A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Friday, December 31, 2004

Good-bye 2004...

On the eve of the last day of this year, I wish you all a New Year full of love, happiness and health. Always remember to be kind to one another as life can be much shorter than we expect... Let's hope this New Year does not end in as much sorrow as 2004.

Andy and I have the children tonight and are looking forward to ringing in 2005 with them as a family - time to begin anew!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas from the Allenby House! Posted by Hello

Andy and I want to wish all our loved ones a very Merry Christmas. I'm especially missing you all at SVGH, as it is a very special time of year there!!! I wish my gal pals were all here to help me down this cider! Best wishes to you all - we love you very much!!!!

Lots of love to Mom and Dad, Stacy & John, Tawn & Taylor and Sandy & Brad... miss you all so much and wish I could see you all, however here's to NEXT Year!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A Big Ole Bottle

A Great Big Bottle! Posted by Hello

This jug of delicous cider has been sitting on my kitchen shelf for over two weeks now, just anticipating the Christmas Season. Next week it will be going in our fridge to ensure it is nice and cold. Shame I will probably be drinking it all by my little ole self as Andy prefers beer and brandy. These are the times when a gal needs her Maritime pals around... Ummmmmm cider. Definitely one thing the British know how to make! (I can thank Darla for telling me to make sure I tried it!)

When I first saw this bottle at the local shop it reminded me of a big bottle of ale Cat and I bought while out at Brewdebakers. I think I still have the photos of us drinking it... too bad she isn't here to help me with this one! I say old chap, Jolly Good Times!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A McDonald Christmas Memory

Years ago, when I was about 7 or 8 my mom got us ready to take us for our annual trip to see Santa Claus at Halifax Shopping Centre. Now, we stood in line for a rather long time and I just wanted to get up there and tell the old boy about the barbies and accessories that were on my long list. I have to say, I was just a little bit anxious as well, going to sit on a strange man's lap and all (funny that I grew out of that). I knew that this wasn't the REAL Santa as he was way too busy to be attending long lines of kids and that he sought the assistance of men all over the world to do this tedious job.

Finally it was our turn and as my mom wanted a picture she sent my sister and I up together. I was busily telling Santa (who happened to have sparkly blue eyes underneath those glasses) what I wanted when my sister interrupted and blurted out these unforgettable words "Dad! Is that you?".

It was....

I don't know why I didn't clue in - I suppose I was just too wrapped up in getting out what needed to be said and getting out of there. My sister, who is younger than me has always been way more observant then me. Point in fact... Jeez.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Christmas At Our House

Well over the past week or so, Andy and I have finally got the house pretty much ready for Christmas celebrations. We have bought just about all the presents for the boys and now just need to finish up buying for Tasha and each other. I managed to get the Christmas packages in the mail for my family at home as well - hopefully they will get there on time. The tree, although not as full as I normally like, is pretty. It, and the trimmings are all on loan from Wendy as the only tree we had was a small fiber-optic one. We will be waiting for the Boxing Day sales to buy a nice big one for ourselves for future years.

Christmas At Our House... Posted by Hello


Today marks the day one year ago that I stepped on the plane to fly here to be with Andy and his family and start my English life.

Alot has happened in the past year, most being good. I just can't believe that it has been one year. I wonder what the next one will bring.

Re Job Front

A few weeks ago after being declined for a position with the Hospital Trust, I was called in for an interview to be on the Hospital Bank Staff. This is the equivalent to what we considered Casual Staff in Nova Scotia. The interview went well and it was pretty clear that I was going to be taken on as a casual provided my police records check came back clear.

About two weeks ago I got a call from the Hospital Bank Staff Coordinator offering me not a position on the Casual List, but a position with the Divisional Manager of Medicine. Its a six month term that will open up to a permanent position in June. Apparently Pat (the Coordinator) had an indepth discussion with this manager and she was very impressed with my qualifications and asked if she could offer me the position. So, although I don't really know exactly what the position involves at this moment, and although it is in Scunthorpe (a 35 minute drive away) and not in the local hospital, it is full-time and I thought I should take it. It is a way for me to get on with the hospital trust and in time I may be able to get work in the local hospital. Besides, it was a bit impressive to be offered a full-time position over casual staff on my merit alone.

I am now awaiting a few course schedules and a meeting with the Manager of Medicine so I can find out exactly what awaits me when I start on January 5th.

This morning I opened the mail to find an invitation to attend an interview with a local Medical Clinic. The hours are part time, mostly afternoons, which is what I had been originally looking for and although it is with a clinic, it is still considered part of the NHS Trust which is what I want. The other job is probably more challenging and more in-line with my qualifications, as this job at the clinic is just for a clerical officer, however as it is local and part-time I think I will go see what its all about. I didn't really intend to jump into full-time work, however the money would be better!

Andy has been informed that the company is working for would like to keep him on in the New Year. They want him to travel to Cambridge and will give him a company vehicle. This means that he will be gone from Monday to Friday. Another reason that the timing is good for me going back to work.

We are beginning to receive a number of Christmas Cards/Wishes from home. Its funny for me to look down and see Andy and Jody Allenby on the card. However I did tell my family /friends that if they are sending something to the both of us, I don't mind it being addressed as such.

Its funny, but here in Grimsby, maybe in England, its very very rare for a woman to keep her own name. On all my correspondence from the hospital I'm being addressed as Mrs. McDonald. I don't think people like the word Ms. What's even funnier was when the HR Department called to ask what my name was at birth... On the form it had a section that asked wether you were married or not, what your title was, your first and surnames, and what your name was at birth, if different. This question I left blank of course as my name has stayed the same. I guess it confused them as they saw I was married.... Andy gets annoyed when I say that sometimes I feel as if I'm living in the dark ages. In actuality, things are just done very differently in different countries. I can respect that.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

My Christmas Spirit

Christmas is coming and I'm finally beginning to get in the spirit of things. This morning I was up fairly early as I knew the postman was coming with a parcel. He had come yesterday but I had missed him. I didn't want that to happen again, and luckily it didn't. I was excited to see Tawny's Christmas package for us - she even had the parcel wrapped in Christmas paper! I'm a bit surprised that it got here this early - Tawn only mailed it a few weeks ago and I'm pretty sure she sent it surface, which could take a month or more especially at this time of year.

