THE GREEN DIARY : Canadian Christmas 2020.

Thursday 17th to Tuesday, 29th December :

We got here in the nick of time. Soon after we left,  a travel ban was imposed on the UK by pretty much everyone and all flights to and from Canada suspended for three days. This has now been extended to the 6th January ’21; we are meant to be returning on the 11th but with the new virus strain threatening everyone, who knows whether we will be returning at all!

Canadian Christmas

Yesterday the Ontario Government extended its lockdown regulations until the 9th January so, while Tony and I come out of quarantine in four days time with the whole family, we are all still in lockdown with everyone so our status doesn’t really change much. 

ArriveCAN is an App we have to use to report our temperatures daily and receive and send any Covid communications necessary. From time to time either a virtual or actual telephone call will come in to check on us. So far there have been no personal visits though these apparently do happen as well.

In the end this journey will be one, long quarantine but as we came here to be with the Canadian family anyway, it does not matter a jot. It’s just a pleasure to be so welcomed by them and they have gone to extraordinary lengths to prepare for the siege. We lack for nothing. Entertainment, media & meal menus have been meticulously prepared and all my hopes of a thinner New Year have been kicked into touch!

With Gin, Jigsaws, Netflix, Bridge- virtual and actual – games and books aplenty, we have been royally looked after. We have even played Bridge-online with friends at home and both our Canadian and English families joined transatlantically in a web game called Codenames. Technology is astonishing.

One piece is missing. We think it’s in the dog!

Best of all is just to be here after all the months of cancellations and nail-biting moments as plan after plan went south. Its been over eighteen months since we were last together.

We are allowed to walk outside. The joy of this is Nala, the youngest edition to the family. She is a seven month old Bernerdoodle with the sweetest, kindest nature and adored by all, needing lots of exercise in the freezing cold to work off her enthusiasm! She has us all wrapped round her paws and seems not to feel the cold at all.

Temperatures have ranged between -15 and +8˚C with some light falls of snow and rain on the warmer days. Today it was –9˚C with clear skies and sunshine – and no wind.

We are of course riveted by the Brexmas developments at home, the sad slide into the new coronavirus variant and the casting off of HMS Britannia, finally slipping her moorings and leaving the European quayside to journey we know not where.

See amid the winter snow………….

We come out of Quarantine tomorrow, the 30th December straight into an Ontario lockdown similar to Tier 4 at home. Apparently the new British Covid Variant has arrived here now. It remains to be seen what the new developments mean for our flights home on the 11th January. Air Canada have not cancelled us yet but we are expecting they might. This is certainly a spontaneous, flexible journey, who knows what 2021 will bring.

In the meantime yet another jigsaw puzzle bites the dust as Schloss Neuschwanstein, that 19th Century vanity project to honour Wagner by Mad King Ludwig II comes together. This time with all the pieces.

It’s -15˚C (chill factor) this morning. Yesterday we played transatlantic bridge with Friends Edward & Jane, our third stab at transatlantic gamesmanship. It snowed in the morning, rained at midday; during our bridge the snow melted completely; after bridge we walked Nala and Granddaughter Libby into a blizzard and over the day the temperatures ranged from 3˚ to -9˚C (wind chill -11˚C). Astonishing swings. It was my first blizzard. A small one but quickly re-covering the ground in white.

I was going to run this until New Year but think I’ll close 2020 here.

A very Happy New Year to all our dear Friends everywhere – may it be Vaccine-filled, healthy and safe.

See you all in 2021!

22 Replies to “THE GREEN DIARY : Canadian Christmas 2020.”

  1. Dearest Peter and Tony,
    Happiest of New Years. You may have inadvertently emigrated to Canada. We are return to Stage 3, with all beaches, rivers and lagoons closed. No alcohol sales at all. Curfew in place 9pm – 6am.
    Eish 🙈

  2. Happy new year to you all in Canada!!
    Best wishes for all the jigsaw puzzles! Will the next issue of Pedro on the green be published from Canada or independent Sovereign, separate Britain? I wait.

