Word of the Week – Plunge

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We have finally taken the plunge  and Hubbie has quit his job, from next week we will be officially working for ourselves.

It is a scary time and it has made our future uncertain yet again but I guess that is another example of how starting a new life in another country can keep you on your toes!  I feel a little like Eldest Son does in the photo above, bracing for impact, a little out of control maybe but trusting that the end result will be ok.

We’ve done it before, when we lived in England, so we’re under no illusions of the hard work and determination it will take to make this business successful but hopefully we have learned from the mistakes we made before and this time the journey will be easier.

Unfortunately this will mean my blogging will need to take a back seat while we get on our feet but I hope to be able to balance both eventually .  I guess that’s not a bad thing as it will allow me to concentrate on quality rather than quantity, there are so many brilliant linkys out there that have allowed me to try out my writing skills and explore my photography that I want to join them all but that’s just not possible.  From now on I’ll have to be more selective about what I post and try to only post when I have something important to say or a photo I’m particularly pleased with.

We have interesting times ahead to say the least, Hubbie will be much happier when he is in control of his work once again and I need to remember that when I go into full on panic mode as the worrier in me takes over!

Wish us luck!

 

The Reading Residence

Alphabet Photo – S is for Street Performers

It was the ScotiaBank Buskerfest in downtown Toronto at the end of August.  The street performers ranged from jaw-dropping to the downright bizarre and everything in-between!  Here are a few of my favourites;

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Joining in with the Alphabet Photography Project by Charly at PODcast

S is for Street Performers

 

Expat Celebrations

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Today Eldest Son turns 20 and like all celebrations and holidays since emigrating it will be a low-key affair.

 

That is one of the compromises we make when we undertake this expat lifestyle, in exchange for a better daily life we sacrificed sharing special moments with our loved ones and I admit to feeling guilty that the boys (well, mainly youngest son who was 10 when we left) have missed out on those early memories of big family do’s that would traditionally accompany such celebrations back in England.

 

If we were still there the celebrations would involve my friends dropping round after school for a coffee, a meal with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on the weekend and probably time celebrating with his friends (you know how kids manage to spread their birthdays over a week!) Instead it will be a quiet meal out, just the four of us.

 

Christmases are no longer the big family affair where we share our time between my family and his, you know those celebrations that take a week to prepare for a whole day to clean up after and days to recover from! It’s now just the four of us, the smallest turkey I can find and a marathon Skype session with the family.

 

It takes some getting used to and I don’t doubt that we are in the thoughts of our loved ones on special occasions but as a Mum it’s my job to make birthdays special and that’s quite a task when our nearest and dearest aren’t here.

 

So eldest son has picked a restaurant to visit tonight for his birthday dinner and we’re going where any self respecting Brit abroad should visit… the local Irish bar! Our phones have been bleeping away since the early hours of the morning with messages from our friends and family, we’ll spend some time this afternoon catching up with some of them on Skype and I have been collecting his cards out of the mail for the last week so he had a big pile to open this morning.

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The Birthday Boy

 

Accepting that celebrations will be different is part and parcel of adapting to our new life and it’s important to remember that they may be different now but doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be any less special.

 

Seychelles Mama

B&W Photography Project – Lily

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The Black and White photography Project is rapidly becoming one of my favourite blog links.  Hubbie is usually the one who loves monochrome and many of his snaps adorn the walls in our house but I prefer to take landscape photos where so much of the beauty is in the colour.  This project, however, has given me a completely different outlook and I was completely inspired by the beautiful dandelion Charly posted and the gorgeous flower Jaime posted last week.

I’d never thought of photographing flowers in black and white before so I’m quite please with how well this one turned out :-)

 


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The Prompt – Brief

 

The Prompt for this week is a word and it is:

Brief

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This summer has been brief, way too brief

 Last winter our first snow fell on November 23rd 2013 and we had our last snowfall of the season on April 15th 2014. 5 months of the white stuff was more than enough, so I hoped and prayed for a good, long, hot summer to combat the winter blues.

 It didn’t happen.

 Our first camping trip on May 16th 2014 was unseasonably cold at barely above zero while the nights were below zero and had us shivering under canvas.

 Spring arrived late and summer has been on average “below seasonal temperatures” and although, by normal UK standards, it’s been good it hasn’t been enough to combat last winter.

Here we are on August 21st and the signs of fall (autumn) are already here.   Last weekend I sat on my decking watching the squirrels building their drays in the Elm trees at the bottom of the garden and eating like there was no tomorrow, all signs that the autumn weather will be here soon.

Today I noticed the leaves one on of those trees beginning to turn red. It feels like summer is slipping through my fingers like sand through an hourglass, there’s nothing I can do about it and I’m not anywhere near ready for it.

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I’m trying to prolong the season by booking two more camping trips, one next week and another in October, in the hope that it will, in effect, shorten the winter.

I’m not holding out much hope.

After only  3 months of warm weather I’m not ready for winter , no where near ready

Will someone please put on the breaks?!

I want to be wrong but my gut feeling is telling me that we are in for another long, harsh winter.

We’ve tried to fit in as much as we can this summer, trying to make the most of the warm weather but the whole routine of seasonal living really takes some getting used to.

Celebrating the summer months by being outside as much as possible and retreating indoors for the majority of the winter is a skill we are still trying to learn.

As September approaches I am trying to cling onto those last days of summer I am desperately hoping that this time we will have a brief winter instead of a brief summer.

Fingers crossed.

Expat Revelations – How I’ve Changed

The ability to adapt is, in my humble opinion, the single most important trait that any successful expat needs to possess. Being able to accept, or even embrace change on a daily basis is vital. It is, therefore, inevitable that in order to integrate into a new culture, regardless of how similar it may appear to be from your home country, you will change.

I don’t think I have changed dramatically although I know some of the personality traits I already had have become more pronounced. Who I am, my beliefs and core values remain the same but I have changed in subtle ways.

I am stronger, braver and more self-reliant than ever and although it is in my nature to be very cautious I find myself more willing to take risks, after all there is little in life as risky as upping sticks and moving to a different continent and if I can make a success of that then I can deal with pretty much anything else!

I think because I notice the difference between me those around me it has made me more self-aware, I am quieter and, truth be told, more withdrawn now and I have much less confidence because of those differences.   Although I do feel that I know myself better now as having to deal with new experiences all the time has made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses.

I am without doubt more emotional than before and being an emotional person to begin with that probably isn’t a good thing! I am very quick to tears now and that I think is because I constantly feel the absence of my family and friends. I’m not sure that will ever change and I guess it is something that I will get used to in time.

 

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What makes me happy has changed, like taking a walk in a pretty spot, photographing a beautiful landscape, camping in the forest or canoeing at sunset and it doesn’t get better than hot chocolate and a roaring fire in the winter while the snow falls.

 

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Adapting to a different culture, landscape and weather patterns have all changed me but nothing has changed me more than learning to live without my loved ones.

Joining in with Expat Revelations – How I’ve changed since Expatriation hosted by the lovely Holly at English Girl Canadian Man

 

English Girl Canadian Man