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Canada Bound - of family, dogs and horses

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    06-30-2012, 03:21 AM
Yesterday I had an easy day, and inevitably achieved little. Two large suitcases are now sort-of packed. At the moment there's plenty of space in them, but I suspect by the time I've remembered all the things currently sitting round the house (dog leads, washbasin, many toys) they will be full.

The wall at the front is finally under construction, and the house is looking a lot tidier already. I served multiple cups of tea to T and G for their efforts.

Big News! My second cites permit is on it's way. Here's the story - we have a piano, destined to come with us to Canada. It has ivory keys, and ivory can not be 'trafficked' without a permit proving that it's removal from the elephant was not within 100 years or so. Eight weeks ago I filled out two forms, one for the UK CITES office, and one for the Canadian office. One week later, I received one permit back. Seven weeks on, and I have been 'phoning and e-mailing the other office daily to chase up my permit. Most days they don't answer the phone, and I leave messages on ALL machines. Then I got through to an officer Hurrah! She told me that my application would be progressed that week. Ah, but then they needed photos of the piano.... Photos were taken, and sent. Then nothing... More phone calls, more e-mails, until I discovered that she had gone on maternity leave.

So another office picked up my file, and told me that the permit would be dealt with that day. Ah - but 'dealt with' doesn't mean sent to me, no, it means passed to another department for signing. Okay... Can it be posted now? Could I perhaps speed up things by having it fedexed as I don't want to trust the mail? "Why yes" she said "if you give me your credit card we can fed-ex it". So I told her the number and I e-mailed it for good measure. Then I e-mailed her requesting the FedEx tracking number.... Silence. So more telephone calls, more e-mails and finally I get a person again. I explain the problem. He looks at the files. He goes silent. He says that She has gone on holiday. He will call me back...

And he does! Apparently, when she typed my credit card number into the FedEx site, she missed out a digit. So the permits journey to me was delayed. Again. But it's on it's way! It will arrive Monday and I will have a party to celebrate it's arrival.

In the evening it was the Church fete. Ours is a small village, and there is not much entertainment going on, so the fete always has a good turnout. I ate hot dogs, drank lager, bought cakes, entered the tombola and the raffle, and bounced on the Bouncy Castle. We won a knitted teddy bear. Son ran free with his friends until 9:00 when I rounded him up and we went home tired and happy.

For those with a historical sense of humour, the 'roll the dice' game was placed directly below the crucifix in the church. I don't think this was intentional.
arrowsaway likes this.
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    07-01-2012, 02:00 PM
Exhausted, physically and mentally.

Just got back from a weekend away visiting a (small) portion of my many Staffordshire cousins.

I had a lovely time - spending time with adults that you have grown up with, share relatives with, history, DNA.... it's different from any other kind of friendship I think. I'm lucky to have them all. Not just the last time we'll be together for a long time, but an emotional time for everyone as the family stately home is to be sold due to death, inheritance taxes, and the costs of maintaining a crumbling pile. It's a beautiful house, I am sure the next owners will love it as much as we did.

We played Scrabble yesterday and son was allowed the word Boghog. If you can have a bog, then surely the pig that chooses to live in it is a Boghog?! I think the six year old that thinks that one up should be allowed it every time.

All members of the family (as are all friends) are in turn fascinated, jealous, curious, or empathetic about our upcoming move. Certainly every one who has been to Canada is united in the thoughts that it's probably the most welcoming country to move to. Cousin K lived in France with her husband for five years - we talked a little about the difficulties of being an ex-pat. In a funny kind of way, I think it might have been harder in France (just a short flight, or a long drive) than it will be in Canada. Not just the language, but also the culture. Many parts of France don't really welcome British immigrants with outstretched arms...

I'll miss them all, but we're all on Facebook - and the good thing about Family is that they never go away, even if you don't see them for years or years :)

Ps - to WSArabians thank you for the invite :) it makes me feel welcome. Oh, and the UK maybe tiny but the roads are realllly realllly windy and slow and full of traffic and oh! It takes hours to get anywhere!

To Hildalgo13 - my husband had a job offer too good to refuse.
Wallaby and Skyseternalangel like this.
    07-03-2012, 10:47 AM
All of yesterday, and today I have been unable to access Facebook or the BBC. I am pleased to report that this has left me slightly frustrated but not a gibbering mess. Congratulations to google and the other few websites that I am still able to access, as I understand that the problem was the addition of the leap second over the weekend, which they anticipated and others didn't.

