Monday, 28 May 2007

things I will miss when I leave the UK: #1

Potato farl: a thin toast-sized breakfast food from Ireland.

Ant buys potato farls as a treat for a cooked breakfast. They are a flat bread made from mashed potatoes and a bit of flour and salt and griddle cooked. Ant eats his smothered in runny eggs, but I want mine unadorned so I can savour the mealy goodness. I have just had two with an egg and coffee; yum, yum. It makes them all the more delicious that they were served to me on a tray while I sat in bed with my laptop.

I am sure that many readers will comment (!) telling us what they miss about the UK now that they are gone. Ahem, ahem, Sarah, Jayme, Mum, Dad, Si. I'll tell you more of mine in future post as I seek to enjoy what I currently have, not unlike Micah, Anna, Justin, Matt, Bree, Matt, ahem, ahem.

Sunday, 27 May 2007


I am extremely comfortable after Ant deemed me a bit cold on the couch. I now have four blankets, one pillow on each side of my head and also a pillow under my feet.

He's gone out to the kitchen to make some hot beverages so I can make it through the 24 marathon we embarked on this evening. In truth we are almost finished. We watched two episodes already and there is only one hour to go in the series.

I am having hot chocolate a la Antoine. What a great dome of foam I have!

My blogging addiction is back with a vengeance after Sonya nagged me a bit.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

new dress

Ant's Nan bought me this dress when it appeared in the Marks & Spencer's sales recently. She is always on the look-out for me which results in fantastic, cheap outfits once or twice a year.

I took this picture with the laptop webcam. And I figured out how to flip it this time so that it's not a mirror image. You can just see my blue box of shoes in the background.

Ant said that picture sucked--apparently I look a bit bedraggled after a recent shower. Here's a few alternative shots taken by Ant.

Observe my gray tights. I am still on a bit of a tights kick.

Friday, 25 May 2007

more posting!

All right, all right. Leave off. I'll post more often. Forget about the rest of life. Forget the mounds of marking (it's exam season!). Forget the nice weather. Forget sleeping (for example, tonight). Just for Sonya I will post.

I spent Wednesday at a primary school (apparently) learning about the transition between primary and secondary school. What I really learned was how to make a sandwiches with a really nice year three class (eight year olds). It was so much fun to be away from my stressful students for a day. Plus I got to go to book club in the evening. Our book for the coming month is The Tenderness of Wolves.

Anyone want to read along with us? Matt is now an official member of the book club as well, scorning its status as a gathering for Canadians. (It is run by the Canada Network, you know.) Speaking of Matt, he and I are going to a Dana Centre talk next week called Punk Science. Sounds like fun! And one of the book club members says she can help Matt meet some head honcho at the Dana Centre. Matt envisions himself as the Punk Maths Man.

More later. Ok?!

Sunday, 20 May 2007

weekend activities

I am sitting on the couch sipping water from a wine glass with a sparkly red pipe-cleaner bow around it. Heehee. Thanks to Ant! I have been marking Year 7 Optional Exams this week and weekend and am near the end--it's all done except totaling the papers I left on my desk at work, and one set of mental maths papers. Just in time, since on Wednesday I'll get a big stack of Year 8 Optional Exams to mark. The wine glass of water is a gimmick to help me stay motivated during marking, not my favourite thing, as you may already know.

Another activity this weekend included a good bye brunch for Si on Saturday. We made the poshest cheese on toast ever, from a Waitrose recipe, which also allowed us to participate in British Sandwich week just in time. We are so sad to see Si go, but excited that he's found a really good job. On Saturday evening we went to a traditional English pub with Mot and Ness and Matt and Si. Ant (and other blokes) had a massive beef mince and onion pie which had a swimming pool of gravy. My apple pie was similarly swamped in custard. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

music downloaded so far

all of the Sloan album, Never Hear the End of It
Blue Rodeo: Already Gone
Chris Rice: Short Term Memory (album)
Ginny Owens: Long Way Home (album)
Holly Cole Trio: Neon Blue
Kings of Leon: Molly's Chambers
Madeleine Peyroux: Exceptionally Ordinary
Sarah McLachlan: Possession; Shelter; Stupid

Sunday, 13 May 2007

a mixture

Ah, this fair city. A confused mixture, at times, of old and new.

It's beautiful that there is so much of the old city surviving. In odd places you find an historic building and a modern office side by side. This picture is from a walk Ant and I did at Easter near Borough market.

