Monday, August 14, 2017

If only life were simpler. We could all be so happy.

Take a look around yourself. What do you see? Do you have all modern mod cons, such as TV, mobile phone, recycling bin, safe comfortable seats on your big lush sofa, magic see through walls that allow light to pass through but keep flies and cold out? Its fucking magic isn't it? Life is generally pretty damn good for us privileged few. At the moment I am sitting outside on my back deck listening to music playing through the 6 inch high handheld computer that not only holds all the information known to man, but also doubles as a way of ignoring or shouting abuse at someone you don't actually want to have to spend any time with.

We are lucky to be living on the most technically advanced day ever. Until tomorrow, when someone else invents something that does the things that you don't yet know that you cant live without. You will be able to do something much faster and better than you have ever done that thing before and will need to do that thing every day until you die, even though until today you didn't know that thing was actually a thing.

However, instead of brainy people inventing things for the future of mankind I wish someone would look backwards sometimes and try to solve some of the worst first world problems that dog my and your everyday lives. I just don't know how I get through the days sometimes when these things are all around me...

1. The basement and the bathroom.
Buffy and I live in a house. We think this house is nice. It has air conditioning which means we can make it hot or cold whenever we choose simply by rubbing our finger ends against a small button attached to a wall. But when we retire at night to the dungeon we call a basement, with its huge flat screen TV we have to turn on a fan heater as its always cold down there.
Like the surface of mars in a martian winter with the fridge door open.

Then we climb the stairs towards heaven and when we reach our boudoir its so hot, we have to take an ice bath before managing to get only 6 or 7 hour sleep in  the stifling heat.
Melty hot like toast left in the oven in the desert on a sunny day.

I suppose I could move the bedroom downstairs and the TV room upstairs, but that would be far too much work!!


2. The sandwich box and the shelf
In our cooking room, we have a huge cooling cupboard. Its much bigger than the cooling cupboards I was brought up with in England because over here everyone stores about 35343 different types of salad sauce (dressing to posh people) In England salad dressing was only available in one flavour - Ketchup flavour. Oh, and salads were made up of pie and chips.
Anyway, I make my sandwiches for work the evening before sometimes and cannot fit my square sandwich box into the cooling cupboard without having to move a pot of cheesy stuff or a can of fizzy liquid. Its a nightmare. Its a wonder I don't just give up sometimes.
How can I live with such frustration.

3. The garage door gap.
I have a nice little car that is paid for by the same kindly people who pay me to play with telephones. I drive it home each night and let it sleep in the car house which is in the small field behind the abode I share with my lovely, but also crazy wife. Its like a big mouse hole, but for a car not a big mouse.
This car house has a super door, that rolls up into the roof whenever I press the special button that sits just by my noggin as I drive. This allows me to drive the car into its house without having to get my lazy pale coloured arse out of my comfortable heated driving seat and have to stand in the snow/sunshine/rain whilst using my soft 21st century pampered hands to do the job manually.
The titanic can float through there with the iceberg.

The door itself is probably built by people who don't even own a car and would wonder just how lazy we really need to be before we realize the world is doomed to failure as we all die of exhaustion when we have to get up to go to our front door for one final 16 inch super pizza delivered from dominoes. (Anyway I digress) The thing about this super dooper door is that it has a huge gaping hole.
Like the Grand Canyon.
To a lay persons eyes (someone laying down?) it must look like a small 2-3 cm gap at the bottom of the door and wouldn't be a problem. But to me it is the start of the beginning of the end. The bottom of the door does not reach the ground at one end. Have you ever tried not reaching the ground? OK, stand up and look down... Do you reach the ground? I do most of the time unless I stand on something.. But I very rarely have a gap between myself and the rest of the things under me. This door does. It must think itself to be so super fucking special! It causes me so much displeasure and also means that once or even twice a year I have to spend 4 or 5 minutes sweeping up the small pile of dust that blows through this void in time and space. It really does annoy me a little.


