|2002. Notice the crumbly old garage on the side. This is just before we moved in.|
|A more recent picture thanks to Google Maps showing our side extension and our two former cars.|
Ten days to go before set on the greatest adventure of our lives as a family and it still doesn't quite sink in. We're going to pack up and fly to Toronto where we will meet the dogs who fly in a few days later and then drive for several days to Winnipeg. Only ten days to go and it still hasn't sank in yet. I take Blake to the park every day, I walk down the same familiar streets, pop into the same shops, eat at the same restaurants. Our neighbourhood is immensely boring and lacking in interesting shops and restaurants, but it is our neighbourhood and I know it intimately, every nook and cranny. I can't convince my brain that I'm leaving all of this for good.
I'm sitting in our home, which technically isn't our home anymore and I am telling myself that in two weeks we will all be gone and other people will call this place home. I even know where I am going: we already got to stay in our new Winnipeg home for two whole weeks and settle in a bit. Yet it really doesn't sink in. No sinking whatsoever. I bet that when we will leave home for the last time to the airport it's going to feel like the many times in which we flew to Toronto on holiday.
So it's all going to hit me later. Maybe a day after we entered Canada, maybe a month later, but it will. Whatever, I'll deal with it. The easy part will be getting to terms that I can't get some obscure supermarket products or eat at certain restaurants. The more difficult part will be accepting the fact that many of my dear friends will no longer be able to drop by at a short notice to share a meal, watch a movie or just hang out.
I will also miss the bridge on the way to the main street. It goes over an exposed section of the London Underground train tracks and all the neighbourhood kids love stopping there and wave to the train drivers in the hope of getting a whistle in return (which annoys the people living in the houses with yards facing the tracks, but I'm not losing much sleep over it).
We sold our Toyota on e-Bay a few days ago so we're somewhat grounded. The London Underground is a broken system, but it does allow me to travel around town as neccesary and I can walk to the local post office, bank, supermakets, park, etc. The sell of the car was actually quite exciting. No bids until the very last minute and then a quick little bid war in the last thirty seconds. We sold our other car earlier this year which went after one bid for the asking price, so this was more fun. It was a great rush and I almost wished we had more cars to sell.
Tomorrow we'll be getting lots of folded boxes so the real packing can start and to be honest I am looking forward to it because there is a lot to do and I will feel better once things start getting done, because thinking about doing it all is worse than actually doing it. We had friends over for lunch on Sunday which is probably going to be our last home cooked meal with friends here in London as after tomorrow it's all going to (finally) become too messy to entertain people here. Well, more messy than usual. We do have two crazy Great Danes and a three year old lean, mean mess producing machine.
With this comes the realization that a lot of things we are doing here for the last time. I still hasn't been the last time I took Blake to our local park, but that day is not far off. I have seen my last movie at the cinema in the UK (Final Destination 5 and I absolutely loved it). I took Blake to the local swimming pool for the last time. Since we no longer have a car we will no longer engage in any car-related activities which rules out many things (going to the supermarket, visiting friends out of town, illegal street racing).
At least we made our house repellent to straight folks as the people who ended up buying it are another gay couple. Though they are your generic vanilla flavour gay couple without any emotionally unstable giant dogs or cute children. I also don't think either one of them is writing a blog. I know, shock!
But we won't hold it against them.