Sunday, December 22, 2013

Let it Snow...and Rain...and Freeze

Yes indeed, we have had some truly awful weather this week which all started last Sunday with the 'Winter Storm'...Well not really a storm but about a foot of snow which made Monday morning a total pain in the arse to get to work hampered by the fact that the snow came down late in the evening and the snow clearers seemed to have forgotten how to do their job properly. The roads were a mess, it was all compacted and really slippy. I know I am not alone in whinging about the the state of the roads, you could pretty much talk to anyone here about the roads this week and they will all say the same thing. I am not sure what the problem is, maybe they have got complacent over the past couple of years where the snow has not really made an appearance until the end of December, maybe they have skimped on the budget or maybe they just don't care, but god knows we pay enough taxes here to get the job done properly. It was typical that I had stuff to do on Monday. I had to get the car to the garage for repair, and after work I had a hair appointment in down town Dartmouth, where the pavements were even worse than the roads, so dangerous to walk on...At least I had my snow boots on and my cleats on the bottom of them. Tuesday it was like driving on ice and finally by about Wednesday it started to get better, we had more snow, not too much thankfully and now we have rain/freezing rain all weekend.

Right, enough weather chit chat, on to more pleasant things...My band Home Free in the Sing-Off have reached the final I am pleased to say. Their latest (non sing off performance) video below, fingers crossed they win on Monday. A few of my favourite shows wrapped up this week, The Voice finished with a massive 4 hours of finale over two nights, which was to be honest hard going with much filling! Strictly finished in the UK with Abbey taking the Glitterball trophy as I thought would be the case, although I really wanted Natalie to win, she should have won based on the show dances alone and finally Survivor finished over hear last Sunday, Sadly no one I liked made the final, but it was a great season.

Note to self...Do I watch too many reality shows?....Nahhh....There is no such thing as too many reality shows in my world. Celeb Big Brother Starts Jan 3rd and Dancing on Ice...I cannot wait!

Rob and I went to Anne and Smiffy's Christmas Open House last night, as always great food and company, we ended up bringing a few snacks home with us including a healthy portion of Anne's mum's famous bean dip...yummy and some home-made jam and peppermints...Finished off the bean dip today. The healthy eating went out of the window yesterday and I guess it might wane a bit over Christmas. This year Robert and I are spending it with Rachael at her place, I am looking forward to the food especially Roast Potatoes, something I haven't had in about 2 years now. In fact the last time we had them was Christmas 2011 when my brother came to stay. Mash potato is really the thing here when it comes to potatoes.

Rob and I have had a lazy day today as we didn't get back till around 1.50 am last night. Nancy popped over for a visit to drop pressies off and catch up as we haven't seen each other in a while. She also brought with her some of her home-made shortbread...Which was very tasty! After she left Rob and I spent the rest of the afternoon vegging out and watching more of Breaking Bad...We are only 3 episodes away from the end of it now and I am distraught at the thought of it being over, I could literally watch it forever. I said a couple of weeks back it was right up there with my faves...Strike that. It is THE best US drama I have ever seen.

Well I guess this is it, my last update this side of Christmas. So Merry Christmas to all my readers, friends and family...enjoy and eat loads! See you on the other side!

Season's Greetings!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mostly Venting!

Another week on and I am no nearer putting up any Christmas decorations! I just can't get festive this year. I think the tree not going up is a given now, I may get the tinsel out though and a few lights just to show willing.

Work has been crazy busy again this week and I was pretty dead by Friday! We have a winter storm a brewing for tomorrow hence I am updating earlier this week in case the power goes out. Depending on which weather forecast you choose to believe we could be getting anywhere from 10 cm to 50 cm of snow, quite frankly I don't care any more. I just hope that it comes and goes quickly and I can get about my daily business on Monday.

The weather forecasters on the news news annoy me so much I practically want to hurl something at the TV every time they come on. They just love the drama of snowfall, the build up to the approaching storm has been talked about for days now. They always remind me of an episode of 'The Vicar of Dibley' when they keep mentioning the 'Great Storm' at the parish council meeting. (For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, see video below). I think it boils down to a couple of factors, firstly in recent years they don't have snow like they used to round here, so any chance to big it up they do. And secondly, I believe they miscalculated the severity of the last 'Great Winter Storm' know as White Juan in 2004 so now they tend to forecast for the worst just in case.

Gripe one over! On to gripe number two...This week Canada Post announced that in the next five years they will be phasing out all home postal deliveries and that everyone will have to use community mail boxes to pick up their mail. Two thirds of people already collect their mail from community boxes, but in the more densely populated urban areas, home deliveries are still in operation.

The reason for this change, according to the 'numpty' spokesperson on the news is due to falling revenue and the fact that people use the mail differently these days, Internet shopping etc. He said that since 2008 Canada Post have delivered one billion less pieces of mail...Which makes me beg the question, if they have had less to do, why does it take them so damn long to deliver stuff?! The term snail mail most certainly applies to the postal service here. And as for these community mail boxes, what happens to all those people who are not in walking distance of them, who are old and infirm, who cannot see, who cannot drive? This is just not acceptable. Why did Canada Post not set about improving their service from 2008 when the mail started to decline in volume?! All they have done is let it perpetually decline to point now where more people will lose their jobs and to top it all business postal rates will be increased dramatically in order that their mail still be delivered 5 days a no extra cost to the tax payer (that was another sound bite from the spokes man on the news). Disgusting!

