Monday, 31 July 2006

A little more silliness before I get serious again.

The Simpsons maker.

Somewhat less flexible than Meez but WAY faster.

Sunday, 30 July 2006

I feel less than I used too.

While never being exactly mr. Blobby, for several years I've been gently developing around the centre section, and recently it's gone beyond what I feel comfy with.

So I stopped eating biscuits, cakes and all sorts *between meals*.

Started cycling regularly again - 30 mins a day, usually as hard as I can on the way to work.

The results? I weigh about 11lb less than I did 10 weeks ago. I'm also hungry most of the time, and as my metabolism is running faster I'm also finding it harder than usual to keep cool (sorry for the sweaty hug at church Olivia).

Actually this faster metabolism is becoming an issue. Last night I got home having been to a wedding (GREAT food, good wine) then a friends housewarming (more food, more wine). Now the weather has got cooler here this w/e but last night I just couldn't stay cool. No covers, yet I was just hot and perspiring all night (yeah, I know. Yuech!). Playing at church this afternoon, my skin resting against the guitar body was literally slick and I could feel trickles on my back.

Great to be fit, but maybe I should have waited until winter?

Saturday, 29 July 2006

Completely trivial

But I just like this smilie.

BTW I rode to work today (and back) and then repeated the loop I did on Wednesday with Ben: towpath to lower Heyford (fixed puncture - GRRRR) Over the hill across the fields to Northbrook and Tackley, then over the railway and up to Kirtlington before a long grind back to Somerton.


Ben dropped his mobile on Wednesday and we needed to find it.

We were not successful.

Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Yesterday evening was beautiful

We were at housegroup, all sat around in Sue and Ian’s garden in the cool of the evening. Birds were squabbling in the trees, a hedgehog was briefly spotted running around and conversation - both the idle chit-chat and specific to the study – was good.

We’ve been gradually working our way through Acts and were covering the bit from 4v31 to 5v11. Many might focus on Ananias and Saphira, but there seemed to be much more of value in thinking through the preceding section about the early church having all things in common and people selling fields and possessions so that there was no-one in need.

This has been suggested by some as an early form of communism, and I’ve seen people try to use it to illustrate both how communism is wrong (there were poverty issues later) and how communism is God-ordained. At the outset we need to understand, this was NOT communism, but instead having all things in common would likely have been similar to lending your car to someone who needed it. If needs were identified then someone might sell something they owned voluntarily but would have kept ownership and control of all their possessions otherwise.

So instead, what we see is a picture of a church where love was practiced in practical ways, so that those who would have been most poor should be able to eat and clothe themselves. But why should they have been poor, you might ask? Wasn’t everyone supposed to work to support themselves?

The more I read around Acts and the way the first church was, it seems to me they were living effectively together as a community (this not unusual in those times i.e. the community at Q’umran). There are references to deacons being appointed *to wait on tables* (they must have therefore all eaten together) so that the apostles didn’t have to be distracted from prayer and bible study by handling practical needs. But why did they do that, and why such a strong emphasis on the need to study instead of being out ‘pastoring’ and preaching as you might find in many current church models?

It seems most likely to me that they were working through the implications and theology of what Jesus death and resurrection meant for them in the light of their Jewish traditions and practices. It is telling that many years later, when the apostles wrote a letter to gentile Christians about what they should practice, instead of instructing them to adopt detailed traditions they simply told them to keep sex within marriage, not to get involved in idolatry and to stay away from blood and improperly slaughtered animals (Acts 15v29). While there were clearly a great deal more to their beliefs than this (the Pharisees that were part of the church tried to force their traditions on those Gentile believers) it must have required a great change of thought patterns and revelation to understand what it meant to be the ‘body of Jesus’ as the church is, and to un-pick Jewish tradition and restrictions from the new found freedom they had received through Jesus. In fact there was a constant battle as the superceded tried to dominate the new life.

I’ve often tried to put myself in their place, but frequently found it impossible. Now it seems that things are making more sense. Of course they were meeting in the temple – it was the largest open public structure, and was designed for religious practice, although obviously not a practice that involved a personal intimacy with God. But it must have been an amazing time, seeing how the fresh revelations fitted in with existing scripture, how understandings that had been held for centuries were thrown into sharp relief by the light of the Holy Spirit. How the role of relationship was discovered through the community life and how people were built together.

