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

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

To Belgium and Back

We left for Belgium at lunchtime on Friday and were back in the country by tea time Sunday.

The reason for the trip was to be a courier service to Andy's mother as she was importing another dog for breeding purposes. As Wendy's friend and granddaughter were the dog 'dealers', our only obligation was to drop the ladies off on Friday night and pick them on Sunday morning. The trip through the Euro tunnel was pretty cool, as was driving through a portion of Europe for the first time, I just never expected it to be through a snowstorm. Now this snowstorm wasn't as severe as those that Canadians experience, but it was worse than England ever gets. It was sticking, making visibility poor and reading sign posts impossible. Naturally we went slightly off track, but after 10 hours finally made it.

Andy and I stayed in a lovely little B&B and on Saturday morning amidst the snow, and armed with a local map, set off to find the small city of Gent where we would catch the train to Brussels. We were impressed with our ingenuity for thinking to wear our heavy coats and hiking boots. We don't always get it right, but this time we did.

Andy at the Atomium

Brussels was a great city with a lot of history, but after touring around on bus and then by foot, we were happy to give up around 3 p.m. and settle ourselves into a cozy pub for some grub and beer. I'd been informed by Darla to try Belgian beer as it is 'great' and she was too right. Yummy.

Mmmmmm... Warm Bar, Good Beer

But even more yummy were the waffles you could pick up hot off the street. I wouldn't turn one of those down on a sunny, hot day, never mind a day when you're freezing your ass off.

The other highlight of the trip was actually realizing I had not only taken in, but actually managed to retain a few phrases of French from the lessons I painfully endured in school. I made a slight mistake by answering her polite Bonjour with a Bonjour of my own, not thinking that she would proceed to carry on our dialect in French. I gave it my best effort and came out alright. It was fun, and now I think I would rather take up French again, over Spanish. I never realized how much of it had sunk in through my thick skull. I not only surprised my husband and our companions, but myself. Pleasantly so - to the point of having a slightly swelled head - it's not often I get to be the one who understands what the foreign person is saying.

The journey home was quite uneventful, made all the more comfortable by our smooth ride. If anything good came out of our crash last summer, it was that we ended up with an 4WD SUV. It's a smooth, comfortable ride and came in handy during the bad weather.

The number of countries I have now travelled to is beginning to grow: Canada, US, Mexico, Grand Caymen Islands, England, Scotland, Wales, Greece, Italy, Belgium and France (well we travelled through France). It is our plan when Miss Stacy next comes to travel to yet another - Germany? Holland (Amsterdam)? Possibly back to France to actually see something of it - maybe Paris??? Being on this small Island ensures a whole list of endless possiblities. Australia is calling to Andy and I, but that will have to wait a few years, and of course there is always Africa.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's a Hard Life

Monday, November 21, 2005

Struggling to Sleep

Last night I probably got maybe an hour's sleep in total. Andy is suffering from a cold and as a result I had to leave our cozy bed. I normally have to sleep with earplugs in as he is a mouth breather and often makes a rattling sound in his throat, but due to his illness he was full out rumbling and snoring. Around midnight, after about an hour of trying to ignore his strangled breathing, I grabbed my water, a comforter and with Molly in tow, made my way to the couch around midnight. I read for an hour and finally decided to try and get some sleep. By three a.m. I'd given up and turned on the t.v. I was watching yet another sad Hallmark movie when Andy came down at 5:30. I was back in bed by 6:00, after he had left, but still no luck. At 7:15 I was still watching the clock. It must have been 7:30 when I drifted off, only to have my alarm go off at 7:45.

At work today numerous people commented on my pale faced, sleep deprived look, asking if I felt well. Of course the fact that I'd put my contacts in only added to the itchiness and constant blinking. I suppose I could be excused for such a stupid act, considering I was running on diet coke alone. One of the nurses asked me if I take anything for the insomnia. I vehemently shook my head and informed her that it wasn't necessary. After two nights at the most it usually passes. However, I will take my medication in a completely different, but more enjoyable form: tonight I am using liquid medication in the form of a big old bottle of wine - Orvieto Classico Abboccato - a lovely semi-sweet Italian wine. It was my plan to submerge myself in a scalding hot bath to assist the wine in calmly pointing me in the right direction of lala land. So with approximately two glasses left, that is what I will do as soon as I finish posting this. Not being able to sleep just sucks. Especially when one likes sleep as much as I do. I have never been one of those people who say, 'why spend so much time sleeping? Time enough for that when I'm dead. I LOVE my bed and can't wait to get there some nights.

