Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

Card heavily inspired by / shamelessly plagiarised from Tim Holtz, depending on your point of view :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A to Z Journal - F and G

The great thing about jetlag, is that you are wide awake until about 5am, which gives you loads more time for playing around with paints and stuff :)

(getting up the next morning? not so much fun!)

But at least I am now back up to date with my A-Z journal.

Both of these were no brainers, as H will be (anyone for hockey??)

F had to be Frusciante - my muse, and for G what else to choose to represent 2008 me than geocaching, my craze-of-the-moment...

The background of the F page is ecoline inks sponged onto textured cardstock, and sprayed over the top with a perfect pearls suspension to blend and add sparkle.

The text (Stampers Anon) was stamped with Brilliance Pearlescent Rust

Once it was all dry I printed the render of John straight onto the painted background, and then finished it all off with the strips of gaffer tape and stamped text.

The geocaching page was simplicity itself. Two colours of pearlescent liquid acrylic onto white card, blended with a baby wipe. Pic of me triumphantly celebrating my first cache find stuck on top. A compass stamped up top in pink Stazon, and text stamped and hand written.

I have another long sleepless night ahead of me.....might do a CJ :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Home Sweet Home

No matter how good a holiday you have, it's always good to get home.

I missed Ian, I missed Ribena, I missed my own bed, I missed my big kids (who kept the house spotless while I was away, so it was fab to come back to), I missed Cadburys Dairy Milk, and I missed my ratty girls.

The bad thing about the journey back East, though, is the jet lag. I am soooooooo tiiiiired!!!

Pretty much all I have managed to achieve since I got home is to unpack and wash all the holiday clothes, and help Connor put together and hide our very first cache.

Three people have found our cache already, which is very cool. :)

Yawn. Need sleep. Yawn.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Fiver - March 28th

1. What have you sold?

Over the years, lots of things. I went from running my own punk rawk mail order business /record label in the 90s, to having a bit of an eBay empire. But both of these kept me up till 3am packing mountains of parcels, and with a full time office job and three kids, and vain attempts to fit a life into what little spare time I have left, something had to give :)

2. What do you want to change?

Nothing about my own life, I am stupidly content right now. But I would definitely change my best mate's health for the better, if I could.

3. What does your answering machine / voice mail message say?

I don't have the foggiest! I know I have one on my home phone, because people tell me they have left me messages - but I don't remember setting it up, and I don't have a clue how to listen to them - I hope there is nothing important on there, like "congratulations Mrs H, you have won a zillion pounds and a date with Ryan Kesler, please call this number before January 31st 2008 to claim your prize....."

I have voicemail on my mobile phone, but I don't recall recording a message for that either, so I presume it's just some generic thing.

4. Where did you go to school?

Loughton in Essex, an all girl's grammar school (shows my age!) where I was mainly very happy.

5. Friday fill-in:
If you'd like to reach me, ______.

email is best, or MSN, or text, or PM me on one of my forums - just don't bother leaving a message on my answering machine :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Canada Day 15: home time

We never fully unpacked in Calgary, as we were only here a couple of days, so packing this morning was quick and easy.

We weren't due at the airport till 5, and had to check out of the hotel by 12 noon, but they were kind enough to let us dump all our bags there while we had one last roam around the city.

It was a beautiful sunny day, so first of all we went for a nice long walk along the banks of the River Bow, on the hunt for a geocache. This was an unusual one, as it is indoors, in the office of the Calgary parks and recreation resource centre. They are well into caching, and keep a large ammo box in their premises, which is often visited and, being the closest decent sized cache to the city centre and therefore very handy for visitors, has become a bit of a favourite spot for travel bugs. It therefore seemed like an ideal place to drop off my hockeybug (whose mission is to visit all 30 NHL arenas in Canada and the US).

The young lady who worked in the resource centre was really friendly, and gave Connor a little keychain of a beaver with a Flames jersey on - what is it with everyone giving Cons pressies???. We bought $50-worth of cool ghost story books from her, so I guess that is a fair swap :)

We took the C-Train back to the Calgary branch of the Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch (food just as yummy as the Vancouver one), and then crossed the bridge onto Prince's Island to play for a while in the cowboy themed play park and say hello to some more of those Canadian black squirrels.

It seemed weird to see the river totally covered in thick ice and snow when it was so sunny and warm out. I guess when it has bedded in all through a long winter, it takes more than a couple of mild days to thaw it out....

After the swings it was up to the airport, and a long long flight home (we got back about lunchtime on Thursday, tired and ratty, but having had a lovely holiday)

And now the Canada blog is officially all done :)

Normal service will resume shortly....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Canada Day 14a - "that's one schizophrenic family right there...."

So,after the zoo, it was back to the hotel on the C-Train to get ready for the big game - Canucks vs Flames.

