Wednesday, 25 February 2009

At last it arrives (2)

Congratulations to Finian Friis Sankey who popped out at 6pm on Sunday night, weighing 5lb and 12oz. Ian, Lorna and Fin are all doing well and hopefully we will get to see him later in the week.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

At last it arrives

After two months of spagetti bolognaise, curry and other stove top creations our new cooker arrived yesterday. Hurrah. Roast beef today, lasagne tomorrow and maybe shepherds pie on Wednesday. The future is bright and calorific.

Not so Bearded Fool

After spending November and December hirsuit, the Fool shaved off the beard, trying a couple of intellectual look first. It didn't last long.


A couple of weekends ago we went to Jasper with Tony, Angie, Ian and Lorn. We stayed at Jasper Park Lodge which is a rather nice hotel just outside Jasper, made up of numerous cabins and chalets around a couple of lakes. We were booked into a regular type of ensuite room, but owing to a faulty thermostat which was locked on 27 deg C (you can put the hammer away now Richard) we were upgraded to a suite overlooking the lake. It was lovely.

Friday evening we had dinner in Jasper with the others and luckily were in the restaurant when there was an extremely heavy snowstorm outside. As we're semi Canadian now and not wussy British, we were able to dig the car out afterwards and drive back to the hotel without any problems. We went back to Tony and Angie's room for some Tony's rather heavy handed drinks.

The next morning we were supposed to be going skiing with others, but owing to the resultant hangover in the lightweight BF, we decided just to have an easy day instead, I had a wander round Jasper in the morning while Richard slept it off, and then in the afternoon we had a stroll around the lake. Half way round we met some rather large elk with huge antlers, so we skirted round them giving them a wide berth. However, they then decided they were going to take a short cut and walked across the lake so we met them again on our way back. Magnificent creatures, but rather large close to.

Saturday evening we all had an excellent dinner together at the hotel, and then went our separate ways after Sunday breakfast. It was a great weekend and nice to unwind after a very busy couple of weeks at work.

Sci-fi Extravaganza

We went to a great concert the other night at the Winspear Centre, the main concert hall in Edmonton. It was the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra playing various science fiction theme tunes including Star Wars by John Williams, Superman by John Williams, ET by John Williams, Close Encounters of the Third Kind by John Williams, ET by John Williams and Harry Potter by John Williams. To break up the monopoly, they also played a few other pieces including 2001 A Space Odessey, Stargate, X Files and Star Trek. The latter included a cameo appearance by George Takei (Sulu) doing the opening commentry and some very wooden acting. It was a great concert and even that Philistine Richard enjoyed it.

New Year

John the neighbour plays bass guitar in a four piece band called Rave On, and they were playing New Year's Eve at Millwoods Golf Club in Edmonton so we went along for the dinner and dancing with Sonja and John's two brothers and their wives. It was a very pleasant evening and the band was great, playing a whole spectrum of hits from the 70s through to present day (and unfortunately the odd country song, but we'll try not to hold that against them). The only downside was that the brothers and their wives disappeared off home about 11pm so Richard was forced to dance with Sonja and I or sit at the table on his own. He did very well, and his YMCA had to be seen to be believed.

A very bearded Bearded Fool with John and Sonja
Rave On!


It was just Richard and I for Christmas last year - the first time we've been on our own for Christmas day in the 12 years we've been together. It was a little bit sad being away from family, but we had a really enjoyable, relaxing day, starting with playing RockBand in our jimjams at 8 o'clock in the morning and culminating in watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on BluRay in the evening.

As mentioned a while back in the blog, our oven broke just before Christams, so our friends John and Sonja kindly lent us theirs as they were having dinner with John's family. So we had one trip over the road at lunchtime to put the turkey in and to have a couple of drinks and then several trips later on the adjust the oven and then add the potatoes, stuffing, and other trimmings. Luckily managed to bring everything back safely in one piece ready to eat once it was cooked, so we had a lovely meal in the evening and leftovers the next day, and the next, and the next, and...
We were both able to take two weeks off over the Christmas period, so we just had a lovely time reading, watching television and enjoying not being at work. We also had a slight rearrange of some of our furniture in the dining room and kitchen, so we've opened up a bit more space.

And now, time for the weather

The weather this winter has been a bit different to last year. Last year, it got cold in November and stayed around -18 degrees C during the whole winter with one foray into the -30s.

It also started snowing in November last year and kept snowing all the way through to April. This year it didn't get cold or start snowing until mid December when it stayed at around -25 for 6 weeks. At the end of January it warmed up getting above zero for a few days. This caused much of the snow to melt and then form a hard, slidey layer of ice when it got cold again this month. It also caused many curses as Richard used salt, a hoe and brute force to remove all the ice from our sidewalk. This has finally been achieved, although some of the ice was over 2 inches thick in places. Currently the temperature is a temperate -7, but anything could happen over the next couple of months before spring arrives.

Photos of the front and back garden which look unsurprisingly like the ones we took last year.


It's a while back now, but just before Christmas, my orchestra was played carols one Saturday evening and the Legislature Building in Edmonton. It was the first day of a really cold snap (-30 ish) which lasted through Christmas for about 6 weeks, but despite that, about a hundred or so people came through the doors to hear us play, or at least to get the free hot chocolate. It was a great evening for gettig in the Chistmas Spirit. Here are some (slightly blurred) pictures of the lights and ice sculptures outside the Leg.

Once again, sorry

How fast time passes when you're having fun, or when you're incredibly busy and stressed at work. Sorry it's been a while and here's a little of what we've been up to...