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Friday, June 30, 2006
After 16 years of having a clean driving record, I have gone and got myself my first ever speeding ticket. Be that hard to believe, but it is the truth ;). I've been driving here for 2 1/2 years and most often I don't speed, but on the off chance I do, I've always managed to elude the f**kers. Driving here is slightly different from home, where I will admit (and have done so before) that I'm heavy footed, but was always switched on enough to avoid a ticket. So, after nearly one year with my new UK license I was caught by the money making bastards. So be it. I screwed up and will pay the penalty. Or wait one minute, I screwed up but my loving husband will pay the penalty . I do however still get stuck with the points - as generous as Andy is, he isn't generous enough to take the points (the ticket came in his name as he is the registered owner of the Sportage :)
Pro's of the Actual Cop vs. Speed Cameras...
Actual Police Officer
1. You know then and there if you have received a ticket.
2. There is a slight chance you might be able to talk your way out of it...
3. You sometimes get to appreciate a nice looking Officer in full uniform.
1. Your not even sure you've been issued a ticket until it arrives in the mail, so there is no chance of talking your way around it.
2. Its an automatic Â£60 fine. (I don't know what the fine is in NS - probably works out to a similar amount)
3. You are automatically penalized with three points on your license (I'm not sure how this works back home - if any of you have received a ticket recently, feel free to fill me in ;)
The only GOOD point of a Speed Camera: You don't have the opportunity to humiliatee yourself by trying to plead your way out of a ticket, only to be denied anyway. I, naturally have to exclude myself from this group as I have always managed to talk my way around the cops, even when I had let my vehicle registration expire - however as mentioned previously, I had never been pulled over for speeding.
Tagged By Tuna
5 Things in My/Our Refrigerator:
1) Diet Coke
2) Beck's (Beer)
4) 1/2 Bag of Salad Mix
5) Greek Yoghurt
5 Things in My/Our Closet:
4) Picture Frames
5) Gift Bags
5 Things in My Handbag:
1) Dental Floss
4) Hand Sanitizer
5) Purse (Wallet)
5 Things in My/Our Car:
2) 2 Litre Bottle of Still Water
3) Molly's Lead
5) Mini Road Atlas
5 People to Tag:
4) Stacy (that makes twice with Tawn's)
5) Dawn (that makes twice with Tawn's)
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I just got off the phone with my NS bank and insurance company respectively. Both young women that I spoke to were customer representatatives and were very helpful. I was hit with such a wave of melancholy as I hung up with the second person, after she very warmly thanked me, infusing my first name into the sentence. I love the Nova Scotia accent, I love the warmth and famliarity most people use when talking to you, even if they've never seen you before.
I also recall experiencing this feeling when I was home at Christmas. Even in the rush of pre Christmas sales, or Boxing Day returns, the sales associates took a moment to say 'how are you', or 'have a nice Christmas'.
Its just not the done way here. Most business people don't take a moment to ask how you are, not over the phone anyway, and if you ask that question, people are stunned into silence, usually thinking you are going to try and sell them something. I do find the SA's at the local grocery stores rather friendly, and at some of the shops -it really comes down to the person working and in what shop. I've given up telling people to have a nice day after I've finished serving them at work, or have packed up all my groceries as I am often just met with a strange look.
People here are often much more formal than Nova Scotians, something I'm still having to adjust to, even after 2 1/2 years. When it comes down to it, just call me Jody, not Mrs. Allenby, or Ms. McDonald. It's just Jody, and that works for me.
Of course not everybody feels this way, especially the older generations, and I completely respect this. I suppose the whole meaning of this entry was to say that I'm feeling a litte nostalgic for home - however in just over five weeks I shall be there!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
The past two weeks have been absolutely chaotic, centered around Alex and serious emotional turmoil he has been experiencing as a direct result from a breakdown in his relationship with his mother. Needless to say, he is living with us and has already made much improvement. The school, and his therapist have both expressed great relief that he is back with us to live permanently. So much has been happening around this, including a rough moment when his mother, backed up by her father, tried to have a nasty confrontation with me in the street whilst picking up Connor, but as I am unwilling to enter into such matters, especially in front of the kids, I drove off and left her standing in the street. Needless to say, all communication between us is now over, and after taking a step forward, we have taken two steps back. I do however believe it is for the best - for reasons better left unsaid. I don't like to use this site as a forum to discuss issues that relate to the kids & their mom, but I'd like to think of this as more of an update on what is happening in our neck of the woods.
I haven't had much time to post and at the moment I am working on something blog related that might take me awhile as I can no longer work on blogging at work (they've blocked access once again).