So this morning after receiving Tawny's Christmas parcel I cleaned up the house and then took out a few of my Christmas Ornaments. Nothing much, just a few things I made at Claytime and a few candle holders. Tomorrow night when the boys are here we will put the tree and lights up. This weekend Wendy is having a joint Birthday/Christmas party for Alison and Scott (they share a birthday) and will be gone to Argentina for their actual birthday as well as Christmas. So begins the actual commencement of the holiday festivities here in New Waltham.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I Will Prevail...

The past few days have been busy with interviews and errands. I just got back in from spending an afternoon window shopping and having coffee with my friend and neighbour Julie. This morning I was supposed to have an interview for a Home Liason Officer with a rather rough school however had to cancel as I've decided its not the road I want to go down at the moment.

I did however have two interviews at the hospital and both went rather well. I did not however succeed in getting the part-time position I was seeking from Friday's interview. I had a lengthy conversation with one of the interviewers on Friday afternoon and was told that out of four people I scored the highest marks, and although they were very impressed with my skillsets and knowledge, they were inclined to give it to the person who already was working for the trust (the hospital). I figured this might happen, as office politics often work this way in such an organization. I was told that I would be a great asset to the trust and that they would be passing me on to HR... yadda yadda. It was a positive experience though and I am now more determined than ever to get hired on with the trust, something I believe will be easier after the interview I had yesterday at the hospital. It would appear that I am on my way to being Bank Staff (casual) for the trust and as I will be employed by the trust, things like what happened on Friday shouldn't happen again. The interviewers for the bank position actually referred me on to a position that they think I am highly qualified for. So who knows. So, for the time being I will continue on looking for work with the trust, as well as other places.


The new local movie theatre has finally opened here after a long delay. Its nothing fancy but it has nine cinemas and is a lot closer than having to drive all the way to Lincoln or Hull - both of which are at least 35 minutes away. We took the kids to see A Shark Tale the other day and this weekend I will finally be heading out to see The Edge of Reason, Bridget Jones. At least its being a mostly British film ensured that it was released here at the same time as North America, something that is very rare.

If your looking for me to talk you out of it...

When it comes to my friends being unhappy in their lives I usually try to lend a listening ear and only give my opinions when asked for. I of course, don't like to see my friends hurting, as it of course hurts me to see them this way.

I have a poll on the side bar asking if its ever ok to cheat on your significant other. I know everyone has different ideas of what constitutes cheating and if its ok or not. Personally, I really don't mind what other people do, but if a friend of mine comes to me and tells me they are going to, or have already done so, I'm not going to stand in judgement of them. I may fear for what may be the end result, but in the end it's their call. I will be concerned for them if they are in a solid relationship or there are children involved.

We all know how Andy and I started so we are the LAST people to ever make a judgement call on anyone. I do know this however, cheating on Andy is not an option. Ever. No matter what happens in the future, I would believe I will never do that to him. We have a very respectful relationship and even if things were to go bad between us I know that I care about him too much to ever stray. I would leave first. We have gone thru way too much to ever concede to such a thing. And in all honestly this is a first for me, as it is for him. So, when my very unhappy friend comes to me and tells me she is debating an extramarital relationship, I'm not the one that's going to try and talk her out of it, especially when I'm not close to her husband. I did however ask her to remember this question 'Will it be worth losing your husband and everything you have together?'. It's the best I can do. I know too many people who have strayed - some for really stupid reasons, some for much more serious reasons - is it right - no, not really - but I understand some do what they have done for selfish reasons. The only thing I ask is that they please not ask me to lie to their partner.

I feel sad that my pal is locked into an unhappy relationship. My advice to her, and all of my other friends in similar circumstances has normally been 'just get out of it'. For some reason I'm always told that its never as easy as that. But as I said - I'm not here to sit in judgement of any of my friends. I never will be - my friends have always had my support - thru all their triumphs as well as the screw ups, and that will never change.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Where Does Time Go?

It has been over a month now since Andy and I got married and nearly a month since we have been back in the country. In some ways all has been quiet, but in other ways its been quite busy. Andy finally went back to work over two weeks ago and luckily he is working locally. What has been unlucky is that he hasn't been paid yet. He was supposed to have been paid yesterday but for some reason was not. One of the downfalls of being self-employed I suppose. They have promised him his pay by Friday. Yeah, ok. I know from past experience that this is unlikely and that he probably won't see this week's pay until its doubled up next Tuesday. Which is ok if you don't have bills to pay or haven't had a paycheck in over a month!

In respect to jobs, I have two interviews coming up. One on Friday for a part-time secretarial position at the local hospital, and one on Monday for a casual position at the hospital (here they call it Bank Staff). I only got the call for the Bank interview this morning. The interview on Friday is the one I'm looking forward to. They've already checked my references, which is unusual, but in this case its something I'm pleased about. I also am staying optimistic, no matter what the outcome might be because to even get called for an interview, especially at the hospital, is encouraging. I have to admit that I would prefer to get a part-time job rather than full-time. Now that I'm a married woman I have other responsibilities (wink) and as long as Andy is working there really is no need to work full-time

Last week my friend made a BIG boo boo and spent all night away from home. I woke up to the phone ringing and someone banging at the door simultaneously. It was Andy on the phone informing me that my friend's husband had called his mobile wondering if his wife had spent the night at our place. Andy brilliantly kept himself out of it by saying he had no idea - that he was asleep when I got home and that he dashed straight out the door that morning, without noticing if someone was in the spare room. I got of the phone after being warned by Andy that P would be coming around. I figured that was him banging on the door. It was.

