were the order of the day on Saturday, when the Silverwood Community Association held a Fun Day in the park nearby. Jenna, our landlady, had asked if we would help out, so we brought Jay along with us to provide some muscle. The sun was splitting the stones, and the park was full of bouncy castles,an inflatable obstacle course, a huge bouncy slide, lots of games and one of those yokes where you hit the base of the pole with a hammer to send the thingy up to ring the bell. You know what I mean….Turned out none of the men with us could send it to the top. Wimps.
There was a concession stand selling cans of minerals, hot dogs, popcorn, candy floss (or cotton candy, as it’s called here) and nachos with cheese. Everything was 25c each. Bargain. The kids were asking “what can we get?” and I was answering “here’s a dollar – knock yourselves out”. Dollars are called loonies and two-dollar coins are called toonies.
Jo Ann arrived with the newcomers to Saskatoon – Stephen and Elizabeth and their three children had flown in on Friday night. They were still jet-lagged and disorientated, but the first week here is so overwhelming in a lot of ways, and after that it all starts to make sense. It was great to meet them at last after all the telephone and Skype conversations. Gord arrived with him, so the men congregated in the middle of the field and shot the breeze about cars, sports and God knows what else. They were so busy talking that they left it too late to get any food.
We were asked to put away the tables and chairs, so I cleaned the tables and the men stacked. They went through great bursts of energetic stacking, and then stood around some more, still gasbagging. All they needed really was a shovel each to lean on.
The evenings have started to fall in here, and the sunsets are amazing. The sun is a fiery orange ball in an endless sky, and then shades of navy appear, with the lights of the constant planes twinkling multi-coloured above us. It has started to cool down at night as well. Autumn is coming.
The kids got their first sticks of candy floss at the end of the evening, which probably wasn’t the best timing ever. Lots and lots of sugar just before bed is usually a recipe for disaster. They loved it. Sheer glee on all their faces. Here’s Rebecca rising to the challenge of hers:
Sunday morning we got up and decided to be brave. It was time to get into the bus and travel beyond our comfort zone, out to the Shaw Centre where the swim club starts this evening. We picked up Jay, and then enforced a code of silence while Michael drove and I navigated (with enormous skill, naturally). 15 tense minutes, and a few grey hairs later, we arrived. It wasn’t actually that bad in the end, once we figured out the various turns and remembered which side of the road to turn on to.
There’s a Walmart Superstore beside the centre, so we headed in to get more basic household stuff. Jay needed a microwave and a shower curtain and other random odds and ends, so the kids were let off with strict instructions not to to leave the shop. We all separated and discovered the joys of endless aisles and mountains of stuff and all the things that we came across and realised that we needed. A garlic crusher. Bedside lamps. A sieve. A coffee pot. Toilet rolls. Bisto. Tea towels.
Jay appeared clutching a shower curtain. “Will this be ok?” I looked at it. It was a weird cloth material, and I could picture the mildew forming as we stood there. “Do they not have plastic ones?” “Oh, I dunno. I’ll check. I’m crap at this kind of household stuff”. He scooted off, and I resumed my ultimately fruitless search for egg cups. He arrived back with a choice of two, one in blacks and greys and silvers, and one covered in mad-looking frogs. “What do you think? Which one will I go for”. I eyed him thoughtfully. “It kinda depends what kind of image you’re trying to put across to the women, Jay. Are you a hip, stylish bachelor (blacks, greys, silvers) or a fun-loving, quirky kind of guy (frogs)?” He dithered for a minute. Then picked the frogs. Good choice; he sent me a picture of it later on Facebook, and it would certainly brighten up your morning….
He should be fine as long as he puts his sunglasses on as soon as he get up.