Monday, 31 March 2014

Springy Sunshine

And the World looks so much better when the sun comes out. Today I went out without my coat on and the boys went to school without their snow pants. Ahhh that must mean Spring is on its way. It was a lovely sunny day and even the man at the petrol pump said that everyone was in a much better mood today.

The boys nearly missed their bus and this time it was because all of our clocks said a different time. I had to wave out the door to stop her from leaving. Smallest ran across the drove and slipped on the ice. Whoops. After breakfast I went on a Birthday ingredients mission for Smallest's cake. I also took back his HexBug without the receipt, and lucky I did because the price had gone up considerably and they exchanged it for me. I got him a nano one too because I felt like it. I picked up what I could and then drove to two other shops to get the rest of the icing etc. It was true, everyone did seem in a better mood today, including myself. People seemed more helpful and smiley.

I finally got home just after midday, had lunch, watched a bit of Midwife and then started on the cake. Stupidly I adapted a recipe rather than using a tried and tested one. It didnt work out brilliantly but it tastes good. While it was in the oven I skyped Moo and we had a good old catch up. I tidied the kitchen and washed up and then started on the fiddly bits for the cake. Now Smallest asked for a Pokemon cake and you know how I like a challenge well.......... I made a Pikachu and an Oshawott and some little pokemon balls.

They need a bit of a clean and tidy.

I didn't have time for much more as the boys came home. Smallest had a cough (the seal one) when he went to school this morning and came home with a runny nose, a seal cough and a cold. His eyes look poorly too and he complained of earrache. I gave him some medicine and after a while he said he felt much better.

Small got some of his homework done and taught me how to do Long Division, yes I can see that coming in very handy. Huffle came home and we all dinner early. Huffle and I cleared some more ice - it's melting, it's melting. Huffle and Small drove off to the Main cubs HQ where tonight they were doing Archery. Smallest and i were gong to go but we felt it was better to get Smallest rested and better for tomorrows party.

Smallest had a bath and listened to his music and then we played Mario Bros on the wii. I sent him to bed slightly early coughing and spluttering and with more medicine.

Down in the basement, the sump pump is going crazy. All you can hear is the unmistakeable noise of the pump pumping all the excess water away, wahooooooooo.

Once Smallest was in bed I carried on with his cake. Filled, Dirty Iced (i've watched Cake Boss,I know the terms), and Fondant. I still have finishing touches to do but when Huffle and Small came back, I stopped and tried some cake. (Some fairy cakes from the excess mixture).

Small had had a fabulous time and did very well.



Sunday, 30 March 2014

He looks like a miniature Errol Brown


It was a turbulent night. The wind was whistling wildy all through the night and then at 12:30am Smallest came into our room in a right state. He had had a bad dream where a different Mummy and a different Small were not very nice to him. He was very upset and stayed in our bed until he deemed it too warm between us and went back to his room armed with my Piglet. He let me have his Eco Eric and went off to sleep with his lamp on. At around 2am he came back in and gave me Piglet back. At 7am both boys came in wanting to start the birthday celebrations. We sent them away until 7:30am, at which time they came back, jumped on the bed and we sang Happy Birthday. Smallest started by opening his cards and reading them. Then it was present opening time. Moo's present of Pokemon Stuff was very happily received plus a slinky which he promised would not be tied in knots. Small bought him (well I say he bought) a tub of Pringles and a Phineus and Ferb magazine.

We bought him a much wanted HexBug and we cannot for the life of us get it working. We changed the batteries, swapped the batteries around, clapped at it, shouted at it, shoved it, but alas it seems completely dead! What a disappointment. We played his music on the Boom Box while the rest of the presents were opened and then went downstairs to make pancakes while the boys played a Pokemon Battle.

Smallest had requested English Style pancakes, he meant Crepes. So we had them with Maple Syrup and lots of fruit. Then it was a mad dash to get Small to the Community Centre for him to take part in the Cubs KubKar racing. I stayed and had a shower and walked up a while later.

When I got there they were still waiting for their race. In fact I sat with them for 1.5 hours and they had been there 3/4 hour before me too. The hall was laid out with a huge long track with lanes. Lots of geeky men (scouty people) were checking the cars, calling out numbers, placing the cars in the correct order etc etc. We tried to work out which car would be fastest but it was very hard to tell as some of the cars were weighted underneath where you couldn't see. There were some interesting shapes too. Some shiny, some matt, some highly decorated, some elaboratally detailed and some very simple.

Eventually Small was called to race with five others. We had no idea how they decided which cars raced with which but there seemed some mathematical logic to it! Small's mainly came second or first in most races and in the final he came third overall. At one point there had to be a race with him and one other as they both finished at exactly the same time. It was all timed to the 100th second! Some of the participants had to go due to hockey practice so Smallest got to race someone else's car and receive their award on behalf of them.

