Saturday, April 21, 2018

Arran Island

Wow. What a wonderful place!!! The man and eldest came here last year and both said I would love it, so when I goth the chance, I came for a visit.  Yesterday was the f6day.  I got crazy lucky with the weather and I have a sunburn!!! As I am inclined to do, I walked alot.  Fortunately I missed the bus out of Brodick so I stare d walking from there and had a wonderful march along, first to Lamlash where I had a stupendous sausage roll(it was delicious, I've never like sausage rolls, but this was amazing)

They also had a pretty good raspberry and almond croissant.  I have to stop maligning British cooking.

I saw chunky pregnant sheep and some with babies

I saw amazing colours up on the tops and had a nap!!! I adore having a nap in the open, especially in the midst of a long walk.  Not a soul to be seen.  Didn't see anyone for hours today.

I climbed - really waded through Heather bog and moss-to the high point tin the area, Trig he'd.  It was a lovely view over much of the island, then started down.  Still wading.  Found waterfalls, stumbled through woods, ended up mid shin deep in mud, and found a road, which sped my passage.  There are some spectacular falls,to finish myself off, I slogged back up hill to the 'Giant's Graves'  Neolíticmulti-chamberwd burial constructions.  They don't look like much now without some information and imagination but the were very cool, especially with the evening light..

À marvelous day, ended with delicious mushroom soup in my room.  I wonder if the cook is Hungarian, the soup was like the delicious ones you get there and the lady at the front is Hungarian as well.

Friday, April 20, 2018

I am Canadian

This is an interesting aspect of moving onto a boat and going travelling.  I have dual nationality, British and Canadian.  Living here, I use the British passport as it means I can work, and I am also, and think of myself as, a Spanish resident.  And at a certain level, identify as Catalan, partially as so many of the Catalans do the same with me.  I have been confered this status.

As we move away from here, and our tax status changes, I am starting to feel more overtly Canadian. 

It is a light happy feeling in many ways and has caught me a bit by surprise.  It's not that I have ever not felt Canadian, but it was mixed into  a range of other identities.  Now it is coming down more to one.  Not entirely, my ties here are still strong.  I maintain my residency status, but there is a shift there and it is interesting.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The days just fly by

You know when you do so much in a day it feels like what you did that morning was about a week ago?  Yeah, that.

So, today, I went to work.  Fine.

Did some crap around the house to get ready to leave, friends came by and moved out all the plants and took the last of the books!  YEAH!!!  And stored our wood stove, and, being great friends, invited us to lunch!

Sold the stove, so no more cooking for us.  A student is going to lend us a camping stove and I'm going to reclaim my kettle from work, but food is going to be a bit cold for the next two weeks.

Went to lunch and that was fabulous.  My oh my.  While we were there, we sold 2 wooden armchairs.  That was good.  Really, youngest sold it as she was hanging out here with her new puppy Spit. 

Then took Chuck for a long walk, that was lovely....

We wandered pretty slowly, well I did, he was kinda racing around me.  He HATES puppies, and Spit gets up. in. his. face.  Literally.  So he was pretty happy to hit the hills.

We saw lovely wisteria. Smells gorgeous

And this magnificent enormous (for here) tree.  I should have got someone to stand there so you get some perspective.  It's BIG.

Now sitting by the last fire unless we get more wood.  Kinda sad now I think of that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Good writing

It is amazing how quality of writing can make such a huge difference to a book.  I am currently reading a book called Epic Measures, that should, ostensibly, be the MOST boring book.  It follows a nerdy, abrasive workaholic genius as he does statistical analysis on everyone in the globe to improve health care.  There is a lot of writing about graphs.

It is utterly compelling.

Good on you Jeremy Smith.

