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

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Movie Date

He said "I really think your gonna enjoy this film"

She said "Oh yeah? Even though I don't really know much about football?"

He said "Yup, even though, cause there are gonna be lots of men with fit bodies in it"

She said "You know, you might just be right".

Tonight I had the pleasure of hanging out with Connor, just the two of us. Alex is away spending the week in Chester with his dad due to half term.

Connor still wanted to come spend the night with me despite this and because of it, I wanted to ensure he had a good time. Its not often I get to spend time alone with him and as he is such a great kid with a lot of interesting things to say, I was looking forward to it.

I offered him the rare treat of McDonald's for supper, and to my delight was pleasantly surprised when he said he'd prefer to stay in. His exact words were 'I'd rather stay in, I like your cooking'. So when I told him I'd grill him a hamburger he smiled and informed me that I make great hamburgers. (Which I do, if I say so myself.)

He then picked out the late movie we would go see (Goal II: Living the Dream)and even if it wasn't the most gripping storyline I've seen, it was enjoyable, especially when I listened to his running commentary throughout. (Hey, this night was about him, and the theatre was practically empty).

Tomorrow morning, before I take him back at lunchtime, and weather pending, we will take Molly out for a long walk. Maybe on the beach. I honestly can't tell you who would enjoy that more, him, me or the dog.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Don't turn your back on me...

In the past I have sometimes blogged about children and my feelings toward having them. Sometimes, although not lately, the desire to grow and nurture a baby of my own are so strong that I get very melancholy over the fact that I am likely to never have a child of my own. Thankfully I haven't experienced these feelings in the extreme for over a year now. Babies are fantastic, with their sweet little smiles, and gorgeous baby smell, toddlers and young children special too. Hell, even teenagers can be pretty decent. And when they are grown? If everything goes according to plan, and you do your best to instill good morals, and teach your child right from wrong you just might end up having a friend for the remainder of your life. So many of my friends, myself included, are lucky enough to have had good parents who did the best they could by us, and as a result we try to be good adult children in return. But it doesn't always go according to plan. There are so many things that can go wrong, so many nights spent awake until dawn wondering where they are, or if they will ever recover from a serious illness, or God forbid, is someone out there waiting to hurt them. What if they never come back? And no one can tell me that the chances of these things happening are rare, and unlikely to happen, because they do happen, have happened, even to people I know and love. How does a parent survive and recover from these horrifying occurrences? Love would be the answer I suppose. But anyway, I'm digressing.

I've often wondered how children in the same family can be raised by the same parents, with the same values and turn out to be so different. I'm not referring to differences such as talents, hobbies or even sexual preferences. Today I am thinking along the lines of selfishness. People chose to have children for a multitude of reasons, and I often respect and appreciate every one of them. But for those few people who think that having children will ensure they always have someone in their life who will look up to them, love them and perhaps be company when the loneliness of old age comes creeping in, I suggest they think again. (I myself sometimes wonder who I will have to pass mementos on to, or who will mourn me after I'm gone but with three stepchildren and a large extended family I'm sure it won't be an issue - besides once I'm gone, will I actually really be that bothered? :)

I'm just mortified by the fact that those of us who are blessed with good, I mean really good, parents can turn around and be so self-centered that we can't pick up the phone to just say hi, or take a moment to spend an hour a week in the nursing home visiting a parent who proudly boasts of our accomplishments and flashes our own children's photo to anyone who shows the slightest interest. Or even worse, those children who can turn their back on their own parent because of something so trivial as money.

Someone whom I know and love dearly told me a story not so long ago of a son who chose not to speak to her for over a year due to the fact that she dared only send him a card for a milestone Wedding Anniversary with a small amount of money enclosed so he and his wife could have a drink on her while they were on their anniversary cruise. Nevermind the fact that she had a bottle of wine, cake and a gorgeous gift awaiting them upon their return, when she could celebrate with them in person. Her son didn't take the the time to find this out though as he sarcastically commented upon the little 'gift' enclosed in the card and hung up on her. He didn't speak to her again until she hurt herself badly a year later.

She never did tell him of her plan, or gave him the gifts that she has hidden safely away since long ago anniversary. But when she is gone, he will surely come across these gifts, with card enclosed, that was intended for he and his wife. I wonder what thoughts will cross his mind then. Even though he eventually found his way back to his mother, it will be obvious that he broke her heart at that time. In a sick way I hope he feels the pain that he caused his mother over a silly bit of money. I'm sure he will, I'm sure he will feel it a hundred fold, and realize how horribly he behaved, but for him it will be too late.

And I don't blame her for handling it in this manner. Not one bit.

I'm often told by my older friends that although children are a blessing, they are also the bearers of heartache and grief, be it intended or not. I am aware of this, but it would not be a basis for my deciding to bear children or not (provided Andy and I even could that is, chances are slight of it ever happening even if we decide to try). There are many things in life that can bring us trouble and pain. Life is a gamble and we never know what is around the corner. But I know what my mom sacrificed to bring her children up the best way she knew how. She tried so hard and for that I will always love her and give her the respect that she so deserves. Never, ever could I imagine turning a cold shoulder on the woman who gave me life, and a very good one at that.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Something I have thus far neglected to tell you

The past couple of weeks have been a bit more hectic for me than usual. The reason behind this is primarily due to the fact that I have started a new job. A new job that I love for so many varying reasons. My boss is great and I have a load of perks i.e. choosing my own hours, great co-workers, freedom to organize the office as I see fit, and one of my favourites: the use of a personal laptop, which I am happily typing on at this moment.

