Saturday, December 29, 2012

Almost 2013

Blimey it seems more like 3 weeks than under seven days since I last updated the blog.

I hope all my readers had a wonderful Christmas. I must say ours did not disappoint. Christmas morning we slept in a bit and opened up some pressies, watched a some TV and then headed out to Anne's parent's cottage on the Eastern Shore. The weather on Christmas Day was stunning, beautifully sunny so it made for a lovely drive out there.

Once there we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with Anne, Smiffy, Pat and Roy (her parents) and Mike her brother. I have to say that our Christmas dinner was quite possibly one of the best I have ever had. A wonderful meal beautifully cooked and presented. We chatted late into the evening and left around Midnight...All over too soon. Pat Gave us some toys for Shakespeare and he was more than happy to try them out when we got back...I didn't realise at first glance that they were catnip 3 am Boxing Day morning he was still bouncing round the house on a catnip high...The tree took yet another pounding!

Boxing Day we spent the whole day doing nothing apart from eating rubbish and watching films and Christmas specials. Definitely my kind of day! Thursday it was back to work for Rob and I. The forecast said rain, what we actually got was around 4 -5 cm of blizzard snow, followed by rain, which was a joy to drive and walk in...NOT.  Most of Thursday at work I had time on my hands to mull over my Getty money and whether or not to spend it in the sales, By 5 pm I had reached a decision, so as soon as Rob got back from work we headed to the mall to buy my new camera. I have upgraded now to the Canon 60D, in the kit I also got the 18-200 mm lens. I love it. It's heavier than my other camera, and is taking me a bit of time to get used to holding it, but the great thing is I now only need the one lens for pretty much everything. I just cannot wait now to get outside and shoot some landscape shots with it.

Friday we worked again, the day dragged as there was really nothing to do. So I left early and headed home to watch more TV. On Saturday I decided it was time to sell off some of my older camera gear, so I bundled up My old 350D body a 55-200 mm lens and some other accessories, photographed it and bunged an advert up on Kijiji (local classified ads online). I didn't hold out much hope in truth, as the last item I tried to sell on there didn't even get a look in. But amazingly within 30 minutes of placing the ad I had a chap contact me via e-mail. He came round within the hour and took the lot for $200.00 I was thrilled.

Saturday evening Nancy invited us round for dinner. It's the first time I have seen her place all decked out for Christmas and how pretty it looked. She has an amazing, realistic artificial tree that is so beautifully decorated (image at top)...Nothing like mine! We headed back around 9 pm to avoid the forecasted snow. As I am typing this is is 1.39 am on Sunday morning, the snow is supposed to arrive over night...Nothing yet but if the prediction is right we will have around a foot of snow by the afternoon...I will keep you posted on that!

Until then Happy New Year!!! And here is yet another photo of Shakespeare, this time in a bag!

The first shot with my new camera!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just a brief update today as I really don't have much to say.
A surprising busy work week for the run up to Christmas. I thought that is would be pretty quiet but in fact it has been the opposite, which is great as I hate not being busy at work as it makes the days so long when there isn't much to do.

I seem to have spent most of the week recovering from that party last weekend. I think I suffered the effects of an extended hangover on Monday morning. I was so stiff all over from those dance moves I was walking around like a 90 year old....Still am in truth!

Saturday night Rob and I attended Anne's Open House party. Great company as always and the food was excellent! By popular asking...Anne's mum brought some of her bean dip along which I had tried back in the Summer and loved!  We left there at around 1.30 am and seeing as the cold drive back woke us up we stayed up for at least another hour or so at home watching 'The Toys that made Christmas' Quite cool taking a walk down memory lane with some much loved toys throughout the decades.

Today I am of course knackered. It's mid afternoon now and I have only been up for a couple of hours. Nancy is popping round later, it will be the first time she has met Shakespeare, so lets hope he is on his best behaviour!

As this is my last post before Christmas, let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas! See you on the other side!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I think the title of this post will tell you how I am feeling today! Aside from encountering computer issues this week I don't have a whole heck of news apart from the staff Christmas party last night.

I am pretty sure I am not the only person nursing a serious hangover this morning. What a good night it was. The company hosted a dinner and dance at a local club. I don't think anyone was much interested in the turkey dinner...Which was okay...It was more about socialising and drinking of course. Poor Robert drove, so he was pretty reserved and promptly forgot the names of everyone I introduced him to. I think all my work colleagues were interested in finally meeting the mysterious husband they have never seen. It was great getting to meet a lot of the 'other halves' as well.

As soon as the dinner was over the dancing commenced, I was pretty plastered by the time I hit the dance floor and threw some interesting shapes! Gangnam Style was entertaining as was Smooth Criminal I do believe I attempted some moon walking and a crutch grab...I dread to think how many beers a glugged, (possibly in the region of abut 15), but this morning, my head was pretty muzzy and my body ached in parts I never knew could ache! One of my co workers Sean brought a case of beer to the party and aside from the free drink we got, he kept supplying me with extra beer from his truck, if I thought I was hammered you should have seen the state of him at the end of the evening.
Even our VP of Eastern Canada was up kicking it on the floor. I am sure there will be some recounting of the evenings events, come Monday morning....Oh dear!

