24 crazy hours in London recently were enough to convince me that Canadians should take pride of place at the very top of my ‘Drain’s Favourite Nationalities’ list.

I met two Canuks. They were both lovely.

This shouldn’t come as any surprise. Just take a look at the OECD’s Better Life Index which rates counties in terms of the happiness of their citizens. Canada came third. The two I met in London didn’t give me any reason to disbelieve this.

Susie is a Canadian. And Susie is a fan of Brian Gittins. Susie made a trip across the Atlantic solely to come to a Brian Gittins show at the Soho Theatre with me and a fine selection of Chatting Rectangle regulars. This was an awesome thing to do, and if nothing else, it demonstrated that injecting a little spontaneity into one’s life can result in unforgettable experiences, and potentially friendships for life.

We met up with Susie’s cousin (Canuk 2), laughed until we couldn’t laugh any more, drank more beer than was good for us, and the following morning found ourselves nursing hangovers in Soho Joe’s over an epic fried breakfast. We also decided that Susie would take me out cycling in Canada next summer.

Susie is a truly lovely person, and however it is that our paths came to cross, I’m very happy they did. Thank you Brian Gittins – your dark, warped sense of humour has somehow brought a true friend into my life.

On 01 July 2013 I’ll be heading down to London to represent Susie at Canada Day in Trafalgar Square, and she’s sending me a Canadian t-shirt to wear on the day. Never mind that Canadians are the third happiest race on the planet. I’ll be the happiest person in Trafalgar Square that day, in the knowledge that in exactly a year I’ll be heading across the Atlantic to go for a bike ride or two with my friend. I submitted my leave application tonight. Excited doesn’t come close.


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