O'Canada: Lamentations On Life In London.

Don't be blue little Canuck, it'll get better, eh?
Even if 8 months of winter are upon us.


I have made a deal with myself to find the beauty in our everyday, here, in London, Ontario.

The truth is--and any local who reads this may be more than a little upset at my admission of this--I don't like London. I haven't written much to this fact on this blog. I wanted to give spring and summer a chance before I aired my dirty laundry about the place. But the real truth of the matter is, I'm not a fan and I am not sure that I will ever be. What can I say, eight months of winter just doesn't tickle my fancy.

Honestly, any place following in the wake of a decade's living in Southern California and Malibu to boot, truly has tough competition--let's be fair. It's hard to move an inch without oozing with inspiration over everything in eye shot--turquoise seafoam, surf urchin, glistening sea rock, desert-flowered cliffs, sea lions and dolphins dancing with bronzed surfers, golden pacific sunsets, trannies on unicycles--eye candy is plentiful. It wasn't hard to find something unarguably beautiful everyday.

Aside from the aesthetics, London just hasn't opened up for me in the ways that L.A. and its closest shores had for me as a new arrival. And as every season passes too drastically here (summer too hot, spring too rainy, and fall too short) on to the one that lasts the longest--winter--more than half of the year long--I yearn for the hum drum melancholy of Southern California's perpetual spring--where the sun shines everyday and flowers are always in bloom. Not everyone may be a fan--I get that. But I was smitten with the place and it's memory in my fond heart only goldens as the distance and time between us widens. Will we go back? We are definitely planning on it. But in the meantime, to make the most of this Californian hiatus, I must stop longing for what was and embrace what is.

Therefore, going forward, I'll try as I might to make London not just a place of residence, but a place that I enjoy living. I must. For we will be homesteading here yet another few years, I fear. So, I vow at this moment to make a conscience, concerted effort to look only ahead--never back--and find the beauty in our everyday, even here, in London, Ontario. It will just take a little work and a sharp eye. But I am finally willing to put in the time. Let's see what I can find.


Anne said...

Love this post, Joni! I totally agree. It's a hard place to like, regardless of the yucky weather. All I can say is: in order to make this place more bearable, you need to get to Toronto more! I'd be happy to show you around :)

Mrs.Strongarm said...

It's totally okay to not like London. A lot of people are just here by happenstance - I came for school and here I remain.

I don't know if you read the free press, but there was a whole series of articles about the fact that London has a bit of an identity crisis, and is a bit flavourless.

What I HAVE found enjoyable is the fact that London is open to public input and has hosted round table meetings and things like that. I'm sure that since you come from such a culturally interesting place you've got lots of ideas for improvement. Also, the Old South Community Organization usually has something going on in your neighborhood (http://www.oscolondon.ca/).

We've (my hubby and I) found that although London is a little blah, we love our friends and our church, and so it's really the people that you'll meet here that makes London enjoyable :)

j o n i said...

Thanks, Anne & Mrs. Strongarm. I'd LOVE a mamas trip to Toronto, Anne! And. Mrs. S., thanks for the suggestions. I will certainly have to check out these meetings. It'd just be great to be a part of positive change here in the community. I'll have to blog about it, of course, if I do!

In the meantime, fall will keep me somewhat content...until the nip of winter bites!

CallieK said...

Followed my way here from HKS blog and when I read this post, I remember that feeling well. I lived in London for 3 years while going to school and it was a miserable time. I don't know why it's such a forlorn place ( and I hope it's improved in the 22 years since I left) but it seems to get stuck somehow- too big to be a small town but not quite the city it should be. You have my sympathy, especially about the weather!


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