Bringing home the boyfriend can elicit interesting responses from one's parents, with some being more strategic than others. That's exactly what happened when New Zealander Daniel Gray and his girlfriend Kathleen Starrie came to stay with Starrie's family in Edmonton, Canada for five weeks during their winter holiday.
Instead of lounging around on the couch, Starrie's mother Brigid Burton proposed that Gray, an engineering student, construct an igloo with colored ice bricks in the backyard.
Says Gray on Global News Edmonton, Burton's idea was hatched back in October, when she began collecting hundreds of milk cartons to create the frozen bricks:
My girlfriend's mother had a brilliant idea of building an igloo and thought it would keep me busy, away from her daughter in some respect.
Starrie's mother recounts that
I wanted to keep him occupied, not with my daughter necessarily. I wanted to keep him busy with something else. I didn't want (Dan) to just be twiddling his thumbs while he's here in Canada so I thought, this needs to be something that's got some meat to it.
Happily enough, the young man passed the test, doing all the necessary calculations, then spending over 150 hours in -25 degrees Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit) weather and using over 500 ice blocks to create a rainbow-colored structure that's held together by "snowcrete" (a mix of water and snow). Of course, there was some help from Starrie herself and a neighbor.
Although the young couple has no plans to get married anytime soon, Starrie, who has been with Gray for four years already, jokingly says that this was actually not too farfetched of a request from her mother. Plus, he says "It wasn't presented as an optional thing."