Our favourite photo of the day where Smallest is putting his V's up at us. He is actually telling us he got second place! Ha!

We all, as parents, got to vote on the designs and Small also won third for his design. You can only choose one category to go forward in so he chose speed which means he gets to race again in the finals next Saturday. He received his trophy, badge and we clapped everyone else and came home.

We had lunch, Small did some homework and Smallest built one of his new lego kits. Huffle chopped some ice off the drive. It is all now starting to melt nicely now with temperatures of 5*. Tomorrow it could get to 11*. No more snow forecast for the rest of the week, nor rain, just cloud and sunshine. I'll take that!

I did a bit of crocheting while Huffle skyped Grandma and then we both went out again to clear some more ice. It is at times like these when you realise how big our drive is. It may not look big but there is enough ice to build a new Eskimo Estate.

Aunt Pear skyped and chatted and sang Happy Birthday. We all had dinner and the boys watched more Pokemon while I jigsawed and Huffle music'd!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

I know this corner of the earth it smells like wee*

When I was a few years younger, before marriage and kids, I was an avid Leicester City fan and had a season ticket for many years. In fact the only reason I gave it up in the end was because when I was pregnant with Small I used to fall asleep at the match! My favourite times were the Brian Little days and my very favourite player was Muzzy Izzet. Someone bought me a LCFC garden gnome showing his bottom and I called it Muzzy Gnome. That gnome sat in our garden in the Village, Leicestershire, England and then crossed the sea in a container for six weeks to sit in our garden here in the Hamlet, Ontario, Canada. Yesterday a friend of mine said on facebook that he was going out with some friends plus the legend that is Muzzy Izzet. I messaged him back to say "tell him I have a gnome named after him". This morning I received a photo of Muzzy sticking his to tongue out at me. LOVE IT! Thanks MrTree for sharing that with me.

If only he was showing his bottom!

We had a nice slow morning of skyping Grandma, breakfast, jigsaw, showers, planning birthday cake, watching football and playing on the IPads.

This afternoon we went out to celebrate Smallest's birthday (which is actually tomorrow but stuff to do). We went into town and to one of our favourite restaurants. As we walked in I told the waitress it was his birthday and she gave me a secretive nod. We had lovely food which the boys couldn't quite finish but insisted they wanted pudding as it was a birthday meal. We agreed to look at the menu but said we didn't want any. Of course, we all ended up with something, though the boys had to take theirs home because it was too much for their big eyes!

When they bought Smallest's pudding there was a candle in it and three of them came and sang Happy Birthday. As they didn't know his name they substituted it with Geoffrey (which is funny because that is what we call Small when he is being a 'know-it-all' purely because he speaks a bit like Zippy from Rainbow and Zippy always says "eerrr Geoffrey"). Anyway we found it extremely funny but the waiter didn't know why and Smallest thought we had told him to call him Geoffrey. He blew out his candle, we finished pudding and then we drove off to buy one of his presents.

We bought him a new boom box. A bluetooth radio that plays songs from the IPad (so we have given him the old IPad we first bought too - to be fair he is the only one who uses it now anyway). He is a lucky boy.

We drove on to a park as requested by Smallest though it was quite chilly next to the lake. The car park was roped off and the park was covered in ice, we were joking that we were surprised that the park wasn't cordoned off too due to health and safety. We walked to the exercise park and guess what? It was all locked up, each individual piece of equipment. Oh my goodness, what a disappointing world we live in that things have to be locked to prevent us doing damage and suing!!!

We walked on to the pier but there was a sign there that said "do not enter - danger - ice". We did but we were very careful ahem! After a little walk (it really was cold), the boys briefly went on the swings and we came home.

They played outside for a while.

Just to prove to myself that the snow really is melting and there is evidence of living plants and grass.

Huffle loaded the IPad with Smallest's favourite music. Small and I wrote our cards and wrapped his presents and then we did Small's homework which was Small explaining all the work he has done recently on his Book Club and Readers Response and me checking if he understood what he had written and read and whether he explained it well. He did. I enjoyed seeing what he had been up to and I think he enjoyed showing me.

The boys had tea in front of Pokemon. I did a but more jigsaw (I find it very soothing and calming) and Huffle sorted out music.

A nice day. Smallest is very excited about his birthday tomorrow. We asked him what a seven year old does that a six year old doesn't. He said nothing! He says he will come into us at 2am to open his presents. We told him he will be sent off with a flea in his ear. He thought that was very funny.



* Smallest was listening to my music this morning and he thought that was what the lyrics were! It wasn't!! I don't think Jamiroquai ever sang that!


