Thursday, November 5, 2009

all good things...

This is my last night in Canada.

I don't really know what to say, other than that. My whole world is about to change, in a very literal sense. And I still can't really get a grasp on what that means to me, even though it all happens tomorrow.

The thing is, I love being a Canadian. And I suppose that that in itself will not change. I will always be a Canadian even if, three years down the line, I pass the test for citizenship in my new chosen country.

But I also love living in Canada. The well-defined seasons have always been a way of marking the course of my life. And winter, here in Southern Manitoba - it is a thing to behold, and not for the faint of heart, or the easily chilled. I will miss the snow, the cold. Yes, even the days when it is -35 and you can feel the frosty air turn to crystals inside your nose. How will it ever be Christmas again if I can't look out the window Christmas morning to see three feet of snow on the ground?

I love how Canadians are regarded in the world. We may often be thought of with a bemused smile and a tolerant chuckle, the kind you have for your four-year old little sister wanting to tag along with the big boys. But who out there really thinks badly of us? Or even hates us? We may not be a big player in the grand scheme of things, but we hold our heads high (or, at least blush bashfully) at knowing that the world at large is indifferent towards us. And maybe even like us a little.

There are so many things I will miss here. Things that if you asked me two years ago, I may not have been able to contemplate living without.

So much has changed in these past two years.

My life has been one of very little change. I have lived with my parents my whole life. I have lived in the same house for 33 years. I have not had a career, a family, a life to really call my own. My job was to make it through each day, and the pain each new day brought, with my sanity and sense of humour intact. Most days I managed that. Many days I even managed it with a smile still on my face.

And then I met him. My Guy. And he changed everything. Absolutely everything.

I am leaving behind my friends, my family, my home, my country. Dropping everything to be where he is, to move across the world, adopt a whole new country, and soon a whole new name.

I expected to be nervous. To be scared of going into the unknown, moving to a country I have never even visited before. I expected to be sad at all the partings, saying goodbye to so many people that I have no real expectation of ever seeing again. I will go from seeing my parents every day for the past 36 years, to seeing them maybe once every couple of years.

But here's the thing. I am not scared. I am not nervous. I am not even particularly sad -certainly not as sad as my family seems to expect me to be. I can't be. Not any of it.

Because I know what I am going to. I may not know what strange foods I may find on the grocery store shelves in place of my familiar favourites. Or what it will be like to experience winter with more rain than snow. Or how I will manage to spend Christmas at someone else's mother's house. Or how odd it will feel to sit on the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road. Or any of the thousands of other changes and differences that I haven't even been able to imagine yet. But none of that matters.

I am going to be with My Guy. The man who finally brought love into my life. Someone who makes me feel beautiful when I am in his presence. A man with more patience, tolerance, compassion and caring than I ever knew existed in this world. Someone who loves me as much as I love him - and for whom I have more love than I ever thought it was possible for one human heart to hold. And that is enough for me to know. Everything else will come with time. But he is over there in England waiting for me. So that's where I'm going.

I'm coming home, sweetness. Be there soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

...all dressed in white

Or ivory. Whatever. Don't be picky!

I promised you people the tale of my wedding gown. And, since I never break a promise (although I may procrastinate a week or two before I get around to it), here it is for you.

A couple of weekends ago I went wedding dress shopping with Big Sis. Now, the more clever of you will already have picked up on something. But, TeDiouS, you are likely thinking, you are still in Canada. Your wedding is in England. How will you get your dress to England? In one piece? Without it costing a fortune?

Gah! Stop pestering me! I'll worry about that later. (And trust me, I will!)

Big Sis and I started out that Saturday bright and early, intending to accomplish two things: selling my book collection at the used book store, and trying on wedding gowns for hours. After dropping off her dogs at their grooming appointment. So okay, three things. Leave me alone, it was early!

We dutifully got the dogs to the groomer, still rubbing sleep from our eyes, when we both had a sudden realization. It was before nine on a Saturday morning. In what world did we expect to find either the bookstore or the bridal salons open at this hour? So, our intended quick bite on the way to the shops turned into an agonizing hour at Tim Hortons lingering over a pumpkin muffin (which I highly recommend you try next year when they roll them out again for thanksgiving. Kind of like pumpkin pie in breakfast form. How is that not a good thing?) Have you ever sat in a Tim Hortons for that long? They don't exactly build the place for comfort. Plus they have those signs looming over you on the walls. The ever-so-polite ones in adamant red that say "We enjoy your company, however NO LOITERING. 20 minutes only, please". Ack! Whenever I am there longer than twenty minutes I start to feel all Catholic about it, and the guilt is overwhelming. I am sure every employee is staring at me, shaking their heads in disappointment. I mean, they said please and everything...

We finally made it out of the Tim Hortons without anyone calling the cops on us, or getting a ticket, or whatever they do when you overstay your welcome at Timmie's. Since the bookstore didn't open until eleven, which we cleverly figured out by phoning information, (which we could have even more cleverly done the night before) we decided that dress shopping first would be the better plan.

Big Sis parked under Portage Place in downtown Winnipeg. She had a couple of things she wanted to pick up in the mall and at The Bay, and then we would wander out onto Portage Avenue. Which is basically one long row of bridal shops. Storefront after storefront of mannequins all dressed for the happiest day of their lives. I get a warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about it. *sighs dreamily*

And I didn't get to set foot in a damned one of them! More on that later.

While we were in The Bay, Big Sis decided we may as well visit their bridal shop and look at dresses there before risking life and hairdo in the winds of Portage Avenue. The saleslady was busy fitting another bride so we poked around the dresses ourselves for a bit, picking out two I might actually be able to afford. Turns out I do not look all that attractive in an affordable wedding gown. The first one I tried on looked very dignified and classy for a bride of my age. In the worst sort of way. It was the sort of dress that said yes, I have waited until my mid-thirties to get married for the first time...why am I even bothering? Until I tried it on. And then I nearly choked on my tongue. There was no way I could be seen in a church in that dress! I would spontaneously combust the second I walked in. In order to give you people the proper mental picture, let me just say that it was the first and only time I have ever used the word boobalicious in a sentence. Now, I am not a small-chested girl, sitting snugly in an E-cup. This dress took that and ran with it...even I couldn't stop staring at my cleavage. It was mesmerizing. But not exactly where I wanted everyone's stare to be focussed on my wedding day. In a church.

So off with that one, and onto the next. Once we stopped laughing. It was a proper wedding gown, this one, with a halter neck and an A-line skirt, all in satin, not a lot of blingy embellishment. That one didn't stay on long. It did bad things for my shoulders, emphasizing the imbalance in them and pretty much framing all those scars. And the rest of the dress wasn't flattering in any particular way either. It didn't even have the hilarity factor of the previous one. So off it went too.

