Saturday, 31 August 2013

Island Fun

Everyone was up and showered and sitting down for breakfast by 9am this morning. Today was our last trip before school starts. The boys decided on Centreville, Centre Island, Toronto. On the way, Smallest saw a sign that said "come and see the Giant Pandas at Toronto Zoo". 'Why does it say that' said Smallest. I explained it was to let people know that Pandas were there in case they didnt know. I knew he had been to the zoo recently with school and asked him if he saw the Giant Pandas. "Not Giant, just normal sized ones" he said.

We drove downtown and arrived just after midday and went in search of dinner which we found in an Italian restaurant. Lovely food, average service and terrible drinks.

Cloudy but warm day

We caught the ferry and sailed across to Centre Island. We had decided on a later start in the hope that less people would be there. It was supposed to stay open until 8pm but once there, they informed us it would be open until 7pm weather dependent (it looked a bit ropey and there were a few rain spots which actually came to nothing and it turned out to be a perfect day for a stroll around a small old fashioned theme park).

First we went on the Carousel. A very old one. We always have a race on the horses, whoever is higher up in the air when it finishes, wins. Smallest wanted to ride a pig (well of course he did!). Next we went on a Ferris wheel. Smallest and Huffle went on together and Small and I. Everytime we moved, it rocked. Everytime the wheel went round, our tummies dropped. It was good and we had a fantastic view of the CN Tower when it wasn't covered in cloud. The kids went on the spinning bears and spun him round so fast Huffle and I were glad we sat this one out.

Small and Huffle went on the water bumper cars (too slow they both said) while Smallest and I went on the old fashioned cars, Smallest insisted on steering it himself (last year he was terrible and kept bumping into the rails) he did very well and I said he had passed his driving test. We had to go on this again later but this time he wanted to go with Huffle so he could show him his new skills.

We went on the Log Flume (we didn't get wet), Roller Coaster (small but I did hoot a few times), tootling train, Tugboat, Horror Barrel ride (which three out of four of us closed our eyes, I will say no more apart from that Huffle commentated on the ride as we were going round; monkey, man looking tired, lady skeleton with pants on, another monkey.......), Dodgems but they call them Bumper Cars here (Smallest was too little to go on these and Huffle said it reminded him of driving in Markham where he works!!). We went on everything we could and some things twice or three times.

While the boys all went on The Scrambler (I couldn't go on as last time we went, when Moo was here, it made Moo and I feel really bad and sick), I went to get us a snack and drinks. While we were at the top of the Ferris wheel, Small and I smelt Doughnuts (Huffle said they pump the smell out so you buy them!) so I went in search. I found Funnel Cake which I had heard about (and knew they were very naughty) but thought we should try at least once. It was the size of a small dinner plate, deep fried dough bits squished together, covered in strawberry syrup, ice cream and icing sugar - sounds horrendous, tasted amazing but between the four of us, we couldn't finish it. Of course I had to sit by myself whilst waiting for the boys to get off the ride. I sat by the lake and many boats and canoes came by, laughing and waving, two trains passed and many people. I obviously looked liked a big pig! I wanted to go on the Swan ride (which was a big swan boat, slowly motorised which can be steered). Huffle and I went on one swan and we made the boys go in one together. Small sort of steered and we tried to bump them (which was not what this ride was about at all). We found it very funny but Small didn't like it because his swan was too slow - we pretended we had pedals which was making ours go faster he he!

We had a whale of a time and stayed there past 7pm and then went and walked through the gardens, to the beach and along the pier.

Doesn't Huffle make a lovely lady?

Look at that! North Pole 4000+ km away, Vancouver is the about the same distance and that's still in Canada. This is one big country!

The sun was setting and it was lovely just sitting there watching the many characters. There seemed to be a lot of homeless people about, drunk and shouting and swearing so we moved along back towards the ferry that was just loading up with people.

TOP: men who were far too old to be playing on bikes, they were just there to get attention.

BL : Two men pulling a hobo lying on a pile of firewood. Hobo shouting many swear words (Small kept saying, is that a swear word? Is that one?)