Venting over, I am going to move on to something more enjoyable. One of my favourite talent shows is back on the TV. If you have followed my blog since the beginning you may remember me banging on about it before. It's called The Sing-Off and it's the only acapella singing contest on TV. The groups are amazing. It blows my mind every time when I hear them sing as they are so talented, no musical instruments just their voices. This season, I have a stand out favourite group called 'Home Free' who specialise in country music. You can check them out below! I defy you not to love them and not to smile watching them sing.

Finally, Guess who are back? I haven't seen them in the longest time...The deer. They have been round nearly every night in the last week. I have fed them apples and carrots and just last night we had a rare visit from the stag, he came pretty close, the ladies all seem scared of him and didn't encroach on him eating the carrots. They are just so beautiful, it's so lovely to have wildlife like this literally on the doorstep! No photos sadly as it's been way to cold to stand out there for long, plus it's been dark every time they come.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Late Again!

I dunno, I just can't keep up right now.
Sorry I am late again with yet another very meagre update. Still not much to report, I am definitely creeping further and further into Winter recluse mode. I did make it out briefly last week to the camera club, but only for half a meeting, Apart from seeing friends who I haven't seen for a while, which was great, the meeting (well the first half anyway) bored me rigid! I saw Dave next to me nod off at least twice, and I nearly did myself.

The speaker had some fabulous photos, but public speaking definitely wasn't his bag. He was talking about the technique used for creating his liquid art shots (dropology). I was (at the very beginning) quite interested to hear about how achieved the results, but less than 10 minutes in and I couldn't wait for him to stop speaking.

I can't believe it is now December 9th and I still haven't put up the Christmas Tree or any decs. I am undecided about whether to put the tree up at all right now because as you might remember a year ago, my little bundle of fun Shakespeare spent most of Christmas diving in and out of the tree, well one year on and he ain't so little, in fact he is heavier than Hamish, the tree will not survive if he attempts the same manoeuvres this year.

Our first snow came down today, only a few centimetres. When I left work this evening there was a thin covering on the roads, and just that small amount was enough to send the Nova Scotian drivers into meltdown. It took me the best part of 40 minutes to get home (normally about an 8 minute drive). as I crawled along the highway, a spotted a car and a truck on the side of the road who had evidently collided causing a large about of damage to the car...Unbelievable. Then it was bumper to bumper all the way to my off ramp. The only good thing is that now the first snow is out of the way, the driving will get better. The first snowfall seems to throw them completely every time! Overnight the snow is due to turn to rain, ice pellets and freezing rain...Wish me luck in the morning!

I have just finished watching I'm a celebrity get me out of here tonight...What a great year it has been for that show, loved the people in this year and so pleased to see David Emmanuel in the final, shame he lost to Kian from Westlife, although they were both worthy finalists. Steve Davis was for me the funniest contestant this year and who would have known he was such a nice, funny guy (if not a bit clumsy) and not boring at all.

Finally a quick shout out to my friend Sarah, I hope you are reading this Sarah, or perhaps you will in a few weeks when life settles down for you....I hope you landed back in New Zealand safely and the pre-move went smoothly in the end. Cannot wait to catch up with you on Skype soon.

I will leave you with a couple of photos snapped with my phone of my beautiful fury boys! Hamish has a new den and Shakespeare, well, this is his favourite position most nights in the living room...Hard to believe he is so

Super Cute! Click to view larger and cuter!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ho Ho Ho...Something for the Girls!

Hello....I am still alive!
Sorry to those of you who stopped by on Sunday and Monday to see what I have been up to...Truth is I haven't been doing anything and have therefore had nothing to write about!

The weather is depressing me and even though it was sunny one of the days over the weekend I still didn't do anything. I have a list of jobs as long as my arm that that need doing...but didn't and I keep putting things off, which is actually not like me at all. Since getting our Netflix back up and working...Praise be to the new modem/router thingy, Rob and I have become addicted to the series Breaking Bad. and we have been watching it nearly non stop! If you have never seen it, I recommend it. It is definitely right up there with all of my 'all time' faves now.

Below is a trailer for the series as well as another funny seasonal ad...For the girls.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tech Support

Another week done and dusted. Most of my week has been fraught with technical issues. About a week or so ago Netflix (which I watch via my Xbox on the TV) did a massive update and ever since then I have been unable to watch anything. I contacted Netflix first and spent around an hour type talking with a tech support person there troubleshooting the issue via the Xbox...Nothing. In the end they told me it was an Xbox issue and I should contact them. The next evening I spent a total of 3 sodding hours on the phone with them, the first hour was spent talking with the general support dept, once again we explored every setting in the Xbox, resetting, deleting, re-installing, emptying the cache and a ton of other weird and wonderful things, after he could help no more he said I needed to speak to the connectivity dept...he tried to connect me and then cut me off, luckily he had given me the direct number, so I redialled, gave my case number, I was then told that I had reached the hardware dept and they couldn't help me, they in turn said they would put me through to Connectivity...Once connected I was through to billing....Not all was lost as the chap in billing seemed to know his stuff and walked me through yet more redundant steps to fix the problem, once he had exhausted his expertise he then said I would need to speak with Connectivity, he gave me a couple of numbers one of which I knew was the first number I had tried, so ignoring that one, I tried the second number with a new case number, once more I found myself in general support, who then in turn said they would connect me to the Connectivity which I said, 'do you actually have a Connectivity Dept as it really doesn't seem as if it's connected at all?" Anyway she put me through and hey ho I was back in Hardware. They said they couldn't help but said my call had been elevated and that I would receive a call back in the next 24 hours....It's now Sunday (3 days later) and no one has called.

