from France first establish communities on the St. Lawrence River?”
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We just found out who Amy is going to have as a teacher come September and we are not happy. So maybe moving Canada should be back on the agenda. Oh I wish we had the funds right now, it would be great to move to Vancouver but perhaps we should take another look at Calgary. Heck Manitoba is looking good compared to Amy having a teacher even the other teachers have warned us about and the kids have labelled “evil”.
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The wise thing to do when we arrived back from Canada would have been to have a really good sleep. A week on and I haven’t done that. I didn’t really believe I was immune to jetlag but on the other hand I didn’t really take steps to deal with it either. Right away from getting an internet connection I have been back online and back into the usual UK time schedule. Even this morning.
Stupid when I think about it.
I will have a good long sleep tonight. That should get me back on track.
So it could have been tiredness but now I am not sure. I think tired or not we are pretty much resigned to staying in the UK.
We have been here before of course, we have been going then not before. Vancouver was perfect all apart from the sheer insermountable expense. Winnipeg was ludicrously cheap but there are no jobs (at all!) and the mosquitoes and stupid winters. And no landscape anywhere. What’s up with that? No hills, not a one in the entire province.
So it turns out Calgary didn’t want us there. “Keep out we are full” I think they were telling us. We always said Amy would be our top priority in deciding about Canada. Time and again we realised there was no way it was going to work. No school places, earliest opening 2007 even if schools get built on time, hour-long bus journies across kilometres .. no chance, not putting my girl through that. Housing estates were getting further and further out of Calgary until it just got too much. We did consider High River but it just wasn’t going to realistically work.
We are bound to think again in a few months, we usually do. It has long been a dream and still is. Just right now not possible. Other than a premium bonds or national lottery win, looks unlikely.
We looked at houses today right here in the same town we currently live and are going to put ours up for sale. Looks like we are staying here for quite a while.
Well we are back in the olde countrie. The school and house hunt was an exercise in frustration. At this time I have doubts we will acheive our dream of moving to Canada, or at least timeframe.
Maybe it is just jetlag talking.
On the plus side we had a great time. Brilliant weather other than the wet days in Banff. That time though was topped off by fantastic sunshine up Sulphur Mountain after initial clouds (which my wannabe photographer eye quite liked).
So for now we are tired, skint and England is stuck with us.
We are loving it in Canada, having a wonderful time (as usual).
The house hunt has been quite frustrating. Property market here is overheating, there is absolutely no chance of us looking at pre-owned houses, people are buying them up sight unseen. New build is not much a nicer story. Everywhere nice and in our price range have knocked us back. Huge waiting lists and even longer waits for building. If you find somewhere that is available this century there are no schools. We are having to look further and further out.
As always thought the sights here are fantastic, as you can see from the pic above. Click on the image to go to my flickr album.
Shopping too is far better than back in merrie olde englande, check out my new lense purchase!
Just to give you an idea of the scope of the problem, consider this oft quoted statistic: New York City, with about the same area as Calgary, has almost ten times our population.
D’Arcy quotes Calgary as
A city with the geographical area of Orange County, but a population of
only 1 million people. Calgary has approximately 10% the population
density of New York City. About 20% the density of San Francisco. About
a quarter the density of Vancouver.
We are hoping to soon be what D’Arcy calls a Calgary “SUV-driving suburban dweller”. I for one am willing to pay a levy to live out in the new, clean, safer, more secure communities that are contributing to this sprawl. I am in no great rush to move my family to the inner city thankyouverymuch. If these communities are served by public transport all the better but as I work from home now (hopefully will continue) and Amy would probably have to get some awful bus ride to school (am not happy with that idea) then it’s only for shopping and recreation we ought to use the car for anyway.
I’m sorry, I don’t understand. I read all these Canadian political blogs and they just don’t make sense. It seems the current guys in power are corrupt. A lot more people would like them if they were A) honest and B) kept their promises (which now I have typed it seems the same thing). So instead hordes of people are going to vote for someone they don’t really want in power but, you know, best of a bad bunch and all.
Someone explain this to me, PLEASE!
I am trying to leave a country with messed up politics and I was hoping Canada would be better!