School is not like the movies

Northshore of Vancouver
Northshore of Vancouver

School is never like it is in the American movies. For example, the school buses never pick you up directly from your house and doesn’t drop you off from there either. Also at school there is no such thing as detention hall and the local “hub”. If you think about it, you find high school is much more productive here than in England. But it is also much harder. Not that there is more tests but there are way more projects. Like very recently I had to do a huge alphabet book for an English project. I had to get a noun, verb, adjective and an adverb from every letter. Then define all of them and then put them in a complex sentence. It’s over now and I hated every part of that project.

Personal reflections – our first one

This week has been a mixed one in BC. The BC lions lost the Grey Cup. With no (ice) hockey, BC has been looking for compensation from the CFL. One of our daughters went to watch the game at her boyfriend’s house and had to endure being teased on her extreme lack of knowledge on CFL. She came back none the wiser. The pity is she had learnt a lot about hockey and has become a “puck bunny”. Still the hockey strike cannot go on for ever.

Still on the cultural front, our eldest daughter went to the REM concert. She said it was awesome, but the audience were mostly older. There was an old lady (55!) in front of her, who spent most of the concert standing up and waving her arms about in a trance-like fashion.

So far this year the kids have been to:

  • REM
  • Maroon 5
  • John Mayer
  • Billy Talent


Waiting for the snow

My son, like most of the boys his age, can’t wait for the snow to arrive on the local mountains (Cypress, Grouse and Seymour). He has been watching the webcams and trying on his gear. Naturally enough he has grown out of his boots and pants. So we took his old boots down to the consignment shop and traded them in for another pair (also second hand). As we are selling the boots for $99 (less commission) and we got the new boots for the same price, we aren’t too badly off. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any second hand pants as he refused to wear the bib overall style ones that were left. So the pants cost another $120.

Christmas preparations

Halloween is over and now we are seeing the lights and decorations beginning to appear on houses. The shops have been playing Christmas music for weeks, and Starbucks had its Christmas cups ages ago and now has the full decorations up.

One of the houses near us now has three huge inflatable snowmen in their drive. Spot lit too! Lovely. And the line up for Christmas lights in Home Hardware was the only part of the store that was crowded.

If you want a fun Christmas read, then try “How to be Canadian”. We read it when we first got here and really found it amusing.


At school, we have been going to the parent information meetings on college applications. It is something that will keep us busy for a while yet. Kids are applying in the next few weeks, especially if they are going to US colleges or the big ones back east (McGill and Queens). Local colleges have deadlines in the new year.

Of course plans for the Grad parties are well underway and we look forward to really dressing up and embarrassing our daughter at the first Grad party in June.

Thoughts from Greg on life in Canada

When I look back to my life in England; I can see how much better life is here and how much fuller life is. When I was in England it seemed so cool to be a skier but when I arrived here everyone thinks that snowboarding is the best and skiing isn’t good and fun. Life here is so much better and more fun here.

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