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2011 The Nightingale's Oddessy Our exchange year in Canada.

The weather and I...

CANADA | Wednesday, 2 February 2011 | Views [257]

Hi folks, Another weekend another blog.

Once again it snowed on Saturday morning, this battle between Mother Nature and I has jut got personal, I refuse to be snow bound. However the storm that's heading our way may just achieve that.

Let me back track, as most of you are aware last week was Australia Day :-) and I believe for those in NSW it was quite warm. We on the other hand did not have this problem. We celebrated Australia Day by baking ANZAC biscuits and handing them out to all and sundry. Chelle put on morning tea, complete with meat pies, Anzac biscuits, Lamington's and Tim Tams, I had also made damper but that was a dismal failure. I don't know how anyone could stuff up damper, but I seemed to manage it. Chelle also decorated the tea room in Australian colours and it was a big hit. Ryan's teacher unbeknown to him decorated his class room, with flags etc and wore an Aussie t-shirt, which was a nice touch and earned her a plate of Anzac biscuits. Tasha's teacher sent home a very nice note wishing us Happy Australia Day, another plate of Anzac biscuits. Ryan decorated his snow cave in the front garden with Aussie flags and the next day we found a couple of Maple Leafs had joined them, then the next day a koala and Kangaroo had taken residence along with a sign warning people of the dangers of swimming with crocodiles. We suspect these came from our Scottish neighbours and these earned them yet more ANZAC biscuits. Anyone get the idea I'm sick of B#$%dy ANZAC biscuits:-)

On to the weekend. Saturday day was spent domestically, Ryan had a speech he has to prepare for and Chelle is up to her neck in reports and preparing for parent teacher interviews, hopefully some of her work load may lighten in the next couple of weeks, though I doubt it. Time out was taken by doing the shopping,(Ryan and I) and then the girls went out looking for snow pants for Mum. Somehow when they got back snow pants had magically transformed into a pair of ice skates that Chelle was particularly proud of because they only cost $7 CAD from the thrift shop.

Saturday night was night skiing, we have a resort only 1/2 an hour from us and I had booked the kids and I in for lessons, unfortunately we couldn't get Chelle into a class so she opted to sit this one out. For those keen snow bunnies among you, you will be dismayed to hear it cost only $40 CAD each for a 1.5 hr Discovery lesson and equipment hire and the lift pass was valid till closing time around 10 PM.

Now I will state hear and now, I have no pride, dignity or shame. I had a ski lesson with 5 little people who's combined age did not match my own and I was determined not to be out done, even if it meant giving one of them a nudge down the slope and turning them into a snowball. This did not eventuate however as I managed to fall flat on my face and get my ski's crossed just walking from A - B. The instructors taught us to turn and foolishly had set their ski's up in a turn to show us where to go, I think I ran over them twice, ooops. At least by the end of the lesson I could snow plow and link turns down the beginners slope.

While this was going on Ryan was taking to skiing well and has got himself to the stage were he can link his turn's, so we will definitely be investing in more lessons for him. The verdict was that it was awesome and he loved the speed, a little different to his first foray a couple of weeks ago, that one still gives his mother nightmares. Tash had a little more difficulty. We had tears just before bed, because, she was having trouble and couldn't keep up. It's not like our kids to be competitive, especially "Little Miss Perfectionist" It makes a change for her to trail her brother in an activity and was good for Ryan's confidence.

Sunday morning was church for Chelle and the kids, then after lunch we went down to the ice rink on the shore of Lake Ontario. Chelle is in heaven, a free outdoor ice rink next to a Lake. Those of you who know me well, will understand when I say it was deemed safer that I didn't partake in skating. It has something to do with the sharp objects on the underneath of the boots. This time it was Tasha's turn to shine and she seems to have picked up the basics well. So skating is on our weekly list, at least this one you don't have to worry about booking in. With skating over it was time to head back home for ribs, our new favourite dish.

Monday was a pupil free day for the kids so we accompanied Chelle into her school where we met some of the teachers and her principal. After leaving Chelle it was time for b/fast at McDonalds (uggh) and then time exploring Missassauga and the waterfront.

After lunch we went to a place called Pladium, which is a big interactive games parlor, just like the one's back home. Ryan spent his credits on all the racing and shooting games, while Tash and I played Air Hockey and took a ride on a roller coaster simulator. Now I have been on these types of simulators plenty of times before, but never anything like this. I should have started getting worried when the attendant told us to empty out our pockets!! This thing moved in all three axis, we did summersaults, barrel rolls the lot. Never again, Tash loved it and wanted to do it again, unfortunately all Daddy wanted to do was go to the bathroom.

That was our weekend, once again we are trying to pack it all in, to hell with the mortgage:-)

As I said in the beginning, the weather forecasters are warning about a big front heading up from Texas and are predicting falls of up to 45cm in the next couple of days, so I guess we'll finally feel what winters really about, will try and get plenty of pictures. The kids are hoping for a snow day and school being closed, we'll see.

Best wishes to all,

Ken, Chelle, Ryan and Natasha.

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