Apparently it rarely snows in Vancouver (it’s a lot milder than the rest of Canada) but they had their own fair share of it this week. On Sunday I had fallen love with the place, being able to go skiing on a whim at the weekend is amazing, but on Wednesday I fell way out of love with it after spending two hours shoveling snow and gritting whilst the boys were strapped in the pushchair.
At the moment we’re living it up in a lovely 5,000 sq foot house in a lovely area of central Vancouver, it’s a fabulous house and ordinarily way out of our league (I found a bathroom I didn’t know even existed about a week after we moved in). The owners had gone traveling and we were basically house-sitting for them. However, this was the week of their return. We don’t move into our flat for another week (we’re crashing back to earth and moving into a much much smaller “duplex” apartment – house prices and rent are as expensive as everything else in Vancouver) so we are staying with them until the flat is ready. I spent the first part of the week wondering (whilst frantically cleaning) about the etiquette of living with total strangers in a house which is theirs but has come to feel like home, do we ring on the door bell when we come back? Make them dinner? Luckily Casper broke the ice by going straight into the kitchen lying down on the floor and crawling along like a dog with no back legs.
Fortunately they are an absolutely lovely couple. They more than make up for all the nutters I have come across on my travels, though perhaps they are a bit mad in their own way letting a British family with two snotty boys loose in their house whilst they are halfway round the world.
I have of course encountered my fair share of nutbags though this week including:
The bloke riding his bike uphill on a three lane road whilst sitting backwards on the handlebars, a flower stuck where the saddle should be, what a dick (sorry mum I know you’re reading this over your breakfast Muesli – but really, what a knob). The retired marine whose ex was apparently “Beautiful inside and out, it’s a shame she was schizophrenic, germophobic and had OCD.” She dumped him because he kept “going downtown” to see ladies he called his “goddesses”. I said, like Charlie Sheen? He looked at me blankly and carried on telling me how he was a child of the 60’s and wanted to find a ghost writer to write his memoirs. And finally the bus driver who used the intercom to promote his mates bar and comment on passenger’s clothing (talking of bus drivers it’s nice to see that a high percentage of them here are women, much more so than in the UK, they all look like Megan from Bridesmaids but still at least they’re doing their bit).
Having lived a virtual six week long episode of Through the Keyhole we knew David and Verena were pretty classy, well dressed and houseproud so I thought I ought to make a bit of an effort for our first meeting, I went for a sloaney yummy mummy(ish) look, knit dress, brown suede boots, pashmina – I don’t know why, it couldn’t last, the next day I was back to my baggy leggings and a top that had seen me through two pregnancies…and they’ll definitely see me in my pyjamas, it’ll just be pot luck whether it’ll be the ones that pop open at the boobs or the ones with a curry stain down the front.
I took the boys to a lovely little playgroup suggested to me by my new pals, the boys had a whale of a time, though I nearly ruined it by turning up with three dirty (and stinking) nappies in my bag. I reckon I could have got away with one, but three could be considered a dirty protest. I had put them in my bag to take straight to the outside bin when I left, mindful of David and Verena’s return, smelly nappies are surely never a nice welcome home. But I totally forgot they were there until it was too late, we were nearly at the playgroup and there wasn’t a wheelie bin in sight to stash them in. I probably shouldn’t have given the boys eggs the day before. Fried eggs are Casper’s new favourite food – he ate two from Neil’s plate and then when Neil cooked himself more he started on those too – it was like a Nursery retelling of Cool Hand Luke.
Theo’s still eating everything in sight too, I was having a shower, peeped out to see what he was up to and found him chewing on a tampon, it wasn’t even mine, not that that really makes any difference I suppose.
More soon, bye for now! x