Friday, 28 March 2014

Who's he? The cats father?

More snow last night and then today lots of rain. The problem we are faced with now is that the drive is a big block of ice with lots of huge puddles of rain and melted snow. The drive runs down towards the road but unfortunately there is no way for the water to escape onto the road. I was out there first thing trying to break the ice in my PJ's while the boys were waiting for their bus. I got wet through. I gave up without much luck and came in and had breakfast before getting ready to go to Knitting.

There weren't many of us at knitting this week, but the ones that were there were lovely. They told me that I have two homes, one in the UK and one here. They were very supportive and helped me to see why we are here. They promised to take me for coffee whenever I needed it. They are lovely people. I also got an invitation to stay in Vancouver for free as long as I help them identify plants in their gardem. DONE! I got hardly any knitting done today as we were all too busy talking. In fact I got myself in a right mess and poor DP had to sort me out again. I should know better than to take anything with me that needs concentration.

On the way home I popped into a supermarket (I found my lost list in the car) and bought a few things for the weekend, drove home and had my lunch in front of Mr Selfridge.

I did a bit more decoupage on Smallest's 'F' this time .......

.......and I made a Macaroni Cheese for dinner (and an extra one for Smallest to take to swimming), by which time the boys were home. We had the normal rush before swimming and headed off. Today Smallest started his new Level 7 class. It looked a lot of hard work and at times he struggled. He is by far the youngest and smallest person in his class but he did brilliantly. By the time he finished he was starving. Small played on the IPad waiting for his lesson to start. Smallest ate his dinner (which was miraculously still warm) in the reception and Small started his new class, Swim Club. They started with pressups and the plank. Within five minutes of him being in the pool I could tell he wasn't happy. He kept fake-grinning at me and I tried to ask him what was wrong but he said nothing. I guessed he wasn't happy at the amount of swimming he was being asked to do. It wasn't particularly competitive but the class was full of girls and they swam and swam and swam. There was another class going on at the same time which was Life Saving and I spoke to one of the mums (Alfies old teacher) about the class as her daughter was doing it. I wondered if Small would have preferred that class so I briefly spoke to the receptionist who said he could swap if he really wanted to. I said I would ring her next week when I had spoken to him. When he came out he rushed into the changing rooms, he was not happy! When I asked him about it, he burst into tears. He was clearly upset but his friend was close by and he didn't want him to see. The man next to him said his daughter was doing the same class and that it was hard but that if he could stick with it, it would be very good for him and would look good in the future. Poor Small I felt so sad for him. I don't know if it is because we have been away from swimming for three weeks, just had a holiday, jet lag, hunger.... Who knows. We spoke it about once home and he said if I really wanted him to he would give it another go but I know he doesn't really want to. I am just worried that it is the only exercise he gets and he is at that age where he starting to put on a bit of weight. We spoke about it again when he went to bed and he is going to find out from his school friends where they do indoor football/soccer then we will discuss the swimming some more.

Huffle made a lovely path for us in the ice on the drive and made a gully for the water to go onto the road - clever Huffle.

Smallest's party is going ahead and all invitees have replied. He is very happy and has asked for a Pokemon cake - oh joy! I thought about doing just a Pikachu but he has decided he wants the pokemon stadium and will show me what it looks like tomorrow. Also he has made a deal with one of his friends that they can eat a Pikachu Lovely. Can't wait!

Tonight I had a bit of a wobble. Yahoo was being nice to me on text, the ladies at knitting were being supportive, I had emails and comments from friends. I was upset about Small and his swimming and then Huffle made me talk about how I felt - it all got too much. I have been holding it all in for a couple of days. Silly billy. I am very homesick and I feel isolated here and I know the weather isn't helping. I don't have a solution but Huffle says it's invitable that after seeing that many people in such a short time and then coming back to virtually no-one, had to have an effect. I'll get through it and I am grateful to those of you that message me, it's nearly like having you here. It's my fault for having such good friends on the other side of the world!


Thursday, 27 March 2014


Today! As the bus came early again, I realised that maybe the clock in the living room was slow! DOH! I changed the clock to read the same as the others but I will make sure the kids are ready early tomorrow again just in case!

Everyone went off and left me. I had breakfast and watched another Sewing Bee. I had a shower, dried my hair and then went out to do a few errands. Post Office, Thrifty Store, Consignment Store, Bank (where I learned that to pay a cheque into your own bank it needs to be signed by the person to whom the cheque is issued. I had one cheque made out to myself and one to Huffle and they wouldn't let me sign his even though we have a joint account - I don't even know why you need to sign it on the back? Anyway they let me just this once but I have to make sure it is signed in the future!), and Supermarket. Half way round the supermarket I lost my list so forgot what I was buying. Still, I got some lemon so I could give Small a Hot Lemon and Honey as he had a sore throat earlier (I did give him some Aloe Gelly, Superwoman, too).

