Friday, December 4, 2009

12 things I remember about Canada

I lived in Kitchener, Ontario for 5 months when I was 9 years old (one of the advantages of having a father who was a (maths) academic who goes to conferences overseas!). Here, just for fun, are 12 things I remember about Canada.

1. the dreadful bowl haircut I got just before the trip, and the aeroplane stewardess who thought I was a boy

2. the boy called Ken who had a crush on the visiting Aussie girl, bowl haircut and all, and showed it by pushing me into snowdrifts

3. the fiery Autumn colours (how I long for those!) and trudging through thick, damp leaves

4. tasting real maple syrup for the first time

5. singing "O Canada" as we stood by our desks in class every morning, until I knew it better than my own national anthem

6. the overheated houses (overheated by Australian standards, anyway!) so that it always felt like a hot Summer day indoors even in the depths of Winter

7. the morning sun shining through the feathery ice pictures which Jack Frost painted on our bedroom windows every night

8. the glazed green clay dinosaur with the floppy neck I made at school

9. changing into - then out of - then into - then out of - then into - then out of - then into - then out of - increasingly damp coats, waterproof pants, boots, hats and scarves every time we went outside and inside during a school day

10. lying in the snow and making snow angels

11. my brother's red nose and fingers after he'd spent hours and hours in the snow, long after everyone else had escaped indoors

12. the guilt I felt, after we returned to Australia, whenever I forgot to write to Donna, my Canadian pen pal (she never forgot to write to me!)

image is from Ian Muttoo at flickr


Nicole said...

I lived in the USA for 5 months when I was 7 years old (was your dad an academic too?). I really enjoyed reading your memories - thanks Jean!!

Jean said...

Yes, very much the bonus of having an academic for a dad! You'll have to write a post on your 12 things!!

charissa said...

My Dad was an academic too and we lived in Engalnd a couple of time once when I was four and once when I was eight. It is amazing how much clearer my memories of England are than of things that happened at home when I was younger. I wonder if the memories just keep getting reinforced by photos and stories being retold or whether the fact that things were so different to normal life makes the memories stand out more. I cetainly have lots of good memories of those times.

mattnbec said...

3. the fiery Autumn colours (how I long for those!) and trudging through thick, damp leaves

Well, it's my husband who is the academic who brings us to the UK. And while I do love the colours of autumn and our kids love collecting the leaves, I don't love it when they get damp! Several reasons. The leaves:
a) get smelly and gross
b) stick to the wheels of the pram, shoes and get everywhere on the carpet
c) eventually make a slippery mush which my kids have been known to slip over in
d) after event mentioned in c) the stains can be impossible to get out of white top, tights, lovely dress etc.

mattnbec said...

Just struck me - Is my comment the difference between being a child and being a mum?

Jean said...

Probably! Although it's not so much the damp leaves I remember, as the dry leaves on top of the damp leaves, which we collected and threw at each other and sorted into piles and rustled through ... you get the picture! :)