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

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Beautiful Dawn

Today is the day our beloved friend turns 32. I know it must be a bittersweet time, for as we celebrate her life, she and her family are also celebrating the life of someone very treasured on her journey home to God - her Nanny.

Sending you all our love, hugs and support across the miles on this momentus day. We all can't wait to be with you in the summer.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Have You Seen the Muffin Man?

This was only one of the more common phrases used by the girls and I during their stay with us as Drury Lane has to be one of the most popular street names in the villages and towns we visited. There happens to be one just around the corner.

The past 3 1/2 weeks have passed in a whirlwind of activity. I quite frankly have no idea where to start and know that I am going to overlook a lot of detail in my quest to give an update of one the greatest times in my life.

From Paris to the Lake District, Robin Hood's Bay to Conway, Wales, we have been and seen so much in such a short amount of time. A few places, like Paris were an adventure in itself as I was seeing it myself for the first time, but what I took great pleasure from was seeing places that I had been before, like Lake Windemere and Llandudno through the eyes of Dawn and Stacy. They too fell in love with the places I had so desperately wanted them to love, and now understand just what it is that makes these areas so special.

Running around snapping photos from the towers of the Welsh castle, and climbing the Great Orme of Llandudno with Stacy while watching Andy and Dawn pass by on the tram are some of my fondest memories from Wales... however the most amusing moment from the Welsh trip was the Old West photo op. I was going to post the photo, but as this blog has been in draft form for a few days, Dawn beat me to it. You can however, check it out over on her site. The three of us girls all piling into a small closet to get changed, as the photographer directed us to 'go in there and take your tops off' was priceless. We felt as if we were preparing for a photoshoot more akin to Playboy. There was a lot of amusing banter floating around the studio prior to being presented with the final picture. Everytime I look at that shot, I will remember all the laughter.

I've spent many a time on a lake, or ocean kayaking and canoeing with Stacy and Dawn, and never realized we'd be doing it again in one of the most beautiful places in England. The weather was absolutely perfect both days we spent in the Lake District and I was so proud of the way we found our way around. The B&B we called home for the night was fantastic and we couldn't have enjoyed our evening more down at the local pub, eating amazing food and enjoying a few drinks.

We walked to the local Co-op for a few more alcoholic beverages and snacks which we shared in the garden while the sun set and we listened to the countryside noises around us. A more tranquil evening I cannot envisage. We woke up energized and ready to canoe and hike through some of the most gorgeous scenery imaginable.

Throughout the trip the girls got to spend a lot of time getting to know our boys better and I believe there is now a bond forged between them that can never be broken. Now, even more so, the boys cannot wait for their vacation home to spend time with my family. It is going to be so good.

On Friday the 12th we spent the day in Lincoln with Tawny and Taylor, visiting the cathedral and Castle Ruins... It was yet another entertaining day out, not from just the amazing scenery, but from the company I was keeping.

(Read more about our antics and accompanying photoshoot over on Locobellatuna). Later that evening we had a family meal out at an Indian Restaurant and headed back to Wendy's to continue the party in her garden. Sitting around the garden having a few drinks, laughing at the antics of Andy's brother Adrian, but especially, watching the boys interact with both mine and Andy's family will be a memory I treasure forever. I was so relieved that Tawny and Taylor got to come visit us on the last leg of their trip as there had been some uncertainty surrounding their agenda. I hope they know just how much it meant to have them see a little bit of my home and I look forward to a visit in the future where they get to spend a little more time with us!

On the Friday before they left, the girls and I drove to Halifax, a picturesque town just outside of Leeds to visit with Dawn's mates she met while teaching in Korea, Jonny and his wife, Heeae. If Halifax, NS was given its namesake from this town, it should be honoured. Like I said to Heeae, I should be so lucky as to have my husband come from such a beautiful town (not meaning to knock Cleethorpes yet again, as my little grunge town does have a few perks i.e Legends, eh girls?). We were greeted with open arms by Jonny and his wife and treated to a cozy night out at the Shipton Inn, a gorgeous Inn at the bottom of a beautiful valley, and a home cooked breakfast the next morning. When you meet the two of them, you instantly feel as if you've known them longer than a few hours - they are so laid back and amusing. I look forward to seeing them both in the near future if at all possible.

For months my mate Helen has been planning to take us to the world renowned Bags Ball for Stacy's 21st.

I'd heard lots of rumours about this popular Wednesday night venue, as it draws both men and women in droves - both looking for love in all its variants. In other words, a bona-fide meat market. Dawn and I approached the evening with an air of caution, while Stacy was just keen to get there. We ate out at a local pizzeria before heading to a couple of bars. By the time we reached the Ball we were all happily tipsy, some of us (me included) more so than others, with all air of caution flushed down the drain. We walked in to the Bags Ball liked we owned the place and pretty much acted that way all night long. The drinks were cheap, the dancing great and if you can manage the Palace on a Sunday night, the Bags is a treat. I will however say that I can understand why the single girl would attend these nights out - the men were there in abundance and they weren't hard on the eyes. Dawn and I rounded out the evening by chatting to this adorable young thing who was thick as a tree. Bless him. It took a few takes to get Stacy off the dance floor and out of the joint and I've since come to realize over this past year, as we've been spending time in pubs/clubs, that Stacy is much more like me than I originally thought! (Kissy Kissy Staceface should be her name!) She certainly was the Dancing Queen that night. Imagine, spending your 21st birthday dirty dancing up a storm to 'Don't cha' with your aged sister! In all fairness to me though, my legs weren't the only ones aching for days after.

You will find more photos from Stacy's Party here

So, from all the alias' we developed over the past weeks - Fern C.W. Whimply, Stinkyhead, Poppy O'Shea, Sage Miller Longbottom, and Cowboy (given to Andy before that infamous picture) to all the funny comments, especially those 'Shanks Schtacy' Sean Connery references in the Peak District, and with all the music,laughter, tears, little tantrums, and even one down and out huge row over a skanky top, I have this to say:

'Don't Cha wish... it could always be this way?'

I will be posting as many photos as possible from our various outings over on my Yahoo site, as time permits. There are just sooo many!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Not much of a recap, but something is better than nothing.

What with a whirlwind trip through London and Paris and and a long drive to Robin Hood's Bay followed by a hard night of drinking, (and this is only the half of it) I'm not even sure where to start to try and begin to catch everyone up with what's been happening. So I don't think I will even attempt to do so at this moment, only to say that I'm estatic that the children got to see there Aunty Stacy again, and of course to finally meet their Aunty Dawn. Our boys have been proving absolutely engaging and hilarious and if you can sit in a car for three hours and listen to Connor's constant stream of inquisitive chatter, than you definitely have a friend for life.

Tonight we are all set to head across to our local where we are meeting friends for Quiz Night, where we plan to totally decimate all other competitors. It is the belief that us Canucks (Les Castors), with a lot of help from our English Consorts, can do just that. Our trial run on Thursday night saw us take fourth place, tonight we want first.

The girls have found a little time to tell our tale from their warped perspective over on their sites, which you can find here on Stacy's Blog and here on Dawn's Blog

Stacy has also managed to upload a few pictures from London and Paris which you will find here. I will try and upload more photos when I get a little down time. At the moment I have to run again as we are off to take in a few more local sites and make our plans for this week.