Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oh Canada

Another monumental thing happened this week, Canada sent through citizenship and my son, here-to-fore only a Frog, is now a Canadian too. I couldn't be happier. What he's going to think in 16 years time when he realises that he has two nationalities but is not formally a citizen of the country he was born and raised in is anyone's guess.

It's odd, I was raised in the UK and have spent more than half my life here, bouncing back and forth between the two countries. I left Canada for the last time 15 years ago and have no real desire to return there to live; however when his card came through I really felt that I had given my son a passport to a better world, a sort of milk-and-honey paradise of staggering beauty and kindness... With 6 months of winter thrown in. Just for the heck of it.

It seems that in my absence, I have grown a LOT fonder of Canada than I was when I was there. Funny that. I seem to have forgotten about white trash hosers and red necks and narrow-minded prairie towns; I've forgotten about the tortuous commerciality of TV (and pretty much everything else); I've forgotten about the long, cold, relentless winters.

All I can remember is how great the bands are; how cool the writers and artists, how amazing Vancouver is, how much I love Toronto, how much I miss my friends and family, how beautiful the place is, how lovely the people are there. I kinda have this vision of Canada as some sort of vast, endless Center Parc full of camping and fishing and mountains and lakes, seas and islands... all that sort of lark.

It's not true. But it's not false either. Tom Brokaw says it well here.

I have no idea how my son will feel about being Canadian but then he can sort that out later if he likes.

Meanwhile, I've just processed my application to become British.

Nothing like consistency.

.

18 comments:

Chrissie said...

I'm a Canadian living in britain and I'm very proud of my Canadian passport and I can't wait till my daughter has one as well!

Jennie said...

Gah! Your sentiments mirror mine about the US. It took a self-imposed ban on flying (for f*cks sake) to stir patriotic feelings for my place of birth. I'll take a boat then.
Anyways...Mik really wants me to fix the boys up with Amr. passports, but I'm scared shitless by the xenophobes in the gov't here, and if my kids all of a sudden become Americans, they may very well throw us out, citing that we don't have enough ties here. Despite me having a Danish passport. I'm prob just paranoid. But still.
Congrats on the new Canuck :) Had no idea he was Frog! He was born in UK, right? Isn't he eligible? (just curious!)

Sparx said...

Chrissie - yay!!! Applying is easy as well, go for it.

Jennie - aren't your sons also Danish? Having dual citizenship won't get them thrown out surely???? Glad to hear you're missing home too... seems odd not to really, doesn't it?

Shell said...

Holy sterotyping... "6 months of winter"? "Long, cold, relentless winters"?? Are the "Spring Olympics" already forgotten? I mean really... the lilacs are blooming already!

That's partly what makes Canada so appealing... Yes, it's still cold and nasty in Edmonton and Winnipeg. But spring has sprung in Toronto and hey, it's almost summer in Vancouver... ;)

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

"white trash hosers and red necks and narrow-minded prairie towns; I've forgotten about the tortuous commerciality of TV (and pretty much everything else)"

There's none of that stuff in the U.K.? Like, everyone is open minded and there's no commerciality on t.v.? Like. . . for real? How is that possible? I just. . . I just can't imagine how cool that would be. Do you not have racisim either? WHAT IS THIS PLACE???

Diana, Marco and Dario said...

HI, I too romanticise Canada although I spent my whole life there and for the past almost (ahem) 10yrs Ive been in Italy. I broke down watching the opening of the Olympic ceremonies, to my son's dismay, although he did run out and get his Canadian flag from his room when he saw the cdn athletes doing it. Who knows what your son will do with his citizenchip, but it's the possibility that is the true gift.
Thanks for a great read and many laughs!
Diana

Sparx said...

Shell - this is it though, all I can remember are the stereotypes. And there was 6 months of winter a lot of the time for me, I never lived in Vancouver, just Calgary and Toronto.

Gringa - yes of COURSE there's all that stuff here... it's just that's the stuff I remember hating about it when I was there. Here, I hate the general rudeness among other things... I'm sure I'll have a stereotype for Brixton in 15 years!

Diana, Marco and Dario - do you feel ever that you didn't know what it meant to be Canadian until you left the country? I feel like that sometimes.

家瑩 said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I'm so confused....your becoming American and he's becoming Canadian? What?! :-)

Yeah, we have the rednecks here too... but I do love it. Of course, the further I get away the more I love it! Ha!

By the way, the photo was 1/160 shutter and 1600 ISO, as I said. How I got it without it looking that grainy I have no idea. I thought the ISO was set lower!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Hey, and you must know something about photography...do you have some to showcase?

DJ Kirkby said...

Oh Canada :( *pines*

Sparx said...

Lisa - I'm becoming British - I'm already Canadian so I'll have dual citizenship. He's also got dual citizenship - French and Canadian. We had a choice to give him two nationalities and we had 3 to choose from. We couldn't give him British because neither of us are British, but I think he can become British if he wants to do so at some point. Thanks for the shutter speed information - I'm guessing if you're using digital that the issues with graininess are not the same at that ISO - I know little to nothing about photography but love to muck about.

DJ - I know... I'm hoping to go back this year for a visit though, a 'top up' as it were...

Martin and Luschka said...

Oh, I feel your pain! I'm sitting with the application forms for my British Citizenship here next to me, but I just recently received my daughter's passport for South Africa - a country she'll probably never live in. But I too wanted her to have the option.

Sparx said...

Martin & Luschka - good luck with the application! Yeah, it's all about options...

Mum - Sheesh, I was born in BURNABY???? Crap, really? What's it like? OK, so I lived for six years in Vancouver but it's not like I spent those six years enjoying the urban culture and exploring the city. I pretty much remember our dog... And tell me where, exactly where, in Canada, you get blooms before the UK. It never stops blooming here. Just so you know... (ducks). Yes, I love you too!

Happy Easter everyone!!

Iota said...

I like the idea of him becoming Canadian and you becoming British. It's sort of international tit for tat, isn't it?

darth sardonic said...

sparx, they say you don't know what you got till it's gone. i say, it's always good to get away and back to missing something. i love the pacific northwest, and every time i go home, i realize how much i have missed it.

could do without the traffic though.

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Ah but we miss you over here on this side of the pond y'know!

Sparx said...

Iota - it is, I think it's kinda balanced in some weird way.

Darth - you got it in one... and I love the west coast too... beautiful...

Helen - I should go home more often... I know it...