Wednesday, 30 August 2006

my bike

Here is a shot of my bike. Yesterday we took two more routes to and from school and the journey is now at 40 minutes. I expect this will be my normal time.

Monday, 28 August 2006

learning to cycle

Since buying a bike in Canada and shipping it here on the airplane, I have been relearning how to cycle. I want to cycle to work when I begin next week. It's about an 8 mile journey and Ant is helping me get ready for it. On Friday we went to Imperial College to work. Cycling there was a scary proposition for me, since we had to spend quite a bit of time on a very scary road in Kensington. We walked across a few of the biggest junctions instead of crossing traffic. We made it there in about an hour. On the way back I was much more confident, and we cut down our time dramatically to about 40 minutes. On that trip, Ant rode behind me, which allowed me to feel more protected in traffic.

Yesterday we mapped out a route to my school and set off in the early afternoon. The cycle maps provided by the city of London colour code routes that are cycle-friendly. On our way there, we took quite a bit of paths through parks and along a river. Unfortunately, this was not as pleasant as it sounded beforehand. The paths were gravelled, and would be unlit at night. The parks sections were filled with people walking their dogs or pushing prams. One park was so large that we got lost inside it and, of course, there were no signposts on the paths. The last section of the journey was excellent, since there was a wide cycle path alongside a long road, separate from both traffic and pedestrians. The whole journey took over an hour. When we arrived at the school, we stopped for a coffee at a restaurant down the street.

While at the restaurant we reviewed the map and planned a very different route home. We used the same good cycle path for the first third of the journey, but then followed medium sized roads instead of going into the parks. These roads were much better and we made great time. It took about 50 minutes to get home again. Before that trip I didn't realise that our street is actually a hill from the Sainsburys end to here--quite tiring on a bike since the gradient is small but the hill is long.

I am feeling pretty positive about cycling at the moment. Although I have a lot of pain in my backside from the hard seat and the bumps! We are going to travel to the school a few more times this week to finalise a good route for me.

Sunday, 27 August 2006

fire door; keep shut

While out with Roople tonight, we stopped at a cafe on Leicester Square. Down the stairs there was this door. It's propped open with a fire extinguisher!

Saturday, 26 August 2006


I demand fresh eggs. These are definitely fresh; in fact, the hen came right over to the carton and laid the last egg in it.

Friday, 25 August 2006


Halifax is always changing. Each time I go there it seems familiar, yet a bit different. Ant says this is like when you use your digital camera to take a panoramic picture. The camera gives you a portion of the previous photo on the side to help you line up the next section. Returning home is like finding the overlap a bit fuzzy and not being able to quite get what you're seeing to line up with the previously taken image.

I went to a few new restaurants in Halifax this summer. One was Luxx, found in the old home of the Birmingham Bar and Grill. The food at Luxx was excellent, and Bonita and I were really pleased with the helpful service and cool plates. We enjoyed the sun on the balcony and catching up during our too short meeting. I went with my mum and dad to their new Chinese restaurant, Jeans. The portions were huge and provided us with more than one meal of leftovers. (While on our way into Jeans, we found a cell phone. My dad patiently paged through myriad contacts trying to discover to whom it belonged. Its owner phoned and came to retrieve it during the meal.) I dragged Gregg to the salad bar at Pete's Frootique, which was a stellar experience. The staff member who helped us was funny and helpful and the food was great. While in their seating area I had no trouble finding a wireless network to join and we laughed the time away. Finally, I went with Richard to Saege, a fantastic new restaurant on Spring Garden Road. Our food was delicious, the service was attentive, and the conversation was inspiring.

Other changes in Halifax: more potholes (or perhpas I am more surprised by them), lots of smokers, friends with new jobs or places or circumstances (like Sara, Gregg, Carolyn, Glenn). The tree in Grammie and Grandad's front yeard seemed so much taller than I last remember it. My parents' garden and house are always changing--and the Halifax airport as well. It's been under construction of some sort since I was knee high to a grasshopper. They have renovated every area and now are doing it again!

