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

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I Say... Was That A Spot of Snow, Old Girl?

Yesterday as I was driving Alex home from school it began to hail. It didn't last more than a minute and then was gone. It was a rather dark and cloudy day and we were just glad to get back into the warmth of the house. We were home for about 15 minutes when I looked out the window and had to do a double take for I could have sworn I saw snow. I was correct, however by the time we went to take another good look, it was gone. In light of the recent snowfalls that have been bombarding the good folk at home, I feel a bit selfish to say that I was very dissapointed to not have a snowfall worthy of pulling the sleds, or even boots, out for.

The Morning Post...

I've been enjoying hearing the drop of the mail onto the floor this past week as most days there has been a Birthday Card from my Canadian posse. Its great getting best wishes from those at home, either in the mail, via the internet, or over the phone. Today my friend CA took me out for a lovely lunch and gave me a beautiful boquet of pink and white flowers as she has to work tomorrow...(just in time as I've been feeling dreadful with flu and bronchitis all weekend). All this in spite of the fact that she and her husband and daughter are meeting the boys and I for dinner tomorrow night. Wendy is taking me out for lunch and then shopping so that I may pick something out that I like. I have to say, I don't mind about my birthday, even if it means older. I like it much better than Christmas, lol. No, seriously, although my husband has to be away for my birthday it will be a good day because I know I will still be surrounded by Andy's boys, my in-laws and dear friends, as well as receiving word from all my loved ones back home! Andy is taking me to The Pink Butterfly for a romantic birthday dinner on Saturday night. Its a little place that I've been wanting to go to since my arrival here and I'm definitely looking forward to some time alone with my husband...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Whose Fence Is It Already?

Ok... we have a fence that separates our block of houses from the Pub's parking lot right behind us. A few months ago one section had blown down in strong winds and the Estate Agency sent someone out to repair it (we all rent). They left one section un-repaired as its behind the house on our other side, saying that it was the responsibility of the guy next door to fix since he owns the property. Ok fine... we left it hoping he would fix it soon.

Here we are three months later and after some very strong winds the whole fence has blown down behind all four houses in the block that we live in, not counting the area that was never fixed by our neighbour. Kids are now running through our backyard and acting up, we are getting the bright lights of headlights shining into our house every evening from the pub, and we are all getting fed up with it. The Estate Agency has finally told us (after a dispute over who's responsibility it is to put the fence back up - theirs or the pub's) they will be sending someone out to fix it, but again, they can't do anything about the guy's fence on the other side of us. Its time likes these when we need a Tawny or Gary, lol!

I was talking to Julie next door and I suppose I will have to ask Simon (the guy on the other side) if he's going to do anything about his fence. I'm not looking forward to it but I think if I explain that its making us gals next door a bit uneasy to have all these people running through our yards late at night, it might help - who knows? He seems a nice enough guy, but I'm a bit weary of neighbours, especially when reading my sister's blog, lol. I still might just write him a note on a nice card....

Friday, January 14, 2005

Mi nombre es Jody, Yo soy de Canada...

And so begins Spanish lessons. Last night I eagerly grabbed a notebook and pen and set off to class with Wendy and Dave. The teacher, Ana, happens to speak Spanish as a first language and I was pleased to learn she comes from the Dominican Republic originally, as I have been there before. The class isn't really for beginners its basically a refresher course, however she thinks I will be fine as I know a few basic phrases. Yeah ok. I did alright with the 'my name is, where is stuff', but within the first hour my head began whirling around as she jumped to things like conjugating verbs! Wendy had previously warned me that this happens, and I figure it might be because Spanish is her first language. Maybe its not - who knows? I certainly have no experience of teaching a second language. I do believe that I will enjoy this class as she is a very easy-going woman. I think she is going to be a lot of fun!

The Shopaholic Series

I have finally just completed reading the first three books in the Shopaholic Series and am now almost finished the fourth, Shopaholic and Sister. I had heard about these books prior to moving to England, but have only just decided to read them recently. There was a little mix-up when I first went in search of these books as the titles in Britain are different from those in North America. Andy had tried to tell me there were more than four books (they were on my xmas list), but I was certain that there weren't. The confusion of course laid with the different titles. I caught on to this quite quickly as I've seen this happen with movies as well.

