31 Jul 2011

This post is going to offend

There you are, you've been warned.
What the heck is it with the massage industry as a whole that it attracts such unusual folk? I really am the oddball when it comes to massage. I'm way to conservative, I think inside the box and I bathe. Yes, you read that correctly, I bathe.
Way back many centuries ago when I went to massage college I realised that I was the odd one out. Whilst not entirely alone I was definitely the minority. Not just because I bathed, daily, but because I was so square and really I ain't that square. My brother might think I am but I'm not so don't listen to him. I generally conform to society, I dress "normally". In other words when I show up for work I do not have to worry about the doorman announcing that "Eliza Dolittle" has arrived and then trying to shoo me away with a broom before calling security cos I look and smell like a homeless bum.
This past weekend I attended a seminar. Every 2 years I have to renew my license and in order to do so I have to have a required number of continuing education hours. This seminar counted towards my hours. I do as many as possible online but obviously due to the nature of my work some of them have to be hands on learning. I choose my seminars carefully. Nearly always medically minded, and always steering clear of anything involving colours, scents, and aura's.
As I entered the classroom this past weekend the odor of dirty laundry hit me like a tonne of bricks. Now we all know I am a clean freak but really, can't you bring clean linens to a seminar? As the seminar unfolded we had to chose a partner to work with/on. I turned to the lady to my left and we partnered up (she looked clean). Hah, looks can be deceiving. We went to our table and she pulled out of her bag the nastiest, scraggiest, most wrinkled linens i have ever seen in my life. I wouldn't put them in a dogs bed. The arrangement is, you place your linens on the table for the other person as they are your client. I took one look at them and said, "your linens, your body, my linens, my body". Thankfully I didn't offend her and she went for it.
When I got home I scrubbed my body in scalding water. Yuck!
Quite often people ask me all the time how I managed to do so well in this profession here as it is saturated with therapists. Well, I''m clean, that's one reason I suppose.
I think now I'll probably be known as the massage snob but I'm Ok with that.
Each of us has our own niche and there is room for all of us on this planet and I truly believe that we should live and let live but I also think we should live, wash and let live.

29 Jul 2011

Simple summer fun

Yesterday we spent the afternoon with our friends Noah and Adam. Much to everyones delight their cousin Rachel was visiting from New York so that made for even more fun.
When I was growing up we played outside all the time. If there was no school we headed off on our bikes first thing in the morning and only returned in time for food. Alas now we live in a different time and a different place. No one in their right mind stays outside here in the summer because it is to hot, much to hot. You'd suffer heat stroke before lunch, forget spending 8-10 hours outdoors.
So we plan our play dates a little differently here. We plan them for when the sun is starting to lose some of it's heat or we choose to play at the pool or beach. The decision was made yesterday to meet at 5 and have dinner together and then let the kids play on their bikes.
Having 2 girls we have lots of bikes and riding toys that are quite girly, not that Lily is a really girly girl she just likes to dress like one. We have scooters and Razors, bikes, Barbie Jeeps, etc but when we got to the boys house yesterday the toys were different. Oh what fun they had.

Such a happy looking little group all just bursting with energy and ready to play. STOP with the photos already.

Here's Rosie on what I call the "wiggle Butt scooter"
Pogo-ing queen
wiggle butt loved this and a request had been made to Santa. (um hello it's only July)
Egad's I smell disaster
Look at that face....pure (hot) fun

After an hour or so it was really getting hot but the kids were not complaining however they were more than happy when the sprinklers turned on and they headed straight for them and played in them until they were thoroughly drenched.

Adam sat on this rock getting spritzed for ages. I called him "Spritz Gnome"
Oh please can we? We'll only get a little wet.
Rosie having a blast

THey went back to riding bikes for a while after the spritzing and then we headed in for dinner. The kids made pizza and then decided they make bad pizza and barely touched it. By the time we got home last night it was 10p.m. and the girls are still sleeping now. I'll have to hose them down more often!

