Scribblings From A Far Away Place

Contents:

The Melon Farm

Slow pub crawl

Socialising

Our Man In Nigeria

Curry House Review

Film corner

Crespie, intelligible Scottish star of the now-disbanded filmcorner and husband of infamous if (very) occasional Curry House Review journo vespie, upped sticks and left for Canada back in December 2007.  On a dull afternoon in Manchester, spaceman requested that crespie pen (or rather type) some thoughts & feelings since moving to a new(ish) country.

 

And here is crespie's first missive from abroad:

 

January 2008

"Hello all!

Now that I am settled in after fooling border control to allow me safe passage into Canada, I feel it is time for some updates.  For those who donít know me (which will be everyone outside of spaceman's [inner] circle), I have been trying in vain to get into Canada for many years now.  I hatched a plan a few years back to marry a Canadian, which I was sure would expedite my dreams of gaining some kind of Visa (there are a few you can get). I knocked up the wife just to be sure.  And it worked, which was nice.

So thatís you pretty much up-to-date on the history of me.  For those people who know me from my time in Manchester, I am missing the office banter, curry nights, and general buffoonery (I donít care if itís not a real word spacedude), which was my time in the Mancland.  I made many good friends, and learned a lot about life, which I like.  Our little one ("jespie") spent the first 6 months of her life in Manchester, and I will always remember those days fondly.  As for little jespie, she has two teeth now (she bit vespie once, which she was not at all happy about).  Also we still have no idea who far along vespie is with mini-me number two.

As for Canada (the reason I am scribbling really), its just super.  The day we arrived, there was a big dump of snow (so large, that the people who were coming to pick us up, couldnít get out their driveway), so our first night was in a hotel.  But we got home eventually, and have set up shop in the town of Cobourg, which is a two hour commute to the office (yes, crespie is very unhappy at this).  We've started looking for houses, but that will be a few months away yet (since no bank will come near me due to my status as an immigrant.  I did inform them I wasnít Mexican, but they still wouldnít budge).  As soon as a house is acquired, there will be open invitations for all.  Please do come by.

The weather has been a little strange (very cold, then warm then cold again), but better than I'd envisaged.  Vespie was sick for about 3 weeks, which was very stressful for crespie, as was the wait for our shipped goods (which arrived 3 weeks late, and incurred a lot of extra costs we were not told about).  I also baked once in my time off, which was a rounding [eh?] success!  I will bake again should anyone venture over [sounding desperate yet hopeful now].

I will end here for now, but will keep a general update each month or so.  Due to the fact we have dial up at home (and its not even on 56k, I think its 34k or something stupid), I have to do all this in the office, so can't spend as long as I would like.  Therefore, I will sign off.

Hope all is well in the UK.  Goodbye from Canada, land of the beaver (heh heh heh heh. Yes, sometimes crespie has the mind of a child)."

End of report

Bit of a gap in between reports from crespie - he's a busy boy - but he has helpfully backfilled a few months for avid readers.

"Hello again to those interested in my general updates/rants/thoughts, and also to those who got mis-directed here (when you really wanted to go to the 'pub crawl' section).
 
When I left my last missive, I was still in Cobourg using a computer I had to wind up to get it started.  Quite a lot has happened in the months since I last wrote.  Having an electric computer for example.  And, more importantly, we have another baby-type thing.  She is crying now in fact.  Hold on a minute and I'll put her in the cupboard. there.  Nice and quiet.  As a side-note, I was thinking I should impart my parenting wisdom for anyone struggling with those familiar dilemmas on how to properly raise their child [yes, a 'crespie's parenting tips' page might just work].  But I'll leave that for another day.  On to the updates..."
 
March

"This was a busy month.  Vespie started looking for houses, and I started studying for an [actuarial] exam.  Due to the utter incompetence of the exam people at the Faculty/Institute, I would have to sit my exam in the UK.  (I was assured for months I could sit it in Canada.)  This posed a slight problem for Crespie (me), but it did afford me the opportunity to see all my buddies again.  Which I did (see April section).

Some of the houses vespie checked were funny - one had no electricity (a Morman house??), and one had squirrels living in it.  They didn't seem to happy sharing, so we didn't bid for that one.  There were many other similarly awful houses (just none as humorous as those two), but after much searching, vespie found the house of her dreams.  Which was nice.  I now had to convince a money-lender to money-lend.  This came at a good time for us, as banks were still happy to through money around, unaware of the meltdown which was about to occur (I notice my soapbox inching towards me, but I'll refrain from bashing the banks for being completely incompetent at their job).
 
So the moving in date for us is June 26th.
 