Shakespeare has continued his reign of terror on the Christmas tree this week, and has broken several more ornaments as he scrabbles his way inside it. Below is a very poor quality phone image taken of him in the tree last night.

It's not a real tree....But he doesn't care :o)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Santa's Little Destroyer

A bit of a quiet week this week although somewhat productive on my part as I managed to get some much need cleaning done. I skipped Camera Club on Wednesday as it was raining and miserable outside and the prospect of diving there and back on our dimly lit roads wasn't very appealing. That is one of my niggles about living here, the roads in the main are poorly lit and don't even get me started on pedestrian crossings! Nearly every week it seems recently, someone has been knocked down on them. Some of it is of course due to careless driving and lack of attention, but I believe it is also due in part to the fact that crossings are badly marked and not lit up, plus there are so many of them that people become oblivious to them. I think PEI have the right idea, as does the UK with zebra crossings, you notice them straight away, but here all you have are two white lines across the road which can be very worn and hard to see. Okay, whinge over!

Friday night Rob and I bit the bullet and pulled out the Christmas decorations and put the tree...Not without reservations on my part as to how it would fair with Shakespeare the destroyer in residence.
At around 1.30 am he jumped on the bed with a little Green Santa Clause that had been hanging on the banister downstairs, I have to say I was impressed he had found it and managed get it off with all the blue tack it had on it. On Saturday morning I made an inspection of the tree to find, 6 bows and 2 candy canes missing, plus one of my favourite purple balls shattered on the floor.

Saturday evening Anne and Smiffy came round to watch a movie (Crazy, Stupid, Love). I think I should mention at this juncture, that it is no coincidence that Anne and Smiffy's names keep cropping up together. They are indeed a couple now. I am proud to say I played a small part in this, as before Smiffy landed I told Anne about him and said that I thought they might possibly be a good match...I instigated Anne coming along to dinner at Wharf wraps to meet him the week of his arrival...And it looks like I was right :o) I am thrilled...As I am not generally a matchmaker, but in this case, things couldn't have worked out better. I genuinely love them both to pieces, and consider them both two of my closest friends and Rob and I really enjoy spending time with them.

After an enjoyable evening of film and snacking, they went on. Rob went to bed and I stayed up watching another movie, I headed to bed in the wee small hours and eventually nodded off only to be rudely awakened at around 7.30 am on Sunday morning by a god almighty crashing sound. Rob and I ventured downstairs to investigate only to find our tree tipped over...Yes the destroyer had been at it again!! It looks a bit of shambles now to say the least...But I couldn't stay mad at him for long as he is just so damn cute!

Finally, a couple of random images from the archives for you as I haven't done any photography for a few weeks now.

Fall in Mahone Bay

Blue Boat at Blue Rocks

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ho Ho Holy Crap...It's December

So here we go, head first into dreaded December. I cannot believe that people already have their outdoor Christmas lights and decorations up.

For Christmas Day this year, Robert and I have been invited to Anne's parents place and I am really looking forward to it, from my past visit there back in the Summer I know that Anne's mum is an excellent cook, which will knock spots off any feeble attempt we make at a Christmas dinner at home!

Last night Rob and I went over for dinner and a movie at Anne's which was lovely, and we got to meet her friend Kat, who I liked very much.

This week the weather has turned somewhat chilly as I believe it has in the UK too. On Thursday temperatures with the wind chill were down to minus 10....Brrrrr. That said I think it is due to warm right up again tomorrow.

Everyone seems to be debating what kind of a Winter we will have this year, as the last two have been pretty kind in terms of snow fall. According the the Farmers Almanac, we are in for a bad one, and apparently this is a reliable source. I personally hope the prediction is wrong!

Shakespeare continues to amuse us on a daily basis with his antics. His latest thing is getting in the bathroom sink. He loves it for some reason. I know many cats like sinks, but Shakes takes it one step further, not deterred by the tap running he sits in there getting his bum, tail and feet wet and doesn't seem to mind one bit...Very strange.

He other slightly annoying habit is shredding up the toilet roll. We have to make sure the bathroom door is shut all the time otherwise we find an unholy mess in there!

Nothing much else to report, the weekend has flown by as I have spent most of it on the PC putting together a new website for my brother.

Socially in the next few weeks we have a couple of parties to go to, My works dinner and dance is on Dec 15 and Anne is having an open house on Dec 22....Not sure how I will cope with all this eating and!

Some random images until next week. I thought you might like to see some of the faces I work with and of course Shakespeare in the Sink.

Finally borthday wishes go out this week to my friend Paula and my Godson Joshua! Hope you both have a wonderful day!!!

