Sunday, 20 August 2017

Spiced up Jazz

A nice morning of waffles, eating and lazing until late morning when Huffle and I took Smallest to his Academy practice and let Small stay at home with one job of tidying the blankets and cushions in the living room. Did he do it? No, he forgot until I mentioned it when we got home. So we gave him a penalty which was to make Smallest's lunch while he had his shower. He was not impressed and I'm not sure he's quite my friend again yet! Of course Smallest took full advantage and ordered a milkshake and a sticky cheese sandwich plus crisps and ham on the side.

Smallest's practice was good and they again concentrated on the 9v9 format. The Head Coach came and spoke to us and asked if we were planning on being around for the Winter. We said we would. I guess that's so he can make a decision on who he has to get rid of as the club will be looking to lose between six and eight players. Huffle's says that's easy, he could get rid of loads more. Hopefully that's a good sign for Smallest not that I would expect him to be asked to leave (I'm biased of course but I think Smallest is one of the better players there) but he will have to go to the try outs which I believe is the end of September. Smallest worked extremely hard as usual and we brought him home for lunch.

This afternoon we went to Unionville for the Jazz Festival. It was a very hot day and we did well to stay mainly in the shade. We listened to a few street performers after a cooling Gelato before finally stopping at RaneeLee who was a very good singer. Apparently she is an actress too and played Billie Holiday in a film in the 70's. We heard about three of her songs before walking to find a band called Busty and the Bass which are a Toronto R&B Jazz Funk with some rap chucked in for good measure. They were excellent and I shall be looking for their new album. The boys liked them too. We sat on a wall and although we weren't in front of them, the sound was good and we could see them and their instruments from the side. Trombone, trumpets, keyboards, drums, guitars, voice changer - curious combination but it worked. Some of the songs reminded us of Jamiroquai which of course is good. It was a perfect place for people watching. There were lots of drunk (we assume) women of a certain age dancing wildly, curious women with big lips and eccentric dress and hats and men who talked too loud behind us. Honestly. Why would you go and watch a band and then stand and talk really loudly. I had to tell two different people to shush and Smallest kept putting his finger to his lips. Idiots!

Small is not happy. He thinks this sign is false advertising as the pond is not too good. He would like to change its name to Adequate Pond
An adequate pond or too good?
Small with his head in the clouds. Smallest listening to the music. All of us and Small's Wall Friend

Off we went to find our last band of the day when we happened upon our favourite Indian Restaurant, normally reserved for mine and Huffle's date nights (whoops Canadian). I was a bit sceptical about taking the kids in there becuase although I make curries at home, we always have a tub of sour cream to calm it down. However, Smallest and Huffle shared a Butter Chicken and rice and Smallest and I shared a Chana Masala and rice and we all had a garlic naan. It was lovely and the boys, although they felt the heat of it, did enjoy it. All the doors were open so we could hear the band we were looking for but I think we had already seen the best ones.

Smallest and I were entertaining the waitresses with our napkin trick. They didn't really get it!

Today we have spent the day 'pegging' each other and our best bits have been putting a peg on, taking a photo and showing it to the person after a long time of them wearing it. Hello Peggy! Very silly.

Pegging a chef

Weary and heavy of tummy, we walked through the park back to the car and came home. The boys were very silly in the car and we had to send them in the garden to calm down (that's the effect Spice has on them then) and the they came in and Kayes Minecraft together until bedtime.

My little sun bum

What a lovely weekend we have had.


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Huffle says you're gooner get a beating

A nice sleep and a nice lie-in. Nothing much to do but watch the Leicester City Game (2-0) and the Stoke game (1-0). Huffle and I did some harvesting after breakfast and in between the games. We picked a huge Swede (rutabaga), loads of garlic that Small planted in the Autumn (Fall), space tomatoes (that were given to us by the school after the space project brought back seed from space), seven courgettes (zucchini), beetroot, beans and cucumber. It was a plentiful harvest today. The red onions are looking good but not quite ready yet. I skinned, de pipped and blended the tomatoes ready for a sauce and put them in the freezer for another day and the garlic is hanging in the sun room drying out

Hard to believe this young man was born in the city of Leicester as he wipes his bottom on my LCFC scarf!

