We’re down to single digits – six days and counting. Still, having to sit and wait for moving day (May 29) drains a person’s patience like bath water down a plug hole. In other words, a real bummer! However, I’m not sitting around twiddling my thumbs as I’m trying to get ahead of the curve with working deadlines, and so far succeeding. Also, using quiet moments to scan the pages of on-line home mags and finding decorating inspiration on every page, but at prices that I’ll definitely be translating downwards to suit our budget. Apparently, there really are people who’re prepared to pay $7,000 for a brass faucet (tap, for our non-North American friends), otherwise, why bother to make them, have them photographed from every angle, and pay a fortune for a glossy advertisement in an up-market magazine? Que sera…

Mexican memories…

So, although the drive from Mexico already seems like a dim and distant memory – yet it’s only been six weeks since we left – I remembered a story the other day that I’d overlooked when I was doing my daily blog. The incident actually began five or six weeks before we left, when we were planning to head to Ajijic for a shopping trip and Peter discovered we had a flat tire (tyre). No problem. He opened the back of our SUV, removed the jack, and started to wind down the spare wheel that’s cradled by steel cables under the chassis. The mechanism felt lighter than normal, and when Peter looked, someone had cut through the cables and stolen the whole damn wheel! Although it’s only speculation, we guessed that the theft must have occurred during the five weeks the car sat in a body shop waiting for repairs after a tree fell on the roof. (Okay – that’s another story!) Whenever it was parked at home, the car was kept beside the house, inside a car port, and behind a locked gate, and cutting the steel cables would have required a sturdy hacksaw or a very hefty pair of bolt cutters – not something any normal person carries in their back pocket. Grrrrrrr!!!

One of our wonderful former neighbours (“thanks”, Joe) took Peter with the flat tire to a garage so they could repair the puncture and get us on the road again. However, knowing that we had a long road ahead of us, Peter ordered a spare wheel and new cable mechanism from the Dodge garage in Guadalajara the day he took our old gal for her major, pre-trip service. The service manager told him to return in 10 days, which became two weeks, then three weeks and, finally, crunch time. OMG! Could we embark upon a 6,000-kilometre journey without a spare wheel – especially the first two days when we didn’t want to be stuck on a Mexican roadside in the back of beyond. However, by this time, we had a date for signing our paperwork at the lawyer’s office and didn’t want to delay our departure until a new wheel arrived, (sometime when). So, hoping to restore some peace of mind, Peter went to an auto store, bought several cans of the air and foam ‘stuff’ that it’s claimed will provide a temporary repair solution for punctures. However, it was with a huge sigh of relief when we crossed the border into Laredo, knowing that help would be nearby and speak the same language should the need arise.

It’s been surprising, or perhaps not, that since we left Mexico I’ve received a couple of emails – from friends of friends of friends – who’d heard via the Ajijic grapevine that we’d returned to Canada and, in particular, to Nova Scotia. They, too, have expressed a growing disenchantment with various aspects of the Mexican way of life and were planning to head north at the earliest opportunity, and I think one of the most poignant reasons – and one that I’ve heard more than once – is the very heartfelt “I don’t want to die here”. The wife of the couple from whom we bought our Raquet Club home told me the same thing – one of those tiny confessions that was stored away in the tiny seed vault at the back of my mind. However, since we returned to Canada, that seed has germinated and I now realize what she meant. At least, it’s dawned on me that being ‘home’ – wherever that might be for anyone and everyone – is a vital ingredient in the recipe that offers comfort and support as we all grow older. Not to sound too maudlin’ because you’re only as old as the number on your birth certificate and, as they say, “70 is the new 40”. Not quite there yet, and I did enjoy the wind rushing past my ears as I scooted along on the back of the IKEA trolley the other day. (I’ll make sure Peter takes a photo next time.) OMG! Are those trolleys built for fun, or what? In fact, I’m now thinking of starting a seniors IKEA trolley-racing club! LOL!