The front desk girls Left to right: Sarah, Kristen and Tanya

Sink boy!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Friday & Bowling

A busy week and fulfilling work week for me this week as have been designing some more marketing flyer's and a new 'stand up' for the showroom, plus working on some new new company processes to hopefully make things run a little smoother in certain areas. I have to say at this juncture that I really enjoy my job. Since switching locations I have been thrown into so many challenges and risen to them that feel I have been empowered and seemed to have carved out my own little role that covers such a cross section of departments. My problem solving abilities have been recognised and my design background has really come into play. In the past I have always lacked confidence and doubted my skills but I finally think that I am slowly but surely getting past this. I have always been afraid of change as I like the safety of routine. I can safely say that moving to a new country and working for a company that is constantly changing and evolving seems to have sorted that out as well.

In other good news, my images on Getty are still selling moderately well and and I have been able to save up a little bit of money and by then end of next month I am hoping to invest those dollars back into a new camera which I am very excited about.

This weekend was the Black Friday sales event something that I don't usually take that much notice of, but my favourite clothes shop Penningtons was having a special event on Saturday morning with 40% off everything between 7 and 9 am, so I made the effort to get my arse out of bed and attend. I picked up at top and some much needed underwear for nearly $100 off the normal price. Exhausted from trying stuff on, I headed home and had every intention of getting stuff done around the house, I went upstairs, put my new swag away got all the laundry out of the bin popped it on the bed, thought I would just sit own for five minutes and promptly fell asleep for the rest of the the morning and most of the afternoon. Damn!

Saturday night Myself, Rob, Smiffy, Anne, Darrel and Rachel (a new member in the photo club and a fellow Brit) went bowling. After a faltering start at the first location where all the lanes were pre-booked, we headed off to Beazely Bowling in Dartmouth. The Brits outnumbered the Canadians on this little outing by 4 to 2 and this became very apparent when we got to the bowling alley. Smiffy and Anne were the first to get there, Smiffy didn't know the size he needed for the bowling shoes, once he had sorted that out and got his shoes, he asked the chap, do you want just one or both of mine, to which the man looked utterly confused, as did Anne. Turns out you don't hand in your shoes at the Alleys over here. So then the rest of us arrived, oblivious to what had just transpired, I take off my shoes put them on his counter and along with Rob and Rachel as we attempt to swap our shoes for bowling shoes, Once again the man behind the counter looked somewhat bemused as did Darrel as to why we were giving this poor man our manky footwear, thankfully Anne appeared at this moment and said 'you don't hand your shoes in here, apparently you only do that in the UK', we all found this highly amusing and the giggling continued for quite sometime. Once in there, we found that the shoe thing this wasn't the only difference! The balls themselves are smaller, (skittle size balls as opposed to the normal 10 pin bowling size) and there are no finger holes...there is no electronic score board, just a paper score sheet and each person bowls 3 times not twice. The pins aren't bottle shaped either, just straight looking. When you are done bowling your turn there is a button you press to reset the pins...Which, in my case was a sod to remember. We all played together in the first round and I believe it was Smiffy that came out on top, in the second round we split up and did boys versus girls, and sadly the boys hammered us. It was great fun, and something I would like to do again! You pay on the way out not on the way in, and it was such good value at $8 each for unlimited bowling after 9 pm.

In unrelated news, I am very sad this weekend at the news of Larry Hagman's death. I loved him as JR and I didn't have any idea that he was ill with throat cancer. It such a sad loss and the new series of Dallas won't be the same without him but I am glad he got to do the first series as he loved that role so much.

The Bowlers left to right - Smiffy, Anne, Rob, Rachel
and Darrel

WTF? Small Balls

RIP Larry!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cowboys and Hot Dogs

What is it about a 4 day week after a bank holiday? It's only 4 days but it seems like 6!
They should feel shorter but it always feels the complete opposite!

I finally got to catch up this week with my ex work colleague and Newfie buddy Sarah. She came round for dinner and few beers on Friday night, it was great seeing her and there was much hilarity as I introduced her to Pater Kay...Mind you I think his accent and expressions posed a few issues along the way which made it even more funny. Over dinner Rob and I tried to give her examples of regional accents (badly) from each part of the UK, she now gets the fact I don't sound like someone from Coronation Street. Talking telly, I have introduced a few of my friends now to some English entertainers and programmes they will likely never see over here. Anne loves 'Miranda', as do I...Such fun! Sarah is now officially a Peter Kay fan and Cheryl loves 'Life's too Short' with Warren Davies, Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant. I do think Canada is getting better at showing Brit TV, but it has a long way to go, especially when you consider the most known programmes are Coronation Street, Are you being Served (yes really) and every now and again someone always mentions 'Keeping up Appearences'! When we first got here Corrie was months and months behind, but I think due to popular demand they started upping the episodes per week to catch up and are now only a couple of weeks adrift.

