Wednesday, November 02, 2011

O the eighties

Wedding photos

Not mine of course!! :)   But doesn't Mark look spiffy in his smancy suit!?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

October heat

Last Saturday Mark and I went to Hever Castle, which was the childhood home of Anne Bolyn. It was October 1st and the weather was unreal; close to 29 degrees!  Apparently it was hottest day in October in the UK on record ever.  Look at me experiencing history!  Anyhoo, Hever Castle was awesome.  There was a huge Italian garden and a man-made lake put in in 1905 by a rich American, Mr Astor (of Waldorf Astoria hotel).  The man that inspired the character Falstaff (from Shakespears' Henry IV)also lived in this house at one point.  Great place to visit, and it was not too far away in Kent. There was also a 'water maze' which was very fun.

Someone was having a wedding here in the early evening. That would have been sooo nice!

The Water Maze

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adult Education

I started my ‘Introduction to Ballet’ class at Morley College on Monday evening. Picture the ballet teacher in Gilmore Girls, make her British and her hair sandy grey and you have my Instructor. She is brilliant! In my short ballet career I have already had 3 tutors and they have all been so different.

It is a 12 week course, learning the basics: vocabulary, moves, etc, of ballet. I am happy to be starting a course and not just doing drop-in sessions. I think this way I will learn and progress at a better pace. I wasn’t sore the next day after my first class but my feet are often sore while doing the positions. I guess I will just have to put even more effort into it next week.

At work on the day a co-worker, Justine, and I discovered that we were going to the same place on Mondays. She was starting a Spanish class, which is going on at the same time. What are the odds?! So we get to walk there together each week. It is a small world even in London sometimes.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

I got a letter in the mail

I am very happy to report that yesterday I received a letter in the post from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  I have been deemed as an eligible sponsor for Mark's residency application!!   This is GREAT news - the application wasn't lost (whew), and we only have 8 more months of proccessing to go!!!  I was very nervous about this first stage of the application as the criteria to prove my intention to return to Canada was surprisingly hard to meet.  I am not so worried about the second stage of the application, proving our relationship is genuine, essentially.  So I am very happy.

In other news, has anyone ever had to go out and buy new underwear because all the ones they have are in the wash basket?  Well I have just done this.  PAH!! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Movie channels

I just watched "The Ugly Truth" with Kathryn Heigal and Gerard Butler.  It wasn't very good, HOWEVER, their chemistry was amazing. Perhaps anyone who has seen it felt the same.  Whew... LOL

I have too many movie channels.  I feel guilty if I don't watch them enough; having to pay for them and all.  I end up watching crap!! :)   TV does really make you into a zombie sometimes.  I can find myself staring at the TV not really watching, not really blinking.  Madness!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not a good idea

I left a pear in the side pocket of one of my backpacks for a week and a half.  Ewwwww. Not a good idea.

Friday, July 15, 2011

One thing I won't miss

One thing I won’t miss about London is running for a train.

Imagine this:

You arrive on the Underground train at London Bridge station at near enough 10:11pm; your above ground train leaves the station at 10:14pm. If you miss it there is a 30 minute wait until the next one and you just want to get home so you can go to sleep! You have to cover the entire length of the station including 2 escalators (1 of which is one of the longest you may have ever ridden on) gates, steps and a large ramp. This can comfortably be done in about 5 minutes, you have just over 2 minutes, as trains often close and lock their doors up to 30 seconds before their leaving time.

Last night I played cricket in the park with my co-workers (story maybe another time ) and on the way home I had to run for the train. The Underground pulls into London Bridge and I am getting mentally and physically prepared to run. The door opens and I bust out onto the platform 1 bag on each shoulder. I run around the corner and up some stairs, more running and then the behemoth escalator. I sprint up it and by the time I reach the top my legs are on fire and the first normal steps I take on flat ground, my legs nearly give way. More running and then the ticket barrier, more running and another ticket barrier, then another escalator (shorter this time – thank Jesus), then more running up a ramp! I have made it to the train platform at 10:13 and 15 seconds, I get on the first door and even get a seat – but it is hard being normal on a train after all this physical exertion. You are breathing so heavy that I am sure everyone in a 6 foot radius is feeling it. You are very sweaty and your throat is hurting, at least mine was. You are happy you made the train, but wonder if it was worth it to run when you can’t even read a newspaper or look at your phone for fear of chucking from the nausea. Mark has a theory that a train a quarter past the hour is just a bad time and if it was at half past this wouldn’t happen so often. I am sceptical of this. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Inspiring crap TV

I love weight loss shows: The Biggest Loser, Fat Families, Too Fat for Fifteen.  I mean, I don’t watch them that often, they are quite repetitive and my time can be better spent say – exercising.  But today I watched one (while eating Chinese food LOL hmm) and I cried my eyes out when Daniel fell below the red line. 

