Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Would one like to have tea at the Royal York?

Not a bad night's sleep. There was maybe a smattering of rain but nothing to stop me going to work this morning. I woke up completely deaf in one ear. My fault, I should have had them syringed by now. one of the things that the lovely Moo and her mother Gram passed down to me was tiny tiny ear channels which dont allow wax to disperse through, just gets blocked up until we can no longer hear. i have to have them syringed quite regularly and I havent had them done since we have been here. tut tut. this afternoon I put some olive oil in my deaf ear and it cleared, so thinking that would clear my hearing ear, which wasnt perfectly clear, I put some in that one too. of course I went immediately deaf in both ears and now I cant hear diddly squat!

Everyone was out of the house by 8:50am. I forgot to do the boys lunches because I was out of my routine again. Never mind, I quickly put something together and threw them out of the door. Then off to work I went. It rained on the way but wasn't too bad. Mrs M greeted me and asked if I had my warm clothes on. Today we planted out the vegetable garden. Between the four of us we planted 8 different lettuces, beetroot, carrots, parsnip, radish, leeks. Everything was planted in a 'pleasing way' as the garden is open to the public and often tours are done there. All the planters were filled with pansies and lettuce. The kittens were out today and kept running into our seed lines and climbing the trees. They are funny little things!

Grasses we cut (looked like a spider). Lovely metal flower in the bed.

Me in my car surrounded by Miscanthus canes. The naughty kittens.

10:30 we stopped for coffee and Coffee and Cinnamon cake (I can't stand Cinnamon but the coffee part took over so it was nice) that one of the ladies had made. Then we cleared the paths between the veg beds and moved to the main part of the garden centre where we cut down some huge Miscanthus. I bought all the canes home for the boys to use to make a den. Trying to fit them in my car was hilarious and I couldn't see anything out of the rear view mirror and the grasses were stuck to my head! Still I got them home and put them in a nice pile for the boys to see when they got home. I also came home with some Corydalis, Violets and dried Garlic plus a recipe for Lemon Squares. I didn't dare ask if I could have some pallets (sorry Grandad, maybe next time). As I was leaving Mrs M asked if I would like to work with her next week at the Royal York in Toronto. Would I? Yes please! Oh my god, I can't wait, I am so excited. It is an amazing old Hotel in the middle of Downtown Toronto and on the 14th floor is a rooftop garden where they grow their own vegetables for the chefs. How cool is that?

Photos from Internet (hope to have many of my own next week) eeeeeek (excited shriek).

Because I left in a hurry this morning, when I came home the house was a tip. The dishwasher needed emptying and filling with last night's dinner stuff, the washer needed emptying and filling and also the dryer. The beds needed stripping and a general tidy up required. However, I left all that till much later and planted our leeks, carrots, parsnips, the new Corydalis and a lump of something I am hoping is a grassy thing that will help to screen the compost beds. Then once I popped Mrs Royal's spade back and put everything away, I got on with the mammoth task of the house until the boys came home. I even managed a shower. I sat outside on the front porch for all of 4 minutes and then they were home. I got to watch a NutHatch (I think that's what he was) eating from the new nut feeder on the front. He was very tame and let me get very close.


Small had his golf lesson at school today. He said he did really well and he is now a better player (in one day?) he is hoping Huffle will take him out soon. Better get Grandad's golf net up then. The boys played outside (couldn't tell if they were noisy or not). We played Hide and Seek, recorded some messages for my dear friend Aunty A - I forgot her birthday. Please forgive me?

These are the lovely photos we sent for AA - how can anyone be uncheered by those?

Huffle came home and we all ate Carrot and Tomato soup of which I made enough for the rest of the Hamlet (sound familiar anyone?). We played table tennis while Small had a shower and Smallest played on the computer.

