My Dream

Old Jun 13th 2005, 10:35 am
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Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Crowborough, East Sussex
Posts: 47
deeana is on a distinguished road
Default Re: My Dream

Originally Posted by great46
WOW! That sounds incredibly COLD! I don't think I would be able to handle that to be honest. I have read a lot of post about the weather and I am finding very mixed opinions, a lot of people say that although it is cold, because the sun shines and it is not grey,dull and damp like it is here in the winter that it feels better in Canada? I have been skiing a couple of times (not in Canada) and tried to liken it to that, but that was nothing like you have described so am I well of track?
People vary so much in how much weather matters to them. I have to admit it got me down. I do better in a moderate climate, and if I go back to Canada it will be to a place with a less harsh climate than Calgary, OR on the understanding that I will spend the winter elsewhere. But, having said that, one family member of ours doesn't mind it at all, and if you like ski-ing it certainly is a great place to live. If you don't have to do the daily grind to work in the snow it isn't anywhere near as bad. But I missed being able to go out for walks for months on end in the winter - minus 20 deg centigrade is just too damn uncomfortable for me outdoors, and I began to feel claustrophobic. Also it is rather high, can't remember exactly the altitude, but the air is thinner there, even athletes go there to train because of the lower levels of oxygen, and I found it affected my breathing too.

Weather is not Canada's strong point. Few Canadians in my experience have much good to say about it either. Most spend as much of their vacation in the sun as they can. Most dream of retiring or moving to warmer climes. Many people become "snowbirds" when they retire.

You need to be prepared for things like this:
  • shovelling snow off your drive daily in the winter, or having a snow-blower to do it with.
  • having an electrical "block heater" on your car's engine so it starts in the morning and remembering to plug it in when you park the car to go into the shops or at the C-train car park. Otherwise it will freeze up.
  • Having to wear different shoes to go to work in than those you wear in the office. Women keep whole racks of shoes in their closet at work to change into when they arrive, usually dressed in a full-length, quilted coat, hat, scarf, gloves and insulated boots. I am not joking.
  • Not leaving food in the boot of the car for long because it will freeze in minutes.
  • Driving in ice and snow. Although the roads are ploughed they still get difficult - really difficult - in the winter. I wouldn't go outside Calgary the first winter - it was 9 months before we left the city limits.
But, on the other hand, if you go with the "pioneer" attitude, you would manage. We didn't know any of this before we went, although we tried to find out, there were no websites like this one. Forewarned is forearmed. If we had known then what we knew two years later we would have still gone, but would have known what to expect, and would have planned for it.

I don't want to put you off, I want you to make the right decision, and if you go, there are lots of things you will enjoy, especially if you know that the winter will be hard, will start in earnest in November, but will end each May. And will be alleviated by spells of warm Chinook winds which will melt all the snow, sometimes overnight, and raise the temperature to above freezing for several days, sometimes weeks, at a time, giving a welcome break in the middle of winter.

I think I have typing diaorreah today. Never could spell that word....
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