A long entry...

(9/5/2005)

I have booked a train to Ottawa. I will be staying with my friend Cheri for thanksgiving. I am looking forward to that as I have never experienced thanksgiving before.

I got back quite late from Toronto last night and so am quite tired. The transport at the weekends isn't as good as in the week. The trains are hourly and I have to change to a bus for the last 20 mins of the trip. I did however see the Toronto Airshow during the afternoon. Still sorting the photos. The airshow was great and the commentary was good too. They actually told you when the planes were going to pass each other by saying NOW, which was handy for catching some of the trickier moves. Having said that I think it was some of the toughest photography I've ever done. They were just so quick and my lense was being a bit slow. I could have done with borrowing Pete's 100-400 :)

I am sitting in the garden with my laptop typing this. I've just been for a swim. The water was only 75 degrees, but it felt warmer somehow. Here are some reasons that I am enjoying Canada right now:-

Nice weather with lots of light for photography (so far!) Also the weather is daily. It generally changes overnight, so if you do get a bad day, you usually know before you set out.

Cycling on my cousins bike has been great. I feel a lot healthier and have enjoyed the freedom to just set out any direction I like. There are lots of dedicated bike paths and all of the roads here have dedicated parts of the sidewalk (path) for cyclists.

There are no scallies here. You might get the odd misbehaving kid but nothing too terrible. The worst I have seen is a couple of teenagers spitting off a motorway bridge. In England they were throwing car batteries and bricks off the bridges! One thing that is more prevalent here is graffiti, some of it artistic and some of it that is just for the sake of vandalism. It is generally in places where it doesn't affect things however, a disused wall, an abandoned building or rail bridge. The trains for example are well kept and people respect the 'no feet on seats' signs. People are helpful and polite and sometimes complete strangers will start conversations with you!

I like the fact that nature lives in harmony with the people and that there are lots of unusual animals and insects here for me to study and photograph. In this garden alone I have seen bats, dragon flies, wasps, hummingbirds, squirrels (grey ones and black ones), chipmonks, rabbits and some birds.

The BBQ is used here by more people, more frequently and the food tastes delicious!

There are a few negatives however, some of them trivial. These include:-

The mobile phones are behind the times here, in particular the tariffs. In England I can get a phone card that last forever unless I use it. Here I have to keep my card updated every 30 days and I have to pay for incoming calls!

The annual holidays here are on average 2 weeks (in England they are 4 weeks).

No job yet and I've been looking for three weeks. The only job I got offered was by a company who though that minimum wage was acceptable for my skills. :(

Everywhere is so spaced out here (which is good in some ways), but it means without a car, places are hard to get to (or tiring on the bike!)

I am looking forward to showing my friends and family around the areas once they come to visit me.

Until the next entry, I want to wish everyone well, especially my best friend Pete who is recovering from an operation. Get Well Soon Mate.

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John

Dude, why don't you get a character limit eh? ;)

Glad to see you're getting you freak on in Canada (re: Cheri) Wit-wooo!! Get yer knickers down!!"

Seriously though, sorry about the car battery, but thats no reason to call me a scally!

Dying to see the airshow photos. They do everything sooo much better over there don't they.

Take care fella

Karl

You're a busy man!
Anyway keep up the news