To recap events CA and I had planned to have a few drinks at the pub across the street. Her first stop was going to be at P's cousin's house to pick up a picture he'd drawn of their daughter. CA had made plans for her child to spend the night at her friends. Now... this is a woman who has been sexually frustrated for five years. Her husband has not touched her, nor slept in the same room as her during this period of time. They basically just co-exist in the house for the sake of their daughter. Her husband, who has just opened his own restaurant seems fine with the set up. She for the most part is unhappy but they have a nice home and life-style - other than the lack of support from her husband I suppose she figured she'd be ok. She didn't bank on a few drinks leading to a few more, which ultimately led to a bottle of vodka being shared at the artists house. (I had left after one drink at the pub - Andy wasn't feeling well and as her husband's cousin J had joined her for her drink with me, I figured they'd be fine). I figured wrong.

So. Back to P. I opened the door to find him there asking if his wife was with me as she hadn't come home last night. (He had been out at a golf awards evening with his friends and family - he hadn't invited his wife until early that evening). She wasn't. While he was sitting across from me on the couch my phone rang and it was her telling me she was drunk and at J's house. I told her I had her husband in my living room and would she like a word with him. She told me no and rang off. Oh boy. I had no choice but to tell him where she was. He left.

I have spent the past few days with my friend trying to help her get through the mess that has resulted due to her actions. I don't blame her for wanting to relieve her sexual frustrations. I do however wish she had used her head and not done so with her husband's cousin - resulting in a bust up of their family. She's had phone calls from her mother-in-law, a visit from an enraged aunt (J's mother) and her husband disappeared for the weekend. On Monday I was with her as she proceeded to see a lawyer, call her daughter's school, their accountants, etc. to inform all that she and her husband have split for good. She was adamant she didn't want him back and that they would divorce. She even called her parents in Toronto. We made arrangements for me to help her out with the care of her daughter and I left her to it. Last night I called to see how she was and to see if she still needed me to sit for her girl tonight. No, she said, P will be doing it. I was glad they had apparently talked. It went deeper than that as he was back and I guess they are going to try and work things out. I didn't get much out of her as she obviously couldn't talk at that moment. Maybe they'd only been just working it out at that moment. Who knows? I guess she'll let me know Friday. I don't understand how some people work, but hey, who am I to try and figure it all out?

(Normally I wouldn't blog about such personal events however my friend came right out and asked me if I would be blogging about it - I guess she knew it was a whopper, and since she gave me the go ahead, why not?)

Back to the Wedding - The Party

The party swiftly got under way when the tables were cleared and the dancing began. It was a nice set up because we had the room for dancing, there was the bar itself (a separate and rather cozy room) and off the bar there was a conservatory that Taylor turned into the Kareokee room after the first hour or two. It was really good as people had the option of what they wanted to do. Again, it was such a nice day and evening that some people even spent most of the night outdoors.

Andy and I didn't have the traditionally first dance together - we actually requested that the DJ start off the dancing with something catchy. It was Bruce and Ruth Devenne that actually got the dancing started, lol. It was nice mingling with everyone, however Andy and I didn't end up actually getting to spend much time together until later on, when we got in the hot tub and pool. We did get one slow song together, thankfully. We basically spent the evening making sure everyone was ok, and passing each other along the way - usually with me informing him he had to settle up at the bar with Sandy for whatever drink I was drinking (usually it was just diet coke). I have to say, I was really pleased with the bar service, Sandy was terrific and had tons of patience for all the boozers (and trust me - there was plenty of that going on, lol). A few times she even found me to get me to try a frozen drink she had concocted, just for me. She'd actually made up two drinks in honour of our wedding, in the names of both our families.

It was funny to walk around and watch people having fun, dancing, eating wedding cake and getting corked. It was a really home-like atmosphere, made even more so when my cousin Denise came downstairs in her nightclothes to kiss the bride goodnight!

I missed a lot of the funny stuff due to being in different rooms but I was later filled in on some things I missed. Although I never usually saw Andy without a drink in each hand, he was holding up really well. I think he was more high on the night than the drink. But speaking of...


Sunday morning after the wedding as well as the next few days were spent happily reminiscing over the events of Saturday night. It's like Andy and I said, if there was gonna be a wedding celebration were people were free to be themselves and get as drunk as they wanted, it would be ours - and happily so. As long as no one got nasty, we weren't bothered and didn't want anyone else to be either.

Here are a few of my nearest and dearest who made the night memorable by totally enjoying themselves with drink.

Bill Clancey (who spent a chunk of time at the bar with Davida): 'I think I did one too many McDonald shooters' as he came swaying out of the bar with a laughing Kristin...

Scott and Alison: But only in their usual English style.

My Dad 'Your going to miss one BITCH of a BBQ tomorrow night!' This was slurred to Darla in the presence of Wendy (Andy's mom - who ABHORS swearing of any kind,lol). I knew my dad was well on his way when he came staggering out onto the patio and I saw the look on my mom's face. Andy's dad Dave and his pal Andy spent most of the evening in a corner of the bar drinking whiskey - my dad bless him, tried and failed to keep up!

My Uncle Reg and Catherine: I saw Catherine lots during the night, always smiling and having a good time. She was dancing a lot with her man Hunter and my little cousin Kyi. However I saw her off and on dancing and laughing with my Uncle Reg (Catherine knows my family practically like her own). It has since come out that my Uncle kept talking to Cat and Hunter all night about Myskiki something or other (I know I'm spelling that wrong)forgetting that he had just told them all about it in previous conversations. What was funniest was when they got into an argument in the bar over kareokee... Cat came out of the solarium and bawled my uncle out for not being there to sing with her like he promised. He then grabbed her to take her back in, saying he would now, at which point they fell together. My uncle's drink fell, the bottom smashed off it, but he'd picked it back up and downed it before a drop was spilled. Go figure.