In the meantime I went back to Netflix and explained the whole situation to them again. I am not known for my patience, so I was somewhat terse by this point. Anyway an hour later they said I need to contact my Internet service provider and get them to do a hard reset on my Internet...It sounded dodgy to me.

So next I phoned Eastlink, they laughed with me and said they had never heard of a hard reset and the Internet was not a black box sitting in the corner of the room they they could hit a reset button on...I knew this of course. Anyway I did decide to get a new modem and router installed and up my Internet speed.
The chap arrived on Saturday, installed the new router/modem (all in one unit) and hey presto Netflix works.
So the moral of this story is, if Netflix does an update which is a total suck on your Internet speed and connectivity and can't make the connection from your modem to router to Xbox, up your Internet speed and get a router/modem in one.

In other news I paid a visit to an event called A Victorian Christmas at the Citadel in Halifax on Saturday, I had not been to it before, but knew there would be period costumes a plenty and perhaps some other interesting shots to be had. It was quite nice, with an old fashioned Santa, and little morsels of living history scattered around in the various rooms off the main courtyard and some lovely fiddle music. It was however bloody cold, the rain just about held off, but the wind was biting, far too cold to spend too much time there. It's always cold on Citadel Hill. Below are 3 of my favourite shots.

Ho, Ho, Ho

Victorian Food by lantern light in the Barracks

Could be Baker Street?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bleak Weekend

Well so much for the weather forecast that predicted a sunny and warm weekend, instead it has been foggy gray and damp.

I don't really have a whole lot to write about this week. It was only four days of work thanks to the long weekend last week, but boy those 4 days went slow.

Based on the weather forecast I got up early yesterday and Rachael and I headed out to Ross Farm. Considering it was pretty bleak we did actually spend quite a bot of time there. We were lucky enough to see some Ox getting their pedicures. At one point we were busy taking photos from just outside the blacksmith's door as the chap clipped away at the feet, suddenly and without warning the ox decided it was time for a poo....Out it came at full force, splashing down and bouncing up, Rachael and I copped for some of the blast (only a little thankfully) in our hair and down our was funny.

We went to see the sheep and the pigs in the barn...Rachael didn't last long in there, the fumes were too much for her as she hurried out gagging...which also amused me. We spent much of the time chatting with Matthew, one of the blacksmiths who also runs all their social media online, I have become quite well acquainted with him over my many visits to the farm. I told him about the incident with the ox and he recounted a story from years ago when pant suits were in fashion. A local school came for a visit led by a teacher in a white pant suit, as they watched the ox getting their new feet on, the same thing happened, but she was much nearer the line of fire and apparently the pant suit was completely ruined by the end of the bowel movement. They had to try so hard not to laugh. I am pretty sure I would not have been able to contain myself.

I will leave you with images from the farm yesterday and another brilliant advertisement for a Samsung washing machine I cam across....Enjoy!

Ox Pedi...Stand well back :o)

Gorgeous Lamb, Loved being fussed

Gray day on the Farm

In the Cooperage...He assured us he wasn't depressed :o)

Gray, but none the less picturesque

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's Got Cold!

Yes that's right the weather has turned cold, as soon as the clocks went back the rain started and the then the lower temperatures kicked in. Most of this weekend it has been around 4 degrees and very chilly with the wind.

Due to the weather and lack of interest in going outside I have done nothing really. This weekend is a a long weekend so I have tomorrow off as well for Remembrance Day.

I tortured myself yesterday and went to view a house with Rob. We are thinking more and more about buying somewhere and I have started to look at a few places again. This one I loved the look of but realistically it is out of our price range, but it is way over priced so I will keep my eye on it. The owners don't stand a hope in hell of selling it unless the price drops, there are too many upgrades that need doing and on the inside in some areas it was showing it's 20 year age. On the plus side it has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, double garage, and sits on an acre lot.

In other news I did my back in this week. I was cleaning my teeth and something popped. I think it's some kind of muscle spasm, I was in total agony when it happened on Friday morning and headed straight to the doc to get some pain killers and muscle relaxants. I made it through the rest of the day at work before popping the muscle relaxant when I got home, after which I couldn't keep my eyes open, I think I slept from 9.30 Friday night for a whole 15 hours straight. I was quite disorientated when I did finally open my crusty eyes!

I bought a new cat nest bed thing yesterday for the front room and last night was pure entertainment as the boys jostled for control of it. Hamish got in first and claimed it and then later on while Hamish wandered out to the kitchen Shakespeare ventured in and settled down. Our cats are so spoiled honestly!

