When we moved to Canada from London, there was still plenty of green in the leaves, but soon they started to turn, and we caught the last of the Autumn sun, as the world turned inwards towards Halloween. I can’t believe it’s been a year since then. These photos are actually from just before Halloween last year, which for some reason I never posted, probably because I didn’t have a lot of time, it being our first weeks in a new country. But I thought they were kind of appropriate, looking back.
The first thing that really hit us here was a sense of relief. Neither of us were happy anymore in London, and I guess with a big international move, you have so much to do that you feel like you’ll never be done, and then one day you find yourself there, in your new world. Even though September and early October are not the warmest months, it felt pretty sunny and bright to us here after England’s weather, and that was a nice bonus. The colours here, too, really struck us, the blue of the ocean, the rich green of the leaves and then the warm reds and golds of the leaves. People are also really friendly and kind here.
In the UK, and also in Australia where I am from, we don’t really celebrate Halloween, so it’s a holiday here that I really love. In a large part it’s because I love all things spooky, but also, it really struck me how much peopoe get into the holidays and the seasons here, decorating for each one. I really like that. It feels like it draws people together, and Halloween feels especially generous to me, when people here give generously to make a special memory for kids that they don’t even know. (In fact, these pictures were almost all taken at the Halloween Train in Stanley Park last year) I really love that, and not to be too emotional about it, but I really love Canadians.
Speaking of seasons and candy, the food here is something that has been a real culinary adventure. Many things are the same, but so many are different, and we’ve gotten really into trying everything from Witch’s Brew Lattes to Tim Horton’s donutes, White Spot burgers, poutine and pumpkin pie and everything in between. I can’t deny that I have gained a pound or two int he last year! But it was worth every waffle.
Reflecting on a year here is a funny thing. I love that I’ve seen raccoons and skunks, and hung out with the Canada Geese in Stanley Park. This year I tried my hand at gardening for pretty much the first time, by growing an Easy Grow type seed kit or two. And it went better than I thought it would. I’ve been to the Vancouver Public Library sale a few times and have a really exciting TBR list. I’ve done loads of shopping, and have some great boots and knits that I’m looking forward to pulling out again this year. I have seen some great movies at our local cinema and have bought loads of cute shoes and homewares at Hudsons Bay.
It’s also been interesting making a home here. I got a beautiful roll top desk and a cat tree for Grim. I had fun picking out a brand new and matching kettle and toaster for our kitchen, and tea towels and cookware, as well as unpacking things we already owned and putting up framed pictures. I really love our home. It feels like a safe haven after a storm, and I finf myself lot more relaxed here than I was before. Home is also the people you love, and I have some old friends here who I have grown closer to, as well as making some new ones.
It’s hard to describe how much my life has changed, and how much I feel like I’ve come home both outwardly to a city that I love and also within myself. Because I do feel more and more like myself and less like a stressed out person. I guess this kind of thinking is what this time of year is all about, because heading into Winter we naturally take stock of what remains to be done this year and what we will need for the colder months, and also because it’s Thanksgiving here. A great time to look back and be thankful and to look forward and be creative and imaginative and hopeful.