If you offered me one train journey…?

I’m going to make it a long one. How does over 1,000 miles, most of it single track, with little intermediate population sound to you? I know, horrible probably, but if there is one railway line that tugs on my heart, that fits this bill, its the one that winds north from Winnipeg, to Churchill, in the frozen north (especially at this time of year) in Canada.

I know, there’s the Trans Siberian, or the chances to cross the US, or Canada, from ocean to ocean, and plenty more, but if you offered me one, and only one, this crazy Canadian railway, that you can only traverse in full, twice a week, is the one I would choose. It would certainly be different from travelling from Huddersfield, to Leeds or Bradford, for sure!

In truth, when I was young, the experience of travelling overnight from London, to Fort William, or Inverness, in the highlands of Scotland seemed like going by train forever. But since then, I’ve made that look like a sprint, travelling to Philadelphia, from Seattle, and back, which was about 3 days each way, with a change in Chicago! A few years later, I travelled from Philadelphia, to Atlantic City, allowing me to finally complete the crossing of America by train, ocean to ocean.

Oh, and fine, if someone arranged for me to travel from Moscow, to Vladivostok on the Trans Siberian, I wouldnt say no. To follow in the footsteps, even if it is now a very different route to hers, of Annette Meakin, would just be amazing.

But yes, secretly, this strange railway line from Winnipeg, to Churchill, and hopefully back, if given the choice, would be the one I’d do. Why, no idea? Its not even like I’m a massive fan of polar bears, or anything, but its there, and I’d so love to do it. And fine, its more practical for me to do than by dog sled between Anchorage and Nome! I could fly that, and might, given the chance, but seriously, if I was to do that Canadian trip, I wouldnt even look at air flight schedules!

Yes, hopefully, one day, I will do it!

Right, two videos, ooh! Firstly, the classic Canadian train song, even if its not about this line, and its nothing more than a few images, but yes, if you think of such songs, this one is probably the best

Secondly, a brief travel tale of the line I’ve just mentioned. I have to say the narrator doesnt sound overly enthusiastic about it, but anyway…

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In case she thought I’d forgotten…

As has almost certainly been noticed, I’ve made a ‘few’ postings about an amazing week in Boston earlier this year. For some reason, a marvellous week in Toronto has got far less word space on here.

Lets be honest, I loved Toronto, and it would certainly rank very highly on my places I would love to live and work in, if I could. To be honest, Boston probably ranks 3 after it as well, and if anyone needs to be told where number 1 is, I’m going there in April lol. There might even be a change in order after that, who knows, its been a while since I was there.

But what happened when I was packing to come back from Toronto, I had a blonde moment! I thought I had carefully checked every drawer, and all the wardrobes in my hotel room before I left, but I was wrong. Somehow I managed to leave one brown jacket in a wardrobe, and only realise this when I was unpacking at home. I contacted the hotel, and they confirmed they’d found it, and were happy to send it back if I arranged a courier, and paid for it. Fair enough, I didnt expect them to pay for it to be sent home, but couldnt they just package it up, and bill my card? Nope.

Thankfully I have a guardian angel, or more correctly, a guardian succubi in the Toronto area, I think you know who I’m talking about, the one known as Tera! A quick IM, and before I know it, coat is picked up, packed up, and winging its way across the Atlantic back to me, and despite offers, no money would be accepted for doing this. I even got a postcard (still have it) in the package of Toronto as well.

But the point is, Tera doesnt just do all these wonderful things for me to help, she seems to do it for everybody at the Garden who needs help, most especially this year, someone we know as Kris (amongst a few other names!) and his move to Buffalo. But I gather from James (and one or two others) that I just see the part of it all. All this, and she takes the time to run the Nascar contest, and do umpteen manips at the Collective as well. How she does it all,  I really dont know, unless…

Do succubi need sleep? 😉

I swear that if I convinced the Canadian authorities to let me move over there and work, she’d have a place sorted out for me in no time flat! Probably have the cable TV, and internet sorted too, she’s that type of person. Heck, if she could, she’d probably convince the Canadian authorities that they’d be better off with me living and working over there.

So the last planned personal tribute of the year goes to an amazing woman, known only to me as Tera. You’ve done a lot for me this year, and a lot for so many others too. I know these are only words, but you’ll know how much I mean them, thanks again for everything. Its just a shame we never got to meet.

No, I couldnt think of a suitable song, so settled for this little amusement instead

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qJwrGdYduk

A change of direction

Given that its Thanksgiving Day tomorrow in the US, which relates back to the arrival of the first immigrants to the US from here, its time to throw in a piece of hypothetical thought.

Just over a century ago,  my ancestors left Ireland, and headed to England to look for a better life. What made them choose England over North America, Australia, or other places, well who knows? Maybe they didnt want to follow the larger crowd to North America, maybe my great grandfathers had job offers already, or otherwise, I can only surmise.

But its an interesting thought, how different might I, and my life had been if they had gone west, instead of east, as so many Irish people did. Of course, if one set had headed in one direction, and the other had remained on course, I might not even have been born! If that had happened I might not have been holidaying in Boston this year, but living there!

Would I be different as an American, or Canadian woman? I dont know, I’m sure attitudes have differed over the years, musical tastes certainly have, thats for sure. Top British groups have never made it over there, top US groups have never really made it over here, so I suspect my musical influences would be very different. Politically, work wise and other things, would I have been different going through their system. For example, over here, especially when I was a teen, going to university was a pretty exclusive thing. In the US, pretty much everyone gets to go to college, or so it seems to me from over here. Would I have bettered myself with a college education, who can tell?  I might even have been a cheerleader, but I doubt it!

One thing is for certain, I might be used to colder winters than we get here lol! Though I guess that would ultimately depend on where my ancestors eventually moved to in North America, big difference between Northern Alaska and Southern Florida!

I’ve never as yet been in the US for Thanksgiving, so have no real idea what the day is like over there. Well beyond the fact you fill yourself with food, and then settle down to watch football. Of course thats a different form of football to what you’d get over here. In fact, over here the soccer doesnt get played until Boxing Day! Maybe one day I will, hopefully if I’m still up to it when I retire, I might be able to plan travel that way a bit better. Assuming of course anyone will invite me to Thanksgiving dinner lol!

My best wishes to all my American friends for tomorrow, hope you all have a marvellous day, but do remember your brave ancestors who travelled across the ocean in the past, especially those first few, now unknown pilgrims who first celebrated this day nearly 400 years ago.

Music video, well who knows, I might have ended up as a

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BADZW9tZ1uc

Though not looking like MM I suspect!