tvordlj: (Movies)
We saw Bladerunner 2049.
There were some good things.
None of them was the plot.

Read more... )
Nope. we were both highly disappointed.

We did have a nice meal at Smitty's afterward to soothe ourselves.
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Thanksgiving was a lovely feast as always. Staci didn't bring Bree because she didn't want her overwhelmed by so many people. Two of Rick's kids were also there with their families, 2 school aged kids under 10 and two 10 month old twins!

This week I've been knocking out the last few little details for the trip. We decided to go to the Fan Expo in Vancouver because there will be a number of actors there from a couple of tv shows that Graham really likes. They still don't have any schedules up of the appearances and no prices for actor  photo/autograph tickets. They're cutting it pretty close, I think. Anyway, we'll check the schedule and do that for one day or part of one day. I booked the day passes for that. Then also booked a rental car so we could drive up to Parksville on Vancouver Island to see our friends there. Had a hotel booked for overnight. I couldn't assume and certainly couldn't invite ourselves to stay with her and her husband because she's not been well. She had a stroke a few months back and when she had it, she fell and got a very bad concussion which is probably what's giving her more trouble than the stroke was. I had another friend who had something similar, a seizure followed by a fall and nasty concussion. Took him a long time to recover properly.

We hope to do a bit of driving around the island on the way up and back to Victoria where we're staying with my aunt and uncle (mother's brother). Called them this week, too, to confirm and give them the flight details. 

Not sure yet about going on a submarine tour in Hawaii. I know Graham really wants to and I would love it too but I'm concerned with the ladder/steps down into it. I won't have too much trouble going down but I'm worried about climbing up again. I don't *think* it's a straight up and down ladder, that it's on a bit of a slant but there are no photos that really show how far apart the rungs/steps are. I must go to the website and find an email address. I think I could manage if the rungs aren't too far apart. We'd want to pre-book that too. Let's hope the weather is consistently decent. Hate to book things too far in advance .

Have brought in my rolled coin to change to American money after work at the bank and sorted out our phone access online.  I used an online chat with the mobile phone company. They have a deal where you pay only $5 each day that you use your phone, which includes data roaming as well. That's $5 per day per phone of course, and it doesn't count if you're on wifi. Seemed like a pretty good deal. Having the maps alone might make it worth while.

We leave in three weeks from Saturday!
tvordlj: (Default)
Finally catching up.
We had a houseguest for two weeks and while he was absolutely no trouble at all, it's still nice to have our privacy back. At some point we want to get a two bedroom place and that will make it better for having company because we'll have something in the other bedroom, a single bed or a day bed. It will also be a place to put G.'s "studio", his instruments, his recording laptop etc. He's been complaining about his main laptop constantly so he's going to save up for a new one. The one he has was reconditioned when he bought it and now finds it really slow and clunky and, he says, doing strange things. He's had 2 or 3 commissions in recent weeks and has a larger one to do this month and that will chunk up the savings nicely.

We had a fun road trip on our two week vacation, too. We went to Cape Breton Island on the east end of our province of Nova Scotia. It's even made it into the travel magazines as a very special place, with spectacular scenery and particularly lovely people. All true! For a travelogue, if you're interested, Part 1 and Part 2.  (though part 1 does have a link to Part 2)

I was no sooner back to work this week when I got a bad cold. Took a couple of days off but am in today in the office. This weekend is a long weekend. You don't like to be seen slacking off just before a long weekend (Thanksgiving , here in Canada on Monday) even if you are not feeling well.

Baby Bree is thriving. While we had the rental car I took advantage and went over with Mom for a cuddle.I rarely get to see her like Mom and Laurie do. She's so bright and she's laughing and smiling now. Staci's doing a lot better than she thinks she is, and she's finding it tough but it seems no worse that all new mothers go through. Laurie is there a lot and that helps. You only have to see how well the baby is doing to know she's doing it right. We'll be at Laurie's for Thanksgiving on Sunday but I'll probably still have the dregs of the cold and I won't be able to hold her because I don't want to give her my cold. Because she was 2 months premature, she's developing a little slower but is doing exactly what she should, just two months or less behind. At 5 months old, her developmental age is that of a 3-4 month old because of the prematurity.

tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Vacation! (or nearly there, just the day to get through).
Lovely pedicure yesterday. I really have to do that more often! I do plan to get it done again before we go out west/Hawaii in November. I don't plan on doing any swimming but I might want to wear sandals with a skirt if we go out somewhere nice for dinner.
Didn't sleep well last night, in addition to having a sore hip periodically, I was too warm even with the ceiling fan on. You just can't win. It's going to be a long day today.