Unfortunately it DID go pear shaped later on. They became too inward focussed, and required persecution by the religious leadership before they would actually start fulfilling their commission ‘to take the gospel to the ends of the earth’ and leave Jerusalem. But for me, this scripture gives a fascinating glimpse into the newly-born church, and how it might have operated.

Monday, 24 July 2006

Are thoughts like buses or buses like thoughts?

Because there are periods when ‘none’ appear, then suddenly several arrive at the same time.

I’ve been provoked in several areas (in no particular order):

Being influential and the emerging church

How the internet and meeting people from a wide range of cultures should help us lose our parochialism/sense of national superiority.

Concern over movement of food across huge distances

The current ‘war’ with Lebanon and Israel.

All this stuff seems to be swirling round my head in a great morass right now, with everything being a little connected to everything. There’s a sense that something is quite wrong with the world (like we didn’t know that anyway) and that it’s too complex to unpick, but that we need to unpick it anyway.

There’s a forum I frequent that is primarily populated by American citizens. The number of non-Americans that post could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand, and as a result it reflects a perspective that is unique to that country. That perspective gets ruffled sometimes by those few outsiders that think differently, which is certainly educational, but often unrewarding for the thinker that dares to speak.

My friend Fernando with the desk over there has lived in a variety of countries, and until recently in Dheli. His blog has been the target of abuse from individuals that think of the world through a solely and aggressively Indian perspective. These are clearly educated people (unlike *some* in the above forum) but failing (possibly deliberately) to think outside their culture.

There’s another forum that I contribute to that has a very large membership and is very international indeed. Although a majority of contributors are from the US, there are many English speakers with varied levels of education from across the world that contribute. Naturally this sometimes causes some heated discussions, but it also brings a much more balanced – if somewhat distinctly un-Christian – perspective.

On the first forum I mentioned someone asked the question recently “what does someone who is not tied in their thinking to a specific state believe in”? Rather than run down the attitude of Americans to God and country, this seems to beg a different question – since we have access to direct communication with people of so many nations, why are we so determined to remain nationalistic and blinkered in the way we view the world. I’ve certainly seen this thinking on UK forums. Ditto those posters on Ferns’ blog (interesting, considering how much of the call-centre business has been moved to India). I’m sure this isn’t unique to the English speaking world either.

So why, do we pigeon hole people as Rag-heads, Krauts, Spics and Ros-beefs? Sure, there is a desire for a peer group, a tribe to belong to, but there must come a realisation that under the veneer of culture, people ARE basically the same.

The net has been a great learning experience for me, and meeting the people I have has definitely changed my worldview. Some areas have been strengthened (prejudices confirmed unfortunately) but some have been challenged and required careful reconsideration. Meeting people in many different countries has also helped, but communicating through the net has meant that ideas can be shared more freely – it’s much safer to offend someone on the internet and share ideas honestly. Once or twice I have seen people so angry that I think they might have tried to shoot me had we been in the same room, or at least that’s how it felt.

Typing that last paragraph, the words ‘prejudices confirmed’ worry me.

When does understanding racial characteristics stop and expecting or even revelling in racial failing begin? See, I know what to expect from people from various countries, but I want to accept them and help them see the bigger picture. I hate (that’s not too strong a word) the way countries colour their history, hedging in their citizens understanding. Living in a world where conspiracy theories proliferate at the drop of a hat doesn’t help: most of the time people bumble through life, staggering from one crisis to another. There are very, very few that can manipulate things in the sophisticated and detailed manner that those who look for black helicopters imagine. Most of the time life for ordinary people is just trying to scratch a living, doing their jobs, loving their kids (seeing their mistresses) making sure there’s food and clothes and transport to work.

I have 2 endings for this post. The obvious one is that we need to think like ‘global citizens’ caring for the planet and losing our sense of racial superiority.

But the one that I KNOW is right isn’t like that. In Hebrews Paul talks about ‘men of faith’ who were ‘looking for a city’ that didn’t yet exist. This, I think, is the answer to the question that was asked “what do you believe in”? I believe in a kingdom that is here and now, but isn’t ruled by men. It doesn’t challenge with tanks and planes, but instead it challenges us to lay down our lives. I’m looking for the kingdom of God, and as someone that hasn’t really got an allegiance to any single state here on earth, I’d say that’s what I believe in as a patriot.

Wonder what will drop out of the brain tomorrow?

Saturday, 22 July 2006

Well THAT'S a wedding I won't forget in a while.

In a good way though.

