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

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Monday, October 31, 2005

I was just finished my bath when there was a knock on the door. I hesitated, wondering if I should answer it in my sopping wet condition. After throwing on my bathrobe and wrapping a towel around my hair the knocking had become more persistent, so I figured I best make my way downstairs and find out who had such an urgent need to get me to open my door.

Somehow I had forgotten it was Halloween Night but my memory clued in as soon as my foot reached the bottom step. I could see no outline through the glass partition so assuming it was a small child I flung open the door. There was no one there. I looked around for a moment longer before closing the door. After ensuring that I did have a few treats for the next trick-or-treaters (we don't usually get many around this area, but its better to have a few treats on hand just in case) I headed upstairs to begin the long drawn out process of drying my hair.

I was about three stairs from the top when the knocking started again. I turned around to begin my descent, looking to see the outline of the goblin at my door. Nothing again. I opened the door more slowly this time and peered out. No one. I tentatively took a step outside, wondering if this was a nasty prank to get me outside thus ensuring an easy target for egging. I braced myself for the impact and when none came I opened my eyes and looked around. There wasn't a soul in sight. No kids were on the street. I also noticed at this time that there were no lights on in the surrounding houses. It looked like I had the street to myself. After checking around the corner of my house to make sure the dark crevices weren't hiding any tricksters, I went back in and closed my door. No sooner than it had shut when there came yet another knock. I stood there, rooted to the spot and just looked at the closed door. Two more successive knocks followed. I could here no other noise. No little giggles, no hushes to be quiet. I leant down and peered through the letter box just as another knock came.

There was no one there.

Hope your Halloween has some frights in store.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bag full of loot alright

This morning as I was cleaning out the kitchen drawers, I came across a party loot bag, took a quick peek inside and saw that there was still some good stuff left in it - i.e. candy and a toy streamer thing and figured it must be an old one of Connor's and gave it to him. I heard him pop the streamers and start reading the sayings on the little pack of love hearts before just as I asked him to come back into the kitchen and hold the bin bag open for me. It was then that he showed me something from the loot bag and asked me what it was. I absentmindedly told him I didn't know and told him to just throw it in the bag. When he left the room I glanced into the empty bag and looked at what he had discarded. It was a condom. The loot bag was from a Hen Night I'd been on back in July. Oooooops. I guess we should thank someone that he's still innocent, at least when it comes to these issues. In the clinic where I work boys not much older than him are coming in constantly asking for 'johnnies'.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

How to keep me smiling

Today Andy and Alex were going to be busy painting our living room and as I'm allergic to paint and Connor gets bored with the process, we decided to take ourselves off to the mall for a little bit of shopping. We came back around lunch time to see our living room transformed into a beautiful deep blush colour and on Friday when we have our new cream carpet laid (getting rid of the nasty green thing) our front room will be much improved. We want to keep it as minimalist as possible, however with all the business paraphenelia Andy has, and all the books I have, its a little difficult with the limited space. Anyway, I am digressing from my point. We came back to find A&A almost finished but still hard at work. They'd treated themselves to the chippie for lunch and as Molly was continuously trying to eat the paint Connor and I decided to take her with us in the truck for some lunch and a walk on the beach.

Just before leaving though, I had let Molly out to do her business. It was a bit of bad timing though, as a few idiots decided to set off a few fireworks. This is something quite common in England at this time of year due to the forthcoming Guy Fawkes celebrations on November 1st (a night when the community council hold a fireworks display but so do a multitude of people around town - some are obviously very keen to get started.). I found it pretty neat the first year I was here, to see a multitude of random fireworks exploding over the village, but it soon got tiresome and annoying. Anyway, some losers were setting them off today in broad daylight and happened to do so while I had Molly out in the back yard. I heard her petrified bark and was just heading toward the back door to let her in when I saw her hurtle herself straight at it. She must have been waist high in her desperation to get back inside. If this keeps up she's going to hurt herself. As usual when something frightens her i.e. vacuum, lawnmower, etc. she came straight in, went upstairs and hid under my bed. Alex had to drag her out so that we could get her in the truck.

Connor and the dog had a great time racing alongside the water and although it was overcast with a few raindrops, we weren't deterred. To see them having such fun was worth a few splatters.

Tonight, we just came in from seeing Tim Burton's new flick, The Corpse Bride and it received a thumbs up by all four of us. The paint is almost dried and although the scent is giving me a slight headache, by tomorrow all will be well.

The highlight of my day though came when Connor and I were shopping with my friend Carol-Anne and her little girl. We were at the checkout, the children happily 'assisting us' with our purchases when the gal ringing through my purchases grinned and said 'darling kids'. I just smiled. That's when Connor leaned into my hip, arm around my waist and said 'Yeah, but Madeline's not your child, I am'. Does it really get any better than that?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


We arrived in Venice Airport just after 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon. We were met with a sultry sun and the bus/boat to take us into Lido, a small Island off the main island of Venice. Lido, we were informed, is the only surrounding island that has vehicles on it.

