Sunday, 30 May 2010

chop chop busy busy

Ottawa - the busiest weekend yet...

Saturday saw the Great Glebe Garage Sale. We met for breakfast at Betsy's (delicious as ever) then headed out to grab some bargains. Our 'hope to find' list included lamps for Paul's office, rubber snakes and a copy of The Twits by Roald Dahl.....and we were succesful on all counts. Our haul included:
2 matching retro desk lamp, from different stalls: $1.50
Four balls of jade cotton for knitting baby jackets and a science text book: $1.00
6 blank lab books and a crochet a monster kit: $3.00
3 children's story books for making into notebooks: $1.00
Hockey gloves for Paul and The Twits: $7.50
A Canadian Atlas and three sci-fi novels for Paul: $3.50
Tote bag made from an Indian Coffee sack: free
Two rubber snakes: photographed for free

Bargains galore. $17.50 spent - (around a tenner for those reading in sterling). And lots of fun spotting, we could have come home with several mannekins, a Harley Davidson, hobby horses.....oh so much temptation.

And on to Sunday. This is Race weekend in Ottawa, 2,5 and 10km races yesterday, and the half and full marathons today. The route goes past the end of the street and as he race starts at 7am I was awoken by the cowbells, yelling and Spanish music echoing from the cheering statio up the road. Paul slept on, but when I found it a struggle to concentrate on my book due to the wafts of The Macarena, I nudged him into action and we headed down to watch the fun. Our area (New Edinburgh) wins prizes yearly for its enthusiastic cheering and the crowds were out in force to hig five the runners and hand them cups of gatorade or water - and for some reason the men helping out were wearing red dresses. Bizarre.

We had a date at the Ravenswing Zine and Craft Fayre though, and cycled over to explore. (This meant nipping across the race route infront of the slower runners due to bad route planning). The fayre was quite small, but we grabbed a coffee and cupcake and sat back to listen to the local bands playing before heading to Aunt Olive's for yummy lunch (why are so many of my posts so full of food!).

Then back on the bikes and off to The Ottawa Children's Festival, whilst there Paul took the opportunity to dress up as a dragon.
This was an added bonus though as our main purpose was to hang out in the Luminarium. This was one of our favourite things to do back in england too as its run by a Nottingham based company. Difficult to explain to anyone whose not been, but the closest I can get is lying back on the inside of a bouncy castle listening to whale works for us anyway!

Many more piccies from this weekend on Flickr.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Turtle Power....

The heat is on, well the sun is up anyway. Many people (one or two ) seemed concerned as to whether we'll cope with the Winters out here, and although we know it was a mild one we've just got through - its the summers that will be a challenge for me. I am not a fan of the heat.

But, armed with my new positive outlook on life (surprising what two years off work can do for your state of mind!), I am embracing summer in all its sweaty smellyness....
Donning my sunhat and heading to a cottage for the weekend, we paddled, swam, ate fab food and sat about reading. The last two of these may well be suitable for all weathers, but the experience was enhanced by ample use of bug spray and sun tan lotion.

The wildlife highlight of the weekend was a prehistoric discovery. Making the most of our last morning we headed down for one last dip in the lake, until Paul nearly trod on this beauty, sunning himself on the rocks by the jetty.

We've been warned not to get to close to snapping turtles, as they can be feisty. Having checked out the spikes on his tail we stayed out of the water for a while, (for scale, his tail was as long as my hand - and I have spindly fingers!).

When he eventually headed back into the water, we had our swim. The cold water is fantastically refreshing in the heat - or shockingly cold on your extremities depending on whether you're still thinking positively.

As we dried off we spotted a snake swimming by. Glad we didn't see him before we got in!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Tea- party

We've been here nine months now, well ten months, but nine in our current abode. During that time we've benefited from several generous invitations by various of Paul's fellow scientists, many of which revolve around food - there was the ice-cream tasting with delicious home-made strawberry heaven; wine-tasting and fondue (never encourage me to sample 7 different wines, even in small quantities); bbq's (have I mentioned that Paul used to be a vegetarian, didn't last long!) and trips to cold-war bunkers. How is the cold-war museum food related? Surprisingly you really put away the sushi after being educated underground about survival after nuclear attacks for a couple of hours.

Anyway, we felt it was probably our turn to act as host and hostess, and decided to invite one and all to an English Tea Party. Now, we benefit here from there only being a couple of other Brits in the group. This meant I could bake things we enjoyed eating, whether they were traditional or not.....And what does a Lawes girl do when faced with a day of baking - yes Mum, she cracks out the Bero book! (And refers to Nigella too).
And voila:

We made: Strawberry Shortcakes; Blue-cheese biscuits; a Victoria Sponge; Cherry and Brandy Trifle (Paul was in charge of the brandy - enough said); Cheese scones (of course!); Feta filo parcels and a selection of sandwiches cut in beautiful triangles - cream cheese and cucumber, salmon, and jam. (Paul did neglect to cut the crusts off the sandwiches, but thankfully this faux-pas was only noticed by one of the fellow Brits, we gave him another beer to keep him quiet).

The evening was a big success. We had 25 guests (we didn't know this many in England!), and the scientists played nicely with the lesser mortals. Despite filling the bath with beer, many stuck with tea - very civilised. Jasper behaved beautifully - stunning many by refusing their offerings of tidbits.....then throwing up what he had eaten, he is a fussy dog.

And now we get to spend a soggy Saturday sat by the fire, working our way through the leftovers, safe in the knowledge we won't be throwing a party for another year - lovely. x

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A letter...

Dear Amy,

This is your brain speaking. Not your conscious brain which you place far too much faith in, listening to it prattling on about knitting patterns and cupcakes when you should be revising resolving vectors for your tutoring session.

No, this is the subconscious part of your brain, the part that has failed you three days running. The part which looks out the window at the ominous black cloud and decides that you have plenty of time to walk the dog/cycle to the pub before the downpour.

I am wrong - everytime. Do not listen to me. You will get wet. Wet to your underwear. You will get a soggy bottom and it won't be nice.

On the other hand, if you choose to ignore little old subconscious me and ignore your weather instincts, you have the potential to be an excellent weather predictor. Just go with the exact opposite and you will have a 100% perfect record - and dry underwear to boot.

Good luck,
Amy's subconscious brain.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Blog neglect....

Poor lonely blog. Not been paying you much attention over the last week or so....buried in knitting and playing in the woods.
A few images to keep you going until my writing juices start flowing again:

the beautiful fish that was caught during our day in the woods last week. (He was released to swim again as we had eaten our full of burgers (the men) and peanut butter on toast (me) cooked on the open fire). Tramping round the woods identifying trees and bugs galore, canoeing with beavers in the river, ice-cream on the way home - bliss.

Two from our walk home on Saturday evening. Paul spent the day chasing men round the woods with a paintball gun, I spent the day browsing estate sales and buying a loom - who says we don't fit into traditional gender stereotypes! In the evening we headed to Gatineau (reluctantly it must be said) but ended up having a very entertaining evening - and a beautiful walk home along the river.

On the way back up the stairs after sharing a cuppa by the waterfall with Paul this afternoon, I noticed this new addition to the neighbourhood. I am currently unsure why there is a turtle in a paddling pool on the basement roof. Canadian custom?

Head to the Tarts N Crafts Sale this Mother's Day weekend

First of a series of crafter profiles I'm working on this week....

Head to the Tarts N Crafts Sale this Mother's Day weekend

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