Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Eeeee By 'Eck

I managed to take a picture on the day instead of using a photo I already have. Wonders will never cease!! I'm not holding my breath though as I will probably have "can't be arseditus" again by tomorrow.
Anyway on to the shot I actually took this morning.

We have a waiting game going on here at the moment as the powers that be have decided to mess with Pete's medication. It was supposed to happen yesterday but the nurse that he needed to see was off sick so we have to wait until we can get another appointment with her before it starts. Apparently he needs to come off the steroids, which keep him from getting Crones, and he is going to be taking immunosuppressents instead. It is going to take a long time to get him from one to the other and lots and lots of blood tests - no wonder the poor bloke is anaemic. Can't say I am looking forward to this as Pete tends to get what ever side effects are going with every drug he is given, his kidney failure is a side effect of a drug given to him 9 years ago for the Crones. The side effects for this drug? It is a good job I find bald men sexy is all I am going to say!
I eventually made a decision about next years holiday at about 11 last night so we are now going to the nice lady in the South of Croatia (Pete better get a hat). It's the first time I have been so organised about a holiday so far in advance but I really needed something to cheer me up and look forward to and this way I am going to work for a reason which makes it much easier!
It's funny really as we went skiiing near to Dubrovnik for our first Christmas together in 1990. We flew into Dubrovnik but had to fly back from Split as while we were there they stopped people going on holiday to Yugoslavia and declared Dubrovnik unsafe. This was the year that Pete gave me a bag of Cheese and Onion crisps as a present and made me eat them early on Christmas morning. Not easy to do when the crisps were stale and I had been drinking the night before (heavily as there was not much else to do due to the huge blackout). It took a while but I did eventually find the gold locket and necklace at the bottom of the crisp packet all covered in grease and crumbs!
Right it's time for me to get off my butt, tidy up the scrabble, get dressed and take myself off to work for the next 9 hours. Hi Ho Hi Ho

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

O Dear

Kyle playing in a large O in Lake Huron.

Just a very quick one for now - I will extend later. I am just on my way out to the travel agents to find out about flights to Dubrovnik and/or Montenegro.

Edited to add: I am confused - even more confused than I am normally. I went to the travel agents and got the relevant brochures for next year and then I spent a couple of hours trawling the Internet and have ended up getting nowhere. I have narrowed it down to 2 places one is a package deal in a large complex in the North of Croatia where there are lots of things like table tennis etc and we can get to Venice. The thing I don't understand is that it is significantly cheaper for us to get a 2 bedroom apt over a one bedroom apartment and its even cheaper still (by£400) if we get 2 separate 1 bedroom apartments which has completely thrown and annoyed me. I phoned up the tour company and the only explanation that they could give me was "Well you have 2 children with you" so it seems that "Thomson" now penalise you for taking your children on holiday even though they say that children under 16 will get a discount!!
The other one is a private cottage with a sea view and a pool in the South of Croatia run by a lovely lady who would pick us up from the airport free of charge, hire us a car when ever we wanted it and generally be very nice and helpful (I've been emailing her today). This one is also a LOT cheaper than the other one (even with the flights added) and has things like a washing machine, BBQ, garden etc etc that the other one doesn't have. The downside is that if I go with this one I am back to organising holidays by myself from scratch over the Internet and trying to match up flight dates with accommodation dates etc etc and I really wanted to have a year off from that. ARrrrrggghhhhhh !

Sunday, 24 August 2008


and I don't feel much like blogging at the moment. In fact I don't feel like doing much. It was Pete's 40th last Thursday and it is our wedding anniversary tomorrow. The boys have gone away with my Mum for the next 6 days so hopefully my mood will start to lift soon. Maybe if we had a bit of sunshine that might help !?!?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

V is for Butterfly

I obviously didn't take this picture today what with it being dank, grey, wet, nasty and totally pants outside. It was in fact taken at Science North up in Sudbury, Canada in a nice little butterfly house.
I'm off to get something done now before I sit down with Matthew to do his Art Project ready for him to take in for the start of his GCSE's in a couple of weeks. It's amazing how this project means I have to go shopping today for chalks (mine aren't the right type), card (I don't have the right colour) and netting and that is just to start with.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Still suffering..

