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Yep, it's a bit of a change that's taking some getting used to, but I'm enjoying it.  :)
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In a fashion true to myself, I went from room to room with an offering of incense, thanking the spirits of the place for the welcome and shelter this apartment has provided me through three years of transitions.

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Here's another post I've been meaning to do for a while.

It's a little photo essay on one of my houseplants, a croton petra. I call it my Crayola Croton, for obvious reasons.  :)


More pics under the cut... )


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Proudly displaying some of my favourite moments of Canadianity:

First, the CLASSIC Molson Canadian commercial:



Second, a commercial broadcast during the 2010 Winter Olympics (TEAM  C A N A D A  ROCKS!!!) that really stirred me (and still does):



And, finally, 'O Canada', the Canadian National Anthem, as sung by several thousand hockey fans because no singular musical artist can really compare:



It took living in a foreign land for a number of years
, to be apart from everything Canadian, for me to really understand what 'home' meant to me. In all its diversity and its vast distances, with all that it shares with the rest of the world, there is still something beyond description, but immensely powerful, that unites all of us who live here, that makes us CANADIAN. It is something you will find nowhere else on this planet.

This is the nation of my birth. This is the country of a thousand journeys. This is the land where my dreams take shape and soar. This is where my spirit calls home. This is the best place on earth and its name is
CANADA!
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My return to Canada has been good to me. Yes, as I did in England, I've had a few reversals in fortune. But here, they have not been as frequent or as large. 'Course, it may simply be that my perception of them has been skewed by all the good stuff that's come up in my life, like a solid, stress-free job, where appreciation of my services is often demonstrated with bonuses and free use of a Crackberry Curve, and my really fab flat. It may even simply that things seem much easier to bear now that I'm home.

And that means a lot...

Home...

Practically speaking, it means I no longer have to worry as much about the consequences of losing my job, should that happen: being able to claim unemployment is a far cry from getting kicked out of a country!  :D

But there's more to it than that, far more...

It's the sense of 'belonging', that I am where I'm supposed to be. Where I am amongst friends and family. Where my accent isn't the subject of curiousity ("Sir, say 'tomato,'" "Sir, are you from America?" "Of course not, he's from Australia!"). Where there are far more places to roam to free. Where I am surrounded by the beauty of my homeland.

Where my heart always belonged.

I am home...
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Well, I've resumed running and sword training this week, though my muscles seem to be unhappy about all that. Methinks I may not be getting enough calcium, as my legs, calves in particular, have been crampy since Wednesday (Haidong Gumdo class). I picked some calcium supplements, as well as a glucosamine sulphate cocktail to help my joints hold up under the abuse, so I'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I'm getting odds and sods done around the flat, including picking up a pine board shelving kit from which I created a small table for my lap top and my new altar (finally!). I'm not so happy with the furniture additions, as the pine turned out to be really crappy wood that I paid far too much for, but one makes do with one has. I can always replace 'em later when the opportunity presents itself.

I've also replanted the tomato plant that my mother gave me. It sits in the window sill in a planter designed to fit nicely into a corner. Between that and the two plants I'm looking after for my mother (a small aloe vera plant and the tall whatever-the-heck-it-is that
[personal profile] 1grl_revolution gave her), my flat is actually looking rather green.

I've also begun rearranging my meager bits of furniture so now my flat looks a bit less 'bachelor'. *grin*

Saturday was fairly productive in that I managed to get up early enough to go to the market, chat with a new friend, pick up a substantial amount of cider (some of which, if it was just a bit more sparkly, would be a damn good match for my beloved Scrumpy Jack), did another Haidong Gumdo lesson, and then went off to work.

Finally, this week I've also repaired my didgebox, after it got a hole knocked into it during the move. I'm actually considering hosting an introductory didjeridoo workshop for the group of pagan contacts I've recently made, though, if it happens, it'll be a little later in the future. I'd have to acquire some decent bits of pvc from which to contstruct some cheap didges from. It would certainly be a fun excuse for a party! *grin*

My current conundrum involves the upcoming shift bid, where I'm thinking of trying for some regular day-like hours. It would be nice to actually have my evenings free to pursue my budding social life, as well as get in more martial arts, but that would also knock off about $160 per month that I normally earn in shift premiums for working late nights. Yep, it again comes down to money versus quality of life. 'Course, recent experience suggests that going with QoL may be a good idea.

And my shift has just ended! Later, gators!

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Okay, so I've been meaning to post for a while, but I've been pretty active as of late.

Aside from continued training at work, (semi-) notable events and activities since taking possession of the flat:
  • Moved all of my crap from the folk's place to the flat in one truck load (I travel light)
  • Took my family out to dinner to celebrate my father's birthday (Wing Night! Yummmm!)
  • Bought a bunch of microwave meals to live off of until I have time to properly shop for food and kitchen stuff
  • Remembered, way too late, that I don't have a microwave anymore
  • Tried, and failed, to acquire a telephone for the flat through the corp I work for
  • Tried, and succeeded, to acquire internet provision (and, eventually, a wireless modem)
  • Succeeded in setting up the wireless modem
  • Did laundry
  • Photographed all pre-existing damage for walk through purposes
  • Applied for a position as a trainer within the organization I work for
  • Got bitten by many mosquitoes (they are absolutely RABID downtown!)
  • Unpacked many of my meager wordly possessions
  • Did a lot of shopping to add to my meager worldly possessions
  • Discovered that I really DON'T miss biking
  • Discovered that I really could use a run very soon
  • Enjoyed having space to myself again
And that's pretty much about it for now. BTW, if any of you happen to find yourselves travelling to the east coast of Canada, I've a spare room that's virtually unused.
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I'll still gotta sort out the financing before it's truly mine, but here's a sneak peak at the two bedroom apartment I've made a verbal agreement for:






http://haikujaguar.livejournal.com/548295.html?thread=8846023#t8846023 









Please forgive the quality of these shots; they were taken with my cell phone. The one on the left is my future kitchen. It opens directly into the living room area, shown on the right. The left hand image gives a much better image of just how much light floods into the room. If you look closely at the ceiling line of the living room, you'll see that the ceiling begins to slope up towards the wall, adding substantially to the airiness of the place. There are two reasonably sized bedrooms (will easily fit a double and some furniture) which open off the main living room. (And, yes, they flood with light, too.) The bathroom is more than serviceable and includes a one piece shower/bath enclosure that should be a LOT easier to maintain than most. 

And to think that I would have missed this flat if I hadn't happened to bike past the building with a singular 'apartments for rent' sign on it. Said sign had its home on a ruggedly handsome 1920's English style brickie. Solidly built, though modestly decorated, I at first, thought it must've been a converted factory building. It turns out that it was a school (can anyone else smell the irony?). The internal layout of the place screams it. *chuckle*

The neighbourhood itself, though it looks old, actually seems quite quiet and peaceful. The surrounding houses have a lot of character. And all this just minutes of walking from downtown! 

I fished!

Yes, it has one more room than I need and is a bit high for my initial budget, but I followed [info]haikujaguar
 's advice (found here: http://haikujaguar.livejournal.com/548295.html?thread=8846023#t8846023)  and picked a place that I could fall in love with (and readily did!).

Better shots to follow once I'm actually living in it!

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