Absolute lashing rain, flooded roads, thunder and lightning. The electricity was off in the village when we arrived, so no recorded music, no organ and no lights. Paul and Julia were happy throughout though, for a very traditional wedding service, and so we were for them.

The cakes were interesting too, weren't they Diane?

I wish I could get dry this morning.

We seem to be having a time of *raised* humidity, from which I can make the following observations:

Shaving damp skin is difficult.
Towels never seem large enough.
That trickling feeling on my back is probably not imagination.
People get ratty and grumpy when they’re too hot.
Work requires a little extra push to just keep moving.

I actually wrote this yesterday morning, along with a bunch of stuff about uncertain futures, but it's just as applicable now as then.

Chris and I awoke this morning to the sound of torrential rain. Not good, considering we're going a wedding (for those who know them - Serge and Piggers) this afternoon. But the sun has come out, the temperature up and the humidity likewise. It's just amazingly sticky now, so all those plans of suits and fancy jacket and hat combos have gone.

Do hope the church at Wootton is coolish inside.

Praying you two will have many years of happiness and contentment together.

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

What a (hot) day.

REALLY sweltery today. The lab felt cool with a measured temperature out of the direct airstream from the AC unit of 29.2'C

Circuit training was cancelled due to the heat (kinda sensible really) and instead Chris and I had a barbeque outside.


And of course that's when the thunder and lightning started. Then a few spots of rain - hence the brolly.

Then I went back to work to switch the coldroom chiller unit back on, as the poor thing was just hitting the thermal trip earlier.

However I did manage to do some prep for tomorrow night. It'll be our first study in a while, so I hope it's useful AND stimulating.

Thanks Fern - it's close enough for now.

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Good sweaty evening.

Not sure what PA and all points 5000+ miles west of here are like, but the thick walls of an old house certainly know how to hold the heat.

Well we had a busy weekend and even this evening has been pretty full.

Saturday we took Chris's mum to a family 60th wedding anniversary party and at the same time dropped in on my mother, as it was her birthday too on Friday. We got dragged into the party when collecting Chris's mum and ended up being a little later than intended. Sunday was a round of cut grass/food shopping/starting a head cab/church/BBQ after with Kita and Dan.

Suddenly it was Monday and another busy day at work.

But tonight I had a second practice for the band we're going to have at the fun day, and I needed that cab finished so I could take a particular amp. Fortunately Ben took pity on me and threw it together during the day. The amp DID work well, and although I played pretty badly it actually sounded really nice: crisp and mildly crunchy Fender brownface clean tones and soldano-style high gain stuff. I do need to work on the solos rather a lot though - it would be nice to sound like I meant it, rather than some hack from a church who only knows the notes.

Then shopping in Tesco's graveyard shift and finally home.

Got everything away, then upstairs only to find that Twiglet the cat has killed and partially eaten an adult rabbit in the bathroom.


Finally got it cleared up, so now I'm just blogging and catching up quickly before bed. Busy day tomorrow.

p.s. - Johanna - hope you can start sleeping better.

Friday, 14 July 2006

Specially for Lauralea


With Black cheery or Apricot sauce.


As you can see, Olivia needs the extra calories, poor thing.

Thursday, 13 July 2006

Canadian readers

Does this ring any bells for you?

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

A quick break

- - - - before the storm hits: I’m about to start plate coating again (on the day I return from holiday!) as well as running a routine evaluation assay, pick up where I left off etc.

What was I thinking about earlier? Free-form or organised life.

There’s a challenge and demand I’m becoming increasingly aware of: the demand that everything is organised, ordered, sequenced and set in place. I love to live free-form, where I do whatever falls to hand and needs to be done right now, and while a certain degree of planning is quite acceptable, preferable even, I still prefer to *mostly* live in the now rather than in sequence.

The challenge is coming because there aren’t really enough hours in the day to operate free-form, and some things have to go out so the most important get done. This isn’t just work related, but stuff like preparing for church related things all require some advanced planning. However preparing stuff in advance requires memory, and that’s a commodity in very short supply. It’s no good preparing a week or 2 weeks in advance if you can’t remember or store up your original line of thinking and enthusiasm.

Another thing springs to mind. Randall mentioned he was surprised at how pastoral I apparently was in our discussions. Today I felt like a donkey a couple of times (not just an ass) having all kinds of things placed on its back: I almost wanted to run away in despair! This has given me an insight and sense of pity for those that pastor churches where there is continual dissention and strife – how do they cope? It was nice to be welcomed, but someone here said they were glad I was back because I would referee and hopefully stand between them and the combatants. This IS work – not a Baptist church - although it sometimes feels like people think it is one.

