Sunday, 26 August 2007

We're on the move!

This week we're moving house. We've been in our current 5 bedroom town house for 6 weeks. It has every gadget you could want (dishwasher, electric garage door etc.) but it's 50km from the base and as I start work at 6am, that means a long drive early in the morning and a total of 200km driving between us each day.

So on Wednesday, we'll be trading 165/403 South Ridge Drive...

For this, 7 Valcartier Avenue....

The biggest difference, other than the size of the house, is the amount of outside space we'll now have. All we currently have in Medicine Hat is the small yard you can see in the photo, in Ralston we'll have a huge garden.

Our new home has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (cheaper to heat, quicker to clean!) and most significantly is only a 5 minute bike ride from work.

Due to a very fortunate piece of timing, our removals aren't due to arrive until the week after we move, so what we do have to shift can be moved in one load in a small van. It's also timed very well for the start of the hockey season. The week after next I start skate school every evening at the Ralston Arena which is round the corner from our new home.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Getting ready for hockey!

The ice is going down at the arena in Ralston in a couple of weeks, so we've got ourselves kitted out for the ice hockey season. In the photo I'm wearing a rather sexy pair of "Jill shorts" which have padding to errr... protect your girlie bits!

Jim has an equally attractive pair of "Jack shorts" which make an excellent prop for Darth Vader impressions.

Our sticks were about $24 - a complete steal! Apparently wrapping tape around the head makes for better contact with the puck, I was sold on the idea when I saw that they had pink tape!

After spending all that money on scrapbooking stuff, I've also got round to doing my first page. It's not glued yet (which is why it's not straight!) but here's the result...

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Scrap booking

Many people have asked me what the wives do to keep themselves occupied in Canada and here is a big part of the answer! Scrap booking is huge in Canada and an entire industry has built up around it selling wallpaper, embelishments, albums and special storage boxes. You may want to laugh, I certainly did, but I've seen the results and the albums look stunning.

Scrap booking here is absolutely nothing like anything we have in the UK. It's a hobby which is taken quite seriously. At BATUS there is a scrap booking club and much discussion amongst the girls about the various styles people use (North American being apparently very different from Canadian!)

With Jim at work on Saturday, I went for lunch with the girls followed by a shopping trip to a couple of scrap booking stores in Medicine Hat. The selection was bewildering but I came away with a range of items to help me put together my first few pages! All I need now is to get some prints of the photos I have taken.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Ralston Rodeo

Another day of fantastic weather and it was our first Ralston Rodeo. It was a far bigger event than I was expecting with a full crowd turning out to the little village on the base to see calf roping, bull riding and several horse events.

A lot of the crowd had driven up from Medicine Hat, but there were also Rodeo groupies (taking notes on the timings the men achieved!) and competitors from far and wide keen to win some of the prize money that was up for grabs.

The professionals kicked off the day with some very slick performances. It's amazing watching the guys leap the fence when a very angry bull gets too close!

There were also some military events and Jim was volunteered for wild cow milking. Here he is with the other two team members trying to catch the cow! Just in case you are in any doubt, wild cows do NOT like being milked... or tied up... or chased!

If you're wondering which one he is in the second photo, you can just about make out his yellow gloves in the dust! The gloves were pretty essential, otherwise the rope goes through your hands and takes the skin off!

The wild cow milking was over in a couple of minutes. they didn't win and nor did they manage to get any milk out of the cow! Jim may not have got the coveted Ralston Rodeo belt buckle, but he does have some impressive war wounds to show off!

In the meantime I kept myself busy playing with the MODs expensive toys which were on display . This is a warrior armoured vehicle. It carries 10 and is really really small inside.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

We've arrived!

A slightly overdue first post on the blog. Jim and I arrived in Canada two weeks ago, but are only just starting to get things in order!

It's been incredibly hot since we arrived, today is in fact the first day it's dipped beneath 30c (it's 29c!) but we are getting used to it after a very damp June in the UK and an even damper summer in the Falklands last year!

Our new home is a 5 bedroom town house in Medicine Hat, a half hour drive from the base. All the families at BATUS are either housed here or in Ralston, a small village on the base.

Although we're in the house we are still waiting for our boxes to arrive from Germany. We sent them 7 weeks ago and at the time were told that they should arrive in 6-8 weeks.

However, yesterday we discovered that due to a massive backlog at Southampton, we won't be seeing them till September! So until then we're living out of the contents of the same suitcases we've been living out of since June. I'm getting ever so slightly bored with my clothes, not to mention a little frustrated that it'll be another month till we see the bed we sent!

The photo today is the world's largest teppee! Apparently it was built for the winter olympics in Calgary and after the event, some enterprising local business man decided it was exactly what was needed in Medicine Hat! It's round the corner from us and I took this photo when we went on a bike ride past it the other weekend.