How typical of our luck. The weather folk have been going on about how this will be the coldest Canadian winter in years and to underline this “fact”, we have been going through an extremely cold spell this past couple of weeks. Until a couple of days ago, we’d had numerous continuous days of “overcast” (it’s sort of different here…the sky goes very white) weather with daytime temperatures of -24°C (with a wind-chill factor making it feel like -27°C).
We decided that we weren’t going to hide from it and even though we weren’t brave enough to venture out for walks, we did make sure we went about our business in terms of going to the shops and so on. You know that brain-freeze feeling you get when you eat too much ice cream at once…well it sort of feels like that, all over your head and body! So, it was out with the hats and thermal gloves and numerous layers of clothing, which all helped to make it manageable.
It’s been nice to see the sun again this past couple of days although we had a fairly large dump of snow last night. Quite bizarrely though, we looked out the front door just before lunchtime today and someone (we have absolutely no idea who) has cleared our drive of all the snow. What a saint! It left us completely dumbfounded…we’ll let you know if we find out who the Good Samaritan was and why they felt compelled to be so kind!
A number of people have asked us about the postal system here.
The first thing we should say is that postage is very expensive (especially for parcels), it feels quite dated, and it is a bit flaky.
The key difference from the UK is that you don’t get the post delivered to your door. Indeed, the doors do not have letterboxes. Instead, you are assigned a box at a nearby postal delivery station and the post-person drives up and pops all the post for the local area into the respective boxes. You’re given a key for your box and you pop along each day (or whenever you want) to see if you have mail. You can imagine how our little faces light up when we find mail in our box! Our box is just around the corner from the house, so it’s no big deal to walk (or in current weather conditions – more of that later – slide) over there to check. Here’s our postal station…our box is on the bottom row of the middle section.
We’ve been delighted to receive a variety of new home and Christmas cards. They have all been so welcome. One, in particular, really took us by surprise, so much so that we have framed it and it is now hanging on the wall. The author will instantly recognise her handiwork, thank you to Sue, Jan’s sister, who hand painted such an accurate picture of our new house without having seen it “in the flesh”. Again though, sincere thanks to everyone for the well-wishes.
So, after a month of waiting, we took possession of our new house on Wednesday, 14th November. However, we spent that night as our final night at the barn as we had to wait until the following day until our UK furniture (and a number of other items) were delivered.
We were pleasantly surprised to see how much stuff we could fit into the car (we had been stock-piling essential purchases at the barn over the prior few weeks).
On Thursday morning, we arrived at the house bright and early and shortly afterwards, the lorry delivering our goods shipped from the UK, arrived.
There were just two, apparently slightly built chaps on board to shift all our belongings but boy, could they carry heavy loads! They would reach behind their backs and grab the far edges of a package and then run into the house and if necessary, up the steps) with the package (some of which were extremely heavy) behind them. It looked weird but was very effective. They unpacked many of the boxes for us and left us to do others when we told them that was OK. Our driveway was a mass of packing debris when they finished some hours later.
The lads did a pretty professional job on the whole, especially as they had to work around a series of other deliveries from other companies (ie: sofas, TV, etc) the same day. We do have some damage to a small number of items but versus our expectations of moving a house full of things 4,400 miles, we’re reasonably satisfied with how things went.