Saturday Morning I went to Hatfield Farm on a Photo Club Field Trip. It was a good turn out of the familiar faces, Anne, Nancy, Smiffy, Deb to mention a few. In all there around 20 of us. Having not been there before I didn't know what to expect, it's a very pretty place, we paid to hop on the wagons and visit the other part of the farm called Fort Clayton, which is done up with cabins and shacks that have a touch of the wild west about them, the ticket includes a hot dog lunch...As many as you can eat and refreshments...I managed a total of 3.75 hot dogs before I was beaten!

I was quite enamored with one of the cowboys driving the wagons, it was the whole image, the hat, jacket and jeans thing he had going on I course this was a source of entertainment for those that know me. Deb's Hubby insisted on embarrassing me at the end of the ride back into having a photo taken with him...I have yet to see that shot, but I am pretty sure it will be totally cringy! Oh and in case you are wondering where Robert was, he couldn't make this outing as he had to work sadly but I did share my cowboy tale with him.

After spending the morning on the farm it was back home to finally clear some of the sodding leaves out of the back yard and the alley way behind the house...There were so many of them. Trouble is where we are, we have so many trees behind the house, they all blow into the yard...Not anyone else's in our row, just ours as the wind whips around the corner and ours if the first port of call for them being as we are the end house. It took a while, we also brought in our lights ready for the Winter. It was a cool and sunny 6 degrees on Saturday, and with all that fresh air and hard labour in the back yard, I promptly fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon for a well earned nap.

Picture Postcard Perfect - Hatfield Farm

Wagons Roll Cowboy

Fort Clayton - Hatfield Farm

Porch View at Fort Clayton

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Long Weekend

So here we are again, it's the weekend and it's a long one for most of us here as It's Memorial Day. I say most of us, I have Monday off but poor Rob doesn't. It does really depend on who you work for and what industry you are in as to whether you get the Monday as a holiday.

The weather looks pretty good for tomorrow, so Anne and I are heading out to take a few photos.
I attended camera club this week, the first time in a long time I must confess, as of late I have found the meetings somewhat tedious. I love going there to meet up with friends, but as far as the content of the meetings go, it can drag on a bit. I know that I am not the only one who has been thinking this. Having said that, this weeks meeting was actually okay. Some members presentations of images were followed by a workshop on light painting. Many who attended joined in with that.

As for other news, not much really. As I hadn't seen some of the girls in a while (due to the lack of interest in the camera club meetings) so I arranged a meet up for a Chinese meal on Saturday evening. It was nice to see them all and have a catch up. In attendance were Cheryl, Deb, Angie, Anne and Suzanne. Nancy couldn't make it as her and Wayne are in the States picking up a new car and driving it back. While I was out with the girls Smiffy and Rob went out for dinner in Dartmouth to The Celtic Corner Pub. I myself have not been there, but by all accounts the food was pretty good.

I'm a Celebrity starts tonight, I trust some of you will be watching, as ever I am exciting to get yet another dose of reality TV to keep me going over the winter months until Celeb BB starts again...I know, I am terminally sad!! On this side of the Pond I am very much enjoying The Voice, there are some great singers this year, unfortunately one of my favourites Mackenzie Bourg got eliminated this week. I also read that next season, Ceelo and Christina are bowing out of the judging and are to be replaced with Shakira and Usher. Now Shakira I think is a great choice, but surely they could get someone better than Usher?! Other (non reality) series I am watching that you may want to look out for in the UK are Person of Interest, Elementary, 666 Park Avenue and Vegas.

Until my next post, I shall leave you with Mackenzie and some more shots of our lovely Autumn!

Mackenzie Bourg's Blind Audition

Knock out round with his version of Call Me Maybe
He won this round and got booted this week singing One Direction.

Walking in Autumn - Victoria Park, Truro
Fall Colours near Parrsboro

Reflections of Autumn at Shubie Park 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trick or Treat!

It's been a busy week for me, it was month end and year end at work, so there was, and still is much paperwork to contend with. I have been more and more sluggish as the week has progressed. I can definitely feel the beginnings of hibernation mode starting to kick in.

Another Halloween has come and gone. Last Sunday I went into panic mode as I suddenly remembered we had to carve our pumpkin for Wednesday. We opted for a cannibal pumpkin theme, which everyone seemed to love and comment on. Some of my work colleagues made the effort to dress up at work, the best and scariest by far was Chris (photo below, I have given him a spooky background rather than the press he was stood in front of). I must confess I thought the wind and rain that we were having on Wednesday (thanks to Hurricane Sandy) would have put some of the trick or treaters off, but no, it was a 'full on' turn out and we had 150 kids come a knocking. Just as well we were well prepared, as the last of them slipped away we were left with just a handful of treats which we promptly ate. Anne popped over and we watched a bit of telly and about an hour after we had finished the treats a couple of giggly stragglers turned up, upon hearing we had no more candy, they asked for cheese? Rob obliged and they went on their way.