At this point I decided to just try on anything I really liked, rather than sticking with things I might actually be able to afford. The point of this day, after all, was not to actually buy a dress. I had merely wanted the experience of trying on dresses with my sisters (Lil Sis phoned me back too late, or she would have been there too). Seeing what looked good on me, trying on anything I wanted, just being a Barbie doll for the day and getting to put on all sorts of princessy dresses. And then I would buy something sensible and affordable when I got to England.

But then I tried on the third dress. It was one I had seen hanging outside another dressing room, and just loved how it looked draped over that hook and spilling across the floor. It looked the way a wedding dress should look, at least in my imaginings. The second Big Sis helped me tug and struggle and trip my way into it, I knew I was in love. I immediately wanted to head out to the big mirror, step up on that block that makes you look like your legs are six feet long, and get a look at every angle of myself. I loved everything I saw.

The seamstress came along and between her and my sis they managed to get me zipped into the thing. I gazed speechless on my reflection, light-headed and hardly able to breathe. Which may have had something to do with the dress reducing my lung capacity to that of a gnat, but mostly I think it was awe. I felt....bridal. My first thought was how much I wanted My Guy to see me in this dress on our wedding day. It was my dress.

Other brides in the shop were complimenting me on the dress. They would look at me and smile, nod, knowing I had found the one. Either because they had already experienced that moment themselves, or were still waiting for it. I felt...beautiful.

And thin!

Only one problem. And a big one. I couldn't afford it. Not by a long shot. And I told the saleslady so. She looked at the tag, looked at me glowing in that dress, and told me that if I was willing to take the one I was trying on, it was a 2009 sample they were trying to get rid of to make room for the 2010s (when did wedding dress shopping turn into car shopping?), and she could offer it to me at half price. My heart missed a beat or two. I had no plans to buy a dress! How would I get it home to me in England? How much would it cost to get it shipped there? How would I get it looking like a wedding gown again after it had been squashed in a box and traveled for thousands of miles?

Who cares?! This was my dress, and I could no longer think of getting married in anything else. So, one frantic phone call to England to talk it over with My Guy, and one promise from Big Sis to pay for half of the dress (even at half price, it was still well over my budget) as well as handling getting it shipped out to me once the alterations were done, and suddenly I had my wedding gown. After trying on three dresses. In the first bridal shop I had set foot in.

Fortunately, the alterations needed were all simple and straight-forward and nothing that requires a second fitting in any desperate way. The hem needs taking up and the straps need taking down. And they are adding a laced back and taking out the zipper, which will take care of the whole problem of actually being able to breathe on my wedding day. And that's it. Everything else fits like it was made for me. It is a total princess dress, with a full skirt and a train, tulle over top of satin, with lace edging and appliqué, some beading. It is exactly what I want My Guy to see me in the day I finally marry him.

When I got home later and was telling My Guy about the dress, I had him guess from which store I had bought it. And he did, instantly. Because the one bridal shop I had ever been to before was with him. We were in Portage Place after we got engaged and ended up at The Bay, wandering through their bridal department. Hating and laughing at every single dress we saw. They were hideous, every last one of them! The saleslady gave us a magazine full of their gown options, and we looked over it later, making fun of the dresses that looked like the poor model was dragging a down duvet behind her, or the ones that looked like a silk florist's had exploded. There was not a single wearable gown in the bunch. But, oh what a difference a season makes in fashion!

I have my dream wedding gown, beyond all expectation or hope. And now is when the worry sets in. Will it get shipped to me in time? Will it survive the trip? Will I be able to find someone on the other end who can make it look as beautiful as it should once it has been crammed into a box and traveled across the ocean?

I find at this point, on the verge of leaving for England in five days, that I have new worries popping up all the time, many of them centering on the wedding. And I have people telling me how much stress is involved in weddings, especially since we will have to arrange ours so quickly once I get there. I have to say, so far there has been no real stress involved. The wedding itself was arranged in an afternoon by My Guy, the dress-buying was accomplished in one shop, having tried on three gowns. This has been a piece of cake!

You just know I am dooming myself to wedding-planning hell now, don't you?

So, all you married people out there, how did you handle the wedding stress? Was there any? What is the worst thing that went wrong on your wedding day? Or did everything go perfectly smoothly? I need to know, people!

But I have my dress. And I can't wait for him to see me in it. :o)

Monday, October 26, 2009

here comes the bride...

I bought my wedding dress last weekend! I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself! I am getting married in four months, moving in a week and a half, and....




Uhhh...yeah, it's been a while since I spoke to you people, hasn't it? When last we met, this TeDiouS girl was having a nervous breakdown and was prepared to scratch out the eyes of the next UK Border Agency Officer I happened to run across. Preferably in a dark alley. While wielding a sharp instrument. Well, here, let me tell you the tale. Or, even better, let me summarize so we aren't here for another month.

My Guy, supreme being that he is, did manage to get permission for us to marry in the Anglican Church and arrange a wedding date* for us in the short space of an afternoon. All while so sick he could hardly stand up straight. Honestly, it was almost a blessing that he was so terribly ill, because I have no clue how he would have managed to get all the things done that needed doing if he had been stuck at work. The Lord works in mysterious ways and all that.

So, I toddled off to a friend's house that same night to get the papers from the church that My Guy had sent me faxed in. (Can I pause a moment here to have a very minor shrieking bitch-fest over how idiotic it is that my only means of communication with the Border Agency was via fax? FAX!? Who even owns a fax machine or has regular access to one? And why could I not just email them back? They obviously have computers and email...they emailed the wedding proof demands to me after all. Which I then had to fax back. From my mom's friend's house. Because she is the only person I know on God's green earth who actually has a fax machine in her home.)

I waited, terrified, to hear back from the UK Border Agency. When the email finally came in the next afternoon I swear my heart nearly stopped. I was sure that this time it would be good news. I gave them what they asked for, everything should be fine, right? Right?

I will never learn.

I opened that email with every hope that my Visa had been approved and I was about to be told it was on its way to me. Instead, my heart dropped into my shoes as I read the note from the UK Border Agency. Followed swiftly by my stomach. And possibly my spleen. I couldn't even understand the email at first I was so confused. It said that my proof of a wedding date with the church was not good enough. They needed proof of a civil ceremony. With all kinds of snotty italics and bold letters just in case I missed it. They gave me another couple of days to supply this, along with also requesting that I send them my intended travel date. Which I did in the original document package I left with them in Toronto. Along with photocopies of my plane tickets and itinerary. So good to know they were paying attention.

My fiance and I began trying to figure out what they were asking for. How could we show them proof of a civil ceremony when we were getting married in the church? If we got married in a civil ceremony, we couldn't also get married in church. Surely they couldn't be telling us we weren't allowed a church wedding? That had to be illegal, right? The more we read, the more confused we got. The Border Agency's own website said that only those already living in the UK had to show they were registered for a wedding, as you CANNOT register until you are in the country with a valid Visa. Which is what they were supposed to give me! Plus, a ceremony in an Anglican church has every bit of authority as one performed at a registrars office, also reiterated on their own site.