 4. An alternative solution to the garage door gap issue.
I have thought long and hard about the issue and believe there to be a solution. If I disregard the need to park my vehicle inside and instead use the car house as a storage area for boxes and cat litter, I can leave my car parked on the road, where homeless people and vagabonds can marvel at the tinted windows and headrests before breaking open the door locks and using the back seat as a night club. Why indeed would I park an expensive car in a small building where no one can see it, when I could leave it in the street for all to wonder at, whilst the empty cardboard boxes I hoard after every purchase can be left inside instead to copulate and increase in number until small children get lost in there and never return. I decided against this approach though as I really don't want to have to use all my energy moving my stick like legs more that 12 feet at a time as I walk from the petrol powered amchine to my back door. I really will just have to live with the gap or fill it up with cement.

5. Weeds and dead trees that just wont die!
Our field is very small. If you compared it to a normal farmers field you would probably notice that we could only fit 2 or even 3 cows in our field. If we grew pigs until they were big enough for us to chop up and enjoy the lovely bacon, we could probably fit 5 at a time and 1 or 2 more in the car house, but that would mean moving the car and I'm not getting into that again. Plus I don't think the pigs would be able to correctly use the garage door opener with their piggy trotters.
Grazing for at least 2 sheep

So we shall continue to use our little field like a grown up playground. We shall enjoy the sunshine when it flows down on our outside space, but will forever be annoyed at our inability to cope with the trees that don't die in our field that we call a garden.

The dwellers before us took big chopping devices to two trees in our garden and left then beheaded. Just stumps by the car house, left to dwell on what could have been if they had been left to grow. But nature found a way and these same stumps now sprout leaves and branches that constantly taunt me by waving in the wind as I pass by. I chop them out and they grow back - sometimes within seconds they are there again laughing at me. As for weeds - well, weeds are misunderstood I think. I really don't mind them as long as they allow me to have the pleasure of using the death blade 3000 grass killing machine without getting in the way too much. Plus it gives the cows something to chew on. Those trees though.... aaaargh!! Sometimes I think I will give up gardening and get some AstroTurf in and make a bowling green. But that might attract weird people and their even weirder throwing balls, so that's probably a bad idea.
There was nothkng there when  took the photo. It grew in less than a nanosecond.

Words do not do it justice. It should be dead - but will live forever, like the queen.

So you can conclude that life can be difficult. I'm sure you have many of the same thoughts as me. But I am there for you. We all need to be there for one another in such a difficut and troubling world.

Be nice to each other and the weeds.
 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Things that stop you doing things…


This is a moan. If you dont want to hear me moaning, then do one!!

We do a lot of things. In fact, in the last month we have done so many thing that I think I shall list the things we have done in:

Cinema to watch Dunkirk.
Winnipeg Fringe Festival – watching 9 shows over 5 days.
Birthday dinner for a friend.
An afternoon hiking in Birds Hill Park.
Another birthday dinner.
Drive to and from the lake in the same evening to watch a bloke play guitar.
An evening out with an old friend from abroad,
Cinema to watch Planet of the apes.
Buff had a weekend away I spent the time painting and making stucco and cement.
A rather good escape room.
4 days at Winnipeg Folk festival.
Visited our favourite neighbours for dinner.
Celebrated Canada day weekend at the lake.
A rehearsal dinner, wedding and after wedding brunch all in one weekend.
2 nights doing DIY around the house.

All that in a little over a month. It wears me out! But it is now all behind us and we have decided to do very little next week – basically we shall work as normal, but in the evening the very most we shall do is to walk the short distance to a local pub and have a cold drink. But no matter what we have done in the past or what you plan for the future, there is always something that gets in eth way and stops you in your tracks! Whether it be a traffic light, road construction or modern technology – your time will be wasted and you will be made to wait for no apparent reason. So I decided to acknowledge some of the things that do this because……..well, because I want to. I like to have a whinge or moan about stuff and this is what I want to do today.

1.       Smartphones
Ok, the internet IS superfast, but so much time is spent trying to avoid the things that get in your way. Have a go and try something…go to YouTube on a PC and type in the name of a famous person. The video will probably play. Now go to your phone and go to YouTube, type the same thing in and open the same video. What happens? Fucking adverts happen!! Whaaat? Whhhhhy? I don’t know, but it’s annoying isn’t it!