Just one more thing – I have a large mozzie bite on my neck that keeps bleeding, and one on the palm of my left hand that sometimes itches furiously

Ho hum. Back to the lab.

Why does it have to be so nice?

Outside that is.

The air was cool in the shade, yet sweet-smelling with grass, trees and moist earth. Memories are still clinging from the last couple of weeks, and returning to work is a somewhat impolite (rude is a slightly strong word) awakening from a period of rest and relaxation. Back to the demands of work, people’s issues, problems and stresses.

I was wondering while in the shower this morning about whether I’d have to perform a particular piece of work this or next week. First thing I saw on the whiteboard in the office was that we had an urgent need for that to be done – at least I had an answer.

Things are coming back, although the brain is reluctant to get up to speed still. I have a feeling some more adrenalin will arrive later, when the US wakes up. Our MD is currently there, and I’m expecting to need a chat with him after this much time out of the loop. There’s also someone that wants certain materials shipped out that require very detailed and specific information before customs will let them in. Said person doesn’t seem to grasp that the information needs to be detailed and accurate with the kind of data that only they can supply. Customs don’t take kindly to vagueness, and our shipping people aren’t happy being hounded either. I sense a heated ‘discussion’ later too, as well as a lot of time for me to root through cold storage here.

It’s nice that people here are pleased to see me though.

And talking of detailed information – we had an odd experience involving home-made wine on the way home.

Phil (whose house we stayed in last week) makes wine in substantial amounts. He was kind enough to give us tasters and then a bottle to bring home with us, and this is where things got interesting.

One case was heavy (79lb heavy) – 50lb is the limit for the baggage handlers - while one was light at around 29lb. While moving stuff between cases the lass on the check-in desk noticed that we had a bottle of wine. Apparently home made wine is not permitted on internal flights for security reasons (I guess a wine bottle of liquid explosive would look V similar to a bottle of wine on Xray). After detailed questioning and offering to give it up (somewhat reluctantly) we were allowed to keep it, but with the understanding this was an exception. I suspect if we’d not been a family and of different ethnic origins then things would have been (understandably) different.

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

We spent the day with Chris's mum

It was her 80th birthday today.

Took her to Warwick castle. A good place if you like history and spectacle. Darn' expensive these days though.

This is the state of play

for that strat, right now.

Not quite happy with the tone of my 'mangled' bridge bucker. More experiments to come.

I'm wondering......

...... about many things.

But nothing really solidifies in my thoughts. Not into a majorly post-worthy comment, anyway.

I'm still unpicking or *processing* (as Randall would call it) thoughts from our time with in Canada. We already miss them (and everyone else too). Ben was grumpy about it just getting into the car to drive to the airport.

Randall and I were talking about the nature of heaven - I'd suggested it'll be a place where we can all enjoy the company of those we love in all sorts of disparate places without having to travel hours or even lifetimes to meet them. I'd suggest it's substantially more than that, but it's certainly an aspect to consider.

I'm still quite concerned about R,L and fam though. While we were there it *appeared* that a measure of recovery was taking place, but I also wonder if that was just a bit of an 'eye of the storm' time. Or more likely, the grace of God allowing them to walk with a slightly odd bunch of foreigners while they needed to appear somewhat normal.

Enough rambling. Bed soon.

Kita, Dan, Livi, Laura

You around this Thursday for a 'return from somewhere else' get together?

We've missed you all.

Monday, 10 July 2006

What a welcome back to England.

We went to bed at 9.45 last night. I finally awaoke around 9.15 am, having been up in the night to let the cat in/wee. This is probably the most jet-lagged I've ever been.

Anyway, plans for today HAD been to go cut the grass, go shopping, ride the bike and generally recover. Popped out as soon as I'd dressed for some milk from a local shop, only for the rain to start as a gentle drizzle (BBC forecast said today would be fine).

Milk was sour.

Rain intensified, went shopping.

Rain continued, so had lunch.

Rain continued, so sat at computer, about to post on forum, power cuts for 1 second.

Rain stops, mostly. Chris is in garden, but grass is too wet to cut.

