The Outsider: Looking back to the future
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | January 4 2018|
One year older and another year wiser, or so they say. Last year was a good one for me, at least the bits that I can remember due to my ever-increasing age and subsequent declining mental faculties. And that, I believe, is the key to the older-wiser philosophy. The older you get, the more forgetful you get and so you fail to remember all the dumb things that you did in your youth (or last week), and so, you perceive yourself as being wiser. The perfect solution, don’t you think? Or did you forget what I just said? But I digress.
The year of 2017 was my eighth year in Canada and it was the first year that I noticed myself becoming somewhat Canadian. Yes, I’ve been hunting deer and guzzling maple syrup like a true Haliburtonian almost ever since my little family and I landed here in 2010 but for what seemed the longest time, I still thought of myself as the Englishman, the outsider, so to speak.
However, now it is how I am speaking that I realize I am starting to lose my Englishness. I catch myself saying, quite naturally, that we need to ‘take the garbage to the dump’, rather than ‘the rubbish to the tip’ or, I ‘need to fill the truck with gas’ as opposed to ‘filling the car with petrol’. I do still struggle with my trunks and boots, bonnets and hoods, though. And by that, I mean the various ends of a car, not my speedos, shoes, lady’s head-gear and my old stomping ground back in Blighty! Geddit, ‘my hood’! No, neither did I. Terrible attempt to sound Americool for the kids …
But getting back to me feeling Canadian, or Haliburtonian, I guess. I now have a full wardrobe of plaid shirts – more than one for every day of the week. I wear my long underwear religiously from November until May. I actually like standing on a frozen lake staring down a small hole not catching fish. The bugs bother me but not so much that I can’t stand and have a beer with you while they chew on me. I can sort of cross country ski but I’d rather be on a sled. My dog is a hound and that ‘truck that I fill with gas’ is pretty beaten up but still going strong.
I guess what I’m feeling right now is that over the last eight years I’ve gradually integrated into Haliburton County life but during the last year I’ve really ‘come on to ‘er’, I’ve been ‘givin’ it ninety’ as you guys might say. There’s another slip of my Canadian tongue, ‘you guys’, a couple of years ago, I’d have said ‘you folks’ or ‘you erstwhile fellows” ... only kidding, that would be altogether way too foreign for the part of England that I come from.
And so, I’m getting there, or here, or something like. You know what I mean. I’ll never be a true Haliburtonian but I’m enjoying keeping on trying. Here’s to you all and a great 2018.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider