Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Dad, there's a man in a red suit at the door"!

I can only apologise for the dismal lack of output over the past two months. This can only be explained by a catalogue of events beyond my control. Ed (this had better be good). Firstly, the arrival of our first guests from the old country took me completely by surprise, I had no idea how demanding they all could be. And secondly, by a ....... well, of course, that's another story.

So to recap, the last blog had both Nicola and I just about to take our driving tests. I had planned an entire blog on the whole hideous experience, which could only be compared to that of a theatrical opening night in the West End with an entire cast of Luvvies running around in emotional turmoil. However, sufficient enough time has lapsed for it all to be a distant hideous memory, needless to say we both passed. Ed(Hooray)

Is it 'Good News' that comes in three's? or is it 'Bad News'? I can never remember, but for us on this occasion it was Good News as the Postman delivered not only our BC driving licenses but also our BC medical cards and just in time, as it turned out, but more of that story later.

I had noticed recently that the "trips to the shops"and also a state of what only could be described as "Fevered Activity" had increased exponentially in frequency. When quizzed on this matter, Nicola duly pointed out that this was due to a phenomenon known as the imminent arrival of "THE GUEST'S", apparently a natural occurring phenomenon, goodness me! that must be David and Lynda popping in on their way back from Australia then.

"I've got a cunning plan my lord" someone once said. I had it all worked out, do you remember Parkgate Community Centre
(see Blog Thursday 30th) well, in the Centre, they have a room there which is full of old people playing cards, perfect, we can drop them down there in the morning, then pick them up in the afternoon after the Tea Dance is over, a quick cup of Ovaltine and then off to bed. Nicola, on the other hand didn't quite see it that way and produced a detailed schedule, complete with; movement order, a list of events and activities, times for sun rise and sun set and a fourteen day weather forecast. It was about now I was I wondering if I could get in on that card game down at the Centre?

On a more serious note, we were all looking forward to the arrival of our visitors and Charlie and Tom were almost out of control with excitement at the prospect of seeing Lolly & Papa. As to be expected, Lolly and Papa were on great form and we managed to pack in; a long weekend in Seattle, some serious retail therapy, a trip to Whistler, a small boat tour of False Creek, Up & Down two mountains, several hikes and some rather fine dining to boot and not a cup of Ovaltine in sight. I can only hope that I have a tenth of their energy and joie de la vie when I get my bus pass and we were all so sad to see them leave.

It was only a matter of hours before our next guest arrived, as we eagerly awaited the arrival of Sally Edna O'Brien, time enough though to get up to some mischief. So, forever on the lookout for adventure, Charlie and I headed off to the skate park to hang with the homies for a few hours. Now armed with the knowledge that we were now in the possession of genuine BC medical cards, Charlie was determined to overcome all his fears and anxieties that had been building up from the very first day he laid his eyes on the skate park and today was the day he would finally 'DROP IN' to the 8.'0" concrete skate bowl on his bike. Now, on the one hand, as a parent, I was consumed with worry that he might hurt himself and on the other hand as a Father, I was filled with a sense of pride that he was finally going to conquer his demons and raise his levels of self belief and in turn open up a whole new world of adventure for himself. Luckily, the normal pack of undesirables that frequent the skate park were absent for some reason, leaving the entire park for ourselves. I watched in agony as Charlie hovered on the rim of the big bowl, you could see the utter turmoil he was going through, maybe a quiet word of encouragement was all that was needed, "GO ON THEN YOU BIG HANDBAG",
I said sympathetically, words I would live to regret....

Meanwhile, Sally Edna O'Brien had now arrived at the house and was being warmly welcomed when Charlie and I returned home. Now you can imagine Nicola's reaction when we now needed to rush to the hospital to get treatment for a broken shoulder and a concussion, I was not a popular man, this was going to be a long, cold, lonely winter I thought to myself. "How the ******* **** did that happen" I think she said, it was hard to tell as the concussion was playing havoc with the my brain, "Dad was showing me how to drop in" Charlie said "and he didn't make it!" Ed (X-Ray included for the medically inclined out there)
12 weeks for the shoulder and the brain is OK although Nicola might contest that.

We only had Sally for 5 days but it was really good to see her and we had a great time. I felt terribly guilty just sitting there with my broken shoulder but it meant the girls spent lots of time together doing the things that girls do. Highlights included, shopping, drinking wine, going to the shops for more wine. Going to a place where they make wine, tasting the wine at the place they make it and buying some of the wine they tasted from the place that made the wine. Come back soon Sal.

Well that only leaves me with the joyous task of wishing you all A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy and peaceful New Year.

Love J N C & T.

Ed (Stay tuned to the Blog as the Skiing season in now well and truly in full swing, a rich vein for copy if ever there was one! Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year from all the staff here at 'Endover' Press)