A very early morning walk along the Delaps Cove trail overlooking a quiet Bay of Fundy. Yep, it was still quite cool…

Nova Scotian optimism

Another factoid that’s dawned on me since we arrived is the eternal optimism of Nova Scotians. As a Brit by birth (a Canadian by choice), we grew up preoccupied with the weather – perhaps because it’s so bloody unreliable and unpredictable in the UK. Who recalls weatherman Michael Fish declaring on BBC television that Britain was not expecting a hurricane. Famous last words that were a haunting reminder of a night in October 1987 when the people of Sussex lost the majority of Ashdown Forest during the blow of the century, and the losses experienced by many others around the country who woke up to find scenes of devastation in their towns and surrounding countryside. Who remembers the extreme heat in 1976 (that I’ll never forget as it was the summer when Peter and I first met), that had everyone melting in temperatures never previously experienced over such a prolonged period? And, what about the two inches of snow that brings the roads and transportation systems to a grinding halt! COME TO CANADA,PEOPLE, where everything and everyone simply keeps rolling even after a foot, nay, a metre of snow. Given the foregoing, it appears to be a long-standing tradition that’s been genetically implanted into the British psyche that requires everyone to bitch about the weather, regardless.

This definitely isn’t the case in NS. So far, everyone we’ve met has a casual disregard for the external elements; adjustments are made, it’s no big deal, and life goes on as normal. In fact, one of the very few, relatively disinterested expressions we’ve heard about the weather is that “this has been the coolest and wettest spring for 70 years, eh!” It was proven by someone showing us a photograph taken on May 15 last year of people splashing about in an outdoor swimming pool (not looking blue at all…), and a facsimile taken at the same place on October 28, 2018. So, in an effort to become more Nova Scotian, I’m not going to labour the point that NS waited until we arrived to delay the arrival of summer, and promise never to mention the weather again. Okay, I know: You can take a girl out of Britain, but you can’t take Britain out of the girl!

And, as a final word on NS optimism: Yesterday was the first day of the outdoor farmers’ market season in Annapolis Royal, and the morning dawned grey, cool and drizzly. But, as we only have two more Saturdays on this side of the province, we headed out, arriving at 8:30, half an hour after it opened, expecting to find very little! Not so! All the stalls were open, the place was packed, and enthusiastic vendors – albeit well wrapped up – were offering a wonderful array of produce, baked goods, spirits (yep, from legal NS distilleries – and the gin was especially good for warming your toes from the inside…), arts and crafts. Our two dogs enjoyed a word and a pat from virtually everyone there, including a lady who carried treats in her pockets for just such meetings. A good time was had by all, and we’re now going to have to rent a U-Haul trailer for all the plants – hopefully deer and rabbit resistant – I’ve already bought for the new garden.

Moving on….

So, we received confirmation 10 days ago that all our worldly goods have now left Mexico – apart from what we packed into the car and the top box for the journey and to keep us going until we moved into our new home (not knowing, at the time, how long that might be)…. One suitcase of clothes, a set of bedding (with duvet), a couple of totes filled with kitchen ‘stuff’ that we’ll need for camping out in the new house, plus the dogs’ beds. Assuming the scheduled 30-day delivery schedule is met, we’ll have less than two weeks to rattle around in a virtually empty house but, thankfully, the sellers – who’re moving into an apartment – were happy to leave the appliances, as well as a few other furniture items…. Although I’m not sure where Peter’s going to sit!!!

However, the indoor camping does give us a good excuse to get outside and do some much needed garden planning – confining ourselves, of course, to a much smaller area than the 50 acres – although Peter’s planning on creating dog-walking trails, and is also hoping to find a suitable depression in the landscape that might be used for a natural pond to attract birds and other wildlife. He’s really getting into landowner mode, as you might tell – but if those bloody deer and rabbits touch one solitary bud of my planned rose garden….. I’ve heard that blood, human hair, urine, etc., are all natural deterrents, so if Peter suddenly does a disappearing act…..

The view we’ll be enjoying next week, in case you haven’t already seen it

18 Replies to “For someone with little or no patience, the wait has been excruciating….

  1. Sounds like you have made the right move to a beautiful part of the country. It was very interesting to read about the “I don’t want to die here” and having a strong pull to go home.

    1. Yes, we think so, Jean. Loving everything here so far, even though NS has had the coolest and wettest Spring for 70 years. It must’ve waited for us to arrive, fresh from 30 degrees C. But just being back in Canada is warming our hearts, so we’re not feeling the cold. Believe it or not, dying in Mexico is very complicated if you’re not Mexican by birth! It’s mandatory to write a will through a notary (who generally charges between US$700 and $1,500 per person – so a cash cow) and if, like us, you want to arrange any non-Mexican charitable bequests, the government claims a large percentage in taxes. So much so, that some international organizations refuse to accept donations from Mexico. Isn’t that crazy. Thankfully, we no longer have that problem. Hope all’s well with you. Jean xx

      1. Wishing you a smooth and happy move into your new home. Looking forward to seeing the pictures of your lovely home! It looks amazing.