Today is the day the men arrive to start wrapping and packing, I am awaiting them now. I think, I hope that I have done everything humanly possible to prepare, and that for the next five weeks son and I will have everything we need to live with. Just had a last minute scrub of husband's shoes to remove the mud. I'd done the boots, but not the shoes.

Yesterday evening son and I broke all the rules.... We invited shaggy dog upstairs (shock horror!), we reassured him that he was not going to be told off, and he flopped down in son's bedroom wagging his tail. Son was really happy to have him there - did you know that Dennsis the Menace's dog sleeps on Dennis's bed? Now you do. Shaggy dog is a German Shaphard x Border Collie, and he is (to put it politely) a very attentive dog. When I am feeling irritated I would call him neurotic. He wants to be with humans all the time, and will follow me from room to room if he can. This is okay when he is dry, but when he's wet and muddy he has to locked in the dog room which causes him much internal angst.

He came downstairs at son's lights off time, but I have said to son that when we are in new house in Canada, he can have a bed for shaggy dog in his bedroom. And I am going to have a bed for spotty dog in mine, regardless of what husband thinks of that idea.

Now to make a cup of tea. Hurry up wrap&pack men!
    07-03-2012, 04:22 PM
Originally Posted by Shropshirerosie    
Now to make a cup of tea. Hurry up wrap&pack men!

For some reason I'm now envisioning you sitting there waiting on men more suitable to be chippendale dancers to arrive and back your house for you. I'm assuming my brain is FAR to naughty! All the same.. for your sake I'll cross my fingers for chippendale-esque movers and breakfast roll belly movers.
Wallaby and xxdanioo like this.
    07-04-2012, 04:30 PM
The three lovely (Sorry Maple - not THAT lovely) Polish chaps have been in the house for two day wrapping and packing every thing. Son's toys are packed, the sofas are packed (those are big boxes), the mugs and teapots are packed (aaaargh! What is a girl to do?!). Tomorrow they finish with my bedroom, son's bed, and the rest of the kitchen. Then on Friday it will be put in a big shipping container, sealed with a customs tag and

It's all a bit strange really.

I took the dogs for a lovely walk along the river this morning, and both dog had lots of time off lead with no bad behaviour at all. Luckily we didn't see any other dogs, and no sheep so there was nothing to cause me angst. Both of those things will result in my dogs turning from cute pets into snarling savages.

Son has a bit of a cough/cold at the moment. So yesterday, when he realised that his favourite sword had been packed he was cool about it. Today - under the weather with the cold - when he remembered that said sword had been packed; oh the wailing! And this was just when I was due to cook his tea, and nice Polish Man number 2 was packing my kitchen. So I retreated from the battlelines with him to my opposite neighbour where I cooked tea in her kitchen, and she found toys for son from her son's bedroom. My neighbour is fab; I wish I could take her with us!

I started on my task of getting house insurance quotes for new house in Canada today. Didn't get very far though, as the lady on the 'phone asked me unfamiliar questions.

English House Insurance

Is the house detached, semi-detached or terrace?
How many bedrooms?
What postcode?
Do the windows have locks?
Do you have a burglar alarm?

Canadian House Insurance

When was the house built? Erm I don't know!
What is the roof made of? Oh heck I don't remember, but it sure wasn't roof tiles like I know them.
How old is the roof? Gaaah!
How old is the furnace? Erm
Is the Burglar Alarm monitored? Umm you mean by the Police, or by nosy neighbours?
What square footage is the house? Oooh I know that one, it's on the particulars!
How big is the deck? Erk... feet or metres (playing for time there)
How far away is the nearest Fire Hole? Errrrr
The nearest Fire HALL..... errr is that the Fire Station? Ummmmm

Lady was awfully patient with me, and actually managed to e-mail me some quotes! I suspect she marked her file "stupid English lady".
Failbhe likes this.
    07-04-2012, 04:59 PM
Best of luck on your move to Canada. I have always thought I was very fortunate to have been brought up in such a beautiful and vast country. Hopefully, you won' t find the transition too hard. As a general rule, Canadians are warm, humble and welcoming towards people from another country. I wish I lived closer so I could welcome you personally but this will just have to suffice "Welcome". I enjoy your posts in your diary and look forward to reading them as your journey progresses. Just an aside, I would love to visit Great Britain someday as my father's mom was from Liverpool. It must be such a great undertaking moving overseas for you and your family. I don't even like moving within the same city. Cheers!
Shropshirerosie likes this.
    07-05-2012, 05:50 PM
Shattered. House full of boxes. Everything bar the cat and the dogs, son and me is wrapped to go. Son and I sleeping on borrowed camp beds in borrowed bed linen. Snore...
    07-06-2012, 06:43 AM
Thoughts on emigrating with a child

Sitting on the kitchen counter typing, surrounded by boxes everywhere. *The three lovely packers are sitting outside in their lorry. *We're all waiting for the shipping container to arrive.

