I've been unable to write for the past couple of days as I've been wallowing in homesickness, but after a chat with a friendly neighbourhood mum in the park and the news that the movers are coming tomorrow I'm having an easier time embracing all this change. I think I was really in a strange sort of denial about how enormous/permanent this move is (at my low points I could be heard muttering to myself "why didn't I listen to the children?") and the reality has now hit me in full force. Everyone else misses home as well, but it seems like their sadness dissipated just as mine started. I've been keeping cheerful in front of the kids, minding the advice of a friend who went through a similar move and told me "the mother sets the tone". Most of the time I still think it is a good move, but I do miss everyone quite desperately.
The house itself is lovely. In the past week Dylan has painted his workshop and Sam's room, and is almost finished filling in the broken bricks in the pathway with cement. Yesterday we went to the second most wonderful hardware store in the world: Capital Iron, on the recommendation of our Montreal neighbour who was in Vic visiting family and came by to see how we were doing. Capital Iron is a mecca and I told Dylan he should see about getting a job there (not much enthusiasm on his part). I got a new Paderno kettle on sale (cobalt blue to match my KitchenAid appliances) since neither of us could remember taking ours off the stove and packing it. We also got a hummingbird feeder since we had seen a hummingbird out the back earlier - however, it doesn't seem to have found our feeder yet.
We've explored the city in every direction from our house. Walking 3 blocks east on Toronto Ave. we hit the James Bay Square, home to our new (inaccurately named) 'Thrifty' grocery store. 'Exorbitant' would be a more suitable name, but then that wouldn't draw many shoppers. Dylan says "it's only the stuff that comes from off-island that is expensive". Hmm. I'm going to check out the markets this weekend. The James Bay Square is also home to the James Bay Coffee co. where either Dylan or I go each morning for my latté (I told him we're unpacking the coffee maker first tomorrow). If we leave our house and walk straight down to the end of our street we hit a lovely little pond where there is always an assortment of gentlemen sailing their model schooners. Sam has plans to join them and tried to talk me into buying him a very sophisticated one at Capital Iron, but I'm looking for something a little more basic for him to capsize. Behind the pond runs a little path down to a rocky beach where we can watch the real things go by, as well as fishing boats and barges. The path is lined with almost-ripe wild blackberry canes so we're going back in a few days to see if there are any for us to pick. Two blocks north on our street leads us to the Royal BC museum, (where we are now members), and the Inner Harbour where we enjoyed the Dragon Boat Races last weekend. Two blocks east leads us to Beacon Hill Park (or Bacon Hill as the kids call it). We've done some proper touristy things to pass the time this week, including a harbour-side carriage ride with a guide who told us all the scandal surrounding Sir Frances Rattenbury, the architect who designed the parliament buildings, the Empress and many others as well. Alexandra was riveted.
Now we will have to buckle down and unpack and save the rest of the sightseeing for when visitors come (please come!), but I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are ready to sleep in our beds again.