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

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Dreams that you dare

I might have mentioned (actually, I know I did) that Andy and I celebrated our 6th Anniversary while we were in Ontario.   Although we weren't in Nova Scotia where we got married, it was really special to spend the long weekend with the four people who had travelled from Ontario to be with us at our wedding:  My sister and her husband, and Darla and Glen. 

We did however spend a night and day in the city of Toronto on our own later that week.  We took the bus in on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and checked in at the Marriott.  We had plans to spend the early part of the evening with my sister Sandra and then go for a late evening meal on our own, before heading back to hotel to reflect and think about the past six years...ok seriously, we were going to get it on.  Its only been six years, not sixty. 

Andy took a couple of really great shots on our day out:

I love this picture that Andy took of the municipal buildings (?)

On the way to meet up with Sandra, Andy said he needed to make a stop on Bloor Street, namely at Tiffany's.  I've only ever window shopped on line at Tiffany's but certainly knew what I liked (however I was thinking about my 40th or maybe our ten year anniversary).  I only hesitated a full 3 seconds tho when Andy told me to try the bracelet on.  I walked back onto the street only slightly ecstatic while my husband was smiling at the thought of how happy I was going to make him later that night...

Happy Girl

We got up the next morning and enjoyed the most amazing breakfast I have ever experienced in a hotel setting before hitting the streets of Toronto.  We walked everywhere on that gorgeous, sunny day only stopping for a Second Cup Vanilla Bean Latte in the morning (I so wish we had Second Cup in the UK) and a rest by the water front for a quick beer as we watched the planes land on Toronto Island (we were too full from breakfast to eat anything). 

It was agreed that we would catch the 3:30 bus back to the suburbs so that we could spend some time with Clara before all the adults went out for some eats at Milestones.  The perfect end to the day was when Tawny and I were getting dressed up in her room, swapping clothes and deciding on shoes... its times like those when I miss my sisters the most (although believe it or not, this time there was no permanent exchange, however tempting it was).
A little rest down by the waterfront;  I love the Fall colours...

A gorgeous view :)

I was a very lucky girl on that holiday, for many reasons and it was wonderful to share it with my fella, a truly great guy, one who knows how lucky he is to be married to me :) Honestly though, it has been a whirlwind six years, full of craziness and love and I sincerely hope that in sixty years we are side by side in our rocking chairs reminiscing about times gone by, memories of a lifetime that we are already making.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Woe is me...

Andy and I landed at Manchester Airport early Sunday morning.  Needless to say I spent most of Sunday sleeping, as I was due at work at 8:00 am on Monday morning.

I've returned to a bit of a mess at work and although I'm trying to sort through it as well as tackle new issues, I'm finding it hard to stay focused on the actual work part.  I'm physically present however I'm finding it hard to give more than that. 

I would say I'm over the worst of my jet-lag, I didn't have a big mess facing me at home upon my return, Molly was delighted to see me, my mother-in-law had a gorgeous arrangement of flowers waiting for me in the living room and yet still I find myself in a really odd place mentally.  Little things are bothering me that probably shouldn't.  But because they are, I'm going to share with you.  If you aren't interested I accept that its best if you stop reading now.

So here you have it:

It's dark when I get up, and cold.  I absolutely cannot stand to hear my alarm go off when its dark out.  I'm supposed to have some warning that it's morning, i.e. a light sky, birds singing, the smell of bacon drifting up the stairs (not that this would ever happen on a work morning anyway).  However I don't like getting up early as it is, never mind when my instinct is telling me it must be 3 am because the sky is still black.  To add insult to injury, this was not happening before our holiday and I didn't get the time to 'adjust slowly'.

I'm getting cranky about the small stuff and I''m super annoyed at myself for it.  However I will not ever concede that it is ok to wipe one's mouth with a dish towel.  Firstly, dish towels are for drying dishes.  It's annoying when I go to dry a clean bowl and find that the dish towel is covered with pasta sauce.  Secondly, its just gross.   I would never want to wipe my mouth with a dirty dish towel but for some reason the boys (including my husband) continually do this. 

I keep thinking of things that people have said to me that I know weren't meant to hurt, yet still did (easily accomplished I suppose since my heart is on display more than it should be).  Knowing themselves that they overstepped the mark as soon as the words were out should be enough for me, yet I still find myself thinking about it, even though I should be used to it.  I do commend myself though for letting certain words slide.  Maybe I'm wrong to do this but I don't want to spend time asking people to try and refrain from saying hurtful things that they probably didn't mean in the first place;  besides this is real life and I've gotten better at deflecting over the last few years.