Today I decoupaged one of Small's 3D letters. Now Smallest wants his done too

Once home, I went off to visit to The Royals to give them a little something for looking after the house. I had a nice chat with Mr Royal and then came home and waited for the boys to come home.

Tonight we discussed and planned Smallest's birthday. We have decided we will go out for a meal on Saturday (his birthday is Sunday but it is also the Kubkar racing event), and he has asked for five of his friends to come for tea on Tuesday.

All gadgets were banned yesterday evening because of arguing and due to arguing this morning, banned again for this evening. I am hoping this will get the messge across that arguing doesn't get them what they want! Ha, we will see.

Smallest is still very sensitive and cried during a game of Snakes of ladders. Jetlag? Homesick? He told us he wanted to live in England because it has warm winters and his friends are there and we did more fun things. BUT IT WAS A HOLIDAY! I am a bit homesick at the moment, possibly because of the weather but also because I am BORED! I know there is plenty of decorating to do but the paintbrushes don't talk back to me. I need the warmer weather so I can get back in the garden and be with the plants (they don't don't talk back either but this constant snow makes me feel a bit isolated). Enough of my moans, there are people out there with real problems.........


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

It's dripping!

The bus came five minutes early again but this time we were ready for it. Huffle worked from home.

I stayed in today and did some reorganising, tidying, painting, sewing, baking and bread making. I also managed to watch a Sewing Bee where I saw the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London (where Aunty A and I went to) and a Mr Selfridge.

The boys had had a good day, no incidents. Both had brought home leaflets asking if we wanted a Spring photo with a fake picture of a forest or flowers behind with them in a strange unnatural pose. NO THANK YOU.

Small did his revision and some homework and Smallest and I tidied his room. What a pigsty, however we did find his camera charger which was the whole point of doing it. We played a game of Mancala until he got upset for no reason. Huffle went to the dentist and when he came home we all had homemade soup and bread and the boys had rice pudding and Ginger Muffins for pudding.

We all played Table Tennis and then Hufle and I played.

Still tired!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

I'll have a mouse-free one please

The boys missed their bus today. It arrived five minutes early, didn't stay longer than 30 seconds and the kids weren't quite ready in time. I had to drive them to school and then rush back to get to work. Today I replanted many many many Rudbeckias for a regeneration project. Bloomin' little things with their huge long roots! However we got to try some lovely Chocolate Orange Coffee cake with coffee. Now today I learnt that a coffee cake is just cake you have with coffee and there is no coffee in it whatsoever. It was lovely and just slightly sticky on the outside, which I later learned was Grand Marnier. Oooh perfect. I wore my new gardening shoes that I bought whilst in the UK and now two of the ladies want them. I put in an order with Moo.

I came home armed with six Amaryllis plants. All different flowers. They were being thrown away and they were so beautiful. Hopefully I can keep them going for a while and put them to bed till they flower again.

I skyped Moo and we had a lovely chat, ate my lunch and watched The Sewing Bee - love it! I had a tidy up, a sweep and I started to mop before it ran out of moppy liquid. The boys came home. Smallest said a girl on the bus called him Stupid so he called her Stupid so she told her older sister and her sister said blah blah blah..... OMG why does he get so worried about what people say? I told him to ignore them, they are not worth worrying about and then he fell over and hurt his foot. He is very sensitive at the moment. He ended up hopping to his room and grumping. When he came down he fell off his stool (the little one he helps me make dinner with) and fell off it - so clumsy! Small had a good day though has bought more homework home, I am a bit annoyed as I went to school before we left for the UK and asked if he needed to take work with him and we were told "no, go, have a good time, don't worry about school and work" and yet now he has to catch up on the work he has missed!

Huffle spoke to the Cubs Leader last night and told him we were concerned that Small was left outside allby himself with the building locked and dark (this was a meeting a couple of weeks ago before our trip). The leader was devastated and said he would look into it for us. Today we have an email apology but they want more information in order to make sure it never happenes again. GOOD!

Smallest helped me make dinner again, Small revised for his Science test (all about forces) and we ate dinner when Huffle came home. We watched the end of SpyKids and the start of SpyKids2.

We had more snow today.



Monday, 24 March 2014

A complete overhaul

It was hard getting up this morning. Trying to get back into the old routine of breakfasts, lunches, as well as getting myself ready was a nightmare. Still, Huffle went off to work enthusiastically!?, the boys went off on the bus (one armed with his camera to show his English friends) and the other sporting an injury (a little boys one!!!). I, however, went off to the doctors for a half an hour appointment where I was due a Smear, a medical and a chance to discuss any problems.