Then there is Andrea Wulf, who writes what should be the most utterly (to me) interesting books!  Titles like The Invention of Nature, writing about Humbolt,  Chasing Venus, astronomers travelling throughout the globe facing all manner of adventure and adversity to watch the transit of Venus, The Founding Gardners, looking at the Founding generation of the US impacted on the gardens and landscapes of the US.  All three of those I have tried, and given up.  I want to read the books, I think they would be fascinating, but MAN they are bone dry.  I have tried, and tried again, but I abandoned all three.

She has more amazing titles, that I would love to know about, but I think I won't bother, cause she. does. not. write. well.

I am staying up too late at night to read Epic Measures though.

Monday, April 9, 2018

letting go

The process of leaving this time round is a hard one.  I keep thinking about this and trying to figure out why.  The last time we left to go sailing the kids were little and it was a ton of work, but in my memory anyway, it was all go.  No looking back at all. 

Now, it's harder.  There are things I am going to very actively miss.

I think that there may be two reasons for this, one is that I have worked so very hard to integrate into the culture, learn the language, make friends, find my place, that it is hard to walk away from all of that.

The other is that Toronto is my home.  It will always be there for me.  I have tons of friends and I know the streets, and there is family there and work.  It will always be and has always been mine, and we go back every year.  I know we will go back every year. 

We can commit to coming back here every year, but will that happen?  The dentist and the dermatologist will be the ties that force us back.  Odd isn't it, the things you like so little about a place are what will bring you back.  That said, she's a great dentist and I adore my dermatologist despite his extremely awkward social manner. It's just that it is something that we h.a.v.e. to do. 

I hope we come back regularly.  There is so much I love here. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018


That's the size of the locker we're renting.  2m².  It's not very big.

We have a lot of stuff, fortunately I have always loved tetris (remind me to NEVER download it to my phone!)

The alleys between the lockers aren't very big, so I had trouble backing up enough to be able to see this properly, but here's what it kind of looks like...

 That's almost all books, the other bits and pieces are going in is in fact even fuller, but we have't loaded up the ceiling space yet!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

TIck, tick

Two big things ticked off the list....

We've got tenants in our house, contract signed, deposit paid!!!  YEAH!!!

We've signed the contract and gotten the keys for an apartment for youngest!!!!  YEAH!!!!

To do:
Move our stuff out and sell stuff
Move Youngest's stuff out
Rental insurace, us and youngest
Utilities for youngest's apt and get them to fix the toilet (Younest's work, but I'll be involved)
Youngest finishes school

Oh, and buy a boat so that the man, Chuck and I aren't homeless in 6 weeks.....

Once that's done:
Airline tickets,
Car rental
Cruising guides

And then there's work:
Report cards are the biggest looming issue...bring on Setmana Santa!!!

Everyone hope for warm Swedish weather!!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Goodness how I love the Olympics!  Such cool sports like Biathlon and speed skating!!

Plays merry hell with my reading and exercising, but it's only a couple of weeks every couple of years.....

Biathlon is such a cool sport.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

House is rented

Well, step by step, things are getting done!

The house is rented, we should be signing the contract next week, which is very good indeed.  The 28th is the final survey of the boat we hope to buy. Fingers crossed that all goes well.  We certainly hope it will.  The paperwork is in to rent the apartment for Youngest, fingers crossed that also goes well. 

In the meantime, to keep our spirits up as we find ourselves buried in paperwork and home repair and hassles, we've got a new book!  A listing of the navigation signs in the European Canal systems! Sounds dull, but will be incredibly important!  So we can start studying!!!!

And see what's inside?

Lots of fun for everyone

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Well, it's never dull

There's another boat we were looking at, in Sweden....but the owner wasn't willing to negotiate the price at all. So we went looking elsewhere.  However the Swedish boat is a better boat and the location is much better for us and what we want to when he got back in touch with us aiming to negotiate, well, we did.  And now we've got an agreement on buying the boat, just waiting to check the engine and hull.  Unfortunately the boat is currently frozen in (which does make me nervous) and we have to wait.

Not my favourite thing.

However, I trust the boat is in good shape and it's just a matter of waiting for the weather.

Fingers crossed.