Part one of our move is finally complete. We are currently sitting atop blow up thermarest mattresses and our cheap (bought at cost price from Buffy’s work) sleeping bags in an apartment that smells of cleaning liquid and has nothing left of note apart from the squeaky wooden floorboards and the huge iron bath, that I have spent lots of time relaxing in over the past 18 months or so.
We don’t move to England for another 7 weeks, but with the opportunity to house sit for the next 5 weeks, we decided to get out and have a much easier time to sort out our stuff than if we were doing it all in a matter of days.
So today we borrowed Pats car (Thanks Pat, you are my hero!) and a trailer from some friends of the family (Thanks friends, you won’t read this, but in case you randomly find this blog and find that I am talking about you - your trailer was great and we thank you a lot!) and transported what was left of our (mostly Buffy’s) stuff to the now unused hot tub that sits in the basement of Aunt Meg and Brent’s huge country house! The hot tub (drained of water) is now surrounded by our boxes of stuff, our old bed and a couple of trunks full of other stuff and our apartment is virtually empty.
|The last night in our apartment|
|Lounge - empty!|
|Kitchen - empty|
|Bathroom - empty|
We couldn’t transport the old heavy self-reclining chair as it was too big to fit into the same trailer, so that is now in the basement at Buffs mum and dad’s place in English Place, along with stuff we still have to sort out – which accounts for about 30% of all our stuff. It’s been a great day – everything went well and we even finished cleaning the apartment and had time left for a swift drink or three down the local pub – where we met some new strange friends before we came back home to get some well earned rest.
|Master takes a final look around|
|Buffy leaves for the final time.|
Handing over the apartment went well the next morning as ‘Kelly’, the representative from the rental agency seemed genuinely surprised at how clean and well looked after the apartment was – so just after 9.30am we finally closed the door behind us and left behind apartment 6, 745 Wolseley Avenue. We will miss our little apartment – with its strange taps, squeaky floorboards and crazy neighbours and our favourite Neighbour 'Tommy', – but it is time to move onwards.
|We left a couple of final signatures hidden in the apartment|
After dropping off the last of our stuff at English place, we were picked up and driven out the three hours west towards Riding Mountain National Park and the Prairie Voices annual camping trip (Piss up)
We were to stay the weekend in a nice little camp site just across the road from a lake nice lake. Unfortunately our campsite also had a few extra campers – these campers decided they liked us a lot and immediately greeted up on arrival – by biting the shit out of us! Yep, these extra campers were the bugs – there were thousands of Mosquitoes everywhere, so after getting bitten as soon as we left the car, we all sprayed ourselves with the anti mossie spray and were relieved to see that it genuinely worked very well and we stopped getting bitten.
|Getting the wet wood going....|
|Yep - that'll do!|
|Evan does his Wizard impression!|
Once the tents were set up we helped to get the campfire going (It had been rained n an hour earlier, which is also why the bugs were so bad) and settled in for the night. Both the evenings were great – just a bunch of people sat around the roaring fire – I had a lot of help of everyone collecting the firewood and making a huge fire in the fire pit – chatting, drinking and singing. We were also treated to a great display of the Northern Lights, which danced around the skies above us.
|and some more!|
Now, I will admit that I wasn’t looking forward to sitting around with a choir, which randomly bursts into song whilst sitting around the fire. In the past it has made me a little uncomfortable – but this weekend was very different. I have been to a couple of concerts and enjoyed them, but nothing like I enjoyed this singing – As I was tending the fire I was right in the middle of a circle of people 2 or 3 deep who as they dang continued to chat and pass around chips or booze. It was the best seat in the house. A genuinely talented choir blasting out great tunes while laughing, joking and enjoying themselves – it was brilliant. Better than any concert and like the best 3d surround sound you could imagine. Someone needs to record them doing it and use a high quality sound system that you sit in the centre of, in the dark, with just a roaring fire to keep you company. It doesn’t get any better than that. I honestly think that they should arrange to record it and release it as their next cd. Incidentally, if you want to hear the choir singing take a look here - http://www.prairievoices.ca/
|Enjoying the cool water|
|Setting off for a walk|
|Well earned rest!|
Saturday day was lovely – a hot sunny day during which we wandered down to the lake and spent a while paddling and swimming in the cool water, before me and Buffy took a wander along a path by the shore. Unfortunately this short hike, turned out to be a lot longer than we expected and we ended up walking through the bug infested woods for about 2 hours before finally finding our way back to the campsite. A fun afternoon, but a little more work than we intended. We definitely deserved our dip in the lake when we finished.
|Keeping beer cool with frozen chicken|
|Jeff and Scott washing up!|
|Nice beer? Oh yes!|
Sunday was our last day and we decided to mellow out. Buffy and me were the first ones up and Buffy was lucky enough to be approached by a brown bear as it passed through our campsite. Buffy was sitting at a picnic table reading a book, when the bear ambled up the pathway looking for food. It was quite curious and got to within 10 or 15 feet of her, before she stood up on the table to scare it off. I was the other side of a car and didn’t this happen, but heard a crash as it ran off into the woods and caught a glimpse of its back for just a second. It just goes to prove you really need to keep food locked away as it says in all the signs. There really are bears here – it’s just a shame that Buffy didn’t have her camera on her.
So after a weekend of great food, good company and lots of beers, we headed back into town late on Sunday evening. After a good clean up and a good night’s sleep, Monday was a celebration of Canada day, so we went into town and spent the afternoon with all the crowds wandering around the celebration in Osborne before going around to Hayley’s house and enjoying a lovely family barbecue with her mum and dad and sisters family. A lovely mellow way to celebrate Canada day.
Finally, the weekend ended with a walk back into town and an hour spent sitting by the riverside watching the Canada day Fireworks. Unfortunately, the local ducks didn’t seem to enjoy the fireworks as much as the crowd as a whole family of the poor things escaped down the river as the bangs started.