Uncle Reg was so inebriated that night that he didn't even recognize my sister Tawny and kept eye-balling her and informing his wife that she (meaning Tawny) was from Ontario. I know at one point he acted out of order with Tawn, which is not like him at ALL, even when he is drunk. I do think that his behaviour was a result of the stress he has been under due to my aunt having breast cancer and his son undergoing major surgery. I know it shouldn't be an excuse but this is a man who is usually very sweet when sober and only very jolly when drunk.

My Uncle Jimmy: He had this total infatuation with Cat at one point thru the night. My Aunt Nita informed me that he'd said 'now that woman is my kind of woman' to which she replied 'what makes you think she'd even be interested in you Jimmy? She's way out of your league'. He just smiled and still insisted she was his kind of woman. At which point Aunt Nita stated that Cat was a lawyer. He still didn't stop talking about the lovely Cat. My aunt then pointed out Hunter and stated that he was a police detective. At which point he promptly clammed up and left the room. (Unbeknownst to us, he'd been getting high earlier in the evening).

My Aunt Bet: She spent most of the night completely out of it and out on the patio getting fresh air. My mother sat with her and figured she was pretty sick (she'd been really ill with flu the week prior). Turns out she'd tried my uncle's dope and it didn't sit well with her. Why on earth she made the decision to try drugs for the first time at the age of 52 and at our wedding is beyond me, but hey what can you do. I didn't know it was going on, until after the fact or else I don't think I would have found it as funny.

Glen and Darla: Let me say this - after driving the miles they drove to be at our wedding they deserved to get as well cut as they did. It was really funny to see Glen floating around the pool at 2 a.m. with his head nestled cozily between the two blow up boobs, with those big blue eyes staring out at us all...

and last but not least: Dawn

The day after our wedding I heard Tawny utter these words: 'I have NEVER seen Dawn that drunk in my whole life' (and they've known each other for over 20 years.) I guess Dawn only cuts lose when she's in the company of this McDonald sister - neither me nor my friends were surprised to see Dawn enjoying herself so thoroughly as it wasn't the first time, eh Dawn? It was a bit funny to tell Dawn about the silly things she'd done as she can't remember the night before, however I wouldn't play along with Andy in letting her think she'd gotten up to something really awful. I will say that Andy's brother-in-law Scott, my brother John and Glen won't ever forget her that night, - nor will those of us with her in the hot tub! And that's all I'm saying!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Recap of Wedding Events - Part 3 - The Wedding

My sisters kissed me good-bye and went to sit with Mom and the rest of the waiting guests. My dad was standing there waiting for me and when he saw me, his first reaction startled me - he had tears in his eyes but he was smiling. A few of the gals who worked in the dining room and were there and so complimentary of me. One even said 'Your dress is the most beautiful I've ever seen, and we have a lot of weddings here' I laughed and replied that she probably said that to all the brides. She quickly assured me I was wrong. Either way, it was very sweet to hear. We were quickly introduced to the judge and then we heard the music start for our walk. My dad gripped my hand and we began our move towards the front of the building.

Andy and I had decided that the song I would walk up the path to would be 'By Your Side' by Sade. I must say, I hardly took notice of the words as dad and I made it around the front garden and began to walk up the steps. I looked around at all the smiling faces of our loved ones and then looked at Andy's beaming face. I wasn't nervous at all, I was just so happy. Everyone was taking pictures and I didn't know where to look as I had never met our photographer. I figured he must be the guy I didn't recognize, lol. One good thing about having a small ceremony.

I joined Andy on the veranda and happily grinned into his smiling face. I don't think we let each other's hands go throughout the whole thing. It was a nice ceremony and the vows were meaningful, even if they weren't our own. We'd agreed not to do our own as I didn't want to cry, something I knew my husband to be would expect and we all know me and my having to prove a point, something I probably wouldn't have been able to do if I heard Andy speak his own vows - he has a very touching and romantic way with words.

Its Done! Posted by Hello

We moved to the side porch to sign our papers and Darla and Glen joined us. It was funny to see that actual piece of paper and it was even funnier when Darla sat down to sign and poked a hole through our license! Oops. I don't think many other couples would find it funny, but then again, Andy and I aren't like most others.

Andy Breaking his Back Posted by Hello

Next thing you know it was all done and we were pronounced Mr. & Mrs. Allenby. It was then time for pictures, something that went quite smoothly, although at times we couldn't find those we were looking for as they were in at the bar (surprise surprise). We were told that the hors d'oeuvres being served inside were good, which was a relief as I wasn't sure exactly what would be served. Well that's what we were paying our wedding coordinator for, after all.

Us and Wayne's Twins Posted by Hello

The Reception

We were so pleased when we walked into the Reception Room and saw how beautiful everything looked. Missy and her staff at the Fairview Inn had done a gorgeous job! I knew then and there that it had all been worth it. Lots of people had questioned us, and my mother, about the strange choice we were making in having red runners and an autumn theme for the dining room. I don't think anyone was questioning it when they came in and saw how beautiful everything looked. Missy had outdone herself and I was so thrilled that I hadn't had to do a thing! The cake was gorgeous and I could never thank Shannon enough for ordering it for me. It was something that I hadn't wanted in the beginning but after all was said and done, we were so pleased to have it. Not to mention how delicious it was!

