I love Canada. Have I mentioned that? Less than a week back in the UK and already I am pining. And planning next year's trip, though to be fair, we were doing that while we were still in Nova Scotia. The added twist to this year's trip was that everything and everyone we met seemed to be conspiring to persuade us to up sticks and move across the Atlantic. As if that thought had never crossed our minds before.
We spent 4 days in Liverpool and we have never met so many people who were British or had British connections and had emigrated to NS. The boys made a friend in the park on Canada Day and when we got chatting to this ostensibly typical Canadian boy's mum, it transpired that her husband is a British lawyer who now lives in Fall River and works for a London law firm from home! She cheerfully spent a while telling us what was involved in moving across the Atlantic, the best websites to use etc. Husband and I could barely look each other in the eye.
Then the guy we bought the pig roast tickets from turned out to be from England. And his mother-in-law was from Blackpool. Another couple we met on the same day had moved to NS from further west in Canada and waxed lyrical on what a great place it is to bring up kids. Seriously, is the universe trying to tell us something?
Mary at our favourite B&B cackled with delight when we told her about all this and informed us that she already had plans to lure us over to Nova Scotia to take over from her when she retires! Food for thought, I tell you.
The holiday itself was great, as it always is. Liverpool was lovely, with great beaches nearby to wander along and nice places to eat. We managed not to see Jessica (my superlative organisational skills triumph again! Seriously, ask Isabelle - I can't even arrange to meet another Edinburgher for coffee without it turning into a performance)
Our cottage on the Northumberland Shore was great - really quiet and peaceful and right on the beach. It was called Sunset Beach. This was the view from our front deck. Well named, huh?
Our last few days we spent, as always, pottering about the Annapolis Valley and they were wonderful as usual. The waitress in our favourite restaurant now remembers us! And we discovered the lovely wee village of Margaretsville pretty much by accident. The boys entertained themselves by clambering repeatedly over enormous rocks (a favourite boy pastime) and Husband and I had a look at an Artist's Shack on the beach which is, well, a shack where local artists show and sell their own work. We bought a painting. We didn't intend to buy a painting but it was looking at us meaningfully. We looked back and now it is winging its way back to Scotland courtesy of UPS (and a significant amount of money!) and I only hope I like it as much as I remember liking it when we bought it!
So, life is getting back to normal. The trip back brought us through Gatwick which is frankly horrible. It is loud, dirty and really badly designed. We arrived there at 9am after an overnight flight. Our shuttle to Edinburgh did not leave until 2.05pm and we could not even check in our luggage until 11.30am. We had 2 1/2 hours to wait and gues what? There is nowhere to sit down in Gatwick before you check-in! Because why on earth would two frazzled adults, two almost comatose children and a couple of tons of luggage need somewhere to sit down for 2 hours before they check-in? It's not as if Gatwick is a major hub airport where lots of people might have to wait for connecting flights. Oh wait. Yes it is.
And when we finally did get the luggage sent off and went to pass through security, the queue was frankly horrible. The people behind us were drunk (at 11.30am!!!) and obnoxious and people going before us who had had to get rid of the drinks and liquids they couldn't take on board had just chucked them on the floor. The queue up to security was ankle deep in empty water bottles, half-empty coke bottles, crisp packets and banana skins. I was embarassed. I wondered what on earth anyone coming to the UK from elsewhere would make of our country when faced with that. Because I know for certain that Halifax airport, for example, would never allow piles of rubbish to accumulate like that anywhere in the airport, never mind IN THE QUEUE TO GO THROUGH SECURITY!!!
Ahem. Anyway, back at work now which is fine. The new job means I don't come back to piles of work so big I have to get a spade out to find my desk and I was able to just slip back into things without any problem. The boys are going to a holiday club in the mornings and are, thankfully, loving it. (They hated the one I sent them to at Easter). I pick them up at lunchtime and then have the afternoon to spend with them doing fun summer holiday type things. Like 43 loads of laundry. And emptying several pounds of red sand out of various suitcases.