Tuesday, 5 August 2008


O'Canada, Our home and native land,
True patriot love, in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The true North strong and free.
From far and wide, O'Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free;
O'Canada we stand on guard for thee.
O'Canada we stand on guard for thee.

It's not our native land, but we have called Canada our home for the past 2 years - and it has been a privilege to do so. I have sung the anthem above every morning in school with the same pride as any Canadian. This is a truly wonderful country.

We felt it was out pleasurable duty to try to see as much of the country (and indeed the whole continent) as we could while we were here, and I am pleased to say that I think we succeeded. I have managed to visit 7 Canadian provinces, missing only the praries and the Arctic north - not too bad for 24 months!

I have constantly been struck by the friendliness and pleasantness of the Canadians I have met every day, and I know that some of the people that I have been fortunate enough to meet here will now be lifelong friends.

As much as I love England, and am looking forward to our return, a piece of my heart will forever now be in Canada, and I will look back on this 2 year period in my life with much fondness.

So, what will I miss...? In no particular order: A perfect climate - hot Summers, dramatic snowy winters, epic thunderstorms - skiing, the snowblower, vast skies, long straight roads, our big car, Tim Hortons (especially the Breakfast Sandwiches and Iced Capps), the laid-back atmosphere in schools (compared to the too-often stressed one in the UK), our giant beer-fridge (and our tax-free alcohol-allowance to fill it!), everything being bilingual (my French has really improved while I've been here), the native wildlife - the thrill of seeing hummingbirds in the garden, porcupines, skunks and raccoons in the street, and coyotes and beavers on the Base - Dollarama, fresh Ontario produce on roadside stalls (especially the squash in Autumn), maple syrup being tapped in the Spring, maple trees in Autumn, campsites with firepits, the crystal-clear water in the Great Lakes, the Mounties Musical Ride.....

I'm quite certain that I will think of many many more during the day, but I fear that our internet is about to be cut off as we move out of the house tomorrow. This blog will continue when I am no longer a Brit abroad...

So long Canada, and thanks for everything.