Wed 16 Sep 2009
Mon 14 Sep 2009
It’s been ages and ages since I wrote anything of consequence on Notes for a couple of reasons. One, things were going on here that were totally Notes material but I didn’t want to publicly write about them. Two, the past month has been crazy busy (related to point One).
Last week, after months and months of waiting, I officially became a Permanent Resident of Australia. Yay! It doesn’t really change my day-to-day life all that much at the moment but it does allow me to come and go without any restrictions (more or less). Immigration took ages longer than they said they would granting the visa and it was really starting to stress me out. Not because I was worried I’d get knocked back but because…
Amanda and I are moving to Vancouver next week. We’d been thinking about it for ages but over the past six months or so we really got ourselves organized. When we sent in Amanda’s Canadian visa application my Australian residency application had been in the mail for ages and we assumed I’d be made a permanent resident long before we made any official decision. Turns out, my visa arrived about 12 days before our departure date. Cutting it a little close!
We love that we have options now. We’re both permanent residents of the other’s home country and if we decide to move back to Sydney, we can (at least that’s how I read my visa restrictions!).
Anyway, it’s been an exciting, stressful few months but on Monday we head off to Vancouver for a new adventure. I’m really not sure what’s going to happen with this blog. It will likely continue to gather cobwebs. I’ve got a few more posts planned for this week (time permitting) but after that Notes may go dark, permanently.
I’ve loved having this blog despite its lack of updates the past year or so. It’s been totally self-indulgent and no one reads it but being able to have some memories and photos from my four years in Sydney in one centralized spot has been great.
Also, as Amanda said, moving is pants.
Sat 25 Jul 2009
We’re deep in the heart of winter here in Sydney at the moment but it doesn’t ever really get proper cold here. Very occasionally, out further west (pretty much where I work) it can be one or two degrees Celsius in the mornings before warming up to sixteen or seventeen degrees during the day. But that’s pretty rare. Most days the overnight low is probably between seven and ten degrees.
But here’s the rub. When I walk outside in the morning and it’s thirteen degrees, I feel cold. As a Canadian I tell myself, “Thirteen degrees is not cold you idiot,” but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s bloody cold out!
And don’t even get me started on the indoor situation. Most Australian buildings retain absolutely zero heat in the winter (they retain all the heat in the summer though!) which means it feels cold inside too. I remember during my first winter here I’d be crowded around the gas heater in the staffroom at work with a British woman. We’d comment how pathetic we felt, the ones from cool climates huddling around a heater in Australia, land of the sun.
So while I’ve coped with the indoor heating situation, being cold outdoors in thirteen degrees is worrisome. Amanda and I are planning on moving back to Vancouver later this year (more on that later) and I’m very concerned how the Vancouver winter is going to treat me. If I can’t even cope with an Australian winter, Canada’s next winter may do some serious damage.
And Amanda…well she’s got a big shock coming to her.
Wed 1 Jul 2009
Like last year, I spent Canada Day at work. I tried pulling the whole national holiday thing but for some reason it didn’t fly at work today. And like last year, I wore the above shirt to work. A colleague who was out of town on excursion even remembered to text me a “Happy Canada Day.” Well done, Chris.
Amanda also surprised me by decorating the apartment in anything Canadian/red. She’s awesome. My other highlight of Canada Day was seeing someone wearing a Canucks jersey at Central Station on my way home. I was tempted to say something to the man but then remembered I’m pretty anti-social.
Tue 26 May 2009
Thu 30 Apr 2009
But the honest, dark, truth is that on the other hand I really don’t want the Canucks to win the Stanely Cup while I’m not there. The city would be irrevocably changed. A city of losing would have a championship to savour and talk about forever. And I would not be a part of it. People would look different…more confident. They’d reminisce in large groups about the team of 2007 and I would find myself quietly nodding along, the last kid at the party who had yet to kiss a girl. I’m actually not sure I could ever go home again. It wouldn’t be the same home anymore.
I wrote that in April 2007 when the Canucks were in the playoffs and here I am two years later once again cheering on my home team but also desperately hoping they don’t actually with the Stanley Cup. And dispensing with the Blues in a sweep last week has only fuelled my anguish.
Fri 13 Feb 2009
Tue 23 Dec 2008
While most Australians can only dream of a white Christmas this week, Canadians are set to experience their whitest in almost 40 years.
The entire country is covered in snow for the first time since 1971.
Alberta is the only province that has no weather warning current and as many as 100,000 people in Atlantic Canada are without power as snow and freezing temperatures wreak havoc.
The prairie provinces are in a deep freeze, with temperatures dipping to under minus 30 degrees Celsius, and even British Columbia is suffering with unusually cold weather.
Eastern Canada is still digging out from back-to-back weekend snowstorms that dumped 50 centimetres of snow and disrupted air travel during the busiest time of the year.
Forecasters say there is more snow coming on Christmas Eve.
I spent yesterday swimming in a pool in someone’s backyard and playing cricket. Life is funny.
Mon 22 Dec 2008
As a kid growing up in Vancouver, you always, ALWAYS looked forward to snow. Despite Canada’s (well-deserved) wintery reputation, the southwest corner of B.C. doesn’t receive all that much snow. Sure it falls up on the mountains, but down where all us cityfolk live, a couple snowfalls a year is all we could look forward to as kids.
A white Christmas, therefore, was pretty rare. I can remember a couple but they were years and years ago. So last year, when I missed out on a white Vancouver Christmas, I was kind of choked. Of course Vancouver would wait until I was gone before finally putting on a Christmas show. What hurts even more, is that it looks like it’s going to happen for the second year in a row.
Here was the forecast a few days ago. When I saw this, I died a little inside:
Now it has changed a bit…and it currently looks like this:
Screw you, Vancouver.
The only “white” Christmas around here is the unrelenting, blazing glare of a sun that feels as though it is just a few metres over your head. So while many members of my family (in both Vancouver and Boston) might be lamenting the snow at Christmas time, they should know that I would trade some sun for some snow in a heartbeat at the moment.
Sun 14 Dec 2008
This is my fifth Christmas in Australia (more or less) but I still can’t get used to the whole summer Christmas thing. The other day we were watching TV and a Coles ad came on advertising all their Christmas food specials. The ad featured a family gathered around a table.
But it was a picnic table.
And it was outdoors.
And I’m pretty sure I saw someone standing at a barbecue.
Safeway Christmas ads back in Canada are a tad different.