Huffle made a start on cleaning the porch floor in preparation for painting it. Every now and then one of my ears pops and I shriek, then it goes away again and I groan. Everyone is ignoring me now. I can tell they are all shouting so I can hear them. I can't hear anything once there is another noise going on or they turn away from me. I have asked Huffle to ring the doctors for me to see if I need an appointment or can just go to the walk-in. Huffle has to put more oil in my ear when I go to bed. At least I won't be able to hear his tummy rumbling and a grumbling.


Monday, 29 April 2013

I love you a bit more than Bacon

Smallest woke us at 1am with a torch in the face and a whisper that he had had an accident. It was just his PJ bottoms, and I didn't appreciate being woken just to watch him change his trousers and climb back into bed. I had to speak to him this morning about it. It took Huffle and I over an hour to get back to sleep. The rain was lashing down all night. At least our plants got a good watering in.

The bigger boys went off today, leaving Smallest and I home together. He played on the computer while I did a quick workout, shower and breakfast. I put my hand on the cooker ring (that I had just boiled the kettle on) and burnt my fingers and then made a cafetiere for myself and as I pushed the plunger down, the coffee spurted upwards and burnt my arm and other hand. I am staying away from the chain saw today just in case!! Not feeling so lucky!

Moo skyped me while Smallest had a bath and we had a good chat and catch up. Smallest read some jokes to her from his magazines. She showed me our beautiful Amaryllis we left with her.


After lunch, Smallest and I went shopping for food. We purchased, packed, paid and came home and packed it all away. We did five jigsaw puzzles in a row and skyped LizzieDotDot. We haven't spoken for ages so it was lovely to catch up properly. She saw Small come home and he told us about being in Trouble at school and answering his teacher back. He said she threatened to ring me this evening but was adamant that she wouldn't. Ah ha, imagine his surprise when she did ring. He was very red faced as he passed me the phone. She told me she was ringing me because she was worried about Small's behaviour. She said his work was great and wasn't suffering but she had found him rather disrespectful towards her and was not the normal nice Small she was used to. Now I know that he doesn't like her and he certainly does not respect her as a teacher, however I also know that he should show her respect as his teacher so I asked her if the people around him acted in the same way. She said that yes some of them did and she was worried too that they were rubbing off on him. I told her I would talk to him and thanked her for calling.

Small and I then had a long conversation about respect. I told him he needed to have more respect for me, Huffle and his teachers and in fact anyone who was older than him. That if his teacher asked him to do something he should just do it and if he felt his teacher was wrong, he should discuss it with us and we would follow it up should we need to. He seemed to understand and I suggested he start at home and look at the way he talked to me and Huffle first and foremost. He said he would try very hard. I also asked him to apologise to his teacher which he said he would. I speak to her regularly at swimming so he knows I can check. It's very difficult because his teacher does not have a good reputation, a lot of the parents don't like her and the general consensus is that she doesn't want to teach anything other than her subject of Art and doesn't put the effort in. But at the end of the day it isn't up to us or Small to decide whether she is any good at it or not, it is up to the Principal and the School Board. We don't want Small getting into trouble because others bad mouth her. Hopefully he will try hard. He has certainly been trying with us this evening which is a start.

Huffle came home and we all had dinner. The boys cleared the table for us and Huffle and I went on a Easter Egg Bucket Hunt. The boys' Easter Buckets, which they collected Grandmas Easter eggs in when they were here, had completely vanished. We looked everywhere. In the end we found them in the barn. Naughty Grandad had been putting nails in there. I text him earlier to ask if Grandma knew where they were as well and they didn't!!

It is the Hamlets AGM Meeting tonight and neither Huffle or I went. We know we should and some of the issues arising are regarding the new development. I am tired after not sleeping so well last night, Huffle only got home at 6pm, by the time we have eaten dinner, cleared away, played with the kids, hunted the buckets, read and tucked in the boys we are shattered. Besides, we are quite enjoying having some time to ourselves for a change. Still, I guess we will be in trouble for not attending but I'm sure not everyone will be there. Maybe they won't notice (except Mr Royal is the Chairman).

