Sunday, 30 January 2011

There's no Canada like French Canada (not a statement I am qualified to comment on)

Text (paraphrased) to Ali 7.11 am British time 11.11pm Canada time: I'm in a cowboy bar with lots of old people.  It's horrific. (I'm not sure if I thought to mention the red spandex trousers)
Response from Ali "A cowboy bar?  Is that code?  Do you need us to get you out of there?! I will send the chopper.xx"
Apparently there are quite a lot of cowboy types, if not so much here in BC, in Alberta.  I was surprised to learn this (having thought cowboys were largly restricted to the more southern states of America, and that Alberta was mainly full of lumberjacks.)  What a closed mind I evidently had... 
A right royal night oot here differs from one in the motherland.  Mainly in that drinking seems frowned upon.  Buying a drink is tres expensive...  You can't really do it apart from in specialist shops... Bars seem full of sober people, and all close pretty early.  Walking around though, it's not at all uncommon to catch the scent of weed drifting through the air, any time of the day or night.  I am reminded of the Bill hicks chat (  Maybe that's why everyone in Canada is so nice.

I have been a bit at odds with myself over the past week.  Kelowna is not big, and as a non skiier/snowboarder at this time of year there's not a massive amount to be done.  There's the highway - a big neon strip of retail that zooms right past the town centre without stopping to say hello.  Andy took me along it, to 'VALUE VILLAGE'.  Sadly not literally a village, it's an odd mash up - TK max size/layout but the shelves brim with second hand items.  Like the biggest charity shop in the world.  Expet not for charity, just for the pure, unadulterated VALUE. 
More town centrically, we went to the museum of natural heretige, which seemed to encompass the natural heretige of not only Okanagan, but had displays for the WHOLE WORLD.  Which I had not anticipated.  One Canadian specific thing I did learn about was the 'OokPik'  Innuit word for Snowy owl, apparently a popular souvineer that I have yet to see apart from in this museum...

We also went on a windy walk up a hill full of sleeping bears. Kelowna is still pretty when viewed from above, You can't see too far and wide though.  Lots of hills in the way.  But then they are, probably, why the skiing here is so popular..

Paraguay in but 2 days.  I think I would be exited now, if it didn't take so very long to get there...

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Sound Canadian Advice

"Spread the word, not herpes.  Learned that at my Grandaddy's knee."

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Catch a magic moment, do it. Right here and now.

Good news!  I have been inoculated up to the nines and an April 2010 disclosure does count as recent enough to let me into the country to partake in arts and craft activities with children.  Hooray!  The nurse at the surgery was terribly nice about how horrifically late I had left everything, too.  A far cry from my last visit, when the doctor informed me that I should not gain any weight because while I am not quite borderline overweight for my height, I am BORDERLINE-borderline overweight.  And to watch "what went in"  at which point she kindly mimed eating for me.  Presumably in case I had let myself get into such a tragically enormous state by not being familiar with the basic processes of weight gain.  Anyway, past bitterness aside - To Paraguay!  Via Canada to see Andy!  :)

I think there might be scope for writing a rom com about flying through time zones to see ones boyfriend.  You're counting down months, counting down weeks, counting down days, then the departure date finally arrives and BAM it's 32 sodding hours long!  And things keeps happening to make it longer, like Canada being so cold the doors of the plane freeze shut and no-one can get out.  Hilarity ensues.  And if my mp3 player shuffle function were in charge, largely to the sound track of Meat Loaf and Mumford and Sons.  Delicious.

Having said that the my trip over was without trauma, apart from the shop at Calgary airport which has huge mooses dressed as mounties.  Which I just can't get over.  Before coming here I was probably just a little bit too convinced that Scotland and Canada were preeety similar (...they've even got the queen on the money...) Though first impressions would suggest that Canada is substantially more perky, as a rule.  Everything is bigger too, and more spread out.  No cautiously cramming everything into high rises and grid iron patterns.  Which makes sense of course, what with all the space.  Everything is pretty big to be fair, from bottles of shampoo the buckets of peabutter... Nutfree peanut butter that I suspect at home exists only in 'special shops', readily available in supermarkets here.  Yeah.

Had a lovely few days wondering round Kelowna with Andy.  It's a very pretty wee city, hills and lakes everywhere you look.  We attempted to visit a cheese farm, though it was somewhat further out than the signpost let on and successfully visited a 'wine museum'.  Though that was basically just a wine shop with an enormous barrel for maturing wine in sitting up the back.  We speculated there may be funding available for museums.  Activities aside, seeing Andy again makes things all aces.  He is back twisting at the tomato today, so I shall offski to see what is to be done of a Saturday afternoon when your a non-working type in Kelowna town.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A bit of a worry

Trebuchet, thats what this font is called.  I should be interested to know the roots of the decision to name a relatively inoffensive font after a middle ages siege machine.

Thats not the worry though, the worry is that I appear to have cast all my organizational skills out to sea.
I'm going to Paraguay on the 1st of February, and haven't even had any jabs.  Actually I haven't even had the consultation appointment with the nurse about what jabs you need to get.  Although the internet has made some suggestions.  And it looks like as long as I don't drink any dirty water I should be OK.  And I'll be honest, that was kind of my plan anyway.
On a similar note, I didn't send away to get a letter of good conduct from the police because I've got a recent disclosure Scotland Form.  Can't find that, found lots of weight watchers biscuits which I bought a while ago in an effort to beat my snacking habit...  Got one from April (a disclosure not a biscuit) and I've only been pulled over by the police once since then for driving 20mph in a 30mph limit when it was icey.  (0 on the breathalyser, I might add.)

Oh my God I'm going to be shut out of Paraguay because of my appalling ineptitude.