MrBasement came round midday to have at look at our leaky basement. Lucky he did because it was the worst it has ever been and water was running like a river. He turned the water off and soon realised it was the fault of the water softener machine or rather, the fixings of it. He went off to look for the correct pipe and fixed it for us. It's a good job we know him and he is so good to us. Goodness knows how much that would have cost if a plumber had done it. He stayed for a cuppa and some cake (he hates Courgette so he was pleasantly surprised) and also went home with Courgette and cucumber.

We went out for a mid afternoon dinner and a quick supermarket pick up before going to the lake front and having a wee walk.

Happy with the Stoke result, Huffle posts on Facebook to all those Arsenal fans
Perfect attire for an afternoons tricycling

Half of the lake front was really windy and the water was wavy but the other half was calm and hot. Weird!

We walked past the fishermen and checked out the newly established waterfront open air free cinema which looked very fancy. We walked along to the lighthouse and the along the beach where the boys piggybacked and skimmed stones.

That's not a freaky part of my hair but the top of the lighthouse

No-one had suncream on, I didn't have a hat or proper walking shoes on so we turned back on the beach and walked back to the car. Nice to get some fresh air though.

Back home Smallest and I played MarioKart, Small and Huffle played on their tablets and we all relaxed for the evening.

We had a brief visit from ClownRose to pay for her cakes and give me a can of beer.

Birthday boy LittleFinn eating his cake



Friday, 18 August 2017

Amazingless Grace

I took Small to his last day of this week's camp. He received his camp t-shirt, certificate of CPR and instructions for next week. He learned new games and had another talk, this time on Communications. Wish they'd done one on listening!! We also found out that he will not get his 40hours community service as advertised but only 25 which is a little bit annoying but at least it's a good portion and he has the opportunity to do another one next Summer and become an Assistant Councillor (just found my spelling before was incorrect) and after that he can be paid for being an actual Councillor once he is sixteen.

Smallest was waiting for me when I got back and let me eat my breakfast while we played a game of Chess. Chess before coffee is a ridiculous notion because I completely lost concentration and started giving away all my pieces. I put up a good fight with a few mere pawns but lost in the end (to a ten year old - grumpy face).

Today we decided to go and check out the Maize Maze. It was miles and miles away albeit through beautiful rolling hills of countryside. The road seemed to go on forever but eventually we parked and went into the shop. After waiting for a woman to push in ahead of us, we were told there was no Maze until Labour Day weekend (early September). I had looked on the website which was useless and did try to call ahead. The website said they were closed for Winter which is ridiculous since its mid Summer and the phone went to answerphone and said email because they don't always check messages daily. So imagine how annoyed I was to be told "closed for Winter is just a funny thing based on the fact the maze is Game of Thrones themed". Right, well I don't watch Game of thrones (will do one day), I don't understand the winter theme and considering someone had said the same thing as me that same day - huh!

We were both really disappointed and I didn't really know what to do as we seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. Port Perry was the closest place we could think to go and Smallest suggested a walk and I suggested an ice cream. So after a good drive again, we sat by the lake eating our ice cream and then went for a walk along the water. It was nice and we laughed a lot and tried not to get too muddy.

Salted Caramel and Lemon Sorbetto
Coulds, lake bridges and flowers and a silly boy who pokes his tongue out when I take a photo
More clouds and lake and reflections and a strange flowery thing

On the way home we stopped to pick up a gift for LittleFinn as it's his 2nd birthday tomorrow. We had lunch (Huffle had already had his and gone back to work) and then we played a couple of games of MarioKart online. One race I came second but mainly I was last.

We both went to pick up Small today. It was very hot and humid. Back home we started on dinner, washing and cake making. ClownRose asked me to make a Courgette Chocolate Cake for LittleFinns birthday and some mini Muffins for her freezer. She thinks I should start a Hamlet cake business. I started at 4pm and I sat down at 8pm. I made LittleFins cake, Her freezer Muffins, a lemon Courgette cake and chocolate Courgette muffins for us and our freezer. I also made dinner.