The Reception Room Posted by Hello

So... after mingling for a little while we made our way into the hall to see everyone seated and ready to eat. We made our way through the waiting crowd and joined mom and dad at one of the center tables. We had decided early on that there would be no head table as I don't really go in for that sort of thing. I wanted us to mingle in with everyone. This was much easier to accomplish since we didn't have a wedding party. All told, I didn't need one as my sisters and friends did a terrific job throughout the whole day.

The Roast Beef and Haddock dinner seemed to be enjoyed by most people and it was nice to make my way through the tables to see if everyone was doing ok. As usual with a wedding reception, it wasn't long before we heard the tingling of wine glasses. Andy looked at me and asked what all the noise was about. I laughed and said 'they want us to kiss.' His eyes opened wider in surprise before a big grin spread across his face. He leaned in to kiss me when we heard a shout (I believe it was Mr. Bruce Devenne) 'Stand Up'. So we did. Andy was quite pleased with this Nova Scotia tradition. It was funny afterwards to realize that none of the family from England had ever seen, nor heard, of this custom before.

Before Dinner Posted by Hello

After dessert it was time for a few short words. Tawny got up to welcome everyone and send best wishes from those who could not be with us. She then began her toast to us, the bride and groom. Andy and I had done a good job of keeping the tears away until this point. Her speech was so touching and beautiful and it was made all the more special because Tawny and Taylor have experienced some of the same things that Andy and I have - mainly the long distance relationship. Let's just say, we weren't the only ones that had tears in our eyes.

After the toast, Andy and I got up to thank everyone for coming and then my dad said a few words. We didn't know this was coming, but knowing my dad, I wasn't surprised. He made a short, touchingly funny speech before giving me a sovereign he's been carrying around since long before I was born.

It was then time to go mingle around the bar and pool area prior to the dancing. We heard whoops of laughter coming from the pool area and I quickly went out to see what all the fuss was about. Floating around the pool were a couple of blow up toys - a sheep, a pair of boobs and a man and woman doll. It was unexpected and a laugh. No one knew who had put them there and it quickly spread that it must have been Cat. I believe the culprits Andy and Taylor had spread that rumor, something I didn't believe for a moment as if it had been Cat, it would have been blow up beers, not sheep and boobs! It was funny a little while later to see Tanya's two daughters swimming happily around the pool.

It was soon time for the party - I'll post about that later on...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Recap of Wedding Events - Part 2 - Getting Ready

Friday Night

On Friday afternoon Andy, Ali, Scott and I decided to take the scenic route up to the Fairview Inn. Mom, Dad, Wendy, Dave and a few close family and friends were meeting us there for a bbq buffet and relaxing evening.

The four of us were enjoying the drive, when Andy noticed there was an RCMP car behind us, and yes, we were pulled over as I had feared, due to my expired registration. The officer walked over to the car and asked Andy to see his driver's license, car registration and insurance. I was busy getting out the required car details when Andy turns to me and says 'well, get out your driver's license.' I smiled and said 'Andy, you are driving, he doesn't want mine!' Despite that rocky start we managed to get out of the ticket. Let's just say the mountie let us off as our first wedding gift. Phew...

So, Friday night was pretty relaxing. The meal was good and everyone seemed pretty laid back. At one point mom and I had dashed off to Zellers to try and get a bathing suit as I had forgotten to pack one... we managed to find a very small one and after a quick chat with the check out girl, dashed back to eat. After the meal Cat and I sat outside with Mom, Wendy and Alison while we watched Dave and Dad horsing around. Dad upset the bride and groom pumpkin display at one point, but it was quickly rectified! After the parents left we went quickly back into the bar, ordered up some drinks and hit the pool and hottub. The bathing suit I'd bought didn't fit, but that didn't stop me from donning a pair of shorts and going in sans shirt... We had a lot of laughs and for awhile there Taylor was providing the 'singing' entertainment... the only unfortunate part of the evening was that the bar closed at 10, and although we stocked up before hitting the hot tub, we soon ran out of booze... (no one had thought to hit the liquor store - which was probably for the best anyway.)

Saturday Morning

Early Saturday morning we got up and went downstairs for a delicious and fufilling breakfast. Everybody was in high spirits (no hangovers due to the 10 p.m. cut offand after everyone had finished eating Taylor took Andy off for what was supposed to be my last sighting of him until the wedding ceremony.

The girls and I (Dawn, Tawny, Stacy and Shannon) headed off to town to try and find me a hairdresser. I had stubbornly refused a 10 a.m. appointment the night before as I thought it was too early, hell I wasn't getting married until 4! We hit the mall first and after not having any luck, shopped in Reitman's where Shannon bought a new outfit. For some reason the sales girls couldn't believe we were out casually shopping on my wedding day. After leaving the mall to try a few salons out across the street, who should we bump into, but Andy and Taylor - so much for hiding out in smalltown Nova Scotia.

I finally managed to get my hair curled at (if you can believe this) First Choice. It was over and done with quite quickly and only cost nine bucks. Surprisingly it actually didn't turn out too badly. Owell, beggars can't be choosers and it was better than doing it myself, which I had originally planned.

We then moved on back over to Zellers as Dawn (after buying a bottle of Newfie Screech while at the liquor Store)had decided that the English relatives needed to be screeched in at the reception that night. So off we went in search of a stuffed cod and a sou'wester. These two items ended up being a pair of big rubber boots and a small pink fish (from Cat in the Hat). Either way, they would do the job. While I was having my selection rung thru, I heard a shout from another till 'Hey what are you doing shopping here on your wedding day?' Lo and behold it was the cashier from the night before! She then proceeded to tell everyone in the vicinity how impressed she was with how relaxed a bride I was.... small town NS eh???