And just to catch up on books since I don't know what kind of time I'll have for reading over the next two weeks. This lot of books were all top marks for the most part or almost. I really enjoyed all of them for various reasons as they were mostly quite different from each other.
2017 books )
I'm currently reading several books, each by classic Canadian authors and a Jane Austen. I think I'll try to read all of her books. Not by the end of the year but over the coming months at least.

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Having a pedicure this afternoon, first one in well over a year. My poor toes and feet need moisture badly.
Took a selfie today mainly to show how the grey in my hair is coming in (My sister posted one where mostly it's coming through as in grey roots with hers and mine is sort of overall fading into the grey even though I had my hair coloured as well. Think perhaps the shampoo was stripping the colour so it worked out better i guess). Point is, my face is looking longer, I think sagging down a bit and the jawline is definitely softening into jowls. No surprise at my age, nearly 59, of course. Neck is definitely not as tight, either. But the eyes, oh god the bags and wrinkles under the eyes and sagging bits over the eyelids. I put some of it down to not sleeping well but it's a kick to the vanity nonetheless. Doesn't look quite so bad when I smile because it kind of compresses the skin around my eyes, something like that so it's a good excuse to keep smiling, eh? 

No, i don't sleep that well these days. I can get to sleep ok, but after the first 2 or 2.5 hours, i'm awake every hour. The problem is that I sleep on one side mainly and my hip hurts a lot after about an hour. I have to sit up and wiggle it around to loosen it. I can lay on my back but then I can't fall back to sleep and I don't know why because I can fall asleep on my back when I first go to bed. The rest of the night, I'm on one side. with someone else in the bed, I can't easily flip over to the other side without disturbing him. In my single days, I'd just flip over and sleep on the other side of the mattress but there's someone there now. I wouldn't give that up but it means I modify how I sleep. I should try though. Often when I sit up to ease my hip, i then have to get up to pee even if it's only a little one. I can ignore it and lie down again but often I'll get up anyway because it eases my hip, too. I do go back to sleep quickly when I lie back down on my side, I just can't sleep for more than an hour. If i take advil before bed, I get a bit more time, but still don't sleep all night through.

And no, i haven't been to the gym in awhile and I suppose that would help my hip. I will get back but i might as well wait until after vacation which starts tomorrow at 4:00. Two weeks off, then back to work for a month before another three weeks off for our big trip to the west and Hawaii. I would have a month at the gym between the two vacations and that should be a good start.
tvordlj: (Movies)
The remake of IT was quite good. I haven't read the book since the 80s so I couldn't say whether it followed it well or not but it only focussed on the part to do with the kids, not the adults years later like the original mini series did. I would think they are planning a sequel for when they come back and fight it again as adults. All of the child actors they had were very good, unusual really, there's always at least one that irritates me or more. Not all of the kids themselves are likeable but then that's just me probably but it don't put it down to the actors that irritate me, just the character and I would think the actor must be doing a good job if he's making the character annoying! The one playing the girl in the group was good, too. Really pretty. She's gorgeous now, she's going to be a stunner in 5 or 10 years. She's 15 now and kind of reminds me of Deborah Messing from Will and Grace. Her name is Sophia Lillis. Watch that space.

The man that played Pennywise the clown is Bill Skarsgard from the Swedish family of actors. You've seen his father in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and his brother Alexander was in True Blood. We've only just seen him lately in a creepy series called Hemlock Grove. Excellent stuff with vampires, a werewolf and lots of other creatures. Tim Curry played the original Pennywise but Bill did just as good a job, I think.

Since this movie was all about the kids and their experience, it went into more detail about the lives of most of them and about their fears which is what the entity feeds on. Their parents are not major characters and only appear if it contributes to either the child's state of mind or to their personal fears. If they do make a second movie about the adults, it should be interesting.

Afterwards, we found a place for a bite to eat along a little street in halifax that's lined with pubs and cafes. There are 2 or 3 places along there that are long standing, with the rest seeming to come and go. It's been difficult for the businesses this summer because they have been doing construction on the street all summer, between a major trade centre going up at one end and redoing the other end for pedestrians and making it look "pretty". Most of those businesses usually had outdoor patios built for the summer but most of them haven't been able to and the foot traffic is down a lot because of all the uproar. It's too bad because it's worth the inconvenient to find a decent place. Our meal was quite good. I had fishcakes made with garlic mashed potatoes and the salad was gorgeous, with apple and goat cheese and walnuts with a raspberry vinegarette. The slice of cheesecake, on the other hand was nasty. I don't know what htey used to thicken it but it was almost gluey and sticky. Horrible. I don't mind if it  isn't homemade on the premeses. I've had some decent cheesecake that was premade and even probably frozen but which came out creamy and soft. This could have been sitting on a shelf for a month.

