Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Lara Graduates from Reception

It was Lara's summer production today at school, and "Graduation" ceremony. She had even made her own mortar board hat, and was given a certificate. Her last day will be on Friday, although she has two birthday parties to attend before we fly to Calgary, so it won't be the last time she'll see her school friends:

The production was "The Gingerbread Man", and Lara played the part of the Old Lady. She was very confident, so those trips to drama and musical theatre classes have paid off!
When I told the admin lady in the school office that Lara wouldn't be returning in September, she was very disappointed: "Lara? Do you have to take her? She's lovely! Can't you take one of the naughty ones!?"
So, two more days of Reception, then it's time to prepare for Grade One, although we won't know where until we've found a house to buy over there. Olga's had some chats on the phone with an estate agent in Calgary, and we'll be viewing potential properties the morning after we arrive. There's no time to waste!

Oh, and that reminds me of something else Lara said that made me smile today - she said elevator instead of lift. We're planning on immersing ourselves fully in the culture, which means adapting to the language, so no more talk of estate agents, it's the Realtor from now on...

3 weeks to go...

It's all getting a bit exciting now!
Today I finally realised that the packers are coming next week to start, well, packing. Thursday to be precise.
Two weeks from today the container will arrive to take everything away, and three weeks from today we'll be flying from Manchester.
Wow. Most things are done though, there's not really much we can do at the moment - we can't pack anything, that's what the packers are coming to do. We can throw things away that we won't be taking, or sell things - we've made a profit on some of the baby things we've sold on eBay, so well done to Olga for buying it so cheap first time around!
Hire cars are booked, Sky has been given it's notice, but strangely very few service providers seem to want 30 days notice now. Most of the insurers & utilities providers have told me to call back nearer the time when I tried to cancel services with 30-something days to go.
Prospective tenants have been visiting the house, hopefully they've seen past the chaos that's going on. It can't have been as bad as when we viewed this place last year - there was a motorbike in the kitchen.
We'll be resigning from work soon - our last working day will be August 6th, with a new contract starting between our current employers and Olga and my new Canadian companies on August 7th. We're going straight on holiday for 10 days though - there's so much to do on the other side, not least buying mobile phones, a house, a car...
Lara was sweet today. She told me she couldn't get to sleep; I assumed it was because of the heat:

"No, Papa, I'm too excited!".
"What about, Lara?"
"The move!!!!"

She really is taking it very well, there doesn't seem to be any apprehension on her part, she really does seem to be excited about the whole idea. She doesn't seem bothered by having to start a new school, in fact we think she actually wants to be able to ride on a yellow school bus every day!

I had to do some shopping at Tesco on Monday, and it dawned on me then that I only needed one tub of butter (not the usual 2-for-1 offer), one small tomato ketchup, only one large kitchen roll... all those things that I've just bought in bulk before without thinking ("They'll get used eventually") aren't needed any more.
That was weird.

A Day Trip to London

I like making these video albums set to music, so here's another one.
On Saturday 6th July we got up a silly o'clock (4.15am) to catch an early train to London. The weather was brilliant, we went on the London Eye, had a picnic in St James' Park, walked past Buckingham Palace, went to the Natural History Museum and finally visited the pub near Notting Hill Gate where Olga worked 10 years ago while she was living in London.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A wonderful view of Bury (yes, it's true)

With three weeks left before we leave, on Sunday Olga, Lara, Dan, the dogs and I set off up Holcombe Hill, overlooking Bury, Ramsbottom, Rochdale and down into Manchester and beyond.  On top of Holcombe Hill is Peel Tower, a monument to Sir Robert Peel, and in my now 39 years, I've never been to the top - until Sunday. Lara raced up the 173 steps to the top, I was a bit more careful with Dan on my back, while Olga waited outside with the dogs. It was well worth the climb, and a lovely thing to tick off my "must-do" list. Afterwards we recovered with a drink at Ramsbottom Cricket Club.