Saturday we took Shakespeare for his check up at the vet and all is well after his op. The girls there were so excited to see him especially as he was wearing his bandanna. I am proud to say he is pet of the week this week and his photo is up on the wall and on their plasma screen bearing the words 'Shakespeare White...A handsome man!' How cute is that!!! I didn't think anyone could be as crazy about that cat as I am but I was wrong :o)

The weather is a bit blah right now, just gray and not so photogenic so I have opted to do some much needed and long overdue cleaning this weekend, I am posting this early so I can crack on with the clean up tomorrow.

This years cannibal pumpkin....Terrible quality...Sorry!

Work Colleague Chris...Looking pretty scary on Wednesday!

Not so scary, Pet of the week....My boy in the bag cupboard!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Long Week

As the days are getting shorter, getting up in the mornings is definitely getting harder and harder.
Monday slipped by without incident, but Tuesday I woke up and couldn't balance at all. I was staggering around all over the place. Still determined to make it into work, I showered and dressed, but knew that there was no way I could drive, so reluctantly I phoned in and said that I was staying put. I phoned the nurse helpline to see if they might have any clue as to what was wrong, but after a ton of questions her only advise was to get to the doctor. I made an appointment for 3 pm and spent the day sat on the couch as I didn't want to lie down.

I felt a little better by 3 pm, so I drove to the docs. She checked me over, heart BP and my ears.
They think I had some sort of virus that caused the dizziness, but upon looking in my ears, my left one is completely blocked and she thought this might not be helping matters, so I have to get it syringed next week which will be nice...NOT!

On Friday Shakespeare went for the op! Rob dropped him off early in the morning and I picked him up after work with the help of Anne, who came with me as I couldn't remember how to get to the vet...Yes my sense of direction is no better since moving here.

I think it's fair to say that the girls at the practice had fallen in love with my little fella, he had been very spoiled and fussed all day. He managed to figure out how to unlock the kennel and escaped 4 times. They said they hadn't known a cat to be so unaffected by the op, it was like nothing had happened. They gave him a little bandanna to wear too....Slightly odd, pretty sure that Vets in the UK don't have this as an added extra :o) But he did look pretty darn cute in it.

*Top tip if you are moving over here with pets and need to seek out a vet. Try and get one outside of the city as you get more service for your money and generally they are a bit cheaper than in the city*

After he was back home he was like a cat possessed, he wouldn't stop running around. If possible he was more lively than normal. Anne stayed till about 9 ish and we watched the documentary 'You Been Trumped'. I hope at least some of you watched this in the UK last week. It was about Donald Trump and the land deal that he made in Scotland to build a golf course with no regard for the land or the people living there. I didn't much like the man anyway but this documentary incensed me.

Saturday Anne and I went out fairly early (for us) to take a few shots around Prospect and Terence Bay. The weather was so beautiful, warm and sunny...Just the way I like it. Shakespeare must have worn himself out because all day Saturday he was very calm and sleepy which was a blessed relief!

You will be pleased to hear the deer are back in town, I caught sight of them this week as I drove home from work one day, I saw about 10 of them grazing near the off ramp that leads down to our estate. I was thrilled to see them as they have been conspicuous by their absence all Spring and Summer.

Finally Birthday wishes go out this week to my friend Sylvie. I hope you had a wonderful day!!

Betweeen a Roack and a Hard Place at Lower Prospect

A Stunning view taken along the Road to Terence Bay
yesterday - Click to view Large

Another Autumnal shot from Shubie Park

Shakespeare recovering yesterday in his new bandanna

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Colour Everywhere

Well I think I definitely over did it last weekend as on Sunday my knee was swollen and I was in a great deal of pain, I spent the day icing it and hoping that it would feel better by Monday morning, but sadly it was no better so I had a rare sick day from work. I spent the day in bed with more ice on my knee. Thankfully by the evening it started to feel better and I was back and work on Tuesday.

The rest of the week was pretty non eventful. Smiffy popped round on Wednesday and we had a catch up on how he is getting on sorting out his new life, it is quite the challenge, as well we know but I think he is doing well on his check list!

I was looking forward to getting out at the weekend and capturing some more of the Fall colours, the trees suddenly turned almost overnight around the city, but Saturday was rather dreary, so I went shopping instead and got some new clothes (a rare event these days) for work. Overnight we had some rain and wind which I am happy to report cleared away on Sunday and as the grey gave way to some sun in the afternoon Rob and I headed back over to Shubie Park which I am completely in love with. Out of all the parks around the city it's definitely my favourite. The dog walkers were out in full force and most of them were trying to curb the enthusiasm of their 4 legged friends as they chased every squirrel in sight.

This Friday Shakespeare is going in for his little op...Poor little bugger doesn't know what's coming.
Knowing him though, I am sure he will get over it and will be mincing around in no time!