No.

2.       Online shopping.
DIY stores and online versions of real shops seem to be the worst for this. You open the page to a store and before you get a chance to do a search a pop up ‘pops up’ and asks the ridiculous question, ‘Do you want to take a survey about our site?’ No I fucking don’t because:
a.       I have only just arrived at your site and haven’t had a chance to look at it yet
b.       I want to do some shopping or buy some tickets, not fill out a survey
c.       Fuck off


The worst part of this is that if you do decide to answer the questions there is never one that asks, ‘Do you want less surveys?’ because that is the one I really want to answer. At least let me search the site, buy my pube straighteners or laser nasal hair clippers and then ask me how my experience was after I pay. Even offer me a discount code or free shipping, but don’t ask me to tell you about your site before I get on it. Imagine the waiter at a restaurant asking how your dinner was  - BEFORE YOU EVEN CHOOSE FROM THE MENU. It doesn’t work like that does it, so stop it now. 


3.       Fringe performers.
Some of you may not have experienced this, but it annoys me a little. When you queue for a fringe show – to buy your ticket or gain entry, a lot of the other fringe performers from different shows take the opportunity to tell you about their shows and to give you a flyer about it. Whilst I don’t mid the odd one or two, when I am in a conversation and get interrupted 12 times by strangers handing out postcards and telling me that the Montreal Student union gave them 4 stars for their show about living in a canoe whilst on the waiting list for a hair transplant and that it’s the funniest play to come out of Medicine hat since Albert Hippo and his musical about trumpet porn, I get a little peeved. The worst thing is that after a couple of the performers tell me about their thing, I switch off and start to ignore the nest 10 of them. This is unfair on my part, but understandable as all the performers say the same things. Blah, blah blah, show, 5 stars, hilarious, you can’t miss it. So to overcome this one, I ask just one thing from fringer performers. Be original and do something different. If you can grab my attention by being interesting and different I promise I will not ignore you and might even come see your show. (It also helps is you are English or Australian as then I can understand what you are saying. )

Nope you are boring. Dont want to see your show.
Yep. Dead clown doing flyers. Now I am interested


4.       Waiters and waitresses.
Now I know the general way of doing things in North America is to pay someone for their time and effort to bring you drinks or food. In the olden day’s servants were treated much the same way, so apart from not actually owning the person what’s the difference? Back in good old England, if the barman or a server does a good job, you offer them a drink and if they accept they will spend a little time with you like a friend. I much prefer that than paying someone for their time and effort. Plus, waiting for a server to come and take your payment can take an age! After finish my dinner or drink, I generally want to leave and go somewhere else or home. I don’t want to wait for ‘The machine’. (Imagine an alien lands and watches these transactions…..A person eats food, drinks drink and then the waiter says’ Do you want the machine?’ sounds like some kind of torture….which it sometimes turns into when you wait for the damn machine and the server to sort their lives out. Just let me pay when I get drinks or food and let me leave when I want!
She is smiling so you give her more money

Friendly barman. I'd buy him a pint and he would love to chat whilst drinking it.


5.       Queuing for queuing sakes,
The other circumstance is when you get to the front of the queue in a supermarket or store. You wait before placing your purchases on the counter and the person in front of you is paying….. But no, they then spend 45 minutes getting cash, cards, change and everything out as if they didn’t expect to have to pay. Then they spend 45 minutes putting cash, cards and change and receipt back into a purse or wallet whilst standing on the same spot. Then, they start to collect their bag of purchases at the slowest possible speed. Thank the lord of technology for serve yourself tills where Mrs Mopp can’t do her thing!

 
Move your frigging arse!!
Yay! The future of my sanity!

So, this has been a chance for me to vent some frustration, that has built up with the last 5 or 6 weeks of madness. Take it with a pinch of salt and imagine a life where when you wanted to do something you just could. I am honestly now not in the mood to write anymore. Its been a good day. We sat on the dock, swam in the lake and played with the dogs. I even found acute green caterpillar. Nothing stopped me doing anything. It was bliss.  
Hope you had a good day too!!


