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3 Years….

We’ve reached another milestone, as they say. That’s 3 years living in Canada….

Another Lake....

Never thought we’d make it this far. Not sure if it’s because we can’t think of where to go next, or can’t seem to get ourselves moving again though. Nothing has really changed here as such, the wages are still crap, the paperwork and bureacracy is mind boggling, but the people are still friendly, although judging by a few recent conversations, maybe a little too laid back about current affairs, especially about ones that are going to impact on Canada and Canadian life.

But to go back to the UK? If you had asked us a couple of months ago, we’d have said, we’re planning to go back, we need more money. It was on the cards, at the start of the summer holidays, with a new Criminal Records check being done for me, so I could go back to tutoring, the moment we landed in Septemeber.

Now, today, after our camping trip, it’s a little harder to decide. Energy bills going through the roof, literally, kids being criminalised for petty things, criminal records for the slightest thing, (I was reading of a guy “threatened” by the police as he was about to sip a beer with his friend in a park. How on earth does that work in Richmond Upon Thames, where we used to live? We, along with hundreds of others would sit on Richmond Green, for a pint, or down by the river. Drunk and disorderly is one thing, but an innocent drink in the sunshine?….).

We still need to earn more money, we can’t do that here in the Okanagan it seems. It just isn’t going to happen. Plus, again, after visiting Vancouver, there really isn’t much going on here, that we’re interested in. Museums, exhibitions and so on, are all going on in the big cities.

So our resolution, as we begin “Year 4”, is to get our backsides in gear and get across, nearer the city.

Taking it easy….


(PS. The camping “report” is coming, just getting the photos together.)

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Of flat tyres and Oyama….

A couple of Sundays back, we tookΒ  trip up to a new beach in Coldstream, just outside Vernon….

Jade Bay....

Just before you get to Vernon, is a turn off to Coldstream. You drop down to the lake, where there is a lovely sandy beach on Kalamalka Lake. (“Kalamalka” meaning “many coloured, and from the photo, you can see why.) A great little general store appears as you get down to “lake level”, where they stock many things, as well as their own home made bread and rolls. We managed to pick up some organic cherries and peaches for a couple of bucks.

So, onto the lake, and Jade Bay. Silver sand, crystal clear water, a little chilly, a little walk down to the actual beach, but well worth it. We got the cooler box down there and stayed put for the afternoon.


As we left, we got talking to the “Smoothie Man”, a tanned Buddhist, we think, who we have seen many times at the Farmers Market, but never managed to get talking to. He’s always too busy. Anyway, he was packing up his wares after an afternoon lugging trays of various flavoured smoothies along the beach and getting ready to be picked up and dropped off back in Kelowna, to carry on selling. And this was at 5pm! He’s flat out through July and August it seems, making 300+ of these smoothies a night, hawking them round the markets, festivals and beaches of the Okanagan. Where he finds time to make meals for the homeless in Kelowna, running a yoga session for them whilst renovating his house, I have no idea. Great man, a real nice guy. As we were getting in the car, he came over, “I’m giving you guys a smoothie each.” Tasty. A strawberry one, a pina colada one and a pineapple one, all in bio degradable cups. We’re gonna have to buy a couple next time we see him now. We’re hooked.

We left Smoothie Man and headed for the mountain and home, an adventure, see somewhere new. We started well, a little unsure of where we were going, maps and signposts, not being the best in Canada…..

And then, on the way up the mountain, (I say, “up the mountain, we were on the mountain, deep in unknown territory……), Leigh and the kids heard a weird noise, which on investigation, was a flat tyre. A sodding flat! The first one and it had to be in the mountains, miles from anywhere, with no cellphone. And then, as I was figuring out how to attach the jack to the Jeep, Bob turned up…. who helped me jack the Jeep up and get us going again, so many thanks. His questioning about English swear words was hilarious! You meet some real nice people in the middle of nowhere. It’s not always like those “horror films”!

After changing the tyre, in the middle of nowhere, in the mountains, kids panicking about bears and cougars, whilst I lay on the floor, getting eating alive by the mozzies, we finally got back underway, nearly an hour later, Bob following us as far as King Edward Lake, to make sure the tyre was OK. He was camping there doing a little fishing and said it was a great place to come camping, he did regularly with his nephews. You can see why….

King Edward Lake....

And then as we started our descent, we found a layby, with a breathtaking view, north to Vernon, and down to Oyama….


Trees everywhere to our right, in a large valley, water north and south, mountains all around, no sounds other than nature, a couple of bald headed eagles doing there screeching calls and not another person in sight. As the sun went down in front of us as we came off the mountain, dropping into Oyama, we all thought, “What a fantastic day!”, even with the flat tyre and the mosquito bites.

JB on the Mountain....

I’ve just noticed the length of this post. By far the longest in the history of the No Going Back blog. With the temperature at 32 degrees as I sit in the shade,think I’ll call it a day. I’m off for a smoothie….

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Sam Gets A Call Up….

We have a soccer star in the making, it seems…..

Sam had a call from the regional organiser and coach for the Kelowna soccer team last night and it was finalised tonight, that he has a place on the Kelowna team in a regional tournament next weekend, against, Penticton, Kamloops and Vernon. Training starts this week, 3 sessions and then all stations go next Saturday.

Fingers crossed there may be some other scouts there, should he shine on the day. He’s now on about getting a new set of boots as the old ones are now too small.