April 28, 2006

Well, it’s done. Mark and Lindie are married. Well, at least we think they are. At this point, we just know that it was supposed to be today, and we were supposed to watch it from afar using the miracle of the internet and webcam. It seems that it wasn’t all that miraculous, and we have seen neither hide nor tail of the newlyweds. If good things happen to good people, however, they had the best day of their lives and there were tears and laughs and dancing and white and cake and drink and some old lady who noone really knows, singing “For they are jolly good fellows”.

Why is there always one of those. I think I will start up a new wedding/party service. It will quickly silence said old folks without causing too much gefuffle. I will need “ninja” somewhere in the name. Not that I have anything against old people. They are great and wise (until they lose their minds) and I respect all they have done, like inventing cars and central heating and beer. I wonder though, how the wisdom doesn’t include knowing that NOONE likes singing that song. Especially when we are forced to sing it 3 or 4 times. Perhaps it’s their own private joke. They know noone will say anything and everyone will join in. They are all probably giggling into their gin and tonics at us silly young fools. As Edmund Blackadder says:”I want to be young and wild. I want to be middle-aged and rich, and I want to be old and annoy people by pretending to be deaf.”

So. I hope “all that” is all that it’s cracked up to be. I wish a dishwasher upon the two of you soonest. If not immediately. You deserve every happiness.

That is all.


Hello from Claire

April 27, 2006

Hello world:) I apologise for my lack of writing recently, but I have been unbelievably busy. The new office I started working in a few weeks ago is crazy busy, I’m seeing close on 40 patients every day as well as 15 or so in the hospital. And because this town is so small they treat all doctors like they are on permanent call, so I assisit in theatre at next to no notice and am constantly answering my pager, plus 24 hour calls somewhere in there. Its taken a while to adjust to the new pace and with trying to study for exams on top of everything I’ve had a few weepy moments. But its under control.

Otherwise life is fairly good. I have 4 nurses helping me in the office, all very friendly, I really like them and wish I didn’t have to move on. Spring is here, and it is beautiful – it really is. The sun is up at 5 and down at 8, the grass is green the birds are out, the trees are budding. Its a proper spring. We are enjoying some aspects of our small town, farm life, like going for a run around the lake after work and stopping on the way back to pat the donkey.

Just paged – someone with chest pain, back in a bit.

I’m back, patient alive. Okay I must sleep while I can.

P.S Canadians are weird they say please and thank you at the same time, i.e – can you drop this at the lab please thank you. Also they don’t know how to say look at it – they just say lookit. And a lot: lookit the sky, lookit over there etc, adults not kids. And someone said to me the other day that working with me had been a slice. I just mumbled something back – a slice of what?

Who now?

April 25, 2006

Well, either we are now famous, or someone is pulling our leg. Jaques? Who are you? Most of the people who read this silly rag are family and friends. I haven’t paid for any advertising (although, …)? Confused confused. As far as writing in french, its not likely to be terribly interesting. There are only very few french words in my vocab, so I would quickly run out of ways to combine “bonjour”, “wee”, “bon voyage” and the numbers one to ten. Oh wait, nine. No, ten. Yes. Perhaps you can comment in french and that way I can slowly learn through translation. As we know, thanks to Paul, I have lots of time on my hands, and its probably better spent learning french than watching Star Trek reruns.

Make it so.


April 24, 2006

Thank you to everyone who has commented so far. I would like to request something though. Please can you comment more. With the distance and time difference, we have times when we feel quite isolated. Email would be awesome, but since we are using this blog to comment, we can’t expect a whole email from you. Just a little thing here or there. Like a conversation. Everything we write is done for one or other of you folks. Questions are very welcome. We have forgotten what we wanted to know, and I’m sure there are things you want to know.

Answer: Yes, I, Skippy, have plenty of time on my hands. Dishes, mopping, laundry, tidying and finances only take a couple of hours a day :).

Comment: We too have crime. Only this morning there was a piece on the news about 3 – yes 3!- break-ins. They even asked people to phone in if they had information. It’s a warzone over here.

I realise that its a pitiful bit of begging going on, but we love hearing back from you. More so than you enjoy hearing from us. I know its hard to believe, but its true.

Now, let’s have a little poll: Do you like the photos we post, and if so, which do you like the most? Is it the scenery, or the curious “look at this weirdness” ones? Or are there photos you would love to see, but havent? As stated, I have some time, so I’ll do it for you. Only because it’s you.

You know what’s next:
Nothing, since that is all.