Yesterday we moved a bird feeder and a small bird bath near the front door. Today the Blue Jays have been eating and washing there.

It's great because I can see them through the front door. I can't wait till we're sitting on the porch and all the birds visit, however, I did spot a chipmunk trying to eat a tulip bulb earlier, that's not good! Grandad, what can we do about that?



Sunday, 28 April 2013

Working 'Ard

Smallest came in to us at 1am complaining of a very sore eye. "Why can't I get the thing out that is stuck in my eye?" He said. We gave him medicine, cuddled him in our bed and then tucked him back in his own bed. I was quite worried he might have scratched his eye badly and was half expecting a trip to the Walk-In surgery this morning. However, when we got up, he was fine. His toe didn't hurt anymore, in fact he had forgotten which toe was hurt and his eye was better. PHEW. The boys had breakfast in front of the TV and Huffle and I had breakfast al fresco in the sunshine. We sat and listened to the Cardinal calling for Grandad "peter, peter, peter, peter" HE'S GONE HOME, SORRY MR CARDINAL. We even managed a walk down the garden to discuss Grandad's plans. A golf net, a leaf compost bin, reduce hedge on one side, raspberry beds, apple tree, finish fence, paint jungle Gym - is that it Grandad, or was there more?

The boys got themselves ready for their '10,000 trees for the Rouge' and with bucket, shovel, gloves and Wellies, they were picked up by the Cubs Leader for some serious tree planting. Huffle and I decided to make a new bed (garden) in the front.

We have left space for a path between the new and old. It was very warm and extremely hard work but we cleared the grass, Huffle moved it to the back near the veg beds as we don't want the grass growing round there (too hard to mow in between), dug it all through, placed the plants and stopped for lunch on the porch and a part game of scrabble.

Grandma and Grandad arrived home safely with only 6 hours of plane time which is incredible. We can only assume the wind (from Grandad?) pushed the plane faster which was good because it was delayed anyway.

Once we had finished lunch we carried on planting up the new bed. Lots of plants that we bought yesterday and last week. It looks great and will soon be filled out with colour. We added a solar lamp and a stone mushroom.


We were just clearing away and were about to relax before the boys came home when Cub Leaders car pulled into the drive and they were home. They planted their plants we bought them last week (Winky Red and Winky Blue, Toto and Pig Squeak), we packed everything away, gave the plants a good water and moved into the back.

The boys were full of their adventure about planting trees. Only two cubs turned up today, Small and Cub Leaders son. There were a lot of Beavers though. They worked very hard and enjoyed it. They would like to go back in twenty years to see how they have grown.

We played Boules, football and then planted some sunflower seeds and Rudbeckia. We will be having a sunflower growing competition to see who can get the tallest. Smallest is the only one who hasn't planted any yet!

We moved our small bird bath to the front and a bird feeder, cleared all toys and stuff away and came in for dinner. Small had a shower, they played on the computer and then we ate. We were all hungry, we have worked hard today.

Huffle soaked his poor aching back in a bath, I knitted and the boys watched TV and ate Smallest's cake. I had a bath and then the boys went to bed. Back to normal again, Huffle and I reading at bedtime, the kettle getting a rest from Grandmas constant tea making, the smells not so bad now there are only three smellies left!



Saturday, 27 April 2013

Au Revoir Granmere et Grandpere

A nice easy morning started with pancakes from the kitchen of Chef Smallest and his Sous Chef Mummy. The pancakes were yummy and lots of fruit and maple syrup was also consumed.

Grandma's Pig Pancake

We watched the wildlife from the window. On the bird feeder that Grandad had now made squirrel proof, was a squirrel nosily checking out the safety features added, a chipmunk picking up the squirrels leftovers and several blue jays. grandad went out later to check the feeder. Squirrel 0 - 1 Grandad. yeeeaaahhh. huffle thinks there is more to come from the squirrel but Grandad is not so sure.