Natures Colour Chart

Bewitched...A gorgeous puss at the Pumpkin Farm

Autumn in County Cumberland

Beautiful Colours in Shubie Park

A Nice Place to Sit Awhile - Shubie Park

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In Search of Autumn

For a short week (with Thanksgiving last Monday), the days have been long it seems to have taken forever to get to the weekend.

I believe I left off last week on Saturday and the trip to get the clock. As I had been out so much last week I had no plans to go anywhere on Sunday, but the weather was just so beautiful, Rob and I took a quick trip to Shubie Park in Dartmouth, the light and the autumn colours around the lake looked stunning.

My work colleague and Newfie friend Sarah left this week to start another job, so that was pretty sad. I will miss her. another colleague who left about 2 months ago (Kathy) stopped by to tell everyone she was leaving Nova Scotia and heading off to Calgary where a new job awaits her. She had packed up everything and was leaving on Friday for the 5 day drive across Canada. Before she left though she gave me her phone, which I must say was extremely generous of her as it is a brand new Samsung Galaxy SIII smart phone. Now if you know me at all, you will know that I am not a mobile phone person, but I must say this rather lovely phone could convert me. I think it will take me a while though to stop hitting things inadvertently on the screen. I think my fingers are a bit sausage-like for touch screens. I do keep getting it out and playing with it though and I am sure I look like a complete numpty as I quite clearly don't know what I am doing half the time.

Friday was stock taking day and it was a long one. I think I got back from work at around 10.30 pm.
My legs and hip were arching like crazy, but it didn't deter me from heading out bright and early on Saturday morning with Rob and Nancy in search of Autumn colours. We spent a long time in Truro at Victoria Park, which is just beautiful, lovely colours and waterfalls. After that we traveled on towards Parrsboro (you may remember previous posts and images from this area), the colours were spectacular last Autumn, on Saturday, we did find some colour, but I don't think they were at there peak quite yet. It's been a funny Autumn so far with some areas full of colour and others yet to show.

Autumn at Shubie Park I

Autumn at Shubie Park II

Joseph Howe Falls, Victoria Park Truro

Roadside pumpkins for sale on route to Parrsboro

Picturesque Autumn - The Bird House Seat Edition

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes it's another long weekend here in Canada with it being Thanksgiving weekend.
As I mentioned last week I had a few days off and have been gallivanting around the province with my camera.

On Wednesday I was out with Nancy and we headed to the valley and Howard Dill's Pumpkin Farm. If you are an avid reader you will know I am a huge fan of this place. The weather was amazing, 22.5 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. We ended up taking Nancy's convertible and enjoyed the sun on our travels. After the farm we had a nice lunch in Wolfville at our favourite bar and then headed off to the Winery at Grand Pre.

Thursday I stayed at home and did some gardening whist waiting for the maintenance man to call round as we appear to have a leak in our roof, we noticed a damp patch on the ceiling in the (office bedroom). A chap called Dave turned up and had a look, they are going to patch the roof and re-paint our ceiling at some point in the near future...One of the perks of renting, not having to do all that crap yourself :o)

Friday I went out with Anne for the day and we headed off to the South Shore as Anne had not been to Stonehurst or Blue Rocks before. Before we got there though we stopped in Mahone Bay to check out the scarecrows and ended up wandering around the shops. I fell in love with a clock in my favourite shop and this caused me somewhat of a dilemma as it was quite pricey, I wanted it but should I buy it, after much faffing about I decided I wasn't going to...Not then anyway.

After realizing what the time was we had a quick lunch in the pub and then drove along to Stonehurst. Anne mentioned on route about a Tim Horton's Photo Comp that is running right now and we decided that she should definitely enter, you have to show yourself enjoying a Tim's coffee in your local area and what better backdrop to have than Blue Rocks (Image below).

Robert (Smiffy) Smith arrived for good on Thursday this week and to celebrate his arrival and mine and Rob's (12th) wedding anniversary (any excuse)...Anne, Rob, Robert and myself went out for dinner at Wharf Wraps for fish and chips. Great food and great company! Robert now has to get himself sorted out with a car, a job and a place to live...Just a few things to keep him busy!:o)

Now back to that clock! I couldn't let it go, so Rob and I headed back to Mahone Bay to get it on Saturday. It is now on the wall in the front room and I love it. It's pretty large with grungy, retro tin disc numbers and sounds terrible if I try and describe it so I will have to post a photo of it at some point.

Finally, birthday wishes go out this week to my best mate Sarah...Hope you had a great day!!!

The Pumpkin Bench

All Shapes & Sizes

Autumn Harvest

Howard Dill's Pumpkin Farm

Stonehurst, always beautiful!

