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

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Not too bad for an old girl...

My birthday came and went on a rather pleasant note. I received many birthday wishes and greetings via email and cards from friends and family, the girls at work gave me a beautiful boquet of flowers and naturally the phone kept ringing into the early hours of the night. I also received the much anticipated annual birthday blog from Dawn, Tawn and Stacy - all fantastic in the unique style of each publisher. Of course it wouldn't have been my birthday if I didn't stuff my face for not only one afternoon, but three consecutive days. We all know how I positively have to make use of any little excuse to keep the party and food fest going, especially when in honour of myself. What better reason? Of course now I will have to listen to my digital scale say 'get off fatty' tomorrow morning!

Andy took me for a wickedly romantic and luscious meal on Friday night (we chose Friday so that we could enjoy a few drinks and celebrate in proper style). My mother-in-law was good enough to have the boys overnight enabling my husband and I to have our own private party here at the house. My husband, who got a little camera happy with my new digital camera, insisted on taking a few shots of me, and in the style of a true McDonald girl, I readily succumbed to having my picture taken. Again and again. I'm pretty sure most of you realize we don't have an aversion to being photographed at all.

I do have some news to convey that some of you might be interested to know:

1. We have booked our holiday home this summer. My boys and I will be hitting the shores of Nova Scotia in full force on July 27th and won't be departing until August 17th...

2. The notorious twosome of Dawn and Stacy will be hitting the Isle of England on the morning of April 29th and will be keeping us all amused until May 21st! I can't tell you how excited I am for that - the Strongbow is already a-chillin. (Dawn, I've told Scott you are coming and he is looking forward to reminiscing with you over your cozy time spent together during the wedding!)

With this I bid you all good-night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


For years I have been ahead of most of my friends/family when it comes to wine, white wine anyway. My Scottish friend Val and I have been inhaling bottles of it for over three years now, but I remember drinking my first full bottle of wine at the ripe old age of 16. Most of my friends wouldn't drink it unless it was overly sweet i.e. Boones, which we all know isn't real wine anyway. In recent years a few of my closer friends and family i.e. Tawny and Dawn, have taken up drinking wine and are actually becoming quite knowledgeable about it. Dawn even has a Rabbit, the most fantastic invention since the invention of wine itself, and I'm really coveting one for myself (hint to Dawn - if you see one mate, could you possibly pick it up for me and I will reimburse you upon your arrival in this great land).

Anyway, what I initially began this post for, was to say that I have finally, finally come across a red wine that I not only LOVE, but one that doesn't give me a migraine. At Christmas, Tawny had a lovely bottle of red that we opened on Christmas Eve. After one glass I had a throbbing headache and could sadly drink no more unless I wanted to hibernate in the bedroom all night in complete darkness with a bag of ice held to my forehead. This Kumala that I have discovered through my good friend Beryl, is the best tasting red I've ever given my taste buds the pleasure of experiencing. I now finally feel I can be part of the red wino group, even if only part time.

Note to self: Begin building up my immunity to wine once again so that I'm not completely pissed after only one bottle.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hopefully she has some comfort in knowing she is not the only freakish sleeper in our family.

'You scared the shit out of me last night'

This phrase was uttered to me in the early recesses of the morning as I was either a) making my way from the bed down to the couch wrapped in my new (huge) fleece blanket that I brought back from Canada, or b)making my way back up to bed wrapped in my fleece blanket as Andy came downstairs to get ready for work. I was having difficulty getting to sleep last night due to a dry throat and sore ear, something that was only compounded further by Andy's snoring. He's still getting over his cold which makes his breathing at night worse than normal. After a very broken sleep I finally gave up and when to spend the last few hours of the night on the couch curled up with Molly.

This morning as I was driving to work, I recalled him saying this but also remembered I didn't pay any attention to what he might be talking about. At 8:15 a.m. it suddenly came back to me. In the earlier hours of the night I had been on my side under the covers and opened my eyes to see this HUGE spider dangling from the ceiling in front of my face. Now spiders generally don't bug me, but this baby was the size of my fist. I opened my mouth, screamed and proceeded to hide under the covers, shaking like mad. Andy had much difficulty in convincing me that there was nothing there. Fuck me.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. There have been times in the past when I've seen things that aren't there, and I certainly can't go to sleep at night until all the closet doors are closed - firmly. While I was at home over the holidays Tawny and I had chatted about her sleep patterns and how she has a clinically proven sleep disorder. (Something she has talked about over on locobellatuna.) She has even reached the point where medication has been necessary. I myself do not yet feel ready for this, as it's something I think I'm able to manage on my own especially while it's occurring infrequently. Every now and then I experience times when I suffer bad bouts of insomnia and cannot sleep at all, thus spending the night downstairs reading or watching tv. Thankfully these times are few and far between as it is very difficult to make it through a full day on little or no sleep. Luckily this morning I'm only suffering from my physical ailments and not feeling overly cranky or irritable. I do however have the satisfaction of knowing that I can lay down for a nap this afternoon before the kids come down.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Some positive Points to start 2006 on:

1. We've been granted a court order to take the kids to Halifax this summer.

2. I've gotten through today on only two diet cokes... a very large feat in itself.

3. We are in the process of sorting out tickets for Stacy and Dawn to fly to the UK in late April/early May.

4. I've begun my healthy eating kick-start and again, have made it through one day - and as in times past I know I can stick to it, this is not just a New Year's resolution for me.