I forgot my medical card and had to go home to collect it after my appointment to give to the Doctors assistant (definitely not called a receptionist here!), otherwise I would have been charged heavily. I came away 3/4 hour later with a referral letter for my foot, a repeat prescription and a form to collect bloods some point soon. It was a long process but most things checked out well. My doctor has a sense of humour sometimes, today he definitely had one. I spent some time at Suffolks house where we chatted and I watched her make her quilt (to be honest I was so tired I couldn't do much more). We had lunch and then I went for my dentist appointment where I had a clean. The hygienist told me that Spring is normally very rainy and muddy - oh well that's something to look forward to then!

The boys came home not long after I got home. Smallest's little problem was much better but he had been called a Loser because he was slow in finishing a colouring he was doing - why are kids so mean? Small got his Gifted results back - he does not meet the criteria established for a gifted identification. Apparantly they have to score 98th percentile or higher. He scored 94 on insight and 81 on insight ability. Pretty high all the same. I'm partly relieved because I didn't want to move him to another school (not that he would definitely have had to). It shows he is very clever which we knew anyway. We can get him tested next year if we want but I don't think we will. In England it is the top 10% who are gifted but here it is the top 2%. Interesting seeing as how the schools here are so much more casual. I do feel that Small's work has deteriorated since being here. His spelling is worse and his writing is not as neat. He seems to rush everything too.

Small did his mountain of homework while Smallest and I made dinner. I briefly skyped Moo and LizzieDotDot, Huffle came home and we all had dinner.

Smallest had his bath whilst watching a film and Small went off to Cubs where he worked on his Kubkar.

Still very tired zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Another good night's sleep for everyone. No more snow and temperatures a bit warmer thankfully though still in the minus'. Pancakes for breakfast were the order of the day, mainly to get some fruit into our systems as we have been sadly lacking whilst in England.

Small and I finished off the painting of his Kubkar and Huffle stuck some nickels (5c) together to act as weights for the car, then varnished the while thing with PVA glue. Smallest and I wrote letters to friends in the UK whilst Huffle watched the football (huffle edit - another very pleasing win, well done the stoke)

I started a new crochet project and then Huffle and I started on dinner. Today we had a roast dinner with some lovely green vegetables (much to the boys' disgust - fruit and veggies in one day!).

Small and Smallest played with their lego, Huffle and I played Table Tennis (2-1 to me wahooo), then I took Smallest to his party. It was a Gymnastics party. The whole class were there. Lots of jumping, trampolining, soft play, ball pits and gym stuff. He got elbowed in the head and had an ice pack. I stayed for about half an hour and then when I realised no one else had stayed, I went and shopped. Some of the Mums were so rude when they came in apart from the party girls mum and Smallest's friends mum. Whats the matter with them? One barged past me and cut in while I was talking to someone else - RUDE, one spoke to Smallest and then looked at me and said nothing - RUDE - there is no need for it.

I picked Smallest up from the party. Apparantly his gift was perfect and she was very happy with it. He came away with a basketball and a lollipop which he was very pleased with. We drove home and about 1.5km from home, a woman drove in the middle of the road and nearly hit us head on. Stupid idiot - we honked the horn and she swerved back to her side of the road - WHAT WAS SHE DOING?

Once home Huffle and Small told us they had played table tennis, Monopoly Deal, carcassone, battleships, Monopoloy Millionaire, Connect4, Chess and Mousetrap. Huffle was all gamed out! We had tea in front of the film SpyKids before Smallest had his bath and the boys went to bed.

Still so very tired zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Max Headstrong

Huffle and I fell asleep in front of the TV last night so we gave in and went to bed early. I awoke at 6am after having a dream about Huffle going round a roundabout the wrong way. I was very disorientated and thought we were still in the Barn and I was wondering where the bathroom was - not in my chest of drawers that's for sure! The boys were up at their normal 7ish but that meant they had had a good ten hours sleep. Huffle and I got up about 8ish. It had snowed overnight, not too much but enough to notice.

We spent all day washing and drying and putting our clothes away. The boys played on the gadgets, happy in the knowledge they had unlimited wifi. Huffle shovelled the drive which meant we could drive on and off it but did make it very slippy as it was still very icy underneath. I went to the supermarket to buy food and a present for a party that Smallest is going to tomorrow. I had no problems driving apart drom the odd snow that blew across the road.

We are all very tired and we seem to be hungry at the wrong times. I don't remember that happening with jetlag before!

We skyped Grandma, made Brain Freeze Ice cubes (Smallest's birthday present from Aunty A from the Natural History Museum) and moustaches out of peppers!

