Friday, April 30, 2010


Caitlin just sent us a photo we haven't seen before. This was taken in Dakar as we waited at the ferry terminal for a ferry to Ile de Goree. We can't wait for the next trip. Better get saving our pennies.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Didn't get to Belgium this week. Caitlin's flight was cancelled due to ashy atmosphere, we didn't have anyone to look after the boys and there was no room on the plane for them. We've re-booked and leave this Sunday now- and for slightly longer. We're "allowed" an extra four days because there is a public holiday in the first week which means we have a full weekend in the middle. Downside (less sleep, more expensive) is that the boys are now coming with us. I'm sure we'll have fun though, and Caitlin is coming over to Belgium to help out.

Here are a couple of pictures I took a week or two ago. Since this photo, spring has sprung and the leaves have emerged. We're making the most of the bug-free days and spending much of our time outside.

If I have stuff to do in the house I will often get the boys outside and then potter about inside: cooking, doing the dishes, laundry, sewing. I am always aware of them and just pop out every few minutes to let them know I'm listening. But lately they have discovered that they can squeeze under the garden fence. It's not worth adapting the fence because we're leaving so soon. Oh, well, I'll guess I'll just have to spend less time on housework and more time outside!

I am fascinated by the effect that being outside has on us. Too much time inside and the boys fight, they compete for my attention, they whine and pretend to be upset at silly little things and my store of patience gets overdrawn rapidly. Going outside immediately fixes a crappy morning and sorts us all out. They play peacefully, both together and individually, they manage fine without me around and they get totally engrossed in whatever they are doing.

Yesterday, Brendan popped his head inside to tell me he was going on a mission to rescue the "who dit noop". I had no idea what he meant and nodded and said "uh huh" and "good luck". I couldn't work out what the who dit noop was so I watched him secretly. He fetched the wheelbarrow, put a bunch of rocks in it, filled it with water from the rain barrel, put some more rocks in, stirred it with a stick, wheeled it across the lawn, dumped it out, took it to the dirt pile... I was thinking he must have abandoned his rescue plans and left the who dit noop to it's fate. He carried on shoveling dirt, then walked around the garden a bit and finally went to a tree at the bottom of the garden and stood looking up at the hula hoop sitting on a branch out of his reach. Ahhhhhh. He hollered, "mummy! can you help me rescue the who dit noop?"

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Volcanoes 1 Humans 0

Eyjafjallajokull erupts

Wow! I feel for all the people stranded and/or losing out in some way but I can't help but feel awe and excitement when I think about this. I also feel gratitude for the Earth's reminder that we humans are not as powerful and in control as many of us think we are :)

Paddy and his friend John are in Morocco and embarking on a Tintinesque adventure to try to get home. They got on an overnight train to Tangier last night and are hoping to get on a boat to Spain and then hitchhike back to the UK. Caitlin and I were imagining them trying to stowaway on one of the British Navy ships that's heading to Northern Spain to help stranded Brits. Although why we didn't think they'd be allowed on legitimately I can't remember. They are genuine stranded holiday makers, albeit without a tour company to sort things out for them. Maybe we stupidly thought they can manage on their own so are not worthy of the help :)

Billy is still stuck in Ireland with not a ferry ticket available for at least a week. He's missing work and thus not getting paid. Hopefully he'll get on a flight sooner than next week.

So, will our HHT go ahead? We are due to leave on Saturday for a week long trip to Belgium to find a house, have a look around, check in at Steve's work, find a doctor, bank etc. Caitlin is due to fly here on Wednesday morning to look after the boys. There's nothing we can do but wait... and consider the possible outcomes.

If none of us can travel we'll postpone the whole thing. If Cait can't travel but we can then we'll see if their grandparents or someone else can have the boys, and failing that, either we'll try to take them with us (which is unlikely to be possible) and maybe get Caitlin over to Belgium to babysit. Last resorts will be that Steve goes alone or we postpone anyway. No strong preferences either way so we'll just hang tight and see what happens.

Watch this space...

In the meantime a normal week has started. We'll head out to a friend's to play this morning then Brendan has preschool this afternoon. Tomorrow is library and lunch in town with friends, Wednesday is playgroup (and hopefully picking up Caitlin). In our free time Steve is studying for his last two exams this week, I'm working on a display for the FredKid fair and we're watching Prof Brian Cox's latest programme Wonders of the Solar System on bbc iplayer and you tube.

Have a good week all.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


We can all breathe a sigh of relief and let the house get back to normal. It was only 9 days until the offer and a further week to iron a few glitches out. It was all fairly straight forward, thank goodness.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New "spot" discovered while exploring

We were trying to find a place we have only seen on googles satellite image of our neighbourhood. Towards the wilder side of the potato farm, not far from our house, we could see a beaver pond and a separate stretch of stream with a treeless floodplain. It looked great from the air but we hadn't got around to bushwhacking through and finding it yet- there is plenty of fun stuff in the woods as it is. But the other day Steve ran into a man with two dogs who said that a trail DID go through to that stream and you could come out on another street. Anyway, he couldn't find the start of the trail that day so the following day I went out determined to find it. And find it we did. After a lengthy stop at the beaver pond to throw rocks (these boys could do that for hours)
We bushwhacked a bit and finally popped out of the woods at this grassy floodplain. Perfect time of year as the grass is just starting to grow so we were able to move around easily. We saw a (dead) salamander and found evidence of people building log bridges to get across. We went upstream a bit and I was beginning to plan how I would get across if there wasn't a bridge. Luckily we found a proper bridge and followed a short trail straight into someone's back garden. The man Steve had met the day before was out working in his garden and he said to come through anytime we liked. He had built the bridge himself last year and liked that others were using it too.

Anyway, this spot is gorgeous. We'll go again and again I'm sure.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A walk in the park

We had a wonderful Sunday this week. A good long walk in O'dell park...

...followed by a great drum circle...

...and topped off by buying our long awaited chariot buggy/bike trailer/second car (not kidding, it costs almost as much as a car) and a walk around downtown Fredericton and along the river.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Springtime is here!

It's Easter weekend and (hopefully) Spring has finally arrived. The weather has been gorgeous and there is nothing better than working and playing outside.

First off, an update on the house. No, it hasn't sold yet but there have been several viewings and people seem to like it so I imagine it is just a matter of time before we get an offer.

To leave the house clean and tidy (a rarity for us), we headed for Fundy National Park on Good Friday to visit some friends. As usual, we had a great time. Hiking, geocaching, awesome meals (thanks Matt), a playgroup, scrambling and beach walks where just a few of the things we did.

We came back on Easter Sunday after the boys finished a really fun and creative Easter Egg hunt set up by Lindsey. I still don`t think I`ve stopped shaking from all the sugar I had from the homemade Chocolate Cream Eggs they made.

On Sunday evening we had another wonderful dinner at Sue & Peter`s house. It was probably the tenth time we`ve eaten at theirs and it is always a warm and comfortable place to chat with friends.

Now it's Monday, the long weekend is almost over but not before we make the most of it. This was our morning snack. Siobhan made a pumpkin cake and brought it down with some drinks.
After our morning snack, the boys went off exploring around the back yard and found the rain barrel. Before I knew it, I heard giggling and splashing from the deck.

The weather was so nice, I couldn`t pass on filling up the baby pool for Brendan. This is him after asking for the last bucket of hot water to take off the chill. He nabbed my hat and jumped in.

Before I knew it, Brendan started splashing me. So there was only one thing I could do.... join him.

So, in summary, it was a beautiful weekend well spent with friends. Thank you very much everyone.