24 Jul 2011


When we were in Cambridge with my brother and BIL in law we were walking along a street when we came across a busker. Colin stopped to chat. My brother, like my hubby, talks to EVERYONE. Turns out it was his friend Jimi. Jimi is a professional musician and is freakin unbelievable on a steel guitar.
Introducing Jimi Kazak.
Jimi it was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for being so sweet to the girls. Lily will never forget meeting you and eating your berries.

23 Jul 2011


We are back safe and sound a few days sooner than we had initially planned but that's life. It's funny but the second you walk through your front door it is just as if you have never left. Jacob met us at the airport and we walked in to a welcome home banner which I thought was a very sweet touch.
The plane ride was smooth and fast, one of the fastest yet, only 8.5 hours but it seemed to take forever possibly because we were up at 3am. I have to mention one little thing that happened on the plane as I thought it was a bit off. We were the very first row in coach, the bulkhead seats, and in the 2 seats to our left sat a man and his 6 yr old son. The man was obviously quite tired and kept trying to sleep. For the most part the child left him alone but after a couple of hours he woke him as he tried to walk by him and the man got very agitated. Towards the end of the flight the girls and I were playing card games and Rosie wanted to ask the boy to play. I said it was fine as we had an empty seat next to us. The dad agreed and Flynn came and sat with us. Not 2 seconds later his dad went to the back of the plane to talk with a friend and stayed there for about an hour. WTH? All of a sudden I am a babysitting service for a kid I don't even know, who, I would like to add, was quite mouthy. Finally the seatbelt light came on so I suggested he return to his seat. His father didn't return until the trolley appeared with afternoon tea! One day I will learn to avoid unknown children at all costs but until then I will remain the reluctant baby sitter in all circumstances.
The girls and their toys could not be separated today and they were not at all interested in leaving the house. It may have had something to do with the outrageously hot weather or just the fact that they were happy to be back in their home with their things. That is not to say that they have not had a fantastic time with their grands. I finally pried the toys out of their hot little hands long enough to get them into the pool for a couple of hours.
After their bath this evening Rosie fell fast asleep on the couch within 2 minutes. I think she is still on English time. I hope she wakes up at a reasonable hour in the morning....please cross your fingers.

20 Jul 2011

Crazy family

Lots of fun times in the last 2 days. Cousins came to play and of course Crazy Auntie Sally was here, need I say more.
Stephen, Sally and the girls came back yesterday for another visit due to the fact that Sundays fun was cut short when Sophie didn't feel well. Yesterday, thankfully, everyone felt great and the girls played their little hearts out. The zip-line down the rec' is the new favourite this year. I think it has been used more in the past 2 weeks than ever before.

A fun lunch for the girls
playing in the park
Stephen and Sally

The big kids

Today Crazy Auntie Sally and I took the girls out for the afternoon to an open farm. We had fun and a whole lot of it.
Thanks Auntie Sally, this is fun
This is great fun Auntie Sally, you should try it.
Crazy Auntie Sally.
Good job she is even smaller than me.

We drove tractors
Someone tried to drive in a car that she used to fit in.
There were rope bridges
big tyre swings
and of course animals

Lily loves all animals
Auntie Sally, not so much, that is why you can't see her
Rosie is giddy at the sight of all the bunnies
She actually touched them, Auntie Sally didn't.
This little guinea pig just marched right into Lily's lap.

This goat tried to eat my jacket. I learnt something quite important today: I speak goat. Yes, I know it is hard to believe but every single time I would imitate this Nanny she would reply. I think I will add that to my resume.

We have almost reached the end of our stay, Just a bit more shopping and I can pack. Talking of chocolate I think I have eaten my own weight in the stuff.

18 Jul 2011

The best day yet.