It took me over an hour to clear up from the baking. Smallest helped me make everything. He is so good in the kitchen. He gets my ingredients out, whisks and stirs and prepares tins. ClownRose and MissMoll came round to collect the cakes and I gave them some homemade soup, courgettes and they brought me a lovely bunch of flowers from their garden.

After all clearing was done, I sat outside and folded laundry and had a visit from Yoda next door. We sat and had a gossip but had to stop when the mosquitoes started biting.

Huffle and Smallest went to football practice tonight. Smallest had a good session where they played 9v9 with offside rules and throw ins. We think they are preparing for next season.


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Vienella Cor-net

Everyone is really struggling with tiredness. We just can't get back into getting up early. YYAAAAWWWWWNNNNN

I took Small to camp and he spent the morning learning First Aid and then took his test. He passed and got 22/25. Well done Smallest. He gets a 90day certificate so he can attend camp as a councillor next week and then a proper three year certificate in the post. He had a good day and he was yawning plenty all the way home, in between excitedly telling me what he had done. It's good to see him enjoying it.

I managed to cram my breakfast and a shower in before I took him so I was free to play a game with Smallest when I got back, along with my much awaited coffee, we played Rush Hour which is a puzzle type game where you you have to get the red car out of a mess of other cars by just sliding them back and forth. It hurt my brain.

Mid morning we went to Crockadoodledoo which is a Pottery Painting place. We had 10% off vouchers which also gives money to the school. We haven't been to this one before and the last time we did pottery painting was about four years ago. We chose our pots first. Smallest struggled to choose and despite me making him promise he wouldn't paint a money box (he has so many) he did indeed choose a money box monster called Ben. Bit it is different to his other money box monster, honestly! He painted it in a Stoke top based on PeterCrouch including Peter's Lime green boots but he put his surname on the back.

I painted a spoon rest as you can never have too many (even though HB doesn't know what one is!).

We had a lot of fun even though the paint smelled of fish. I would definitely do it again though it cost us $56 but we were there for a good couple of hours. Smallest is signed up to make a birthday tile for free on his birthday.

After we finished (it will be ready on Saturday) we did a quick food shop and came home to put it all away and have lunch with Huffle. Smallest watched TV and Huffle and I started watching something on the IPad but we were interrupted by the lovely HB. We had a good chat with her until her dinner was ready.

Smallest and I played a game of chess which we had to postpone so I could get Small. I magically won when I got back and then we played another and he won. The road, as usual, was full of muppets. Overtaking on hills and corners, weaving across the road too busy texting or drinking coffee, not indicating, not being thoughtful. I could go on and on and on (and I usually do). Normally in th morning we listen to Small's preferred radio station (in the car, as in the kitchen its my radio choice) but just recently it has been switching between two different stations. One is a Toronto based station and has three men who always argue and laugh all morning and it's very funny and the other is a country and western station based in New York. Today we could only get the New York one. I wonder if it's weather related?

The boys helped me with dinner. I made shepherds Pie de-constructed but with turkey. It's horrible, I hate turkey, it smells so bad (to me) but they liked it. I got them both peeling potatoes and carrots and getting pans out. They played on tablets and the Wii.

After dinner we all played MarioKart and then I insisted we went for a walk. It has been raining since lunchtime so it was a bit wet and cool but we have wellies. Huffle turned us around though when he heard a distant rumble of thunder plus I got bitten by a mosquito.

Our garden. Doesn't do it justice but unless I get a drone I won't get a better photo.
Wet walk. Smallest is like Peppa Pig jumping in the puddles!



Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Put some gravy on your scaly taters.

Too early to get up. Can't cope. Too tired!!! I took Small to his camp and on the way we had our road blocked by a Police Car, I'm guessing because of an accident. No diversion signs just had to rely on my GPS to get us there. It took us quite a bit out of our way and said we would be fifteen minutes late so I have to admit I did speed a bit. One of the roads took us through a housing estate with a big hill and on the downward bit there was a policeman holding a speed gun. I think I got away with it as I braked, not that I was going that fast anyway but it was a 40km area. Typical as that part there is normally someone really slow in front of me and I have no choice but to do the limit or less. I think, here in Canada, if they don't stop you there and then, you are okay. Phew! I came home a different way and when I went back to collect him I tried another route but that had construction on it so I won't be using that tomorrow!

