Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Big Organ and The Grey Cup

Before I start telling you about the weekend of sport I must update you on the weather...... The last few days have turned cold cold cold!! The other night, on the way back from another party, we checked the temperature and it was minus 18.5 degrees Celsius. That's chilly. A quick look at the Internet and we found out that the record low for Manchester, England is minus 17.6 degrees. So no one in Manchester has ever been this cold. The funny thing is, as we left the party just after midnight, the local Winnipeggers asked me where my coat was! I was wearing a fleece and 89cents gloves. To be honest I didn't feel that cold. Buffy explained that everyone in Winnipeg is so used to wearing their big coats when its chilly, that when they see  someone without one, they wonder how they are going to survive! Haahaa, its funny that I get away with wearing a small thin fleece and they need to dress up like a survival expert at the north pole....It really doesnt feel THAT cold everyone.

Incidentally on the way home, we drove a little out of the city as the Northern Lights were active again and spent 20 minutes or so sitting in the car at the edge of a field watching the mesmerising green glow light up the sky again.

Earlier in the day we had borrowed the car from Buffy's mum (Thanks!!) as the party was quite a way away from home and we couldn't find a decent way to get there using public transport. I was picked up by Susan and had a fun afternoon helping out at her local church. Her friend Ian, helps out wit looking after the church and we had a few jobs to do - Changing and trying to fix some of the broken lights right up in the church roof - I spent a while with a rope tied around me while Ian climbed the huge ladder and did the real work. We then moved the ladder and I stood under it with a sheet on my head while Ian used a broom to sweep some broken plaster from another area of the roof and covered me with it below.

The main highlight though, was when Ian opened up a door behind the altar and we had a climb and look around the huge organ and its pipes. Believe it or not there are hundred of pipes behind the huge ones you can see on the front of the organ and you can pick them up and blow them yourself (fnar fnar) to make the noise. There was a lot more room than I imagined behind the pipes and two more ladders to climb which took me up above the pipes themselves and gave me a great view of the pipes and the church itself. I really enjoyed my afternoon out and a little bit of work too!!

Organ pipes

and more

Looking down

Cool view

The church

Buffs mum looking down

Back to this weekend and its been a good one so far - Yesterday morning we drove down to The Pemby pub where we met up with a couple of United fans to watch the United v QPR game. When it finished we came back out into a snowstorm though - the wind had gotten stronger and an inch of snow had fallen quite quickly. I drove up to the supermarket to do a big shop and came out ti a blizzard!! I couldn't see more than 100 yards and so spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at home.

Today is Sunday and is a big day of sport. Already I have watched a great Brazilian grand prix on TV and the Chelsea v City game on the Internet and now its the big game - The Grey Cup.

Now, I know that nobody at home has probably heard of the Grey cup - but here in Canada it is not just a massive game but a massive weekend - Canada's version of the Superbowl or the FA Cup.
The Grey Cup

The Grey Cup.
Even the Queen gets involved in the Grey Cup. This year is the 100th Grey Cup and as it coincides withe the Queens 50th anniversary she has sent a special message to Canada to wish everyone well.
The Grey Cup itself is the culmination of the Canadian Football season (American style football - egg chucking with a few slight changes from American football rules, not proper football like we play at home) There have been some outstanding games played in The Grey Cup, but having looked through some of the history the two that stand out for me are 'The Fog Bowl' and 'The Mud Bowl'. Both featuring the Winnipeg Blue Bombers....

The Fog bowl was the game played in Toronto in 1962 and was the 50th Grey Cup and is regarded as one of the top ten finals. It is remembered as the weather was terrible during the game and due to thick fog the game was suspended overnight and completed the next day, with Winnipeg winning 28-27 over the Hamilton Tiger cats. The stadium where the game was played was susceptible to strange weather conditions, due to its proximity next to Lake Ontaria - (It is the only place where Major League Baseball has been played with snow on the field) and the stadium was replaced with the Skydome, now named The Rogers centre - a roofed stadium right underneath the CN Tower, where todays final takes place. Heres a video about the fog bowl....its only a minute or so long...

The mud bowl, was played in 1950 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto. Before the game there had been a heavy snowfall, which had melted in warmer conditions in morning of the game, leaving a few inches of mud over the entire pitch. The Argonauts beat Winnipeg 13-0 in crazy conditions and you can see a short video showing highlights of the game here....

A still photo from the Mud Bowl

The CFL consists of just 8 teams in two divisions - East and West who play 18 games each over the summer months into early winter, plus a couple of play off games until the final which is being played in Toronto today. Winnipeg's team  - The Blue Bombers were terrible this year after reaching the final last year and failed ti qualify for the play offs. The final today is being played between The Toronto Argonauts (The Argo's) and the Calgary Stampeders (The Stamps). I am rooting for The Argos just because their Quarterback is called Ricky Ray.

The CFL is also celebrating the 100th year of the Grey Cup and it has been on a tour of the country visiting lots of the major cities as well as some tiny town and settlements miles away from anywhere. It all finishes today though with the final being played at about 5,30 this evening. We are off around to Buffy's mum and dads for another Sunday dinner and to sit and watch the Grey Cup on TV there. I'm happy as I love to sit and watch even more sport on telly!!

One last note from this week.... Its minus 11 degrees outside at the moment and I have justbeen to the shop - wearing shorts. For some reason people are looking at me in a funny way! Cant think why!!

Ill let you know the result of The Grey Cup in a later post!!

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