This week was the open competition at my old camera club in Wincanton. I sent over 3 images for the digital category and was pleased to hear I came top with one of them (the jars of preserves I posted a couple of weeks go on here).

Rob and I attended the camera club over here on Wednesday and it was by far the best meeting to date with interesting talks on camera maintenance and sensor cleaning. Probably not interesting for most of you reading this, but I definitely know I will never clean mine myself, far too risky. The chaps from the camera repair shop gave out vouchers for cleaning, so I think that is where I will head for when the time comes.

Autumn Light on Old Bones

Double the Pleasure

Autumn at The Old Mill

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Trick or Treat?

Happy belated Halloween! I hope you all enjoyed the spookiest night of the year.
Rob and I decided to opt out this year. We were going to carve the pumpkin and do it again but we decided in the end, we would rather spend the money on a treat for us than a load of (rather costly) candy that we would get no benefit from. So we headed out after work to Woody's BBQ as we have wanted to try it for a while now and let's just say we weren't disappointed. Their corn nuggets are sublime as are the baby back ribs and the BBQ chicken...All smoked to perfection.

End of year at work went quite smoothly this week, it being Halloween as well a few of my co-workers made an effort and dressed up. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and has been fairly miserable all week with rain and high winds for some of it. Nearly all the leaves are gone now signalling the most depressing time of the year and the clocks went back last night.

The winter tires went on the car on Monday, and by Thursday I had a flat tire! I had to take it back to to have them look at it, turns out it was leaking round the rim so they sorted it out FOC.
Talking of this, I actually found myself coming out with something distinctly Canadian this week.
I got a lift in with our chap at the garage whilst the tires were being changed. When I got to work people asked me where my car was and I said 'it's in the shop getting the tires changed'...I surprised myself by not saying Garage....Perhaps I am developing a Canadian twang after all :o)

I have not been anywhere this weekend, so the news is a little thin on the ground. Until next time I will leave you with more Autumn shots taken over the past few weeks.

All Signs Point to Fall in the Garden

Pumpkin Steps

Fall Light at Blue Rocks

Weary Lanterns

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We Got Gas!

Not much doing this week. The only really exciting news is that Rob passed his practical Gas Exam...Yay! After three and a half long years of revising a shed load of money finally he is fully qualified. They certainly don't make it easy to re-qualify over here! It all seems like a government cash cow to me.

I don't think I am being unfair in saying that Nova Scotia is about 20 years behind in just about everything. I do believe other parts of Canada are way more progressive, but here in one of the smaller provinces change doesn't really happen. This can be a good thing in some ways but on other ways it's incredibly frustrating.

Rob is still enjoying his new job, but unfortunately it is exceptionally quiet right now in the way of work. I don't think that his firm is the only one suffering, from others I have spoken within the industry they all say the same thing. This of course makes life incredibly difficult right now as he only get paid for the hours he works and that ain't many hours so far. We are hoping things will pick up and soon!

It's year end for my company next week, so I will be busy wrapping up paperwork and emptying out all the filing cabinets...My least favourite job of the year.

This weekend, I started a bit of Christmas shopping...Rob and I were out pretty much all day, the shopping expedition involved another trip to the Tangled Garden. Rob didn't go last time and he really enjoyed it. I wasn't planning on taking anymore photos, but I couldn't resist at the light was so good. Today I have done pretty much nothing all day...Just as well as it has been raining for most of it.

In TV news, Rob and I have just finished watching a fantastic series on Netflix. 'Orange is the New Black'...It had us totally engrossed for all 13 episodes and is based on the memoirs of a real woman who found herself in a women's prison. It has a bit of everything, humour, tension, drama, sadness with a superb array of colourful characters. Well worth watching if you are not too much of a prude. I personally cannot wait for Season 2.

A Taste of Fall, backlit preserves on display at
The Tangled Garden

Fall Reflections at Lake Charles

Ready for Spring...The Potting Shed at The Tangled Garden

'Orange is the New Black' Trailer. Warning there is some swearing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tim Tales and a Fall Shoot

Well hello, and apologies for the Monday update, I simply ran out of time this weekend. In truth I can't remember much of last week it all seems like a blur, it was only 4 working days but they were crammed packed and busy.

Rob and I decided to go to the camera club last Wednesday, I saw a couple of faces I haven't seen in the longest time. It was actually quite an interesting meeting with a good guest speaker, who was quite amusing in places talking about the re-emergence of film in the digital world. I am not adversed to the idea of film, but for me personally I have no intention of entering anything but my 'digital darkroom' and really wouldn't want to go back to the days of buying rolls of films and faffing around getting them developed only to find I have 3 decent shots on the roll. I remember over the years whilst travelling on holidays bringing back 12 rolls of film from a trip and the damn cost of getting them all developed, 50% of those images ended up in the bin or tucked away in a drawer never to see the light of day again.

Well that's enough walking down memory lane, on to this weekend. On Saturday morning I took one of my work colleagues Tanya to Shubie Park for a Fall photo shoot. I have wanted to do a Fall shoot with a model for such a long time now and finally I got my wish. I took Rachael along to help me, the weather was amazing and we had so much fun. Tanya really enjoyed herself and the three of us laughed so much at our antics.