I'm letting myself down by being a bit lacklustre and not having more direction.  There are lots of things I know I should be doing, yet haven't the slightest bit of interest.  Point in case: the gym.  Something I've lost sight of over the last three weeks and really need to get back to, yet I keep finding excuses for not going.  I think I will rectify this situation immediately, considering I won't even entertain stepping on a scale after our over-indulgent vacation.  Working full time is no excuse.

Speaking of our vacation, I  reckon most of you are probably wondering where I get the audacity to complain so soon after returning from our holiday to Canada.  A holiday where I not only got to meet and get to know my gorgeous little niece with the most infectious smile ever, but where I spent time with family and friends and even got to spend a glorious day and night in the city with my husband on our own, where he spoiled me rotten for our 6th year anniversary (I'm a very lucky girl, I know!).  How right you would be if you are thinking it; I shouldn't feel this way, yet I was feeling it, however in the time it took to write this post my mood has brightened.  I needed a good old whinge and unlucky for you, you were the recipient.  So thank you.  Sometimes a girl just needs an outlet and today it was you.

I will be back tomorrow to post about the lovely day Andy and I spent in Toronto and to show off a few of the brilliant photos he captured.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


This week has just gobbled the days up...

Well here we are on our last night in the lovely province of Ontario.  We can't complain about much of anything really as life has been good to us during our stay.  The sun has been shining most days, the food has been ridiculously good (I'm tryign my hardest to ignore the weight I've put on, it will come off) and the cuddles from the babies have been wonderful. 

My heart sings when I see how much my niece loves her Uncle Shrek (a name Andy gave himself at the beginning of our visit that just seems to have stuck).  The two of them have often been found to be playing silly games and I love hearing Clara squeal with laughter at the faces he pulls. 

We had a glorious weekend in Waterloo last weekend.  The Pumpkin Patch was so pretty, lots of activities for the little ones to do and we took great advantage of the vibrant colours to do a mini-photo shoot:

Clara and her daddy

It was great when we finally saw Darla and Glen pull up in their car.  Their baby Rachel, who is 17 months old and lovely, was a little bit shy at first but it didn't take her long to get used to us.  Rachel was much more interested in the children's toys on offer than anything else:

Rachel in one of the many push cars

Tawny & Clara in the pumpkin patch

As it was nearing lunch and the babies were getting hungry we all jumped in the cars and headed to St. Jacob's, a quaint little village not far from Waterloo.  We were getting settled at our table when Taylor yelped that he'd just been stung by a wasp.  Luckily enough, he wasn't allergic and we all settled down to a noisy, talkative lunch, while Taylor cried in the corner;  not really, he took it like a man for the most part... getting stung by a wasp hurts - a lot.  I know, been there done that.

Tawny, Taylor and Clara said goodbye soon after lunch and we headed off with our friends to spend the Octoberfest weekend in Waterloo/Kitchener.  One of my favourite comments from that weekend was when Glen said to me "It's great to have one of my fun drinking buddies back again".  Glen, Andy and I gleefully sat in the warm October sun drinking beer and eating sausage dogs with sauerkraut until Darla and her friend Colleen caught up with us after Rachel's nap.

Give us a smile boys

Me & our amazing friends
Another added bonus to the long weekend was not one, but two turkey dinners.  Glen cooked all afternoon for us on Sunday and we returned home on Monday to again celebrate Thankgiving with my sister and her family.  Both meals were delicious and so worth it. 

My sister lays a beautiful table and I definitely think I'm taking tips from her for my Christmas table.
The rest of the week has gone by much too quickly;  we have had a lot of fun and I've much to tell, however the rest of our tale will have to wait until we get back to the UK.
Although it will be good to get back to our own home and see the kids, Molly and our friends, tomorrow will be a hard day because I hate the thought of having to kiss my sister and her beautiful girl goodbye until the next time we are together.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Hello from Toronto!

Just thought I'd give you all a little peek into our holiday so far;  we have been loving every moment with our niece, who happens to be the most charismatic baby I have met in a very long time.  Not only is she quirky, funny and smart, she is so very very beautiful.  Truly.  And I'm not saying this because I'm her biased Aunty.

I'm not, just look at her for yourself:

Yesterday, we took the ferry over to Toronto Island.  It was a beautiful, warm day and we loved the peaceful serenity of the fall day.  Something tells us it wouldn't be so peaceful in summer.

Today we head up to Waterloo to see Darla, Glen and their baby Rachel whom we've never met before.  It's been three years since Dar and I have seen each other, and Andy hasn't seen Darla or Glen since our wedding, six years ago.  I think its going to be a great weekend.