Monday, June 5, 2017

MJ .Tall stories, gardening and 50 years married.

Its 3 years this week since Chris got a phone call from mum in Skegness. She was in tears and explained that dad had fallen asleep and wouldn’t wake up. He had died late on a Thursday afternoon whilst doing one of his favourite things. Looking through and editing photos on his laptop whilst mum took an afternoon nap in the bedroom. It was a complete blow. He had been ill on and off for years as had mum. Over the next few days as we took mum around Skegness organizing the funeral and telling their friends that he had died we discovered that earlier that morning, whilst he had been out shopping, he had seen and spoken to virtually every person he and mum knew in the town. Everyone we met spoke of how well he had looked, how happy and lively he seemed and how much he had to say. It was as if he knew he was going to die and wanted to make sure he saw everyone before he went, but wasn’t allowed to tell anyone it was his last day. I still get sad thinking that I'll never see mum or dad again, but luckily, we have lots of good memories to remember.

Our dad always had something to say – stories after stories, repeated over and over again, in the minutest detail, even when we told him we knew the story, he would continue and reach the end after far too long. But his stories were great. How, I wish I could hear some of them now. I think everyone should hear a few, so now, 3 years after that fucking horrible day, I thought I would write a few things about dad, about what he was like and even share a few of his photos.
Dad, bottom right as a young boy.

In the garden in Skegness, probably one Christmas, with Gareth and Chris

With Gareth as a baby I think and Nan looking on from the side. 


So, dad was born in Sheffield, and spent a load of his youth riding a bike from there to Manchester. Its not a short trip and I wouldn’t do it on today’s modern bikes, so he was already a little crazy to do it on the bikes in the 50’s ad 60’s. I’m not sure when he moved to Manchester, but at some time he met mum and they got married in March 1964 – we celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few months before they both died in 2014. It was a strange night, as ever, with my mum holding the cake knife to dad’s throat whilst telling the tale of stabbing him when they were much younger!


After college, dad started work with the Ordnance Survey, learning in Southampton at the head office before taking a posting to Skegness. This is where the three of us kids were born and where mum and dad eventually moved back to, to retire after we had all left home. They always loved Skegness and it always had a special place in their hearts. We visited often to see old friends and to spend many summer holidays.  During this time in Skegness came one of dads most repeated stories. There is a road called Roman Bank, which as the name suggests is a banked road built by Romans. It is raised about 3-4 metres above the footpaths and houses on either side. Dad used to work for an old friend Ken Scrimshaw – doing dodgy deals out of the back of a mini-van. They could have been the original Del and Rodney! Apparently, they invented the first ever penny falls machine but sold the original to a company and never made any money. But had they not sold it they would have been millionaires. As proof that they did build the first one ever, dad would sometimes take us to an old amusement arcade in Mablethorpe, where the original Penny Falls machine was still in use. He claimed that it was the original one he and Ken had built because the word ‘Penny’, was misspelled as ‘Penney’. That’s was it, no more proof, just that fact that it was misspelled.

Dad and Tiny the dog from Skegness

Training for the Ordnance Survey


 Anyway. Whilst driving along Roman Bank one evening in the late 60’s I think, dad missed the bend in the road and took off in the minivan- landing in a garden a few metres below the road level. Dad couldn’t get out of the car as it was up against the front door of a house. So, he wound down his window to press the door-bell of the house! Haahaa. I found a photo of what I think was the minivan, but I don’t think I was born now.
The minivan!

On holiday - probably somewhere near skegness - with Nan and Mum. Dad still had those striped beach chairs in the garage when he died!
    

With us kids in Norwich Road. Early 70's

Huge sideburns - About 1973 or 1974 in the front garden in Newort. Love the cardigans!

Later we moved to Newport in Essex when dad got a posting to Harlow. After completing some further training dad took a posting mapping the lake district. He would drive north every Sunday for what seemed like years and come back home the following Friday evening. Whilst there he stayed on a small farm near the town of Bullgill, with Robert and Dorothy Woods, who became lifelong friends to him and mum. Dad also loved his life when working up there, flying around in helicopters to reach the peak of the hills and mountains to take photos and measure the area for the maps. He told stories of buzzing cars as the pilot flew as low as possible along the winding lake district roads. Good times -  and it changed our lives as for the next 10 to 15 years we spent many lovely holidays at ‘The Farm’, where city kids like us could herd the cows, swim in the river and play hide and seek long into the summer evenings.

