So, since the last post I have remained in Hemmingford, absorbing as much of the local cultrure and family life as I can. The weather has finally taken a turn for the sunnier, and the countryside (and in particular the apple blossoms) has truly come to life. The downside - the sun (and therefore myself) is up at a ridiculous hour.
The apple blossom plays a large part in Hemmingford life, not least at the Enderle family business. I have helped out a bit at the plant, packing a variety of apples. It has been an eye opener - the amount of apples rejected for size, colour and other irregularities that wouldn't bother me is astonoshing. However, the rejects are not simply binned, but placed on another line, destined to become applesauce or juice. It does make me wonder about different food markets, and their uses for 'seconds' - eg what would a mishapen watermelon be good for?
Mat's family have graciously welcomed me as part of their clan, and I have certainly enjoyed the close nature of a country family. The closeness of the family was obvious at two major events - Kaiden's christening, and Mother's day. Kaiden is Mat's nephew and godchild (his mother is Mat's sister Melanie), and his christening was a minimal but beautiful affair. As one of the first decently warm days in Canada, I enjoyed as much of the sunshine as I could (and almost got sunburnt). Mother's day was similar, and the food and booze just as plentiful.
For those keeping score at home, I have put on a bit of weight since arriving in Canada, but I'm sure a few weeks on the bike will sort that out. Speaking of exercize, mother's day meant a hockey game. As I play field hockey back at home, I was keen to test my mettle. All in all, there's alot of subleties to this type of hockey that I didn't get at first. The glove for one is awkward to use (and as one goal proved, not always able to close reliably). But I did enjoyed myself.