I guess I just love the transformation, someone losing 100 pounds is like turning Steve Buscemi into Brad Pitt; looks wise of course.  Steve is a much better actor already. J    It’s just so exciting and uplifting.  I would like to lose 5 pounds, but that is not going to inspire anyone.   I would have to learn a new language or something to compare...   Nope that wouldn't compare either!

Update: Visa Application still not arrived in Mississauga; it will be a month tomorrow since we sent it.  Now I am getting nervous it's lost.  No movement from the 'delivery depo' since 29th June!  GAH.  I know I shouldn't worry about things beyond my control, but it would be really unfortunate if it is gone.  Hoping for the best.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Who would have thought

That the Riders would be 0-2 at home, and more crazily that Winnipeg and Edmonton would both be 2-0 and Edmonton is the only West team with a perfect record left.

Its a new year! (unfortunately)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I've got a girl crush...

On Kate Middleton and her lovely hair. Maybe girls will stop trying to be fake blonds based on her brown hair example. LOL or maybe I am putting to much confidence into Kate's influence over popular culture. Or maybe I shouldn't worry about the fake blonds.

See below for some photos of the people camping out before the royal wedding. Mark and I went exploring the night before the morning wedding. We did not sleep in the city streets!! I saw a lot of Canadians who were though!

'Westminster Abba' (so we were told) - two very nice men from Guelph

Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day

I went down to the Canada Day celebrations in Trafalger Square in my lunch hour today.  I noticed that there was a Saskatchewan booth this year (first time I have seen Saskatchewan represented!) went and chatted to the lady at the booth and ended up answering some Saskatchewan triva and Ipod touch!  I was in shock!   THANK YOU SASKATCHEWAN!!

Blue Rodeo also played a free concert this evening.  A great day and evening :).  Happy Canada Day to all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Its Ryan not Brian

I got to go to the Ryan Adams acoustic show on Monday at the Barbican.  It was AMAZING!  I have counted up that I have seen Ryan Adams 4 times (I didn’t think I had seen him that much!) and each time the show was mostly with a band and electricy guitar versions of the songs.  This was perfect.  The crowd were angels – so quiet.  I had a few ‘moments’!  J

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Finally done!

I am happy to say that Mark and I have finally mailed the Canadian Permanent Residency Visa Application in this Tuesday.  We have been working on it off and on since March.  And since 1 June we had been working very hard on it. Now that it is posted away I feel so free!  It was like working on a huge school project but worse!!   I don't expect we will find out until sometime after Christmas. Fingers crossed!

Ballet Update

Well I have been to 2 classes now.

The first one last last Thurday at the London Russian Ballet School and as you would expect the instructor was Russian.  A petite man in tights - the most defined leg muscles I had ever seen.  I supoose that is because men don't usually wear tights but you know!  The class size was small, which was good, but everyone knew much more that I did, even though it was supposed to be absolute beginner ballet and also the Russian fellow just launched right into it and with english being his second language, mostly would just use his hands and 'put' you into position.  'Put' could also mean: pull, push, wrench, bend! :) It was difficult because I didn't have a clue on the postions but we weren't suppose to look down! The class was almost 2 hours long and my feet were so sore afterwards.  I do think I learned a lot that first day, but is was like a rabbit to the wolves.  I think a one point the Russian called my hand position a limp fish!

The second class I went to just this Thursday last was the Absolute beginner ballet class at the Central School of Ballet, which isn't too far from my work.  The instructor was a camp Aussie fellow and he was very nice and funny.  The class was much bigger, there was even some men in it!  It was a bit more what I would expect from a beginner class which is good and I think I will go to this one for a while and then maybe when I know the moves i will try the Russian one again. Eeeee.  In this class I don't get as much personal attention - and based on week 1 lords know I am not doing most things right!!

One issue for me is getting into 'position 1' where most ballet moves start and finish!!

My feet go into this postion while standing straight up

But they should be in this position!

(The above photo was achieved by me leaning over almost 90 degrees!!)  I am not sure if I can ever bend this way standing straight up!