All in all a Grand Day Out. Our houseguest comes next Saturday so we'll get a rental car on Friday and stock up on groceries.
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Been using my work laptop this week and it seems pretty good so far. Forgot to play with those wireless mouse and Keyboard widgets. No big deal. There's one aspect that's not working but it's not working for anyone that has a newer image on their computers and it's being investigated. We know that the reason is that the applications that aren't working are using an older version of Java and running on an old version of Apache. In order to upgrade it all, it's going to have to be tested well. But it means at the moment I can't access those applications on my new laptop. Luckily,they aren't something I normally use but I am responsible for maintenance on them so I'm going to have to keep my old laptop handy in case I need it for those.

I had two vacation days left so I managed to get them approved for my upcoming time off. I was to work on the Monday and Tuesday (not this week coming, the one after) and then be on vacation for the rest of September. Now I have the full two weeks off. G.'s best friend is arriving next weekend for the two weeks so it will be nice not to have to go to work at all. We're getting a rental car on Friday for the duration, planning a trip to Cape Breton and will fit in some day trips from home. Should be a nice time!

The challenge will be food. He's vegetarian so I've been casting my net for recipes and have gathered a handful of things that look nice. You don't want to always depend on veggie chili or lasagna. Lunches are easy, there's always cheese, tomatoes, eggs, and assorted trimmings and there is soup (mushroom, vegetable, tomato). Breakfast is easy too. He's not vegan which takes the stress off. I'm investigating veggie burger recipes which should prove interesting. I'd rather make them myself than buy store-bought ones but I'm also going to have a look at the veggie sections at the grocery store to see what I can find that might prove interesting because there might be meals where we want meat, like pork chops or chicken and I'd like to find a meatless alternative for him.

I seem to have an infection in my eye. It's a bit swollen and sore today, started bothering me about late afternoon yesterday. I thought I had scratched it myself but probably my hand had come into contact with something icky and when I rubbed my eye, I must have self-inflicted. On with the polysporin cream.

We're going to see a movie this afternoon, the new version of IT. Probably find somewhere for a bite to eat after. Tomorrow will be housekeeping day.
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Got to grips with the mop and bucket yesterday and took the kitchen and bathroom floors in hand. *so* much better now! They do get away from you sometimes. Now if I could only persuade myself to clean the oven! *shudder* apparently if you put a small bowl of ammonia in the oven overnight, it's extremely easy to clean the next day. I did buy the ammonia. I just haven't quite got there to do it, I have no ventilation in the kitchen so will have to tie something around my mouth and nose so as not to asphyxiate myself. It is still difficult because I have to get on the floor to reach into the back and there likely will be some scrubbing involved. It hurts my knees even with padding or pillows underneath. It's got to be done though.

We went out for a bite to eat last night and out for lunch today for a Corrie ping. We had borrowed Mom's car because the location of the ping has changed and it's a bit of a distance and a pain in the butt by bus. My friend picked us up before when we went to the old location but the new one is only 5 minutes from where she lives and I wouldn't expect her to drive to get us, take us to the ping and then home again after, way too far out of her way. We did an errand or two and then took the car back and are now home in our nest for the evening.

I was on call this weekend to support the tax bill generation processes over the weekend. I kept checking my work email and had my phone by my side if they needed to call me and for the first time I think in years, there was no big problem. Every year there has been something and it's different each time. I think I might have said that before. The emaiil when I got home said everything seemed to be done and he was starting up a final process which he can always cancel and rerun next weekend if need be. I'm quite pleased. I get paid an hour's wage for each of the two days so that's nice. I'd get more if I actually got called, of course. A minimum 3 hour at time and a half call out. Not complaining, I'll take the on call pay.

Finally, catching up on my book list...
2017 books )


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 Y'all have been quiet this week. My feed is filled with XKD cartoons (or whatever they're called) about the eclipse which we saw pretty much nothing of from our point of view in Nova Scotia. Too far away from it I guess. 