5. The children's mother and I have reached an agreement to try and sort out any contact issues surrounding the children between ourselves. Granted, Andy and I wanted something similar to this 2 years ago, however better late than never.

I won't go into details over the very unexpected phone call I received, or what brought the call about, (however it did involve seeing the children - unexpectedly, at their request, for an hour yesterday at the displeasure of their mother.) I will say this: I agreed to speak with her on a need-be basis provided she not mention my husband (she has a tendency to speak untruthfully and abusively about him) and that we keep it civil at all times. She agreed to this. I don't care what her reasons are for agreeing to this, I only care about the children and what is best for them. As I said to her, we are both two women who love the same children - I'm looking out for what is good for them. At the moment Alex is yet again having a very difficult time with his mother and it would appear as if he is once again headed back to stay with us.

Anyway, point is, I believe that we are beginning 2006 on a more positive note than 2005. I don't have to like or respect the woman to have polite contact with her for the sake of the kids. Let's just see how everything goes.

Some of my favourite moments of my trip home:

1. Seeing snow at Christmas time.
2. Laughing complete belly laughs over old pictures with my sisters, some that were completely unflattering!
3. Drinking martinis (again with my sisters - Dawn included naturally)
4. Spending lots of time with my mom doing the things we always used to do - i.e. just chatting, working out.
5. Eating mom's chocolate chip cookies, especially hot from the oven while watching movies.
6. Eating lots of May Garden and other Chinese foods.
7. Playing with some awfully cute babies:

8. Napping with Stacy and Tawny on Stacy's comfy bed (my old one,lol).
9. Pulling Christmas Crackers and playing the games tucked inside with my family during Christmas dinner.
10. Bowling and pizza with the Bezanson's and Rudolf's.
11. Watching my dad's joy at preparing to head back on the road again.
12. Seeing some great movies and eating WAY to much popcorn avec butter, white cheddar and dill pickle toppings.
13. Hearing Connor ask 'Jojo, how many more days NOW till you come home?'

14. Messing around at the Airport with John, Stacy, Aunt Marg and mom, getting some great photos - like these:

15. Speaking of pictures, all the fun times I had taking so many great shots of my family and friends! I will post more photos to my yahoo site when I get a bit more time later this week.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Farewell to Nova Scotia...

Well tonight I begin my journey back to England and my family there. It's been a fantastic visit and I will be sad to go. I've done so much and gotten to spend great quality time with loved ones while here at home. Some of you - not enough , some of you - more than others, but still not enough. However, I have this summer to look forward to because I will be back, this time avec my family. I cannot wait for that. But before then its back to living my life in England and sticking to my New Year's Resolutions. (Which are not so unrealistic as to become impossible to uphold). I'm a bit fearful that my husband may not recognize the much plumper woman who walks through arrivals in her haste to greet him. Here's crossing my chubby fingers! Not stressing though, I enjoyed the numerous calorie filled sessions that brought me to this point and by the summer I will again be back to my normal size and as it will be a vacation full of fun packed activities I will hopefully not have the same problem upon my return to England.

Anyway, I am straying off point as usual. I have a few last visits to make this morning before coming back to finish my prep for tonight's flight. I will be posting pictures from this trip once I get settled in again. It has been an absolute treat.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Last night Stacy, Christina and I headed downtown for some East Side's and whatever would follow next. We headed to the casino, which was crazy busy and the highlight of the night were the girls walking around dressed up like Vegas Show Girls, which was something new to witness. We couldn't find Dawn and left around 11:10 to find somewhere to ring in the new year. Pogue's was only taking ticket holders so at approximately 11:50 we made it to the Grand Parade to partake in the festivities there. Stace's friend Catherine and her boyfriend were there and we found them easily enough via cell phone contact. It was the first time I was in the Parade Square for New Year's and it was actually quite fun - I thought the music was great and was very disappointed to find out I had missed JP Cormier. We didn't have the proper clothing on but we didn't feel the cold as 2006 was rang in to a chorus of music, dancing and fire works.

After the fireworks ended we headed out to find a pub for a New Year's drink and ended up in Maxwell's Plum, which was very nostalgic for me as it was the pub that Andy and I spent hours chatting in, getting to know each other, way back in 2002! I was with my sister and good friends enjoying a laugh in person, however because we were in Maxwell's, I had my husband there with me in spirit and heart!

The drive home was funny (I was sober) as Tawny kept ringing (she wasn't!). It made us miss her even more and wish she could have been with us, but it was great knowing that we were all enjoying ourselves, and hey, here's to a great New Year for us all!

Dawn, sorry we didn't get to hook up buddy, but I know you probably had a smashing time and I'll get to see you a few more times this week before heading out on Friday!

The only disappointing factor of this weekend is that Wayne was supposed to have been with us and has had to undergo more surgery. My heart goes out to him and his family and I'm hoping with all of it that this is a much better year for him, for all of us!

My love to all of you. Thanks for being such supportive readers in 2005 - here's to another great year of posting!