Of all the hockey we were due to see on this holiday, this was the one that Connor and I were most looking forward to. All the razzmatazz and showbix and FIRE of the Saddledome, plus the element of rivalry between mother (Vancouver through and through) and son (Calgary all the way).

We went all out for this one, rival jersies (I was Linden, Cons was Iginla), temporary tattoos, the lot. It was a lot of fun! It generated a lot of bemused comments from the locals - mainly along the lines of "how did THAT happen???" - and the classic quote from one man to his friend..."that's one schizophrenic family right there" :):):)

We travelled to the game on the C-Train, and the journey in itself was an event. The train was full of Flames and Canucks fans (loads of Bertuzzi jerseys), and the walk from the train station takes you right through the Calgary Stampede rodeo halls, which is kind of cool.

The game itself was one of mixed fortunes and mixed emotions, and mixed teams it seems - I am pretty sure that the Canucks who dominated in the first period (shots 21-7 in our favour, score at period end 2-0), were not the same team that skated round the ice so half heartedly for the rest of the game, leaving us with a regulation 2-3 loss, and, it turns out, a broken spirit to carry forward to the next couple of games :(

Connor managed to miss Iggy's goal in the 2nd as he was doing a poo :) (great timing, kid) - but was there for the 2nd and 3rd Calgary goals, which resulted in much joyous high fiving with the couple next us, while I sulked quietly.

Said couple were incredibly nice people - and at the end of the game, the lady gave Connor a Flames jersey! Yes, a proper jersey, in perfect condition, that her son has outgrown. She wouldn't let me give her a penny for it, just asked me to give her son a call from England to say thank you. Connor was absolutely over the moon - what a lucky boy!!!

At least I got to see my Canucks win twice out of three games on this trip - if I had come over a few days later and seen the frankly horrible Avs and Wild games it would have left a sour taste, that's for sure.

This is why I love RAW format.....something went horribly wrong with this photo I took of the boys lined up for the anthem, and it came out like this....

A bit of exposure adjustment (never could have fixed this if it was a jpeg), and it's perfect:

Close up: (wibble)

And talking of Taylor Pyatt (yes, a little tiny bit of that wibble was his :)), someone must have really wound that boy up in the tunnel! Because he dropped the gloves with exactly 3 seconds on the clock lol

More piccies:

Don't cry Bobby, your beautiful little girl will be born any minute....

If anyone picks up this picture and tags it with some lame comment about Luongo throwing in the towel,I will be mightily pissed off. I am writing this blog entry on March 29th, and am frankly heartbroken after witnessing Roberto getting pulled 2 games in a row. If the Vancouver crowd turn on him during this rare period of behaving like a human being instead of a superhuman goaltending robot, I will never forgive them. The man is f**king exhausted!!! I wish he could pack his bags and get back to Florida for a few days to be with his beautiful wife and 24-hour old daughter and forget about hockey for a while. Let Sanford earn his keep. Sorry - rant over :)

So that's game over, my little hockey road trip over, and the vacation almost over.

Just one more blog entry to go....

Canada Day 14: Sunny Calgary

I like Calgary.

Vancouver was beautiful, but a tad on the yuppie side. It would be a great place to live if you were 25, one of the beautiful people and didn't have kids yet, but for a middle aged homebody like me, it is better as a holiday destination I reckon. (We will definitely be back - for a start, we didn't have time to do the Capilano suspension bridge, and there's the little matter of GM Place :))

Edmonton was cool for families, but I tell you that giant mall would do my head in if I lived there because Connor would want to go there ALL...... THE....... TIME!!!!!

But Calgary, admittedly it's difficult to judge on a couple of days, but I could see myself living there.

We went to the zoo today - excellent zoo - the animals all look well cared for and their enclosures are large and well put together - and whilst there I got a killer toothache. So we left the zoo for a while and walked over into a nearby residential area to find a drug store. It looked like a really nice place to live. People were walking around smiling (probably because of the weather), everyone was friendly, there were clean and well maintained playgrounds for the local children, the school looked nice, everywhere was so well cared for and tidy.

Just a pity that it would be totally impractical for me to emigrate, because it's so appealing....

Anyway, daydream over, back to the zoo :)

We got there just after it opened, and headed straight into the prehistoric exhibit. I am glad that we did, as we had the whole huge dinosaur park to ourselves, and it almost felt like we had gone back in time and were exploring some long lost landscape. (We went back again later when it was full of kids, and it really wasn't the same experience....)

Connor loved the dino park - he enjoyed the model dinosaurs more than the live animals in the rest of the zoo :)

Not that he didn't like the rest - the bears and gorillas were big hits, as was the hippo - but he just REALLY loved the dino bit :)

And I enjoyed taking piccies of the animals and birds with my pap lens, that was already on the camera ready for the big game later on... (next post)