On call this weekend for the production of the tax bills, for support. Crossing every bit I have. In the past, every year, something happened and every something was different so they couldn't even say "oh yes, that happened before and we did this to fix it". This is the first year i've done the support so I'm a bit nervous. 

I got a new laptop for work, my colleagues old one though it's only about a year old. I've been setting it up, always a chore trying to get it all synced and everything working. I actually think it's close to being set up but there's a problem with one area that I think I'll have to sort out but it's a browser issue. I was able to install Firefox so I may be able to use that instead of the dreaded IE. 

Baby Bree weighs over 10 pounds now and is thriving, focussing, smiling and even laughing a little. I don't get to see her much other than in photos because not having a vehicle makes it difficult so I miss getting my baby holding fix! 
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I've got a new laptop at work. Well it's not new, it's one my coworker had and I thought I'd take that because she had things installed that I could use. Except most of what she had i had to upgrade anyway. What a pain that all is, too. Trying to get the right version of this to work with the version of that and no, that isn't working so try a different one. Gahh...

It's a nice, light machine, bigger screen than my old one but the screen resolution is too fine but it only gives me a choice of three settings and the other are not right either, I want one in between. Maybe when I hook it up to the monitor I'll have more choice. that's what I'm mainly doing anyway or at least with the big monitor, the resolution it's at now will be easier to read. I have to use my reading glasses with it and I suppose I probably would anyway. The old one is a little workhorse, 5 years old if it's a day and there's nothing really wrong with it but it's living on borrowed time really and has some anomolies that I had to fix with work arounds. I won't let it go until the new one is working exactly how i need it to work and at the moment it's still giving me grief.

Been warm and humid here the past few days and when it's like that, it's quite warm in the apartment. I don't know what we'd do if we didn't have the ceiling fan in the bedroom.

And ... Game of Thrones. Whoah! No spoilers but shit just got real. It's a very interesting development and it's going to be pretty exciting. I don't know if the result of it will play out next week in the finale or if they'll leave it for the next season which will be the last one.

Outlander season three starts in September so we're looking forward to that, too.

The big news here is a huge Ikea store opening up next month. We had one here many years ago but they closed it because they thought there wasn't the population to support it even though it wasn't really a very large one. This one will be the biggest one in eastern Canada apparently. It's enormous! The catalogues are being delivered in the city now though we haven't got ours yet. It feels like we felt as kids waiting for the Sears and Eatons Christmas catalogues!
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 Fairly busy weekend, for us anyway. We borrowed Mom's car on Friday night and did a Costco run on Saturday as well as one or two other stops then had tickets for the IMAX showing of Dunkirk in the evening. I did stuff up the booking for our seats, clearly misreading the diagram for the seating plan and booked seats three rows from the screen instead of three from the back which is what I thought i had done. We did try to sit on the end of a row further back, hoping someone hadn't booked those seats but just minutes before the show started, the actual owners of the seats showed up. We apologized and slunk back down to the lower section which was all but empty so we did sit in the row behind where we were supposed to. It was a bit better. It wasn't too bad though, after all. The IMAX was pretty amazing for a lot of the scenes, especially for the aerial flying and fighting stuff. We don't normally go for the IMAX but thought this movie would be particularly good and it was. It's also in a spot where we definitely have to have a car to access and we don't normally have one. Highly recommend the movie even if you don't go IMAX with it. It's not really got a story as such, there's no romance thrown in as a back story or anything else around the events. It shows the personnel on the beaches, lining up for the ships and the boats to evacuate, the Messerschmitts bombing the ships and the Spitfires fighting them to prevent it.

Soldiers are jumping off the ships rather than go down with them if they're hit. Others are holed up in a beached boat which the Germans start using for target practice so the bullets are banging on the sides of the hull and coming through it and then when the tide comes in, naturally water starts pouring in. Meanwhile, a load of private boats, ferries, lifeboats and the like are coming over from England's coastal areas to help evacuate the stranded. They were conscripted by the navy but often were still piloted by the private owners. I read somewhere that most of the boats in real life were not little fishing boats, but were ferries and larger boats but I there must have been some smaller private vessels, too. The only "story" part of the movie was one of these boats, piloted by the owner and his two teenage sons and what happens to them. They pick up a very shellshocked pilot (or might be a sailor that survived a sunken ship) who's been shot down and is sitting on a floating craft. He doesn't want them to go "back" to France because he's sure it's certain death but the owner of the boat, played by Mark Rylance (one of only two actors I recognized) knows it's the right thing to do. 

