Friday, June 30, 2006



Martha found a new toy on her Mac. It's called Comic Life.

You'll need to click on the image to see it full size.

Audrey's speech at the end really is Audrey's new catchphrase!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006



Quite busy today.

Sorted out our OHIP cards (Health cards) which will be effective September 17th. Until then we are not permitted to get sick or have a serious injury. It's the law!

We also looked at cars a bit today. Hondas and Toyotas. Picked up some brochures but thats about all. Unfortunately Honda don't really do the same style of car they do in the UK. My Dad's Honda would have done us perfectly here but they don't make the damn things here! Typical! So the net result is we're leaning toward the Toyota's more at the moment, but that could all change.

We also went to see if we could get Martha's mobile phone working here. We went to the nearest mall and asked about it. They guy there said "Wow, thats a nice phone...but it wont work here." Well thanks for that backhanded compliment. So we now have to buy new cell phones too...*sigh*

We fetched our new computer yesterday - the 17inch Macbook Pro and fired her up last night. We bought a wireless mouse with it too - neither of us can stand those fingerboard thingies. It is sex on a stick though. Love the video camera in the lid - got a nice cheesy photo of both of us to use as our userpic for the computer, and it'll be great for webcamming if we ever get our own internet connection. Martha is also planning to hook it up tonight into her Dad's electric guitar to put Garageband through its paces.

When we bought the computer I called our UK credit card and warned them we were making a big purchase. They were also happy to change our address to a Canadian one which surprised me - I thought they'd kick up a right fuss about that. Anyway, back at the store the card did indeed get rejected, so I had to make a quick call, and as they already had the details flagged it was just a simple case of answering a couple of security questions and running the card through the till again. Easy peasy! Screw - we got our computer miles faster than they could have delivered it.

Fabulous news last night - we sold our bloody cars in the UK! We got close to 3000 quid for the two of them which we reckon was pretty good. So that's just paid for the computer! Ha ha ha!

Having a little panic about our container - it turns out we don't get much free time in Toronto - if the container sits there more than a day we get charged rent at $200 a day! Ouch! Anyway, I have enlisted the help of someone we know (friend of a friend stuff) who is in the shipping business who is helping us out with the customs clearance, so hopefully it wont be too stressful. Expect to see out stuff in just over a week or so all being well. I will finally be reunited with my CD's and records! I just hope they're still in one piece.

Once again, I apologise to you all for not being able to do the rounds on your blogs. Time just doesn't allow these days. I read as much as I can, and comment rarely - and you should know by now how hard that is for me because I LOVE to comment! I really hope we can sort something out with the internet, but it may be a while yet!

Monday, June 26, 2006


A slow day

Nothing much new today.

Martha and I went for a nice walk tonight, leaving Grandma to babysit. On our walk we saw three deer just mooching around on the road. They ran off into the fields when we got close bouncing over the corn with their big white tails behind them! Cute! I wished I brought the camera. We also saw some fireflies when we got toward the end of our walk. Aren't they brilliant?!

I have a couple of nasty mosquito bites on my left leg just below my knee. Hopefully they'll be somewhat better tomorrow, but right now they look pretty bad - worse than anything I've ever had before. I guess the little bloodsuckers found a good spot to feast!

Scott and Julia asked me what car we were thinking of be honest we don't really know. We obviously want something child friendly. We are thinking initially something Japanese like a Honda or Toyota. We're steering clear of GMC and Ford. Bear in mind that Martha knows quite a bit about VW's from her former work and we owned a Mercedes and a Daihatsu previously (we may still own them if they didn't sell last week!). I don't madly want anything too small either but there again I don't especially want a big gas guzzler either. Something in between then I suppose...

Anyway, I've got nothing else for you today so goodnight!

Sunday, June 25, 2006


No, I am not homesick...but...

Not much to report from the weekend.

However, I've been kind of thoughtful today about one or two things. Today was my Mum and Dad's 40th (Ruby) wedding anniversay. I'm a bit sad I wasn't there to celebrate, but in the end they opted to spend a long weekend in Paris rather than have a big party, which I think is much more their style anyway and they probably had a much better time than they would have if we'd had a ton of friends and relatives over. I guess we'll save that for thier 50th! Anyway, Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad!

