View the Archives | Subscribe to Posts [Atom]

Monday, July 24, 2006

School Trip!

The Sunflower nursery arranged a trip to a local butterfly park, so Gesa joined in with the kids for a day out. A rather twisty-turny coach ride through the Bedforshire countryside left Gesa feeling about the same as a couple of hours on the boat in rough weather , but the kids enjoyed every minute. Apart from the minutes they didn't of course, but being kids such moments come and go with amazing regularity, and the troubles and traumas of five minutes ago are long forgotten in the new joy of the moment. Ah to be young...

As to be expected, the butterfly farm had quite a selection of ... butterflies. It was also a small animal farm, so there were goats, pigs, ducks, geese, rabbits to pet and lots of other wee beasties to see and be amazed or scared by.

Somehow, the girls at the nursery manage to organize and marshall about 30 kids through a whole day with the minimum or fuss, and they even go on a meadow walk down to a little hide where they can watch the birds on the river.

Max pauses for effect and stares into the middle distance like a true performer. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A trip to the beach - Ty Dewi style

After the previous day’s party, everyone was tired but we had resolved to spend some time afloat as July is full of other occasions that keep us from sailing, so each opportunity is precious. We had our friends Corinne and Edo, with their three kids, along too, so on a day of hot sunshine and light winds, the obvious plan was to motor to an anchorage, go to a beach for lunch and motor home.

But first there was that pesky nut and bolt to relocate somewhere in the engine bay. Having found it lying under the engine at the end of the last trip, this was a worrying unknown. It turned out to be thankfully simple, a fitting at the front of the engine had worked loose, shaking all four bolts of the holding nuts. It isn’t a critical part, so no damage done, and new nuts and bolts, with spring washers to prevent it happening again, and all was ready in an hour and a half.

That gave us 5 hours before we had to be back ashore, as Gesa had to be home for a baby-sitting commitment later. Funny how five whole hours can still be a short time, and things were a little more rushed than would have been ideal. But we got down to the Stour with lunch on the way, and a half hour of quiet 2 knot sailing in between.
Anchor down, dinghy launched and ashore to a stony but interesting beach. The kids loved the dinghy ride, whilst Corinne swam out to the boat and back, and Edo and I complained about the heat and wished for a shady tree.

Home up the river to find our berth occupied by another boat, so we got the marina to chase him away before we could get in. We clearly need more practice, as two attempts had to be made even in this calm weather, and we still struggled a bit to get things neatly lined up, but all OK in the end. That’s the last sailing trip for two weeks, as we’re off to a wedding next weekend. Posted by Picasa

Canada Day BBQ

Canada day is one of those celebrations that, unlike St George’s Day for us English, is cause for a party among the expat Canadians hiding in our communities. Out with the red and white flags (maple leaves, not crosses) and fire up the BBQ.

This year, we combined our usual party with a nod towards my earlier birthday in June and opened our doors from 2 till late. FIFA had the good grace to organise the England match for the same day, so guests were pleased and dismayed in equal numbers to find that the big screen was on and England’s 2 hours of general underperformance against Portugal was on full display.

In fact, that was followed, for the devoted few, by Andrew Murray’s Wimbledon victory over Andy Roddick and then Argentina’s defeat at the hands, or feet, of France. A full sports-fest, although most of us preferred to spend some time in the garden enjoying the 30 degree weather, helping us to emulate those Canadians even further.

Did you know that the Canadian flag only dates from 1965, when it replaced the Union flag as another part of Britain’s empire cut the apron strings. Posted by Picasa