BR : This man just made us laugh because his legs didn't touch the floor, reminded me of a little boy!

Smallest was very tired and struggling to walk or stand much more and we unfortunately were not lucky enough to fit on the ferry, so had to wait for half an hour for the next one. The boys sat on the floor with Huffle's phone (as there was no point in moving from the queue), thankfully the boat only took twenty minutes to come and we were soon on and off across the lake. The lights of the city were amazing and there were a lot of people taking photographs.

Once across, we promised the boys an ice cream seeing as we missed a meal today (does funnel cake count as a meal?). We had to piggy back Smallest a his feet were hurting him, bless he has small legs!

We sat on the harbour wall watching the boats and eating ice cream before walking, piggy backing back to the car. We had a good drive back, despite the many morons on the road and the boys went straight to bed with the promise of having a lie-in until 8:30 as it was 10pm by the time we got back.

What a lovely day.



Friday, 30 August 2013

What do you know about the ffffffffffffff*

A terrible night's sleep. I was too hot and had to turn the air con cooler and I had a bite on my ankle that was itching. Huffle heard a noise but was too sleepy to check it out. This morning I got up and had a shower and while I was getting dressed Huffle was making his way downstairs. I heard a big kerfuffle, then Huffle shouting "Sh*t, Sh*t. There's a bat, Sh*t, boys get in the bathroom and stay there, there's a bloody bat in here". He had opened up the roller blind on the landing and it had 'flumped' out and landed on the stairs. I thought it was dead, Huffle thought it was sleeping but it was just resting. "Fetch me something to put over it" he said. So I emptied the washing basket - "too big". I gave him the kids bath drum, "too small". I went from room to room emptying things like Smallest's Lego, the shoes, rifled through the recycling. Eventually he put an old Perspex box on top of it and it started to try to fly. "Fetch me something to put on top, flour or tins!". Before he tried to put something over it, he put on his long sleeved top and I gave him some ski socks to put over his hands.

Once we knew batty was secure, we got the boys out to have a look. Smallest said "is it a vampire bat?. I went next door and asked if they knew what we should do. Huffle wanted to ring 911!!. They gave me two big fishing nets and told me to catch it and put it out of the door, easier said than done! "Fetch me something flat to put under the box", so I brought him a shoe tidy which of course was too big, so I tried a shoe box. "Just put him in and close the lid". I said. Huffle laughed. He ripped the lid off and slid it underneath the perspex box, the bat just wanted to crawl underneath not sit on top. Eventually he was secured away with a lid and Huffle carefully carried him outside.

It looks nothing but I could see its teeth and he was very grumpy!

Huffle placed the box at the end of the drive and ran faster than the best women's (sierra leonne) 100m Olympic runner. It was very funny. It was recycling day and I was worried the box would be picked up by the Garbage Collectors. I told Huffle he had to take the lid off to let it out and as he started to move towards it, the bat stuck out its hand?! And crawled out and flew down the road towards the four corners. PHEW! I was only thinking the other day I haven't had anything interesting to write about for ages. Now the house is upside down, Lego all over the floor, shoes in a pile, bath toys upended, ripped boxes and I had to take the nets back to next door. I heard her Husband shout 'who is it?'. I said "it's that crazy English lady from next door". He laughed (cheeky thing!).

Once everything had calmed down, we had breakfast and the boys and I got ready to go to knitting. Huffle is working from home and has a conference call at 11 till 12 so I thought it was better to have the kids out of the house. They took their DS' and I took my socks to sort out. It turns out that I hadn't done anything wrong with my socks and I just need to carry on and follow the pattern, hurrah! I did carry on until 12. There was a lot of silly banter again as usual. The boys and I left with instructions on how to find a really good hidden bakery. Of course, it was that well hidden we didn't find it, so we ended up in a supermarket instead and bought some goodies for lunch.

At home, we had lunch in front of "back to the future" which the kids thought was great. I haven't seen it for many years and I had forgotten most of it. By the time it was finished it was mid afternoon. The boys went and played football and I mowed the back lawn. We all went in the pool - it was very humid again. We stayed there for the rest of the afternoon and then Small and I went in to make dinner while Huffle and Smallest carried on mowing and raking.