April 22, 2006

Okay, so it was actually glow bowling and it was for Pam’s(one of the nice nurses here) birthday. She’s the one we went to Pockets with a few weeks ago, and has been very nice to Claire at work. Now, she invited both of us (obviously) but Claire is working (is at work as I type – hence all the blogging) so I went along alone. I really went for the food because the last time we saw her she said that when her birthday came around, she would arrange a dinner party with traditional Ukranian food (I’m sure we’ve mentioned that most people here are of Ukranian descent). Perogies are potatoe stuffed… potatoe. With Cheese. Dipped in Cream. Beet rolls are… okay, let me not go into it any more than to say its all pretty “eh?”. Soft tastebuds or something. The roast ham was very nice, but it was a roast ham.

Anyway, it moved from dinner to bowling at the “arena” which is three lanes glowing by the magic of UV lights. There are only 5 pins, and the balls are a little bigger than a tennis ball. You also get THREE throws. Needless to say it was PISS easy but I still felt my head swell when I won. I was going to say “I Bliksumed you okes”. But I didn’t. Then we all went back to her house for more drinks and merriment. All in all it was quite fun. By Yorkton standards. No head-bashing the wall excitement, but fun enough.

So I’ve remembered some more weirdness.=
Slow driving. The speed limit in town is 50. Most people give themselves a good 10km buffer. So that brings them down to a nice leisurely 40. Thats not the weird thing. It’s that I’ve started driving that speed. When I’m alone and there is noone else around. I feel like such a rebel on the highway when I “druk my voet in die hoek” up to 90.

People don’t walk unless the man is green. No question. Not a car for a million miles. Man=red : people=stand. Man=green:people walk. Except its a hand that’s red and the man is white. Nevermind. It’s weird. Apparently they fine you if you “j-walk”. I dare them. I’ll open up a can of whooop-ass!

Finally, they are allowed to advertise prescription drugs on tv here. You’ll notice they never say the name of the viagra or myprodol on SA tv adverts. But the agreement here must be that they can advertise the drug on the condition that they list the side-effects at the end. It makes me laugh. You’ve all read the side effects. They are MAD!
“So enjoy a good nights sleep with blah-blah. Side effects may include headaches, drowsyness, nausea and vomitting, bleeding from the ears, and death. So speak to your doctor today about how blah-blah can help you”. AS IF!? The stuff could KILL ME!? Sometimes the side effects list is half the advert – no jokes. These Canadians are WEIRD!

That is all.

Pictures of stuff…

April 22, 2006

Calgary Childrens Hospital. Bright and colourful on the outside too.
General Calgary Shot
The Rockies
Entrance to Banff national park.

That is all.

Things that are weird

April 22, 2006

Well, maybe some are weird, but mostly just different. I was just thinking about how odd it is to be driving on the right hand side of the road and thought I would just lay down the things that have been on my mind.

I’ve only had a couple of “OH-CRAP-SHIT-#$%*!-DAMNIT” on the wrong side of the road experiences, and it was mostly because I wasn’t thinking. It’s not a problem mostly, but when there is an ISLAND between the lanes… Well I’m sure you can imagine how quickly the “bad-words” fly out your mouth. Claire doesn’t drive too often (since she ended up in a ditch – I still rag her), but she did find herself looking at another driver thinking “what IS that fool doing on the wrong side… OH CRAP!”. It was on the HIGHWAY. At night. Nice.

Waterslides. For some reason, Canadians have a total love affair with waterslides. Not everywhere, mind you, just at hotels/lodges/motels. Every one you drive past has a sign saying “Waterslide”. All appear to be indoor.
Maybe its code that Foreigners aren’t supposed to understand. Maybe it really means “Free booze”.

French/English. Everything has half the space available for designers. All chocolates are “Nutty Crunch” – “Krunch avec BonNuts…” or whatever that would be in french… wait – let me go look for something…Okay, I’m back (I know it seems like an instant to you, but I REALLY went away there – trippy).
We have:
Light and Crisp : Harvest Crunch / Legeres et croustillantes Croque Nature
Flaked Light Tuna / Thon Pale Emiette
Chicken Broth Mix / Poulet Melange pour bouillon

I know it seems like “yeah, so?” but sometimes the product is facing one way and not the other, so all you get is : Thon Pale Emiette. WTF?

Side Dishes: Somehow I feel like I’ve spoken about this. I’m too lazy to go look. When you order food at a resturant, they have a little routine they do. It goes something like this: Would you like potatoes or rice or pasta. Potatoes. Would you like them baked, stuffed, mashed or fries? Stuffed. Will that be with cheese, bacon or mushrooms? Would you like soup or salad to start (don’t forget its included – this isn’t a starter)? … etc. The variety is great, but how weird is it that you can have, for example, a steak with a chicken soup and spagetti? Oh, and you get a brick of garlic toast with everything.

… I’m sure there were more. I’ll keep you posted when they pop into my head.

That is all. Okay, its not. But it is for now.