I'm still holding on to my part-time job at the clinic but I'm not sure how long this will last, it will depend on how a few things pan out. This new position is definitely more my speed, and as its still working for the hospital trust I can manage to hold both for the time being. I'm just having a bit of difficulty at the moment as there just aren't enough hours in the day. The new position is much more involved and takes up more time than the one at the other clinic. If I could switch the hours around I'd be better off. I'm not quite working full-time, and I certainly don't want to, but I could easily see myself falling into it with this new position, as I actually enjoy everything about it. The team I'm working with are proving fun and easygoing so far and my boss is one of the most laid back and generous people I have come across in the field. The team provides a great service to the community via an outreach program for drug/alcohol users and their families, something I find beneficial as well as very interesting. It is the plan that I will eventually job shadow the support outreach workers to get a better scope and understanding of their role and I am very excited about this.

I've been holding out for a new job for quite a long time now and can't believe my good fortune in landing this position, especially since I didn't even go looking for it, they found me. Sometimes my good luck amazes me, but I feel grateful and don't take it for granted, because it balances out the not so great luck that occasionally sticks to my heels like dog shit on the bottom of my shoe.

I sort of lost my way there for a bit, and as a result my blogging has taken a downward slide, something I'm hoping to amend. I miss musing about the silly little bits in life and feel as if I lose contact with so many of you when I'm not around, even though I'm constantly visiting your pages to make sure everything is well. I honestly love this method of sneaking peeks into each others lives.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Flemenco's, Food and Sore Feet

Many of you might think that this was not a great time of year to be in a Mediterranean City, but let me tell you, I was perfectly ok with it. Although the temperature varied between 8-14 degrees, the fact that it was winter cut down on the crowd factor big time. And if anyone really knows me, they know how I feel about crowds. It was a shame we couldn't go down into the water as the beaches were fantastic (although it sure didn't stop a few idiots), however the walk along the promenade on Sunday was nevertheless, breathtaking. I had layered up with three sweaters as I wasn't sure how warm it would get in the early afternoon. It was a good decision as I needed to remove the top layer at varying times throughout the trek. It was a refreshing walk along the beach as my head was feeling rather sore from the intravenous I had hooked up to me the night before which was continually pumping sangria directly into my blood stream. By the time we got back to the hotel for a shower and change of clothes, we had covered over 12 km on foot.

This photo was taken on Saturday night. Andy had taken me to a traditional Flamenco show that was absolutely brilliant. The way these women and men move make my feet hurt and my head spin, as the move around in a blur of astonishing colour

One of the most memorable sights of the city for me, were all the street performers down the main street, El Ramble. Each were in an amazing, original costume, looking completely statuesque, and remained so until someone dropped some change into their pots. They all had something interesting to surprise you with. Naturally some were more unique and enlivening then others, but it was something I could have spent quite a while (and a lot of money) on. They were honestly the best I've ever seen.

I have finally managed to find some time to post our photos, which you will find here. I'm a little disappointed we didn't take more, or that some of my shots were mistakenly taken in the wrong colour, however I think they give a small indication of this beautiful city.

There is no point in regretting that I should have taken more photos from the mountain we hiked up, and later descended by cable car. The view of the whole city from the cable car was one of the most stunning views my eyes have been witness to, but unfortunately my camera never made its way out of my bag. You'll just have to take a trip yourself to see what I mean.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

If the trip to Barcelona was good for only one thing (which it certainly wasn't) it would have been this:

Seafood Paella

On the Friday morning of my birthday we had a 4:30 a.m. start which gave me a slight indication that we would be catching a flight somewhere (remember, at this point I had absolutely no idea what Andy had been planning). When we turned off at the exit to the local airport, it was a given. With a smile on his face my husband breathed a sigh of relief: he could finally let me in on the secret. He then proceeded to tell me where he was taking me for my birthday surprise. To say I was, is an understatement: Barcelona, four star hotel, three nights, with just my husband. It really and truly doesn't get better than this people.

Well actually it does. When we reached the hotel he then proceeded to present me with not one, but three boxes from my favourite jewelry shop. Inside I found a matching necklace, bracelet and earrings, all silver with light pink stones that happened to perfectly offset a pink ring I have from the same shop. What a brilliant man I chose to spend the rest of my life with. Each year, he proves over and again that I made the right choice in him. And not just only for his generosity and kindness, but because of the man he is.

We spent our first evening in Barcelona mapping out the city, trying to familiarize ourselves with this very big, but clean city. We thought we would walk into the city center, not realizing quite how far we would have to walk. We were a bit thrown off by the lack of people, until we realized we had taken the longer route into the old part of the city. We stopped for a beer and some Tapas along the way as we were getting pretty tired after having been on the go for over 12 hours. When we finally found the Gothic part of town it was well past 8 p.m. We were ready for some good food and drink. We found a lovely restaurant for my birthday dinner and promptly ordered a pitcher of Sangria, my new favourite beverage. What followed was the most scrumptious meal I've had in a long time. It was so good in fact that I ate it for two nights in a row. The seafood in this city was amazing and I overindulged to the point that when I awoke on Monday morning my eyes were half swollen shut. Now I can usually eat shellfish, but I think my body was trying to tell me enough already. I had definitely gone into shellfish overdrive. Good thing this didn't happen until my last day, because I would have continued eating these delicious treats until my eyes were swollen completely shut.

The rest of the trip was fantastic and once Andy had his bearings, getting around was really quite easy. Needless to say, we chose to walk most places and are still waiting for our legs to stop feeling like they have been shoved through a slicer.

I will post about the other sights and the fantastic Flemenco show, as well as upload our photos as soon as I have more time.

I'd like to also say thank you to everyone who sent birthday cards, gifts and wishes - it means a lot to be remembered :)