Any way, I'm digressing from my point. Although I love reading these books and am going through them at a very fast pace, I'm not finding them as funny as I've been told they are. Sure they have their quirky and amusing bits, sometimes I've even laughed out loud, but in actuality I find them a bit agonizing at times. Here is this girl who has no grip on reality whatsoever, she's making the most stupid mistakes ever and is constantly sticking her head in the sand to avoid the huge mess she ends up with. And time and time again she finds a way out of her mess with little repercussion, or ends up bailed out by someone else. When she does end up in a bind and obviously gets really stressed out or upset I find it hard to feel sympathy for her. Now in this last book her sister comes along and is one person that won't make allowances for her. She happens to be a spendthrift, and makes a lot of sense, but at the same time she goes a little over the top in the opposite direction. There is a scene in the grocery store where she tries to talk her sister out of buying a waffle maker because its an expense she can't really afford, which I was in total agreement with, however it was a bit bizarre when she ended up taking a box of bruised old bananas from the Manager just because they were free. Sorry, but unless I'm skint and there is no prospects of an income in the near future, I wouldn't be taking bruised bananas, not even if you can 'cut off the black bits'... UGGGH.

The sad reality of it is, is that there really are people out there who are in debt up to their eyeballs and just hide their credit card bills away without opening them in the hopes that they will disappear, or those that go out and buy something they don't really need (but want) rather than pay a bill. Its just sad and pathetic. I myself have made minimum payments on my bills from time to time so that I could spend my money on other things, things that I don't really need, even to the point of being further in debt. However I think that most of us have been guilty of this at some point in life, but to completely ignore your debt is just asking for trouble.


Q1: How has the advent of the Internet changed the way you get your daily news? Its been best for me due to my living circumstances i.e. email. It also lets me check on events that are taking place in Canada.

Q2: When you were younger, what were some things you dreamed about doing, and that you still think are possible to do today, but that you just haven't gotten around to doing or experiencing yet? Well I always dreamed of flying, but hey, that's never gonna come true is it? I did dream of travelling a lot, and although I've seen a few countries and am currently living on a different continent, I still dream about seeing so many other places. I think that together Andy and I will manage this. Learning to speak another language was something I always wanted to do, and I'm trying to achieve that on a small-scale level. Maybe someday I'll tackle the piano.

Q3: If you were forced to live on a deserted island for one year, what five things--aside from specific items of clothing--that you'd choose to bring? A toothbrush and toothpaste (for obvious reasons); My Watch (I don't imagine I'd be having to keep to any schedule, however I would like to know the time); A fishing rod/spear; Matches or lighter (all this is based on me being alone. I would have said a book first, but I'd have read it in the first 2 or so days so what would be the point?

Q4: Did any notable or high-profile person's death in 2004 have a dramatic or long-lasting affect on you? To hear of Christopher Reeves passing made me sad as I think he fought a long hard fight and didn't get to walk again, something he had wanted so desperately. However all those people who lost their lives in Asia hit me much much harder than any other one person in recent history (high-profile or not).

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Could this be the year???

Air Canada is having an incredible seat sale at the moment. Prices as low as $488 from Halifax International to London Heathrow. Do I want to come home again? You bet. Andy and I were talking though and with the new job, the wedding to pay for and our hopeful, delayed 'honeymoon' this spring, we think it would be better to wait and see about later in the year.

This means I won't see those of you at home for quite some time - Christmas possibly. This means that we are hoping someone will be able to get themselves over here. I have been living in England for over a year now, and have been home twice. I would so love to be able to show a loved one (friend or family) my home, to introduce them to my new family and friends, to show them the English countryside, the English pub life but most of all to have someone to stay in our very own home... Hopefully we will be able to work something out with someone before this seat sale ends on the 19th of January.

But hey, if not there is always Canadian Affair or Zoom... so we will see!

Oh, and did I mention that the weather over here in spring is absolutely glorius? Much better than in Nova Scotia (come to think of it, I think it goes straight from winter to summer). Today its kind of windy, however the sun is shining and the flowers in my mother-in-law's garden are already coming out... by the end of next month it will be even better. Already I'm only wearing my denim jacket when I go out, and in March/April it will be even warmer - just a light sweater! Not to mention that all the cute baby lambs will be jumping all over the hillsides... Its ever so pretty! LOL...

