Point & Shoot: The scramble to school



Hot in the city

The weather has steadily grown more humid in the past week, as if to taunt us. The first day of school dawned a sticky 30 degrees on the humidex. I’m reminded of hot summer nights in the UK when we’d sleep under just a sheet, flipping pillows and tossing uncomfortably throughout the night, bodies searching for a cool patch of bed linen. Here, thanks to air-conditioning in most homes, that damp discomfort is a thing of the past, instead I have to remember to bring an extra layer when I go out – the same A/C that makes a good night’s sleep possible leaves me frozen in restaurants and grocery stores. I always get a little rush of joy when I step out through the doors and into the warm embrace of sultry summer.


Taekwondo belts

For those of you who were here last week and wished J and T luck in their Taekwondo belt-gradings, I’m pleased to relate they both passed and were awarded their new belts. Poor S can’t wait to join this elite club but has to wait until she’s five. Still, it doesn’t stop her copying the other two when they practice so I now have the benefit of a four-year-old who can count to ten in Korean…



Delicious dinners

As usual our weekend featured a lot of food – I swear I’ve put on weight since K’s been off work. We’ve indulged in curries, gorged on moroccan kebabs, and marinated seabass to devour with pan-fried potatoes and butter-soaked asparagus., revelling in the punchy flavors simple combinations of fresh ingredients deliver – a sundried tomato and basil linguine was summer in my mouth.

There was a controversial moment in Canadian Tire when K considered buying a waffle-maker – whether the waffle or the pancake is superior is the subject of heated debate in Canada –  but his Scottish side won out so we’re still pancake aficionados.

Growing our inner geeks

Some very good friends suggested a two-family trip to the Ontario Science Museum and we were on it like a car bonnet! J went there on a school trip back in Grade 1 and raved about it for ages afterwards. While it was brilliant to see the kids running around exploring and awe-ing (don’t think that’s a word but what the hell) us adults relished the opportunity to indulge our inner (geeky) child too.

Among the many attractions, the kids took turns to see how hard it is to pilot a space shuttle, making the connection between airflow and movement. They poked around inside a human body, and K and I watched with suppressed mirth as S carefully selected, and read the labels of, items in the mini marché, before loading them onto the counter at the till.

Walks and bike rides

Packed around the food and the outings was some driveway chalk art (did you spot the Simpsons?) and tranquil walks beside the lake through the grounds of Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, where we found a very serene Serenity Garden. K and I held hands and plotted while the kids raced one another on scooters and bikes. These walks are typically where we plan our future and, bar the arrival of some irresistible overseas posting, it’s looking more and more as if we’ll settle here in Canada.

Linking up with snowingindoors.com for Point&Shoot


By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. Well done J and T on their belts. My kids have just started karate and are hoping to earn their first belt before Xmas.
    Great photos, they are so full of life.

  2. Well done on the belts!!

    I totally get you re going out into the warm sun after being in a freezing cold restaurant etc…. Whenever we go abroad I don’t switch on the AC unless it is absolutely necessary…..

  3. What a lovely collection of photos – love the B&W one of your daughter on the phone! Hope the new school term goes well – and pleased you are enjoyed Ontario so much so are thinking of staying 🙂

    1. *rueful laugh* I did Annie, but they really didn’t grasp the basics of blogging – wanted posts to be 150 words but still tell a story. When you try to condense blogging to Twitter-like proportions you just get ‘bitter’ which is something I don’t sound at all, right? 😉

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