Everything else is the soldiers, the fighting in the air, the tension of them trying to get on the ships then the ships being bombed or will the Spitfires shoot down the bombers? There's not a lot of dialogue but you don't even notice it. Kenneth Branagh plays a Rear Admiral who's overseeing the whole evacuation operation. He's good in the role, too. It was after this evacuation that Churchill made the speech about fighting on the beaches, in the air etc. "We will NEVAH SURRENDAH"! 

Anyway. Yes. Good movie. I wish my Dad had been alive to see it, he'd have really loved it. 

We did more errands on Sunday including dropping in at a ComicArts festival to see the lay of the land. We only just found out about it a couple of days before or it might have been something G. could have prepared for and set up a table. We wanted to see what  it was all about with the possibility of him going in it next year. 

We took the car back to Mom and stayed for an early supper/late lunch and came back home. Watched a documentary narrated by George Lazenby about his life, and how he came to get the part of James Bond, but though apparently was offered a contract for more, he never took them up on the offer. Most of it wasn't about Bond, since that was only part of his life.You did get the idea of what life was like in London in the swinging 60s, though. He was a model for awhile and had women and drink and drugs in his life. He's an Aussie by birth and came across very arrogant and flip which he seems to fully admit he was. Kind of interesting, anyway. 

Not sure what's on this weekend coming but the next one, there's a Corrie ping so I guess we'll borrow the car again. they've changed the venue to one a bit of a distance away from where we live. My friend usually picked us up but the new place is close to where she lives so I would not ask her to come all the way to get us, go all the way back to the pub and then take us home again. It's easier to get the car. Mom always tells me she'll lend it any time and wonders why I don't ask more often but I don't like to. We generally do ask maybe once every 5 or 6 weeks. If she comes over to visit on a Sunday, we'll sometimes ask her to run us down to the grocery store and we can then get a lot more or heavier stuff. G. usually goes to the grocery store once and sometimes twice a week to get things but he can only carry so much. 

Also saw that the Fan Expo in Toronto over the Labour Day weekend has some excellent guests but we can't go at this late date, with all our other vacations planned. The Comic Con in Toronto in March isn't nearly as good but we did discover there's a Fan Expo in Vancouver while we're there. They don't have more than a couple of guests announced yet but we'll wait a bit and see who they get. We decided if there's anyone really interesting we'll get a one day ticket. Don't want to spend all our time in Vancouver doing that, there's too much else to see, but one afternoon at the convention centre would be ok! Good timing. It actually looks better than the Comic con because it seems to be a wider focus than the comic one. They call it a Pop Culture festival so it covers a lot more, like Steampunk, science fiction, horror, in addition to comics and anime and manga. We will have to keep it in mind and go to the Toronto one next year. I think it must be the labour day weekend every year. Man, though, the hotel prices are astronomical over that weekend!

We can get a good deal on the flights because I've got a companion voucher for $99 through Westjet which cuts the price of the flights down. Good thing, we'll need the cash for the hotels! Still, a long weekend away in Toronto will be ok. We also think we will try to go back to the UK next year. Ohh.... maybe we can fly to the UK from Toronto and continue our vacation from there. Something to think about. Will have to do some organizing. I don't think we can organize a 3 day layover in Toronto on a ticket to the UK, flying here to TO to London. I think the airline would make us book two separate flights. It would be cheaper obviously if there was a way to book the Halifax/Toronto/London flight as one flight. Anyway, never mind, there's ways and means. Incorporating the Fan Expo in with the rest of the vacation is a good idea, though. 

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 We had a long weekend with a holiday Monday. It was crap for me. A dry tickle cough turned into a chest cold. I stayed home from work on Friday and hacked my way through the weekend though thankfully, it hasn't really hung on as long as usual or turned into a head cold like I thought it was going to on Saturday. Perhaps taking Buckley's mixture for the cough and rubbing Vicks on my chest made that much difference, I don't know. I also drank hot honey and lemon as well and I've been taking iron pills so perhaps that pumped up my immune system a bit. Whatever worked, it did the job. I still have a lingering cough but it never got as bronchially bad as it has in the past. I felt guilty calling in sick on the Friday of a long weekend but it's not as if I call in sick all the time or on Fridays/Mondays. I only ever lose maybe 2 or 3 sick days a year, if that, as a rule though I did lose some earlier in the year because my back was out. 