I have a six year old son. *When we were just starting this process, everyone said 'he'll be okay, children are very resilient', and 'it'll just be a big adventure!'. *Well, those people were wrong. *I can't comment on any child apart from my own, but he's not okay and it's not a 'great big adventure'. *Before I go on, please let me hasten to add that I do believe that once we are settled in and he is at his new school, he will be fine, he will have survived. *But make no mistake, this episode will remain in his memory as a time of worry and uncertainty.

He is losing all his friends, going to a new school to make new friends and get to know new teachers. *He'll have to adapt his accent rapidly so that he 'fits in'. *He's worried that his friends here will forget him. *No six year old in the world wants to be displaced from the safety and familiarity of home. *My six year old is intelligent, and a deep thinker. *Not ideal in these circumstances - his imagination has brought out the worst possibilities, and I did experience for a few weeks what he is going to be like as a teenager: "I have no friends", "I'm no good at anything" "I didn't ask to move to Canada" etc etc. *(Luckily I didn't get the "I didn't ask to be born" but we were close!) These are the things I have done to help him on the way:

- told the school as soon as we told him, and they gave him lots of support and reassurance
- took him to Canada to see his new school
- set up Facetime to that we can Facetime Daddy (he has already gone over, two months ago)
- bought my parents an iPad so that they can Facetime us when we are there
- set up his own e-mail address so that his old friends can send him e-mails from the school. *(school are doing e-mailing and 'internet protocol' this year)
- maintained his normal routine at all times. *The house may be full of boxes, but we still get to school on time and in uniform!
- acknowledged how he's feeling and empathised
- spoken to a mother at school who did the trip from Australia to here last year, and shared her experiences with my son
- filled our days with routine and normality.

If you're thinking of doing this, then go ahead and seize the opportunity in front of you. *I don't think we're going to regret it. *But do be aware of the short term toll it will take on the way.
    07-06-2012, 06:50 AM
You're such a good mom :)

Mine just gave us a few months to move and that's that. I was 11 and had to pack up the entire house, etc. just me and my mom. My brother didn't help and my dad was already in the states. THAT was stressful.. but I'm sure your little one will be fine :)
    07-07-2012, 04:16 PM
Camp Beds

Donated by neighbours:-

1 A blue and red airbed reminiscent of ALL our childhood camping holidays. I blew this up with the supplied footpump, to the accompaniment of Radio 1 during son's bath time. It collapsed overnight, but son did not wake up.

2 A large blue modern airbed that blows up with it's own electric pump, and expands to the size of a full height double bed. It slowly collapsed overnight, leaving me sinking down in the middle in great discomfort as it tried to swallow me whole.

3. Another blue and red airbed as per (1), from another neigbour who assures me that it will not collapse. I have just pumped this up with the 'armpump' that it came with. I hope it lives up to it's non-punctured reputation.

4. A 'Bouldering Mat' which is not a campbed at all, but apparently something to do with a strange sport of climbing up rocks and jumping off them. This is now my bed, and will not collapse as it is solid. It is also quite short; I think my feet will hang off the end, but this I don't mind as I sleep curled up.

Apart from sorting out the bed question for both of us, today we woke up early, son came and joined me, and we both read/iPad'ed for a long relaxing time. Then off to Bridgnorth to cruise the Charity shops in search of toys for son to have for the next three weeks, that can be abandoned to friends when we fly without fear of emotional or financial trauma. We did well, and came back with Battleships (do you remember that?!), a dominos game, and various others. Oh, and a 'gaming' game that consists of two handsets that plug into the television, and the players can play 100 games including Pac-Man, Donkey-Kong and many others. For 5! X-box? Who needs them!

Assorted kitchen items borrowed from neighbours, and the house is coming back together. I had the means to make Toad in the Hole, which son hoovered up. All in all, a good day.

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