Monday, January 10, 2005

tomorrow is the Day...

Ok... so today didn't start off the way I had planned. Yes I kissed my husband good-bye as he left to go away to work for the week in Chester (England, not NS), I drove Alex to school for 8:15 and well, that was it.

I came back home and watched a half hour of TV before promptly falling back to sleep and not waking until 12 NOON. What a lazy ass I am.

This afternoon was a bit more productive:
Watched TV/Did dishes until three o'clock.
Went to pick Alex up for 3:05.
Went to La Cocina (my favorite kitchen store) to buy a spring form cake pan and egg separator.
Went to Tesco to buy groceries for the week.

Alex happily came along with me on my errands to assist.

So tomorrow will go as planned for today:

Get up and make Alex eggs for his breakfast.
Drop Alex off at school for 8:15.
Go to the GYM.
Eat a healthy lunch.
Make necessary phone calls to my employer to arranging meeting I was supposed to schedule.

Shouldn't be too hard.....

Alone Tonight

When I say alone, I mean in bed. For the first time since I've moved here, I will be sleeping without Andy. As Alex is with us for the time being, I'm not alone in the house which is nice (although I'd be ok with it as I'm not the sort to be afraid at night in my own house). However its going to be strange not having Andy by my side at night. I won't miss his snoring, but I will miss him.

So at the moment I'm cooking Alex his tea (dinner) and will heat mine up momentarily so we can enjoy dinner together. I think we will be baking a cake this evening and possibly playing a board game. I'm rather enjoying having him with us. His mother's loss is definitely our gain...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

New Beginnings...

This past year has had its ups and it has had its downs. I like to look back and think of all the positives that have taken place, rather than focus on the negatives.

1. I married the love of my life, the man who made many changes in his life to have me with him, and who I was willing to change my life to be with. He makes
it all worthwhile. This was done in the presence of our nearest and dearest.

2. My sister married the love of her life - her best friend - a man who treats my little sister like a queen, and rightly so.

3. Andy's and my relationship with the children has grown in strength, so much so that its doubtful it can now be broken.

4. My beautiful cousins became parents to two strong, gorgeous boys...

5. My family and friends are all healthy and well, for which I am very grateful as it has been a scary and sad year for us health-wise.

6. I begin work in this new year.

I don't really have goals for the New Year, other than these: To lose additional weight - this is always a goal for me so I'm not sure I really count it: Over the past two years it has been my goal to lose weight, and I have reached it each time. By the early autumn of 2004 I was the smallest I have been in way over a decade and and give or take five pounds, I maintain it. This year I again wish to lose a bit more.

Then there is always the money factor. Andy and I need to save money this year instead of spend it without much care. We have ambitions to possibly head to Greece, or some other exotic place, this spring, but if we haven't made a good start with saving, we will have to forgo it, even with the money we received for our wedding. I think we will chose the option to save!

In this new year I'm experiencing life with a 12 year old in the house (for more than a weekend). Alex, Andy's son, has been living with us since Boxing Day due to difficulties with his mom. He tried to go home once last week but only lasted one night - it once again became too much. I won't go into it, only to say that I don't blame him for losing respect for his mother and getting upset with her. How many times can a 12 year old take being called 'four-eyes' by his own mom - among other things. Sadly she has made no attempt to call him or bring him home. He misses her and his brother and sister but seems to be enjoying a quiet life with us. He is now eating again as his stomach has finally settled down now that he is not so stressed out. I think he is a lovely little guy to have around. Don't get me wrong, he has his trying moments like any other boy his age but his Dad and and I have a healthy and respectful relationship with him (as with the other two), as well as each other. We all work our concerns/issues out together. He is welcome to live with us here as long as he wants.

Oh and in regard to the court thing, just to keep you updated: The judge was very unimpressed with the request to find out my personal financial business and let her know in no uncertain terms that she has crossed a line. Only one question was not thrown out, but that is being dealt with by the lawyers. The judge did inform her that the financial aspect of this divorce will be over once and for all by March. Hopefully he is right. I truly want 2005 to be a year of new beginnings!