We told Tanya about some of our adventures around the Province in recent months, in particular how we always seem to get ourselves in a pickle at Tim Horton's Drive Thu's. One time we pulled up to the speaker and Rachael asked for her Usual - 'a Dutchie'...which to this day I have never seen, they always reply in the same way... 'no sorry we don't carry those anymore, but we do sometimes have them as 'Tim Bits' and I always take the mickey out of her for asking...Well on this particular occasion, we then went on to ask what others they had, the girl said we have these new Apple, Caramel, Orange, Tangerine ones (now at this point, we meant donuts but she was talking Tim Bits). So I say yes we'll have two of those...To which she said which ones?, I said the ones you just said, she said Apple Caramel OR Orange Tangerine...Totally her fault for not punctuating her sentence correctly the first time for me to know she was describing 2
flavours....Anyhow, finally establishing the fact there were two types, I said, I will have 2 Orange Tangerine please (Rachael and I are wetting ourselves laughing at the whole scenario by this point)...But worse, when we pulled up to collect our order at the next window the girl hands me 2 Tim Bits...I said what's this? She said 2 Orange Tangerine Tim Bits...Seriously??? I mean who orders 2 Tim Bits?? We were pretty much hysterical by this point and had a queue of about 7 cars behind us...I said I thought these were donuts, She is so desperate to get rid of us by this point, she scrambles around for another bag and puts several more of the aforementioned Tim Bits in the bag and said here, take them....No More recently whilst pulling up, I missed the speaker altogether, as there were cars behind I couldn't reverse to order so I had to keep driving to the next window, at which point the young man said 'that will be $3.40 please, I just looked at him and said 'what for I haven't ordered yet?' Which then sent us into uncontrollable laughter...Poor guy having to deal with us. I have a theory that soon our faces will be on 'Wanted' type posters in every Tim's.

I digressed very badly there...Sorry. Anyway we finished our shoot and went home, in the evening we were out again with the photo club to capture some of the spectacles of an annual event called Nocturne in Halifax. Nocturne is an art at night event, there are all kinds of weird and wonderful exhibits around the Downtown area, the streets were pretty packed, and some of the stuff was pretty strange. The only thing I really liked was the circus fire show, we only stayed a couple of hours and then went home.

Sunday I sent pretty much all day editing images non-stop. I was very pleased with Tanya's images, as was she when she saw them today. I have included a few of my faves below (click to view larger).

In other news, my healthy eating continues, I went back to the dietitian last week, but was sorely disappointed to learn I have only dropped 4lbs. I am hoping this will get better by the next visit.

Music news...I am so pleased to report that the Barenaked Ladies (minus Steve) are back on form and their latest single and album are superb. Below is their video for the single 'Odds Are' and if you are not familiar with it I defy you not to be toe tapping and singing along by the end of it.

Beautiful Weather for a Fall Shoot

Very glam for a Saturday morning in the park!

I wish I had her legs instead of my stumps!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been the end of yet another perfect weather week, the sun has been shining and the temperatures have been so lovely and warm, the nights of course are getting colder and we have started to get some frost in the mornings which in turn has sped up the Fall colours, so much so that in some parts they are all but finished and the trees are bare. This I must say fills me with sadness as I know there is nothing but a long winter ahead. As I believe I may have mentioned (several times before), I don't like Winter here, 3 years in and I feel no differently about them. It's not the cold or the snow, it's just purely the length of them. I am still in UK mode in my mind when it comes to seasons, come March I expect to see daffodils and Tulips, but they won't make an appearance until probably May.

Okay, enough of the melancholy whinging. Winter is a small price to pay for the rest of the year here as the seasons seem so defined, and in Winter's defence we do have more sunny winter days than the UK.

So what's been happening this week...Well to update you on the political front, the Liberal Party won the election and knocked out the NDP. I really have no clue at this stage is this is a good thing or in fact if it will make any noticeable difference. I guess only time will tell.

It's Thanksgiving weekend this weekend here in Canada and it's a long weekend, so we have been making the most of it in the sunshine. Yesterday Robert and I took a drive out along the South Shore to visit a few favourite spots and enjoy the gorgeous fall scenery. We stopped at the old mill I like to photograph down near Bridgewater which is about 2 hours away, I was just packing up my camera on the bridge and a car pulls up alongside me, I hear someone shouting to me, turns out, it's my friend Wayne and his brother. I had told him about the spot ages ago, but what are the chances of turning up at the same spot at the same time eh? He is always going on at me about how he goes out somewhere to take photos of a place and then sees on Flickr that I have already been there before him, so this made the whole chance meeting even funnier.

We headed back via Le Harve and Blue Rocks, getting back about 8 pm. This morning, tired as can be, we were up at around 6 am, Rachael arrived at 7 am, the mission... to seek out yet more fall scenes in the Parrsboro area, the colours were disappointing but we weren't found wanting for lovely scenery especially at Cape D'or. Robert kindly chauffeured us, it was a very long drive and I think in total we were going for around 10 hours. Tomorrow I sleep!! Below are two of my favourite images taken this morning at sunrise and yesterday in the late afternoon light.

Now also below is an ad I came across on the Internet...You may have already seen it?! I hadn't and I have to say it is quite possibly the funniest advert I have ever seen...Enjoy, I did!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and readers.

Misty Morning Sunrise...Not a time of day I usually see!