Completely baffled at this point, with them seemingly expecting the impossible, I wrote up a letter explaining exactly why I couldn't give them what they wanted. I quoted their own site, gave links to the pages I cited, quoted from the registrar's office site as well as from an email My Guy got back from that office when he made enquiries about what they were asking for. All of it telling them they were asking me for something I couldn't possibly give them. Oh, and I also repeated the info on my travel plans they asked for, which was all exactly the same as I had given them the first time around. I made another trek to the almighty fax machine.

And then I waited through the longest weekend of my life. It lasted at least three thousand days. I swear.

My Guy and I were watching something together online when I got a blip.

I had mail.

Oh, my God.

I nearly swallowed my tongue. But, you see, I had finally learned my lesson. And while last time I guess I may have been excused for my ray of naive optimism, this time I knew it could be nothing but bad news. I had, after all, pretty much told the Border Agency officer handling my case that they didn't know how to do their job. I may have even allowed a little bit of anxiety-induced terseness to creep into the tone of the letter I had faxed in. As my shaking finger moved to click open the email, and my body tried to remember how to make my heart beat, I regretted every last speck of that terseness. What if I was banned from the UK for life? What if I had to start the application process over again because I hadn't been able to somehow provide them with impossible documents? What if it was all over?

The agony of it! Waiting for that email to open, My Guy and I on the edge of our seats and our sanity...and then.....

I slapped my hand over my mouth. Oh. My. God. Oh my god, oh my god, ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygodohmygodohmygod....

Five words.

Your Visa has been issued.

My heart suddenly slammed back to its more usual location in my chest. I was moving in a month. I was going to England. I was going to get married! It was all actually going to happen!

It has been a few weeks and I am still in a state of shocked disbelief. It hardly feels true to me, and maybe won't until I step off the plane in England with My Guy standing there waiting for me to rush into his arms. Or hobble over and fall down at his feet. One of those.

So, I hope you people are all astute enough to pick up on the lesson to be learned from all of this. I mean, yes, I am sure there are things to be learned here about never giving up, and persevering, and true love conquering all and leading you through in the end, and all that. Yeah, sure, that's all lovely and sentimental and *sniffle* and whatever. But the real lesson learned here...?

Sometimes telling someone in authority they are being an idiot is the way to get the job done.

*nods soberly*

Now, stand there and tell me that didn't just put a ray of light into your soul! :o)





What now?

Oh, right. The wedding dress. Do you mind if I tell you about that next time? I need to just sit here and smile happily to myself for a bit. Again.

*the wedding date is 27 feb/2010, for those of you dying of curiosity.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Because I don't have enough stress in my life...

Breathe....just breathe....




Ah, screw it. Who needs air anyway?

Okay, a little background. My Visa application was put in two week ago-ish in Toronto. The website on which I filled out said application had led me to believe I would know the answer within a few days. Only to be crushingly brought back to reality by the lovely woman to whom I handed over my three inch stack of paper, who informed me that realistic times for my type of application would more likely be in the one to three month range.

Three MONTHS? Ummm...I do have this tiny little problem of having travel plans for November sixth. And plans for Christmas in Wiltshire. AND PLANS FOR MY LIFE, DAMMIT!

*takes a deep breath*


*and another, because one is obviously not enough*


I'm fine now. Or have tipped over the edge into the quiet tranquility of madness. One of those.

Turns out, according to an email I got this morning from the UK border agency, that what I should have been planning, was my wedding. In a country that I don't even know if I'm being allowed into yet. Makes perfect sense to me, how about you people? Beyond all expectations and hope, by some divine gift of the immigration gods to whom I have been praying on a regular basis (once every three and a half seconds for the past six months or so...), my application has actually been reviewed by an entry clearance officer inside of three weeks. It's an actual miracle!! Only...not. I am pretty sure real miracles are not supposed to leave you in the grip of a panic attack. This breathlessly anticipated email did not say Yes! Come on over! Nor did it say No, we obviously don't want you. What it did say was that my application was incomplete.

I'm sorry. Say again. I must have kittens stuffed in my ears. Incomplete? My application was three bloody inches thick! I got raised eyebrows from the Worldbridge staff on seeing the gargantuan proportions of my application. I have every detail in there about me and My Guy from the day we were conceived to the second I dropped it off in Toronto. Everything!


I had everything in that application except a confirmed date for my wedding, of course. How silly of me. I am supposed to have booked my wedding with a registrars office or church before knowing whether I can actually go to England or when. My head is spinning at the logic of this. Or it may be lack of oxygen from the panic attack. One of those...

Of course, having to have a wedding date set up and ready to go does not seem like a reason to panic. Until you get to the next line of the email. Which says this has to be accomplished IN THE NEXT TWO DAYS! Not just set up and ready to go, but a letter written to testify to the fact that we are set up and ready to go and faxed in to the UK border agency. In two days. My Guy hasn't even talked to the local church yet to see if he can be married in the church after having already been divorced. We planned to do all that sort of stuff together once I got there. Now he has to somehow get everything arranged on his own, by friday. No pressure there.

The deadline is a big deal. If we do not accomplish our task by friday, I will have to resubmit my application. And the humongous fee. And wait all over again.

I swear to you the UK border agency is testing me. To see how badly I really want this. Well, I'll show them! I will get a date set, get them their letter, and fax it out to them before they can blink! Hmmph!

Or...I will sit here helplessly while My Guy frantically tries to get all this done for us in the next two days.

And meanwhile I will keep busy with trying to remember how to breathe.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

itchy itchy scratchy scratchy

Last week I went to Toronto. Not because I had any strong urge to visit Toronto. At least, not for just one night, only to turn around and fly back home again the next day. It wasn't what you might call a vacation.

The trip was for my bioscan appointment with Worldbridge, the people who handle the UK immigration stuff here in Canada. I got a digital photo taken (which I didn't even ask to see, because I have seen my passport photo, and have decided it's just better not to know how I am going to be immortalized on my Visa.) Got my hand scans done. Gave them all my documentation. Yes, that three inches of accumulated paper that took us months to get together. It got some raised eyebrows I have to say. Turns out most people don't supply them with half a forest worth of paper. But they asked for proof of relationship. And boy did we give it to them. In short form, even. If we'd given them all of the proof of contact we had, it would have required clear-cutting about a thousand acres of old growth forest.

I was politely informed it could take up to three months for my application to be processed.

I'm sorry...WHAT? Three months. Seriously?