We all ate dinner and the boys watched TV while Huffle and I went on a Bat Hunt. We're going on a Bat Hunt, we hope we don't catch a big one, we're not scared, it's a beauuuuutiful day. Anyway, we searched every nook and crevice, every blind, every hole, every vent and rafter, every cupboard and wardrobe and we found nothing, thank goodness. We have no idea how he got in or how long he was there, but I wonder how many of us will have nightmares about bats tonight?



*quote from Batman by jack Nicholson as the joker


Thursday, 29 August 2013

More Lego please

I got up early (7:30am I must be in school mode). Everyone in England sent their kids back to school today and I spent an hour first thing sitting in the Sun Room catching up on emails, Facebook and WhatsApp. I saw lots of new school uniforms and kids looking fresh faced and ready for school. My boys were amazed I was up so early and couldn't believe all their old friends were going back to school (we don't go back till next week) and were wearing uniforms (no uniforms for us anymore).

The boys had showers, breakfast and a play on their DS' and I cleared the kitchen and got myself ready. Then it was off to the library on our bikes. It was very hot again. On the way we dropped some gingerbread off for Mr Royal who has just had knee surgery. We chatted with Mrs Royal and then popped across the road to Drew where we sat and chatted with her. It has been so long and we promised to try and walk next week.

Next stop was the library where we bumped into Mrs Jackson5 and Nic and all their kids. We had a chat and promised to get together once the kids started school. We got new books and cycled home - still hot. We had lunch whilst watching Rango but I got bored and emptied the dishwasher and filled the washing machine and went and did some gardening. It was so hot I jumped in the pool all by myself. It was very peaceful and then the boys joined me and it wasn't so peaceful anymore. We had a good play. We played close your eyes tag, which was interesting.

We spent most of the afternoon by or in the pool and then I came and put soup on for dinner (except I left Huffle and mine on High instead of turning it off - whoops). I had to go in after and make another one. Huffle came home early feeling very tired and lacking in energy. He has decided to work at home tomorrow.

We all played basketball and then ate our dinner. The boys did some more gingerbread decorating. Huffle and I played 3 games of table tennis and I won one (I won one yesterday too wahooooo).

Huffle's gingerbread moustache

The boys are having an early night. They have both been really tetchy and moody today and I have put it down to still catching up on their sleep!

Huffle promised the kids that we could go to LegoLand, as they opened one not too far from us this year. We did attempt to go the weekend it opened but it was full. He said if the boys behaved we could go on the last weekend before school (this weekend) but after he checked out the reviews decided it was expensive, crowded and small. He said he was willing to take us all somewhere else, maybe a baseball game plus some Lego but the boys decided they would rather go to Centreville on Centre Island Toronto. This is a small theme park on one of Toronto's Islands. Huffle agreed (they did ask if they could still have some Lego though, cheeky boys!) but the weather forecast for is weekend is showers and isolated storms. Apparantly you can take the best photos of lightning striking the CN Tower from the Islands, ummmmmmmmm!





Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Lovely Buns Barbeara

Another nice lie-in (sorry Huffle, not you!). Smallest informed me that the Tooth Fairy hadn't been but when he went back upstairs she had been, I don't know if he wasn't looking properly or she came after he checked. After breakfast the boys did a chore each and then played on their DS' in the Sun Room (which I had just rearranged). I went and got myself ready and we all went out shoe shopping for the boys school.

Small has been asking to go to Target because he has never been (though now we have been, he probably won't want to go again). I took back some sandals that we bought for Smallest at the beginning of Summer, they broke. I told the assistant that headed hardly worn them (which was the truth as we had loads of rain at the beginning of Summer and he wore crocs for the most part of it). Apparantly the assistant thought they looked worn, which they certainly didn't and he wouldn't give a refund - my fault I didn't have a receipt). We got some trainers for Small (a bit more than I would normally pay as they need two pairs, one for indoors -and one for outdoors, but I am worried about his feet as they sometimes hurt him).

