The last week in Canada, March 2021

My 3 week trip to Canada ended up being extended to almost 4 weeks. It was very special to have more time with Domi, Duncan and Paige, we had a little more time to do fun things and chill together. It’s a pity that there was an element of anxiety which overshadowed some of the time. Travel during these times makes for much uncertainty, the trip was delayed because one of my flights was cancelled. Fjord was worried that I would be stranded there and asked Cliff is his music teacher John would be able to rescue me on his microlight.

How magical to live in a town where you can walk in a forest any time. The Grove in Arnprior is across the road from Tara and James home. Canada may be cold in winter but most days the sky is bright and clear, a joyful juxtaposition to the winterscapes
Cinder is the most beautiful dalmation and she is painted to be one with snowy surrounds
My cousin Tara and her husband James own the gallery gift shop in Arnprior. There is no bias when I say that it is the best gift shop ever. Being an artist Tara not only creates much of what she sells but she has an eye for beauty. I could hang out there all day just soaking in the unique atmosphere
Art and beauty in The Gallery Gift Shop
I was downright bleak when I heard that Tara and James were adding a coffee shop to the gift shop, I thought that taking space would make it feel cluttered and when I love something I fear change. I was so wrong, Jack and the Bean adds so much and takes nothing away. They worked some kind of magic and added an extra dimension. As a coffee lover this is just win win win
Light Fantastic
I knitted this cardigan for Paige, it should fit her when she is 1
Domi found really strange yarn which I had to learn how to knit for a scarf for her
More granny fun was had making this crochet jacket for Paige
A big plus with my trip being extended was that the weather started to turn springward and conditions for the brief maple season kicked in. It was a very special experience to visit Fultons Sugar Bush. I never knew that a maple farm is called a Sugarbush. This family farm dates back to 1840. As a farm stall lover I was in my element in their shop which had everything, kids books featuring maple, maple spices, maple creams, maple syrup, chilli sauce and so much more
A walk through the Fultons forest is enhanced by interesting facts about unique aspects. Wonderful educational value for adults and children
The harvesting of Maple sap is fascinating. The sap runs visibly from taps in the trees along a network of pipes. Conditions have to be within a very specific temperature range.
It takes 40 units of maple sap to make 1 unit of maple syrup
My uncle loaned me his copy of This Tender Land. I started reading it on the long journey home. It was one of those books which take up lots of head space even when you are not reading. I loved the characters and story. While reading I thought that it felt a lot like Huckleberry Finn and was gratified to read at the end that the author envisioned it as an update of that classic

The stress around getting Covid tests done within certain time frames (different for every destination) is not for the fainthearted. We left for the airport without my results. The e mail came through as I was checking in at the airport. Germany is a bit confusing they insist on a test done 48 hours or less before the landing but results can take up to 48 hours, on a flight of 8 or 10 hours this cuts things terribly fine. I found out later that for transit though Germany not leaving the airport, the Covid test isn’t needed. South Africa are more practical, sensible and kind. The test has to be done 72 hours or less before departing on your journey to SA. If I had figured this out I could have gone for the test a day sooner. My anxiety levels were though the roof, I left for the airport without a test result, which came though by e-mail as I was checking in at the airport.

The airports felt more alive on the return trip with far more travelers in transit. Still the flights were very empty and each passenger had the luxury of lying down across an entire row.

I will be forever grateful that I met Paige at such an adorable stage. The memories will be cherished.

I forgot to attach a song to my last post. The one which stood out was this one, I was away for our 16th wedding anniversary, we love X Files. Who knew that David Duchovny was also a musician, this one was fitting as an anniversary song.

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  1. Such Picture Book Perfection – beautiful post and so informative.
    I thought the Maple Syrup harvesting was a figment of the imagination of the author of a book I read many years ago – or maybe an exaggerated version of facts πŸ˜‰
    That Gift Shop would be my dream shop 😊

    Meeting a new baby or wedding anniversary – I pick meeting the baby and having an extra week with bubs, but yea poor Fjord. We think they are so mature at that age, but they are really just little babies and time and travel delays with or without a pandemic would be confusing and scary.

    How does the quarantine work on arrival in SA? Is that even a thing or do you just carry on with life? That whole test, as necessary as I realise it is, seems to be a bit of a cluster 🀬 – like somehow one doesn’t become infected within the 48 hours πŸ™„ but I guess something we have to learn to live with because there will be others no doubt, probably even worse than this one.

    I have never listened to any of the songs in your posts πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ but clicked on this one and wow such a beautiful song and catchy tune. Having never watched X Files, I have no idea who David Duchovny is but agree with you, stunning voice and beautiful words.
    I am assuming you are back home now – relaxed and enjoying these beautiful memories with your younger ones

    • Thank you Dianne, from pics and videos I can’t believe Paige has changed in the week since I left, she is more aware and interactive every day. My understanding is that there is no quarantine on entering South Africa if you arrive with the PCR Covid test results but if you don’t have that they do a rapid test at the airport and in those cases I understand that you have to quarantine / isolate for 14 days. With our porous borders I don’t see that being enforced. Enjoy the rest of your day πŸ™‚

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