Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Knitting Pattern

Well I know I've not updated in a long old time, but life has been happening and taking my mind away from this blog.

I have now produced a pattern which I'm publishing through ravelry which will be available for purchase as soon as I get things set up properly.

Here's a picture of the House Hippo.

My next update will have full details for the pattern and where to buy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Long time no write....

So its been a while since I last blogged, last year in fact, right after the Obama presidential victory.

What's happened since then? Quite a lot but not all stuff I wanted to write about.

I lost a lot of impetus when it came to the blogging and I wasn't too bothered to carry on.

Now before you ask, nothing terrible happened, apart from the death of our dear sweet dog Blackie (whom I've written about many times before). This personal tragedy has been written about quite eloquently by my darling Kata here and there's not a lot I need to add to it other than I'm glad we were both with him when he died and that he didn't suffer in his last days (it would have been much harder to watch our darling lil puppy get older and grumpier and start to suffer from old age).

As to my personal situation; things are in the same approximate limbo as before. We're still not married (still no date set), we're still living together (and extremely happy) and I still love Canada (although the winter we just went through was one hell of a how do you do compared to my first winter here). I'll be heading back to the UK some time next month (tentatively set at 15th May) and I'll be back to take care of a bunch more stuff on the UK side that will hopefully let me cut the final non-familial/friend ties with the "mother country". Here's hoping things go smoothly while I'm over and the weather isn't terrible (mid spring in Scotland is way worse than mid spring in southern Canada) so that my time there will be half decent.

That last paragraph was a bit rambling but that goes with my current frame of mind I guess. Money has been tight recently as we're living off Kata's wages alone (my savings were spent ages ago) and without her job we'd be screwed (by western standards anyway), so finances have been tight, but we've managed. But I will say, apart from our Bubby's death, we're the happiest we've ever been and our lives can only get better once all our crap is sorted out and I can get to earning in Canada.

I'll try and start writing more regularly but I won't promise anything (not that anyone is really clamouring to read my writings) and I may be really preoccupied over the next month what with travelling to the UK and back, so we'll see.

In any case, for anyone who does read this, hey there, I'm still alive and still happy with my darling Kata in wonderful Canada, minus one adorable fluffy lil puppy named Blackie (Andre Jefferson Blackwell the Thurst as we decided one happy day to call him for no good reason).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new day, a new hope, a great decision

or the first time in my life I watched live coverage of the US Presidential election. It started slowly, McCain was ahead 8 votes to 3 for a long time, then, slowly the eastern states started to project their results. From 8pm EST to 11pm EST I was glued to the CNN election center website, waiting for updates of the most important election in a generation. Slowly but surely the eastern states were voting for Obama, the southern states were voting for McCain (no surprise) and as the evening drew on the western states voted for Obama and took Barack Obama over the top by an enormous amount.

Landslide would be the best way to describe this election. At this minute the results for all 3 elections run yesterday are;

Presidential Election Result - Barack Obama 338 votes, John McCain 163 votes.
Senatorial Election Result - Democrats 56 senators, Republicans 40 senators.
House of Representatives Result - Democrats 251 reps, Republicans 173 reps.

Put simply, the Democrats overwhelmingly control the US government. They have a mandate from the American people to change their country. The American people have made their voices heard after 8 years of Bushite Republican rule and they are saying "Enough is enough".

Kata and I rejoiced when we knew it was over (projected), we rejoiced for the American people and for the rest of the world who held their breath hoping (and many praying) for a Democratic victory.

The choice of Barack Obama shows the world that the American nation has finally grown up, the Majority have decided that a fresh, young, vital and yes "black" man should lead their nation forward out of one of the worst periods in World history outside of a World War. They chose an eloquent, highly educated man who brings great hope to a nation desperate for a bright future.

We still have more than 2 months to wait for the Obama presidency to start (thanks to the absurdity of the Presidential electoral system) but there's nothing that the Bush presidency can do to ruin the world any further thanks to the massive shift to the Democrats in both houses of Congress.

The question now is, will the Democratic congress push for Impeachment of George W Bush and his presidency, for crimes against humanity, for that's what his Presidency committed. I highly doubt it, as I don't believe that the American people want to air laundry that dirty in the global public eye, so let's just hope that the soon to be ex President George W Bush skulks off the world stage and hides for the rest of his life, ashamed for that his presidency did. I doubt it, but it would be fitting.

Finally, thank you America, thank you for voting for the only candidate who brought hope and sanity to a beleaguered world. Thank you so much.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

US Presidential Election 2008

Not being a US citizen I can't affect this election directly, however as a World citizen the result will affect me greatly.

I'm a very liberal person, with that in mind the last 8 years of Republican presidential rule in the USA has been a terrible period. I disliked George W Bush from the outset. He stole the presidency (FACT) and he lead the world into a hideous war (at least the aftermath). More recently his party's policies led the US banking system into ruin and with them the rest of the world (almost) into banking ruin too.

So today is the election, there are 2 candidates (worth talking about), Barack Obama and John McCain.

You can guess who I want to win (Obama) and I feel this way for many reasons;

1) He's a fresh face to run the USA, it almost feels like the 60s when J.F. Kennedy won the presidency, a fresh face for a new challenge (the cold war in full swing)

2) He's not a Republican (personal preference of course)

3) He's not an old white guy

4) Sarah Palin isn't his running mate (what the hell were the GOP thinking?)

