The things I'll miss...


There’s no doubt that we are looking forward to our time in Canada next year very much. It’s getting close now, and our friends are always asking how we are going with the preparations, have we checked the weather conditions there lately, and are we excited. (The answers to these questions by the way are, we have so much still to so it isn’t funny, yes we check the weather and it’s been snowing this week in Oakville – quite early this year!, and yes we ARE excited.)

It’s really good being surrounded and supported by people who take such an interest in our adventure. We went out tonight with the Nugents and they asked lots of questions and talked about next year, and it’s nice to have that support. There are so many great things to look forward to next year, but I must say that there will be a couple of things happening back here in Australia that I am quite sorry to be missing.

There will be all the obvious things we will miss, like family and friends. My mum, my nan, our close family, and some of our very dear and special friends. I know they will be thinking of us, and we will certainly be thinking of them. But we would miss them all, no matter when we went. However, there are two things that are specific to next year which I will miss out on …

One is the Suzuki Club’s 30th Anniversary year… yes, I know it’s just a 4WD club, but it’s played such a large part in my life for such a long time, that I would have loved to have been able to be here for the celebrations. They are holding a big reunion dinner and there will be many people there I haven’t seen for a long time, including some of my good Japanese JCJ mates who are coming over especially for it. There will also be special trips and events happening all throughout the year to fabulous placed like the Victorian High Country, and as much as I know we will have a great time over in Canada, I can’t help but feel a little envious of others who will be taking part in these events back at home.

The other thing I will miss is having my Year 12 students for their HSC year. This group in my ITM class is the nicest bunch of students I think I’ve ever taught, and I will really miss not being able to be with them during 2006. I know they will do great, and I will stay in touch with them as much as I can via the Net, but I really would have liked to have been able to stick with them next year. I will miss seeing the great work they are doing, I will miss taking them through the intensity and the leadup to the HSC and their final major works, and I will miss seeing them at their Year 12 formal. I would have liked to have been there to give each of them a big hug and tell them how wonderful they are, and how proud I am of what they have done. And by the time I get back, I may never see some of them again, and that really makes me a bit sad.

However, sometimes in life you realise that as much as you want it all, you can’t have it all. You sometimes just have to choose your course and make a decision and even though there are upsides and downsides to every decision, you can’t dwell on those things. You just have to enjoy the moments you have and make the most of every second. And I will do that. I think the Canadian experience will be fantastic, and even though I won’t dwell on what I will be missing I think it’s a worthwhile thing to acknowledge it.

The plane Boss, the plane!!


The time draws nearer! We have now paid for our airline tickets, so it’s all go. We fly out on January 17 – Donna’s birthday – at 9:30am, and arrive in Toronto at 4:30pm the same day, after a 23 hour flight. It will be a long day, and we will stretch out Donna’s birthday for as long as we can. She worked out that she will get about 41 hours worth of birthday! I’m wondering if I fly back the next year on *my* birthday whether I can skip one altogether? Speaking of which, my return ticket is booked via Vancouver where I hope to get off the plane and head up to Whistler for a few days before flying home. I’ve always wanted to ski at Whistler, so there’s another thing I can cross off the Dreambook list! We spoke to Dave and Heidi today, and I mentioned that we would be flying Air Canada. Heidi mentioned that she would see if it were possible to get some sort of upgrade to business class, at least on the domestic Canadian leg. I think we did well to partner up with someone whose wife works at Air Canada!

We also joined the Aeroplan frequent flyer scheme, which is aligned with Air Canada as part of the Star Alliance group. The points won’t be much use to us back in Australia, since Star Alliance doesn’t really have any local Australian airlines… nearest one would be Air New Zealand. However, if we earned enough points to get some decent discounts on car hire or hotel accommodation while we are in Canada it would come in very handy. We better start thinking about what to pack now! We can only have 2 bags of 23kg each, plus carry-on luggage. It sounds like a reasonable amount for a holiday, but when you are packing up to go live somewhere else for a year, 46kg each is really not a lot! We take more than that when we go camping for a weekend!

Voice and Video


I got an email the other week from Kimberley, a friend of the Graces in Oakville. She was asking if it would be ok if her daughter Laura and our daughter Kate started to correspond on email. These two girls might end up in the same classes next year, so she was thinking it would be good to get to know someone before we get here. I thought that was a wonderful idea, and so did Kate! Thanks Kimberley for making the first move!

Kate sent an email to Laura, and they exchanged a few notes. Kate then added Laura to her MSN buddy list, and they managed to catch each other live during the week, having a good chat about stuff.

Then last weekend I caught David online on Saturday morning, and we had a bit of a talk about a few things, but then Charlee and Kate got on MSN together and had a long chat. We quickly remembered that we both now have webcams, so on they went, and the two girls had a face to face talk for ages... (at least an hour) Kate found out about school, and what to wear and about each others bedrooms and what music they liked and so on. That was a great thing to see happening. I think it will be really good for the kids to get there in January, and know a couple of people and have their own idea of what to expect.

It was also good to see how effectively the webcam video chat actually works too, since we will probably use it a bit while we are away.

Visas have arrived


I got a short note from Helen on Friday to say that our Canadian visas have arrived. She popped them in the post and we should have them on Monday or Tuesday. That's a relief, since we heard they could take ages to process, and we actually left it quite a while before we applied too.

Oh, and we booked our flights! Flying out on the 17th January and spending a couple of days with Dave, Heidi, Charlee and Adam before they come over here. That will be excellent, I was really hoping that we would get to spend a few days together, and it turns out we will.

I'm also planning to do a few days skiiing in Whistler on the way home too, so when we pay for our flights I'm going to add that to the schedule. Yahoo!



Got a call today from Rob and Robyn, a couple of our very best friends, trying to arrange dates for a visit to Toronto. It will be great to see them over there, and we plan to do a bit of touring together. At this stage it looks like they might come over at the start of the Summer break and stay with us for a couple of weeks.

Had a few other people talk about dropping in while we're there too, so we'll see what actually pans out.

Skype: betchaboy

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