On another plus, my heel seems to be improving quite a bit. The plantar fascitis I had has been lingering and seemed to have got stuck at the 40 or 50% recovery stage. Last week during Tall Ships, we went to the waterfront twice and walked and I thought I would really pay for it but instead, it seems to have pushed the recovery up a notch. It's far less twingey and sore in the daytime and even at night, just only a bit. I think standing for a longer time might be harder on it but the walking was ok. I think i would classify it as a solid 80% recovered or more which is very good because it should be all ok for our trip in November and our day trips and road trip in September with Malcom. I can now start to try to get out for walks and build up the cardio again without fear that I'll be hobbling around. My back is feeling fairly good, too, as good as it generally gets. I should schedule an adjustment soon, though, to keep it in line. Gotta get my hair cut as well, that was going to happen on Friday but i had to cancel. 

Onward and upward. going to borrow Mom's car on the weekend. G. needs to get bloodwork again and we want to go to a movie, probably Dunkirk and probably on the IMAX. Also need to go to Walmart or Canadian Tire because we need house things like a new mop and bucket and a new cooking pot. I burned one of them by turning the a burner on under an empty pot! Doh! 
tvordlj: (Snap Draggin)
Have developed a chesty cough. Crap. Was up most of the night though I have to say, the desperate act of using Vicks rub on my chest does help. Horrible Buckley's cough mixture does too. Tip: It works, it tastes disgusting, kind of like liquid eucalyptus, keep it in the refrigerator and you can get it down. At room temperature, your stomach may rebel. My dad called it Fuckleys. He was right.

Time for the monthly book catch up beneath the cut
2017 books )



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 First of all, Graham became a permanent resident of Canada one year ago today! Thank you Facebook for reminding me. He's been living in Canada since early April last year but the paperwork finally got approved in July and we drove to the US border to exit and return to get the papers stamped. Don't ask me why,  you just have to do that, cross a border into Canada. If he'd still been living in the UK, he could have done it at the airport when flying in. If already living here, driving 6 hours to the nearest US border, crossing and coming back is the next best thing. We made an overnight trip of it in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. Pretty town. 

This was the Tall Ships weekend and though we didn't get as much covered as I thought we might, we did get to the waterfront twice to see the ships docked and got to see the Parade of Sail yesterday. Also went to a movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets on Saturday as well. It was pretty good but not great, for me, though G. loved it. We listened to a review on YouTube and the reviewer talked about there being no chemistry between the lead couple and I have to agree there. I also thought the lead male looked about 14 and didn't strike me as a great fit for the "General" or Commander (I forget his actual title) part. Lots of very good special effects, which we saw in 3D. 
The next movie we will probably try to see is Dunkirk. It wasn't initially on my list but the trailer does look good. I did have a moment when I saw it because I thought how much my dad would have loved it. He loved war movies. He was always interested in reading "real life" stories from WWII and worked with a man that was a POW in a German camp during the war. "Tough as a boiled owl" he'd say, when describing the man. Dunkirk is about the evacuation of several hundred thousand soldiers from the beach at Dunkirk while they were under attack. Even fishermen from local villages along the Channel helped to get the men out. 

Anyway. Tall Ships. Yes. So after the movie we walked down to the waterfront and had a bit of a wander though didn't see that many. We had started at the wrong end! It was warm and humid and overcast and sticky, though so walking was not fun. Met up with my sister and her hubby and we decided to meet up later at a pub on the other side of the harbour. The wait was far too long for a ferry so we took the shuttle bus, a special shuttle the Transit people put on to go from ferry terminal to ferry terminal, express. Perfect. the pub is across the street from the ferry terminal and we managed to get a table for four. Half the tables in there were sporting Reserved signs though I noticed they weren't occupied until nearly an hour after the time on the table sign said.Captain Jack Sparrow put in an appearance, too, likely from the Dartmouth Waterfront pirate shenanigans put on for kids. We waited over an hour for our food, though, which was frustrating. I've been there before and they weren't that bad even though I'd been in when it was busy before. 

Sunday we didn't do anything but Monday we headed back to the Halifax Waterfront and saw the rest of the ships. It was hot and sunny and not always easy to keep going. Lots of crowds. It was a bit disappointing because there weren't as many of the really huge class A ships this year, just a couple. In other years we have seen 4 or 5 or 6 and they are immensely impressive under full sails. 

Yesterday was the Parade of Sail. We'd picked our location and managed to find a shady spot and even had a place to sit, a lucky break though we had to give up our shade after awhile so someone could put their mother's wheelchair in the shade. I didn't mind sitting in the sun and there was a bit of a breeze. G. did get a bit of a sunburn but I had put on the sunscreen so I've escaped the red skin. 