A North American Robin atop our barn and the lovely blue flower Grandad filched last Spring

Squirrel, Chipmunk and Blue Jay and after a woodpecker

Clouds in our garden and Grandad relaxing in the sunshine

A bug on our window with cricketers outside and more clouds

The boys had a battle with their Gogo cards then Small had a shower and Smallest a bath. Meanwhile Huffle, Grandma and Grandad went out to two garden centres and bought me back some lovely plants. There was a bit of cricket in the garden, a quick tea and biscuit stop and then we got Smallest ready for his party. Today it was a cooking party for one of Smallest's classmates.

I've grown a Smallest!

We took two cars and drove to the party which was at the top of a supermarket, left Sallest there. he was the only boy in a room full of girls with pretty dresses and shiny hair. then his pal turned up and he was happy. we left Huffle's car there and all drove to town in my car. We had dinner at a lovely restaurant (3rd time this holiday, well two for Grandma because she stayed home with Small the first time), and then ice cream at the new Gelataria. Granmda and Huffle had Strawberry Sorbetto, Grandad had Mango and Small and I had Caramelatte. We poddled around for a bit and Huffle tried to buy a pew on someone's porch. We thought there was a yard sale but it may have been yesterday. We had a sneak at a pub we haven't been to before and marked it as a thing to try soon.

Where we had lunch, we passed this house with a garage and I noticed the name Hall on one side. When I looked at the other side it said Marg. Marg Hall is Grandma's name. BIZARRE!

We drove back to the party. Huffle and Grandad visited the Tire. I went into the supermarket and we picked up some tee-shirts in the sale. Smallest came out of his party with a cake he had decorated and a chefs hat with his name spelt wrong on it, he said he had spelt it to them but they obviously couldn't understand his lovely accent.

We came home. Huffle and I played football with the kids while Grandma and Grandad finished their packing.

Small bowling at Huffle

Smallest fielding, Huffle and Smallest playing football and an injured Small

Lots of hugs and then Huffle took them to the airport. Their plane was delayed by 40 minutes. Smallest couldn't understand why Grandma was sad and I explained that she missed him. He said but she's only just gone. I said that she missed him and Small everyday when she wasn't here. He said but it's only eight hours and then we can see them on Skype. I told him it was hard when you couldn't get a cuddle and a kiss whenever you wanted to and I think he understood a bit more.

Grandad has left me some things to get on with and I hope to make a start on them next week. it has been a lovely visit but has gone by very quickly. we have aleady Thought of some things to do when they come in the Autumn/Fall.

The weather has been so nice and warm today, absolutely beautiful. I sat outside and blogged while the kids played in the computer. They had their tea. Huffle rang to say there was a lot of congestion on the Highway to the airport but it seemed to clear pretty quickly.

On the way to bed, Smallest stubbed his little toe really badly and then Small fetched an ice pack to soothe it but threw it at him which hurt his eye. Poor Smallest is very tired, he has had a long day and is now very sad and grumpy.


Friday, 26 April 2013

That were a prat of a thing to do!

Last night after the kids had gone to bed, we played cards. Crazy Eights followed by Stop the Bus. Grandad sat next to Grandma and played a silly card. Her words were the title! Naughty Grandma.

TOP: Grandad's Breakfast

BOTTOM: Small's Breakfast

This morning everyone was up early as we had to get out of the house for 9:30 ish. Small went off to school and Smallest watched from the bottom of the drive (with a look of 'ahhhh I wish I was going too, Small!' On his face). Huffle had a big meeting today with the company's No1, so Smallest helped him to get ready.

