High Table at Magdalen College, Oxford University - Magdalen is my favorite college at Oxford University. The name is pronounced "Maudlin," and the grounds are open to visitors for a fee. It's especially b...
Friday, May 27, 2011
I am, but that's old news of course, just like this song from The Cure. Tonight I am looking forward to sushi and a movie with my Other Half while the boys are at the semi-final game of the Memorial Cup with my Dad. Tomorrow we have to get the mast up on the sailboat rain or shine (rain, most likely) so that we can get out on the water when summer finally decides to grace us with its presence. Tomorrow night its Lobsterfest when 1200 of our closest friends gather at the local hockey arena to eat crustaceans, drink draft and dance on the beer and butter-slicked rink floor. Only in a small town you say? Pity. Have a great weekend everyone!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I have been thinking a lot lately about flirting. I have been feeling like it would be nice to have someone other than the wonderful man with whom I sleep notice me. I already know that he loves and wants and needs me and I know how lucky I am to have him and to love, want and need him back but there is something about flirting with a stranger or even an acquaintance that adds a little bit of excitement to a wife and mother of three's life. But indulging in that thrill can be dangerous and I am not sure that I amactually cut out for living on quite that much of the edge. Call me chicken but I have flown solo a couple of times lately while my Other Half was away and one night in particular my friend ended up being picked up at the bar by a boy who was, at most, half our age. Not my idea of fun especially as he interrupted some female bonding, a rare opportunity for two mothers of three children each. The last thing we needed was a boy coming between our in-depth discussion of What Not To Wear at the Oscars and whether you really have to change the sheets every time a kid throws up in bed. (My rule is that if it's more than once during the night they can sleep on a towel)
The second time was at our ski club's annual Ladies Day, a bit of a drink and dance-fest for women only. This year the ladies who were in charge and who are a good decade younger than our bunch brought in a team of firefighters who were there to serve drinks and hawk their fundraising calendars. They seemed like a nice bunch of guys who had already raised a lot of money for various charities and we had fun when Pete, one of the older (he was 47) guys, joined us on the far reaches of the hill for fresh tracks (one of the best things about Ladies Day is that most of the ladies are too worried about getting helmet head and don't bother to ski at all, leaving the snow for us diehards) But when the show began it got embarrassing for all concerned. In the past we have had a country & western caller and learned to line dance; a bevy of belly dancers who tried to teach us to wiggle our hips and one year we even donned togas and went back to our sorority days but this year it was all about the firemen's talent. One guys "played" a keyboard behind a screen with the "look Ma, no hands" approach. Gross. Another one danced around to "Save a Horse, Rise a Cowboy." Tacky. Now these guys apparently really were firemen, not Chippendales dancers and I think most of them were as embarassed as we were. Well, as some of us were. It seems I might have been one of the few to find it all a little sad. I wish I had taken pictures of the 50 year old plus women jostling themselves into position to dance with these guys. Their perfectly botoxed features actually showing some emotion as they frantically tried to get the men's attention. It was a frightening sight to say the least.
Here we are - protecting Pete.
As for the flirting? Well, I think our friend Pete saw our bunch as a safe haven from the pelvis-grinding mob. He would retreat over to the corner where we were all dancing together to catch his breath and pull up his suspenders (they started out in full firefighting gear) since we were no threat to him and he was no threat to us old married-types. I was only sorry that my best friend who is single had decided not to join us this year since I have never been able to set her up with anyone (living in the smug-married world that I do) and Pete was, in the brief time we hung out with him, worth a second look and maybe even a drive to the suburbs where his hall is located.
So I think, as much as I like the idea of flirting, in reality I will stick to flexts (flirty texts) with my Other Half which we started while he was away and seem to be continuing now that he is back at home. Much more fun and who knows what they might lead to after the kids are asleep ...
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
For a person who never seems to make it farther than the grocery store several times a week I have been out and about quite a bit lately. First there was the trip to Prince Edward County, Montreal and the Eastern Townships in Quebec with the girls from the Cheese Gallery and then it was a marathon journey to the end of the continent with my boys. Actually we left the continent and drove three quarters of the way up the Island of Cape Breton to deliver a boat. Now anyone who knows anything about the Maritime provinces would understand that taking a row boat to Nova Scotia is like taking coals to Newcastle but in this wired (or wireless) world of ours a man from Alberta ordered a boat from Ontario and had it delivered to his cottage in Nova Scotia.
Originally my Other Half and I had planned to make the journey on our own, a little birthday get-away for me paired with some business to cover the costs. We did the trip last summer and had a fine time although it is a long drive - two days straight. It would be quite a bit faster if the state of Maine didn't jut so far north causing Canadians to have to drive up and around it. There are very few roads in northern Maine other than private ones cut by logging companies so even if we didn't mind the hassle of crossing the border it would still mean driving out of our way to get through. It took about 18 hours to get to Fredericton, New Brunswick where we stopped for the first night. The boys were great, happily playing hockey on the Playstation in the back of the truck. We slept for six hours and then pushed on to Nova Scotia.
Crossing the border into Nova Scotia
Just a small part of Lac Bras D'or - the salt water lake in the centre of Cape Breton Island which two of our rowboats now call home
After delivering the boat we turned around and headed back to Moncton, NB where we had noticed a hotel with a two story water slide just off the highway. This was a huge hit with the boys who were, after two days stuck in the car, ready to let loose. We found a fun BBQ place to eat dinner but the boys were disappointed when they weren't allowed into the arcade. Turns out the video games they spied from outside were actually high tech one-armed bandits or VLTs. The next morning we promised that if they came with us for a walk they could spend the rest of the morning in the pool so off we went to see the famous Bay of Fundy Flower Pot Rocks at low tide.