Afternoon Delight at Stonehurst...Gorgeous light and Colours

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Time

It's Monday and I am only just getting around to updating the blog...Tut! That means I had a busy weekend!

First of all, let me update you by saying that my blood tests came back fine...Phew. I had definitely convinced myself that there was going to be nothing but bad news. I am continuing my healthy eating and have been pretty good every day sticking with nothing but nutritional, snacks and meals, smaller amounts and eating more often. I have however had one meal out and that was on our wedding anniversary on Saturday.... Fish and Chips of course. Hard to believe that it's be 13 years since Rob and I tied the knot in Vegas. Talking of anniversaries, Anne and Smiffy have had theirs, it was one year ago on our wedding anniversary last year when they were first introduced and we all went out to dinner. I know they will be reading this at some point, so congrats and here's to the future.

Rob and I made our annual trip to Howard Dill's in Windsor at the weekend to pick out our pumpkin. I always love visiting that place!

On Sunday Rachael and I headed out to the Valley to see what Fall colours we could find. The trees are almost in full colour now, and the scenery (especially along the highways) is looking pretty gorgeous. Just a shame it won't last long. We visited a place called the Tangled Garden on recommendation from Anne and Smiffy who stopped by there last weekend, and I must say I loved the place. Such a pretty garden and setting. The weather was gorgeous, as it has been all last week.

Rob started his job on Tuesday and is loving it. New van, new phone, new hours...he now starts much later in the morning at 9 am, rather than having to get up at the crack of dawn. The company he is now working working for specialises more in energy efficient systems, so down the line it will be a little more technical than the systems and equipment he was dealing with before, but again, I think he will enjoy that and the expertise that he will gain along the way.

It voting day here tomorrow for the Provincial elections. I must say (being quite politically minded) I am keen to see who comes out on top. I have been getting to grips with how the whole election thing is structured and I am pleased to say it's very much like the UK system. There are 3 main parties, Progressive Conservatives, Liberal and NDP. the electorate are voting for their local representatives, in each of their riding's and based on the number of seats won by the majority party, this will in turn determine the new (or returning) Premier of the Province, Premier being the Prime Minister of sorts of the Province (not the country). A federal election would determine who the next actual Prime Minister would be. There are three tiers in total to elections, Local, Provincial and Federal....I think I have this correct!

Finally, Happy Birthday Sarah...Hope you had a wonderful day! Thinking of you.
Here are some images from the weekend....and If you are interested in viewing more of my images from our trip to New England Click here.

Pretty display in side the Tangled Garden shop

Autumn Colours in the Tangled Garden

Fall Colours at Mount Uniake

It's Pumpkin time!

Pumpkin Bicycle at Howard Dill's Pumpkin Farm

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bad Choices

It's that time of the week again when I am playing catch up. It's been a busy one for sure. I had Monday off but even so the rest of the week was insanely busy. 

After my last update, I was too tired to go very far at the weekend after all the travelling we did in New England, so Rachael and I stuck to more local locations for a photo outing on Saturday. We headed around the Peggy's Cove Loop in the afternoon in order to catch the sunset at Peggy's Cove, sadly our plans were somewhat thawted by some unexpected fog rolling in as the sun set.

On Wednesday this week I finally took charge of myself and went off to see a dietician. I have to say she was great. It's all about baby steps for the time being, but I will slowly be making some better, healthier choices and less of the bad choices I make all the time. Since seeing her I have been eating smaller amounts of healthy foods and cutting out things like root beer (booo hooo) and chocolate milk which I am very partial to. My lunch at work now consists of a sandwich, with a yoghurt and some healthy snacks, like an egg, nuts and veggies with a small light dip to eat throughout the day. I am hoping in time I will be able to gain control of my weight, but she and I both know it won't be easy.

Friday I had a blood test done to test me for just about everything. I have to say this makes me very nervous. I am worried about what affect my crappy diet has had on me.

On to more happier things and Rachael and I went out again yesterday the weather was gorgeous (as it is today as well). We didn't intend to shoot waterfalls, but ended up doing so at Truro and then at Wentworth Falls. In the evening Rob and I went to a local fair...Not to ride the rides, but for me to try out some fairground shots. I was pretty pleased with the initial results but hope to have another stab at it later tonight. Anne and Smiffy are coming round later and for tonight the healthy eating plan is going out of the window as we are having Chinese (although I will be eating a smaller amount than normal!).

Rob has an early start tomorrow even though he isn't working as he has a blood test in the morning and then has to take Hamish off to the vets to get his teeth cleaned and most likely removed...poor old chap...Hamish, not Rob! Rob starts his new job on Tuesday.

Until next time I will leave you with more images from New England.

Taftsville Covered Bridge, Woodstock Vermont

Corea Harbor, Maine

Vermont State House

Mount Desert Island, Maine

Friday, September 20, 2013

Time in New England

Hello there, it seems ages since I updated the blog so I thought I would make a concerted effort before Sunday to bring you up to speed.

Firstly I have big news...Rob has got a new job. He went for an informal interview before we left for our road trip to New England. While we were away he got an email offering the position and he starts on October 1st. It means more money for him which is great, but he also gets his own van, and the area he will be covering will be more central. As far as the long hours and being on call, we won't know too much about that until he gets started. He is pleased and I am thrilled for him as I really think he was quite put upon in his current role and for very little money.

