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

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Friday, June 10, 2011

BBQ's, beer (and nudity is not an option, sorry)

Hugh Grant said it well in the opening lines of Love Actually: "Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. General opinion makes out that we live in a world of hatred and greed - but I don't see that - seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there: fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge; they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love, actually, is all around.”

This time next week, my brother will be landing in London and I will be waiting in Heathrow Airport for him to come through arrivals. This time next week, it will be a sister and a brother reuniting.

We are fortunate to have a lot of great moments from each year, even the few incredibly crappy years. Andy and I are strong enough to be able to remain smiling through some of the hard times; grey hairs and frown lines might be in abundance but boy do we know how to carry on through a bad situation. We are a great team that way, one of us often bolstering the other up when the need is required. Despite the crappy times, and let's face it, who goes through life without sh*t hitting the fan occasionally, we have a great life;  We just wipe the sh*t off and carry on. We are unlucky enough to be surrounded by his children, and his family; we have lovely friends and the most awesome dog in the world (we do, it’s true). We are comfortable enough to be able to travel and although we don’t have all that we want in life, we have enough.

Aside from my first year living here, at least one member of my family (including extended) has come to visit each year. Some years have brought more than just a solo traveller. I don’t think any trip I take gives me more excitement than the morning I stand in the airport waiting for my loved one to come through arrivals. That first hug feels better than almost anything.

We have a number of events on the agenda during my brother’s stay (between the sight seeing trips). Almost every Saturday is going to be taken up with BBQ’s, as Andy’s daughter Tasha has decided to have her 21st birthday at our house. When it comes to Tash, we have definitely come full circle and are so thrilled she has chosen to come to ours for the party that will launch her into world-wide legality. I think Ursala (the hot tub) just might being playing a small role in this ;) Either way it should be a great night. I don’t think my brother will complain too much about having a group of young folk in their early 20's in the house. There has to be some balance as most of my friends are in their 40’s.

Of course we will be throwing our annual Canada BBQ on the 2nd.  I love nothing more than when I have another Candadian on site. Mom and John are already helping me out with the party planning and this year I will actually have a bit more Canadian themed party supplies. Now if there was only a way I could order a big stash of Canadian Beer like Alexander Keith’s (Lite). Hmmm I would even settle for Molson Canadian. Apparently there are a number of fellow Canucks that have moved into town to teach at Connor’s school. I wonder what they will be up to on our nation’s birthday? I don’t think I will send out the banners to them though, as I seem to have enough people invited and my conservative gorgeous husband had a hard enough time getting his head around the fact I agreed to a colleague pitching a tent in the back yard. (Although I must say, if you're willing to host your daughter's 21st, I think you should be up for anything).  I think it’s shaping up to be one of our best yet.

Like my mom reiterated during one of our phone calls: it’s the one night of the year I like to celebrate and really get my party on (not her words exactly, but you get the gist I’m sure.) I’ve learned to be a mature adult for all other fun occasions like birthdays and Christmas; Besides, my older and much more mature friends love the opportunity to let their hair down at our annual BBQ as well. It’s not just me and Connor that love a dance around the fire pit.

Here are a few pictures from previous years (I noticed from looking back over my blog for pictures, that the words ‘get our party on’ resounds quite frequently):

July 2007 - we had Longbottom (aka Dawn M) with us that summer:

Last year, July 2010:

Giving the kids a little fun!

I'm not sure what direction this year's party will go in;  let's just hope everyone leaves their clothes on! 


dawn mclaughlin said...

:) I enjoyed this post lots! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I know how hard it is to be living far from family (even though we were still in Canada it would take two days to get home/for family to visit) so I understand how exciting it is - hope you have a fabulous visit!