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

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Just When You Want It The Most...

Our computer is constantly refusing to load and is continually shutting itself down, so unfortunately I am unable to write about the fantastic time we've had in Greece... I fully intend to do it, and will try from work (where I am now) if I get a chance, but as this is highly unlikely I fear it may be another week. It depends on what the problem is with the damn thing. I just hope its not the hard drive. Andy will be home Friday to take a look at it and hopefully it is something he can rectify.

I did manage to download some pictures to my yahoo account so if you want to have a looksee, just click on My Photos in the sidebar. There are three albums so far, but believe it or not I still have a few more to add. This is one of the main reasons I want to blog that entry from home - pictures look so much nicer and add to the effect.

So, until later...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Greece Was Fantastic, And I will Blog Soon... But FIRST...

Yesterday morning we picked up our baby puppy Molly. She was everything we'd hoped she'd grow to be... Beautiful, confident, playful. We watched her frolick happily with her brothers and sister before taking her away. As joyous as I was to have her, I still felt bad to take her away from her family.

Let's play

The hour and a half journey home by car was uneventful. Molly moved between my lap and the front seat floor and closed her eyes off and on. She only drifted to sleep just as we were coming in to town.

Our Baby

She settled into her new home very quietly and spent most of the afternoon sleeping. Alex had no idea we were bringing her home and when he walked in from school he didn't notice her straight away. When he did, there was absolutely no stopping the grin on that boy's face. It's made him one happy kid and for this I am happy.

Getting Sleepy

Last night Molly was quiet although she ate, drank and did her business so I was relieved to recognize that she wasn't too stressed out. We went to put her to bed in the kitchen but after five minutes of her crying my big, strong husband (who was adamant she would be sleeping in the kitchen) decided we should move her into our room. Alex asked if he could have her for the night but as she is still a wee puppy we told him it was best if she slept with us as he would have a very broken sleep.

Sleepy Girl

How right we were! Let me tell you - its almost like having a human baby! We placed her bed down on the floor at the foot of our bed and got her settled for the night. I was awake off and on all night listening for her and finall at 4:30 a.m. she woke us up to go out for a wee... I was so pleased about this (her not weeing inside) that I had no problem taking her out. Needless to say that she is basically trained and we've only had one accident in over 24 hours. Not too bad for a 10 week old pup. I finally got her settled after two trips outside and a bit of 'play'. You can't tell a baby dog that its 5:00 a.m. and time to sleep. However she did settle quickly and as Andy was up at 6:15 he happily took her downstairs with him when he got up. It was so sweet to see my strong man pick up this little pup and cuddle her on the way out of the room. We are definitely all in love.

Molly's Bed

Today she has come on in leaps and bounds and is much more settled and relaxed. She's gotten her playful ways back and both Alex and I have been enraptured by her all afternoon and evening. She has just gone to sleep this minute. As I look at her I can't express how much love I feel for her already. It's hard for me to believe that she is actually ours and I will have her to love and take care of for the rest of her life. She is really and truly a big responsibility but I'm so glad to finally have her - I've been waiting my whole life for her. What with Andy, his children and now Molly, I feel that my life is full.

Welcome home Molly.

Sunday, June 12, 2005



One Week


See ya when we get back!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Better Late Than Never Post

OK... As Andy and I leave for Greece on Sunday I suppose I'd better get on with my last post re Stacy's visit. I'd say I've saved the best for last.

Driving to Glasgow was a rather enjoyable experience. We chatted and sang along to music most of the way while taking in some gorgeous scenery. Stacy was well pleased to pass a farm that was smack in the middle of the motorway somewhere between Leeds and Manchester. She couldn't believe that the owner wouldn't sell up when they were putting the motorway in, and as a result they just built right around him... it is funny to see the sheep grazing in his field. Ironically enough, the camera was in the trunk so she wasn't able to take a photo. Like I said to her 'Anyone wants to see this one, they are just gonna have to get themselves over here!'

We made it into Glasgow center with only a few wrong turns and actually made it to Shawlands (Val's suburb) an hour past our ETA. Stacy was bound and determined we find it without help so we did.

Val of course had the wine chilled and cracked it open within ten minutes of our arrival. Her kids were lovely and Lori of course was still excited to see me after all this time. Val's sister Merril was there as well which was good as I'd not yet met her.

The evening was spent catching up and steadily drinking. Stacy unfortunately wasn't keen on the wine and if Val can't get her hooked, I dare say no one can. So she stuck to Wicked.