I also received an email from a friend today reminding me that I had missed out on a rather good stag party for a mutual old schoolfriend in London last weekend and that I will also be missing the wedding next week which is in Poland. Whilst my excuses for not being able to be at either are pretty good, I'm annoyed with the timing. I'd have loved to be able to go to the wedding and spend some time in Poland, a country I've never visitied before, but also it's not to be. To be fair, this friend didn't manage to make it to my wedding in Canada 9 years ago, and he had a pretty darn good reason too, so I guess we'll call it quits! Nevertheless it's a shame because it really hits home that a group of friends is now cast to several corners of the world and unless some of us make a real effort to visit, we're unlikely to see each other for a considerable amount of time.

The friend who emailed me is now officially my closest in New York! Sigh....

Anyway, another week ahead...the order for the computer got rejected by Apple because as expected they couldn't verify the UK credit card with the Canadian address. We've called an Apple retailer in London (Ontario) and ordered it that way instead. As a result we're actually going to get our mitts on the machine sooner and by some weird miracle it's costing us less than ordering it direct from Apple online. Their loss I guess! So a trip to London (Ontario) later on in the week and we may also look at some car dealers while we're there too. However, we're waiting for references from our motor insurance company in the UK, so thats going to hinder our car search somewhat.

Audrey's got herself a bit of a cough. Not a cold...yet. Last night she was coughing all night. I hit the sack at about 12.30 and she was coughing until beyond 2am. We're sleeping in the same room right now, and I was seriously considering moving to the couch downstairs. We bought some medicine today and she seems better for it, so hopefully a more peaceful night ahead.

Pet Shop Boys are doing some North American dates later this year. As soon as I can I'll be booking tickets for their gig in Toronto in October. I may have no money and no job even then, but I'm buggered if that's going to stop me right now!

Anyway, enough for now. Later!

Friday, June 23, 2006


"We're S.H.O.P.P.I.N.G."

The last day or so have been pretty blah. In fact I don't think I can account for the time spent terribly well. I've been relaxing possibly a little too much for someone who is essentially jobless and homeless.

Did some preliminary surfing for jobs last night which was disheartening, but Martha has had more success and managed to email her resume to a few people already.

Meanwhile I have instead opted to do some retail therapy online. I've pre-ordered the various formats for the next
Pet Shop Boys single, "Minimal" which has become one of my favourite songs from the new album, and also has an excellent remix version on the bonus CD Fundamentalism. What tends to happen is I rapidly go off any songs they release as singles, I guess because they then enter the mainstream, and I prefer the obscurity of their album tracks. My biggest worry is that my orders will get delayed or even stopped because the mailing address (Canada) doesn't match up with the billing address (UK). One of the CD singles also contains some software which allows you to remix the song yourself which sounds pretty cool. How much d'you want to bet it's for Windows PC's only?

On that note, we also just ordered a computer online. Yes, it's a Mac. A 17" Macbook Pro to be exact which we've RAM'ed up. Again, I'm concerned they'll stop the order because of the credit card being UK and the delivery address being in Canada. However, we've realised we need another computer and fast, even though the old one is on its way on the ship and should work here no problem we wont be seeing it any time soon, and a laptop seemed like a good idea for Martha since she could potentially be doing freelance artworking.

No news on our cars. My parents have gone away to Paris for a long weekend for their ruby wedding anniversary, so were not contactable about it. I guess we wont know if they sold until Tuesday of next week.

Looks like it'll cost us the best part of C$500.00 to insure ourselves for the next three months with a decent health plan. Martha's wondering if we should even bother, but like all insurance it's always the "what if..." factor that nags at the back of your mind.

I liked the personalised plates suggestions from yesterdays blog. I'll have to go away and have a think about those. And to MyUtopia, no we're not in Windsor although we're fairly close by. To be honest we're in the middle of effing nowhere - whenever I'm staying at my in-laws I find my sense of direction, which is usually spot on, goes completely out of whack. I literally have no idea whether I'm facing north, south, east or west, which direction I'm travelling in, or where some places are in relation to others. No joke, I actually resort to looking at where the sun is in the sky to figure out my bearings!

