Friday, 18 December 2009

Snow and the English

Friday, 18 December 2009
Only a week before Christmas, and we've already had a little flurry to make us all get in the mood.  Well, you know what I say:  ho, ho, mofos!  Bring it on!  As a displaced (replaced?) Canadian living in the North East of England I always like to see a bit of the old white stuff. 

At home in Canada, they measure precipitation in centimetres.  Here, I like to use the equally accurate but admittedly lesser-known depth guage of 'Adidas Print', as illustrated below:


Put the Army on standby; it's a white out.

That's what we woke up to this morning.  Ben was practically apopleptic with excitement, and all the way to school it was snowball this, snowmen that, and jingle all the way.  It made the trudge over to the school enjoyable indeed. 

"Look, Mammy!  I can make snowballs all by myself!"

I told my (British born 20+ yrs Canadian resident) Mum that it was snowing last night.  She says to me, "Buy the kid a toboggan."

Isn't language funny?  Imagine a scene in which the family walks into the nearest reliable retail outlet and asks the Geordie salesperson to sell us a toboggan.  I hope people on both sides of the ocean will find the provded translation helpful:

Salesperson: "Eeee, what’s SHE gannin' on aboot, like? What d'yer mean? Ah divvint knaa aboot nee 'toboggans', are ye askin' for a chinnin'?"

[Gosh! To what, exactly, are you referring? I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with the word ‘toboggan’. Are you being deliberately impertinent? Would you like a slap?]

Me: “Dude, it's TOTALLY snowing, eh? My kid wants to go tobogganing, so I’ll be needing a new toque and a muffler as well! It’s cold!”

[It has snowed overnight. I would like to enable my child to partake of some snow-themed winter recreation. Also, if you have any woolly hats and scarves to protect me from the elements I would be greatly appreciative.]

Ben: How man, mutha man!

[Please, Mother. Don’t embarrass me.]

Jason (to the salesperson): Eeeh man, ye knaa what a mean leik (rolls eyes). Ahm gannin te the booza.

[I have put up with this ridiculousness quite long enough. I am off to partake of liquid refreshment in the nearest licensed establishment.]

Salesperson: Alreet, lass.  Ye’ll find a stack o’sledges in Aisle Forr. Mind, gan canny or ye’ll dunsch into summick if ye gans too fast doon the hill!

[Certainly, Madam.  The apparatus you require is in Aisle 4. Be careful, lest you crash into something during your recreational exertions!]

Ah... I love living here.  Canadians:  I love you all.  Geordies:  I love you as well.  My Mum said, "Perhaps I'm a bit more Canadian than I thought..."


Me in my toque and muffler this morning; this one's for you, Mum!

Undoubtedly quite the most ridiculous-looking Mama on the school run, but I don't eff around with snow.  Comfort and warmth before fashion, without exception.  I chuckled a little when I walked past a gaggle of Mammies talking about the state of the roads, who said what everyone the world over says when they talk about winter driving:  "The main roads are okay, " which is fine.  When the Canadians say it, it looks like this:


Jason, Christmas in Canada 2007

But when the English say it, it looks like this:


The view of my house from the school run this morning.

I am feeling homesick this week... in the run up to Christmas I flip-flop between mental-institution-excited for the kids, but lump-throatingly bereft at not being at home in Ontario. Sometimes a mile is no distance, especially with Skype and webcams, etc... but on mornings like this, one mile feels like a thousand.

So it is my Friday wish that we get some more of the white stuff for Christmas, and that my Canadian loved ones get a little less of it this winter.  And by way of apology for not giving you a Friday track to listen to in a couple of weeks, I'll leave you with this -- Jason's favourite Christmas song:


2 people had something to say about this...:

Who said...

I am feeling exactly the same...super excited because we have loads of snow for Christmas, and super down because I'll miss Eastenders on Christmas day. I'll have an eggnog for you if you have a Bird's trifle for me.

Tanya said...

I love you Nic and wish you were here!! xo