Friday, May 15, 2015

Land of the long winters...(and rain like Manchester)

So its been just 5 days since me and the Canadian lady I hang about with left Manchester for pastures new. It feels much longer than 5 days as we have fitted in so much already.....

The last thing we did before leaving Manchester was obvious - playing in the garden with Taz. We really do miss him already - as well as all the other people over there - but theres just something so nice about a lazy dog who rolls over every two minutes so you can tickle his belly and then runs around like a lunatic chasing tennis balls!

Loves the old ear stretch!

Nearly got it.

So after saying goodbye to Taz we left for the airport with Chris and Emma, where after a bit of breakfast and a coffee we waved them goodbye and headed through customs.

The first flight was a bit cramped and very warm as there didn't seem to be much airflow in the plane. The lady next to us, even though she had an identical seat had apparently upgraded and for this she received a very small complimentary bottle of champagne - but she didn't drink so we were the lucky recipients of the tiny bottle with fake cork on top. We both enjoyed a lovely half gulpful of the tasty sparkling wine before Buffy somehow spilt most of it - amazingly she remained dry and my 'Nether regions' took their first shower of the day. I soaked most of the drink up with my arse before Buffy helped out by lending me her scarf to soak the rest. It dried easily enough though and by the time I ventured to the toilet later in the flight I was almost dry!



Wet balls!
We eventually landed in Toronto and started the process of 'Landing in Canada'. That is taking my immigration documents and passing through customs to officially be stamped as a resident.
We had a 6 hour layover so had plenty of time for this - But after queuing for just 20 minutes and showing the documents and very nice man shook my hand, proclaimed 'Welcome to Canada' and showed me towards the door to my future life  - (Just behind the large lady in the red jacket who has the easiest job in the word - giving out Welcome to Canada brochures to new immigrants!)

The next stage was to go to customs and get our 'Goods to Follow' paperwork stamped so that when our shipping arrives we can go and collect it. Again this was really simple and after a small queue, one woman crying for no reason and a 2 minute chat with a customs officer we were stamped and allowed into the hallowed turf that is Toronto Airport. I am now a Canadian Resident!

Four hours later we boarded our second flight and arrived in Winnipeg by 11.30pm local time.
We were met by Jon and Susan - Buff's mum and dad and a lovely little surprise present for me welcoming me to Canada - A cool t-shirt, flag, Jets coasters and awesome Canadian sunglasses!
Finally, after a long long day we arrived home and got some well earned sleep after being up for about 24 hours.

I will quickly go through the rest of the week....Its been busy!!

Day 1.
Up at 6am after just 4 hours sleep. We did some searching around and found out that the first thing I needed to do was get a SIN. (Social Insurance number) This means I can get a job.
The office opened at 8.30 am and half an hour later we left complete with my new Identity number. I was hoping it would take a few weeks so I didn't have to work - But no chance of that  I have no excuse now!

Then it was a meeting with the bank during which we discussed all our assets and opened my bank account. Another meeting was set for Wednesday.

In the evening it was a lovely family dinner with Jon, Susan, Stef, Pat and Cindi and a play with the three dogs before a well earned sleep.

Day 2
This time it was an early trip to the Health centre where I completed the forms and got my health care sorted. So now if I get ill, break a toe or chop off my own head in a terrible accident with a toaster and a piano - I'm covered.
In the afternoon we met with our Realtor, Morwenna, who explained the process to buy a house and arranged for a couple of viewings.
Later we headed out of town to stay the night at Megan and Brents - the location for our wedding next year. We enjoyed a lovely evening, a stunning dinner and a few drinks whilst chatting and playing with Taz's Canadian cousin Sturgess. A great night out.

Day 3
A little bit of measuring up and sorting out what we want to do for the wedding was followed by packing some stuff from Meg and Brents into the car and getting back to town in time for a second meeting at the bank. This time to look at investments, credit cards and mortgage possibilities.

A meeting with Morwenna followed on later wit two viewings of possible new homes. One house was lovely but just a little small - The the other wasn't lovely but was a good size. We will probably be buying neither!

A night in with a couple of well earned beers followed.

Day 4
Buffy is back at work today, so I drove her there after an early morning run in the rain and said a quick hello to everyone before heading back home to tidy up continue unpacking and make a list of things to do. Plus an appointment to discuss tomorrows surprise (read on)
In the evening we finally caught up with Walker, Barry, Evan and Joel at the cinema before a quick drink and home by 11pm!

Day 5
Buffy to work again and then a quick errand for me before going down to the south end of town for a great reason........
When I was leaving Canada with Buffy two years ago she got a tattoo of a Canadian Maple leaf and I wanted to do something to mark my arrival in Canada as well as prove my allegiance to Manchester.
Whilst out with Chris and Emma last week I had an epiphany and decided to get a version of the Manchester Worker Bee. I found a couple of good versions and had visited the tattooist yesterday to finalise the design. He was free today so I came down and had it done.....

The original

The beginning

Filled in



We have one more house viewing today and then we are heading out of the city for the weekend - To the cabin, where we will sit and read, drink and maybe if the signal is good I might get to see a bit of the United v Arsenal match on Sunday. Its been hectic, but we are well on our way to being settled.
It feels a lot more like home than last time - I know everyone already and I'm not the weird English stranger anymore.........Just weird!! haaha


  1. Hi! I'm a student in Manchester and considering getting a worker bee tattoo as well, which shop and artist did you get yours done at because it looks amazing!

  2. eToro is the #1 forex trading platform for beginning and pro traders.