Still swimming

I used to have blog posts swimming around in my mind all the time. I’d sit down to put a baby to bed and it would all tumble out onto paper (iPhone) in a rush of semi-exhausted unfiltered creative catharsis. But then life got a bit heavier and the swimming was mostly staying afloat (and on top of laundry / music practice / homework / house moves…you know what I mean).

The beautiful laundry-producers

Anyway. These past few weeks have brought with them some hints of Spring and along with it, tiny blog post whisperings. So here I am, like the rubbish friend who ghosted you for years and then popped up with a casual ‘hi how’ve you been?’

(Apologies if that’s an accurate rendition of my attempts at friendship over recent years).

But really, how’ve you been?

It’s been a big year for us. I don’t have as many beautiful Canadian scenic backdrops for blog photos and I don’t have as many tiny earnest toddlers to photograph, in said backdrops. But I do have some teenagers and pre teens and a lot of new recipes/hero products to share.

The new vibe: less Canadian wilds, more punting in Cambridge

And a house, that we actually bought, in Cambridge, with a real life garden, that needs a casual (complete) renovation at some point in the coming year. So I have also been doing some hefty research on interiors that I feel duty bound to share, too.

Real Life garden with what looks like a Real Fake sky (it’s not). Could not be more desperate for spring/summer at this point.

What else… I am now officially Canadian, with only slightly ironic timing given our current location. We started the process of applying for citizenship when we were still on Vancouver Island and by January this year it was finally complete (NB if I never have to fill in another immigration form again it will be too soon).

In any case, in order for the citizenship to be finalized, I had to take the oath of citizenship, on Canadian soil. Given the logistics (and – let’s be honest – the effort and £££) involved in flying our whole family anywhere, we decided I should just go alone. And so, reader, that is how I ended up in Montreal for 24 hours, alone, on my first trip abroad without children for over a decade.

Most of my photos from Montreal just evidence of snow for my poor Canadian children missing the frozen North

I’m not sure if you’ve ever spent 13 years of your life permanently pregnant and/or nursing a baby without spending a night away from them but if you have, you’ll know what I mean when I say the shock of 48 hours silent and alone was quite intense.

I had my nails done at the airport (peak); upgraded to business class with no children (peak); remembered to pack noise cancelling headphones and an episode of Made In Chelsea Bali (peak); realised the only downloaded music on my phone was a Frozen playlist and the Moana soundtrack (trough); made it through customs in Montreal without being shouted at, unlike the man ahead of me (peak); got into a fight with the hotel because my room didn’t have the long awaited bath tub it had promised me (trough, until my fight successfully landed me a suite with, yes, a bathtub) and… crucially… became Canadian.

Why yes I did buy some dollar store bunting for the zoom oath occasion
Photographic evidence of snow and also evidence of the number of stores I trawled trying to find salted (not cheese) goldfish crackers for my poor Canadian children missing the frozen North and their delightful soup crackers

I’ll admit to having a tear in my eye when they played the anthem and a selection of sunset-through-the-trees Canadian iconography.

Anyway, Canadian citizenship under my belt and for the children too, I now like to spend my evenings looking at imagining all the Island hideaways we could have in our future if we weren’t about to spend all our money on fixing this house. But also quite excited about the renovations here, with plenty of polished concrete dreams firmly back on the agenda.

My Instagram saved collection very much variations on a cement/wood/white theme

I had a bit of a big birthday, too, a number that ended in a zero and didn’t begin with a 3… so it’s been a bit like that, around here. What about you? How’ve you been? More soon? XxtMatM


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