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.