They say “You can’t go home again”.
Maybe, but for a beautiful place like Nova Scotia, how could you not try?
You may have noticed my blog has been a little unattended to lately. Pretty much since Moodleposium, actually (which, on an aside, was excellent in 2016. I was very proud to be there representing Pukunui, a sponsor of the conference. Make your plans to attend this terrific education conference in Canberra in 2017.)
My apologies for being away for so long. I ran off to chase my childhood for a little. My wife and I took a much delayed and much needed vacation to spend the Christmas Holidays home in Nova Scotia. I hadn’t been back since 2007, so it was overdue. I was fortunate enough to have her parents join us, and while it is difficult to travel with your in-laws, I was glad to show my Aussie family what real winter was like.
Without rehashing the entire vacation in these pages, it was a good trip. We visited Vancouver, Ottawa, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and it was like a trip backward through time for me. I had most recently lived in Vancouver during the early noughties, and previous to that in Ottawa. It was good to see these cities that had shaped me as a young man. It was particularly odd to see the usually mild Vancouver dealing with much snow. Ottawa however is always cold.
The real treat of course was returning home to Nova Scotia. We spent much of the time in South Western Nova Scotia, visiting the Valley, the French Shore and my much beloved South Shore.
It was good to see my home town of Liverpool again, but it’s always hard to come back. I was surprised to see most of the hills had been flattened somewhat and most of the long streets to have been shortened. Surely all those hills I had to climb were as tall as I remembered… I suppose somethings can be bigger in your mind than in real life.
On one of the last days of the trip, my father took us to Grand-Pré in the Annapolis Valley. We visited the spot, the very place where my mother’s Acadian ancestors would boarded the ships they were forced to during the Expulsion, and a short time later my father’s New England Planter ancestors would have disembarked the ships they took to work this newly emptied land. The poetry of despair and hope in the history of Nova Scotia, and my personal history, meeting in one spot.
I don’t know if the trip recharged my batteries. But it was a necessity, full of family and memories.