Bon weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Lots of random stuff

EDIT: Before I start I just want to say to all those with Haloscan commenting that I'm not ignoring you - this darn computer wont let me comment on your blogs! I forget who exactly, but I know for certain Southern Sweetheart and Scott & Julia are affected. Sorry guys!

Last night we were on "Tornado Alert". I guess it was worse in the Detroit area, but soon enough we started seeing the alerts pop up on TV on the Canadian stations too. We got ourselves ready for whatever was coming, prepared ourselves to take to the basement, but nothing came. There was a dose of thunder and lightning and a lot of rain, but that was all - Bienvenue au Canada!

Today we found out that we all have to wait three months before our health cards kick into action. Originally we thought it would only apply to me, but it sounds like it also applies to Martha and Audrey as well. I still haven't insured myself, so I guess it's either don't get sick for three months or insure the whole family until mid-September. Hmmm.

Audrey has been gorging herself on strawberries out of her grandmothers garden. Soon she will turn into a strawberry.

Martha and I checked out the house we're supposed to be moving into temporarily. It's in pretty good shape thanks to my mother-in-law preparing it in the past few weeks. We might give some things a lick of paint and move a few things about in waiting for our container though. Speaking of which, I just got the bills of lading for the container today emailed from my Dad. The ship sails from Liverpool today. My father-in-law has a neat little contraption he calls a "cage" which fits onto the back of his tractor which will be extremely useful for unloading the container when it arrives. It's approximately 5ft X 5ft with a wooden base and can be raised and lowered. Perfect for those heavy items which Dad and I struggled to get INTO the container last week.

Got some good news yesterday from my Dad too - we got our deposit back from the landlords on our old place and it was more money than I expected. We're also waiting on some money back from the water company and our car insurance company.

Martha and I are just in the process of working out what items we need for the house - boring stuff like toaster, kettle and vacuum cleaner. It'll be nice to have new electricals though, especially since all that stuff we had in the UK was pretty old anyway.

I finally got around to emptying my suitcase and putting clothes away. I wasn't sure if we'd be moving across to the other house sooner rather than later, but once Martha started putting stuff in the closet I figured we were going to be staying with the in-laws a while longer. I'm quite glad in a way - I wasn't enjoying dipping into my suitcase every morning for clean clothes, so everything has a place for now anyway.

Yesterday I bought myself a book on the rules of the road in Canada. I mainly wanted to familiarise myself with road signs some of which are quite different to the UK, and a few rules which I knew a little about but wasn't entirely clear on - namely school buses, stop signs and the dreaded four way stop. It only took me an evening to leaf through, and whilst it's mainly common sense it would be easy for someone like me to completely ignore the rules especially relating to those things I just mentioned.

Martha and I are now talking about looking for a car and I guess we should really try to sort that out quite soon. I quite fancy the idea of some personal registration plates - in the UK I kind of hated anyone with them unless they were subtle (as Ann says "W4 NKA" normally springs to mind), but here I feel like it's a bit more acceptable especially since the plate is registered to the person and not the car. I think I'm allowed up to 8 letters so sadly "GABBYTHEGUY" is too long and I wouldn't be surprised if "GABBY" is spoken for already. If you have any good suggestions let me know!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Ontario welcomes careful drivers

It's been a busy day today. Thanks again to everyone for the comments, especially Bellarosa and Erik - always nice to see new commenters. I know you're not exactly new Bellarosa because of HNT, but it's nice to see people not confining themselves to one comment a week! Also, I have no idea who random German commenter was, but "Danke" anyway.

So today we ventured into the town of Chatham to see if we could exchange our UK driving licences for Ontario ones. Martha went first and it all went well. She had to do a quick eye test, and was soon in receipt of her temporary licence, and the real one will be out in the post soon. Unfortunately mine wasn't so straightforward...for some reason my UK licence didn't have the right code on it for the class of vehicle I am entitled to drive. The reason for this we figured is because when I took my driving test in the UK, I took it in a manual (stick shift) car, which entitles me to drive just about anything as long as it's not an HGV or a motorcycle. Martha however took her test in an automatic, and therefore is only allowed to drive an automatic vehicle in the UK. Therefore my UK licence is actually BETTER than hers, but is slightly different and completely threw these people for a loop today.

