Tag Archives: arrival

Moving beyond beginning – a new year!

Blogging has been overtaken by boxes – I checked 163 items of furniture and boxes in through the door as our worldly goods arrived here from the UK on the day before Christmas Eve!

All the boxes have been emptied since then, though some have been filled up again with the things we don’t need or have yet to find a home for. Quite apart from the urge to be settled, with some damage to key items of furniture, we wanted to be clear about any additional casualties, thankfully minimal.

One has to be pragmatic; my antiques have been passed down through our family and, in some cases, have already travelled the world. Lovely as they are, their significance rests as much in their history and usage by people I have loved and people who loved them. They have in their own way lived and they bear the scars of that living. Now, having swung through the air in a container, slumbered in a cold hold across the ocean, rattled along the rails from Montreal, miraculously these old familiars surround me once again, if a little battered. Hopefully their newest injuries will be made good once we get the insurance claim sorted!

Anyhow, carrying every book we own up at least  two flights of stairs, wondering where to put this and how on earth that came to be included in the packing seems to have absorbed as much time and energy as I have had available!

However, it made this New Year, which fell on a blue moon, particularly poignant; it was on New Year’s Eve that I emptied the last box . . .

Happy New Year!

Mess and milestones

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 . . .

New pan rack with lights! New pan rack with lights!

Mess Mess Mess

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.

The move

The move went very smoothly – we got the keys at lunchtime on  Monday and moved most of our stuff (including a bed frame, which traveled on the roof of our car) on Monday afternoon and evening.

We were in the house by 8am yesterday ready for Rogers to come to connect the Internet and phone and for our bed and a lazy-boy type sofa (for our media/family room) to be delivered. The piles of packaging grew and grew . . .

dscn6494-medium What a lot of empty boxes!

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Then it was off to the Mall, spending courageously as my mother used to put it!

Paul had an event to go to in the evening, so I was forced into driving as he picked up the subway on the way home – it wasn’t far and I felt about ready to start getting over my nervousness at adjusting to controls on the opposite side and city driving all at the same time!  This also meant I could go off to the supermarket to frighten myself at the cost of stocking up with all the essential staples, toiletries etc. –  it”s easy to forget the initial outlay of starting from scratch with food, cleaning materials etc!

After two long and busy days, I really feel for Paul trying to find the energy and concentration to get back to his Tyco work. There are still a thousand and one small things to do, which he has to let go in working hours, as well as some re-design of badly sited switches and lighting (we have an electrician working on a quote) to be sorted before our furniture arrives from the UK around 15 December (it’s due to reach port in Montreal on 11th). We also discovered that the house has been plumbed for a central vacuum cleaner and anticipate getting this fitted as soon as possible.

Why Canada?

A classic English breakfast/brunch:

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

A classic Canadian brunch:

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Ultimate Eggs – layered hash browns, sausage, back bacon, sweet red peppers and two lightly poached eggs topped with a sundried tomato and feta butter sauce

– I think you can see what Paul felt about his first meal on a glorious sunny Sunday morning in Toronto the day after our arrival in October 2009:

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New Car!

Our Car - Subaru Impreza 2.5i Sport  I keep teasing Paul that this is his mid-life crisis car – its 2.5L engine purrs in a way that I am totally unaccustomed to!  I’ve certainly never known him brush the leaves off a car before.

On Wednesday evening we took possession of a brand new Rally Blue Subaru Impreza (this is Subaru’s signature color for their rally cars, hence the name).

Having considered both used and new cars, we came to the conclusion that this way we know what we are getting and hopefully reduce maintenance costs for the first few years.

We wanted a car that was not too huge but which did have at least hatchback space for transporting things as we will undoubtedly need to buy things when we find a house. Then there are all the outdoor activities we hope at some stage to try . . .

We also felt that it was important to buy a car that is designed to cope with Canadian winter. All Subarus have AWD (all wheel drive) and traction control. We bought ours with winter tires already fitted, hence ugly wheels for now – we have to wait for the spring for our alloys! (In Canada it is best to have two sets of wheels and tires; our dealer will change these over free of charge and store the set not in use) In addition to the niceties you would expect in the UK, we also have heated seats and heated windscreen wipers. (In taking the photos below, I realized that this car definitely smiles – can’t be a bad thing! Click to see the full version of the photos, which were taken in portrait rather than landscape mode.)

Our Car - Subaru Impreza 2.5i Sport     Our Car - Paul sweeping away the leaves!

The guy who sold it to us (who juggles car sales with TV production) had an e-mail pinned above his desk from someone who had come back from a vacation to find her car buried under the snow piled at the kerb by the snow-ploughs. Whilst her neighbours looked on open-mouthed, she cleared her windscreen, dug her way into the driver’s door, then drove out of the drift! Whilst I hope we don’t need to do this, it is reassuring to have a car that copes well with snow.