In the afternoon we all played on the wii and while the boys did their homework, Huffle and I prepared dinner.

Smallest's homework was to give a new ending to a book called "my tooth is about to fall out". This is his story...... The next day she woke up, her tooth had grew half way but the tooth hurt so she tricked her parents and she didn't clean her teeth, that night all her teeth fell out. It hurt so much she cried and rushed into her parents room, she said 'yesterday I didn't brush my teeth and they all fell out". When it was morning they went to the dentist. When they got home all her teeth were false. The teeth were half silver and half gold. The dentist wasn't pleased. The next day she signed up for baseball, she was batting, the ball knocked all her teeth out, she had to get new teeth, those teeth got knocked out too. She wasn't allowed to get new ones. She couldn't eat, she couldn't drink, she didn't live. Just in one week! THE END. Well that's a sad story!

Small's homework was maths and when he had done most of it, he had a go at doing his Kubkar for Cubs. I helped him mask the lines and he painted it. It is looking very cool. Grandad cut it into a fine racing car shape and it is half painted with a Union Jack. Very cool.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Hello Canada

Huffle's alarm went off at 5:30am and then mine went off shortly after. He wanted us to be out of the house by 6am and after a few opening and closing of bags and frantically searching for this, that and the other, we did actually manage to get out of the house by 5:50 (thats good for us). Our first stop was the farmhouse to drop the keys off. No-one was about so they just went through the letter box and away we went. Goodbye Leicestershire, we love you very much and we had a fabulous time.

It was a fairly uneventful journey (though I felt travel sick so just closed my eyes and snoozed on and off). The boys were fine (apart from Smallest needing a wee but that was inevitable). The hire car was dropped off with no incidents and we got a taxi very quickly. The taxi charged us over and above what he should have but we had no room to argue, plus he went very fast and possibly thought his vehicle was much smaller than it actually was! Huffle got our boarding passes and bag tags and off we went to drop the suitcases off. Again no incidents. Finally we found a place to have breakfast and relaxed. SIGH. Small chose a croissant and jam. Smallest had a childs Full English Breakfast and Huffle and I had toast. I had two coffees before I felt even remotely awake and we ordered more toast to feed me, Huffle and Small. We took our time and answered texts and emails and said our virtual goodbyes. Next we moved to the Departure Lounge which was very busy and very full. We only had just over an hour to spare so we read or played on the Ipads.

Once our gate was opened we walked a few miles and got on the plane. So far so good. Huffle had booked us seats in front of each other which was much easier for passing gadgets, headphones and sweets around. Huffle and Smallest sat together (ha ha, Smallest went to the toilet 50 times!) and Small and I sat together. My headphones wouldn't work so I had some AirCanada ones which were rubbish so Small lent me his to watch The Hunger Games2. I really enjoyed it. I played for a bit on Small's DS, drank lots of water and ate Minstrels. Smallest played on the IPad and DS and watched Thor2. Huffle listened to music through his new Blue Tooth headphones (thank you Grandma and Grandad) and Smallest watched, played, ate and went to the toilet.

As we started to descend we could see there was still a lot of snow about. BOOOOO. However, once we landed and got off and out of the airport, we noticed an awful lot had melted too.

Waiting for the taxi, Smallest's hair grew a strange extension!

Getting a taxi was interesting. Huffle had booked it via the company (or his secretary had) and he had to queue up in a very long queue so he could tell the man in the taxi booth he had pre-arranged a Taxi and then the booth man would page the taxi and he would come. Well that's all well and good if there isn't a huge queue and someone answering the pager. In the end Huffle just rang the taxi man and he came. He was an interesting driver. He drove fine on the Highway but as soon as he got off and was on the normal roads he slowed right down and kept taking his foot off the accelerator, not braking but it made for a jerky car ride all the way home. Not sure what that was all about! Anyway we got home. There was still a significant amout of snow, and we could tell it had snowed as the driveway was full of it, but there has also been quite a lot of meltage. Grandad Easter is poking his head out of the garden and there are tall plants poking through (no idea if they are still alive but I'm sure they are fine).

Inside there was a Pot of Tulips on the kitchen table welcoming us home from the Royals. Thats nice. The boys had a bit of tea and watched TV while Huffle and and I emptied the suitcases and put the first load of washing on.

We are all very very tired. At the time of writing this it should be 12:15 tomorrow but it is only 20:15 so we are not allowed to go to bed yet. However, we got very confused when looking at the times and clocks because apparently the clocks went forward while we were away. As if our body clocks weren't confused enough!

We had a fabulous time in England..............

......catching up with LOTS of people, including family, friends and a new baby.......

.....eating LOTS of lovely food, take away, home cooked and restaurants and cafes.....

and reminiscing and revisiting of old favourite places and some new.

