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

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Just when you least expect it.

Yesterday when I arrived home it was to find a slip that the postman had left regarding collection of a parcel that he was unable to deliver due to size. I didn't want to hope too much, but I was pretty certain it was the Christmas parcel mom had sent back in early November. She was so dismayed when it didn't reach me in time for Christmas, even though she knew that it was a possibilty because she had missed the cut off date. I had been telling her all along not to stress about it, I don't mind getting presents late, after all its something else to look forward to after all the Christmas fuss. Although both of us thought it would at least be with me for New Years. No luck. Almost every second or third day for the month of January Mom has been ringing me to see if the package came. I started wondering if maybe it'd gotten held up at customs as sometimes happens.

But apparently not, because today when I nipped up to the post office and read the date on the package to make sure it wasn't a birthday parcel, I saw that it was dated the 3/11/08. I spent about 10 seconds trying to decide if I should just put it on the backseat and wait till I got home after work to open it. But then I thought there is no way I can go to work and then go out with B for lunch knowing that it was sitting in the 4x4 unopened. So I gleefully tore it open and smiled when I saw the pretty packages and then set to opening it all.

Now I'm sitting here thinking about all the pretty tops that were enclosed and the beautiful ring my sister had tucked into the package. Its truly beautiful and so similar to the one I had been coveting off her when she was here this summer.

Am I bothered that my Christmas presents arrived a few days before my birthday? I should say not... it was lovely getting such great gifts at this very gloomy time of the year and its going to keep me smiling all weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Recipe for Disaster

Last week at work the girls and I started up a weight loss club to see if we could all shake some extra pounds. This week not one of us gained weight and all but one of us lost at least 2-6 lbs.

Last night, feeling like I ought to bake the boys some cookies since we don't have any store bought ones in and haven't for a while, I chose to attempt to make Gina's Yummy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

And so I did. 45 of them.

And although they aren't as scrummy as my mom's they are still quite good, especially if a group of 12 year olds are to be believed: I was in the living room when Connor and about 6 of his mates came in looking for a drink, and a break from the cold. Of course the cookies were spotted straight away and as they munched on one each I overheard them asking Connor did I always bake such good stuff, and had to smile when I overheard one of his friends say 'these are really nice but you also need to try these other ones she makes with rice-crispies in em!'And so the conversation continued while I sat in the living room unobserved grinning like the obvious kitchen wizard that I'm apparently turning into.


The pleasure of baking for my boys wasn't enough as I had to help myself to the guilty indulgence of the damnable things. And not just 1 or 2. So today, I'm trying to ignore the call of chocolate chip oatmeal and concentrate on soups and stir-frys. One day of sweet delights are enough... I can only work off so much at the gym.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Alex and the girls

We had Maebh (Paul and Sohpia's dalmation) over the holidays and as both Andy and I were lucky enough to have over a week off, we took the dogs out for a lot of long walks. A few times we managed to get down to Horseshoe Point, and once out to Dixon Woods. These are some of the better shots we managed to capture:

A few rays of sun managed to squeeze through the gloomy grey clouds.

Can you see Maebh down there in the front?

Our Mol

Maebh through the trees.

My beautiful girl.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

And so begins 2009

Last night at just a moment or two past midnight the phone rang as it always does at this time of year. Both my parents and Aunt and Uncle rang to wish us Happy New Year. They always get together on New Year's Eve for a feed of fresh Lobster. And they always call us at midnight UK time be they at mom's or Aunt Shirley's. Always.

It was great to hear them all hollering Happy New Year, as we all gleefully hollered it right back for my mom to hear.

The evening went exactly as both Andy and I had wanted it to. We had our dear friends Dawn and Robert over, and their son Cameron, who happens to be one of Connor's best mates. We ordered an Indian, we chatted, drank some beer and wine and best of all had a Guitar Hero and Sing Star session.

It would be fair to say our Connor could be given the award for the evening's entertainment, most certainly in the amusement category. It was so satisfying to see the ease with which he danced around strumming the guitar as he put most of us to shame, but what was so amusing was the confidence oozing out of him as he sang his heart out, while making intermittent witty comments to us, his captivated audience. At one point I was in stitches as I don't know what was moving more, his lips or his hips.

Alex, being his usual lovingly sarcastic self, was enjoying taking the mick out of the way us girls were singing, me in particular, however was quick to clam up once he finally gave in and decided to sing in the last moments leading up to the countdown. Two years ago he might have been our sing star champ, but something called puberty has put an end to that. He readily agreed that an adult voice is much harder to nail Sing Star with. Today he has informed me we need to get practicing.

Before and after our not so quiet little gathering, I got to speak to a few very near and dear back home, which put the icing on the kind of night I enjoy most. I hope our New Year's Eve was an indication of how 2009 might turn out... No longer do I wish for the days of loud night clubs and hugging people I don't really know whilst ringing in a new year.

On the last eve of 2008 I was exactly where I want to be at this stage in my life, with my husband, our boys, Molly and close friends. If 2009 continues on in this manner, I will be very content and happy with where my path has lead me.

I have no New Year's resolution for 2009, only the wish that once again I get to hug my family and friends back home.

So here's to you all who read my blog: May 2009 see you find good health and happiness. May you leave old hurts behind and surround yourself with loved ones. And may you just take time to slow down and appreciate your life and what you have.