  3. Dear Pete and Tony
    Loved the latest addition- thank you!
    Seems so weird that we are at the beach and swimming while you freeze.
    Who knows what 2021 has in store for us all, but whatever it is, I hope that it includes vaccines and travel – after all it sounds as though we may have to be visiting you in Canada!
    Happy new year and lots of love

  4. Hello to all you there in Canucky land from Yankie Doodle down here in Calfornia. Looks like a wonderfully cosy cold climate Christmas. I do love snow and jigsaws and walkies with dogs so beam me up, please. I’ll just dog sled down when it’s time to go. (You are training Nala, aren’t you? You might need her to get you to the airport)

    Have fun!! – there is nothing like a blizzard at Christmas. Love, Bonnie

  5. Dearest Bulgy and Peaklet,
    Wishing you the Happiest Of New Year’s and looking forward to seeing you virtually on Sunday!
    Hoping you will be back home for the first night? 🎈❤️

  6. I’m glad to hear that you are safe and cosy, well fed and well entertained. As you have no doubt heard, we are now back at Level 3 and the sale of alcohol has been banned. Fortunately, we are stocked up. Kippie & Bobby down at Pringle Bay cannot venture onto the beach, as can no one in the country so I imagine many Christmas holidays will be curtailed. The Command Council will probably issue another edict on 15 January. But we are being safe and cancelled a lunch party we had scheduled for tomorrow with, inter-alia, Kathie Satchwell. Love to you all and, although I know this is coming off a very low base, a much better 2021! Lots of love, Anthony.

  7. Welcome home (when you can!)

    We decided to have THE test yesterday after Joy caught a cough. ~Bangor walk-in. Deserted streets, bits of paper in the wind and the odd discarded blue mask marked with lipstick. An army of testers anxiously awaiting customers – ANY customers! Their jobs depend on it. But it was only us, ushered into containers converted into bleak testing rooms. Very NAAFI. I immediately opened the windows. A very helpful type gave instructions from the door in Welsh and English (we self selected the latter) – so helpful in fact that at the end of it when Joy had sealed both our packs we were uncertain which was which!! We then couldn’t find our car for a panicky moment because you get enter one way and exit another. Oy vay.
    As an observation it was probably the riskiest thing we have done in months! Thats how risk averse we have become.
    We enjoyed our few days in London btw – Highgate village alive with lights and festive spirit. Going back in Feb – maybe coordinate?

  8. It all looks very Christmas card and comforting, lucky you to be with family! Wishing you a new year filled with happy events, many celebrations and better things for the world. Lots of love

  9. How good to see you all together, and Sarah and her lovely family. ( I adore the dog of course ). But chaps – please do come back… Much love to all of you. P&J XX

  10. A most splendid chapter , Pedro Hunks ! So good to see the family AND finished jigsaw AND the divine Napa…
    Only good news here is the 10 million Oxford vaccine doses to be
    ” rolled out ” in a few days….here’s to a MUCH BETTER 2021 !!
    Huge hugs….and keep on writing, Mary M xxxx

  11. Pedro,
    Excellent comments. and impressive cross words. For us in Victoria, just rain and wind. All the snow from last week gone. The dogs are sad, they like it. Me too, although I wouldn’t mind a sunny Clifton beach day right about now!
    Have a happy New Year.
    Cheers Hobart

  12. Very much enjoyed your missive and the Gin Addict! I seem to remember Toronto martinis having just a whiff of vermouth.

    I hope that you see in the New Year in the best way you can in the sure knowledge that after a difficult start to the New Year, a much better one is set to follow in 2021.

    Bring on the vaccines.

  13. Dearest Pete & Tony,
    Happy New Year and here’s to a 2021 that allows us all to flourish.

    Have a wonderful time with the Family – hope the stay doesn’t become too protracted – or maybe you wouldn’t mind that. The quarantine monitoring sounds amazing.

    Enjoy being with the Family.

    And thanks so much for your help in 2020. I feel “propa British” again.

    Lots of love, P xxx

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