In the lake district working!

The helicopter they flew around in.
On the farm

After finishing work in the lake district, dad got a posting to an Ordnance Survey office near to Manchester and we moved up there in 1976. We all call Manchester our home, as mum and dads family lived there and as kids, so did we. We had a pretty good life, living on Moss Vale Road, in a house on the corner with a huge side garden that as kids we would turn into a mud pit, ruining dads nice grass and his vegetable garden. Dad loved his garden and spent most evenings out there growing stuff like carrots, beetroots, radishes and his infamous marrows, which he would cook with sausage meat stuffed inside. Never in my life have I ever seen marrow eaten anywhere except at our old house in Manchester.

Also, not long after moving to Manchester we bought a dog. The craziest most independent dog you could ever imagine – Rascal. A small but gritty Jack Russell terrier, born on Valentine’s day and with a heart shaped patch on his side. Dad loved the dog as we all did and thinking back now it’s disgusting to remember the dog licking dad’s smelly sweaty feet after he came in from the garden. Then the dog would lick the remains of sugary sweet tea from the bottom of a teacup, before mum would put the kettle back on and make another brew, using the unwashed cups, still with dad’s foot skin inside where it had been transferred by the dog’s tongue! Bleeeugh
Rascal eating ice cream - he was a fat greedy dog!

On the roof of Manchester airport. 

With RASCAL.

We were broken into a couple of times in Manchester and the thieves stole the video recorder – rented from radio rentals. Dad, as ever, made am unbreakable wooden shelf that the new VCR was sealed inside to stop it being robbed again. I remember coming downstairs for my paper-round one day to find the screws neatly removed and placed on the floor as a thief had taken their time to remove every one whilst robbing us again! When we went on holiday in the caravan – which we all loved – dad would pack the VCR up in mums wheeled shopping trolley and literally bury it under the floorboards in the larder – neatly placing the vacuum cleaner back on top of the carpet hiding the valuable items below the floorboards.
When he was young

Some more early photos - Including swimming in the canal!!

Holiday time when we were kids.

I think this was in the New Forest on holiday. Love this pic. He looks so proud.

It was early in our time in Manchester that dad got quite ill - he got Meningitis and spent months in bed, with constant visits from the doctor and us kids tiptoeing around the house trying not to disturb him. After recovery, he always had trouble with headaches and you could see his veins popping up when he got angry about things. It also meant that he very rarely drank anything so his life revolved around mum, us kids, rascal and the rest of the family in and around Manchester. We were lucky to have Gran and Brenda just around the corner, Cath and Andrew in Stretford and Nan in her old flat in Old Trafford. We visited everyone often. The family, whilst not overly soppy has always been close.
After us kids had grown up, mum and dad decided to retire back to Skegness – where they remained until they died in 2014. They both loved their little bungalow in Melbourne Drive and especially the back garden. It was dads pride and joy and without us kids about to ruin it, it became an oasis of beautiful plants and the odd wild animal. He built a pond with waterfall and filled it with goldfish. Frogs spawned there every year and in summer it was wonderful sitting in the peaceful, lovely garden with a beer and chatting with dad while he worked away. Mum would sit in the conservatory that they had built at the back of the house and bring dad tea and sandwiches whenever he needed it. I hope that whoever lives at the house now appreciates just how much effort and time dad spent out there and that they look after it for him.
Enjoying the garden with mum

and with me at the front!