.. from Jet Lag and post holiday blues. I was back at work this morning at 7am which was not easy but I am off now until Wednesday afternoon so it's not too bad. I have been given my hours for the next two weeks and I am not a happy bunny as I have been given 12 hours more than I actually want next week which resulted in me asking how much notice I need to give by 8am this morning. I think it may be time to start job hunting again if things don't improve soon. Not a prospect I relish as I do love my job it's only the amount of hours that I have a problem with as I only want a 20-25 hour week.

I still haven't got round to sorting out all my holiday snaps but it is on my list of things to do today if I get the time. I have managed to find this one though that can be used for today's prompt of HS:MS which is the letter "S".

This was a sign at Killbear provincial park in Canada. They have rare and venomous Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake and Eastern Fox Snakes there that get themselves run over, hence the signs. We didn't see a Rattler but a Fox snake did slither right in front of us and scared the life out of us as even though they don't have a rattle they do vibrate their tails in the dry leaves and it sounds like a rattle.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Hi Honey...

...we're home! After a long journey we eventually touched down at Manchester Airport at 6am this morning. Can't say I enjoyed landing much as at the time I was holding 2 full sick bags and trying to open another one ready for Kyle to use. That child finds the most awkward times to get a migraine. I am mostly unpacked and put away with just a last few items hanging out on the line drying I really can't believe how lucky I have been with the great washing weather we have had here today. Please forgive me for such a short post and a total lack of photographs but I have now been up (and awake) for about 30 hours so have no inclination to started editing the hundreds and hundreds of pictures waiting for my attention. Off now to fold and put away some more clothes and clean the kitchen then I may just sit down in front of the TV with a glass of wine and some chocolate I wonder how long I will stay awake for after my first sip of winzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

What would win...

.. in a fight a sperm whale or a giant squid? This is the subject that Pete and the boys were discussing for over 30 minutes while we walked along side Niagara Falls yesterday and I mean a serious conversation. Me? I was happy with my camera.

The ride on the Maid of the Mist was "Awesome" creating yet another unforgettable experience for us.

I even managed to capture a very rare moment of tenderness between my boys.

For food? We ate at the Flying Saucer Restaurant where we got to eat Poutine a Canadian delicacy of chips, gravy and cheese - yummy!

The evening was spent walking down the strip and seeing the falls all lit up I do have photos of it all but I have to get dressed now and re-pack (I am looking forward to not living out of a suitcase on Friday) ready to check out and drive round to the speed boat which we are booked on for 10am. The sun is up and it's nice and warm already so even though we will get soaked through we won't be cold. I will be hunting for a triangle for HS:MS on my travels today.

Monday, 11 August 2008

On the move....

AGAIN! We got back from the cottage yesterday after a wonderful week up there. We got to go up to Sudbury to the FANTASTIC science place on Saturday which meant that there was next to nothing between us and the North Pole except maybe a few polar bears. I have loads of photos to share but I have not had time to put them on the computer, so sorry Suzy you will have to wait. I have managed to do 2 though just to keep her happy.

This first one is the view we woke up to all last week - yes we could see this from our bedroom window! The land in the distance is Killbear Provincial Park.

As there are lots of leaves on the this picture I am using it as my HS:MS shot for today. I have played along over the last 2 weeks but have not been able to upload them - I will so a huge catch up when we get home at the weekend.

Happy Hour on the lake. It's a strong cosmopolitan in the glass and the reason for the face is that I am not as comfortable as the boys swimming with turtles especially when some of them are rather large (huge) snapping ones! I did relax eventually though.

In a couple of minutes we are jumping into the car - again and heading round to Niagara Falls which is about a 2 hour drive from my Aunts house. We will be riding the maid herself this afternoon before staying in a rather swanky hotel tonight and then tomorrow we will be partaking in a little bit of speed boating and white water rafting - should be fun.

Friday, 8 August 2008

In the Canadian Wilderness..

..sort of. We are currently living in a little cottage on the lake front somewhere on Georgian Bay which is part of Lake Huron, one of the great lakes. We don't have internet access here but I have just switched my computer to put some photos on it from the camera and I have managed to get on to a very very low signal coming from somewhere so I am taking advantage of it. The link keeps coming and going but if I can get it for long enough I will upload some photos later.

Last Sunday we drove from Ottawa through Algonquin National Park, with a few stops along the way, across to Parry Sound and then up to the cottage it took us all day but it was fun. All except the bit when I fell over and scraped all the skin off my knee at Peck Lake in the park resulting in me having legs that look like they belong to a five year old.

