Teddy makes a triumphant return to the top of Toronto!
( More photos under the cut... )
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... I counted my last truck. Yay!
'Tis the long weekend after which I begin my job as a technical support rep. Yep. I'z soon to begin my call centre monkey training. I probably would be looking forward to it more if it wasn't going to be from 4:30 PM to 1:00 AM, but I knew I'd have to get used to those hours eventually, anyhow. I'm not entirely thrilled with the idea of biking home at 1 in the morning, but I'll manage.
At some point within the next few months, I'll have to do one of two things, either purchase a car or move into an apartment that's within walking distance of my workplace. Said simply, bikes don't ride so well in the midst of a full on Canadian winter. (This ain't the south of England anymore, me buckies!)
Meanwhile, it has been a very active week, all truck counting aside. The household has undergone successive waves of invasion by assorted relatives from both sides of the family. Being the introvert that I am, this has strained my social muscles some, and it ain't over yet! Still, we've been enjoying the company, especially my mother. I had a blast whilst my favourite aunt with her two teens showed up; it was a riot! All three have a wicked sense of humour that I appreciate immensely. The presence of my two younger cousins also provided sufficient excuse to do activities such as: visit tourist attractions, wandered through a zoo, watched 'Wanted' (NOT recommended for the faint of heart, btw), did a bit of go-carting (though that was a bit disappointing as I found the farm's utility jeep to have much more speed), indulged in some video games, and even engaged in a bit of shopping. Lots of fun all around!
Last night was especially hedonistic as we had BBQd steak for dinner. Not just any steak, mind you, but a ginormous Angus beef steak from BC, cooked to just the right level of rare. It was perfect. *bliss* Said steak, of course, was accompanied by a lovely red and many other tasty food items, including baked potatoes and my mother's baby carrots sweetened with maple syrup (very yummm!).
Aside from picking up another aunt from the airport tomorrow (and sorting out a new bank account into which to deposit my pay), I'm not yet sure what this weekend holds. At least another movie, I suspect... *grin*
Life is good!
No steak, no BBQ, no cider, NO PARTY. I've celebrated Canada Day better in the UK than I did my first one back! Bloody hell! The folks and I WERE invited out, by my uncle, to a party at a riverside cabin. THAT would've been entertaining, but Mom refused on grounds I've still yet to understand. So we had pizza; that's okay. Now, though, everyone else is watching TV.
If I had bloody access to a bloody vehicle, I could have gone out and ensured that we had the required BBQ stuff (along with sufficient booze) to at least have had a decent BBQ. But I can only carry so much on a bicycle, especially given it's a half hour ride through hot weather from town to home.
My folks don't seem to realize that it's important for me to celebrate these kind of things. To them, it was just another day with very little important to it. *sigh*
To me, having spent nearly four years away in a land where I endured so many hardships, Canada Day had extra special significance and I couldn't celebrate that as I truly wanted to.
Well, I've got one hard lemonade left. I may as well go drink it.
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canucks!
I hope your celebrations go better than mine.
As I was going back through and tagging some of my previous posts, I came across this one: Homesick: http://the-vulture.livejournal.com/
It suddenly dawned on me, this upcoming weekend is the Canada Day Long Weekend.
I'm home for Canada Day!
Yesterday, at 3:00 PM, Prime Minister Steven Harper made a historical speech which affects the lives of thousands of First People in Canada. In this speech, he, on behalf of the Canadian government, took responsibility and apologized for the shameful era in Canadian history when thousands of Native American children were taken from their families in placed in residential schools in what was a blatant attempt to assimilate them into European culture by forcibly detaching them from their own.
More about that here:
I watched his speech, and much of many others that day. It brought up a lot of feelings.
Naturally, as empathic as I am, I was near to tears as I saw the effect of Harper's words upon the members of the First Nations as their pain was finally properly acknowledged by the Canadian government. It was clearly something that many of them had waited a long, long time to hear.
I also felt, stupidly enough, more White guilt. It's sometimes kinda hard being of European origin at such times as that, even though I know, rationally, that I cannot, in any way, hold myself responsible for what happened in the past. Still, that guilt is there.
Finally, though, I had to reflect on what happened to many of these people. Could I truly comprehend all that has happened as a result of this forced assimilation. In many ways, no. I was never totally separated from family, though my father was often away for great periods of time. I cannot relate to the sexual abuse that happened in many of the reserve schools, although I can relate to the physical and psychological abuse at the hands of my so-called peers. What I do understand, to some extent, is what it's like to be detached from one's heritage.
Now it's not the fault of any particular person or group of people, not like what happened in the residential schools, but I don't know what it's like to be anything more than 'generic Whitey'. Though my grandfather clearly identifies as Irish, I know nothing of what it means to be Irish; I can't speak Gaelic, I don't play any instruments (kind of a hingepin for Irish culture), I have never fully explored Celtic art, I know only general bits of Irish history, I know little of the important days and traditions of my forefathers, I can't even stand to drink Guiness (or any other beer, for that matter). There is a rich body of cultural heritage that I should be a part of, that I perhaps even need to be a part of, but I am completely alien from. I have no attachment to my ancestors, my heritage, my cultural past. It leaves me feeling lost, unsettled and perhaps even abandoned. It leaves me without an important element of identity that I will likely never be able to regain.
I wonder if I share, at all, similar sorts of feelings to those First People who were ripped from their cultures.