Happy birthday, Canada

Yesterday was Canada Day. And I spent it in bed, sick.

I think the weather was sick, too. It has been for about a week and we’ve only seen one day of blue skies (naturally we dashed over to The Beaches).

But thankfully, the clouds cleared up in the evening and I was able to sit on the balcony and watch the parade of fireworks around the city to celebrate the country’s 146th birthday.

One hundred and 46 years. That’s just 100 years older than me. My own city of 013Newcastle upon Tyne (pictured) was founded 2011 years ago yet no-one celebrates that. (Embarrassingly, I had to look up how old it was.)

Compounded, perhaps, by the memory of the emotional singing of O Canada on Saturday at the football, it was actually very moving to watch the sky flash up in celebration and it made me wonder why we don’t do the same in the UK. I mean, 2011 years of Newcastle history – and some great history at that – is worthy of fireworks, isn’t it? And the rest of the country hasn’t done too bad either.

So why are we so reluctant to sing our praises?

The more we’re here, the more I think that North Americans should spend time in the UK to loosen up and get cynical (oh, how I miss cynicism). There’s a lot to be said for raising a Roger-Moore eyebrow at times.

In return, we should make the reverse trip to learn about customer service.

Yeah, that’s it.

Oh, okay, and enthusiasm, too.

Jaded old hack that I am, there is something quite wonderful about being amongst enthusiastic people and I have even heard myself saying that yes, I am mildly excited about doing 15 more burpees in kettlebell class. Whoo-hoo. And I have to admit to doing my first, non-sarcastic high-five the other week.

(Although that does not go so far as to take on the use of “stoked”, “pumped” and “awesome”. Honestly, if I hear one more person describe their lunch as “awesome” I’m going to shove the OED down their throats. It’s a chicken sandwich from Subway, for heaven’s sake.)

Don’t worry. I’m not going to return home shouting “UofK” with a pumping fist above my head. I still dislike our dirge of a national anthem and would substitute Vindaloo for it anytime.

But fireworks once a year would be… not bad.

Hope you all had an awesome Canada Dayl


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