Getting Ready Posted by Hello

Well we got back to the Inn around 12/12:30 and I proceeded to go find Cat to collect my dress from her room. At this point the girls split to get ready and Hunter went to join the boys and Ali who were down in the pool. Cat and I proceeded to sit in my room and paint my nails... how exciting... we could hear the laughs and shouts from below and every now and then went to watch thru the window. At one point Cat decided that we needed some enjoyment of our own and took off downstairs... she promptly returned with 2 beers each! Does she now how to make me feel better or what?

Dawn showed up at one point wearing a big scary mask with an a massive amount of grey, straggly hair. She then sat in our bathroom window and waited for someone down in the pool to notice. It didn't' take long. (No one knew who it was until the next day). My friends are so - well refreshing and fun!

One last drink... Posted by Hello

Throughout the last few hours leading up to the wedding my room was often full of my friends and family (female ones of course with the exception of Gavin and Glen at a later point). I had no problems seeing my aunts and cousins and it wasn't until I was about to get dressed that I finally said no more visitors unless Roisin or Darla were to arrive. Mom made it back up around 2:30 anxious to help me dress and at that point we cracked a bottle of champagne. (Roisin and Hanna were with us by this point.)I have to say, I was still not what you'd call nervous or stressed. I was in the bathroom fixing my headpiece with Tawny when I heard someone else come in and asked Tawn who it was. Her reply? 'Some woman'. I looked around the corner and it took me a moment to realize it was Darla (Tawny had only met her once, briefly). I ran out and hugged her so hard... until that point I had not shed a tear, but seeing her there finally (we weren't sure she could make it) was such a happy relief I couldn't help it... I was getting ready to marry Andy and I was surrounded by my sisters, my mom and my very closest friends. My circle was complete.

A moment with mom... Posted by Hello

A few last pictures, a few last gulps of the champagne and we were ready to go... Mom and the others went to find their seats. My sisters were with me as Missy took me down the staircase to where my dad was waiting...

(part three to come much sooner than usual!)


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Recap of Wedding Events - Part 1 - The Stag/Stagette

Andy and I had agreed from the start that we wouldn't be having individual stag nights as its something that neither one of us was interested in. We also thought it would be a good idea for those who hadn't met each other to have a chance to do so before the wedding on Saturday.

I never thought that I'd be having this kind of stagette, considering I was always the one that was so into throwing the biggest and wildest ones for all my friends. I used to want the stagette where I could wear the t-shirt with the 'buck for a suck' candies stuck all over it more than I ever wanted a wedding...

Anyway, on the Thursday night before the wedding Andy and I set off down to the Alehouse with Tawny & Stacy to meet up with a group of friends (Taylor was picking Dawn up along the way)...

getting started Posted by Hello

We ended up getting a back room at the Alehouse which was really nice as it gave everyone a chance to talk openly and catch up. I was so happy to see friends I hadn't seen in awhile and for Andy to finally get to meet Annette and her brother Jeff and his wife Jaime. I was really happy that evening and grew even more excited when Catherine turned up with her new beau Hunter, along with her brother and his wife. At this point some of our party left and we moved downstairs. After having a few drinks we left the Alehouse to move somewhere a little more exciting (Pogue Fado's).

Hunter and the 'dirty girls' Posted by Hello

Andy and Taylor left at this point to go pick Andy's sister Ali and her boyfriend Scott up at the Delta. Dawn and my sisters and I used this time to get to know Cat's man a little better, and we were thrilled with his dry sense of humour.

feeling the love Posted by Hello

Andy and Taylor turned up with Ali and Scott, who then proceeded to try and catch up with rest of us in terms of liquor intake. Pictures were being snapped left right and center and before we knew it, we were chillin out on the dance floor. Cat even managed to get Andy dancing, a rarity in itself.

getting crazy Posted by Hello

I can't even remember some of these photos being taken and I wasn't even as drunk as I typically would have been at previous stagettes...

looks like fun... Posted by Hello

I will say though that it was a relaxed, enjoyable night with no one getting too carried away, something that might have been likely to happen if the girls had gone solo. I'm no fool and I know that some of us are a force to be reckoned with while drunk... eh Dawn, Cat?

Stacy of course didn't drink to much as she was going to be the driver that night. I guess she'd do anything to get to drive my car... even put up with her drunk sisters and brother-in-law to be.

While speaking to Hunter at the Split Crow the Tuesday after the wedding, he informed me that Andy's and my idea to have a joint party was a great one. I have to agree... it was really fun.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Return of the Newlyweds

We boarded the plane last night at approximately 8:05, after having just enough time to swig down one last Keith's beer. It was hard for me to say goodbye to Mom and Stacy at the airport, and I know they were feeling the same. I was experiencing some trepidation as I was not sure if they would let us bring our very large portfolio case avec artwork we were given for the wedding. We made it through check-in, security and then on to the plane with it and breathed a sigh of relief - only to be told by a female flight attendant at the back of our section that we could not keep it on board as it was too large to fit anywhere safely. Andy was very annoyed when he had to turn it over to the First Attendant.

(I'd noticed when we were boarded we were to have some very friendly, very camp male attendants in our premium seating section, which always makes a flight more enjoyable.)

I only had two questions when we were informed that it would have to be sent down to cargo. I tearfully asked the Chief Attendant if I could at least get my two smaller pictures out of the case, and would they please, please mark it as fragile before packing it off to cargo. He told me to go forward and get the smaller pictures from another attendant who was obviously very moved by my pleas to take care of my 'very fragile wedding gift', as a few minutes later I was informed by the chief Attendant that they were going to break the law for us and put it in the emergency stores closet. I turned to see the other attendant giving me the thumbs up from the front of the plane. My tears quickly turned to a very grateful smile.

The flight was uneventful and the time passed quickly. I was a bit nervous to be going back through Gatwick Immigration but had no worries as the Immigration Officer was apparently very bored with the whole process and basically waved me through, now that I am officially married to Andy.

