Landing day

Seven years ago today we landed in Canada. We left Melbourne in the morning and arrived 24 hours later, but still on the same day, in Ottawa. I was seven and a half months pregnant and so tired that I sat on the floor of the airport in order to be beside the suitcases that we could find while Andrew looked for the one that we couldn’t find. L6 and A4 played around near me.

In the weeks that followed landing day we started a new job, bought a house, bought a car, learned to drive on the other side of the road, moved into the house, welcomed our first guest and had a baby!

Seven years later we are living in the same house and the baby is nearly seven. While there are many similarities between Australia and Canada, there are also distinct differences. Our house here has a basement, which is just as well as we have multiple pairs of skates and skis to store. In winter we try to use the skis on a weekly basis. Summer no longer includes trips to the beach, but we have discovered the joys of cottage life. Our diet includes a little more maple syrup, the occasional poutine, peaches & cream corn, blueberries and pumpkin pie. It is lacking in vegemite, meat pies, timtams and passionfruit.

Our appreciation of the seasons has grown as we long for spring after an endless winter, or watch for the first snow flakes after the leaves have fallen. We compare the colours each fall and count the bags of leaves we rake up. We make the most of our summers, but we love the beauty and sports of winter too. If you haven’t been here and you’d like to experience it for yourself, just let us know.

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(photo: HD)

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3 thoughts on “Landing day

  1. ND

    Thank you for the reminder of the time since you left us here in Australia, for it is but a few weeks beyond seven years since we, too, made our move to our cottage in the Lower Blue Mountains.

    Whilst we do not have the same seasonal demarcation, there are nevrtheless very noticeable changes.

    Around the year the blue grey of the Australian bush is a constant, but in the upper mountains introduced northern hemisphere trees provide their bright autumn colours before dropping their leaves as a carpet on the ground. Winter brings the damp fog that settles on the upper mountain and occasional descends to the lower slopes. Currently we are enjoying the fresh green of spring and the colours of garden flowers and many trees.

    Here, the change of seasons is more gradual than the sharp distictions you speak of in Canada. Summer, however, can be greatly different. Hot summer days create a blue haze from the eucalypts of the Australian bush which pervades the atmosphere and gives that distinctively Australian colour which we recognize each time we return home from an overseas visit. Summer is also the time of golden brown as the grasses dry out and fallen leaves and twigs turn crispy brown across the ground.

    Summer can also be the season of brilliant orange and crimson as occasional bushfires burn across the dried grasses or roar through the canopy of the bush tree tops. The accompanying pall of blue grey smoke can fill the sky and create a multi coloured filter for the sun. Each year, somewhere in Australia, it is likely that some communities will experience both the beauty and the horror of this colour of summer.

    I don’t know whether it is possible for a commentator to add images to your blog. I would like to be able to add something of the Australian scene for your readers.

    But back to your Canadian picture; having enjoyed the brilliant colours of autumn on our two visits to you, perhaps we should plan for a different season next time. Winter has a certain romantic appeal, but that may be short-lived in the season of short cold days and long nights. So perhaps we should think about spring as the season to experience next time.

    But in the end, I think it is the hosts rather than the season which are the reason for the visit.

    ND

    Reply
  2. David

    Spring arrived here in Canberra this weekend. The first weekend in a good while that we havent frozen half to death watching our kids race up and down the football fields. Glorious sunshine. Twenty plus degrees. T-shirts and sunglasses. Hooray!

    And a good weekend of sport it was. All the kids played great games of soccer. Marcus and Grace raced in the North Canberra athletics carnival – and Marcus will go on to ACT. In fact, it was really his weekend. He scored his first soccer goal this year. And his rugby team won the combined ACT premiership, 15 points to 10. It was a tense, hard-fought match. This match was special, too, because it was held at Canberra Stadium. The boys got to prepare in the Brumbies dressing room, consider the legends who had sat on the same seats, and soak up the big game atmosphere. To top it all off, after church, he and I went to Manuka Oval to watch our local Australian Rugby Championship side, the Canberra Vikings, demolish the Queensland team, 53 to 8! Marcus delighted in showing off his premiership medalion to two of his favourite players.

    Though Spring isn’t technically arriving for a few days. It does feel like it is here. The cold and grey is passing. People will start getting back into life. The flus will pass for another year. And people will be a little happier. Except, of course, the football fans like myself. Soon it will all be over. Oh well, I will just have to make do with the Rugby World Cup in France!

    Reply
  3. Heather Post author

    Well done, Marcus. Congratulations on your goal and your premiership win. It’s funny hearing you talk about the end of your winter sports, which are our summer sports.

    We have only one softball game left in the regular season, which we will miss as we are going camping and then we have the end of season tournament. I don’t want to think about it just yet but before we know it we’ll need to be checking skates and skis to see who needs new ones.

    My kids are enjoying hearing what your kids are doing, thanks for the news.

    Reply

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