He shined his shoes for him and then did Grandmas too

We managed to all get out and in the car for 9:30 which Huffle was very pleased about. However, ten minutes up the road and Grandad noticed Smallest's footwear and pointed them out quietly to me! Had we been going anywhere else but the Beach, I would have ignored it but a pair of Wellies is not appropriate beachwear especially when the sun is shining beautifully. So, much to Huffle's disdain, he turned the car around and Smallest jumped out and grabbed his trainers! We were still early, the traffic wasn't too bad today. Huffle dropped us off at The Beaches, just on the outskirts of Downtown, Toronto, then went back to Downtown for his meeting. Today he was finding out about his Boss leaving and what that meant for his office.

The Beaches was lovely. Lots of rows of lovely shops and cafes. A really big long beach and a boardwalk that went on for miles. There were lovely houses, some small, some much larger with pretty little gardens. All very individual looking. Some were rented places. They were very quaint.

We walked on the beach for a while and the wind was chilling, so we walked back up to the Main Street and went into a breakfast cafe. There, Smallest decided he was ready for breakfast number two and had a two smallish pancakes with syrup. They were lovely and Grandad and I helped him a little.

After we had warmed we walked to Kew Gardens and to the park there. Smallest loved it. There was a big bowl shape where normally fountains would spurt in the summer and Smallest scooted around it like a Professional.

RIGHT: ahhhhhhh

LEFT: Scootay King

Smallest thought the park was great and didn't want to leave. He wanted to know if we could come back tomorrow.

Finally we got him off the park and explored a bit more of the beach and the boardwalk. Just as we got onto the Boardwalk, Huffle rang to say his meeting was finished and had gone well. He has a new line to report to and everything is well and good. He is happy. Smallest scooted backwards and forwards along the boardwalk and the concrete cycling path.

We could see the CN Tower and Downtown buildings in the distance. It was a lovely walk and we will definitely come back. We bumped into Huffle who had parked not too far away.

Smallest found another park and then we went in search of dinner. We found a Firkin pub and had some lovely food whilst watching the London Tri-Athalon. I don't know when it was but it looked a lovely sunny day.

TOP: Huffle and Grandad catching up with today's events. And Me! The sun always shines in the righteous!
BOTTOM: a peek of the CN Tower and a fire hydrant!

We walked back along the boardwalk and towards the car and then drove home.

left Top: Building, we liked the look of the glass on the top floor.

Left Bottom: coming out of Toronto

Top Right: where we parked our car, there was a skip with a leg in it!!

Bottom Right: Leaving Toronto

We got back with five minutes to spare before Small came home on the bus. The traffic was worse on the way home.

A quick snack, a quick cup of tea and then Huffle, Grandma, Grandad and the kids went swimming. Well the kids had their swimming lessons and the rest watched.

When they got home, Small had his soup, Smallest had a sandwich and huffle took Grandad off for an evening of boozing with his old pal Quiche who is English but now lives in Canada, 30 minutes away from us.

Grandma, Huffle and I played cards and ate our way through bits and bobs. We had a thoroughly good evening, shame Grandad missed it.



Thursday, 25 April 2013

Huffle I Shrunk yer Mom

Every night, before Huffle and I go to bed, we check on the boys. Last night as we looked in on Smallest, he was halfway down his bed, top off and snoring lightly. I gently tried to move him back up to his pillow and he looked up and said "piggies". Then as we were leaving his room I said 'goodnight' and he replied "piggies". What a funny fellow he is!

Today the forecast said Rain Rain Rain. However, when we got up this morning it was a beautifully sunny day. So, Grandad decided to stay behind and finish his jobs and Grandma and I went shopping.

Mr Royal and Prince came back with our ladder that they had borrowed the other day. We chatted and Grandad showed them the Bug Houses he was making. We have decided to market Grandad's Bug Houses and have made this advertisement which will be stuck to all the lamp posts in Upper Hamlet.

Grandma and I went to a Strip Mall (lots of shops - no stripping involved!). We visited Marshalls, Winners, Homesense (all practically the same shop), a shoe shop, Target (which has just arrived in Canada), and then because we had done so well with our shopping, we treated ourselves to a lovely meal at lunchtime in an Italian Restaurant. It was wonderful.

