Monday, 18 December 2006

Christmas Cheer (or is that Holiday Cheer)

Wow... Christmas fever is in the air.

I saw a most amusing advert the other day, whereby children can send their letters to Santa to
Santa Claus
North Pole
H0H 0H0
And yes, he will reply if you put a return address. Canadian postal codes are of the format letter-number-letter number-letter-number, and the H0H 0H0 postal code has been especially reserved for Santa!

There are even radio stations dedicated to playing Christmas music. Not your traditional Christmas carol-type songs, but stuff like "Have yourself a merry little Christmas", "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". Being such a diverse and multi-cultural country, everyone is very mindful of the various religious practices, and refer to the "Holidays" instead of "Christmas." In fact, there is a big hoo-ha at the moment regarding an Ontario judge who ordered the removal of a Christmas tree from the courthouse lobby as it may offend non-Christian visitors.

Speaking of trees, we have our very first "live" Christmas tree (it's a pine tree) which we decorated this weekend in my favourite (and of course seasonal) colour of red.

We have also "made" (i.e. put together) a Christmas wreath to hang on our front door, to get in to the Christmas spirit - feeling a bit left out, since most of our neighbours have wreaths up too.

The Canadians really do go all out for Christmas - we took a drive through the neighbourhood last night, and here are some pictures of the Christmas lights to be seen!

Alas, it seems that we will not be having a white Christmas after all. The first light snowfalls on the first of the month have given way to moderate and mild weather, averaging 7C during the day. Even I can say that the weather is pleasant ;) and about the same as a Joburg winter. Today it is 6C, but overcast. The radio presenter this morning said, "That's 6 degrees warmer than it should be this time of year."

For those of you that are wondering, no I did not pass my driver's test... waaah.
So much for hoping for an easier test by selecting an early morning time slot. The highway traffic was moving, but certainly not free flowing and that made it more difficult. I was severely penalised for slowing down on the expressway. [For those of you that have ever driven with me... yes, can you believe it... me driving too slow!] Anyway, apparently this is a traffic violation here - "slowing down on the highway and causing other vehicles behind you to also slow down is dangerous." The point was - I was asked to change lanes (back in to the slow right-hand lane) and the catch-22 was to either slow down to get behind a slower moving vehicle or speed up (i.e. exceed the speed limit) to pass him and then move over. Sigh.

The next earliest available appointment that I could book online was January 16, so I guess I"ll try again then. In the meantime, Brendon (who did pass his test) will just have to be my chauffeur ;)

The Nando's on Eglinton Avenue has now opened for business, and of course we had to go and check it out. It was *really* good, although the "Lemon and Herb" is what I would classify as "Mild" - so put another way, it's like the Fordsburg Nando's ;) So no, there are no kid's meals! I'm just happy that they sell Perinaise (although they call it Peri dip.)

That's all for now... Have a great Christmas long weekend, and I'll hopefully be able to post another update before the new year.

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