Anyway, after some general flapping from the woman behind the counter and a phone call she discovered it was all OK, and proceeded to process my licence. Next problem was the eye test. My eyesight is VERY poor - even with my glasses and she had to enlarge the size of the numbers I was meant to read three times before I could correctly guess them. Fortunately I guess I was still within the pass mark for eligibility to drive on Canadian roads, and my licence will also be sent to me in the mail soon! Phew!

Next up, we tried our luck at the employment centre to get my Social Insurance Number (SIN). This was extremely easy. We'd already downloaded the application forms from t'internet and filled them in - I must point out that the Canadian Government get massive brownie points for their online information. It's mostly easy to navigate and all the documents are easy to find and complete. If this was the UK, I doubt very much I'd be saying that.

Anyway, the guy told me that we'd arrived at a bad time (lunch) and therefore I couldn't get my SIN right there and then, but he could send it away and I'd get it in a few weeks. No problem, I'm not that bothered. So he took some details, checked my Immigrant Visa details, and that was it. I doubt we were in the building for more than 15 minutes. We also took a moment to apply for a SIN for Audrey as well, which I know sounds daft since she's unlikely to be joining the workforce anytime soon, but we figured it was as good a time as any.

So a big pat on the back for me for doing all that, and spent the rest of the day at the in-laws bumming around inside (watching movies) and outside (in the sunny weather). It still hasn't sunk in that we're here for good - it just feels completely like a holiday. Soon I will need a reality check and have to start looking for work.

On a separate note, the Pet Shop Boys website has changed! Was having a quick skim through it today and thinking it was really nice.


Red tape

Firstly, thanks for all your messages on the last post. As I said, dial-up doesn't really allow me the time to comment back individually or visit your blogs too much, so just bear with me for now.

As expected I've been eaten alive by mosquitoes the last couple of days. Fresh blood for the pesky little rascals.

We're just in the process of sorting out a few essentials...namely my social insurance number, and health cards for myself and Audrey. Martha is also taking the opportunity to update her records which haven't been changed since before we got married! We are also going to sort out driving licences shortly...thankfully we don't have to retake any tests - it's just a case of swopping our UK ones to Ontario ones. If you knew how many times it took to pass my UK test you'll realise how much of a relief that is!

We've already popped into the bank and the money we sent over is definitely here! We haven't done anything rash yet - it's sitting in an account not dissimilar to the one it was in in the UK which is fine for now until we figure out whats best for it. We also want to set up some credit cards which isn't going to be a problem although Martha and I don't have any credit history here which means we won't get a huge credit limit on it to start with. I did sort out a reference letter with my UK bank which the nice lady at the bank said might help, and she suggested we apply for something with a higher limit and see what happens. To be honest I'm not bothered...we don't desperately need a high credit limit, and it will kerb our spending habits now, which is when we most need to.

Anyway, I think I've outstayed my welcome on my father-in-laws computer, so I'd better sign out! Adios!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


The Slowest "Quick Update" Ever

Well, we made it!

We loaded our container on Wednesday and said goodbye to our lives as it drove down the road never to be seen again - well for a few weeks anyway hopefully.

Then we flew to Canada on Saturday. A good flight, a smooth route through immigration and here we are enjoying the lovely sunny and hot weather.

There was a lot of stuff in between, mostly frantic cleaning of our old house, interspersed with cars that wont sell, and vans that wont work, but I'll have to save that for another time as I'm afraid I am in dial-up internet hell at the moment.

I daren't even check on everyones blogs because I'll be here until Christmas doing that alone. I will get to you all as soon as I can, but I don't expect it to be anytime soon.

I'll update when I can and I am checking my email often. Byee!

Friday, June 09, 2006


Quick (and final?) Update

Martha sold our TV today! Goodbye 36inch widescreen WILL I watch Doctor Who tomorrow - and it's the second of a bloody 2 parter as well!?

Our cars and some other less important items are up for sale now too...may have some interest in my car already!

Work was OK. Kind of blah and uneventful. I really do hope they can cope without me, but after three days away my desk looked like a bomb had hit it. Maybe I'm just anal about keeping a tidy desk. Anyway, I tried not to care too much - they need to work it all out for themselves.

Tomorrow we are swimming and making one final pilgrimage to The Haywaggon restaurant for lunch with my parents. They are then taking Audrey away for the rest of the weekend so Martha and I can get on with some serious packing.