We have been planning, for quite some time, to go Punting with my brother and Jon and it is something I was really looking forward to. Saturday was the day. Now since we have been here the weather has been mixed but for the most part it is just cold and grey but not wet. As the weekend approached the weatherman kept saying the weekend was going to be wet. I didn't believe him as it just doesn't rain in this area. Saturday morning we were up bright and early and it was wet, quite wet. It just got wetter as our departure time drew closer and my father bowed out. This really upset us as my father doesn't do much with us and this was going to be all 3 of us together.
My sister arrived and we headed off to Cambridge. It rained the whole way there, lashing cold rain, that refused to let up.
We ran into my brothers flat, soaked and sat for a few minutes trying to come up with a B-plan. The wonderful thing about brothers and sisters and brothers-in-laws, is that you don't have to do anything, being together is rare for us and I could have easily sat the whole afternoon and just "been" with them. We ate a wonderful lunch with Jon and Colin whilst still hoping the rain would stop or at least let up.
This is a very handy dandy apple peeler that Colin has. He let both girls try it. I want one.
This is what your apples look like when that machine is done with them.

The rain didn't stop, Punting was off. I was so disappointed. We decided to go to the Folk Museum instead. A few umbrella's, a couple of borrowed raincoats from Grandpa and we head out. It takes 2 cars to get us anyhwere at the moment so Andy drove the lead and Jacob followed him. The museum was a hit, the kids loved it and so did the adults.
The "kids" pretending to work in an old fashioned sweet shop. They were weighing out the sweeties
Rosie fashioning a wig.
Crazy Auntie Sally sporting a beautiful (not) hat and dress
Uncles, Colin and Andy putting on a Punch and Judy Puppet Show
My brother found himself a stylish new bathing suit.
You can see how much fun we had with this nutty bunch.
Once we left the museum the sun was out so we headed at warped speed for a punt. 2 minutes into our walk and the heavens opened again so we dove for cover in a shop front. There was a little commotion across the street so we dodged the rain to see what was going on. It was this.
There was a street busker in the rubbish bin.

The rain let up again and we started to wander through the beautiful streets, another corner another busker. This time my brother started to chat with him and grabbed Lily and introduced her to him. It was uncle Colins friend Jimi. He played, the kids danced, he gave them his money as opposed to taking theirs as they tried to throw it in his guitar case and shared his blueberries. I have a fantastic video of him playing but the internet connection is so slow over here that it I'll post it when we get home.

After chatting with Jimi we realised that the sun was still out and made a dash for a punt. Colin has lived in Cambridge for a kazillion years so he didn't take us to one of the touristy Punts we went off the beaten track to a place where he likes to go. It is still the same river but not the same prices. What can I say. This thing that I have dreamt of doing for months was even better than I anticipated. The setting, gorgeous, the weather, fabulous and the company, top notch. Colin and Jon can punt, Andy is learning and us, well we have no idea. We needed 2 punts so Colin took Jon and Andy and we were chauffeured by a chap also named John.

Waiting for our punt
The ladies
Andy struggling
The mathematical bridge. This wooden structure is not attached to this building it just rests on it. It is safest when there a lots of people on it as the weight of them holds it in place.

Worlds best brother
Trinity College Cambridge
Jacob and Lily kicking back
My BIL jon taking a very laid back approach. At one point Andy was doing the punting and things got hairy, they got stuck in a huge traffic jam, Colin was paddling like mad, Andy was working up a sweat but still Jon remained unfazed.
And my favourite photo of the day:
Look at these faces, such concentration and brute force. I didn't find anything tiring about the punt at all. Bwa ha ha ha.

By the time we were done the kids were starving so it was off to a pub for a bite to eat. Not a bite exactly, a full and fabulous meal.

We had a fabulous day. The best so far since we arrived but really when you spend time in the company of someone who can sit and drink a cup of tea whilst looking like this just because it makes his nieces laugh, a lot, how can you not have fun. Thank you Jon and Colin for a truly lovely day.

I almost called this post, I've done this before, as I have already written, and I thought published this post. My brother made a comment that he was surprised I hadn't blogged about it and my initial thought was, Helllllo, I have but then I actually looked at the blog, something I rarely do and it wasn't there. With the internet being what it is here I have now spent 2 hours on one post, but it was worth it as this was such a fabulous day.


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