Those two words seem to sum up the last 10 days pretty well!
As soon as we had tidied up after moving in, we managed to get the electricians in to sort out the badly placed switches and sockets, add some pot lights, wire us for sound etc. So my beautiful, clean, tidy new home is now full of holes! As with most North American houses, the structure is wood frame and drywall (plasterboard), so changing things involves cutting pieces out of the walls and fishing for wires, with the occasional need to pass through a beam. And, of course, every surface is now covered with a fine layer of dust, which will only get worse as we fill and sand . . .
But it will be worth it, especially the freshly painted family/media room ready to embrace my piano when it finishes its journey with an ascent to the first floor! And our new central vacuum cleaner, which Paul fitted apparently effortlessly last weekend, vanquishes the dust with ease.
In the meantime, the milestones.
The first snowfall came wet and howling overnight on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning Paul set out for Tyco at Markham, where a Christmas pot-luck lunch was scheduled, through a thick layer of sludgy snow. A neighbour kindly cleared the sidewalk (pavement) in front of our house but, later, I christened our snow shovel and attacked the side (one downside of a corner property!). This is definitely worth doing whilst the snow is fresh. We have only had flurries since Wednesday, but Toronto remains dusted with icing sugar in temperatures between around –5 and –8, with hard candy crusts where snow has gathered. Wednesday was gray, gloomy and damp, but the last couple of days have been mostly sunny and invigorating. Yes, it is cold, especially when the wind catches you, but as long as you have appropriate layers, hat and gloves, everything feels so clear and bright.
Yesterday we received notification that our container was arriving in Montreal, followed today by a copy of the manifest. We then had to take this, together with our shipping list, passports, Permanent Residency cards and declaration to the imposing official building at 1 Front Street to gain customs clearance. This was achieved so swiftly that it was almost a (welcome) anticlimax. The container should by now have been released for loading onto a train to Toronto and, hopefully sometime next week, there will be another round of chaos as the 169 boxes containing our worldly goods are delivered to our home.