We still haven't seen any bears or moose but there have been sightings of them about 15 minutes walk away from where we are staying so we are hopeful. The boys are loving swimming about in the lake with rubber rings, floating seats, lilos and painted turtles and are only out of the water for about an hour each day. Chipmunks are everywhere, snakes, red squirrels, black tailed foxes, chipmunks, groundhogs, deer, snapping turtles, vultures, ospreys, humming birds, loons are just a few of the things that have been sighted. I'm just not quick enough to photograph them all especially when we are in a boat speeding along between the thousands of islands in the area.

We have been geocaching which ended up with Pete and Kyle doing a little bit of cliff jumping while we were there. Today we plan to drive about 3 miles up the road to Killbear National Park to walk some of the trails there and find another 3 caches and hopefully avoid the rattlesnakes. We have been told that there is a good beach there too so I am sure that Kyle will be testing that out as long as we don't get a thunder storm.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

On the Road.....

Again! It seems like ages ago that we left home but it has only been 8 days, I think this could be because we have packed an amazing amount into such a short space of time. Today we have driven East to Ottawa stopping at "Bleasedell Boulder" along the way which Kyle just had to climb with a little bit of help....
After a nice relaxing drive to Kingston to see "Fort Henry" we turned North up to "Smiths Falls" where we visited "Timmy Horton's" for coffee, doughnuts and cookies before continuing on up to Ottawa. After parking the car we booked into the rather splendid hotel that we are staying in and got ready to explore the city. This place has the most amazing buildings on Parliament Hill which are beautiful, unfortunately the light wasn't playing so I couldn't get any really good shots tonight.

When we reached the top of the hill (and caught our breath back) we saw a couple of these little guys scrabbling about in the dirt which made my day.

We walked a little bit further and found the coolest fire fountain....

Dinner tonight was a great experience at a place called "Richtree Market Restaurant" where you are handed a card each on your arrival. You then walk round the restaurant finding the food that you fancy, you hand the card to the chef and they swipe it adding your choice to the final bill. It was that good that we are eating there again tomorrow night.
We have timed our visit really well as tomorrow the International Buskerfest is in full swing, the 1st Rideau Canal Festival gets underway AND the International Firework Competition starts at 9.30 just over the water and on top of that the hotel has a swimming pool so I don't think we will be stuck for anything to do.
The only thing I have left to say is a huge "GOOD LUCK" to my cousin Claire who is playing in beach volley ball competition this weekend in Toronto. We will be thinking about you.

Back in Claremont

The flight from Newark in New Jersey went well with no complications and after picking up a new hire car, which is not as glamorous as the first one, we got back to Claremont mid afternoon. We were all that knackered that we just relaxed and took it easy for the rest of the day.
Yesterday was a bit more eventful and active. On the way to Stouffville we dropped off 11 Travel Bugs and Geocoins off at a geocache, including Matthews coin which is in a race with Kyles to see which one can get back to Cheshire England first. Once in Stouffville we visited "Timber Creek" where we played crazy golf and went into the batting cages.

Someone Elses Portrait

After a walk round a giant "Wal-mart" we went to catch dinner at Burds Family Fishery. Between them the boys managed to catch four HUGE rainbow trout one of which Nick BBQ'd for us to eat - delicious. The others have been frozen ready to take to the cottage next week to be smoked for dinner one night.

To finish off a great day we went to watch "Batman The Dark Knight" at the local cinema which we all really enjoyed.

Tuesday 29th July

Our last full day in New York and time to finish off the to see list. Having now got the hang of the subway we hopped onto one to take us to the South of the Island which didn't turn out to be as simple as we had hoped but we did get there in the end. With a very small amount of queueing we got on the boat to Liberty Island to go and get a close up of the statue which we managed to do despite the intense heat even at 10.30am in the morning.

After a boat ride back to Manhattan we caught another subway which took us to Coney Island which is awful, it is the only time while we were in New York that I felt even slightly unsafe so we didn't stay long - just long enough to visit the Aquarium and for the boys to go on the roller coaster.

We returned to Manhattan and dropped the big camera off at the hotel, got some dinner and then headed off to go on "The Beast" which was fantastic. On your last night in New York what better thing could you do than go on a speed boat ride out to Liberty with pumping music and the sun almost setting - "Awesome"!!
After a bit of shopping we had time for a couple more shots before we went to bed.

Starbucks at 12:15am

See how close our hotel was to "Times Square".