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

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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...

Friday, September 10, 2004

Happy Birthday Tuna!

Today is my sister Tawny's birthday - she turns 29 - one more year to enjoy the roaring 20's. I know she will be treating herself to all the treats that she deserves on this day - that is not to mention all the treats she will be getting from her husband and friends. I know that one very special birthday gift arrived at Pearson Airport today - Dawn. I hope they have a fantastic time at the Toronto Film Festival this week - how I envy them their fun!!!
I have a srong fear that my blog has died... I had a full report of my daily activities on Sept. 8th, however with that post everything seemed to go wrong. I'm just trying to sort something out and see if I can get this bastard working!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

This is a test - my blog is acting badly and I don't know why!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I Gotta Get A Helmet

I just got back from an hour long bike ride and let's just say, well I'm worn out. I didn't really know what the plan was when I set out, I just knew that it was a sunny day and I needed some exercise. I ended up traveling thru little villages, only one really familiar, thus ending up, well a little lost - but only momentarily. After looping around a village called Tetney twice I sorted myself out and got back on track. The only trouble with the whole route was that I found myself on a little track of highway. Although the highway has a cycle lane, it didn't give me comfort knowing I had no helmet on my head. I'm sorry, but I can't be like 75% of the British population and not wear one.

Am I Coming or Going?

Last Friday I happily picked Carol Anne up to head out shopping for the rest of my wedding shower loot. As we made the turn from her street onto one of the queiter main ones we were chatting cheefully, so much so that while we were sat at a set of lights Carol Anne calmly breaks her line of speech and says 'Jode, your on the wrong side of the road!' OOOPS. We had a laugh and I corrected myself. That was my first blooper since coming back into the country. My second blooper? Monday morning I scraped the white paint off a post and on to our car while exiting the rather small driveway belonging to the physiotherapist (he works out of his house.) Now I'd made the exit no problem the week before, and this one was straight out, but I still goofed. I'm not used to marking up my car - I'm a pretty damn good driver, especially over here (despite what Mrs. McLaughlin thinks ;)- I'm almost over-cautious and I certainly stick to the speedlimits, which is a big change for me, its just getting used to such SMALL spaces over here - its enough to drive me nuts.

Weddings R Expensive & A Slight Pain in the Ass

Well - its one day less a month until Andy and I exchange our vows in front of our closest friends and family. Some ask me if I'm nervous. My reply - no, not really. I'm trying to look at it as a celebration of love - not just between Andy and I, but of everyone - our families and friends. Although I know this day will be special I'm having a hard time trying to get things sorted out. Hard to believe I'm sure, as this as I have a wedding coordinator, however there are still monetary issues to sort out, a few decisions to be made re music, flowers etc. which I'm having an extremely hard time with. Also I'm trying to firm up the response lists and food choices, soemthing that needs to be done by the end of this week, especially since Tawny is going to be AWOL over the next few weeks (she's happily going to be at the Toronto Film Festival with Tay and Dawn - lucky bitches). On top of all this Andy had made the suggestion that he'd like us to do our own vows. As lovely as that sounds, I don't think that's going to happen. I get stressed over the ordinary stuff, how the hell would I be able to come up with something that explains how my heart feels as well as sound unique? Very doubful but I suppose we'll see what happens...

Thursday, September 02, 2004

All's Quiet

Yesterday I took the boys back at 4:00 - last night we really noticed their absence - I kinda got used to having the them around. However it was nice to have some time alone with Andy last night. After eating our supper of stirfry, we went for an hour long bike ride, which we really enjoyed. Down on the riverfront a fellow was windsurfing with a large kite - I'd never seen that before. After we got back from bike riding we just relaxed before retiring for the night.

This morning I was up and out by 9:00 a.m. to take Wendy to physio and then we shopped and had lunch (I had a tomato/lettuce and bean salad with fruit salad for dessert - I'm trying extra hard this week with the old weight thing). I almost have to try and keep up with Wendy now, as her legs are working so well! Nothing much else going on except I met another one of my neighbours and she seemed very pleasant, something I'm grateful for as I'm so used to hearing about Tawny's odd neighbours.

Another delightful event occured while I was shopping with Wendy - while passing the bookstore, Ottakers I saw that Maeve Binchy has a new publication out that I have not yet read 'Nights of Rain and Stars'. That will certainly be in my shopping cart in the near future. Speaking of Maeve, I'm totally engrossed in a book now called The Lacey's of Liverpool by Maureen Lee. The only reason I picked it up was that it was on sale for £1 at £ Stretchers. It accompanied me all the way to Canada and back before I decided to start reading it - I now can't put it down. Its very much in the style of Ms. Binchy and I'll definitely be looking for more books by this author.

Mmmmmm... Burgers

I was very excited to purchase a burger pattie maker yesterday and today I happily made extra lean burgers that I too can cook and enjoy on our new BBQ!!! I can't believe how revved up I get over these little things, but boy was I looking forward to trying it out, I'm even more so anticipating the taste of the burgers! (The only thing that would make them better is if Tay would give me his secret receipe!!!!)

I bought the pattie maker at my favorite shop in Cleethorpes, a little boutique called La Cocina Cookshop. The women who owns it is a real sweetheart - she certainly has come to know me. Carol-Anne wants me to take her back there tomorrow, something I won't have a problem with as I still have some shower money to spend!!!