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A Year in Canada….

Well, that’s a year gone by, experiencing life in Kelowna, British Columbia. I find myself working as a an equities and currency trader by morning, running various e-business by afternoon. Leigh has a Vine Sculpture exhibtion coming up and the kids are back to skool in a couple of weeks….

We’ve done a few things it would seem – we’ve tried wakeboarding, been out on speedboats, been "adopted" by the neighbours family, grown our own organic veg, been camping in temperatures of -25 degrees, suffered our first broken bone, tubed and snowboarded, worked in vineyards and spent a lot of time swimming.

The best things we have found about living in Canada? (Or at least Kelowna, having not ventured out of the valley this year….) The friendly people, the climate here in Kelowna. The way you can drive down the road and stop at any number of stalls at the edge of the orchards or vineyards and buy produce, cherries, peaches, apples etc. The Okanagan Library system! Get out and use your local library, take the kids there and get ’em reading. The farmers market, (I implore more people around the world, (mainly in the US and the UK!), to support your local market, get your food fresh from the farm as it were, forget Tesco or Wal Mart for your fruit and veg, talk to the farmer. Don’t use the excuse, "Oh, I’m too busy for that." Make the time. There is more to life than spending your day working, working, working….).

The bad things we have discovered? Without a doubt, Canadian bureaucracy. Leigh is still waiting for them to get their ar$es in gear, with her sponsorship papers and visas. One English guy I spoke to today is still waiting, 18 months after applying. Another friend who has been out to visit has told us that the Canadian Government will give him a grant to teach "rock and roll dancing" as opposed to helping him come out and use his skill as a glazier. As much as I like a little rock and roll, I think his talents as a stained glass window maker may be of more use…..and for that he must wait 44 months!

Anyway, our anniversary was spent as we spent our first day, diving off the boards at Peachland, swimming in the lake, followed in the evening by a meal at the Blind Angler (Abuse is free, Taxes aren’t!), also in Peachland. Their homemade burgers are hard to beat, and the setting, lakeside certainly beats the local burger joint. And the abuse? All in good taste, the jovial women who run the joint make you want to return. But you’d better make a reservation, seats are hard to get at the last minute….

The Blind Angler Grill....

And as yet, still no sighting of any bears. Although we’ve seen bear "scat" as it’s called here. I think we call it bear poo in the UK….

Bear Poo, by any other name....

So into year 2 we go. What it holds for us, I don’t know. We’ve lived in a small city for the year, big city life is calling us at the moment, we’re missing some of the things that it has to offer. Vancouver is 4 hours away, Calgary is 8hrs, by road. The weather isn’t as good, but….

….Lola Montez was in some amazing and dangerous situations in her life, when faced with an impossible choice she said "Courage et battre les cartes" – it seemed to work for her.

Our life since leaving London nearly 3 years ago has been nothing if not "interesting" and along with the future, continues to offer new "challenges". So, it is likely that we shall follow the example of Ms Montez and be "shuffling the cards" again.

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