Apparently so. Which kind of makes completely useless all of my lovely plans to travel on the sixth of November. Or even the assumption that I will be with My Guy before Christmas. Trying very hard not to think of that right now. Although, I may get to visit the pleasant man with the John Denver wig at the airport again when I am forced to change my flight. That'll be nice.

It all went terribly smoothly and blah, blah blah. Nothing much exciting about the whole thing. The plane trip both ways was smooth as glass, no turbulence. Mom and I made it through the flight with no motion sickness, not a batted eyelash from either of us. And then we both managed to almost pass out on the elevator ride up to the 25th floor of the Eaton Centre for my appointment. And no, I don't understand that any more than you do.

Most of our time in the big city was spent walking Yonge street. Mostly because it is very hard to get at all lost if you stick to one street. And there was a whole lot to see on Yonge Street and it's immediate cross streets. We poked our way through a lot of interesting little shops, until I got so tired I lost interest in exploring even such wonders as the Roots store. So we made our way back to the hotel by way of the biggest bookstore I have ever seen, to spend our remaining hours in T.O. curled up on couches in the hotel lobby.

Ahhhh, yes. The hotel. That little gem our travel agent found for us, only blocks away from the Eaton Centre and what passes for affordable in downtown Toronto at only $179 a night for a one bed room.

We should have known, eh?

Now, as far as first impressions go, it made a fairly good one. The lobby was impressive, with shiny floors and comfy couches and uniformed bellmen waiting to take your baggage to your room. It was a bit confusing with several different desk areas and no really clear signs telling you where to go. But once we actually found the place to check in, things seemed nicely on their way to a pleasant stay.

I opened the door to the room and immediately decided it was a very good thing I am not claustrophobic. It was tiny, with just enough room for the bed, wardrobe, desk, and two chairs that took up every available inch of wall space and then some. Mom and I were sharing a bed, our budget being somewhat minimal for this little excursion and Toronto being not so friendly to the frugal. The bed was not huge, but was the central feature of the room, with just enough space to walk around it.

Now, my mother is....hmmm. A bit OCD when it comes to cleanliness. And not one to bite her tongue when it comes to critical comments. I'm not saying she didn't mention the dubious hygiene of the coffee maker, which looked like it had been wiped down with a smeared dust cloth at best, and had likely never been actually washed. Or that she didn't wrinkle her nose at the state of the bathtub and sink, both of which I am pretty sure were hastily swiped with the same cloth that had left those charming streaks all over the not-so-shiny metal coffee pot. Or that she didn't point out that there was no possible doubt that the splotchy green bedspread had been used and abused by (possibly centuries worth of) guests before us without the benefit of a trip to the washing machine. Or that we didn't both cringe just a bit at the filthy carpet, which looked like it had never seen the business end of a vacuum cleaner and had mysterious staining throughout, including under the bed.

But here's where I was left with my mouth hanging open. She just decided not to use the coffee pot, and to buy coffee in the cafeteria-style restaurant in the morning instead. She volunteered to take a long hot shower before I ran my bath for the night so that it would be clean enough for me to actually lie in for a soak. She folded the bedspread back so that it still covered our legs to keep us warm, but didn't actually touch any part of our skin. She decided to keep her socks on to avoid touching the carpet.

Are you all standing there with your mouths agape like I was? You should be.

I was so thrilled with my mom's attitude. She had obviously decided to make the best of our little jaunt to the big city, and I was proud of her for it. I found myself biting my tongue to not complain as much as the room deserved. And there were plenty of things to gripe about, even beyond the cleanliness issue.

Like the fact that the door to the bathroom was impossible to actually close. The door had swollen up in size and no longer fit into the doorjamb. It was obviously working out at night, getting itself beefed up to impress the fancy door to the hall, with it's sexy green light and alluring keycard slot. I suspect steroids.

It was also impossible to plug the tub for a bath. It had a metal plug with one of those levers you turn to move the plug up and down. Between the combined efforts of the two of us we managed to budge that thing about a quarter inch from where it started. Which means I alternated between having my heel smashed down on the plug to keep it closed while trying to soak in a hot bath with my book, and actually lying comfortably while listening to water rush down the drain and constantly turning the tap back on to refill. Relaxing.

After my bath, which used up enough water to drain half of Lake Erie, I tried to settle in to watch a movie with my mother. I prepared to get comfy in bed, sitting down on the edge of it ... only to have it go scooting out from under me! I got up, looked at it with my head tilted, and tried again. Only to have it slide away once again. Good thing that room was tiny and the bed didn't have very far it could go, or I might have been seriously injured in its attempt to escape. Obviously not a bed that was going to graciously allow us to nestle in it's rock hard comforts for the night without first putting up a fight. I did have a eureka moment, though, in the midst of wrangling the bed back into position. I suddenly understood all the mysterious stains and footprints under the bed. They were no doubt scuffs and drag marks made by other guests digging their heels in when the bed went shooting across the room in yet another bid for freedom. Obviously this mattress had not been properly slaughtered and dried before being shipped off for luxury hotel use. It was desperately trying to gallumph it's way back to the swamps of Squornshellous Zeta. And who can blame it, really?

All in all, mom and I weren't exactly sad to leave our little hotel room the next morning. I was achy and tired and feeling slightly dirtier than when I'd arrived. And psychosomatically itchy.

Or so I thought.

Until I went to the doctor yesterday and casually mentioned the red splodge on my belly that had been there since the day we left the hotel. It is irritating, and growing slowly, day by day. I jokingly told my mom that I had probably caught a fungus from that green bedspread and would be slowly consumed by it. Ha haha ha, funny right?

Only....not so much.

Because the first thing the doctor asked me was if it was possible that I had been exposed to bed bugs.

Oh, yeah. It's possible. Definitely possible.

Almost inevitable, really.

Score one for the wily mattress. I knew that thing was out to get me.


And how about you people? What's the worst experience you've had in a motel, hotel or guestroom?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

you've got mail

Dear you people,

I should have written long ago. I kept meaning to. I even kept coming to this page and staring at the blank whiteness of it.

And then left again.

I have so much that is going through my head right now, so much that I could say. Instead I stall and hesitate and leave all that blank whiteness intact. I've never had any of these feelings before, and I'm not quite sure what to do with them or how to give them voice.

This blog was meant to be a record of my journey from single Canadian gal, to happily married British citizen, and all the immigration trauma and hilarity in between. And yet, somehow, I have let two weeks go by while the big things were happening and have recorded none of it. There was drama in the last two weeks. Frustration, relief, discouragement. None of which is recorded here.

I know what you're saying. Write it down now. It's only two weeks, catch us up! It's not too late.

And of course you'd be right. But somehow it feels too late. All of the heavy emotion I have gone through in these last days seems so very transient. It has dissipated, leaving me just sort of tired and hollow. And none of it seems important now. If I had written about the stress of, say, trying to get my mother's plane ticket free as a medical assistant for me while it was happening I am sure it would have been a harrowing tale, full of suspense and my own heart-stopping terror that this was going to end up costing me another $800 I don't have. But now....well, I got the ticket. Everything's fine. Blah blah blah. Thrilling tale now, isn't it?