We then collected our large amount of luggage and headed for the car rental agencies. Luck was not with us as we had a little wait for a car, only to be told that Andy couldn't drive as he didn't have the 'paper' portion of his license with him (another quirk about British law - he had his actual plastic license with him afterall). Next thing I know, I'm turning over my license and credit card (they will only take the CC of the driver) and was given the keys to the rental. I was a little curious as to why they would give a driver with a non-British license the keys so easily, but hey who am I to try and figure out these very different laws.

I was a little tired and wasn't expecting to drive, but hey, we needed to get home and at that point we just weren't up to lugging everything to the train station. Walking with Andy to the car I was thinking of how it was going to be strange to drive an automatic again as that's usually what you get with a rental, but wait, I'm in England now, and you have to special request and automatic. Leaving Gatwick I was very pleased with myself for having made myself learn to drive a standard so long ago.

The drive home seemed to pass very quickly as well - we only stopped for one break and made it here to the house by 1:00 p.m. our time. We've had a nap today and the jet lag isn't so bad.

I intend to spend this week preparing my resumes for work and giving you all a full report of our trip home to NS for our wedding. So stay tuned.....

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Well Here We Go...

It's just after nine on Friday night and Andy and I have just got back from running a few errands. I am now waiting for Tawny's call from the airport so they can let us know they are on their way to the house here in Beaverbank so I can then order some May Garden for us. Yummy.

We got in on Monday (from Toronto) and it's been a whirlwind ever since. I haven't seen everyone yet that I've wanted to, but I knew that this might happen this week anyhow, not with so much to do, however there is always tomorrow evening! I did get into Saint Vincent's today and got to see so many of my old pals from work and it was so nice, especially since I don't get a chance to see many of these people on off time.

The weather so far has been beautiful but very crisp. The forecast for Saturday is not very good either but I'm telling myself that even if its raining we will still have a fantastic day - the Inn is so beautiful that we could get a number of very nice photos. I just always wanted a lovely fall day for my photos, so please, everyone cross your fingers!

Well - tomorrow Dave, Wendy and Alison & Scott fly in from TO. Cat and Hunter get in tonight (along with Tawny and Taylor) and the newfie relatives get here Friday morning. This wedding is really getting underway.

I will hopefully get a chance to blog my experience in much further detail in the not to distant future. The next time I write I will be a married woman - and to an Englishman no less!

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad's birthday - he is somewhere on the road, (he just left Tawny's last night) and I'm not sure when he's finishing this trip. I only know that he will be home by no later than Tuesday, in time for my wedding.

My relationship with my father has been a tumultuous one over the years. As a young child it was really good - dad did a number of fun things with us (I was reminded of a few forgotten things Tawny has listed over at Locobellatuna). I remember he used to take us to the field and fly this kite we had with us... It was yellow with two bright white eyes and a long red tail. Kites usually come with a certain amount of string and a small little plastic handle... not ours. Ours had to have the handle of a broomstick because Dad had added so much extra string that a little plastic handle could never have supported it. Our kite used to fly so much higher than anyone else's - it was just a speck sometimes. Dad often used to have to help me and my sister hold it as it was hard to control with the kite being so high.

When my teenage years hit, it became very rocky between my father and I. Sometimes he had some ridiculous ideas that I just couldn't conform to, but I would say a lot of it was that we both had the same stubborn will to never give in. And boy could we shout. My poor mother hated this and finally, after years of it, she finally asked me to start agreeing with him just for the sake of peace. So at the ripe old age of 19 I did. I must say though, thru all this he diligently helped with my maths as well, how he had the patience with that, I'll never comprehend.

In my early 20's my dad and I got on reasonably well, however there were a few hurts here and there, even a few requests on his behalf for me to move out. Me being the stubborn girl I was, of course I didn't - I told him I'd stay home as long as I could just to annoy him! (I think 30 was punishment enough!!!)

Once I passed my mid-twenties and had established myself with a half-decent career and most of my siblings were gone, Dad and I actually began to talk to each other a lot more. We seemed to get along pretty well and I enjoyed our much easier relationship. There had been a time in the past when I would groan upon pulling into the driveway to see his van parked there as I never knew what his mood would be...

Although my dad can be difficult, stubborn, self-absorbed, grouchy, etc. he can also be very loving and level headed and sometimes, believe it or not, pretty cool. I remember one time he came to me and asked 'Is that your bottle of wine hidden in the cold room' 'No', was my honest reply, and with a giggle 'I think its Sandra's'. His pretty calm response 'Well you'd better to tell her to hide it somewhere else before your mother finds it'. Not what I had been expecting.

I remember when Tawny moved to BC - we all stood at the airport clinging to her - I was a bit in awe to see my dad crying so much, right along witht the rest of us - it was very touching. When I left for my first (but unsuccessful) move to the UK last August I knew dad was sad but he left the departures lounge to go sit in the car... maybe he didn't want another scene like when Tawny left... I thought for a brief moment that maybe he didn't feel as close to me. Either way I was a bit relieved as its not easy to see your father cry. The next day while I was sitting in Gatwick Lock up wondering what was to be my fate, I was summoned to the phone. I picked it up to hear my dad's voice. As soon as he heard my voice telling him I was ok, he started crying. My big, strong dad was heartbroken. When I got home that night on the plane I could see the emotional turmoil both my parents had been thru...

My next journey to the UK in December was uneventful and I reached Andy's side with no problems. We were sitting in the Coffee Shop and I was trying to sort out my emotions and get myself together enough to call home. I knew both of my parents would be worried until they had heard from me, and Dad had told me he'd be up to go to work, but I thought I would wait until at least six a.m. There was no need to -Andy's cell phone rang and it was my Dad... he choked out on a sob that he couldn't wait, he had to know I was ok. He then said that he was so relieved to know that I was there with Andy and how happy he was for us. Needless to say I couldn't talk myself thru the tears.