Yesterday Sarah (a colleague of mine) and I cycled to work. We were trying to find a good route for her to start biking regularly. We were tired out when we got back, but we think we found a decent route. One thing she will be avoiding is a railway crossing that involved about twenty-five steps up and then down. Never again! Instead she'll be using a cycle path that I used in the autumn and quite a few nice residential roads.

In the evening, Matt, Si, Ant, and I hosted a Eurovision Song Competition party. The songs were awful but the party was brilliant. Si made pitta dippers and baked tortilla crisps and we ate chopped veggies, grapes, nuts, and apple cake. Each of us became an ambassador for one country, wearing a sash with a rosette. None of us picked Serbia, the eventual winner. We thought their song was pretty terrible, actually. I suppose that none of the songs were very good, though. I was supporting Turkey; their lead singer was a slimy looking guy in a red suit accompanied by four short-skirted ladies. They came fourth--not too bad!

I was leading worship this morning. My song of the day was by Ian White.

You are merciful to me.
You are merciful to me.
You are merciful to me, my Lord.
Every day my disobedience grieves your loving heart,
but then redeeming love breaks through and causes me to worship you.
Redeemer (Redeemer),
Saviour (Saviour),
healer (Healer),
and friend (and friend).
Every day (every day)
renew my ways (renew my ways)
fill me with love (fill me with love)
that never ends (that never ends).
You are merciful to me.
You are merciful to me.
You are merciful to me, my Lord.

The theme of worship was the names of God. We finished with this song. Even when we look to our own circumstances, problems, and sins, we come back to the names of God. The final word is that God is our Redeemer and Saviour, healer and friend.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

book suggestion needed

Ant made a New Year's resolution that he would read twelve books this year. He has been steadfastly sticking to this plan, and takes a book to work every day to read over lunch or on the tube when he's not cycling. He started with Bloodletting and Other Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam in January and since then he's read the Bourne Triology by Robert Ludlum(The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremecy, The Bourne Ultimatum) and a hilarious book called Falling Sideways by Tom Holt (he was laughing out loud while we were flying last weekend). This week he started The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John LeCarre that I picked out for him. I'm going to read it when he's done.

He doesn't know what to do next. He asked me to write this post to ask you for suggestions. He likes to read well known authors and he needs a book that will keep him riveted from the beginning. He doesn't mind if it's a large book (the last Bourne book was 700+ pages!). Any help would be very welcomed!

Friday, 11 May 2007

ice caves

Amazingly, some of the photos Ant took with his phone last weekend came out. The caves (see below for main post about Austria) were dark except for lamps that a few visitors were entrusted with. Our guide lit a magnesium taper at the points where he stopped to talk to us. The caverns inside the cave structure were huge and the ice was massive.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

beautiful maths

I want to get this T-shirt!

Salzburg weekend

We spent the weekend in Austria with Matt and eight others. Main activities? Eating, drinking, walking around the city, gawking at scenery, a tour of the ice caves nearby. It was so nice to see some different scenery. The river was beautiful; we walked along it from our hotel to the main city every day, several times.

On both Saturday and Sunday night we spent some time at a huge beer garden and brewery--possibly Matt's favourite part of the trip. The beer is sold in massive half liter or full liter steins.

A trip to the ice caves was my favourite outing. Despite not really having the correct shoes for the occasion, we set out anyway to a mountain about an hour's drive from the city. They are the world's largest ice caves, accessed by a very winding drive, a twenty minute hike, a cable car ride, and another twenty minute hike. We entered the cave with a guide who took us through the cave system--700 steps up and then 700 down. The caves were spectacular, and hopefully some of Ant's pictures will come out. The caves were very dark (understandable, since they are deep inside a huge mountain) but some lit shots can be found on the caves' website.

Monday, 7 May 2007

a good use for €10

We were away in Salzburg the last two nights with Matt and eight others (his former work colleagues). We were staying at a little hotel in North Salzburg and they had a brilliant continental breakfast for €10. On Sunday morning I definitely got my money's worth. I ate a bowl of granola with yogurt, brown bread with cheese, half a croissant, a Babybel cheese, a bowl of cornflakes with milk, a cup of coffee, a glass of orange juice, cucumber, tomato slices, fruit salad, berry yogurt, another bowl of granola with yogurt, two halves of hard boiled eggs, and a glass of mandarin juice. Breakfast is truly the best meal of the day and I can eat it forever!

More news after I get my photos onto my computer.