Cough seems to be much better after a full day of antibiotics. I just spoke on the phone to a good friend and my throat got kind of dry and the cough flared up again, but to be honest I haven't had to speak to anyone at any great length since this cold began. I'm sure I just overdid it a bit.

Anyway, that, as they say, is that. Unless by some miracle of timetravel I find myself able to blog again between now and Wednesday (when we shall officially be without a computer) I am going to call it quits here until I reach Canada. Hopefully my father-in-law will allow me a few moments to update every now and then until we get ourselves our own computer set up.

So I'll say bye-bye for now and I hope to see you on the other side!

Thursday, June 08, 2006



The packing's getting messy...I think most of the meaningful big stuff is packed, and we're down to stupid little odds and ends which have no specific home and I hate it because they don't pack easily.

Last night I tried to logon to reply to everyones comments from my last post and once I typed them in the darn thing wonked out on me, so I decided not to even try again. Thanks for all your messages though, I did at least manage to read them. Oh, Indigotine, we leave on June 17th...

I just cancelled our internet service which is due to expire next Wednesday but I have a feeling my last blogpost before we go is coming sooner than that...I wont promise any updates then you wont be disappointed...

My cold isn't a cold any more...oh no! The sore throat has gone and I've now got a hacking chesty cough. I decided I had better go to the quacks to make sure I was alright. After some consideration he decided I might have a touch of bronchitis and gave me a prescription for antibiotics, suggesting I give it a few days before I have it in case it clears up on its own. Well, screw that, I'm off to the chemists this afternoon and I'll be popping that penicillin right away! I'm not one of these people who thinks antibiotics is the answer to all known ills. I realise it's something to be taken as little as possible, so hopefully it will take effect quickly since I can't even recall the last time I used the stuff.

Packing with Audrey around is difficult. I can see us pulling some late nights to get stuff done. Whilst the warm weather we're experiencing now is nice, it's not really condusive to happy packing either. Anyone want to babysit or help pack?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Oh, how I loooove to pack!

Phew, what a day!

First of all, good news! Last night Martha called her bank in Canada and the money has arrived safe and sound in the bank account! Yay! I guess we didn't get swindled after all! Sighs of relief all round!

Today we dropped Audrey off at the childminders and spent the day at home tackling the packing. I was worried that maybe all that complaining I've done right here on this blog about having no motivation to pack in the evenings was actually going to be exposed as complete lack of motivation to pack at all no matter what the time of day. Thankfully I was wrong. I was well up for packing, and we made a good dent in it. There's still a ton of it to do, and we don't have any more days like today where Audrey is going to be looked after by someone else while we get on. Things could therefore get really tricky from here on in!

Anyway, I also got an email from my sister-in-law today asking me to post some answers to some pertinent moving to another country style questions in a meme stylee, and I'm only too happy to oblige! Here goes...

Upon moving to Canada, you will find yourself missing what from the U.K:

1. What food (main course or dessert or snack)
I think most meals can be equally well prepared in Canada as here so even if I do miss something I'll probably be able to make it or find a suitable substitute. It may take some product testing though but that's half the fun. If you have to put me on the spot though I think proper fried fish and chips would be hard to beat.

2. What drink
Again, I can probably find good substitutes for my favourites (I've already tried and tested some iced teas in Canada!). I will miss the variety of beers though - I like being able to walk into a pub in the UK and find weird and wonderful beers on tap just begging to be sampled.

3. What place
I will miss my parents house. At the end of the day it's "home" - I grew up there and it's a special place for me.

4. What restaurant
Am I allowed two? I'll miss the Haywaggon at Churchover of course, but I'll also miss the Ocean Chinese Restaurant in Henley in Arden.

5. What hobby
Hopefully I can still continue to persue my existing hobbies. PSB record collecting might become a tad more difficult, but hopefully with a computer I can order most of the stuff I want. I will miss the neolithic history here...I loved driving out to ancient stone circles and burial chambers. I don't think Canada *does* those!

6. In general, what about England will you miss the most (aside from family and friends)
Hmm tricky. I'll miss the BBC - having a TV station with no commercials is quite a luxury, and I'll miss *some* of the programmes, but certainly not many of them.