The boat ride itself was uneventful and we both felt a rising anticipation to get settled into our hotel and head back out to the Boat Stop to catch a boat to Venice.

As we walked on to the boat, Andy was ahead of me and made his way to the front of the boat where he quickly sat down. I glanced at the signs behind his head and motioned for him to get up, telling him that he couldn't sit there as the sign was indicating 'no men', he turned round, looked at the sign, and stood to move. It was through laughter that I heard a lovely Italian gentleman telling Andy to 'sit' 'sit', that it was ok. The sign was a picture of a man with the red line through it saying no in four different languages. Next to it was a picture of a person sitting with yes (again in four different languages). Sorry but I couldn't help myself to that little trick.

It was shortly after five when we disembarked at the boat stop for Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square). The place was throbbing with people of all different nationalities and merchants selling their wares. A three piece band was playing as we made our way past Doges' Palace and on into the Square. It felt a bit surreal to say the least, to finally see the historically famous square that has been in countless films. Although the place was very crowded, I think the pigeons outnumbered humans by 3-1. There was a fellow standing there with seeds in his hands while at least 20 pigeons landed on him in the scramble for food. Andy and I decided to pass on this aspect of St. Mark's Square as neither of us was looking to get covered in pigeon droppings.

We walked around just taking it all in before stopping at a quaint little restaurant for an Italian Supper. I was dying to try a slice of pizza from all the little pizza houses we passed, but I was saving that for the next day. I ended up eating pasta and of course Tiramisu. It was devine. After eating we made our way up the side streets once again and did a little shopping. I couldn't help myself and selected a gorgeous soft pashmina that could be doubled as a scarf. I made only a half hearted effort to haggle with the guy over price, and got Andy to pay the man. We headed back to the boat-stop and then took a ride up the Grand Canal for a look at how the Aristocracy of Venice live. It was absolutely breathtaking.

After this we made our way back down the canal, out onto the bay, and then back to Lido. We quickly figured out that the boats are obviously run on the 'honour system' as we paid our fares but no one ever validated our tickets.

We had a restful sleep and after a breakfast of crossaints we made our way back into Venice. We decided to head to the other end of the Island, past the train station to the quieter and less touristy areas. It was lovely to browse the streets and shops amongst the locals who were out buying bread. We were drooling over the various ice-cream shops and bakeries. By 11 a.m. both of us were in short sleeves as it was just fantastically gorgeous out. We made way back to the Rialto Bridge (the busier and more expensive side of town) to grab a slice of pizza for lunch. I have never in my life tasted pizza this terrific. I was already dreaming about pizza for that night.

We made our way back across the Rialto as the further you walk away from St. Mark's Square it not only becomes less crowded, but the prices of wares are much cheaper. It wasn't long before we were stopping for ice-cream. The flavours were out of this world - I ended up with Tiramisu, Panacotta and some other chocolate flavourur. Scrumptious! Andy tried the Sorbet and Panacotta. Let's say that both of us weren't long in polishing our bowls off! We stopped at a little restaurantnt along one of the smaller canals for drinks (I had a bellini of course) and happily watched the Matre'd pat the pretty womens bums as they passed by.

After trying the proper Italian Bellini's I of course couldn't pass by a shop that was selling this tasty drink and bought 2 bottles. (I'm thrilled to bits that I also managed to purchase some beautiful hand-blown Venetianan glass mini martini glasses that I will happily be drinking my Bellini's out of!)

We spent the remainder of the afternoon out enjoying the sun and taking in a few interesting sights such as the Venetianan Ghetto, Bridge of Sighs and Monumenti Dell'assistenza. At the Monumenti, which is a tall leaning tower, we actually witnessed a local Bride and Groom descending the tower after a photo shoot. We then took ourselves off to relax over some wine and beer as we watched the world go by in yet another of the lovely local squares.

We debated taking a ride on one of the Gondolas, but as they cost 100 Euro an hour, and as we were pressed for time, we decided to forgo it. It was very commercialized but we promised ourselves if we ever make it back there we will experience the Gondola.

We headed off to the train station to meet Valentina and Mike who had travelled down from Trento. It was so fantastic to see them after all this time (2 Years) and Val and I both kept saying how wonderful it was to finally be hanging out again and
who would have figured it would have been in Italy, especially back in the day when we were both working at SVGH!

We all took the boat back to Lido so that V&M could check into their hotel and Andy and I could change. This was the first time where Andy and I actually took a cab back to our hotel as our legs and feet were finally beginning to feel the strain of non stop walking.