So here's something I have to come to terms with as a blogger: I seem somewhat incapable of actually sitting down and writing things out while they are happening to me. This was entirely untrue of me as a journal writer. I would grab my thinly-ruled coil-bound journal and write fiercely in the midst of whatever emotion was currently gripping me. Spewing everything out onto the page, all of the indignation and self-righteous wrath, the joy and delight, the crushing sorrow. It all went on the page, immortalized forever in the surging passion of the moment.

As a blogger, though...I am cautious. Tip-toeing up to my thoughts and feelings with tentative steps, hesitant and oh so careful.

Because this is not just for me. I cannot rip these pages up later, knowing I am the only one to have read them, if I've calmed down and regret my words. I have become aware that as the writer of a blog I have to be prepared to truly own my words. To accept them and be willing to throw them out there for the world to see. To be willing to be seen as someone who gets upset. Or angry. Or frustrated, elated, overwhelmed, joyful.

Which sounds easy. Or overwhelmingly difficult. One of those.

So, I make my pledge, to keep you people up to date, to not let weeks go by between posts, to not let myself get a calm perspective on things before I blog about them. And, hopefully, to be a hell of a lot more entertaining in future posts than I have been in this one.

yours truly,
that TeDiouS girl

Thursday, September 3, 2009

it's in! finally!

I am so excited!


...and I feel a little sick.

But mostly SO excited!

The oh-so-important, much-talked-about Visa Application has finally been submitted. I can't even tell you how many times over the past six months I have said "...once the application is in..." Well, now it is. In.


I spent four and a half hours worth of my day yesterday filling it in online, after finally receiving all the papers I needed from my fiancé. Well, almost all. There was one bank statement that just never came, so he sent off the packet without it, and we crossed our fingers that a screen print of the account online would be enough. So you already know what arrived in his mailbox yesterday, don't you? *sigh* On the bright side, if he spends another five pounds he can get it to me before I have to physically hand in my application and the massive stack of paper that goes with it. Many, many trees have died in the attempt to get me to England.

Now I get to go plan a trip to Toronto next week. I think I get to go to the British Consulate there. Or something. I should probably find that out. Well, wherever it is I'm going they want to "collect biometric data".

*cue the discordant violins*

Does that sound as creepy and ominous to everyone else as it does to me? And, yes, I know that it only means they are going to take a digital photo of me and do some sort of scan of my handprint. But I can't help getting hazy visions of me strapped to a cold metal table in a dark room, the only light coming from behind the beings looming over me, shadow-people with enormous heads and shiny metal implements in their long-fingered hands, clicking and screeing in their alien tongue, all set to collect my biometric data...

Gah! I haven't had enough sleep. Obviously. Or I've watched too many episodes of X-Files. One of those.

So, I am off to the big city. Spending yet more money before I actually even know if I am going to be allowed to go to England in the end. I shudder to think how much has been spent on this process so far. Let's see...

Birth certificate $25
Passport $90
Postage $100
Application fee $1100
ticket to England $1000
ticket to Toronto $600
hotel stay in Toronto $200
passport photos $15

actually getting to go to England? priceless...and SO worth it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

it's a date

November sixth. That's the date. The day I move out of my home, my country, my old life. Which is pretty....well, BIG. And the airline really did their best to make the magnitude of the occasion hit home. I mean, if the length of time it took to actually book the tickets is any indication, this is the most monumental of all moves in the history of the world.

Let me take you back in time:

Last March My Guy was out to visit, and on the day of his departure my sister nicely offered to lug us and his suitcases to the airport. Only to have to lug us back again the next day after the airline offered My Guy a stay at a four star hotel and a voucher for future air travel if he would only consent to go through the hassle of staying an extra day. Well, let's see... we get a free night in an incredible hotel, free food for My Guy, an extra whole day together...

Sure, I think we can make the sacrifice. Just so long as you realize how much you're putting us out.

So, a trip to the Imax, dinner and movies in our room and some giant King-sized bed fun later, we were once again in the airport saying goodbye. Mollified slightly in our parting by the $200 travel voucher sitting warmly in my pocket, we made our tearful farewells.

Fast forward several months, and I am on the phone with the airline armed with a list of questions and every intention of booking my one-way flight to the first day of the rest of my life. I had a moment of tongue-swallowing hysteria a few minutes in when I found out my one-way ticket would cost twice as much as big sis's round trip ticket. (She is accompanying me to England, sleeping in an airport hotel, then turning around and flying back to Canada the next day. Cuz that's what sisters are for. Also, I am not getting any birthday, Christmas or anniversary gifts for the next thirty seven years or so.) Now the woman I was speaking with was abrupt, kept interrupting, and had no patience for my clearly idiotic questions. I could hear her rolling her eyes at me. This woman was obviously having a "hormonal" day. Either that or she was a bitch. One of those. Anyway, pre-menstrual ticket agents aside, and keeping in mind this phone call had already taken up fifteen minutes of my precious life, the whole thing came to a screeching halt when I was informed I could only use that wonderful travel voucher if I actually went to the airport and purchased the ticket at the airline's ticket counter. Okay then. Click.

So big sis once again hauled me to the airport so we could buy our tickets in person. We waited our turn then went up to see the very friendly man at the counter who looked remarkably like John Denver. In a wig. Only worse than you're imagining. Trust me.

I handed over my precious voucher then had another moment of tongue-swallowing panic when he asked me for photo ID. Now, the only photo ID I posses is my passport. Which I only got a few months ago for the express purpose of getting my Visa and moving to England. It had never been used. It had never been needed. It didn't occur to me I would need it now. It was 45 minutes away, tucked safely in an envelope at home. Great. I had visions of having to brave the airport a second time. Luckily, Mr.Denver accepted big sis's driver's license as proof of ID. Even though the voucher had been signed over to me, not her. But I was not about to argue the point.

In the end I wound up with not the one-way ticket of my dreams. I couldn't afford it! So I had to go for the return ticket, even though that leaves me with a ticket back to Canada that a) I have no use for and b) leaves me feeling a little nervous. I don't want to tempt the Fates. Or worse, the British Immigration people when it comes time to get my next Visa six months after I arrive there.

"Well, it says here this TeDiouS girl wants to stay for another two years."

"She does have that ticket back to Canada, though. No sense that going to waste."

"True. And how badly can she want to stay if she came with her getaway already planned?"

And then the big red stamp comes crashing down: DENIED.

But I'm trying not to think about that.

