Tag: autumn

Location, location, location.

I am having to wear my new glasses to type this post. I am officially OLD.

Glasses selfie
Glasses selfie

This last week, we have had Hilary and D stay with us, coming from Edmonton and “on route” to Toronto for their beloved rollercoasters. They are both a year older than me, and both spent a lot of time squinting at their phone screens. D admitted he needs reading glasses, Hils isn’t sure… yet. We are ALL getting old. (apart from Carl, it seems, who actually IS old!)

Anyway, Hils and D are the first of our UK friends to make it over for a visit, (unsurprising, given the horrifically extortionate costs of the flights!) and I had a wonderful – if too bloody short – week of showing them my Regina. Ahem. It was also Thanksgiving, which to the British mind, is a festival of Over-Eating. This year, we got an 8kg turkey from the Farmers’ Market, and I spent 5 hours in the kitchen making stuffing for it, sweet potato soup and pumpkin pie. And then Turkey curry and then turkey pie and a multitude of turkey sandwiches. FOREVER. On top of that, I also introduced them to Poutine at the Mercury, explained why Perogies are now a Canadian thing, forced D to eat a maple-bacon doughnut, and took them to Timmies. All this was washed down with copious amounts of homebrew, and I duly gave Thanks to Hils for bringing me a bottle of pinotage wine from afar. Om nom.

DSCF8979When not eating, we did try and see the sights of Regina. We tried to walk off some of the turkey with a wander down to Wascana park to see the lake, but we had spent so long “digesting” – by which I mean lying on the couch groaning – that it was getting dark before we headed out, and by the time we got there, it was pitch black and we found the legislative building had been inexplicably covered in cardboard anyway. We did find quite a few houses nicely decorated for Halloween though.

Explaining a town to someone “from overseas” is quite difficult. Hils and D are not ones to appreciate architecture anyway but Regina is not an architecturally stunning city in the first place. They asked very similar questions to those we asked when we first arrived:
Why are there so many bungalows? (so much space – why build up when you can build out?)
Why is everything wonky? (Particularly true in Cathedral – old wooden houses that have warped and partially sunk in the Regina Gumbo. Ours is a shining example of The Wonkiness)
Why build wooden houses when there are tornadoes here and no native trees? (I don’t have an answer for that one!)
Why do pubs close on long weekends? (again – no clue!)
Why is it so quiet downtown? (See above)
How do you get to the airport if you don’t have a car? (they didn’t like my answer to that, which prompted the next question-)
What sort of city has no public transit to its own airport?!?! Answer: one that is addicted to driving.

I am not going to write another rant about the needlessly enormous cars here or my near-death experiences cycling in Regina, but – and this is for another blog post entirely- I have good reason to keep an eye on specific locations around Regina right now, particularly if they have adequate parking. If I build it, they will come (in their SUVs…) Let’s leave it, cryptically, at that for now. If you do spend all your time driving around town though, the chances are you will miss views like these. Autumn in Regina is simply gorgeous, and I think even Hils and D, Londoners as they are, could appreciate that:

DSCF9078 DSCF9080 DSCF9075

What is that strange grey thing in the sky?

My oh my, I do believe it’s a cloud. I haven’t seen one of them in a looooooong time!

It is 3 degrees outside. THREE. Today is Wednesday. On Sunday, as in, three days ago, it was 28 degrees celcius.
Again, I will reshare one of the gems I saw on Twitter:
“Highs of 40C, lows of -3, strong winds direct from the artic and swarms of savage mosquitos. WTF do I wear?? #CanadaProbz”

I thought it was a peculiarly British thing to talk about the weather, but here it seems to be almost a competition to see which province suffers the worst. “aah, but Saskatchewan gets sunshine and dry heat, not like the humidity in Toronto, it’s suffocating in ‘Tranno'” and so on.

Despite the sudden dip in temperature, the city is really beautiful at the moment, with falling golden leaves and crispy sunshine. I think it’s the sun that does me so much good. In the UK, you can expect at least 9 months of GREY. Not necessarily rain, (though there is still more than enough of that!) but just not-hot, not-cold, not-sunny, overcast, unexciting GREY, for most of the year. I found it incredibly depressing. It made an unpleasant town look even more ugly, and I do believe it made people (myself included) far more grumpy than if we’d all been living in the Mediterranean or somewhere. Here in Saskatchewan, the temperature swings wildly between both extremes and the seasons change very fast indeed, but the sunshine is more or less constant. I am reliably informed that Saskatchewan gets more sun than any other province, (bad news if they want to boast to Ontarians about how tough the weather is here) Estevan (about 2 hours south east of here) is the sunniest place in Canada! It is not always hot sun, when we were here in november, it was steadily in minus-double-figures but STILL sunny and bright. This does my general wellbeing a lot of good. Sunshine makes me happy.

Bright skies, autumn colours.

One thing I am sad about though, is that There Is No More Corn. Miranda and I became a little addicted to eat sweetcorn on the cob for the past couple of months, and since it was grown relatively locally, the stuff was ABUNDANT. I watched the prices with interest – it was conspicuously seasonal. When the first large batches arrived in the supermarkets, it was 77 cents a cob. The lowest we saw it was at the beginning of September when it was down to 32cents. Two weeks ago, Carl bought 4 cobs for $3 at the Farmer’s Market, and now, there is NONE in our regular supermarket at all, and the eye-wateringly expensive local Safeway branch is selling it for nearly $5 for four small, pre-cut, vacuum-packed cobs imported from who-knows-where. Waaa!! Miranda is going to be devastated. If we let her, she would eat sweetcorn and sausages for every meal.

I think we need to get her hooked on Pumpkin now!

“Worm Pie for dessert, whoopee!!”
(Seriously, I will buy a coffee for anyone – other than my parents – who can tell me where that reference comes from!!)