When we met up that evening at 8 p.m. we decided to go to a pizza house on the Island as there were some pretty nice places to chose from. We sat and ate more amazing pizza while drinking Italian Beer, happily reminiscing about old times, groaning about Immigration and discussing all the other hoo-ha people have to go through when they relocate to another country (but its worth it). We then moved on to a great little bar for further drinks where we laughed the night away.

We made plans to meet up the next morning after check out, and upon doing so, walked around the Island until we came to the beach, the only beach in Venice we are told. It was an opportune moment for a few more pictures before heading back into town for some Italian Coffee prior to catching our boat back to the airport. It was sunny and warm and it was sad to have to cut our time off at midday but alas, our journey was ending. We waved V&M off after hugs and promises of plans to meet again soon, probably in England. I look forward to the day!

On the boat Andy and I were kind of quiet as we both reflected back on the breathtaking city of Venice. Words cannot express the absolute wonder of this place and I'm so grateful that we were able to have the opportunity to explore it together. Despite numerous warnings of how wet/cold it would be, we are pleased to report that nothing was disappointingng about this trip, including the weather. Everything was a dream.

For more pictures look here

Monday, October 17, 2005

Never One To Pass On a Dare...

To have a full understanding behind the reason for this photo, you will need to visit Tawny's site:LocoBellaTuna and then Dawn's The Ramblings of Globose Thought

However it all started because of The Blogger Annual Boobie-Thon in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness. Both Tawny and Dawn have posted beautiful shots of their bra-clad breasts. I took it a just a step further because as we all know, I'm not shy. Sure I have all the same 'issues' with my breasts that most bigger busted girls do, but they are mine and I love them just the same and hope that they stay healthy for the remainder of my life. I wish the same for all the women in my life.

Tawny, Dawn - it's been fun. I love you both for being brave and beautiful.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Where's Dad?
Today while playing with Molly I informed her in an excited tone 'Molly, there's Daddy!' and up she went, paws on the back of the couch, eagerly watching out the window for Andy. She stood there for about 3 minutes, scanning the street before giving up. About 20 minutes later when Andy actually did arrive, I said it again and was met with a look that would be the equivalent of 'To hell with you mama, I'm not falling for that one again'. But, she heard the car door slam and back to the window she went. I don't know who looks forward to his arrival home more - me or her.

Let the Weekend Begin
To begin our Anniversary celebration, last weekend my husband took me out for a fantastic meal where I just happened to drink too much wine over dinner and ended up slightly drunk. I intend on doing the same this weekend but this time I will be consuming the wine (and pizza) in Venice... have I mentioned that already?

Andy and I will have Friday night and most of Saturday to ourselves prior to meeting up with my pal Valentina and her husband Mike (a fellow Nova Scotian) late Saturday afternoon, with whom I imagine we will then again be consuming copius amounts of Italian Wine and Beer.

Fino al nostro prossimo incontro...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

One Year Ago Today

To celebrate, we leave for a weekend in Venice - Yes, Venice, on Friday morning.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Our Little Racing Stars

Last night Andy and I took Alex, Connor and two of Alex's mates Karting for Alex's 13th birthday party. It was just over a week late, but what with all that is going on in terms of Andy's mom, etc. it was the best we could do. They had a fantastic time and of course our Alex won every single race. This Karting place isn't like the one out at Atlantic Playland. They set it up just like a mini Formula 1, with scoreboards and all. I was so pleased that Connor, being the youngest, never came last once, but felt rather sorry for poor Jimmy (Alex's best mate) - who drove in the overly-cautious manner of a senior citizen and came last every time. My heart nearly broke for him when he turned to me and said 'I'm just gutted Jody, that I came last everytime'. I told him to nevermind, that when it comes to the ladies, he'd never come last. That made him smile. So when the boys went up on the podium to get their medals I was pleased that our Alex had his best mate share first place with him.

Maybe it's who U know, or who U aRe, or maybe, just maybe, dumb luck...

I was just reading The Ramblings of Globose Thought, where Dawn mentions that Martha Stewart, due to her criminal record, was having difficulty in being issued a visa to get into Canada (she's partaking in the Windsor Pumpkin Fest). Luckily for her, it's been granted. Lucky Martha - and how lucky for the Happy Homemakers of Nova Scotia who can witness Martha racing down a river in a Giant Pumpkin...

My friend, who is working at an Ontario prison while doing her thesis recently informed me of a British woman whom she encountered. This woman was granted entry to Canada with a criminal record. Within one month she was robbing banks and landed herself a Go Directly To Jail ticket. Hrrrrrmmmm. Where the fuck is Immigration headed? Instances like this are reaffirming (at least in my mind) that most countries don't have a just Immigration System, that world-wide it basically comes down to your own luck and whatever dimwit, or asshole (bitch-faced cow) you manage to encounter on your quest to enter a country.

Go Figure.