British Expats

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-   -   3 weeks in NS (https://britishexpats.com/forum/maple-leaf-98/3-weeks-ns-902756/)

Lorry1 Sep 1st 2017 1:34 pm

3 weeks in NS
 
Hi all, my family and I have just returned from a 3 week holiday in NS visiting my eldest who now lives there with her boyfriend.

For those who don't know, my family and I moved to NS in 2007 from Berkshire, but following a long period of homesickness and depression myself, we returned to England in 2013.
My husband really didn't want to return, but he could see it was the only thing to do. My kids, age 18 & 10 at the time, were in 2 minds about it all.
It was like a bitter divorce for me. I said I would never return.

My eldest returned there in March 2016 as she missed her friends and boyfriend. They now have a nice apartment and she is working.

So, off we travel to NS for 3 weeks. We were all full of mixed emotions, including excitement to see daughter and friends.

We landed, met by daughter, her boyfriend and some of our other friends, and picked up our rental car.

The whole 3 weeks were spent driving kids back and forth to visit friends, just as it is here. We mainly tried to meet a few people in one place so as to cut out driving too much. We were there primarily to see eldest.

After the first week, once we got youngest daughter back from friends, husband asks who is bored of NS yet. I was shocked that he put his own hand up considering he was the one who didn't want to leave there 4 years earlier.
We determined that the whole time we lived there, he had worked full time and holiday time was spent away in Europe, the US or on a cruise. He never spent more than weekends at home. He realised there was not much to do.

Halifax is tiny. I consider Reading town to be larger with many more shops. The harbour area is beautiful though and it's nice for a stroll and to stop in a bar for a few drinks. There is a lot of construction of apartments & shops going on, a lot of change is under way, roadworks everywhere, so it will interesting to see where that goes. NS is definitely not as quiet and empty as we left it.
There is also Halifax mall which I always liked and Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth which is ok for shopping, although it has lost some shops over the last few years.

We met some good Brit friends of ours at a nice restaurant during week 2 and had a lovely time. Things started changing in my attitude and I actually did start to enjoy my time there.

Husband left after 2 weeks to return to London to work, leaving me and youngest to fly back a week later.

By week 3 I had met more Brit expat and Canadian friends for lunches & dinners out, had good times and I could have stayed longer!

Saying goodbye was actually quite hard which I never expected (except with daughter, of course).

So, our future plans if eldest stays in NS and youngest returns there, or if I have grandchildren there, is to perhaps spend 6 months in each country (England winter, NS summer!). This will depend on financial situation and other things, but I think I could actually do it.

I just noted some good & bad points while there -

NS bad points (personally)
Price of food - We really noticed how expensive food was and stunned we could afford to eat decent when we lived there. Mince $15. Good cheese $15. 4 pint milk nearly $7. Beef burgers $13. Really junk food is so cheap I'm not surprised I put on 2 stone over 5 years, losing it again during year 6 to return home.
Driving - For the most part, boring automatics down long straight roads, way too many stop signs even on quiet sub divisions with barely any traffic, incompetent drivers and painfully slow speed limits.

NS good points (personally)
Halifax harbour.
The beautiful lakes for jumping in on a hot summers day.

I will say that if you're planning to move there and you enjoy a healthy social life, move as close to downtown as possible. This is where the good restaurants & bars are. Any further out and you are restricted to occasional house parties and lots of nights in, especially if you have kids. We made that mistake ourselves.

All in all, a good 3 weeks. We are now back home and I have to say, it's good to be back. England just fits me like a glove and I am settled here. I miss my eldest and friends though, that is a sacrifice. I can still do 6 months in each. I won't feel trapped there this time so I can do it. England is always my first home.

Howefamily Sep 1st 2017 1:44 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 
It was so incredibly good to see you and now we are both 6 years wiser its so refreshing to be able to understand each others preferences even if they are direct opposites (me country girl, you town girl :cool:) and support them wholeheartedly.
We both agree that home is where the heart is. There is good and bad in all countries, nowhere is utopia except where you home is. Your home, your life, your friends, thats your own utopia and we should all protect it fiercely.


Its so absolutely liberating to be able to support one of my friends choice to live in the country I chose to move from whilst knowing that she supports me in the country she chose to move from.


See you on FB chick, till the next time I see you in person. :starsmile:

Lorry1 Sep 1st 2017 4:19 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by Howefamily (Post 12329290)
It was so incredibly good to see you and now we are both 6 years wiser its so refreshing to be able to understand each others preferences even if they are direct opposites (me country girl, you town girl :cool:) and support them wholeheartedly.
We both agree that home is where the heart is. There is good and bad in all countries, nowhere is utopia except where you home is. Your home, your life, your friends, thats your own utopia and we should all protect it fiercely.


Its so absolutely liberating to be able to support one of my friends choice to live in the country I chose to move from whilst knowing that she supports me in the country she chose to move from.


See you on FB chick, till the next time I see you in person. :starsmile:

I totally loved seeing you too. It's funny how we are so opposite but get on so well :lol:
I look forward to seeing you next time :wub:

BristolUK Sep 1st 2017 6:34 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by Lorry1 (Post 12329284)
...By week 3 I had met more Brit expat and Canadian friends for lunches & dinners out, had good times and I could have stayed longer!

Saying goodbye was actually quite hard...