There is a photo here of me holding the baby Luke. I couldn't get enough of him while he was sleeping so peacefully. I even rang Andy and repeatedly told him how lovely the babies were... Unfortunately I can barely remember this... it was only upon reflection that I wondered how Val could entrust me to hold her little boy when I was in such a state, but then again, she wasn't any better. Thank God Stacy and Merril had the gumption to stay fairly sober.

Happily Tipsy - Due in part to both baby and wine...

I woke at four in the morning with a thirst equivalent to a lost soul in the desert. My tongue felt like it had sprouted fur and I croaked out 'Good God, not again' After you have drank so much most memories from the previous nights are 'fuzzy' it becomes old habit the 3rd or 4th (or tenth)time. I wasn't worried of course as I normally would have been 10 years ago, as I knew we were safe in the house and I was amongst true friends. Anything stupid I did would be forgiven. Its been a long time since I woke up feeling that way and since it was a long time coming, I've forgiven myself! I of course woke Stacy and we had a good giggle.

The next morning was Stacy's 20th Birthday. We went out for lunch (Stacy and I wouldn't drink of course, but that didn't stop Val and Merril from enjoying a glass of wine) and Stacy had some cards to open and Merril and Val had kindly arranged a birthday cake. Merril then comes out with 'Are we still off to Edinburgh on the train tomorrow?' Come again? When did we plan that I wondered. They immediately refreshed my memory, and true to form we had discussed going to Edinburgh the previous evening.

Unfortunately, the next morning when we were due to set off it was raining, and Merril wasn't feeling so well, so Val dropped Stacy, Lori and I off at the station (she was staying back as the baby might prove to be too much). I happily brought our train tickets as Stacy was once again doing the Amazing Race comparison.

It was 12:10 and a train was due to depart and 12:15... we raced to the automatic machine that takes your ticket and lets you through only to have Stacy neglect to carry Lori, thus ensuing her getting stuck between the computerized swinging doors. We wouldn't make that mistake on the way back.

Edinburgh is the most amazing city I think I've been in to date. What a history and what scenery! Unfortunately we left our digital camera behind and had to buy a throw away. I can't be bothered to scan them so again, Edinburgh is something you will just have to see for yourself. The pictures don't do it justice anyway. So... we toured around the shops and had some lunch before making our way to the castle - what a fantastic view, but the castle itself was a little bit disappointing. We did get to see the Scottish Crown Jewels (I didn't even know they had Crown Jewels) and although they were lovely, they were nothing as spectacular as the English CJ.

After the castle we popped into some more shops before heading back to catch the train. We made sure to buy lots of Edinburgh Rock, a candy that is very sweet and not to my taste but makes good souvenirs.

Sexy Babes

Our last evening in Glasgow found us happily enjoying a few more drinks with Val. Stacy and I were sitting at the dining room table looking into the flats across the street when Val asked if we could see the guy one floor down that walks around naked. He was there, sat on his couch, but he had shorts on. Val said it'd been awhile since he'd walked around with nothing on, so maybe he'd wizened up. Evidently not cause within moments my little sister managed to catch sight of him buck naked during one of her furtive glances over at his window. It was funny. Val and I missed it, and although he was no Adonis, it would have been funny to see. We all kept glancing over throughout the night but apparently his one moment of unihibited freedom was only meant for Stacy's viewing pleasure - ack!

His is the flat to the right with the light on...

Just Like 'Friends'

The next morning we woke up to rain once again, but this time it was ok as it matched our mood. I don't think either of us wanted to go, and Lori certainly wasn't ready for us to go as the waterworks started once she realized we were leaving. We had a doubtful moment when the car wouldn't start, but that was only due to it not being driven for 3 days - it just needed some gas... So once we began our goodbyes, poor little Lori started to cry. I don't think she was expecting it so soon, and was thinking we were joining them at playgroup. Its always hard saying goodbye to her as she is such a lovely little girl - truly my little pal.

So... leaving from playgroup rather than Val's street threw Stacy a bit off kelter with her map reading. Val had pointed out another route, and I tried to point out the street to Stace that she was looking for off the map, but she wasn't having any of it... she wanted to navigate her way out of the city using her handydandymap. Within minutes she had me swearing like a sailor. We were yelling at each other quite profusely when she recognized the street we were on was in fact on her map. We quickly burst into giggles and promised not to get so wound up again. So, although the directions were very exact, until you've driven in the city of Glasgow, you won't realize that even with an exact map, you still don't know where in the hell your going as the street layout is just, well, fucked up. We ended up taking the scenic route out of Glasgow due to a little bit of map reading from the Atlas and a bit of intuition and an hour later we were safely and happily back on the motorway to England.