And so the Tall Ships have come and gone for another few years. Last time was 2012. G. enjoyed it. He's never been here in the summer when they've been. 

If you're still with me, My photos are here, which are in a larger album with pics from prior year's Tall Ships
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 It's Tall Ships weekend!!!!!!!! I'm quite excited to see the ships again and there is quite a lot going on in the city as well. There's an Indigenous display on the waterfront where there should be lots of music and costume and that's always colourful. There are the ships of course, and they're free to go on board and have a look around. There are free concerts by local bands all weekend. There is a small island in the harbour that used to be fortified and it's cleaned up and open to the public this weekend though you have to buy a ticket for the transportation and entrance I think. Might do that, might not. hiking around it, though small, is all hills! Fireworks every night. I want to see them at least once, with the ships lit up for the night as well. There's a parade of the crew of the ships, that's a "maybe". I'm taking Monday and Tuesday off because I won't be fitting it all in one day. Tuesday is the Parade of Sail where the ships come down the harbour and back out in full sail. Gorgeous! 

One woman on the bus today said something like "you've seen them once, what's the point of seeing them again".. I can't get enough of them. It's one of my top favourite things about Halifax, the tall ships events every few years. I'll be paying for all that walking, though, because my heel is still sore though there's some improvement. I'll probably be back to square one by Wednesday though if i'm smart, when i do get home after the day out, i'll get the ice out and ice my foot down. That should keep ahead of it some. Home to charge up my camera batteries!

In addition, I think we're going to see that Valerian movie, probably tomorrow since it's looking like a bit overcast and showery. We can play that by ear. If it's not bad when we get out of the movie, we can always go down to the waterfront for a first look at the ships. 
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I stopped by Livejournal just to check up on a couple of people. Saw a couple of notices from the administrators. You can now embed LJ posts elsewhere, and you can now import your Facebook public posts automatically into LJ. But they haven't admitted defeat. Not yet I sense it's close. there's a distinct waft of desperation.

Baby shower for wee Bree next Saturday. I've given her a start on her library, chipped in on something Mom bought her, one of those cross body slings, and I've ordered 3 dozen decorated cookies from the woman at work that also was the one, with her niece, that did our wedding cake. Her cookies are really REALLY good, too.
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 Bloody Air Canada! I suppose they are no worse than most airlines but they do piss me off sometimes. I got a call from the travel agent last night to say that Air Canada had changed the flights for our Hawaii trip, they weren't offering the return flight on the date we'd booked anymore. Or at least not that date. So the options were to shift the flight and hotel by a day later or cancel. But a day later has us on an overnight flight, arriving back in Vancouver first thing in the morning and then on another overnight flight to Toronto that same night. Nooooooo. I might have been able to do that 30 years ago but it would wreck me for a week now I think. But I asked if it couldn't be shifted back a day instead so she checked and said yes it could. I also asked if we cancelled and changed over to a Westjet package (they had a similar one with the same hotel) would we get charged anything by AC. Considering it was AC that moved the goal post, I expected the answer to be No and it was. She got back to me this morning and said it could be rescheduled for one day earlier so that's what we're doing. We'll head to Hawaii out of Vancouver on Nov. 14th instead of the 15th. We get back to Vancouver early early on the 20th instead of the 21st and head home the night of the 22nd. 

So now, I had to shift some other stuff around. I was planning that we would go to stay with my cousin for the two nights before Hawaii but this would only leave us with the one night. Not a lot of time for a good visit. I'd also have to do something about the airport hotel we'd booked for the night of the 21st. I thought maybe, if it wasn't too inconvenient for my cousin, we could go to hers when we get back from Hawaii. That would be a couple of days even if we might be a bit jet lagged from the overnighter. We might even get a day trip in somewhere, perhaps up to Whistler in the mountains. 

I messaged her and she said that would be great, she'd even pick us up and deliver us from/to the airport. I wasn't assuming, though I'd hoped she would. But we could have taken the skytrain from a station out in the burbs where they live. Anyway, with that done, I cancelled the airport hotel and rebooked it for the night before we go to Hawaii. We can take our stuff out there in the evening, have breakfast in the morning and either go into the city on the skytrain or do some shopping and get some lunch in the large mall that's close to the hotel. There's an airport shuttle from the hotel I think. THey'll hold on to our bags until we need to leave. 