Sitting on see balls is probably the only reason they wanted to go to Target!

Then it was off to another shop and bought some trainers for Smallest (much cheaper this time). The boys were handing each other shoes they thought the other might like. Tiny little slippers, sparkly red shoes, ballet shoes, very funny!). We came away and had lunch once home.

Huffle has found a website that streams films - all sorts of films - it's brilliant. The boys wanted to watch Horrid Henry so we watched that. It was very humid outside again so it was nice to be in the air conditioned house. I started to knit Smallest's Eco Eric for Christmas as I am stuck on my socks until I go again on Friday.

We went in the pool late afternoon. We vacuumed and cleaned and had a good swim and play. Huffle came home and went in too and we all stopped for dinner.

Noodle fight

Last night we watched the Great British Bake Off via BBCIPlayer - Brilliant. We think that Howard is like the man in the Royle Family at Christmas who kept saying 'Barbeara'. Tonight we are going to try a new comedy we found.



Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Go Home Yankees

We left the house yesterday at 3pm and drove to Unionville Go Station (Bus Station), where we met Huffle and he drove us to Downtown Toronto. It was a warm but very cloudy afternoon, we parked the car and walked towards the harbour where we happened to come across an ice-cream shop. Of course we had to have one. We watched the planes land on the island, found a waterfall, an up and down the wave bridges and explored the Music Gardens.

After a good walk along the harbour front (this time the opposite way to which we normally walk), we picked up some dinner and sat amongst the old trains, next to the CN Tower while eating and watched the New York Yankees and Blue Jays arrive.

We are not superimposed next to the tower but it does look like it. While we sat eating, there were raindrops the size of 50pence pieces falling but it didn't come to much.

Into the stadium we went, this time in section 200's as opposed to the 500's we normally sit at (in the clouds). We had a fabulous view with padded seats, though there did seem less room in front of the seats. We were there early enough to hear the National Anthems and watch the teams warm up. Apparantly Paul Simon was in the crowd (I am guessing he is a Yankees fan). The roof opened while we were there and we could see the CN Tower. People were doing the Edge Walk while the game was on and the camera man put them on the big screen. It was still warm but an occassional breeze kept us cool enough.

It was a good atmosphere. There aren't normally many away fans but there were enough to make some noise, and they were very noisy at the beginning. They did quieten down considerably though as it was clear The Blue Jays were winning. There were a lot of balls thrown and hit into the stands and one came just four rows in front of us. Huffle was ready to catch it for us.

The boys (considering it didn't start until 7pm and went on till 10pm) were very well behaved and although Smallest looked shattered by the end, they thoroughly enjoyed it. The highlight for Smallest was when his player (44 Janssen) came on to pitch. The reason it is his player is because when he won his baseball top, that was on the back of it. Janssen came on towards the end and the score was 5-2 to the Blue Jays WAHOOOO.

We walked back to the car faster than Smallest's little legs could carry him and he instantly fell asleep in the car. It was a good drive home but once off the highway, the fog was thick. Huffle dropped me back at my car and I followed him and the boys home. We all went straight to bed - no storms but more forecast!


Apart from Huffle, who had to go to work, we didn't get up until 9am. The boys settled themselves in front of TV until Small made us scrambled egg for breakfast. Today it started cooler and cloudy. Then it got warmer and then it became humid until we could stand it no longer and put the air con on.

As everyone was tired we were supposed to have an 'easy' day. however, we went shopping, sat and watched a film and afterwards tried to finish a game of Disney Monopoly that we started yesterday. We also skyped Grandma. Smallest's tooth fell out and he successfully kept it safe, until he dropped it between the floorboards. Luckily Mummy rescued it and he put it in his tooth pillow ready for the fairy to collect it this evening. What a clumsy oaf he is!

It has been wobbly for ages. At least this one wasn't eaten!!

Small made a rice pudding and then helped Smallest and I to make gingerbread men. Smallest found the recipe in a Moshi Monsters magazine (it certainly wasnt my tried and tested tasty gingerbread!!!). Still, the boys made a nice mess and then iced and decorated them once cool. We have lots more to decorate - maybe that will be tomorrow.

