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

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

That mystery voice

There is a radio station here that has a Mystery Voice segment which consists of the DJ playing a very short snippet of a celebrity speaking and callers are encouraged to call in and guess who the celebrity is. There is a cash prize that is increased by £10 each day if the caller is unsuccessful. They do this twice a day and give you notice by playing various songs.  I mostly have no idea who the voice is, especially if it's a British celebrity, although I sometimes think I have a vague idea  that is normally always wrong.  Until the latest voice, which happened to be very American.  I was 99.9% sure who it was and kept telling myself to ring in and have a go.  I'm just never this sure.  This morning the DJ announced the cash prize was at £310 and listed a number celebrities that had so far been guessed incorrectly. I told myself to make sure I was at the office in time to call in. (Now don't get excited and start to think I actually rang in, got through and rightly guessed that it was Alicia Keys).  It was Alicia Keys but I didn't bother to call in figuring I'd never have gotten through. And now I'm playing the 'what if' game with myself.  You know the one were you constantly berate yourself for not even trying?

I could have used that £310 pounds.  Not in the way I normally would, which would have been a weekend away or to put toward my next ticket home.  But nope, I would have used it to pay off a bill.  Exciting eh?   Let me explain:  We have an ongoing dispute with the insurance company over the vet bill for Molly's last round of treatment which is well over the £300 mark.  The rip off agent insurance company say that because she was treated last year for allergies they can only cover £20 (plus their £80 excess fee).  How ridiculous is that?  We've never claimed before and having been paying them for years; we had been mistakenly under the impression that all was good with the coverage before we left for Nova Scotia.  It doesn't make any sense to me.  So, although I would abhor to spend a cash prize on a bill, it would save us some grief and also not put such a dent in our savings.  Because our savings have taken a slight hit after the trip home and at the end of October we have our Maldives trip to pay for and baby, that is one expensive holiday.  

So much so that we've debated over the idea of cancelling my birthday vacation, however we keep coming back to this: 

We've been dreaming about this for a nearly a year, since paying our deposit last December (which we would lose by the way, and I'm sorry, we just can't warrant throwing £500 away).  

Andy and I work hard.  Yes there a certain things we want from our 'life plan', and it will take a lot of saving to get there.  However I'm away from all my family and friends in NS and can't fathom having a party here without them.  Also, we have a life to live and you only get one chance at it.  We deserve this and so long as we are both in agreement on the way we are going to spend our money, it would appear that the Maldives have won out.    

We can get back to working on our 'life plan' after we get back and are feeling chilled out and tranquil.  

Because that's how life should be right? Material items can wait that little bit longer.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beauty by the Water

The past two weeks have seemed to drag, yet the two weeks we spent in Nova Scotia went way too quickly. 

Robert & Dawn came over last night for Beef Stifado and copious amounts of wine;  we looked at all the photos we took and  reminisced about what a great holiday it was.  We laughed about how the first thing the boys, Stacy and I wanted to do after arriving back at Mom's house was hit the lake for a refreshing swim.  Robert said that at the time he didn't fancy it after such a long journey, especially as it included a 15 minute walk back into the woods, however once he was in the water he said it had been the absolute perfect thing to do after such a long day.. and it was.

My siblings and I do love that lake, as do my boys, which makes me really proud.  It's my hope to maybe one day have a house on that lake (unless of course they never sell the land, which would also probably be even better - leaving it unspoiled and fresh.)

The following day we hung out at the house; Tawny and Taylor came out with Clara and we made our plans for the Farmhouse trip. 

That Monday night after supper we drove into the city to have a walk down by the waterfront.  It got dark a lot earlier than expected but we had fun all the same:

Tuesday morning we packed up three vehicles and headed down to Lunenberg via the scenic route, with of course a stop at our beloved Rope Loft in Chester for some lunch.  Dawn & Robert loved it as much as I knew they would.  Although I was dismayed that there weren't any scallops on the menu, the mussels I had were fantastic.