This now gives me something to look forward to, as the commute is truly awful.  As an example of how my emotions are being played with - some inconsiderate bar steward committed suicide at 6pm at Union station one night.  Why would you do that at the busiest station at rush hour?   Why not do it at 11am on a Sunday in Guelph?  Anyway, this meant I couldn't get home until 12.  Arse.  Truly arse.  I crave a decent bus/train service.  I just noticed that my keyboard is playing funny buggers - look what happens when I press the question mark key - ….  What the hell is that….  Bugger.  I meant '?'.
 
Anyway, just in case some of my sentences seem odd, you know why."
 
April

"The snow is disappearing!!  It's not gone yet, but there's only a few feet of it now!!  Anyway, this month started with me going to the UK for my exams.  After the first one, I went to Manchester to catch up with spaceman and the gang - spacegirlsarge, windy (who has recently taken a secondment to work with the Conservative party.  I only add that because I just didn't see it coming.), henners, brungerio and j-no.  We went to the Deansgate for some pre-meal beers, then went to Shimla Pinks (read reviews in the curry review section for this place - truly great).  I missed not have vespie there - she would have loved it [certainly, there was only limited talk of vaginas this time - see here].  But a great night nonetheless.
 
I met up with d2h3 the following day (of filmcorner fame), then had lunch with the spaceman and others before heading back North.  I had a strong nostalgic feeling on the journey home.  Moving away is not without its drawbacks.
 
When I got back to Canada, there was no snow to be found!  It was weird how it changed in two weeks.  Then the next night, we had a thunderstorm like I've never seen.  It woke me up for a start, then lightning started.  Amazing.  I've never seen lightning like it.  It lit up the whole sky.  It was like somebody had just flicked a switch (god maybe?  Heh heh.  How about somebody more believable...Santa perhaps?).  Anyway, the bullet point of that was that the lightening and thunder were well cool.  And the secondary point underneath the initial bullet point is that I mock your god!  But just so I keep a readership, I'll focus mainly on the first point.  So, erm, might as well move onto May..."
 
May

"Nothing happened."  [Not quite true.  Crespie's beloved Rangers lost to Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup final, held here in Manchester (at City's stadium).  Thousands upon thousands of Rangers fans descended on Manchester and, in Piccadilly Gardens, went on a bit of riot after one of the screens failed shortly before kick-off (spaceman heard reports that the engineer was trying to fix the screen but the barrage of bottles rendered this impossible).  Anyway, Manchester was left in a bit of a mess.  All the while, crespie was ill in Canada, so the defeat won't have helped his mood.]

June

"So we moved into our house on the 26th.  What a nice place it is.  It has (amongst other things) a deck and a basement (and there is a spare room - top bunk is already set aside for any buddies who want to journey over [er, who's in the bottom bunk?]).  And I now have somewhere to display my very illegal whisky collection.  (For anyone reading this in the customs career area, its not really illegal.  I'm just saying that for some cheap laughs.  Although I haven't checked to be honest.  There is a decent chance they are illegal.  Actually, just ignore this section if you work in customs.)
 
So strangely, in six months here, we have a car, a house, but no cell [er, mobile] phone.  I will give in at some point, but not yet.  Oh yeah, before I forget - impeach Blair.  Note, I didn't soapbox that.  Just nice and succinct."
 
July

"The first of July is Canada day.  What an odd place this is when you are from the UK.  There is absolutely no national pride there (not that I saw in my stays in Glasgow, Edinburgh [not for the UK in those two places, perhaps] or Manchester - although I understand why in Glasgow!)  There are no Union Flags (not Jacks, they are different) in cities or in gardens.  Over here, almost every house has a Canadian flag on this day (and most have one all-year round).  There are also flags lining the streets in every town.  Weird.  But, hey, if they are giving me a day off, then pass me a flag and a funny hat.  And a beer.  Mainly a beer. 
 
The main event for the month was the birth of our second little girl.  There was a slight panic the week before her birth as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt picked the same bloody name we had picked out [Vivian].  This meant we spent about 5 days searching through thousands of names on the internet to get an idea for a new name.  After about the first 3 hours (and about 40,000 names), I gave up and played with a ball of string.  But we did eventually get a name which we were happy with - 'Claudia' (henceforth clespie).  And thus our second child is named.  So sayeth me.  And there was much rejoicing."
 
August

"This month began with the US-backed illegal invasion [um, by Georgian forces] of South Ossetia on the eve of the Olympics.  The US then had the audacity to tell another country (Russia) not to invade a sovereign nation.  Iraq obviously doesn't count then.  This mini-war appears to have been played through so that nobody notices the largest armada in history heading to the Persian Gulf to start a blockade of Iran.  Whilst political statements are not the initial aim of this webpage [nor this website!], my soapbox is always lurking around, and I will find myself on it on occasion.
 
So other than the fact the US appears hell-bent on buggering up another country, August has been quite quiet really.  

This is the gospel according to St Crespie of Canadaland.  Later dudes."