I had a Pizzetta (a small pizza) and a big salad. Grandma had a Chicken Parmigiana Panini. LOVELY. The waiter was nice and didn't hurry us. We will definitely be going back. The kids would love it.
Whilst shopping, we saw this sign.........
Love it!
Whilst stopping for a drink we saw these..................

Would never be allowed in England. Everyone here takes their coffees into the shops. No-one stops to relax with their drinks.

We picked up a few things as presents and then got Grandad's list of things. When we got home the kids were playing on the computer. Grandad finished his houses off and hung them nicely. C'mon insects, come in and pollinate!

Careful Grandad


Grandma has realised that drinking wine DOES make you live longer but possibly makes you shrink.

While we were in the restaurant this lunchtime, she sat down and seemed to disappear before my eyes. She said the seats were low but I was sitting on the same type and I didn't disappear! I wondered if she had a short body, I mean her short arms don't reach the utensil hanger in our kitchen! In our pantry we have the boys' heights recorded and we did mark down Grandma and Grandad's height last time they were here. They personally don't think they have shrunk, but I'm not so sure!!

We all had dinner. Small finished his homework then watched TV. Huffle has been summoned to Toronto office tomorrow (despite the fact it is his day off). He has been reassured his job is safe. As I listened to him telling Grandad about how his job was okay and his position in the company safe, I got a feeling of déjà vu. When we were in England, I remember him coming home saying "don't worry, they wont get rid of me", and then arriving home with a redundancy letter. This time it is different. He assures me!!! We are not sure whether we are all going Downtown tomorrow.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dollarama Dad Date

Small was grumpy this morning, late night, not enough sleep, tired legs and aching feet! Poor Small. His medicine is nearly finished so let's hope we have finished with poorly throats for a while. Huffle's medicine is also nearly finished, he went off to work. Smallest was at home today with Grandma, Grandad and me. It rained all day. Well that meant Grandad couldn't do the fence (his words, though why all of a sudden rain was stopping him, we didn't know?). Instead he spent his day in the barn making insect houses (after our talk at the Garden Club last week). We had to go out mid afternoon for more supplies. I will show photos when complete. Whilst we were our getting supplies, he chatted up the Dollarama Dolly. She said she would like to go shopping with him and he said "Right, It's a date". shhhhhhh don't tell Grandma! However he did buy her some lovely flowers whilst he was in Dollarama and delivered them via the front door.

Lucky Lady

Grandma called me a Roughneck today and then said "Oh No I meant a Redneck!" Which is worse? As it rained we decided not to go out (apart from our quick trip to Dollarama). Smallest did a jigsaw and Grandma and I helped a little.

Smallest and I planted peas in the vegetable bed and put our little pea marker in and he made a bug house for bugs to climb up the big tree. He did a lovely job. We had a very quick game of cricket but it was too wet.

The bugs can climb up the big stick and make their way up the tree and along the sticks till they get to where they want to go. Simple!

I took this photo while at the bottom of the garden as the Geese flew overhead.

We popped to the Beer Store to see if they had any more canes. They didn't. Grandad went on Huffle's bike, Smallest scooted and I walked. Excellent photo opportunities again.

Look at them go!

Smallest had a bath while Grandad hid in the barn again. Aunt Pear, Cousin E and Cousin D skyped and Cousin E read out her homework. It was very good.

Grandma made pies for dinner and taught Smallest how to play patience. Small came home, did some homework and had a bath and soaked his aching limbs.

Huffle came home and we all had dinner. It was lovely. The boys disappeared until bedtime (we think they had found Grandad's Wine Gum stash! Grandma and I watched The Great British Sewing Bee final though I knew who won (I found out yesterday by looking at Instagram - how annoying) and Grandma thought she knew.