Huffle came home and we all ate eventually.

Everyone is very very tired and the humidity outside isn't helping!! Early night for everyone I think.




Monday, 26 August 2013


There was a storm for most of the evening which meant we had to go to bed later as Huffle doesn't sleep in storms. Then we were woken early this morning (5:30am/6am) when we had storms again. Huffle of course got up and hid in the basement. I tried to keep my eyes closed and ignore it. I managed fairly well until 7am when the whole house shook. I went to check on the kids, Small was awake and starting to panic (he was sent to the basement), Smallest was sleeping soundly. I was just wondering whether to leave him sleeping or wake him when there was an almighty rumble, the house shook and Smallest awoke and said "Smelly!" (His favourite sleeping elephant). I grabbed his quilt, he grabbed Smelly and we went hand in hand down to the basement. We had already had a short power cut and there was another power cut while we were down there. Fortunately we weren't down there long before it was over. The boys went and snuggled on the sofa and watched wrestling and Huffle went off to work.

This evening we have tickets for the Blue Jays (Baseball) so we are doing as little as possible as the game doesn't start until 7pm and doesn't finish until after 10pm. So the day consisted of writing up library book reports, IPad playing, a few chores here and there, a film, some games, lunch, Skyping Moo, knitting, blogging (Smallest blogged again - thanks to those that commented).

I have no photos because we didn't do much but I am sure I will have photos of the game I can post tomorrow.



Sunday, 25 August 2013

There's a hole in my bucket....

I forgot to mention yesterday that Smallest did a blog post (he was wondering if anyone had commented and I told him it was my fault for not putting a link on here, so here it is).

Last night we managed to watch Big School with David Walliams - funny, Absolutely (80's comedy that we both watched originally - very funny) and My Big Redneck Vacation - so silly.

For a few days now we have been daily filling the pool to the required depth and everyday the water level has been going down. At first we thought it was evaporation but this morning it was dangously low. So low in fact that we had to turn the filter off in case it burnt out. Huffle found the hole which was right under where the ladder hits the bottom of the pool. We checked on the Internet where we could find the stuff to mend it with and Small and Huffle went off to buy it.

Smallest and I stayed behind. He drew and I vacummed the pool and started to dig out the day lilies ready for the new apple tree. Once the big boys were back, Huffle helped me to dig out the lillies while Small carried the wheelbarrow, Smallest continued to draw. We managed to dig out all the bed ready for the tree and then Huffle got in the cold pool while I cut the required piece of vinyl and glued it ready. The idea being that Huffle took the folded piece of vinyl to the hole underwater and stuck it and rolled it in place. However, Huffle lost the piece of vinyl and found he couldn't stay underwater long enough to open the material, put it over the hole and roll it in place so Small jumped in and held the second piece in place while Huffle secured it. Tadaaaa. We are now supposed to leave it alone for 24 hours but it is so warm today........

We carried on with some front garden gardening and dug two more bits for the three lilacs Huffle bought. Then once we put the lilacs in we started digging another bit. It was so hot but luckily the clouds came over every now and then to give us some relief. Smallest and I gathered sticks for the plants to grow up and then played street hockey. Small and Smallest drew under the shade of the big tree.

We had a lovely BBQ al fresco dinner with the flies and crows (OMG they are so noisy, the crows not the flies!). The boys tidied away for us while we planted the tree and moved the raspberries and strawberries around it. It is now a little fruit corner, until we move the veg beds and the fruit will have a new place.

The boys went off and played their DS while Alan Titchmarsh Huffle and I watered and cleared and then we had showers. I don't think I have ever been this dirty!!!



Saturday, 24 August 2013

Egg on yer face!

This morning Huffle and Smallest went out and bought an Apple Tree. In the Spring we had seen a many fruiting Apple tree that had three different types on one tree. This is what he intended to get but he came home with a normal one instead and three Lilacs.

