Blog by Chloe Cartwright, BSW, RSW, ABR

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Chapter 4

Note to self:  always remember to fasten fly prior to engaging sweet old lady in conversation while she is seated on a park bench and I am standing facing her…

Wow!  It has been a long, long time since I last sent an update to ya’ll about our life over here in Canada.  I believe it was in February when I last emailed, for which I am sorry.

Life over here continues as normal:  Digger remains ‘Cochrane’s Most Wanted’ and we are forced to make him wear a false moustache and dark glasses when we take him out for a walk J  Boomer is still as camp as Christmas but has developed the tendency to mug old ladies for biscuits when out walking (Digger is a bad influence)…  Lauren has found a new job (more later) and is slowly recovering from the shock of having to work full time hours; and I have still managed not to be fired from my job much to everyone’s confusion – including my bosses’…

The last time I emailed I believe I mentioned watching a deer being chased by two Coyotes and that I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of my new truck.  Well the wildlife has gone into overdrive and I have been enjoying my new truck immensely. 

The truck is a 5.4 litre V8 Ford F150 and bloody marvelous!  We’ve had six people in the cab and five dogs in the back (there were only four and a half dogs when we stopped thanks to Digger).  I have had one or two ‘mishaps’ in the truck though…

The first was a few days after I purchased and the temperature was at about minus 30; when it goes below minus 20 people plug their cars in overnight to allow the block heaters to maintain engine temperature and stop the fluids freezing.  One morning I drove to the off-leash and when I returned I noticed an extension cable still attached to an outside plug, minus the wall the plug is supposed to be attached too, on the street as I drove back.  My first thought was ‘ha ha, some tosser’s driven off without unplugging their car’ it was only when I returned home and saw the hole in our wall that I decided Lauren was definitely to blame…

Thankfully I quickly became used to the rear wheel drive on the ice and only had a few instances of bowel loosening terror as I took a corner a wee bit too fast and ended up facing the direction I came from J  I did also buy a tow rope to help pull people out of snow drifts on the way too & from work and the first time I stopped to ‘offer assistance’ I was a bit too heavy on the accelerator and dragged a car off of a bank of snow but did manage to leave the bumper of said car on top of the drift.  I quickly gathered in my rope and shouted “you’re welcome” to the man who was staring vaguely at his ruined motor and nicked off as fast as I could – serves him right!

The snow finally left towards the end of April and this was replaced by muddy brown-ness for the majority of May.  Now, however, the countryside is a riot of greens and is quite spectacular.  As I mentioned above, the wildlife is plentiful (and horny as anything during May) and we have seen some amazing sights – pictures will follow soon.  One morning while I was walking the dogs Boomer suddenly charged into the pre-dawn light barking like a nutter only to return seconds later at full tilt and quickly hid behind me.  He was followed by a large Coyote who stood about 30 feet away from us glaring like a Hound of Satan.  Luckily, I have my own Hound of Satan and I let Digger off of his lead, Digger stalked towards the Coyote growling, with his heckles up, until they stood 15 feet apart; the Coyote then remembered that he had business elsewhere and trotted away.  Needless to say Digger earned his keep that day and Boomer was in disgrace.

Lauren landed her new job and is now working as a Unit Clerk for the Bethany Care Centre in Cochrane (coffin dodger abode).  She’s working full time hours and while it isn’t the best job in the world it is better than the school bus driving – the families of Cochrane sleep easier at night know that the ‘Yellow Peril’ is off the roads at last.

The last month has been reasonably quiet really.  We have plans to go camping in a few weeks and do lots of other outdoorsy stuff.  We have made some new friends and still regularly see our old friends too.  We spend a fair bit of time up at our friends acreage (we have our own room there) and I have developed the art of jumping out of their first floor and onto the trampoline.  When I first attempted this Barry & Sue had a few other people up visiting too, I was asked “what type of example are you setting for the children?” by one lady – my reply was “a cool one!” and then threw myself out of the window.  Video links are on this email.

I have been lucky enough to borrow a super camera from a work colleague and am busy chasing wildlife around the countryside photographing them.  On Sunday just gone we saw our first Black Bears in the wild which was really, really amazing.

Like I said, life continues as normal and I often find myself thinking how weird it is that we have yet to have that “oh god, we’re living in Canada” moment, which must be a good thing.

Well Ladies & Gentlemen, Friends & Family… I promise not to leave it too long before I email again.

Please, please drop us a line to let us know how you are.

Andy & Lauren

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