By the time the tickets were purchased, the seats were reserved, help was arranged to get to my connecting flight, and the counter guy had sung us a stirring rendition of Leaving on a Jetplane, almost an hour had passed! An hour of standing in a sweltering hot airport on a thursday night in August, watching John-Denver-wannabe's hair tilt a little more to the left. Fun.

And then came the kicker. The one that literally made me want to kick something. Or, more to the point, someone. Our friendly and pleasant counter guy with the interesting taste in hairdos suddenly says " You do know you could have done all this by phone, right? They could have gotten all this info from you, saved it, then you could just have come down here with the voucher to finish up. Would have taken five minutes."


Sorry, that was me dropping my purse. And my jaw.

Now, if you all will excuse me, there is a woman somewhere in an Air Canada headset with a bottle of Midol on her desk that I need to go have strong words with. Or beat around the head with blunt objects. One of those.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

an evening in Vegas...sort of

I went out to a dinner theatre for the very first time in my life last night. And yes, it was even cornier and cheesier than one might expect. And I'd expected a lot of corn and cheese. Enough for several burritos. So it was even better than I had ever dared to hope!

We were celebrating my parents' 40th wedding anniversary so it was them, plus both sisters and their spouses, myself...and an empty seat beside me. Which is the story of my life, really. The Big Sis has been married for something close to forever and the Lil Sis usually has some spouse or other. And I have my trusty empty seat beside me. Plenty of elbow room for the TeDiouS one on these family outings.


Honestly, though, it didn't much bother me anymore. I had gotten used to it over the years.


But now...I know there's someone who could and should be sitting there with me. And his absence beside me in that empty seat is a palpable presence to me. Which sounds oxymoronic, I know. But I can feel his absence, as though it were a physical thing.

Still, there was a lot of fun to be had. The theme for the evening was "Luck be a Lady", and the show was all about old Vegas, the rat pack, Frank Sinatra and the songs from that era. The waiters and waitresses are as much a part of the show as what's going on onstage. Our waitress....uh...waiter?....was a girl in drag playing a cheeseball lothario. And you have not lived until a gender-confused waitperson with a glued-on soul patch and badly disguised breasts has been suggestively hitting on your mom for an entire evening.

The show was funny and entertaining, the atmosphere fun in a "yeah, we all know this is corny as hell, isn't it great?" sort of way, the music really well done with quite good voices among the cast, and the food was...edible. Mostly.

My overall thoughts on dinner theatre after this first experience?

Go for the corn. Go for the cheese. Don't go for the food.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Garage Sale Part I: The Wrath of the Gods

I am so tired today. This was the long-awaited garage sale weekend. We had been previously outwitted in our sale efforts by weather and prior commitments, but this one was gonna be it, come hell or high water!

Be careful what you wish for. Or about saying anything within hearing of the Fates.


Yesterday dawned....cloudy, drab and wet. As per usual this summer. But, having faith in the Gods of summer despite their lack of general attendance this year, I got up at stupid-o'clock ( by which I mean any hour before 8am. At least.) to set up tables and plaster pre-printed price stickers (thank you, WalMart!) on all that stuff that I no longer wanted and/or couldn't be jammed into a suitcase for a cross-Atlantic flight. Which, as you may recall, is roughly ninety percent of everything I have ever owned in my entire life or vaguely equivalent to the complete contents of a high-rise apartment building, courtesy of the spacial rupture in my bedroom closet which somehow allowed it to hold approximately three thousand times it's actual mathematically-calculated physical capacity in accumulated junk... erm... treasure.

*gasps in a deep breath, recovering from that sentence*

So. Tables were up, stuff had prices, spare change was hurriedly found. I should mention that all of this was taking place literally inside the garage which, though we insist on calling them garage sales here in the rural wide open spaces of prairie Canada, is actually completely wrong as these things invariably happen in the driveway or on our front lawns. However, despite my unflinching faith in the Gods of summer (you can't help but believe in Gods who will throw blistering sunshine and plague-like hordes of mosquitoes at you in the same afternoon, then make sunscreen and bug spray impossible to wear together. Only a spiteful... I mean playful... God would dream up that particular hell, forcing you to choose between third-degree sunburn and disease-carrying, itchy mosquito bites)...where was I? Oh, yes, despite my irrational faith I couldn't really help noticing the big dark clouds accumulating overhead. And the ominous thunder in the distance. Oh...and the fact that it was already raining. Yeah. Determination can only get you so far. Still, I lived in hope that there would be a quick shower then sunshine and rainbows would rule. Tra la la.

So you know what happened. It was bound to. I mean, I had flagrantly mocked the Fates and tempted the Gods beyond all endurance. The heavens opened up and it poured. Great gushing gallons of rain spilling from the sky, with me trapped in the garage along with all my worldly possessions. Just typical.

Thank the stars for those hardy garage saling souls who will not be turned aside by flood, fire or frippery when making their Saturday rounds. The sale was open for a grand total of an hour and a half before being shut down due to the combined power of the second scariest thunderclap/lighting bolt of my life and the fact that everything from my very first baby doll to my very recent and expensive craft books were mouldering and wilting in the damp air. And yet I still managed to make almost a hundred dollars. Go figure. I think a large part of that had something to do with people not wanting to actually step back out into the wet and the very real risk of death by lightning once they were in the relative dryness (and by dryness, I mean air so wet you practically needed scuba gear to breathe) and safety of the garage. Or it could have been the superior quality of my second-hand junk beckoning them in from the street and mesmerising everyone with the previously-owned goodness of it all. One of those.

So...two hours of lugging and sorting and pricing for an hour and a half of selling, garnering me a whole $92.85. Oh yeah. It was worth it.

I can hardly wait for next weekend, when I can have the pleasure of experiencing Garage Sale Part II: Sell Harder, where we will see our plucky heroine spit in the eye of the Gods and win a victory for garage salers everywhere. The heartwarming tale of the summer.

At least I don't have to price anything next time.

*gets a sinking feeling*



...except that giant pile of superior second-hand stuff that was somehow completely forgotten in the basement when the sale items were being dragged out into the storm yesterday.

Well, crap.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

one man's trash...

I realize I need to get on a regular schedule with the whole blogging thing. Sometimes I write in the middle of the now, at 4:12 a.m. Other times in the morning before hauling my butt out of bed to start the day. And I publish whenever I finish, making the whole thing pretty much random and inefficient. Which kind of sums me up nicely, really, so I don't see that changing any time soon. Organization is one of those things I always say I'm going to do, or look into, or plan on investigating. And that's about as far as it ever gets somehow.

As evidenced by the sheer amount of trash that has been taken out of my room in my quest to purge before making the big leap over the ocean. Now, my bedroom has never been what you might call neat. It's ...lived in. Which is about the truest statement you'll ever hear, as I spend a good 22 hours in here on an average day. The other two hours are me in the bathtub. Cleanliness is next to...well, I'm clean, at any rate. Just not neat.