Thank you to all who made that special effort to see us, fit us in, take us out, bring us food, take our food away and generally make us feel welcome.


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Village Life

Today we went back to our old Village where we lived for ten years and where both children were born. Huffle and I always dreamed of living a quiet life in a small village and when a house came up for sale in Billesdon (a most desirable sought after village location), we jumped at the chance to live there. We looked at the garden over the very neat manicured hedge and fell in love with it straight away. Once inside, we discovered parquet floors and terracotta floor tiles hidden under purple swirly carpet and thick windowsills covered with many layers of white paint and sticky back plastic. There was a pantry with an original stone where meat would once have been kept and outside outhouses and toilet (as well as an inside bathroom!). We thought that house would be our forever home and it seemed huge. Then along came Small and the house became busy and more full. Then we had Smallest and we realised that one tiny bathroom and two adults and two children didn't work. So we had an architect draw up some plans to convert the loft into another bedroom and a bathroom. It was all very exciting. Then we got the chance to move to Canada and you know the rest......

On the way we encountered some lambs on the road, so after I had taken their photograph, I usherd them back into their field. Ahhhhhhh

So today, we started our day by visiting the boys old school. When we rang the bell, the Headmistress came to the door. She knew we were due to visit but didn't know what day. She recognised us immediately, apologised as she was in the middle of teaching but said we could walk around as we wanted. MrsN was the first class we encountered. Small's old teacher but not his school mates. She explained to the class who we were though some of them knew us already. She told them all about where we lived and asked lots of questions. Next we went to Small's class (his friends) and the teacher stopped their maths class and the whole class asked us lots of questions. We stayed for ages until lunchtime when Small went off and sat with his old friends while they ate their lunch and played with them on the school field. Smallest stayed with us and we visited the staff room and talked to the teachers.

We then drove to the next village where we met up with Aunty Miaow, Uncle Tuc and Little Yorkshire Pudding. We had a lovely meal (LYP did too!) and a chat but unfortunately we had to leave. Lots of hugs and kisses and many promises to Skype and a future visit.

Uncle Tuc, Beer and baby, me and Aunty Miaow.


These two are going to be fabulous parents. Already, they are working together as a team. They will make a lovely lovely family xxxxx

We went back to Billesdon to go to the local shop where we all walked in and the owners glanced at us and said hello, then glanced again and asked if we were okay, then glanced again and realised who we were. We chatted and the owner said "so where are you now, Leicester?" "No" said Huffle, "still Canada". He had forgotton we had gone there. Oh dear, so easily forgotton. We bought some nice things to take back and the boys spent some of their money and we walked on to the Post Office where we chatted to Joan and Huffle printed off our boarding passes. We were just in time for the school coming out so we walked to the playground, talked to lots of people we haven't seen for ages and then took the kids to the park to play. LizzieDotDot and her lot were there. Everett and her little one was there. Rach was there with Iz and a few others. The boys had a great time playing, climbing trees and hiding Smallest's hat. All the friends played together again like they always did. LizzieDotDot brought her flask so we had something warm to drink and handed out Jam Tarts - just like old times, it was really cold. I had forgotten how high and windy The Village was.

Our old house (a little less loved than when we lived there maybe)

Old friends climbing trees and us all walking back from the park.

Huffle went off to sit and chat to C&M, our old neighbours and have a warm by their lovely open fire. I stayed with the mums and the boys. It was very hard to say goodbye to Everett and LizzieDotDot again. I visited with C&M again and then we left to come back to the barn.

We finished some more packing and then Moo arrived. Not long after Grandma and Grandad and CousinPest arrived. We finished off all the food, tried the homemade wine and chatted about our two week visit. MrsChappo and her two kids arrived to say goodbye. OChappo and Small went straight upstairs and chatted as if they had never been away. RChappo and Smallest were a bit shy of each other but we got some nice photos of them all.

Chappos and family

Lovely friends.

Smallest, OChappo, Small and RChappo.

We had stories before bed which we all made up, then lots of kisses and huggles, working out it was only 83 days till we saw Moo again and then the barn was quiet. The kids fell asleep very quickly I blogged and Huffle put the cases in the car.



Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Weatherman gave us a gift*

This morning Huffle and I slept in. Oooh lovely. The boys, of course, were up at their normal 7ish. We got ourselves ready and while the boys (Huffle included) waited for Grandma and Grandad, I went off to Kibworth to meet a friend in an Antiques Barn. I had no idea where the place was or what it was called. I also had no wifi connection to contact her. I told the sat nav to find antiques places nearby and it found 21. Oh dear. Luckily as I got into Kibworth, there was a huge sign that told me there was a new antiques place serving coffee. Well as I hadn't had my morning coffee, I felt the pull of the place. My friend MrsSpice was there to meet me. We met at swimming when Smallest was much smaller and the kids all played together. Ahhh it was lovely to see her and catch up. We actually spent a long time chatting over our coffee/tea and then eventually went for a look around. I could have bought so much but she kept telling me I wouldn't get it in my case!!!