Mid afternoon we arrived at the Farmhouse, 2nd Paradise Retreat in 2nd Peninsula, Lunenberg.  Tawny had found this place on line and it did NOT disappoint!

(Our view from the front deck first thing in the morning)

Of course Stacy and I had to climb out onto the roof - a window like that was just asking to be climbed through (the teenagers were dismayed they hadn't thought of it first):

Highlight of Activities (during the three days):

The awesome boat house and dock, perfect for sunbathing and jumping off of...

Oh, and dancing on the dock too of course.  Especially if your name is Clara.  Girl is definitely our Dancing Queen.

Mom & Aunt Marg drove down later Monday afternoon, with the plan to not be too far behind the rest of us 'lunch' crowd, however they got a little lost.  After a few phone calls Stacy drove out the bay road to collect them.  It was funny listening to Stacy describe what they had to say when she found them: Aunt Marg's "Where the f**k are we and where are you taking us?, followed by Mom's "We were gonna go the f**k home!"

(Mom enjoying a cooler next to Cam, after her long journey)

 On Tuesday after supper, Clara got herself locked in the bathroom;  it wasn't long before my husband came to the rescue with his team of willing helpers and operation 'Rescue Clara' was a success!

(I loved how even Aunt Marg jumped in on the mission)

The food - oh the food;  On Wednesday morning I cooked up a bunch bacon, Tawny made the mimosas and laid a gorgeous table while Stacy made her now famous healthy, berry pancakes.


  Aunt Shirley and Uncle Reg turned up on the Wednesday:

And of course we spent more time down by the waterside :)

If the boys weren't diving off the dock or in the kayak's they were catching many crabs scuttling about.  I think Clara enjoyed this as much as the boys, especially when they caught a few big ones.  Listening to Cameron screech when a huge one walked across his foot was another moment that made us all laugh.

Of course, a long day down by the dock needs to be rewarded with a cooling dip in the pool:

Followed by a swing in the hammock:

Nighttime activities included various games, or chilling with a book and glass of wine, and of course the boys loved building up the fire pit and of cooking their sausages over it:

(especially Uncle Reg)

This was an absolutely amazing place to spend three nights with the whole family. Everyone was in agreement that it won't be the last time we visit 2nd Peninsula.  Although there were 12 of us there (at any given time) it was a place where you could be with the group, or completely on your own to enjoy the peace and serenity.

We have to make this a repeat event.  Seriously.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Finding Peace

It was easy in a place like this: 

(Early morning at the Farmhouse, before the sun burned through - we spent three glorious days here)

We got back into the country a week ago Sunday morning at approximately 9:30 am and I'm still not feeling as settled as I should be. 

It was a brilliant holiday for all of us.  Everything went pretty smoothly and as well as introducing Dawn, Robert and Cameron to my family and a few friends, we showed them as much of Nova Scotia as we could, in the short time we had. I believe Andy said he took upwards of 1000 photos (and between him and my sister, there must be thousands); after I've looked through them all again, I'm going to do a couple of posts on our various days out.

Being back at work is ok and although it's busy, I work with a great bunch of people who understand why I'm not my usually upbeat self;  they were only full of kindness and hugs the few times I got a bit tearful, which has thankfully passed.  Being full on with my period certainly didn't help with the continuous battle to hold it together. Reminder to self: don't schedule the departure from home and  family when you are due to start.  It's a sure-fire countdown to meltdown. And here I was thinking how awesome it was that I wouldn't have to deal with that while I was on vacay.  

So anyway... this week is a new week and I know this 'displaced' feeling will subside bit by bit and within a few more days I should be back to what constitutes normal.  I just didn't think it was going to take so long this time round.  I could read all kinds of various meaning into this, but I won't.  

I will be grateful that I got to spend time in such a beautiful place with my family.

And it won't be long until I am back with them again.   

I had already hit publish when I realized that today is my sister's birthday:

Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl.  I loved spending time with you in Nova Scotia and although I'm sure you will get showered with wondering gifts, in this photo your are holding the best gift of all.