I never quite realized, though, how much actual stuff I had accumulated in thirty-plus years living in the same spot. I am still not sure how it all FIT in this room. Imagine a little room, ten by ten, with a corner of that taken out for a built-in closet. It is wall to wall furniture with a small floor space in the middle. That's it. But somehow I managed to throw away eight garbage bags full of total junk. We're not talking little Kitchen Catcher bags either...these are full-on Man from Glad black garbage bags with room for a small German car and that fridge-freezer you've been meaning to toss out. And lest you think I had nothing but garbage in here, there is at least that much set aside for the garage sale this weekend as well. The sale stuff seems to be taking up every available corner of the rest of the house. Where did it all come from? I swear the closet in this room defies the laws of physics, being somehow bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, my very own TARDIS of built-in storage.

Only now I have to whittle down my worldy possesions to what can reasonably fit into two suitcases and a carry-on bag. Which probably hold more than the little flat I am moving to anyway. It's what you might call compact. Sort of like a can of condensed soup.

Oh, and to update you, because i know you are waiting on tenterhooks for news, my laptop has decided to go for the full benefits package of humiliation by deciding to work! AFTER I had already performed the angry-customer phone rant. A bit of a glitchy start, but now the thing is working perfectly fine. Which annoys me more than it being broken ever did. And there's no one I can reasonably phone to rant about it!

So much for my new laptop. Now I have to work out how to break it again before I move. Dammit.

Monday, August 10, 2009

we are experiencing technical difficulties...

Sorry about the excruciating wait between posts. I know that all one of my followers have been waiting with lip-biting anticipation for an update from the TeDiouS one.

Don't blame me, though. I am having serious HP hate today, with a good dose of Future Shop enmity thrown in just because. The laptop has just been in for yet another repair, and I get it home tonight, plug it in with shaking hands, anxious for my internet fix...only to discover that the thing I brought it into the shop for in the first place is still broken. For the fourth time. It didn't even make it home this time! I actually called up the shop to yell at them over the phone, I was so overwhelmed with peevishness. Generally, I prefer to do my yelling in person. Much more satisfying to be able to look the completely unconcerned shop guy in the eye while you vent your ire in his general direction, rather than screaming over the phone lines and listening to him yawn on the other end. Plus, it avoids the whole irrational fear of the telephone thing, which is always a plus in my book. (Don't even ask...I said it was irrational!) The thing is, I can't get back into the city now until Thursday and I didn't want to let a perfectly good indignant rant go to waste. Because by Thursday my justifiable anger would have fizzled out from a self-righteous rant to a mildly annoying whine, and who wants to see that happen? The shop guy at the other end remained irritatingly calm, though. Which is...well, irritating. Maybe I can work myself up to a good cry on Thursday. Get myself a free usb port or flash drive thrown in with that brand spanking new laptop I am going to demand they give me. Mmmhmm.

On the plus side, I went shopping today and, having spent little to none of my own money, came home with bags full of new clothes and shoes. Woohoo! I should have made plans to get engaged and move to England years ago! People give you lovely parting gifts. It helps to pout and complain about how expensive clothes are over there, then sigh dramatically about how tight the budget is going to be for us newlyweds, never mind having to pay for the wedding itself...

And then they take you shopping in good ol Canada! I came home tonight with a haul of jeans, tops, shoes, belts, underthings, even a lovely little nightie. And I have to say, trying on three outfits and two pairs of shoes when I got home really went a long way to soothing my HP/Future Shop hate-induced headache and/or eye twitch. To make the new-clothes-high even better ( I know, who knew that was possible, right?), I got everything in shops where I had previously only been able to press my nose to the glass, looking pathetically in at the tiny, size 0 1/2 clothes that wouldn't fit my big toe. But now - this needs a trumpet blast or something - my big ass fits into Garage jeans!

*waits for the cheering and hearty congratulations, the tears of joy*

*keeps waiting*

I think you are maybe not quite grasping the magnitude of this news. This butt right here (*points vaguely behind me*), wriggled itself into a pair of black super-skinny jeans from Garage. And they looked gooooood. So good I tried on two other styles of jeans, which also came home with me. Granted, all three are the biggest size Garage has to offer, at a mind-boggling 11 (which I think is something akin to shamu-esque proportions in the world of Garage clothing), but they fit. And so did the tops, again in the biggest size going, large. But who cares? I will wear those gigantic jeans with pride. I can shop at Garage now, and suddenly all the Weight Watchers points counting is so worth it!

Not to mention Urban Behavior. I got a couple of truly gorgeous tops from there, another store which does not carry sizes for anyone tipping the scales at average. The jeans there turned out to be a disappointment. Or my butt did. One of those. Funny, because the tops there fit perfectly, but the jeans were so ridiculously tiny in the ass department. My only conclusion is that the clothing in that store is made for top-heavy girls with no butts whatsoever. You know the ones...they look like candy apples, sort of round on top with stick legs. My boobs fit into their tops no problem, but no hope for even one butt cheek squashing itself into those jeans. I won't complain too heavily, though. Because even if everything I can wear from Urban Behavior is on the top half, their clothes make my top half look truly cool. And now I can skip on over to Garage to clothe my bottom half. Everyone wins!

So, kind of a day of highs and lows for this TeDiouS girl. More highs than lows though, really. Because I will get that free laptop. Just watch me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I have puppies

Imagine me saying that along the lines of "I have herpes". Because that's how I mean it.

They're not my puppies, mind you. (I'm just holding them for a friend, I swear!) I have been dog-sitting for the big sis, who has two of those yappy little dogs whose voices are about eight times the size of their bodies. One is old and curmudgeonly and we have spent many a weekend together while big sis and the hubby have been away over the years. Not the brightest dog, I'll admit, but we understand each other.

The new puppy is...well, he has been very useful in some ways. I always thought it would be nice to get a dog again, once my guy and I are finally on the same continent and all that. A warm fuzzy to have around the house to keep me company. Something small enough for me to handle, but large and manly enough for my guy not to feel ridiculous taking it out for a walk. Here are some things the puppy (let's call him Giblet, just for fun) has made me realize:

1. even a ten pound dog is not small enough for me to handle when it is hurtling at my ankles with all the speed and purpose of a professionally thrown bowling ball.

2. people will laugh at you if you get knocked off your feet by a ten pound puppy. No matter how impressively purple the bruises are.

3. some dogs have brains roughly the size and complexity of a lump of kibble. And that's being generous.

4. the smaller a dog is, the more deaf, dumb and blind the owner becomes to its shortcomings. Ten pounds or less, and every annoying behavior and bad habit gets laughed off with "aw, but look how cute he is!" To get the full effect of that, say it out loud in baby talk while scrunching up your nose and puckering your lips into a kissy face
. Sorry about that.