Piiiigalo, the piggies are coming, pigalo, pigalo, coming for you, pigalo, pigalo........

Lovely coffee pots

Shame. We left the antiques and went off to the garden centre we went to just before we left England. We picked up a plant for Little Yorkshire Pudding (a lovely white Camelia that should flower every year on his birthday), and then queued in a long line for lunch. We chose a toasted ciabatta which was lovely and then MrsSpice treated us to cake. We chatted and chatted and chatted and then we had to leave.

I drove to Grandmas where I met up with Huffle and the boys. They had been into town on a mission to see King Richards bones but unfortunately they were not on show. Huffle was very disappointed. The boys got some new books (thank you Grandma) and I got a Lemon split Bun. We had a nice wander down Grandad's garden and listened to plans for the year. We all played cricket and swingball which was far too energetic.

Lovely flowers from Grandad's garden

I left them all again and went into town to meet up with Dot and Rose who I worked with many moons ago. Aunty Snow also joined us. It was lovely reminiscing and catching up as it has been quite a while since we saw each other. We had a lovely meal and chat and then I drove back to Grandmas to take the boys and Huffle back home. I popped in to see Aunt Pear and say goodbye. We had a nice chat before I left again to go back to Grandmas.

We drove home and sorted out all the stuff we were taking home and made a list for customs.

*a lovely quote from Small about the weather since we have been here. Smallest added 'of some lovely sunshine'.

Unc Pear was in the Leicester Mercury being grumpy about a golf club being closed down. Is he holding the Filbert Fox - ahhhh bless.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A pudding and a meadow

Today we got to meet The Little Yorkshire Pudding for the first time. We got up extra early (but still managed a lie-in) and arrived while he was fast asleep. Aunty Miaow and Uncle Tuc didn't get a lot of sleep last night but they certainly didn't look like they had just had a newborn baby, had a chaotic few days and had no sleep. Little Yorkshire Pudding was adorable and wearing a baby grow we had bought. I was allowed to pick him up and wake him and we sat snuggling for a while until he tried to find food and I passed him to his MumMiaow who duly fed him whilst he had hiccups! Then another cuddle until I passed him back to DadTuc who had to change him. Back to Mum for more feed and then Huffle got a cuddle.

Introducing the lovely Little Yorkshire Pudding

UncleTucs Mum arrived. She is lovely and we had a good chat when the Midwife came. They have a newly qualified midwife who stays with them for ages which is nice as having a new baby is quite a shock to the system.

We stayed for a cup of tea, some flapjack, chats, cuddles and then left them to it. Hopefully we get to see them again before we go. We drove to a pub and had dinner. Smallest was given a present and we decided to let him open it as customs may not have been impressed with a wrapped present from someone else that we didn't really know what was it in. He got a remote controlled mini. He was very impressed.

More unofficial birthday and an 8oz steak (Grandad's hero of the day)

Small and I got to have Scampi which we can't get in Canada so that was another tick of our boxes. Smallest had an 8oz steak which he thoroughly enjoyed. Huffle had a pie. It was a nice relaxing lunch and we drove on to find a park. Unfortunately as we arrived at the park it started to rain very heavily. We stayed in the car until it cleared up and then explored the park.

A bit of Xylophoning, Ziplining, Swinging and a Wooden Squirrel

Climbing, Swinging and a Living Willow Tunnel

Small went on the slide and got his bum wet. We all went on the zip wire and Smallest went on the swing. It started raining again so we dived for the car and went in search of MrsElderflowerMeadows new house. She moved the day we arrived so we hadn't been there yet. We found it, hugged lots, had a cup of tea and waited for the kids to come home from school.

Oh my, how they have grown! All the kids got on really well and played well. Just like they always did. Of course MissElderflowerMeadow was too old to play now but she drew me a picture and told us all about 1Direction and other bands she liked to listen to. Teenagers eh! We had some lovely cream cakes too.

The ElderflowerMeadow family and Small and Smallest

The kids left to go to MrElderflowermeadows and Small and Smallest played on their tablet while we waited for MrsEM to come home. We chatted loads and it was really hard to leave her again. Hate goodbyes!!!!!

We drove back to the barn where the boys had a bit of tea in front of the TV and Huffle and I tried to work out the logistics of tomorrows schedule.

"It's a bit black over Bill's Brothers"