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

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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!)