I had a late breakfast and Smallest was busy on his tablet so he let me watch one of my programs with my headphones on while I ate. I did some clearing and tidying and played several games of Pokemon Yahtzee with him before him and Huffle went off for a car adventure. Huffle's oil light came on the other day and he bought some oil and then realised it was totally empty and hadn't been changed for ages so he booked his car in for an oil and filter change and general check up. It needs some work on the brakes but that will have to be another time as they needed 3.5 hours. They dropped the car off and went for lunch at SwissChalet. This is a Chicken restaurant so no good for me and Small and perfect for the chicken lovers in our house. They said it was good.

Waiting for his chicken

I went out and had lunch with my knitting ladies. There were eight of us and plenty of chat as we haven't been knitting since before the Summer started though we have had lunch once since then. It was nice to catch up and hear everyone's news. We stayed for about an hour and a half and I was the first to leave as I wanted to get back to spend some time with Smallest before Small's camp finished. He was busy playing MarioKart again so he asked me to join him. We played for about half an hour and then I made him come off and come with me to get Small.

We got there early and had a walk around the place outside until he was ready. Today Small learned about CPR. He found out that some people have a DNR letter but that as a non medical person, that letter means nothing and you have to still do whatever you can do. Its to safeguard them against being sued. Can you imagine suing someone for resuscitating you? I can't imagine that will apply to any of the kids at next week's camp but he gets certified in CPR so it's possibly for future endeavours. He has to finish it tomorrow and take a test before he gets the certificate. He also had to make a plan for his camp next week. He is going to Sports Camp which is what he wanted to do. It will include Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, Football and swimming.

I made dinner for Small and I and then I took him to his football practice. Huffle stayed at home to cut the grass and Smallest stayed behind to help him.

Driving today, two different vehicles overtook cyclists and came over right to the other side of the road giving the cyclist sooo much room it was ridiculous. Giving cyclists space is fine but they were on the wrong side of the road on the brow of a hill with no idea what might come over the top. Crazy. One came into my path. Canadians (and I can only assume it is Canadians as we are in this country) do not seem to have any idea of spacial awareness. They must be taught it or they just have no idea of how much room to give. I told Small I would bring him back to England to learn to drive before letting him take his test here,


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Eric likes Bananas

Huffle had a headache and felt sick during the night and had to get up for painkillers. He is not right now but feels better. Small also felt headachey and sick but felt better once he got up. I had waves of sickness during the day. Eeuuugghhh have we picked up a bug? We are all very weary and tired but I think that's because we've gone from late nights and late get ups to suddenly having to get up early. Huffle says it's a good preparation for High School. We need to go to bed earlier!

It was an even earlier get up this morning as Smallest and I had our breakfast BEFORE we took Small to camp and then went on to work from there. Today we worked very hard cutting back a tree/shrub to make pea sticks, weeding and clearing a patch in the veg garden. For break we had a cake with peach and streusel topping that was without the normal pumpkin spice (as Jan knows I don't like cinnamon and some of the other spices hurt my throat - aww bless). I took my lemon and Courgette cake in plus some chocolate Courgette muffins for them to try. One of the cats died at the weekend so the one that is left is feeling very sorry for herself as she has never been apart from her sister.

We came home for lunch which Huffle had already made and started without us. He was very busy today and we didn't see a lot of him. Smallest watched TV and I watched some Top of the Lake (BBC) and then Smallest and I made Macaroni Cheese for dinner later. We played MarioKart online again for a while before I had to go and pick up Small.

Small had a good day and learned some more games and had a talk on accessibility. Tomorrow is a first aid day. He is still enjoying it and he told me all about his day on the way back. When we got home, Smallest was chatting to Moo on FaceTime and Small took over when I had a visit from MissMoll, LittleFinn and ClownRose. MissMoll brought me some mint from her garden to make a tea with (it was yummy and settled my tummy), she wrote me two notes thanking me for letting her have the vegetables while we were away (she did pick then) and some homegrown tiny potatoes she had grown.