Now, the road trip...What a superb time we had, so much amazing scenery to take in. I think it's fair to say I am quite smitten with New England and cannot wait to go back. It took us around 8 hours to drive to Bangor in Maine where we stopped for the night. We certainly didn't hurry and I think that was a plus when it came to crossing over the border at Calais, New Brunswick, as I believe it can get pretty busy, however by the time we crossed there was no one there. We got or visa waivers from the office, paid a very small fee of about 6 dollars and across we went.

After spending the night in Bangor we headed on and drove around 5 hours to our main base for most of the week which was a town called Barre near Montpelier (the capital of Vermont) located in central Vermont. I lucked in and found a fantastic Inn there which had the biggest rooms, complete with kitchen area, iron/ironing board and a huge bathroom. The rooms were well appointed and the price was amazing at $65.00 per night. I do think the rate varies depending on the time of year, but I would definitely go back there again. It was so peaceful.

In total we spent 4 nights there and drove out everyday on routes that myself and Rob had already planned which covered many scenic areas and a huge amount of covered bridges. In total we pretty much covered all of central and northern Vermont. The next time I go back I want to do the southern parts and work my way across more of New Hampshire and Southern Maine.

Barre in Vermont is home to the the 'Rock of Ages' Quarry, the largest and I believe deepest Granite Quarry in the world. We took the tour and found it very interesting. The Rock of Ages quarry is the second most popular tourist attraction in Vermont, second only to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Tour.....Which we didn't do as it looked a bit naff. We did however visit a Cold Hollow Cider Mill which produces non alcoholic cider. Great little place, the gift shop alone is worth the visit. They make and sell cider donuts, which are pretty damn tasty.

Our last full day driving around in Vermont was extremely hot. The temperature reached over 90 degrees and the humidity was shocking. This, it turned out was the beginning of the tropical storm that was about to hit. As we drove back later from Burlington to Barre the sky got darker and darker and we could see a lot of fork lightning. Now if you don't already know this, I have an extreme phobia of storms and this was not good for me. I was getting incredibly panicky and kept making Rob drive in the opposite direction, I think I nearly drove him insane, until we finally got back to the safety of the inn. The next morning the weather was beautiful, we headed off into New Hampshire along the Kancamagus Highway. What was to have been a relatively short 3 hour drive from Barre to Portland, Maine, turned into a stop and go session as this particular stretch of highway takes you though the White mountains and some spectacular scenery. Waterfalls, mountains, covered bridges, Gorgeous!

As we finally got nearer to Portland, once again the skies turned dark. We had to get to a camera store where I had pre-ordered a wide angle lens for my camera. We were only in the store around 15 minutes and when we came out the sky looked like Armageddon, thunder and lightning was crashing down around us and the rain was unbelievable. I was so terrified I was nearly sick. Poor Rob had to try and navigate to the hotel which was about 3 miles from the store in what can only be described as a wall of rain whilst I covered my face with a coat so I couldn't see the lightning. It was so close to us, far worse than the storm in Vermont. I can laugh about the situation now, but I am not sure Rob ever!

The next day the weather was gloomy but it cleared up pretty quickly thankfully as I was desperate to get out to Portland Head Lighthouse and take some photos. Such a beautiful and iconic lighthouse.
After spending time there we headed on our way back to Bangor where we were stopping for the second time, we got there late again...and it was raining hard once again! The next morning the weather was finally back to normal, the sun was shining and we made the most of our time and went to Acadia National Park, visiting Bar Harbor and some other scenic spots including another iconic lighthouse at Bass Harbor.  We then wound our way up the coast of Maine, passing through some very pretty towns and stopping at one more lighthouse in Prospect before crossing back over the border into New Brunswick where we stayed overnight at St Johns before driving back home early last Sunday morning.

All in all we cranked up just over 3000 miles in little over a week. I am still editing images, and hope to share a few here over the next week or two before I get distracted by Fall Colours.

Besides the scenery there were a couple of things that took a bit of getting used to...traveling in miles again instead of kilometers, I swear psychologically it took us longer to get places in miles! And of course the other thing you notice is the huge difference in sales taxes and prices, the taxes are far lower there than here, in New Hampshire there is no sales tax at all. The tax rate in NS sucks and prices are way too high! We paid around $13.00 in Maine for 18 bottles of Bud Light, you can pretty much triple that if you bought the same here.

The cats were glad to see us and have been ultra affectionate since our return. Shakespeare immediately got in the luggage as much to say, next time I am going with you!

An A'Tract'ive Display, Maine

Jenne Farm, Vermont

Martin Bridge, Vermont

Sabbaday Falls, New Hampshire

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labour Day Weekend

Yes it's a long weekend here and even longer for me as I have Tuesday off as well....Hooray. I don't really have any news this week, the weekend has been a total washout.