I was so proud of the two of us for making that trip and will always, always look back on that road trip as one of my absolute favorites. I think that she and I make a good team.

And that basically puts an end to stories avec Stacy... I miss her still and sometimes find it hard to believe that she was really even here. But she was and it was great while it lasted.

Here's to next year Stace!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Stacy's Visit - Nottingham & Chatsworth House

For Stacy's last full weekend with us we had planned to journey down to Nottingham for some shopping and a night out with Andy's sister Alison. Originally Alex was supposed to be at his mother's thus leaving us free for an adult night out. However things didn't go to plan and Alex's mom sent him home after his only being with her for 12 hours (overnight). What could we do? We packed the poor mite a bag and brought him along with us.

The shopping was pretty good as Stacy and I got lost in H&M with an armload of clothes to try on. After nearly an hour of waiting Ali, Andy and Alex wandered across the road to a Coffee Shop to patiently await for word that we were indeed finished and ready to leave the store.

We returned to Ali's flat to prepare for our evening on the town. We were going to a pizza house for supper and then Alex and Andy were going on to a movie while Ali took us gals around the hot spots of Nottingham.


We started drinking Baha Rosa at the flat before proceeding out for the evening. The pizza was good but the bars were even better. Stacy has found a new drink in England, a blue cooler that looks and tastes like melted blue freezie entitled 'Wicked' however that evening I was surprised to see my sister try different drinks made from vodka. In one bar that was playing tremendously loud music she fell in love with a frozen cocktail called Watermelon Crush. I couldn't believe how quickly she drank it down and thought perhaps she was more inclined to alcohol than I had originally believed. Quite frankly it was a bit too strong for me! Either way we enjoyed that pub but moved on to the next one (Ali wanted to show Stacy a few bars before our night had to end prematurely).

As we were moving on to an underground bar, we passed a high-rise building where some fellows high up on a balcony were asking us to give them a smile and bellowing for us to 'come up'. I was completely shocked to hear my sister-in-law reply 'show us your cock'! Now Stacy swears she said something even more surprising, but I will leave it at that. Normally my sister in law is quite, well... not like that. She's small and compact and although demure isn't a word to describe her, let's just say I'd never heard her talk that way. I guess she is a bit of the firecracker her father has been saying she is! And to think I was always a bit worried to say something out of order and risk offending her... not anymore!

Anyway, as we moved along the road we ended up encountering another bunch of boys - two of whom were in headlock. One was shouting at us to come have a crack at his head as he was a policeman. I laughed and replied that I couldn't possibly, as I was a cop myself. God, I won't go into where that led, but it was funny. Yup, that's me... A Canadian member of the NYPD. Here I was, after all these years of putting people on and coming up with silly fake accents doing the same thing in England, yet the accent is real. Go figure. Stacy was quite amused that one of the 'drunks' was sober enough to think that she and I must be sisters as the resemblance was 'scary'. As amusing as these blokes were, we had to move on. We managed to make it into one last bar before the call came from the boys. It was short night out, but yet it was sweet.

The next morning we got up and left Ali to go visit a stately home in the Peak District. Andy had suggested taking me earlier in the year however I wanted to wait for Stacy's visit. I'm glad I did... she was in as much awe as I was over this fantastically beautiful mansion. The inside of the house was gorgeous but it was the grounds that were the show stealer. It was terrific to have Alex with us as we were even more inclined to act like big kids (something that comes quite easily when my sisters and I get together).

In the middle of the grounds was a huge maze that we weren't expecting.

The Maze

Upon arriving at the entrance to the maze, the four of us immediately devised a plan to split up into pairs to see who could try and find the middle first. Sadly Stacy and I were trying to place ourselves in our own episode of The Amazing Race... It was hilarious right from the start - Andy and I practically knocking the other maze-goers out of our way in our quest to beat Stace and Al to the middle. However it wasn't too long before we met with what seemed to be every dead end, and ultimately a lone Stacy. Alex was long gone and nowhere to be seen. After we'd tried for about the third time Andy and I gave up and went back out to try and find Alex. We should have guessed that he had found the center. Stacy at first didn't want to be shown where the center was, however after another shot or two, and a bucketful of sweat, we let Alex have a head-start and then ran after him into the middle. He was proudly sat under the lone tree trying to feign boredom. What a kid. I don't know what the rules are on the AR, however I don't think your partner is meant to leave you behind in your quest to the finish line, eh Stace?

The Winner

We took loads of pictures, and I've downloaded some for your viewing pleasure here.