Think I'll go-tweek that crappy-strat some more. Have to say, I'm really liking it. A new riff fell out while fiddling around this afternoon. With the GFS PUs in there it's really spanky, but with some depth too. The neck is skinny and action low enough to make it easy to play, and it's really light too. I need some bits for it: decent machines would help tuning and some better saddles would improve sustain too. The Bridge PU is a Gibson Humbucker from the 70s, but although that sounded really sweet in my V it doesn't work at all in this guitar, just sounding really muddy. I find this odd, as this guitar is much spankier than my No.1 strat, which is fat, round and smooth. Maybe it's the poplar body? It sounded quite nice with the GFS sngle coil in there, but lacked a little fatness, so maybe I'll take the bucker out, modify the guard to take 2 single coils and put the GFS back in, with a second SC switcheable in series to fatten up the output.

Sunday, 9 July 2006

Isn't it funny.

I've been so tired that I have come close to falling asleep at the PC.

Yet about 20 mins ago I sat down with a strat playing clean at low volume, just widdling away, and suddenly a coupoe of bits of understanding came together and I could fit blues pentatonic licks and my usual extended Dorian scale together.

Wonder how long the memory of how it works will remain with me?

Well, we're back!

A much smoother journey this time, with all planes on time and the baggage being forwarded correctly. The journey itself was predictably uncomfortable, but that's a combination of travelling cattle class in an old boeing (airbus 32X series tend to be much nicer).

Driving back from Manchester was also 'interesting'. We'd forgotten very quickly just what traffic is like here, and it was a challenge coping with all the extra cars. The motorway heading away from the airport has 3 lanes, each of which must have been carrying at least 5 times as much traffic as the 'busy' highway to Saskatoon, and all of it doing between 120km/h and 160km/h. I had to stop for a 'wake-up' break just once, making our actual driving time around 2 hours for 140+ miles.

Anyway, I need to collect the cats in a few mins - the cattery shuts at 4pm, and I don't want to leave them there another day.

It's slightly weird right now, as the lack of sleep has landed quite hard, and I feel distinctly spacy. Hopefully not sleeping now will help slotting back into normal hours more quickly than napping and stuff.

Right, moggies await.

Saturday, 8 July 2006

Our final morning here.

Wisely or foolishly we have chosen to leave packing for the last few hours, although it shouldn't take long really.

Last night was our time of goodbyes.

It doesn't feel like we've know these friends for ever, but there is a certain familiarity, comfortableness, relaxation that comes from being in company you trust and and know care for you. There was the Christian side of things, sharing a common Spirit that brought us together. But there's also the fact we just plain like these guys too, for who they are.

And they did put themselves out enormousy for us. Very, very kind.

I won't say some tosh about missing people, although it might prove true - I can't always tell how I'll be, and life is often so busy - but you've certainly found a place in our hearts.

Thank you everyone.

You won't believe the lengths these guys will go to so we feel at home.

They arranged a BBQ for tonight as a farewell get together.

The weather here has been warm to quite hot, and today was no exception. We went out to fort Carlton, about 45 miles out from PA. Lovely countryside, strong sun, warm air. Got back to PA around 3pm.

There were signs of precipitation having happened and the air was a touch cooler.

Yup, it's started raining here. just came out of the Sanadian superstore and it was gently tipping. That seems to have intensified now, and Phil (our landlord) just got in, quite wet. We might even be into Jeans and stuff tonight (I've lived in shorts all week).

TBH I don't really want to go home, but at the same time I'm missing a bunch of people (and my guitars). One more night, then a day and night of travel.

We'll be saying goodbye tonight. It'll be difficult to know exactly what words to use. A bunch of people here have come to mean a lot to us. Wish I'd got to know Johanna a little more, but she was mostly at work. Wish we could have spent more time with Leo, but he's had to work too. We're all glad we came though.

Just heard some thunder. Echos roll a long time. Echos inside too.

Auf Wiedersehen PA.

Thursday, 6 July 2006

We're still here

which is probably no surprise, but a little reminder does no-one any harm. ;)

Good time at M&D's last night, hanging out and playing stuff until midnight. Today we went to Christopher lake (why do they name the lakes like children here?) and will shortly be off to Randall and Lauralea's for dinner. I'm cooking, and Korma is on the menu. ph3ar my l33t k1tch3n 5k1l2.

BTW everything we wear now seems to smell of mosquito repellant.

Wednesday, 5 July 2006


Guitars and stuff is SO EXPENSIVE in PA!

Managed a wander round the local music and pawn shops this morning.