Rob and I took the cats for their annual check ups and jabs on Saturday morning. Shakespeare was as good as gold (the girls love him to pieces there). Hamish proved a little more tricky. He was so well behaved whilst sitting and waiting on a chair for his turn on the table, but as soon as the examination was under way, he started voicing his displeasure. In the end it took two of them and Hamish wrapped up in a towel to get the job done. His teeth (what's left of them) are in a state and he needs to have them cleaned. We had a blood sample taken and they are first going to make sure he is fit and well to go under the anaesthetic before proceeding. All in all with the blood test, the jabs, consultation fee, ointment for Hamish's sore eye, and other sundries, the bill came to over $400....!!!!! Kids eh? Who'd have em :o)

Rachael and I went out on Sunday to try and an find some new abandoned places, but the weather was so bad with torrential rain, thunder and lightening (which freaked me out), that the cameras didn't even come out of the bags once. All we achieved was driving a very long way for lunch!

Today the weather had been pretty crappy again, not that I saw much of it as I slept most of the day away.
With the camera clubs I belong to starting up once again this week, I have spent most of this evening trying to sort out various images for different themes and submissions.

Revelation of the week: I have started watching Homeland....OMG how good is that series! Such a great show, great plot, and characters, keeps me wanting more.

Rob and I will be away from next Saturday for a week, coming back on the following Sunday, so I think it's pretty fair to say this will be the last update for a couple of weeks.

Until then, I will leave you with some recent random images.

More from Abandoned Nova Scotia....Shame about the add on Garage.

Memory Lane Heritage Village

Colourful Chairs at Annapolis Royal looking across
the water to Granville Ferry

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Chilled Weekend

After a frantic week at work...and it was frantic. I am pleased to say the weekend has been very relaxing. For once Rachael and I were not racing around the back roads, instead we took a leisurely drive out Hantsport way to see our now friend Raye at his lighthouse. Once a year he has an open day for friends and family to come out to the lighthouse, some of his friends bring their vintage vehicles along and this time he had music in the afternoon and the evening (although we left as the second band were setting up). The weather was glorious and we got to meet some new faces and spent a relaxing few hours there admiring the scenery. We took a wander down the path to his little guest cottage on the beach, it was utterly gorgeous.

Today was yet another scorcher of a day, and as Summer is nearly at an end, Nancy, Rob and I took off to the lake to have what might potentially be the last swim of the Summer. We sat chatting in the sun and sadly I have to report I got burnt once again...damn it!

It's that time of year again when the crickets are out in full force, I so love the sound of them at night, I find it such a soothing sound and it always reminds me holidays past in hot climates over the years.

I believe the Bank Holiday is due to be a nice one back in Blighty this weekend, so make the most of it people and don't get jammed up on the M25. Traffic jams...I vaguely remember them, we don't really have them here :o) Bank holiday weekends you can just get in the car and drive, you will hardly see anyone on the roads, I suspect those of you in the UK will find that pretty hard to imagine!

Here's some images from the weekend...Click on them to view larger.

Feels like a James Dean Movie :o)

Up Close and Shiny, The Fargo Tuck (left) is Raye's

Can you tell I was listening to Bruce Springsteen
when editing these shots?

The Guest House and Beach....Sigh...Love it here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Feels Like Groundhog Day

Well of course it isn't actually Groundhog Day, but it feels like it as I am writing this blog simply as I haven't really done anything to speak of since the last update, and what I have done has been exactly the same. Rachael and I went out yesterday, beautiful weather still here by the way. In truth it was the first day we had a lack lustre day when it came to finding good subject matter. The one hit we did stumble on was another abandoned church. Funny how that happened, I have been wanted to find an old church for ages, then both last week and this week we find one. The one yesterday was open and we were able to shoot inside which was excellent.

We did find one other place, not sure if it was a community hall or a school at one point. We decided to don our rubber boots and head on in through the broken door at the front. Rachael went on in ahead of me and just as she made it through she started laughing... If we had only looked around the side first we would have seen that the whole of the left side had collapsed and essentially she had clambered through in the

Rob and I have spent today researching and tentatively booking up hotels for a week away in September. We are hoping to spend most of the week in Vermont, New England and take in a few attractions of Maine on the way there and back stopping in Bar Harbor and Portland on route. I say we have booked it up tentatively as money is tight and just to make matters worse this week Robert's brakes went on his car so that's more expense we can ill afford.

Until next week I will leave you with some of the images taken last weekend and one from this weekend. (more church images from this weekend to follow next time).

Broken Barn

Deceptively in Tact! Don't be fooled!

The Old Pontiac - Summer Edition

Abandoned Church (found last weekend)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Quick Update

I am really not in blogging mode right now I am so out of sync!
I have really done anything much since the camping trip, I have a back massage booked for tomorrow after work, to try and sort out the pain in my lower back that I think was worsened by the sleeping on the airbed in the tent last weekend.

Rachael and I were out on Sunday combing those back roads again, we found a couple of interesting places, and old church a crumbling old home and a private collection of farm equipment, cars, saws, train parts...You name it they collect it. We spent ages chatting with the owner Ivan and his wife Nancy for quite some time and ended up have drinks with them on the deck, to be honest I could have stayed there all afternoon.

Big news...Rob passed his Gas Theory exam! What a relief after all that studying. He got 82%. Now he just has to pass the practical exam...?!

Finally a belated birthday shout out to my dad who's birthday was on August 9th.

Where the Wildflowers Grow

Blowing in the Wind

Vintage Treasures at Ivan and Nancy's

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