This ia how I knew everyone was futher along then I was at the Russian school, every single woman could get into this position, even this lady who was quite easily 200 pounds.  I have some work to do!!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

British Children

Are so cute and intelligent sounding - especially Karen.  She is a star!

New exercise hobby

I am starting on Thursday after work at the London Russian School of Ballet

Adult Beginner Balltet Classes!  Woot.

I had to sew the straps on the shoes myself.  Pretty decent job hey!?!

I didn't think until much later after I got this idea in my head that the classes might be really busy because of Black Swan's popularity. Ah well. 

The reason I got interested in ballet is because I have really been anjoying my Pilates classes and I thought about what else I could try to work on my core strength and flexiblity.

Soooo excited!  I even have a leotard and a tie-up sweater.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting the woe out

Bad news - I didn't get accepted to the MPA program with the UofR Grad school.  I found out 2-ish Monday's ago and I was pretty devistated to say the least.  It felt like my whole life might change course just because of this one decision that wasn't even mine.  I was so excited to go back to school.  I can still try again, but it won't be the perfect time like this was.  It also really sucks being rejected.  I checked back like 10 times just in case it wasn't true... sigh

ALSO I just checked and my flights home in August (which I have already purchased) are on sale for 200 pounds cheaper than what I paid for them.  That is about $300!!!!  NOT COOL! :(

Anyways that is all the bad stuff in my life, I think I am doing pretty good otherwise.  Keeping on carrying on. :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Warm Weather Easter

We had a four day weekend for Easter and the weather was AMAZING! 

Friday            26 degrees C
Saturday        27
Sunday          26
Monday         23

And the best past, everyday SUNNY!  My tan right now is at summer level goodness.  :)

On Friday we went to Leeds Castle.  Mark's mom drove (which was very nice of her).  There was some kind of Easter treasure hunt going on as I have never seen some many families with young children!  It felt odd not having a child in tow! We brought a picinc and enjoyed in on the beautiful lawns.

On Sunday Mark and I took a passenger boat from Westminster to Hampton Court to visit Hampton Cout Palace, which was built during Henry VIII's reign.  Beautiful gardens there as well.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


I am pretty excited!! I think I have decided to go back to school.   Master Public Administration at the U of R.  I researching last week and I saw it and I just had this moment of clarity (which I never get when I am thinking about school) and everything felt like it was falling into place.

I am really happy.  Now I just need to apply and be accepted!!  HOPEFULLY!

January 2012 here I come!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I just wanted to chronicle that today I ran 8.5km on the treadmill.  That is 1 hour, straight, of jogging.  WOOT to me.  That is 3 km more the longest I have ever ran before!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Birthday

And what a lovely day it was!  My co-workers decorated my desk and got me prezzies. Di sent me flowers, Matt bought me a yummy cake, Mark and I went out for Thai food and then went to Dolorean in concert.  And afterward I even went and chatted briefly to the lead singer, Al, and got my picture taken with him!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Library

I have worked at my current office building for 2 years and 21 days. Every morning on my way to work I walk by the Shoe Lane Library and think, “I should go take a look in there at lunch”. And I never have. Well today I finally went in. I had forgotten about how useful a Library can be. In these days of the internet, libraries have slipped off the radar for a lot of people. But I hope they flock back. I always have this unsettled feeling when working on the computer, most specifically my laptop; a feeling like I can’t see the full picture, like something is missing. (It is probably a table!!). Anyways I am heading back to the library, getting a card and taking out some books. I would like to get back to learning without looking at a screen!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Slush Mug!

Jen very thoughtfully sent Mark and I a box of Christmas gifts.  She was on the ball and sent it around 4 December 2010,  But it didn't arrive at my house until 27 January 2011!!   I blame Britian! :)

The coolest thing (heehee) in the box were the 'slush mugs' which can turn pretty much any drink into a slush, due to the glacial core.  You freeze the core (the white part) in the freezer for 6 hours and then it magically makes the drinks go slushy when they are poured in.   Best invention ever!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Don't set your hair on fire!

Last night, Friday evening, I had my birthday drinks at a pub by Liverpool Street Station, the Water Poet.  It was very nice and was a good turn out. 

Chris gave me a cake, photo below.

The "Kim Sucks" cake was very thoughtful. Because on Chris's birthday I baked him this:

Mark had me write that on the top with marshmellows.  Chris loves my cakes and says they are the best ones he has ever had, so I am happy to make them for someone who appreciates them so much!!

