Sunday, 3 January 2010

Mad, am I?

A newcomer to this blog, one George Saint, felt moved to comment on the post 'Moving part 3';
I've just blundered across your site and my first impression is that you must be completely bonkers, the evidence being that you moved homes during Christmas. Further exploration has proven my initial impression to be quite accurate but in that wholly eccentric way that only the literate Englishman can be.
Now this is an interesting point of view, and being of an independent cast of mind, one I have encountered many times before. George, please don't take this as a rebuff or insult, implied or otherwise. In fact I hope you don't mind if I explore this a little further.

Now my initial reaction was to detail my reasoning behind moving house during the festering (sic) season as follows;
The move over Christmas was necessitated by a number of factors;
1. Opportunity. Christmas was when the new rental became available.
2. Space. We need it because Mrs S and I had simply outgrown our previous apartment and were beginning to drive each other crazy. Also we needed space for work, visitors and the socialising that comes as part of our jobs.
3. Comfort. Three bedrooms. Log fire. Heat pump. Big yard. Swimming pool. Massive deck. 1800 Square feet of indoor space. Contrast with living in a two bedroom (1 a box room) 800 square feet apartment with only basic electric heating.
On the surface this seems a fairly reasonable thing to do. It is only the timing that seems slightly dodgy. To opt for more space and comfort when it becomes available is to me at least, a pretty rational act for any creature.

There is also a reasonable case to be made that I must be more than slightly nuts to uproot myself and travel to a strange land. Ummm... No. Relocation of this nature has been undertaken by millions before me in the hope of a better life, and if you'll indulge me, I have my own reasons for doing so.

At this point I must point out that I am a 'man of my word'. That is to say that if I 'give my word' that something shall be done, it gets done, regardless of personal cost. One condition though, that 'word' is never given for what I view as trivial or morally questionable reasons. I have to want to give my commitment. True, it is an old fashioned concept drawn from a time when sworn oaths formed the very basis of the law, yet that is not to say it does not have value, even in the early 21st century. For all the rest of my many failings as a human being, Integrity is one of my core values. 'To thine own self be true' as Polonius said to Laertes in William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. Because this precept seems to give me emotional strength, I try to follow it as much as possible, even it is oftentimes not an easy road. There are times I curse the very air I breathe for my stubborn persistence in the face of unfriendly odds.

One of the reasons I am here in British Columbia, Canada is one direct result of me 'keeping my word'. By making a solemn promise, I bound myself to a course of action that whatever it's inconveniences to me personally, had to be followed through. The promise in question was made on my wedding day to my wife, who wanted to 'go home' to Canada. Mrs S grew up in Quebec and Ontario, and just before she finished High School and very much against her own wishes, was taken back to England with her family because of her father's work commitments. Ever since she has wanted to return, but lacked the opportunity to do so. Until she met me. Muggins.

The shorthand of the situation ended up with me making my solemn commitment to my wife to help her fulfil this dream of (for her) homecoming "Though hell itself should bar the way" (My very words - stupid boy). So far I have kept up my end of the bargain. My reward? A solid emotional stability which I'd previously felt lacking. In itself no small possession.

The adventure of crossing continents has also appealed to my more wayward self. The constant novelty and uncertainty somehow make you feel more, well, alive. Becoming a stranger in a strange land, and yet finding more genuine friendship here in this new place than I ever did in the land of my birth is a novel experience. There is little of the workaday surliness it was my displeasure to constantly encounter in the UK. Canadians, with some notable exceptions, seem to have no 'side' to them. They say what they think and you don't need to be a mind reader to divine their intent. They are, in my current experience, wonderfully direct and relaxed. This is something I find a constant fount of spiritual refreshment. Even when a newbie like me gets the piss royally extracted from him.

To cut this rambling discourse short; I feel I am finding my true home here, and if that is a result of some form of irrationality, then hand me the straitjacket matron. I intend to enjoy every moment of it.

Incidentally George, you're now on my blogroll. You poor, benighted fool you. Welcome.

Update: Have finally found the widget for downloading from my Cell phone camera. This is the internal view of our new front room. Good 'ere, innit?
External view will follow when it gets light.


delcatto said...

It all sounds perfectly rational to me and Mrs Sticker has hit the heights of rationality...Christmas holiday whilst you sort the move. Remaining in the UK would have probably driven you nuts therefore everything you've done so far in moving to Canada is 24 ct evidence of a sound mind.
All that wonderful space...

George Saint said...

Worry not, I have no intention of taking your response the wrong way, in fact I'm flattered that it caused you to ponder and write further. Regards your sanity I can only say I still think moving during the festive period is potentially rather crazy but I won't argue that the end result is obviously well worth the effort.

I would be less than honest were I to fail to admit to certain pangs of jealousy when I see your photos but I wish you the very best in your new home and look forward to reading your further adventures.

George Saint said...

Oh, and about adding my little site to your list, thank you very much, I hope my partner in crime and I manage to give you an occasional laugh there.

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