In more positive news, on Saturday I received my passport with its new edition: My Unlimited Leave to Remain Visa. Looks like I don't have to leave until I'm good and ready. :)
Friday, June 09, 2006
Earlier in the week I had agreed to cover two shifts for my colleague, thus giving myself a ticket to remain installed in the clinic for two full days - yesterday and today. Wednesday afternoon, before I picked the boys up, was spent happily soaking up the rays in the back garden and I knew, just knew that I would hate being trapped at work if the sun were to still be shining. Just my luck, it is. However, I have turned working these full days into a positive thing, by not only catching up on the annoying bits of work that I have, but I took the opportunity to give my blog a good overhaul.
For some time now, my blogskin and comment box graphics have been acting up. I've been putting off trying to amend it myself as sometimes I can make more of a mess with my template. With all the extra time I've had to kill, I thought I'd have a go at it. I've surprised myself by doing the overhaul, and doing it half-way decently. It's not anything fantastic, but its a clean, fresh look (or so I think). I just this morning managed to revamp the comment section, as yesterday the skin I used automatically hooked me up with the basic blogger comment system, but I prefer the one I've been using for the past few years. Besides, its more comment friendly.
In Other News
I've become fanatically obsessed with Big Brother UK. During previous years I had refused to watch it over here as I thought it just looked too bizarre. This year, as usual, there was loads of hype leading up to Series 7, most of it occurring while Dawn & Stacy were here. Dawn asked if we'd mind watching the first show, the one where they introduce everyone, and of course me being the hostess that I am, readily agreed. And so began my rapid decline into Big Brother Madness. The North Americans don't have it half as good (or maybe bad) as those of us in the UK. I believe back home you get to watch the show 3x a week, and have to pay to watch the live feed. Not here. Every night there is an one hour recap of the past 24 hours, its also live over on E4 nearly 24 hours, and there are constant updates on the Channel Four webpage. If you happen to miss the daily recap, you can always catch it on the repeat the next day. Is there any wonder my life is often sad?
BB is different here for another reason too - instant celebrity status. Players in this house aren't focused so much on the prize, just being in the house gives them what they are hoping for, and so the longer they stay in, the better. I just can't believe how HUGE it is in this country.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Our Birthday Boy
Today our chatty little sweetheart warped into the double digits. Last evening, to celebrate, we went to Wendy's garden for a small party. Connor unwrapped his presents and joyfully bounced around on his new moon boots, only after he, Alex and his mate Charlie devoured a whole chocolate cake.
Ealry this morning Connor and I took Molly for a long walk through the fields and then I treated him and Alex to hot bacon and egg sandwiches before school. His mom is supposedly taking him to a movie and dinner tonight so here's hoping his 10th celebration remains as bright as his big blues.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
I have finally managed to post a few pics from our weekend in Paris, which you will find here.
It seems like so long ago now, but so many memories can be recalled so easily. Paris wasn't a place that was high on my list of 'must-see's' however my views have changed and I cannot wait to head back there with Andy for a romantic getaway. It definitely is the city of love. We were constantly amazed at the number of people 'french' kissing on the underground and even in the streets, quite unabashedly.
There were so many good things about the city, but I must tell you this (for those of you who know the story, I'm sorry to put you through it again, lol). For the first time in my life I was almost the victim of a pick pocket, and not only once, but twice, the bastards! However me being the switched on kid that I am, caught the assholes before they could get too far. On both occasions I was up by the Mulan Roug. The first night my husband was so excited over all the Sex for Sale paraphernalia, he didn't even notice what was happening. It took me a about an hour to calm down after that, I was a bit daunted, to tell the truth. The second time was coming out of the underground during our last day, on our way to Sacre Coeur. Dawn thankfully had my back, after I hollered (well made some strangely loud sound) at the fucker. By the time I caught up to Stacy, who letting some greasy street vendor braid some plastic on her outstretched finger, I was spitting fire - sorry mate, but we don't have time to be conned by you - I grabbed my sister and to the tune of 'I'm not fucking American so fuck you asshole' (the vendor didn't take too kindly to me pulling her away) stomped my way to Sacre Coeur. I suppose he mistook me for American because he didn't like my bad attitude!
I just wanted to relay that story because I was quite pleased with myself and also, because I find it amusing, looking back. I by no means hold Paris responsible for its thugs and it hasn't turned me off this amazing city. We did so much and ate some fantastic food. Andy, who had been a few times previously had warned me constantly of how he hated the French, that they were rude, etc. After storming through the city with five canucks, his tune has changed. And rightly so!