Sorted. 
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 Yesterday was our "First Face Day" anniversary. G. and I met in a chat room through a mutual friend and we got to know each other through long chats on MSN back in the day when that's how you communicated online. Chatrooms and MSN or ICQ. His dial up connection was not good for any video chat. We did try once or twice but it was frustrating to say the least. I really had a time getting my head around the feeling that I was developing feelings for someone I had never met face to face as was he. It was not in our plan, either of us but it happened. I was planning a trip to the UK, first to London and then to Manchester where I had friends anyway and he offered me a place to stay. Hmmm... I was fairly confident he was safe. I had a friend of mind meet him and have a chat, to see what he thought. G. was perfectly happy to do that which was scored points. He always said and did all the right things. I never caught him in a lie or mixing up his stories, which is something you have to watch for when meeting someone new, sight unseen. I had feelings for this man so I decided to take the chance, since I did have friends not far away I could go to if it didn't work out.

I was going to do my few days in London as planned along with a couple of nights with a friend there. I'd hop on a train to Manchester after that and spend three days at G.'s, seeing my mates and hanging out, seeing if this really was what it felt like. Then I was on my way to Ireland for a wedding and I persuaded G. to come with me so that we could spend a few more days together. I had to get a hotel anyway so I bought him a cheap flight. Again, could always cancel if things weren't working. 

I missed the train. Really. Not being used to these things, the sign I was watching was for arrivals not departures so I was at the wrong platform when the train to Manchester left. Doh. I had to go back down to the ticket wicket and buy a new one way ticket! Luckily I had bought a mobile phone in London so I could contact him to meet me a bit later. The trains between the two cities are frequent so it wasn't a long wait, just an hour or so. I finally arrived in Manchester Picadilly station. 

We had arranged to meet by the Burger King in the station. I went that way and saw him, but he didn't see me because someone had stopped to ask directions. The next thing I know, we're face to face and it felt like the world faded away. I know that sounds corny but that's really how it felt. It felt right. It still does 13 years later. 

We finally got married 2 years ago. Yep. 11 years long distance, bi-continent. We moved over to Skype so communication was a lot easier now that we could video-chat rather than type. It took that long because he had an elderly dad to keep an eye on and he really didn't feel comfortable leaving the country. His dad passed away at Easter, 2014 and we started to plan our wedding that summer. He's living in Canada now officially and with all the paperwork. 

A happy ending :) 
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 We gathered to celebrate my niece's birthday on Saturday and I finally got to hold the wee baby!! She's soooo tiny, just nudging over 6 pounds now, which is more than a pound since she came home two weeks ago. She's doing very well though does have to feed a lot. She's keeping them hopping. Luckily, her husband is very good with the baby and even took over and let her sleep 4 or 5 hours while he looked after Bree. I think my niece pumps out milk for a bottle feed, too, so he was able to feed her. 

Anyway, I held her for awhile and then of course, there were others in line to have a cuddle including her uncles. It's surprising to see how besotted R. is over the baby, someone that never held one before and wasn't bothered but this baby, as he told his sister, is important. Awww! I still have a photo I took of him when he was five, holding her when she was about 6 months old. He's staring at her little face and they're both smiling hard. He kind of looks at little Bree the same way now! Warms the heart, it does. 

Staci's dad is driving down from Ontario next week to see the baby. He hasn't been here yet and planned a trip later in the summer but he's starting a new job in July so he's making a quick drive down now instead. I say "quick" but it'll take a couple of days to get here.  You can do the drive in one day but it's literally ONE DAY, a solid 18 to 20 hours, highway all the way. THat's without too much stopping other than gas, bathroom and a quick food stop. I used to live north of Ottawa and we would do the drive in about 16 - 18 hours in summer, driving all night. We'd break it up to an overnight stop in winter if we did it at all. Where Staci's dad lives is in Hamilton, which is about half way between Toronto and Niagara (which is west of Toronto). Google maps has it as a 17 and a half hour drive but it ends up being closer to 20 with traffic, break stops, tolls and other delays.

I just had a look at the maps and it would take 60 hours to drive across Canada, from Halifax to Vancouver. That's Google Maps not taking into account breaks, time to sleep etc. It's a big country. Actually Google gives the fastest route through the US, about 57 hours. You would have to take into account the exchange rate which isn't great these days though the price of gas is better than Canada's, it being taxed far lighter. I'd still prefer to stick to Canada though. I don't know if I ever would want to drive across the country but it would be a nice drive over the Rocky Mountains from Calgary or Edmonton to Vancouver. 


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