Last night I also got a birthday card that had a secret, good luck, scratch message on the front, so I was leaning over the table scratching away, and my hair is getting longer (and I straightened it for the occation) and there was a fancy tea-light on the table.  Need I say more?



While leaning over I suddenly heard a sizzeling in my ear, I instintively moved back, and it's a good thing because by then there was smoke and the whole room smelt like burning hair.  It is a good thing I don't use hair spray or my whole head could have been up in flames!!!  WHEW 

So I suppose there wasn't any fire just a little sizzel.  A small strip of my hair about 3 inches long was chared and clumped and I got Frances to brush it out.  Surprisingly you can't really tell it happened now, but I was worried at the time that it would show that I had a chunk missing!  

Not sure how lucky the card was then!  But after I did finish scratching it to show the message it said the following will give me good luck this year: The number 28, striped socks, the colour orange and squirrels!  The number 28 though!  Oooooo thats how old I am turning! 

The rest of the night I kept getting wafts of burnt har smell.

Anyways I am safe and still have hair.  And thanks to everyone who came out.   

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday

UPDATE POST GAME - WOOT, I was pretty close on my predictiions.  Final score: Packers 31 - Steelers 25.


Unfortunately I can't watch the Super Bowl live as the festivities kick off at 11pm Sunday evening, but I will be sticking me head in the sand all day Monday at work, as to not find out the score, and watch it Monday evening.

My prediction:

Green Bay Packers:    28
Pittsberg Steelers:       24

I have disliked the Steelers for years, not really sure why, I bet that my dad hates them and it has filtered down from there!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Who do you think you are?

I am very excited.  I have bought a ticket to the "Who do you think you are National History show." Link below.

Basically it is a big Geneology trade show.  I have been researching my family tree for about 2 years now.  I have had some success, but lately I spend a lot of hours not finding pretty much anything.  I am going to have to start digging deeper. Anyways this show should be brilliant.  There is an ask the expert section and lots of learning seminars, 3 of which I am already booked into (Organising your Family tree, Best Geneolgy websites, and Ireland: Finding your realatives born there).  I know that it is a bit of an odd hobby, more usually practised by retirees!   My boss at work teasingly calls me a geek.  I don't mind, I really do enjoy it.

This photo below is my great great great great grandpa, Francis Porter who was born in Ireland around 1820.  He was a reverend in a town called Bready.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My actual resolutions

Once I read Jen B's blog and she had 100 resolutions I thought I should think of a few more. 


- I would like to restart knitting (I got all this yarn for Christmas last last year and all the sudden I stopped knitting, must get on that)

- I would like to get to the gym at least twice a week. (So far this is going pretty well as there is this pilatess class on Wednesday evenings that I really enjoy going to, and I usually get to the gym on Sundays. So maybe I should try for  3 times!)

- I am only going to eat McDonald's on 6 occations in the entire year.  (So basically once every 2 months, so it would be best to go as long as I can before the first time; save up my times :). 

- Less snacking at work

- To be more friendly and open in work and social situations. 

- To get the 7:55 train to work everyday and not sleep in and get the 8:15 which makes me late for work

- I need to decide what is happening in my life in the second half of 2011 and also 2012 (I need to do this be thinking seriously about whether I would like to go back for more schooling and in WHAT. )

That last one is a big one, gulp.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ssllyod in Paris

When Dad came to visit in December, he, Mark and I too a train trip to Paris.  We stayed for 3 nights at a great hotel, Place de'Arts, in the Montmarte area.  I would definately stay there again if I went to Paris again.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I have a cold

Wednesday morning I was fine, then at work I started sneezing more than usual.  BOOM running nose, sniffling, a cold.  Today I am running from the eyes.  I swear no one get the same kinds of colds a me.  I guess we all have our personal kind of cold. 

Black Swan tomorrow, woohoo I am excited.

We have reorganised the funiture in the living room slightly since the christmas tree was taken down.   FYI organize in the UK is with an s not a z.  Who knew!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It Snowed!

On December 1st look how much snow we had!

And when the snow started melting the icey snow ripped the evesdrough right off the back roof!!

In Brugge

On the weekend at the end of October Mark and I took at trip to Brugge, Belgium.  We also had a stop in Brussels on the way.  Belgium is beautiful!  I couldn't believe all the old cool buildings.  In the 1300's Brugge was the 3rd biggest city in Europe. It is very old.  Also 'In Brugge' is a great movie.  See it :)