Just back from an extended holiday in Canada visiting my prodigal daughter who is studying there for a year as part of her uni course. I return feeling quite different from when I went out.
Perhaps I should be refreshed but after jet lag, sightseeing round the cities of Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa and Toronto plus driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, my time away was anything but restful.
We spent some time in Algonquin Park, a vast area of lakes and forests, arriving on the first night to be the only people staying in the entire resort complex (there’s a scary movie in that somewhere!) not to mention the possibility of encountering a brown bear on our forest walks.
Canada is a place of extremes from huge cities and skyscrapers to huge areas of remoteness that are difficult to comprehend in this country. However, the change I found within myself and what I hope to draw upon to fuel my future writing and creative work was not inspired by the great sights or landscapes but by observing the real people within them. I have aways preferred looking at a Lowry to a Constable and similarly, I was drawn to the gritty reality of life and the nuances which differentiate it from our own.
I also left realising that living in Canada is a way of life that my daughter has relished and she has a strong yearning to return after completing her studies in the UK. For me that will be another time of reckoning.