In or Out
I have this complete fascination lately with boots. High heeled black leather ones, flat soled suede, fur lined, ankle length, whatever, I love boots. Last spring I was ecstatic to see that the cowboy boot was back in style. Not only was it back in style but it was the style to wear your jeans tucked inside the boot. I remember wearing cowboy boots around 11 years ago. Problem was, the style was to wear your boot cut jeans outside of your boots. Now that it is the in thing, I'm thinking why not? Problem is, I don't feel like wearing cowboy boots. I do however love the style of the almost knee-length leather high heeled or flat boot with pants tucked in. I notice that a lot of the celebrities are wearing this style and from reading the fashion mags - it appears to be the in thing these days. Now I don't normally conform to a fashion because its the in style, however I do love this look and because I'm lucky enough to have long and slender legs, I feel that it is a look I could pull off, especially since it makes your legs look longer and slimmer. I know its not for everyone and of course not everyone could do it, but I honestly think its something I will roll with this year. I've always been told I've got great legs and if I can work with it, why the hell not??? Normally all the fashion trends don't work with my build, so when they do, it's time to take full advantage.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Relief in a BIG way...
This bracelet was given to me over two years ago as a leaving gift from the Board of Management of SVGH. When I was presented with the blue box from Burke's Jewellers by the Chair of the Board, and opened it to see this bracelet, my breath was taken away. I was amazed to think that I had done such a good service and had meant so much to these twelve men and women, that they would honour me with such a lovely gift. I would cherish it forever.

Over four months ago, it went missing. The clasp must have come undone somewhere along the line as I was always very careful to take it off and put it safely away. I've searched everywhere for it and about a month ago gave it up for gone. Andy was sure it would turn up somewhere, but after redecorating and a good clean out of the bedroom, I gave up. To say I was heartbroken over it was an understatement. The sentimental value of that bracelet was priceless. It was a memento from a very important time in my life. I couldn't believe it was gone - I missed the weight of it on my wrist, as I wore it quite often. Every time I looked at bracelets in the shops they never compared. Nothing looked as nice to me, or was of as fine a quality. Until Friday while I was shopping at one of my favourite places -In The Pink, and found a really pretty but more delicate silver bracelet with gold and bronze circular links. Although it wasn't as solid as the other one, I figured I had finally found a surrogate. Andy agreed it should be one of my Christmas presents. I was very happy with this, but at the same time still saddened and reminiscent of my other bracelet. I decided I would wear it and be happy and finally try and get over the fact that my bracelet was gone for good.

A few days ago, Andy had left a small box of mine full of old cards out on the shelf that he had taken out during a clear-out and never replaced. I was putting a few cards in it that I've received recently and felt something slide around underneath the cards. Lifting the bulk of cards I was absolutely floored to see my bracelet. I was stunned into near tears. Relief surged through my veins until I thought I might cry with joy. I'm so happy to know that it was not lost, just somehow misplaced at the bottom of a bunch of sentimental cards!

Now how can I be more thrilled than to have in my possession, not one, but two gorgeous, meaningful bracelets. I am truly, on this day, a lucky girl.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Saturday Stroll

As not much has been going on other than a few head colds, and running errands, I thought I'd post a few pictures from a walk in the park Andy and I took with Molly on Saturday. It was gorgeous - sunny and crisp, perfect for being in a park as gorgeous as Hubbards Hills. There weren't many people around and Molly certainly enjoyed it. We are really relieved that she has finally begun going in the water on her own, something she gleefully did last weekend as she flung herself madly into the stream after a flock of birds.