Lunchtime with Buffy

Mum and dad had lots of friends in Skegness and as dad was always a bullshitter   talker, whenever we visited it would take hours to go shopping with them as they would stop and talk to everyone they passed. Dad would introduce us to everyone they knew and embarrass with stories that we didn’t want anyone to know, but it was cool that everyone genuinely liked mum and dad and didn’t seem to mind that dad sometimes just wouldn’t shut up. I’m sure, just like us, that they had heard the same stories over and over again and knew exactly what the ending was, but it was always fun to watch as they politely listened.  Dad also spent ages showing Buffy mum and dad Susan and Jon around his garden when they came to visit us in UK. I'm so glad that the two sets of parents got to meet as I enjoy talking with Jon and Susan about mum and dad now and they can relate having met them and been to skegness.
Parents and parents in law - in the chippy in Skeg.

Mum and dad were also overjoyed when Dad cousin Tony, with Joyce moved in at the end of the street. Tony and Joyce, with daughters Sharon and Tracey, have always been close to us all. We were roughly the same age as the girls and whenever we visited the southern branch of the family in London we would stay at Tony and Joyce’s house in Ramillies Road and mess about at the Local Golf club. So, when Tony and Joyce moved to Skegness mum and dad could see them so much more often and we could too when we visited. Tony and Joyce eventually moved away but would still meet up with mum and dad often to grab ab bite to eat and catch up. Dad and Tony were friends for pretty much friends most of their lives.
With Tony and Joyce.

Mum and dad also did a bit of travelling later in life. They visited me in Northern Ireland a couple of times and when I lived in Holland – taking the Eurostar over and visiting Brussels and Luxembourg on day trips.
When I got back after 16 months of travelling

On holiday - with mum

Young love!

Dad in Cleethorpes on a day out and visiting Manchester

On his kids bike!

They also went abroad to Malta and spent a nice holiday or two on The Isle of Man. Dad used to like taking photos of their travels and much like everything in his life he was meticulous about the photos being neat and tidy and sorted out properly. In the olden days, this meant we had a cupboard full of old photo albums whilst later in life, with the digital evolution, dad would upload the photos onto his laptop and sort through them, making sure dates and locations were correct as well as clipping and highlighting pictures to make them look nicer.
More cool cardigans and some cool sunglasses! With mum, Nan and Cath.

After dad died, we drove to Skegness to look after mum and found out that dad had died in his chair in the lounge, in front of his laptop. I sat down and pressed a button on the keyboard. The laptop came back to life in a way that dad never would again, but I wanted something to reach out to, to feel close to dad one last time. I saw that he had been looking through photos of the last holiday he and mum took to the Isle of Man. He had always been happy when doing that and I know he was happy to the end. Remembering a lovely time he had spent with mum – the love of his life. I am sure he was probably thinking about these good times as he closed his eyes for a final nap.
One of my favourite photos - me trying on dads glasses. 

What dad was doing when he went to sleep.



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rod Stewart and a Vietnamese Hooker

Today is May 20 2017. It is a Saturday and as per every year here in Canada it is a long weekend for something called Victoria Day. It is officially stated that Victoria Day shall take place on the last Monday preceding May 25th. Which seems a long-winded way of saying the last but one Monday in May. It is to celebrate Queen Victoria for some reason.

Anyway, as it is a long weekend and is always in the month of May it is affectionately known as - May-long. Everyone loves Maylong as it is the first long weekend that takes place after winter. Every year people look forward to a lovely warm weekend, maybe heading to the lake, to spend time with friends or family and get some well-earned sunshine after the long drawn out winter. Then every year they get disappointed with the rain, clouds or like last year – snow. Maylong whilst not always a disappointment can very definitely bite you on the arse.

Also, Maylong puts me in mind of the name of a theoretical Thai Masseuse, or Vietnamese hooker or if you are being sensible and grown up (Unlike me) Maybe a quiet little Vietnamese village, with little kids playing in the streets, no shoes on, wearing fake European football shirts whilst following tourists around hoping for a taste of some foreign sweet or candy. The tourists would return to their homes months later and show the photos of this lovely out of the way village to their jealous friends and tell the stories of when they spent the afternoon in ‘Maylong’, the final Vietnamese oasis untouched by western influence.

Other slightly dirtier tourists may return home with completely different stories about ‘Maylong’, the slightly overweight Vietnamese hooker who has been touched too many times by western influence (and men). Either way, Maylong in Vietnam would never be forgotten and if these tourists were from Canada, there would be a certain long weekend in early summer that brought back memories of many different things.

