Friday, May 16, 2008

Not long to go now

I'm on my way back to London on Monday and looking forward to it.

I love being away and visiting lots of new places but there comes a time when only the comfort of my uncomfortable bed in mum's and my tiny hovel will satisfy me.

Although we are intending moving in about a week if all goes to plan. We've given notice so it will be a flying start (haha) when I land in London as we need to find something quickly.

Toronto has put on the worst spring weather I can remember (perhaps a little selective memory going on here). It's been gray and cold - even snowing a little for me when I was up north.

This weekend we're off up to Isaac's grandad's house on a lake so here's hoping the usual long weekend weather holds off and it warms up a little.

Isaac's birthday dinner

Pam, Isaac and I just got back from a birthday dinner at the CN Tower in downtown Toronto.

Isaac was sorely disappointed to discover there were no hamburgers on the menu, but settled happily with chicken strips and chips. We, on the other hand, had a very large dinner of seafood. Pam delighted in the dozen oysters while I ransacked the lobster and crabs.

It unfortunately was not the best seafood platter I've had but nice all the same. And looked fantastic

We took a wander down to the lookout level after and Isaac stood on the glass floor with much trepidation and looked down at the streets almost .5km below us!! He had been very nervous about going up the tower in the first place and in the weeks before he had been asking many questions.

The most regular (and most amusing) question was 'how big is the restaurant?' I said 'big like a normal restaurant'. His reply was 'but it is only a skinny pole this big' holding his arms out in a round circle.

It took a lot of explaining that the restaurant was in the bulging bit at the top and only the lifts went up the skinny pole bit. He can see the tip of the tower from his bedroom and had assumed that we would need to squeeze inside that bit (which looks tiny from his bedroom).

I was pleased to find upon arrival that we had a table in a civilised spot and not squished inside the skinny bit!

Isaac took this lovely photo of the sunset on my camera. He's quite the photographer!

Flat hunting in the big city...

How depressing can it get??

Well, I just happen to have a search still going on from my last flat hunting spree (from a very long time ago) and today I got an email notification of a property in my chosen area within budget so I went to the link and discovered the flat was, in fact...

... a parking space...

Not even a private, lock up garage for goodness sake!! A parking space is all mum and I can afford in this area these days. No privacy and no doubt very cold next winter.

Oh well, back to the planning stage again. Perhaps we'll have to broaden our horizons!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The lizard man

A bit over a week ago I delivered a rental car back to it's depot and walked back home to Pam's place. I was wandering along minding my own business - actually, I was not minding my own business as I was peering into all the house and shop fronts along the way.

I was peering intently into one such shop window and spotted few glass tanks full of baby lizards. After a few minutes of trying to work out just what this very run down shop really was, I decided it must be a pet shop so I opened the door and walked in.

It wasn't a pet shop and in fact really wasn't a shop at all. It turns out it is a man's woodworking workshop and a lizard breeding operation in one. He has hundreds of lizards of various size and colour.

He breeds bearded dragons and chameleons. I was lucky enough to meet a 6 month old dragon up close and personal. She was very curious about the lime green shirt I was wearing and had to try to lick it a few times.

I asked him if I could visit again with my camera and he seemed happy with that so I returned today. He got a pot of crickets and tempted Tom the chameleon out of his cage. I could not believe the speed of his tongue - I have a photo of Tom with a very soft blur of tongue, but no sign of the cricket...

When Tom had had his fill, the last of the crickets were poured into the small tank in the window. About 8-10 tiny month old bearded dragons were in there and they all ran around catching crickets eating their heads and leaving the rest (for later?). These little ones were about 3-4 inches long and very cute.

It was a very pleasant surprise to come across such an incredibly interesting character so unexpectantly.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kristie and Cody's house

I just got sad news regarding my nephew and his mum. Their house burned down on Saturday night in Nelson NZ. They had just moved in the day before.

Blaze destroys flat on house-moving day
Nelson | Monday, 12 May 2008


Moving house came to a disastrous end for a Stoke woman over the weekend, when a fire destroyed her new home and all the possessions she had just shifted into it.
The fire started shortly after midday on Saturday, as Kristie McDonald and her six-year-old son Cody had almost finished moving into their newly rented Nayland Rd flat, opposite Broadgreen House.

Her father, Richard Stevenson, said all his daughter's possessions were in the flat, which was gutted in the fire.
Stoke Volunteer Fire Brigade senior station officer Jason Everett said the fire communications centre received numerous calls, and when firefighters arrived, the flat was well ablaze.
Smoke alarms had gone off but no one was at home when they sounded.
Mr Everett said he suspected that the fire was started by furniture being placed too close to a log fire, which was burning at the time.
Firefighters needed breathing equipment and had to break a window in an adjoining flat to check that there was no one inside. A firewall stopped the flames spreading.

It's a very sad thing as I know their life isn't the easiest thing at the best of times and now they are starting from scratch. It's moments like this I wish I was at home (NZ) so I could be of some help to them.