Small and I stayed behind and played Mario Bros Wii and had a tour of the Portugese Villa (Grandma, Grandad, Aunt and Unc Pear, HB, CousinPest and M&M are holidaying there) by Grandad.

Huffle skyped them once home whilst watching the football (stoke won so huffle was pleased) and the boys continued on the Wii. I got to finish my book on the Porch. No more knitting for me as I have a hurt elbow, too much knitting I am guessing!!).

At lunchtime we set off for Whitby and had a Fish and Chip dinner followed by a stop at the park just next to a beach and the lake, where the boys had a good play before we scooted and walked along to the exercise park.

Here we all had a go on all the exercise equipment. It was quite nice to exercise by the lake though it was very busy. Might come back in the week and do a workout. Lots of groups and parties going on.

We then walked along the boardwalk, by the lake and around to the Marina where we happened upon an Open Day where they had bouncy castles and games, a BBQ and gift bags for the kids. The boys played a 'throw the egg' game where they literally threw eggs at each other. The idea being that they caught them but Smallest threw them wildly at Small until they smashed. He also threw one so high in the air it hit the Janitor man who had just told me to be careful in case I got egged! We stayed for a good couple of hours until the kids were worn out and then scooted and walked back towards the parks.

Sliding and a bouncing
Egg throwing
We found a lighthouse at the end of a concrete walkway with benches lining it. People were fishing from here and sitting watching the boats.

We drove home and Small watered the garden for us. Smallest and Huffle played table football and then the boys had their tea.

It was an unexpectedly nice family day today. There is always something going on here. Festivals, parades, family days, open days. I suppose we have to make the most of it. Autumn is on it's way. The leaves are starting to change colour and fall and before you know it, it will be winter and everyone will hide away. Ha ha!

Small with his sunflower (the second to open) and some of the others that have opened.

Huffle has managed to fool our computer again into thinking that we live in the UK, therefore enabling us to watch BBC Iplayer including Channel 4 and ITV. He hasn't been able to get Channel 5 which means we can't watch Neighbours (though it probably hasn't moved much since the 21 months we have been here). We are currently trawling the list of things we can watch. Happy times. There is never anything on to watch this time of the year, so not only do we have things to watch now, we can watch English stuff too. Hurrah!


Friday, 23 August 2013

Rude Trude

I got up far too early this morning, maybe I am getting ready for the boys going back to school, whatever the reason I had to go out and put out the recycling and ended up sitting on the porch with my mug of hot water (first drink of the day before I indulge in caffeine), my phone and IPad and sat and caught up with emails, Facebook and Instagram. The boys sat happily watching TV. Then my peace was interrupted by Small complaining of feeling sick. I suggested he had a drink of water and lay down - clever Mummy, that sorted it - I think he was hungry. After breakfast the three of us went to knitting. The boys took their DS' and played nicely and quietly (I think everyone is so used to them being there now, they will miss them once school starts).

Left: Ligularia flower and leaf below

Right: Our sunflowers and Huffle show off sunflower

I managed to start my new sock last night after trawling YouTube for videos and tutorials. I had done it right and didn't have to start again. It was only me, Rude Trude and Shopkeeper El today. We had a good laugh as usual and got a fair bit done. We left at 12 and came home for lunch. The boys payed basketball outside while I got lunch and then they came in for showers before eating. Smallest and a bit of an issue over the fact that Small had his shower first and grumped off to his room for a while where we completely ignored him and let him calm down. He calmed, got in the shower and showered by himself and came down and said sorry (big boy now!) then ate his lunch.

This afternoon we went in the pool. The boys started arguing again so Smallest removed himself and sat in his room and finished off his library books and Small and I played in the pool. Then we both read too. Small finished his book too and I am nearly through mine. We only got them on Tuesday, we must have done a lot of reading this week.

Smallest came and joined us again and the boys played chess while I knitted and swam (not at the same time). When Huffle came home I made dinner while he went in the pool with the kids.

This evening we all watched Teen Wolf together. The boys thought it was funny. We wanted to show them Back to the Future but it wasn't on Netflix so Teen Wolf was the next best thing.