Pet passports and more: adventures in moving home

When I graduated from Nipissing University in North Bay, with my Bachelors of Education back in 2009, there were few job openings for newly qualified teachers here in Ontario. This was one of the factors that led to my choice to move overseas to teach in England. It was a simple choice but a complicated process – I sold my house in Hamilton and put my furniture and life in “temporary” storage. At the time I thought I would be away for a year or two – not nine whole years! Continue Reading

Returning Home: A Canadian Leaving the UK

I’ve just returned to springtime in England after a week back in snowy, late winter Ontario. What I was doing was making the final preparations for the big move back this May after 8 1/2 years of living and working in the UK.

While back, many of the people I spoke with seemed surprised that we’d want to leave England and come back to Ontario. One of the most common questions I heard was “Why?” They then pointed out how close I was to Europe, or spoke of castles, or how the cultural centre of London was practically at our door step, or they said, “You’ll miss Harry and Meghan’s wedding!”

Let’s step back to the morning of June 23, 2016 – Continue Reading

Snow Today In The UK

Snow covered fenceA few days ago an old school friend of mine posted a link to a CHCH-TV clip about at the famous Blizzard of 1977. I recall it well. I was attending Grade 13, back when we had one, at HCI on Sanford Avenue. Oh sure, there was a lot of snow but I still caught the bus to school that morning and if memory serves me, we were all sent home at noon anyway because of low numbers. No panic, no problem, and an afternoon off while the roads were cleared.

Two weeks ago, here in Oxford, the UK weather forecast called for the possibility of snow and all hell broke loose. Continue Reading

Get Up, Breakfast Is Ready

at-desk-bob-houghtonNot many of us get the chance to see schooling from three different perspectives.

We all have those haunting memories of being a child and having to get up each morning to the cries of “get up, breakfast is ready” as our parents try to motivate us to crawl out of bed.

Fast forward 20 years. I’ve graduated and am running a household with my own school aged son and it was now me saying “come on, get out of bed, breakfast is ready”. I finally understood why my parents were so insistent to get us all up, fed, out the door, and on the bus so that they could head off to work. Then the day finally came when he graduated and was out on his own.

You’d think that would be the end of the story and I’d turned the page on that chapter of life, wouldn’t you? Continue Reading