Anne, Enjoying a Tim's at Blue Rocks

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Moose on the Loose

A relatively quiet week here in rather rainy Nova Scotia.
The most exciting bit of news to hit the headlines this week was a young moose wandering round in the Fairview area of the city. A pretty rare sight for these parts, I didn't even no there were any moose near here. The only ones I have seen were in Cape Breton. The poor thing cause quite a stir, but was eventually sedated to be released in a less urban area. Click here to read more about it.

This weekend was the annual scarecrow festival in Mahone Bay which Rob and I had hoped to go to, but since the rain has been pretty much non stop we decided to give it a miss. The Bluenose II was also relaunched this weekend after a lengthy time in dock being rebuilt. It was a much anticipated event and large crowds braved the weather to watch it return to the water.

As for our week, not much to report. Anne came round on Saturday to see Shakespeare and I took full advantage of her visit to sunject her to yet more British humor including Green Wing, Miranda and Life's too Short. We decided to go for an impromptu Chinese meal, which was very good, but oh so filling. Shakespeare decided he was going to be on his bast behaviour and cuddled up to Anne for most of the evening not really showing his demonic side :o)

Next week I have 3 days off and if weather permits I plan to take a trip out with Nancy on one of the days and Anne on another, I am using up the last of my holiday before my anniversary date. Many companies round here run holiday time from the day you start with the company, so each year my holiday time runs from Oct 7 to Oct 7. With the Thanksgiving bank holiday coming up, on the following Monday that will give me nearly a week of in total...Yay!

Panmure Island Lighthouse, PEI

What a fabulous Beach at Thunder Cove, PEI

Woods Islands Lighthouse, PEI

Into the Blue

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Tiring Week

Well that's one week back done and dusted. Work came hard this week after a lovely week away. I was up to my ears in billing and filing for 2 days catching up.

The weather has taken a turn for the worse so I pleased we had the good weather last week. It has pretty much rained solidly for the last 3 days, last night was torrential.

Before I left for vacation I was tasked with coming up with a design for a retail flyer to advertise the fact that we can do in store signage for local businesses. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out, as was everyone else and that coupled with the fact I designed the full length window perfs for the new part of our company next door (8 windows in total) means that I am now getting a lot more design and marketing work to action. My next project is a billboard design. This is going to be my biggest challenge to date design wise as they are a breed apart from any other form or advertising. They have to be (in my opinion) uncluttered full of impact and straight to the point. Hence I updating the blog a day early so I can work on ideas tomorrow.

Rob and I attended camera club this week, there were a whopping 98 people in attendance. It was nice to at least see some of my friends, although it was so busy I didn't get to catch up with all of them.

The cats have settled back into their routines now thankfully, although Hamish is still making that terrible yelling noise from time to time. I still reckon he ramped it up even louder to be heard in the kennels.

I didn't mention in my last post about Celebrity Big Brother...I watched the final and was thrilled to see Julian Clary win, he was without doubt the best candidate int he house. What a lovely man.

Loads of telly coming up to watch, over here Survivor began this week right after BB USA finished. (Again the best person won in the American version too). Dancing with the stars starts next week and Strictly is back on in the UK in the next couple of weeks as well. So that should keep my reality pangs at bay for the next few months!

We will also have a new arrival in Nova Scotia on October 4. Robert, our friend and fellow Brit will be making his way across the Atlantic on his one way ticket. Really looking forward to seeing him and going for fish and chips!

Below are some more photos from our week away, including a friendly fox. PEI has many foxes and they are almost tame, this one came right up to the car as we were heading out of Cavendish beach one evening.

There are also photos of two more lighthouses, one of which is West Point Lighthouse which has to be my most favourite. The beach is lovely there and the lighthouse is superb, It has a beautiful inn attached to the back of it. A gorgeous place to stay and fall asleep to the sound of the ocean. I would love to stay there on my next visit to the island.

Finally, Happy Birthday to my friend Pam, and good luck to my friend Kim who will be running the Bristol Half Marathon for St Margaret's Somerset Hospice next weekend. If any of you reading would like to support her please follow this link and donate online:

Friendly Fox on the Scrounge
West Point Lighthouse

The Red Window
New London Lighthouse

Sunday, September 16, 2012

PEI, Lighthouses & Someone Famous!

We are back from a wonderful week in PEI. I had forgotten how much I loved the place. It's a long posting for the blog, but worth the read, so make a cuppa and put your feet up! 

For those of you not familiar with the island, it is famous for potato growing (it is the home of McCain's), Anne of Green Gables and many, many lighthouses. Not only that, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in North America. Everything there is so pristine and manicured, every lawn looks immaculate and weedless. The countryside is very much like the UK with endless hills and sweeping pastures. Another interesting little thing we found was that the island has embraced the concept of electric vehicles, although still in its infancy, there are recharging stations across the island. When the locals aren't busy mowing their lawns or fishing I am guessing they must be picking up any trace of litter as there is none anywhere. It's a place where you really don't have to lock your doors.