While I continued making dinner and talking to Moo, I let a pan of water overflow. I do this regularly. We have a drinking tap at the sink and it can be turned. I tend to turn it so I can fill a pan and I forget and the water overflows and goes on to the worktop and floor. Sometimes I tell the kids I am filling so they remind me but today I forgot that too! I could hear something trickling but couldn't figure where it was until it was too late. The water had almost reached the living room before I realised. The boys helped me clear up and we used so many towels and tea towels that we filled the washer. Small put the washer on for me. He has done his good deeds for today and then later he cleared the table and emptied the dishwasher but that was more for staying home alone and not coming to Smallest's football with us.

After dinner, Huffle and I took Smallest to his football game. It was a terrible team line up. We always get there 30 minutes before and so Huffle and I had a walk around while the team had a kick about and warmed up. There we saw a community garden (allotment) and were interested to see it but we couldn't get close enough to see. Shame but nice to see it there. The game - started well but finished bad. Ended up 4-3. Smallest never got taken off and played the whole game without a break (apart from half time). He was shattered and fed-up. He worked very hard but he missed his teammate Dan who was playing for the other team that lost 5-1 (against oldCoachs sons team who incidentally spent most of the game on the bench).


Monday, 14 August 2017

Knife Bum

When Small tried to sleep, he struggled because he could hear someone singing. At first he thought it was something we were watching on TV but when we went outside it sounded far away but very very loud. He had to shut his windows and put his fan on to drown it out. When we went to bed it was still going on. Huffle thought it sounded like bad karaoke but I thought it was a bit opera like. Who knows. There was nothing on the Community Facebook page so it obviously didn't bother other people!

Today was the first day of Small's Councillor In Training Course. This is a two week course aimed at teaching the kids (13/14 years old) how to be councillors in camps for younger kids, ie staff. The first week will be learning skills and the second week being in camps. It allows him to earn all of his 40 community hours he needs to graduate from High School. Apparently a lot of kids here don't even think about their community hours until grade 12, so for him to get his sorted before he even starts Grade 9 is a great achievement. Today he learned some new games which can be played in any downtime to keep the younger kids interest. The class is 13 mixed boys and girls and for lunch they can either go to Tim Hortons or stay in the Youth Room which has table football, air hockey ad two pool tables. He has requested a packed lunch so he can stay and play. He enjoyed it but said it wasn't what he expected. He has to do a 'good deed' a day and when I brought him home, he asked if he could help with dinner. Never before! How do I get him to do a good deed everyday forever?

So I had to get up early, well we all did. Huffle worked, Small and I went to councillor camp and Smallest got up because Small woke him! Camp starts at 9am but to be sure the traffic wasn't too bad, we left at 8:20am which was easily enough time. I got back home by 9:30am and Smallest allowed me breakfast and some Holby City (BBC) before telling me what he wanted to do.

Our first activity was tennis but we cycled to the courts. It was incredibly hot though the temperature was only supposed to be 23*. We had fun playing tennis but couldn't run around too much. Too warm. So we abondoned it after about 40 minutes and cycled home. We jumped straight into the pool which was only 22* but very welcoming after cycling and tennis. We played around for a while and came in to make lunch which we ate outside under the parasol reading a magazine. Huffle joined us eventually. He was busy sorting Small's laptop with Uncle Grumps Help Desk.

Break time
Cycling home

Next on our agenda was games. We played Carcassonne which I won but only by five points. When we were packing it away i found a tile we forgot to use which could have won Smallest the game. He is very bitter about it!!! After that we played UPSET. We were both 50 away from winning and I just did it. YAY! That wiped the smug look off his face as he was winning all the way through. We ended our games session with MarioKart on the WiiU. I definitely did not win that. We played online. He is much better at it than me.

Off I went to get Small. 25minutes journey there and 30 minutes back. I was supposed to put pork on in the oven before I left but I got a message from Huffle saying 'cakes in the oven but no pork'. I had left three of yesterday's muffins in the oven to finish off and had turned it off and forgotten they were there and left the pork prepared on the side. When I got home, Huffle had peeled potatoes and carrots. Awwwww everyone is being helpful today.

I made dinner (with help from the boys) and by 6pm we were all out of the house for two football sessions. Huffle dropped Smallest and I off at practice and he and Small went on to Small's game and picked us up on the way back. It was a lovely evening. Cooler but nice.