Sunday, 20 August 2006

what a cute baby

I have just returned from visiting Sonya and Kevin and their lovely little girl. She is a darling and slept the whole time I was there. She is getting lots of attention from family members and friends who have been visiting today.

Saturday, 19 August 2006

congratulations are in order

Two items for celebration! First, Sonya gave birth to a girl last night at 10:22. Congratulations! Apparently Sonya fell asleep for part of the labour, after being given an epidural. Shocking! The doctors woke her up a bit later to instruct her to push. The labour was about seven hours by my calculation.

Secondly, Naomi and Andrew are now engaged. Congratulations! They have been dating since we met them at Waterloo Road Church and now it's official. They are so well suited for each other and are dear friends; we're thrilled.

hands off!

motion sensors + remote control = security for my laptop

Thorught you could fool me? I'll know if you use my laptop when I'm not looking. When I use a piece of software called iAlertU, the remote control can be used to set an alarm when I leave my laptop for a while (it chirps like a car locking). Then if anyone touches the casing, moves it, unplugs the power cord, moves their finger on the trackpad, or presses a button an alarm starts to go off. The screen flashes and the camera takes a picture of the perpatrator. Ha ha!

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

cleaning house and heart

Why is it that cleaning the bathroom is my chosen chore? I started doing it at home when I became disgusted by the state of our family bathroom. When the tub is gleaming and the room smells fresh I am so happy. I cleaned both bathrooms again today as my chosen participation in our house-wide clean-up. And since then, when I have gone into the bathroom I have felt the satisfaction of a job well done. I love the shiny surfaces especially. Maybe that explains it. Ant has always said that I am a magpie--drawn to things that sparkle and shine.

I will refrain from posting a picture of the shiny tub, basin, and toilet. But I'm sure you can imagine it and you can smile with me. :)

I am satisfied in a similar way when I floss my teeth. My mouth feels fresh and airy, almost. I used to say (with my friend Jon) that flossing is like asking for forgiveness. The more you do it the easier it gets. We used to say that you need to floss and confess as often as you can--every day for maximum benefit. I have found prayer difficult with my holiday schedule--or actually, the lack of schedule. I have plenty of time, so my struggle serves to reveal my laziness. I have been prompted to return to prayer again and I was disgusted with the state of my heart. Now for my own sake, I need to keep it up, cleaning out my heart regularly and aiming for a fresh new start each time. Thanks to God that he takes me as I am!

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

wireless mighty mouse

The title says it all!

photo booth

Here are some photos taken from my iSight camera. My cousins have been having fun with it especially!

We saw Kevin and Sonya tonight. Sonya's due date was today but she has not yet given birth. It was good to see them before their big event.

Monday, 7 August 2006

playing with the built-in camera

My new computer has a built in camera that is tiny. It's located in the screen casing. When it is about to take a picture the screen flashes white to act as a flash. Here are some pictures I have taken so far, showing my family and friends how it works.

Dad and I in black and white.

Mum using the coloured pencil effect.

Mum relaxing in her chair.

Grammie and Grandad marvelling at my computer. They also left their first blog comment on that visit.

Jonathan tries out the camera with me.

We use the mirror function to great effect!

Friday, 4 August 2006

welcome to Halifax

Ant and I arrived in Halifax today after a cramped flight with Air Transat. The food was also not great and the flight attendants were a bit rude. It was a relief to be on the ground with friendly faces!

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

in the city

I went into the city today to do a few things for my parents. I go into the city about once a month or so. I was on Oxford street, the street of throngs of people, and tonnes of shops. I went past Selfridges, which always has the most inventive window displays. Here are two of the windows.

I walked past the beautiful Mall, a long broad street that proceeds from Buckingham Palace.

Then I headed into St James's Park to eat my sandwiches. I thought about hiring a deck chair, but since they are priced for four hour or two hour sessions, it didn't really seem worthwhile for my 45 minute break.

I also went to the Clydesdale Bank, based in Scotland. It has a main branch in London. After I did my business there I was coming down the escalator and saw this sign. Somehow I managed to whip my camera out and take this picture. I was surprised not to be set upon by security guards and thrown out.