Our first day and arrival on the island was beautifully sunny, we took our time getting to the Motel, which was located just outside of Cavendish on the North Shore. We stopped at a couple of harbours and a lighthouse on route (one of 22 lighthouses we hunted out during the week).

The next day was gloomy and got worse throughout the day as we caught the tale end of Hurricane Leslie. It was extremely muggy with a warm wind and in the afternoon the rain was torrential. It didn't let up all afternoon, and pretty much put an end to doing anything, although we did visit the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Park Corner. This is one of many Anne attractions you can visit. The following day the rain and gloom continued into the morning, but thankfully it cleared away by the afternoon and from then on it was a blue sky week with temperatures around 24 degrees, I think I topped up my tan a little with all the walking around we did.

We did all three scenic drives on the island, and took in pretty much every inch of coastline. You can see how the island is divided up into easy to follow routes on the small map below. Click on the map to find out more about the island and these drives.

So many highlights, too many to mention here, but I pretty much have a favourite lighthouse on every route. Some the the best beaches I was mentioning earlier are along the Central and Points East drives along the northern shore. I think it's safe to say that there are at least three spots we found that would be perfect for a holiday home. Now all we need is that lottery win!

We headed back home yesterday, quite reluctantly it must be said and we opted to get the ferry back rather than driving back across the Confederation Bridge. When visiting the island you only pay when you leave. It costs around $70.00 for the ferry and around $52.00 to take the bridge taxes in (but what you save in fare you lose in fuel as you have to come back further from New Brunswick). Anyhow I digress...We took the one o'clock ferry and headed straight for the canteen as we were pretty hungry. Once we had sat down and were tucking in, I was slightly distracted by some people sat on the next table. I thought one chap with a Scottish accent looked familiar and then dismissed the idea, my thoughts were randomly drifting as my eyes moved to the left of the Scottish fellow, not really noticing the other man sitting next to him, I was staring past him out of the window, then suddenly my eyes fixed back on him, the backlight from the window wasn't helping and I must have pulled some pretty weird faces as I began the 'is that...?' question in my head and slowly I began to mutter....'Oh my god', then again slightly louder, 'oh my god' which point Rob was curious as to what I was oh my godding about and said 'can you see the lighthouse?' I said 'no', and I think I also said 'oh my god' one more time, before grinning inanely, at which point man I had been fixating on said hello, I then giggled and blurted out loudly, 'I thought it was you, but I couldn't quite tell against the light'...And there he was...Robson Green. Apologies at this point in proceedings to all Canadians and Americans reading this blog (I know you are you out there, I check my stats) as you will have no clue who this man is. But to my loyal following in the UK...especially some of my female friends, I am guessing you would have been as excited as I was! I was in a heck of a state by this time and was trying so hard not to keep looking over but Rob will tell you, I was beyond excited.

After a short while he and a couple of his crew, got up and headed for the deck, as he went past he tapped me on the shoulder and I said to him, I have to ask, what are you doing on the PEI ferry bound for Nova Scotia? He said he was making an around the world documentary on extreme fishing, which you may or may not know he presents on Channel 5. This documentary will be out later in the year. After Rob and I had finished eating we too went up on deck where Robson was being filmed just relaxing on the deck with a book. I was rummaging around in my camera bag for my camera to take a shot of him but before I could get organised he was up and moving again, as he came past I asked him if I could get a photo with him blurting out my mother-in-law Moira (yes you Moira) is a huge fan and then remembered to add on the end, that I was too. He kindly obliged and Rob took the photo. Which I am sort of posting here, I couldn't have looked any worse so I have cropped most of myself out, sadly my many chins are still included. Never mind extreme fishing, he bagged a bloody whale on this ferry ride! Now ladies, so you get the full Robson experience...He is as lovely as he is on TV, he eyes really are that blue, he is taller than me and he smells gorgeous!

A very exciting end to the trip. If any of you had seen me you would have killed yourself laughing.
After the photo had been taken I had several Canadians come up to me and ask me if he was famous and what did he do, so I proudly spouted on about his TV career still buzzing from the whole encounter.

Now remember the last famous person I documented seeing was Bob Geldof at Gatwick airport the day we emigrated. Famous people be warned, I spot you, no matter where you are :o)

After we dumped all the bags and I chucked some washing in the machine we headed off to pick up the cats. They were pretty pleased to be home and out of that boarding kennel I can tell you. It took them a while to settle down but I think they are back on track now although Hamish has now developed an even louder meow than he had before, it now borders on insane! Next time we go away I am booking them into the Cat's Inn, it looks a damn sight nicer than this last place and there is no way I am putting them back in there again.

I took a whole heap of photos this past week, the editing will be lengthy, so I will post a few at a time, here are some to kick things off....And Robson of course!

Cape Bear Lighthouse - Marconi Museum Inside

Bagnall Mill Hunter River

Evening light on the shacks at French River

The Chowder House at Point Prim

Robson Green, Me & the Chins!


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