It is with that introduction that I introduce you to the latest incarnation of ‘Ricks Extra Long Summer). It has been too long since I tippy tapped my dextrous finger sticks on the plastic buttons that translate movement into electronic 1’s and 0’s that when put into a certain order become magical symbols that allow the user to express opinion and ideas to other beings that have learned to understand these symbols. We call this ‘writing, language and reading’, it is a magical art form that allows communication across the world between hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS of people. We should take a second and think about the efforts over the millennia that have peaked today with the script that you are reading. The world is an amazing place and the wonder that brings us together today should not be under-estimated.
Anyway, much like the internet and its videos of goats screaming and auto-tune song remixes, I will take one of the wonders of human creation and use it for posting random bollocks that may or may not make you laugh, but will take you away from doing anything productive. It won’t take long…But read on young student, read on…..

Deer and Almond.
So, deer and almond is a Hipster artsy tasty overpriced (Thanks you Mrs Buffing McDaveyius for the quote) restaurant in the Exchange district of Winnipeg. We went there a few weeks ago with a gift certificate presented to us by The Morgan Family (Deb. Bill, Ariana and Eric) for a lovely wedding present. We enjoyed the delicious and originally presented food and spent a lovely evening out. Now, I’m not going to tell you any more, as this isn’t a sponsored blog, but I do think if you are in town you should visit this place – just to look at the clag they have in the bathrooms (For English people I will explain. Canadians don’t say toilet – they say bathroom. Apparently, it’s too impolite to use the word toilet as it infers using the toilet. (I have had this explained to me many times) So, I now say bathroom. Just don’t tell the Canadians that when using the bathroom, if there is indeed a bath there, I will use that said bath, because using the toilet is impolite. At least that’s how I think it works over here. Don’t, worry I always run the taps for a minute to get rid of any splashes.) So, here’s a photo of the weird stuff from the bathroom of Deer and Almond.

Remind you of anyone?

No, theres enough.

Barbecue – Broken and fixed.
Not very exciting this bit. Quite simply I went to clean our barbecue before the first burning episode of the year and the burners fell apart. You can see from the photos what they should look like and what the old ones looked like. The moral of the story is don’t ever clean your barbecue. Just leave it full of rust, burned on fat and bird droppings, then you won’t need to spend $120 on new burners.
Guess which one is new

Choir Concert Cantona.
Buffy had a choir concert. At this concert, you could drink and draw on the tables. I did both quite well. I have no photo of the drinking, but I have a photo of the drawing.
Its Eric Cantona, in famous goal celebration pose (When he scored against Newcastle United) He has rocket boots on his feet and carries an Amazonian spear.




Banana
So, I found this in a supermarket. Read the label carefully and see if you can spot the bullshit. Hmm, was there any other banana based snack before this one? 
 
Bullshit banana bollocks 

Milk.
This photo was taken on 19th May. I ate the cereal and didn’t die. Don’t believe the best before dates.
 
Tasty old milk stuff from a Canadian Cows udders.
House sale – How not to advertise.
If you were going to sell or buy a house, do you think you would try a little harder than this? Perhaps a description of the house or maybe a location or even god forbid – an address? Weirdly there is another sign like this a couple of miles away with the house being in River Heights and not Wolseley. Something fishy going on here? This story may develop further if I ring the number…..


 House sale – Would you buy a house from these people?
Sir Roderick David ‘Rod’ Stewart CBE, born 1945. Hasn’t done much recently. That may be because he moved to Winnipeg and is so busy selling house he never sleeps. I would buy a house from him and so should you. Take a look at his website - It’s amazing!


I wouldn’t buy a house from Rachel though, she is carrying a sold sign like a weapon and has the shoes from Wizard of Oz as her advertisement on the side of a bin. I would call Rod.


 Incidentally, Rod Peeler is actually a really nice bloke and does actually do Rod Stewart Impressions. Honestly....he is ace!


Ok, thats it. Go have your dinner. Its done. Really. Ferris says its done. Go......shooooooo