I was right then. https://www.thelotusforums.com/forum...py%20dance.gif

You'll likely soften towards the place
Maybe I should go into the advice column writing business. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Howefamily Sep 1st 2017 7:05 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by BristolUK (Post 12329493)
I was right then. https://www.thelotusforums.com/forum...py%20dance.gif

Maybe I should go into the advice column writing business. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

:thumbup:
Haha, you rock!

Lorry1 Sep 2nd 2017 9:07 am

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by BristolUK (Post 12329493)
I was right then. https://www.thelotusforums.com/forum...py%20dance.gif

Maybe I should go into the advice column writing business. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Good job, good job :thumbup:

:lol: yes it's definitely different when it's not forever!

I think seeing good friends regularly makes a difference too. I think that would not happen if you lived there permanent as everyone has their own lives. People make time for you when you're visiting.

Shard Sep 3rd 2017 2:12 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by Lorry1 (Post 12329284)
Hi all, my family and I have just returned from a 3 week holiday in NS visiting my eldest who now lives there with her boyfriend.
.

Great post. Glad that it has worked out for you well in the end. How old were your kids when you first went out to NS?

Lorry1 Sep 4th 2017 12:42 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by Shard (Post 12330368)
Great post. Glad that it has worked out for you well in the end. How old were your kids when you first went out to NS?

Hi and thanks.
Yeah everything always works out somehow :lol:

Kids were 4 and 13 so a very difficult age to leave friends. It took her a long time to settle there, but once she did, she didn't want to be here :(

weves Sep 6th 2017 12:57 am

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by Lorry1 (Post 12329284)
4 pint milk nearly $7.

Where did you shop?! 4 Litres of milk (7 UK pints) is $5.19 in most places.

It's still more expensive than UK, but I'm glad to pay it, UK supermarkets squeeze dairy farmers out of business for their loss-leading milk prices.

BristolUK Sep 6th 2017 3:11 am

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by weves (Post 12332039)
Where did you shop?! 4 Litres of milk (7 UK pints) is $5.19 in most places.

It's still more expensive than UK, but I'm glad to pay it, UK supermarkets squeeze dairy farmers out of business for their loss-leading milk prices.

I have often seen references to the cost of milk in NS as being even more than here. Having said that, the price quoted for NB always seems to have been more than charged in my two local shops.

Anyway, the NS paper - Chronicle Herald - said a study showed it was $6 for 4l in Halifax in 2014.

weves Sep 6th 2017 1:32 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by BristolUK (Post 12332108)
Anyway, the NS paper - Chronicle Herald - said a study showed it was $6 for 4l in Halifax in 2014.

What is the relevance of a 3-year-old newspaper article giving a quoted price which you say is higher than actual prices in your experience anyway?

Howefamily Sep 6th 2017 1:42 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 
Its $5.19 in Costco and $5.69 in Superstore near me, right now.
Lets not discuss the price of gas right now :blink:

BristolUK Sep 6th 2017 3:24 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by weves (Post 12332382)
What is the relevance of a 3-year-old newspaper article giving a quoted price which you say is higher than actual prices in your experience anyway?

One might reasonably assume that if the price was $6 three years ago, it may well be more now.

One might also note that I referred to my two local shops as opposed to the price quoted for the entire province.

The supermarkets charge more and that's why I buy the milk cheaper locally. I imagine the supermarkets throughout the province are more representative of the price quoted for the province.

Sorry if that sounds sarcastic. I'm just suggesting that if someone says what they paid for milk and your experience was it was less, both your experiences could be correct but one price might resemble the standard price more than another.

Perhaps there was good competition where you are as there is with my local shops.

weves Sep 6th 2017 4:02 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by BristolUK (Post 12332470)
One might reasonably assume that if the price was $6 three years ago, it may well be more now.

One might also note that I referred to my two local shops as opposed to the price quoted for the entire province.

The supermarkets charge more and that's why I buy the milk cheaper locally. I imagine the supermarkets throughout the province are more representative of the price quoted for the province.

Sorry if that sounds sarcastic. I'm just suggesting that if someone says what they paid for milk and your experience was it was less, both your experiences could be correct but one price might resemble the standard price more than another.

Perhaps there was good competition where you are as there is with my local shops.

We are talking about supermarket prices.

I'm not saying the OP is exaggerating. They could have had a different experience, I did ask where they found that milk.

There is a difference to providing alternative (current) anecdotal evidence to extrapolating 3-year-old data found in a newspaper report of a study. The latter being only valid if the former isn't available.

I know that the price of food is a concern for people who are moving here (it was for me), and they read these forums, and yes it is a little high, so there is no need to exaggerate it further and worry people.

I’m actually in Halifax, now, not 2014, I’ve been here a year and the price has been rock steady $5.19 in at least 2 major supermarkets. When I do have to shop out of those, I get it for $5.79 at the absolute most.

Lorry1 Sep 6th 2017 4:27 pm

Re: 3 weeks in NS
 

Originally Posted by weves (Post 12332039)
Where did you shop?! 4 Litres of milk (7 UK pints) is $5.19 in most places.

It's still more expensive than UK, but I'm glad to pay it, UK supermarkets squeeze dairy farmers out of business for their loss-leading milk prices.

The shop was Avery's farm market but yes I agree it is (slightly) cheaper in the supermarkets. Either way, my statement about it being more expensive than the UK, is correct.

I do agree that the farmers get squeezed here in the UK and I don't particularly like it. I guess things will change once we're out of the EU though!


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