      2. Frankly, I don’t want to die period! So I don’t care where it happens- just when!!

        Meanwhile I would observe that people come to Ajijic to LIVE- evidenced by the amount of activities, civic energy- clubs and charitable endeavors- and NOT to DIE. They could have stayed where they were and not bothered with a Mexican Adventure if they just wanted a place to die. I can’t say I’ve met anyone waiting to die… This
        is not a place of pessimistic dreariness, just the opposite.

        Glad that you are enjoying your new home!! Keep the blog coming!!
        Xoxo
        Monnie

        1. Me neither – but there do seem to be two schools of thought. Since we returned, I’ve had emails from several people saying the same thing – they’ve loved their time in Ajijic, have been involved with lots of activities, but the day has come when they want to return ‘home’, wherever that may be. Can’t wait to move in to the new house next week. Working at a kitchen table is not ideal when I’m sitting for hours trying to keep ahead of deadlines. Five days to go…. Love Jean xxxx

  2. Wishing you a smooth move Jean and Peter. I predict it won’t be long before you enrol in dancing over swords or learning to play the pipes.

    1. I think I’ll be too busy with the garden, playing pickleball, and taking Jenny to agility classes. I did learn Highland dancing at one point – I think I was eight at the time!!! Hope all’s well with you and Tony. xx

  3. Love your blogs!! You write beautifully and Thank you for including me in these. We passed through Lunenburg last year and found it to be a lovely town, ……introductory for JJ but familiar to me. You will love a sail on the Blue Nose if you get the opportunity, I was on its maiden voyage… Not the original ha ha Ha but the existing one, many years ago as Miss Schooner for Oland breweries. It is a beautiful ship, hope you can take advantage if it is still possible. You might want to go to Pictou when you can and visit the Hector.
    Abrazos. Sandra

    1. Thanks Sandra. We’ve only driven through Lunenburg – in torrential rain – so haven’t yet been able to appreciate it as I know we will. Yes, you can still take trips on the Blue Nose, so that’s definitely on the agenda. Miss Schooner, eh! Do you have a photo – I’d love to see it as I’m sure you looked beautiful. Will also look at a trip to Pictou. At one point, some years ago, we almost bought a boat and sailed off into the sunset, but common sense prevailed! Ask JJ to give you a hug from both of us – which I’m sure won’t be a hardship for him…. Abrazos – Jean xx

  4. I was over at Ruth’s for a glass of wine last night (she’s only a 10-minute from me) and we were talking about the same thing. For me, it’s not that I worry about dying here but it’s whether I really want to live here for the next 20+ years. Nova Scotia appeals to me but don’t think I could afford the utility bills. I too, look forward to seeing more pics of the new house!

    1. I’d love to have been drinking wine with you both, not not there! So far, everything we factored into our budget has been well below our forecast. Car insurance is half the price of BC, health care is free, and our new house has a wood-burning stove with at least a two-year supply of wood in the shed. We’re going to instal a propane tank for a gas hob and instant hot-water heater, to limit our use of electricity, so there are definitely trade-offs. Currently, we’re paying 1.24/ltr for gas – it’s as high as 1.70 in BC and elsewhere in Canada. We figured that it was all worth it to move ‘home’. Hope you’re enjoying your new home, and feeling good to be back in town again. xx

    1. Many thanks, Sonja. Can’t wait. Trying to do BN without an office and on a kitchen table isn’t ideal, but not long now. xx

  5. I do so enjoy reading your news. Sounds to me like you have found the perfect spot.
    Blood meal does deter bunnies.
    Waiting for the rains to start.
    Fondly,
    JM

    1. Always love hearing from besties! Hoping that the presence of the dogs will keep the bunnies at bay, but if not we’ll try anything ‘natural’ to head them off. I heard from Ruth that the air quality has been poor because of the fires and dust. I remember last May – couldn’t wait for the rain. Love and hugs… Jean

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