So now we have to wait (as of now 8:22pm EST Obama is leading) and see if the American people care about their futures or want the same old tragedy to continue.

I hope, for their sake and the sake of the rest of the world that they choose wisely (and by that I mean Obama).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Canadian Thanksgiving

So its been almost 2 weeks since my last past and that's not a good thing, but its been pretty busy since I came back from my trip to the UK (post to come eventually), we spent a few days being a couple again and then we took a trip to Ottawa for Canadian Thanksgiving.

This was my 2nd Canadian Thanksgiving, last year some 30 or so friends from the Keith and the Girl and Team Drunk Ottawa communities made their way to Ottawa to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving and to have an excuse for drunken revelry. Last year I drove in Canada for the first time, took 6 other people with me (Kata and 5 friends, 2 from the USA) and after 13 hours in one direction and 11 hours in the other direction, we had accomplished a Thanksgiving to remember (for mostly good reasons).

This year Kata and I packed our belongings and our dog Blackie into our rental car and made our way to Ottawa on Saturday. The drive out took approx. 8 hours (we left around 9 and arrived just after 5) and was relatively uneventful. We were staying at a pet friendly hotel in downtown Ottawa (the Comfort Inn just off junction 115 of the 417 highway) and settled in for a couple of hours before we headed out for an evening with our friends at the Heart and Crown pub. The year before we had gone to the same pub and taken up 3 large tables, this year we all fit on one large table and we had a great time with our friends catching up and enjoying the food (really good for pub grub). We hung out for close to 4 hours and then headed back to our hotel to rest up for the next day.

The next morning we awoke relatively early and joined the other residents of the hotel for our complimentary continental breakfast (always a good thing). The selection was decent, mostly baked goods (bagel, english muffin, muffin, waffles, bread) some cereals, fruit, coffee, tea, etc. After breakfast we headed out to visit Kata's uncle George and her parents who were in Ottawa to have thanksgiving with her uncle. We only visited for an hour as her parents had a lot planned to do that day (the day before they had visited a tractor museum, Kata's step-dad is a tractor "nut" who has his own show tractor and plowing tractor which he competes in plowing matches with) so we headed back to our hotel to relax a while before heading out to a friend's house for the thanksgiving meal.

We picked up a couple of our friends from the Ottawa Jail Hostel (a number of our friends had stayed there the year before also) and we headed out on the 417 highway into the wilds of the Ottawa countryside. The drive was around 30 minutes and we ended up at our friend's house where we were to have our Thanksgiving meal. It was a pot luck and people were bringing all kinds of food (mostly desert). We brought a Tofurky with us (for the vegetarians amongst us) and our gracious hosts (the McDonalds, Dr Bri and Juanita) took care of the turkey and most of the fixings, vegetarian stuffing, potatoes, all manner of vegetables and other delicious, if not vegetarian, savoury foods (a beef roast was also brought by one of our friends (Mr Rhi)).

All manner of deserts were laid out after the main course, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheese cake, an apple pie (can't remember the exact type but it was delicious), blueberry muffins (from scratch), McCain frozen cake (a Canadian classic) and peanut butter pie (one of our friend's speciality pies, thanks as always Rickeh). I'm sure there were some other deserts but my mind has been clouded by the sugar overload (wink).

After all the wonderful food we all relaxed, talked and made merry. After an hour or so, a chorus of "happy birthday" began, I was bemused, no one had told me it was someones birthday, then it dawned on me my friends were singing for me, my birthday isn't until the 20th, but coincidentally thanksgiving was the 1st anniversary of my living in Canada, so they had sprung a double surprise on me. Our friend Amy had arranged with my darling Kata and our friend Rhi to get me a cake, with purple icing (one of my favourite colours of late) and celebrate my time in Canada so far. It was really adorable, the cake had "happy birthday dev" on it (my nickname of course) and they had a "1" candle for me to blow out. The candle managed to blow itself out thanks to the breeze from the aircon (or from the open window) and then I cut the cake whilst Kata took pictures. Everyone was already stuffed so not much cake was eaten (I took a slice) but the thought and execution totally counted.

The evening continued with a viewing of the previous week's Family Guy (I dream of Jesus) and later a game of Scene It on Xbox 360 (my team came 3rd the first game and 2nd (after leading for much of the game) in the 2nd game). By the time we were finished playing things were winding down, people were starting to get tired so we headed back to the city, dropping off a couple of friends at their respective hotels and then returned to our hotel to take care of Blackie and head to sleep ourselves.

The final day, Thanksgiving day itself, we had breakfast again, packed up and checked out of our hotel. We then headed over to Rhi's apartment where we planned to leave Blackie for a few hours as we were heading out to the Elgin Street Diner for our 2nd annual Thanksgiving farewell brunch. Many of our friends had the Poutine, for which the diner is most famous and after the repast we said our farewells and headed back to collect Blackie.

The drive home was relatively uneventful, although traffic was quite dense in a number of places (near Oshawa and Cobourg and some near Milton). Despite the traffic, the drive home took around 9 and a half hours and we rolled into our apartment's parking lot around 11pm, tired but glad to be home after another great Thanksgiving weekend.

p.s. here's a link to pictures Kata took over the Thanksgiving weekend