5. Cute loses all meaning and power to sway me when I am cleaning up a lake of pee off the hardwood for the third time in a day.

Which leads me to my biggest revelation:

6. Some dogs refuse to learn to pee outside. Seriously.

Take all of those together and I am no longer eager for dog ownership. I think maybe I am forever spoiled by the one dog I've ever had. He was a genius among dogs, the best dog ever. And yes, I know everyone says that. But Sandy actually was. You'll just have to take my word on that one, because it is entirely true. This was a dog who learned hand signals in one day when he went deaf at the age of fifteen. Just saying.

Giblet on the other hand has an intellect that makes me believe his squashed-in face is not a natural genetic occurrence, but the result of a freak accident at birth that resulted in shards of his nose being pushed into his brain. That is the only explanation I can come up with for a dog who does not have enough instinct of self-preservation to actually move off a seat if you are about to sit on him, or out from under your feet after you have stepped on him an even dozen times.

Aw, but he is cute!

Unfortunately, poop on the carpet outweighs cute in my book every time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The root of all worry

It's a weird feeling, suddenly having all these actual grownup worries. I have never been the worrying sort, no matter what has been going on in my life. And trust me, there have been some truly concerning aspects to my life. Things any sane person would worry about, and for very good reason. But I've always been the type to just sort of shrug and wait to see what happens.

But now. I worry, I mull, I fret. There's the Visa application and getting everything done that needs doing before I leave this country, and things to get done in the next country before I get there. Which has all been sort of nibbling away quietly in the back of my head for several months now. But this past week I found the true meaning of worry. I know, I am a bit old for this stunning revelation, most folk go through it at about the age of eighteen or twenty when they are trying to make a go of their first apartment. And I have heard my siblings struggle over this issue many times over the years. But this problem has never touched me in any significant way.

Money. Or, more accurately, the lack thereof. I have never before experienced this twisting, clenching in my gut that comes with wondering how we will afford to feed ourselves every month, much less ever get our hair cut again. And clearly we are going to have to learn to walk on our hands because no way are we getting new shoes! How do people do this? How do they live their lives with that gnawing, churning, writhing in their guts?

So here's what I've decided. I won't do it. I am going back to being the one who shrugs and assumes it will all work out in the end.
I am going to be happy with what we have and not worry about what we don't. I am going to beat worry into submission with my natural cheery optimism. I am going to face life with a smile and a carefully planned budget.

I am going to let my hair grow to the floor and obstinately forget that long hair makes me look like cousin it.

I am going to remember my guy and our overwhelming love and what this is all for...

Aw, see? I feel better already. :o)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

a place to call home

This weekend my fiance signed the rental agreement on our new flat in England. It's an odd feeling, knowing I have a home to go to in a country that isn't even mine yet. But the flat is another large step in getting me there, as I have to show on the Visa application that I have suitable accommodation, among other things.

And there can be no arguing it is suitable for the two of us. It's all awkward angles and odd slopes and strange corners, nothing where you expect it to be. Which is somehow ridiculously appropriate. It is so oddly laid out, in fact, that the photos my guy sent me just confused me, so he built me a little model of it online so I could see the weird and wonderful shapes we are going to attempt to furnish. Don't even ask about the windows. They are beautiful, absolute features in our high-ceilinged flat, lovely architectural details that give us unimpeded panoramic views of brick walls and parking lots. These windows make the space. They are also triangle. Including the one nine feet up in the bedroom with other flats looking down into it. I foresee this being a problem. At least for shy folk like us.

A quick search of the internet, of course, was all that was needed to instantly find several solutions to this window fashion dilemma! Every one of them hideously impractical and prohibitively expensive. The great Google has finally let me down. Luckily, we are a resourceful pair and came up with our own fix. Short of drawing you people a diagram, though, I doubt I can accurately explain our genius in the fabric arts. Lets just say it involves a lot of puckering and gathering, wire, and dangly bits that will need to be artistically chopped off. You get the general sense from that, right?

So, one decorating obstacle hurdled from across the ocean and feeling quite proud of myself. Not that this Goldbergian contraption of window fashion has actually been built yet. It's more of a ...concept. But I am sure my guy will be able to actually execute it, no problem. And if he gets confused, I'll build him a little model of it online so he can see the weird and wonderful shapes he is going to attempt to construct. No problem.

Uh oh.

You feel that? That was a "famous last words" moment right there.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

a shaky start

Okay, so here's the thing. I finally decided to write a blog , due in no small part to the fact that my fiance is constantly telling me I really need my own blog. He thinks I could entertain or interest others with my rants and musings. Either that or he thinks if I rant and muse at the internet at large I won't have to do it in his general direction anymore. One of those. Having made that decision, and being very happy about it and eager to start, I came to a sudden realization. I don't actually know how to do that. Write a blog. Or, more to the point, how to start writing a blog.

The real problem lies in the fact that in a first go round you kind of just have to introduce yourself to the people of the internet (or so I presume, so I'm going with that), and I have never been very good at it. I always said I would learn to describe myself by the time I am forty. Well, the clock is ticking loudly, and I am no closer to be being able to describe myself than I have ever been. Let's hope the next few years bring some sort of miracle of self-analysis and introspection that can lead me beyond the pure facts of being a thirty-whatever, blonde, blue-eyed Canadian. Because I fear that doesn't leave you with a very complete picture. For that matter, a picture could tell you as much and more. (Except maybe the Canadian part. Pretty sure that doesn't show in photos. At least, not unless I'm wearing my toque, while playing with my pet beaver outside our igloo, and eating poutine while waving at a passing mountie. But I blinked in that photo, so I can't post it up for the internet to see. You'll just have to take my word on the whole Canadian thing.)

I have had a...well, an unusual life. Whether that life is interesting to anyone but myself is debatable. And quite honestly, even I find it tedious a lot of the time. My fiance finds me and my life interesting, but he has to, by law. And let's face it, even he has now foisted me off on you people.

So, what will this blog be about? I have no earthly idea. Mostly random thoughts. A few rants. Maybe some pointers on how to immigrate to another country. Or desperate cries for help and information on the same subject. I expect more of the latter. Oh, and probably several long, thought-provoking essays on the nature of chronic pain and the art of keeping a smile on your face when you really want to cut off various body parts with a chainsaw, because after all that sounds less painful than what you are feeling at the moment...and maybe some meaningless chatter about clothes and music and tv and stuff. That should cover it.

Hmmm...I did mention my life was unusual, right? Well, so long as you're forewarned. Here's a synopsis for those of you who haven't been paying attention (and frankly, I don't blame you if you've let your mind wander off on its own by this point). I am a thirty-something-or-other Canadian gal living with chronic pain, engaged to a wonderful, loving British man and trying to gently pick my way through the red tape of moving halfway across the world without going insane. There, now don't you want to be my bestest internet friend? Yeah, I thought so.