What we didn't realize until we got to the park that it was closed for the winter. Now I have a fundamental problem with anyone closing a natural phenomenon so my Other Half and I decided that this was the time to introduce the boys to the art of trespassing.
After a great adventure exploring the tidal flats of the Bay we piled back in the car and headed west towards Quebec City where I had booked us into the stately Chateau Frontenac to celebrate my entry into middle age.
Saying goodbye to the Suite Life
A final stop in my old stomping grounds - Montreal
and a visit to the infamous St Viateur Bagel Factory
and a visit to the infamous St Viateur Bagel Factory
The trip was a success if you don't count the fact that every fuse in the car was blown when the boys plugged in the Playstation, a DS and my MacBook at the same time. Luckily the DVD player still worked and we found a dying Blockbuster in Montreal where we stocked up on $4 movies including the entire National Lampoon's Vacation collection plus The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I am so sick of the non-starter spring we have been having this year. Cold, wet and miserable sums it up. We had one nice day on the weekend and I got outside to clean up the garden. The daffodils all opened and the tulips sprung out the of the earth but then the temperature dropped and the tulips are firmly closed. Our sailboat is scheduled to go in the water on Sunday and I am hoping for warmth and sun. I can't wait to get out for after school sails and cocktail cruises.
The boys and I got up at 5am to watch the Royal Wedding. Number Two Son had set his alarm for 4:30am but his clockwas ahead by an hour so that we (meaning me) were woken up at 3:30am. Finally got back to sleep just in time to hear my alarm go off followed by the phone ringing. It was my sister standing outside my door wondering why it was still locked. We all celebrated with OJ and Prosecco, fresh croissants and strawberries. The boys were all incredibly into it and insisted watching to the very end. After Wills and Kate drove around in Charles's Aston Martin I told them they had to get ready for school where, thankfully, they weren't the only ones who were late.
The celebrations continued with as I spent the morning making scones and crustless sandwiches for The Cheese Gallery's Royal High Tea. We all dressed up in hats, the odd tiara and I even dug out my grandmother's white gloves.
The marathon wrapped up in the wee hours of Saturday morning at Jazzmania, the adult pub crawl our little town holds every April. My Other Half and I hosted the second annual Grilled Cheese pre-party which was by all accounts a great success. In fact, I couldn't get people to leave. The bands begin playing downtown at 8pm and at 9pm I had to turn out the lights and tell everyone to move along. Some suggested that next year we just book a band and become a venue ourselves so that no one would have to leave. The rain held off and we had fun listening to some great music and generally acting like university kids drifting from pub to restaurant to bar. As I have said before our little town has a very high concentration of fine drinking and dining establishments.
Yesterday Number One Son and I went to clean out our lockers at the ski hill (they finally closed the club the weekend before Easter) he insisted that we could still have skied but I, for one, am quite happy to say goodbye to the snow. The boys did get out on the golf course on Saturday and soccer starts next week so that should keep them busy and out of trouble or so I thought.
Last night I got a phone call from our neighbour and friend who wanted to know if I had heard about one of my boys daring her son to eat a worm (there are lots around thanks to all the rain)? I had, in fact, as Number Two came to ask me for his bank card so he could go and take $10 out of his account. I explained to him (and the Mum) that I really couldn't condone paying someone to eat a worm but since he did it then I supposed Number Two had better make good on the dare. Apparently it didn't taste too bad.
Did a bit of a spring clean yesterday since it wasn't warm enough to get outside in the garden and took four boxes and two garbage bags to our local charity shop. Said goodbye to at least 75 stuffed animals the boys haven't touched in over a year, all my old pregnancy books (so long What to Expect) and at least twenty old puzzles and board games. I wasn't organized enough to cull through everything and take some of it to sell at the consignment shop Reinspired Home which opened recently and is my new favourite haunt but at least it's out of the house and there'll always be more to purge.
Of course last night was another late one as we stayed up to see what direction our country was heading and it was a bit of a shocker. It wasn't that I didn't expect Harper's Conservatives to be re-elected but I don't think anyone predicted the decimation of the Liberals and Bloq Quebecois. The NDP's orange wave quickly turned into a crush as they wiped out the Quebec Separatists in their own backyard. In the past the socialist NDP has held a maximum of 43 seats, last night they won 102, including one candidate who spent part of the campaign in Las Vegas. What does this all mean for Canada? It seems we are becoming more polarized with a right wing (by Canadian standards) majority government in office for the next four years and a left wing official opposition. It means that Prime Minister Harper can push through just about any legislation he chooses and that is a worry. While minority governments do result in elections more often they also tend to force the government to work with the other parties and when you have a leader like Harper who doesn't play well with others that's not necessarily a bad thing. What's next? I have no idea.
Monday, May 2, 2011
It seems that we have to paint the house and I need help choosing a colour or colours as we have to do the siding, trim, shutters, doors and garage doors. My first inclination is grey with white trim, red front and side doors and black garage doors. It's classic and simple. I have been looking at photos of New England style houses and there are so many choices. I don't want green or beige, it seems every new house built around here are those colours and we painted the house we built 15 years ago green with beige trim. I don't like yellow but have been toying with blue. My favourite look is the classic weather grey cedar shakes with blue trim. We will have to redo the roof soon and although we can't afford real cedar shakes I have looked at Enviroshakes which look like cedar and are that lovely silver grey.
So, what do you think? Please give me any suggestions and links to sites that feature colourful houses. I'll let you know what we decide and when we actually get around to painting it.