7. What will you regret that you never did in England
Biggest regret (if that's what you call it) has always been being unable to keep our first house when we bought our second one. I would have (and COULD have) let it out and sold it at a tidy profit several years ago which would have made me and my family much more financially stable. Mind you, if we had been allowed to do that, the chances are we wouldn't be moving to Canada.

8. What will you tell Audrey about your growing up in England
I'll tell her how wonderful it was growing up in England - really it was. We had a huge garden to explore and once we were done with that there were fields behind it for even more exploring! She'll hear all about the history of the country too. I do realise there is a lot England has to offer in that respect and hopefully it'll make her proud of her roots.

9. What are you looking forward to the most about living in Canada
Tough one. I can only really say what I hope to find, not what I will find. Hopefully we will find a slightly more relaxed pace of life. I still want to work to pay the bills etc, but I don't want to have to worry about every last dime. We'd been fortunate that up until a few years ago we had that lifestyle here, but we started to feel the pinch and financially things started to get out of control. I want a clean slate and I don't want to allow that to happen again. If we're REALLY lucky we might even be able to start out with a house and no mortgage - now that really would be something!

10. What are you looking forward to the least about living in Canada (again, can't say family & friends)
I'm not looking forward to finding a new job. I have no idea what I want to do which really isn't a good starting point is it? However, I can turn my hand to most things, and I'm happy to muck in with the crappy work too, so I may not be too picky to start off with. I know I wont like the REALLY hot weather and the REALLY cold weather...tell me who does? However, I prefer the certainty of the seasons rather than the perpetual rain we seem to get here. I'm sure I'll find plenty that frustrates me, and no doubt I'll be vocal about it on my blog.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Last Day of Work - Take 1

Today was my official last day of work before the move.

Things started out a little unusually as Martha had some things she wanted to finish up at home before setting off to work so I offered to drop Audrey at our childminders. When I got there our childminder was calling the doctor for an appointment. I have to admit I didn't pay much attention to her symptoms, I was more interested in getting Audrey settled and off to work, but she was clutching her side obviously in some discomfort.

Anyway, I got to work roughly on time, and things started to pan out as they normally do on a Monday morning, then at 10am Martha called me and told me our childminder was going to hospital for X-rays and we needed to pick Audrey up for the rest of the day. Since I was the one who offered to drop Audrey off that morning I was the only one with a child car seat, so I had to drop everything and rush back home to fetch Audrey. I then drove back to work with her in the hopes that I would be able to achieve some work with my Mum doing some baby sitting on the side.

Things didn't go entirely to plan. Audrey was fine for a while, colouring and drawing but she got bored really fast. We distracted her with lunch, but as that needed supervision it didn't allow me to any time to do any work. Mum took her out to the nearby park for a while which allowed me to clean up my computer of some personal dross that wont mean anything to anyone else, but apart from that I didn't do a stitch of work. It was basically impossible.

At 4pm Mum said I might as well take Audrey home and we agreed it had been a complete waste of a day. So I've now rescheduled my official last day of work to this coming Friday. Mind you, I kind of figured I'd be back there once or twice before I left anyway. In between I will be at home, hopefully achieving some packing.

So I drove home and Audrey fell asleep and still is asleep on the couch. I should probably be getting on with something constructive, but when the day's been as much of a write off as it has already, you might as well continue. So blogging it is!

Weekend was good although I'm still carrying this cold around with me - it's now a lovely cough and still a bit of soreness in the throat. Everything else is pretty much back to normal though so I'm pleased about that.

Yesterday we had visitors in the shape of Carla, Garry and their son Jarrod who you may remember we paid a visit to a while back. It was a lovely sunny day, so we were able to enjoy the weather in the park and let Audrey have some fun. Lots of discussion about Canada and the move, and some nice pizza (yes, I finally plucked up the courage to eat some) and some disastrous lasagne (hopefully I didn't singlehandedly manage to poison our guests).

Anyway, I hope they had a nice time with us. It's a real shame we didn't get aquainted sooner as they're lovely people and we do seem to have quite a lot in common, and now we're off to bloody Canada! Nevertheless, I'm all for staying in touch and hopefully we'll be able to meet up somewhere, sometime soon.

Well, I'm getting nervous as the connection to Blogger keeps getting dropped, so I think I'll publish and be damned before I lose all my writing!