G O O D - H E A V E N S.

An Aria STG is $300 plus taxes. A Mexican strat $900 + tax. That Aria can be had for about 70 quid in the UK = $140, the strat for around 300 quid = $600.

I'd hoped for some bargains, but the boot is on the other foot here. This is weird because only last night the guys were saying how strong the CAD was, so stuff should be cheap. Instead everything is from 25% to 100% more than we'd pay. Makes me grateful for blighty after all. Just wonder why.

That was the day that was.

Wonder if Alan Whicker is still alive?

Went to Saskatoon yesterday.

Met Randalls mum. It was, for me as well as Randall, quite an emotional time. Hard not to leak a little when we hugged to say goodbye. I could feel a strong sense of sadness and loss, but not heartbreak and despair present. So much I'd like to say, so few words would flow.

Also met Robyn, but in lips-retracted mode. ;~)

Then on to the delights of Sask, dinner and meeting Jadon and Leighton. Jadon I've bumped into a few times on blogs, but to my shame, didn't know very well. Must be a good man though - he walks everywhere in a culture of cars. Leighton I've known almost as long as Randall, and he's tolerated me making an ass of myself on his blog many times in the past.Good to meet these guys and discuss everything from computer viruses to the Lutheran church.

Then home, trying to stay awake to be company and sadly failing. Another good day, thanks to R & L.

Tuesday, 4 July 2006


The car's here, the sun is shining and Randall & Lauralea are 5 mins away.

So that's pretty good then.

Looks like we're sorted with Hertz

A replacement car should arrive sometime late morning.

Thank you Father.

Yesterday - just a great day. Marc, Dixie, Lin-ay-ya, Chris and myself went to the site of a historic uprising at Batoche. It was warm without being too hot, beautiful countryside, interesting food (pea soup, tourtiere and poutin) and good company.

At some stage I'll get some pics up, but it will probably need to wait until we're home, as I'm not sure anyone has a suitable card reader here.

We're off on foot now - going to visit some of PA.

Monday, 3 July 2006

It's a bank holiday here. Canada day.

Which means all the offices are shut.

Everyone except essential services are on holiday.

That includes all the Hertz management.

There IS a Hertz office in PA.

There is no-one to authorise a replacement car.

There *should* be a replacement car tomorrow (Tuesday).

C'est la vie (as they might say in Quebec).

Phil and Janet (who's house we're in and who's computer I'm typing this on) have been really sympathetic about it. Good people too, and we're grateful.

Still alive and well.............

.........which shouldn't really be a surprise.

All 3 of us are leaving a little of ourselves here in Canada - the Mozzies absolutely love some fresh blood. My digestive system also seems in rebellion, but it's manageable so no real problems thus far.

But it's been good. Spent the morning yesterday at Randall's church, the afternoon with Marc and Dixie. Great people to be with and warm and friendly without being at all 'in your face'. In fact everyone we've met has been relaxed and comfortable to be with.

We are due to go out again with M+D plus Lin-ay-ya (have to keep remembering) but our car has been vandalised while it sat outside the house (discovered half-way through typing this). Someone has climbed on the bonnet, kicked the windscreen in and then jumped on the sun roof. Mr. Hertz wasn't too interested, but they have since called back to let us know a replacement is being sent. The police also came and looked it over briefly.

All part of life's rich.... etc etc.

Saturday, 1 July 2006

Hello and welcome

Welcome is what we've felt - very.

How can I compress the last 3 days worth of experiences into a simple blogpost?

Continuing the Lennon and McCartney line theme, "It's wonderful to be here, it's certainly a thrill".

This may seem odd, and maybe it's my slightly sleep-deprived brain, but I'm struggling to find the right words this morning.

Yesterday we spent the day with Randall, Lauralea and family and really enjoyed their company. Randall is just who I thought he was, and it's good to know a little more of him. Also really great to finally meet she-who-hates-glasses Today we meet and enjoy the company of Linea and Leo Lanoie. (note to self - it's Linn-ay-ya, not Linear - there is no regression involved!).

We did have an 'interesting' time getting here, but the blog isn't the place to grumble. However Mr. Air-Canada, we would like the suitcase with all our clothes in soon, please. The game isn't quite so funny now.

I've not taken many pics so far. I think it's because we're interacting directly with people, and being behind a camera makes me distant and distinct from my surroundings. It seems much more important to draw close right now than capture a lot of images.

Bye for now - breakfast calls.