Yesterday, my family and I marked five years since moving from the UK and landing in Canada.
This blog is about my life. My family will feature hugely because they are a huge part of that life, but this is first and foremost a personal account. A lot of it is about the experience of moving and settling into a new country, but it will also touch on my work and interests: art, writing, science, mathematics, information technology ... heck, that sounds so nerdy, but I promise nothing (too) technical here, so for good measure let's also throw in ... cooking, and home improvements.
This will be a blend of current events, observations, and occasional rants, together with the journey itself and all its ups and downs. The latter will appear in the form of (fictional) letters to my (equally fictional - in case any real family members happen to drop in) Aunt Agatha. But the content is real enough.
Although we found the experience mostly easy and overwhelmingly positive, I think this was eased by having mainly reasonable expectations from the start. It was helped by doing a lot of reading beforehand. There were many things we were glad we knew about, and many more that we wished we'd known. I hope that this blog will help and encourage people preparing to make the leap for themselves.
So, how did we mark our fifth anniversary? Well, we thought a while ago about throwing a party, like we did after one year here, but life has gotten so busy these days that it just didn't happen.
But serendipity intervened.
Our local recreation centre has just finished building a new aquatic complex, and yesterday was its grand opening. We've visited the centre many times, of course, but the pool has been closed for over a year while they completely rebuilt the enclosure and added a new leisure area - and a ten metre water slide. Check it out here.
So we took advantage of the free admissions handed out for the opening day to try out the new facility.
We were not disappointed.
Now, here's the spooky bit. The recreation centre is built up on a hill, and the water slide tower has huge windows looking out over the Strait of Georgia. While waiting in line, I gazed out on a gloriously sunny afternoon. Sounds of laughter echoed up from the pool below. Down in the grounds outside, the playground was also busy. Looking down at laughing parents and happy children, I remembered what had drawn us to think about emigrating in the first place fourteen years ago: The spectacular scenery and the relaxed Canadian devotion to fun and family life. This, even back then as a carefree and childless couple, was what had struck us most about British Columbia. This is why we had come here.
Yes, I think this was after all a most fitting way for the whole family to celebrate our anniversary.