It’s day five of my sojourn in the land of the maple leaf. Yesterday commenced with a Canadian breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup, accompanied by bacon and sausage whilst diner in situ. A Brockville eatery next to a rail track crossroads providing me with an authentic North American continent experience which I seek on this journey.
I’m pretty determined to avoid visits/experiences that are at my day to day disposal back in the UK. After all, what’s the point in flying thousands of miles to sample the wares and aesthetics of a global franchises which are at my fingertips in Leeds, UK.
For the two weeks I’m across the pond I want to broaden my horizons culturally. Sampling the delights on offer in Leeds county, Ontario, as opposed to those ordinarily readily available in my home city of Leeds, West Yorkshire.
What contrasts from home have I experienced/noticed in my first few days in Canada?
Well, firstly I was struck by how small and, on occasion, hard to locate flush handles are on toilets in this vast country. Already, the stealthiness of these flushing mechanism triggers have caused momentary flights of panic on my part.
Being unable to flush a toilet, particularly after a number two, is number one in the list of most terrifying things to be confronted by when guesting at a family’s home. Closely followed by the toilet flushing after a bowel movement, and the air freshener has run out and the windows are jammed stuck.
Incidentally, I apologise if you’re of a sensitive disposition or eating (or indeed both) whilst reading the last two paragraphs. Don’t worry, though, I intend to move onto another topic presently; subsequently, ceasing your literary ordeal by ablution.
My hosts are a lovely, warm, welcoming family whose geniality and engaging company have greatly enhanced my visit. Linda, Mathias, Lexx, Sammy, Justin, Brandon, Jair and Michaela making me feel like part of their brood; to their great credit putting up with my capricious flights of whimsy without feeling the need to drive me straight back to the airport, or taking out a restraining order.
My over the top mischievousness and attention seeking in the presence of an audience, thus far, not leading to them rescinding their kind invitation to visit their beautiful country and wonderful 160 year old home. This construction built at a time when a few miles over the border in the US a civil war raged.
As I start this paragraph it’s 11.35am local time here in Ontario (4.35pm UK time). I’m perched in a comfy reclining chair in the office located at the front of the house. Looking out of this chamber’s window, across the adjacent highway that leads into Brockville centre, is an equally large home patriotically flying a Canadian flag. A fairly common sight in the areas of Ontario I’ve been lucky enough to thus far witness.
The office has an intriguing amalgam of books, vinyl LP’s, quirky legacy audio and computer hardware, military police memorabilia (Linda formerly a corporal in the Canadian Forces MP), along with other items of family moments including in the far corner a Jason Voorhees hockey mask and a chainsaw.
Amongst the books, clues to the family’s Celtic roots with literary subjects including Scottish ghosts, along with Scottish national and Irish ‘Troubles’ histories. There’s also numerous books on crime and criminals, one of which is titled ‘Female Serial Killers’.
Hold on a minute, I’ve been invited into an anti-English house by people with an interest in serial killers, who own a Jason Voorhees hockey mask and a chainsaw…… Bloody hell, it’s time I scarpered!!!