Throughout my teenage years and into my early twenties I used to wonder about the depth of my father's emotions... I wonder no more. Although he doesn't show his feelings often, they are well and truly there.

Next week I will be getting married to Andy. My dad has told me that he wants to walk with me down that isle. I don't know why I was a little surprised at first (maybe I thought he wouldn't' want to be in the spotlight) but he is my dad afterall, so why wouldn't he want to?

My father is a good man and I love him, especially on this very special day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Time Grows Even Shorter

Well - Four days until we leave for Toronto! On Monday next we will be in Halifax and will be down to the last five days before the wedding. I have pretty much sorted out what needs to be sorted, save for the music thing. I think the wedding music itself will be pretty modern. As for the party - well that's up to the DJ and what the guests request. I just hope there is a good mix. I'm leaning more towards not having a so-called 'first song/dance' as I don't really want to dance in front of everyone to a slow song, I was hoping more for something upbeat that everyone could join in with, however Andy is now saying he won't 'dance', not to fast music anyway... so perhaps the best thing to do is just get the party going with some upbeat music!

Trading Spaces Versus Changing Rooms

I was never what you'd call a big fan of Trading Spaces while at home. Every now and then I would watch a show, but usually just grew impatient to see the end result and what the neighbours would think of their new space. Although sometimes the designers had neat ideas, sometimes they were just plain awful. One thing I have noticed with watching the UK Version - Changing Rooms, is that the people changing rooms don't let the designers get away with as much as they do in the US Version. I was watching it this morning and found myself feeling bad for the designer, something I rarely found myself doing with the US version. These two women were just knocking everything the designer was coming up with, and her ideas weren't actually too bad. But I guess the people next door know the person who's room they are re-decorating much better... I vote for Changing Rooms.

PS - I like the host of Changing Rooms much better as well.

Friday, September 24, 2004

I fear I'm addicted...

Stacy sent me a link to a new Games site after I had requested the Tetris link... turns out its got Pacman on it and I seem to spend a lot of time playing it. I find myself trying to score as many points as I can and thus win an extra pacman before moving on to the next level and often end up frustrated, thus going back for more. Addicted I tell you! I don't understand why today's kids need all these violent and abusive games... not when there is Pacman! It takes me back to such a long time ago... God what was it we even played this game on beside the one in the arcade? Atari??? While looking for pacman icons I came across one with teeth and what does it make me think of - PacMan Cereal - that was good stuff too - I don't suppose they still sell it?

A Weekend of Birthdays

Today Alex is 12 and we are lucky enough to have him this weekend. We celebrated at Pizza Hut and he is now happily upstairs playing the games we bought for him on the PS2... Connor is with him and you'd barely know they were here. We plan to make the most of this last weekend with them before we head out to Canada. Tomorrow we pick Tasha up around noon before heading over to Andy's mom's for Claire's birthday party (Andy's sister). We are having cake for both Claire and Alex. Tomorrow night Andy and I are off to the Mill House for our friend Paul's birthday. I like the Mill House and am so looking forward to enjoying a delicious meal - I've been saving up all week, tonight I only had a salad bar at Pizza Hut!

Since I haven't Meme'd In Awhile...

The Weigh it Is

How would you describe your everyday clothing style? Since I'm not working, relaxed and comfortable - jeans and tee's.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?My black Ralph Lauren 3/4 length Tee and my pink polka dot boy shorts & matching tank from Victoria's Secret.

What type of clothing do you avoid the most? Why? Clothes that reveal my stomach and tops that you can't wear a bra with - these reasons are probably self-explanatory.

Does your weight influence the way you shop? Sadly my weight influences almost everything in my life, but definitely how I shop - I don't have the sort of figure that can get away with wearing anything.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

A New Week

Well things have quieted down and are pretty much getting back to normal. I'm a little dissapointed with the level I let my stress take me to, especially since I've ended up with an outbreak of stress rash on my shoulders that will take a week or two to calm down - yeah, just what you want before your wedding. I have however been to the Doctor and all is going to be ok.

In reading over what I had wrote on Monday, I must say, boy did I sound down and out. And I was for a couple of hours. But everything has been sorted out and the kids are happier. Although Andy is starting to realize that Tasha was better off going home, I think he still misses her, which is understandable. I will say at this point that after reviewing what I had written about not being heard didn't really come across right. The only times I actually get told they are his children to worry about is when I'm letting it get me really stressed or if there is something I really disagree with in regard to punishment. I know that these comments are made a)to try and help and b) because each person believes in different ways to sort out disobidient kids. These comments have never come from Andy - they come from our mothers. Andy and I usually talk things out and he often takes my advice because, well let's face it - it makes sense ;)

Anyway... for now things are back to normal. We saw all three kids last night and they are fine.

Time Grows Short

Well - just over a week before we board that plane that will bring us back to Nova Scotia. Just over two weeks before Andy and I become Husband and Wife in front of all those we love!!!! I do believe that I am finally beginning to get excited! I'm pretty calm about most things because no matter what happens (or doesn't) we will be surrounded by loving friends and family and so long as we are able to get married, eat some fine food and have a good party, that is all that matters. The RSVP list is firming up and it looks like the numbers will be 75-80, which is lovely number.

I'm really excited to see so many people again, all those who I saw while I was back home in the summer, those relatives that are coming from far away, and of course Cat and her man who are flying in from Colorado! Its been a year too long since she and I last saw each other!

I was also thrilled to get the fantastic news yesterday that my dear friends Jeff and Jaime Brown are expecting their first baby!!! Whooo-hoo! I can't imagine a better set of parents-to-be! It was great to get some happy news this week!

So... I have a few busy days ahead of me with trying to sort and pack. I've been managing my weight and think I'm actually going to try and get my ass out for a run, something I have not done in a LONG time...