This morning, Tawny and Clara are taking us to a pumpkin patch where we will meet up with our friends and spend the morning hopefully getting more great photos.

Here is a moment I captured with Andy and Clara: 

Oh, and of course we are taking advantage of the gorgeous food:

I will try and blog again before we head back to England.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

One More Sleep

Its 7:00 pm on the eve before we depart for our two week holiday to Ontario to meet our beautiful niece Clara, spend some long over-due time with family and friends and enjoy a properly crisp, Canadian Autumn that by now, should be bursting with vibrant colour.

This is what my to do list looks like:

Leave my office in a condition that shouldn't be too out of control when I return
Christmas shop for the family in Canada
Sort out food for Alex to last two weeks;  Andy sorted this out, thankfully
Buy presents for my gorgeous niece - stopping was much harder than I thought!
Manage to have my hair coloured by someone other than my stylist and not get the result I was hoping for
Get the bedding washed and dried  (Gotta love fresh sheets!)
Make sure we have everything ready for our 7.5 hour flight
Pick up the items from my mother-in-law to deliver to her doggie friend whilst in Ontario
Take Molly on a long walk
Enjoy a glass of wine
Get Molly packed to take over to Dawn and Roberts for her holiday
Have a few drinks with Robert and Dawn when we drop Molly off

Because we are due at Dawn's in approximately one hour, I better get my arse in gear and go start packing my bag.  When we get back tonight I'm taking a long soak in the bath.  Tomorrow will be a long day but I don't think anything could detract me from this high... Internet, I just don't think I've been clear enough in letting you know just how ecstatic I am to meet this little girl. Or maybe I have.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dinner Conversation

I might have briefly mentioned in passing that last Friday, our oldest boy Alex turned 18. In this country 18 means that you are not only able to vote, but you are legally eligible to walk into a pub and order yourself a pint of lager or any other alcoholic beverage of choice, maybe even three if its happy hour and like most 30 something 18 year olds, you need to get your maximum haul in before the clock strikes the end of cheaper drinks. I personally think the Brits have it right: If you are old enough to go fight in a war, vote for a government that is going to send you to war, or get married without your parent's consent, you should be able to consume alcohol legally. So score one for the Brits, they've got that right at least.

As I've also mentioned a multitude of times on this site (and as those of you who know Alex are aware), he is not your typical 18 year old lad. Plainly speaking, he wasn't your average teenager at all and for that, his dad and are very grateful. Alex chose to celebrate his 18th with us and his Aunt and Uncle in Nottingham, where he spent the day spending his birthday money. (He will be going out with his mates this weekend when they've all been paid) Later that evening, Andy's daughter Natasha came down on the train to join us and off we went to Pizza Express. Like a responsible and outgoing older sister, Tasha was well intent on getting her brother buzzed up and proceeded to order copious amounts of a drink that involved Amaretto and Coke. I tried this strange concoction myself and was amused to find it tasted like Dr. Pepper; it was hard to keep Connor from swiping a glass after he'd had a taste and Alex sure liked it; Tasha was delighted that she had introduced a drink to most of the adults that we hadn't had before, and although she and Alex were doing a bit more drinking than the rest of us, they weren't getting obnoxiously drunk (makes a parent admit that this obviously isn't their first time) and it was great to see them enjoying themselves. It was honestly just so good to be out having a good time as a family again. That hasn't happened in a very long time.

I’m not sure how the topic came about but Tasha mentioned the size of her bum and said she could thank the Allenby’s for bestowing this gift upon her. We had to question this as none of the Allenby’s we know are saddled with a big butt. We were informed that cousin Tracy has a big ass. To which I replied, ‘Well yes, but cousin Tracy is also very big, not just her ass so you can’t use her as an example’ Tasha then suggested her dad. Alison was laughing, while I was chuckling at this observation. Andy has a curved spine, however his bum is far from big; it’s actually quite compact. Tasha may be his daughter, and daughters don’t want to hear this, but I’m sorry, it had to be said: ‘Your dad has a great ass, so sorry, you can’t blame him; you can thank him for your nose, but not your bum’, because let it be said, my man has a great ass.

Here are a few fun photos we managed to snap to celebrate our boy becoming a *cough* young man:

The Young'uns:
(I cannot believe how much they've grown, these seven years have gone by so quickly)

The Old Folk:  

Our Family (probably the first picture of all of us, ever)

 Connor & his Uncle Scott: 

Andy, Tasha and Alex 

Andy and his wife & his sister