Friday, June 02, 2006


I've got the brains, you've got the looks, let's make lots of money.

I've just done one the scariest things I think I will ever do.

I just transferred the vast majority of our life savings to someone in order to be converted into Canadian dollars. The money has evaporated from my account and now I'm just hoping it will reappear at our Canadian account in a few days time. If it doesn't, I've just been swindled out of a substantial sum of money!

I'm also a bit ticked off because about an hour after I'd fixed the agreed exchange rate, it increased by a penny which means we would have scooped more dollars if I'd waited, but it's too late and there's no turning back now.

Martha and I have been watching the Canadian Dollar/Sterling exchange rate for the last few weeks and very annoyingly missed our golden opportunity about a fortnight ago. Since then we've kicked ourselves several times and watched the rate nervously, trying to glean any useful bits of information that might help us pick the right moment to pounce. Finally today we lost our bottle and went for it and now all I can hope is the rate goes out of favour for a while to save me some dignity.

I guess I know why I got such a crap grade in economics A-level at school now! I wouldn't know a bear from a bull if they were both stampeding towards me.

Pizza night is officially cancelled tonight - my throat will simply not take that kind of punishment. Hopefully it'll have improved by tomorrow and we can have pizza night then instead. I'm a bit bummed out by that actually, because I feel better in myself - I have my appetite back and my body doesn't ache, but I still seem incapable of chewing and swallowing properly at the moment. Not sure what we shall have as a replacement supper tonight though - the excitement of bread and soup beckons...

Not much else to say I'm afraid! Have a nice weekend everybody!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Danger! Meltdown imminent!

This cold of mine will not let go.

It's really just a sore throat now but it's right in my ears and making my head fuzzy. It makes eating and drinking a chore rather than a pleasure and I find myself waking up in the night with a dry mouth into which someone has thrown a handful of stinging nettles. The only thing I've found to alleviate the pain is to gargle with TCP which makes the bathroom, and doubtless me as well, stink like a hospital ward. However, it got me back to sleep twice last night, so it's a small price to pay.

My wife is now the proud owner of an iPod Nano which was bought for her by her colleagues as a leaving gift. Kind of reminds me of the quote from Blackadder The Third made by Wellington as played by Stephen Fry:-

"The men had a whip round and bought you this. Well, that is to say I had the men roundly whipped until they bought you this. It's a cigarillo case emblazoned with the regimental crest: two crossed dead Frenchmen on a mound of dead Frenchmen motif."

Comedy genius!

Anyway, you may recall my previous blog entry about Audrey jumping off the bed and me trying to encourage her to jump without the aid of my hands to steady her. Last night she actually asked to jump off without my help - no hands at all! I said I'd still be there to catch her and sure enough after some false starts, she leaped off unaided. She kind of lunged head first though so I caught her under the arms just as she reached the floor. "No, Daddy!" she cried "Don't catch me!" and she climbed back on the bed to do it again! So this time I let her jump and wasn't going to catch her at all. However I made one error. I was kneeling in front of her, just in case, and as before she launched herself headlong off the bed resulting in her bonking her chin on my leg! Ouch! Anyway, much crying ensued, and she took a while to calm down. However, I realised this fall could be counter productive and might put her off trying again, so after she was done crying I made a big deal about her jumping off the bed with no hands...lots of praise and a treat of a chocolate biscuit (I wouldn't have done the biscuit if she hadn't had the accident but I felt bad! I wont be making a habit of it!). Anyway, I was dead impressed and she didn't seem phased afterwards about the accident and was quite proud to tell Mummy about her jump.

So, just two more days of work and we'll really have to get our butts in gear with packing. Being unwell has been a real pain - any slight inclination to pack was put to rest once I caught this bugger and if Martha and Audrey catch it it'll eat into our packing time even more while they recoup as well.

Next week I am seriously going to have to get a grip on my life, because this week has been a complete waste of time. I keep telling myself there can't possibly be much more to pack, but somewhere in the back of my head is a nagging doubt that I've forgotton some crucial detail which is going to balls up the entire move. Is there a way to shut down that part of my brain so I can just go on with stuff and stop worrying? You know, maybe a little switch behind one of my ears or in the back of my head like Action Man's eagle eyes!

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