I love these two:

Sorry, More Boob Talk

I just finished watching Tyra Banks' talk show. (I realize we are probably at least a month behind in episodes). It was all about breasts. Apparently there has been much rumour and speculation that she has had implants. Hrrmm. I have never thought that. I've never really paid it much attention to tell you the truth, but I have noticed her boobs on the rare time I see footage of her strutting it down the walkway in a VS bra. And every time I've never once thought real or fake? So many people have such an infatuation over breasts and if people have had boob jobs or not. She was a star on this episode and proved to all her viewers that she is in fact real - very real. I was worried that my boobs were sagging a bit sans bra. Tyra succeeded in making me feel that I'm actually ok. When that bra of hers came off - under t-shirt - it was very clear that those boobs of hers are natural. I just need to get myself some of the bras that Tyra has been wearing. She's a D cup, so I figure it can't be that hard for me to find something both pretty and uplifting in a DD. Definitely the one thing America has up on the rest of the world -Victoria secrets.

I mentioned her being a star on this episode. If I'm being honest, I have to admit that I'm enjoying her talk show and will continue to watch it. She seems genuinely kind and is working hard to make women feel good about themselves. That in itself says a lot - to me anyway. On the first show she and the audience all took off their make up - revealed their naked selves. And let me tell you, the lady looked, well, different without her makeup, not so pretty as the face we always see - she obviously was wearing a lot of face. If she wore less make up then the change probably wouldn't have been so dramatic. But she proved what most of us already know. It's easy to run around being envious of, or salivating over the models, and cover-girls - but so much of it is FAKE... make-up, air brushing, fake eye-lashes, hair extensions, etc. Any of us could be size 6 with perky tits, great abs, perfect skin, long locks, etc. if we had the money to blow on personal trainers and top scale salons...

I am me. I'm not happy with my body the way it is but it'll do. I've got more important things to spend my money on. I'll stick to the self-improvement regimes that I can afford - what I can fix (flab) will hopefully be fixed with a healthy work-out regime, what I can't afford to fix, or don't want to blow a heap of money on, will just have to stay the way it is. I'm too busy enjoying my life to get all caught up in that game.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Since I've been told...

It's good to know some of you read this blog and miss me when I've been lazy ;). Honestly, I haven't really had that much to post about. We've been busy with the finishing touches on our living room and I've had to take care of Molly.

She had the big operation that will now make it impossible for her to procreate. It was hard for me to leave her at the vet's, even harder still to realize I had to leave her there over night. When we picked her up the morning after she was so happy to see us, but I have to say, she was not very well for awhile after. Her insides had taken a real knocking around and what with all the damned fireworks going off last weekend she never fully returned to her usual self until Monday/Tuesday of this week. As her insides were so sore and it hurt to squat for any amount of time she had this pathetic way of wriggling around peeing as she went. Nevermind the fact that our girl was having this trouble peeing, but add to the fact that nearly every time she went to the toilet she was disrupted by the loud boom and bright lights of fireworks. It didn't make for a very nice experience. She got to the point where she wasn't able to finish and when our next door neighbour decided to launch a few, well that just put paid to her going outside at all. Thankfully, all this business is behind us for another year and we have the consolation that next year she won't be a puppy who has just undergone a serious operation. What were we thinking? To have put her through that at a time of year no dog likes, nevermind a sick pup.

Time to Get Moving

I ordered this on Sunday and it arrived yesterday. It's called the Lateral Thigh Trainer. I of course got the advanced addition with an armband attachment. The combined stepping/skating motion is designed to work more muscles than a straight stepper. I got on it last night and after only ten minutes could feel the muscles working. This weekend I will tackle the first of the videos and hopefully by early next week I will be on to the armband/advanced workout video. I've frankly had enough of not getting enough exercise. Since we got the new vehicle I haven't been biking as much, and as I'm not at the gym anymore, something needs to be done. Molly and I continue to walk everyday, and sometimes I throw in a half-hearted jog, but its now seriously time to get moving. Christmas is coming and this year its going to be even worse for over-eating as I will be munching on all my favourite Canadian food! East Sides, May Garden, KOD, Dairy Queen, Movie Theatre Popcorn, Mom's Christmas Baking and Cooking! Sheila's Cooking! Yummy!!. Of course I fully intend to gym it with Mom and Stacy as much as possible, can't be letting things get too out of control!

Anyway, hopefully within a few weeks I will be seeing a slight result, if nothing.