Canada Day: why I find it hard to write about

HTWB CDay flagBeing a born and bred Canuck I value Canada Day on July 1st each year because it celebrates the country I belong to and the country I love.

It’s a day that should – and I hope does – inspire more and more new Canadians from wherever they might have immigrated from to celebrate being Canadian and committing themselves to the future of a wonderful country.

We’ve all heard the jokes about Canada being a freezing cold wasteland… and how you need thermal underwear even to think about venturing north of the US border into its vast expanses of year-round ice and snow.

(Hmmm … not quite)

Actually, most North Americans already know that despite Canada being north of the US border its climate in the summer months, at least, still manages to make northern Europe’s weather look positively glacial. Temperatures in the 30s and even 40s Celsius are quite common in southern latitudes right the way through June, July and August.

Toronto

Toronto

And hey, guess what … Canada is more than a mere blot on the USA’s landscape. Toronto, capital of Ontario, is the 6th largest city in North America. Canada is the second largest country in the world. You could fit the whole of the UK into the province of Ontario, 5 times … yet Canada’s total population – 10 provinces and 3 territories – is only just over half that of the UK. (Now see why I hate driving on British roads?)

Canada also has the 9th highest income per capita globally, and is the world’s 11th largest economy. It has a number of kick-ass teams playing ice hockey, baseball and American football.

It has produced a surprisingly large number of internationally famous people, including:

And those a just a few of the contemporary ones.

So why do I find Canada Day hard to write about?

I guess – I admit – because once again this year, I won’t be there to celebrate hands-on.

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An Inukshuk
…an Arctic signpost

Also, my mother died on July 1st, 2004 … she was a British immigrant to Canada as a warbride in the late 1940s and although living there for 15 years (and eventually giving birth to me – that was probably the last straw) disliked rural Canada and persuaded my Canadian dad to move all three of us back to Britain. I joke about my mother’s passing on July 1st, because I see it as her final way of thumbing her nose at Canada … so depriving me and my son of the enthusiasm to celebrate Canada Day here at home in England.

Both my parents are gone now but I’m still in the UK most of the time, largely because my beloved son is a university student here and has a wonderful group of friends nearby. We go home to Ontario at least once a year and have a great time with family and friends there, too. It’s not enough for me, though.

I love you, Canada, and I’m sorry I don’t write about you enough. Maybe one day when I’m back home where I belong, I can put that right.

Happy Canada Day to all Canadians, wherever and whoever you are.

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family…

photo credit: Bobolink via photopin cc
photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

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