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Trepid Archives

Exciteable descriptions of a new life living in "The Best Place on Earth". The new template is more basic, more classy, tidier... so totally not me! 

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

4:24 p.m. - Things I like about Canada:

This list is not in order of priority; just as they occur to me.

We moved all our stuff out of storage on the weekend so that we wouldn’t get charged for another month. When Hubby phoned to tell them the unit was clear, the owner had already:
a) noticed
b) refunded $38 to cover the cost of Saturdray 26th to Thursday 31st.


Respect for seniors and particularly the war veterans.
(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

Not having to leave the city to see wildlife - Bald eagles in the tree outside work, deer crossing the road on my way home.

No TV License. No MOT.

That I get passed by old trucks with hay on the back and guys inside wearing cowboy hats. That Graham calls everyone Pardner and stables are called ranches. Makes me just wanna "Geddon my horse and drink ma milk".

There's always a free parking space somewhere near where you want to go.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

11:29 a.m. - Pictures from the ride home

Penticton middle school, the running track and mountains.

(c) Me.

The kettle valley railway above the city

(c) Me.

The Benches (clay cliffs on right) plunge 120m down to Okanagan lake. Quail are the only creatures crazy enough to run along their ridges. Giant's head mountain on the left.

(c) Me.

Orchards and Red Rooster Winery taken from the KVR.

(c) Me.

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11:12 a.m. - Penticton background shot(s)

My lunchtime running track with a storm approaching.

(c) Me.

View out the office window
(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

Sunshine on a rainy day... on the way back to work at lunchtime
(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

Driving up Debeck Rd this am at 6:30. A crappy day in the Okanagan
(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

2:08 p.m. - Today I cycled to work.

When I left the sun was not yet in the sky, though it was light and pretty cloudy for the Okanagan. By the time I got in it was drizzling but still it was beautiful, peaceful and tranquil, riding through the orchards and the increasing number of vineyards that have sprung up in their place. The birds were singing and I was only passed by 3 cars before I diverted onto the KVR and remained car-free for the remaining 9 miles to within ¼ mile of work.

As I rode along the top of the benches (and approached more sociable hours) I watched a red retriever (must’ve been crossed with a red setter) chase a pheasant out of the brush.

I almost got in on time (must do better next time). In the blurr of 5:30am I didn’t put my watch on so I don’t know what time I left but my guess is the 12 mile ride was pretty slow. I think I have enough energy to get home – so long as I don’t get stuck here too late. For once I am trying to sit down as much as possible (but I’m not managing it).

Pasta for dinner – definitely (then sit and look at the fully painted walls).

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Monday, March 28, 2005

7:39 a.m. - Entertainment

On Thursday night we went to see Yanti (that's her on the left) sing at the inn. Then we realized Thursday wasn’t Friday. So we had a meal then returned on Friday too - to prop up the bar – which was about all we could do. The spirit of the village had bonded together to support two of its sisters – Yanti and Kristi (the piano teacher) and most of the residents were crammed into the Inn. What a night! What a voice and how gorgeous did she look? Made me very happy and looking forwards to the next show.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

5:00 p.m. -

View down t' 'ill to Apex Village

(c) The Gillespie

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4:59 p.m. -

And down to Manitou Beach for a walk before dinner

(c) The Gillespie

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4:58 p.m. -

View from Top o' th' 'ill

(c) The Gillespie

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

4:51 p.m. - On the other hand

When you see a couple of red kites chasing off a blue heron in the course of your working day, you just have to tell the world about it.

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11:22 a.m. - No Time

Fewer and fewer blogs are appearing here because I'm so busy, which is the way it should be - otherwise I could be accused of being nerdy.

I'll try and keep the blogspace updated with photos of the house as and when I manage to get films developed / scanned / have Hubby take digital pictures.

Another painting fest at easter though should see us finished with our "bit" and waiting for the builder to do the floors... and all that means toilets and kitchens - the little things that make life easier to live with.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

5:28 p.m. - Today I ran

for 25 minutes. I don't have a clue how far... and I walked a bit too. Then I wrapped 6 loads of shelving before leaving for work - now - approximately 12 hours after I got up this morning.


Where's my pay rise?

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Friday, March 18, 2005

9:44 a.m. -

A funny thing happened on the way to work yesterday. I caught up with a car traveling in the same direction as me, driving on the wrong side of the road. I beeped. I flashed my lights. All to no avail until someone else (a car coming the other way) reminded him. Fortunately there was a driveway on “his side” of the road for him to pull into. I didn’t need any coffee yesterday.

I just wrote this to the lady I work with:

“Thanks. I am looking at this spreadsheet now. I just wanted you to know how important it is to me…Having input all of the loads data manually this week, I came up with a reasonably definitive list of all the products from which I have been copying the product sizes. However, I just discovered that a Weyerhaeuser 72 inches is different from a Canwell 72 inches by a matter of 16mm! “

It’s a confusing industry – wood – especially when you sell to Yanks stuck in the dark ages.

The temporary floor has gone from upstairs! This floor was a platform for our builder to work from whilst he constructed the ceilings in the house. It has now been removed. It’s like someone took the ceiling away from the living room. Now the house is all open and airy again and I can finally love my new living room because we know what it will look like.

Get this – we also have… a washing machine!!!!!! Next time I do the laundry I will be able to do it with our own machine in OUR HOUSE – not sharing a smoke-smelling launderette with random people checking out my undies.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

9:15 a.m. - For my friends...

The great thing about moving house so much and keeping our things in storage is my most beloved possession (OK, after my bikes and my skis) keeps resurfacing unexpectedly and its contents recur as a complete surprise every year or so. This possession, virtually valueless as a thing is also something you can't put a price on. A compact disc full of memories. MY FILE.

Not only does it contain pictures of some of the most important people in my life, the people who shaped my life in more ways than I can explain, it also contains pictures of me that, believe it or not, make me think about the ravages of time.

I wouldn't say I hardly recognize University-me because I know it's me but there are no creases in my skin (and it's not just that I was fatter). I also think I looked pretty hot with long hair back then. Then I realize it's not my hair, it's usually Adam's lovely curly locks, the kind of curls my hair would never dream of producing.

The majority of the pictures come from the perpetrators, the Dans and the Beckys, the Chrises and the Tracys and then there's the Adams and the Lucys, the Fi & Tim. Our wedding day, the pictures I that I haven't got memorized yet. Then there's the Viv and Rick, Rob Greene, the wonderful Black and Whites taken by Becky's Steve, people whose names I hardly remember and a picture of fat Rob in his Pants which, more than anything, I remember for being the only thing to make me laugh long and hard whilst I was in Crewe. SO my loves, you are all stars of my screensaver movie now. My Halman Profile is proudly displayed on my office notice board. I expect ALL my employees to be calling me Sir very soon. If not that then Binty will suffice.

Last night we went out for family celebration and I wore a skirt because I found one and I found heels. I looked like a girl for the first time in 6 months and got free desert from the Inn. Happy.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

8:17 a.m. - The Gulch

All the coffee is gone. Now it should be time to do some work but I can’t move since my head won’t stay on properly. You see, in the last 48 hours I have stared at the ceiling for 9 hours – 5 on Saturday and 4 on Sunday but our ceilings are no longer bright white. They’re now “Hayseed” or what Dulux would have called “a lighter shade of beige” 10 years ago.

Most thankfully we finished the last ceiling at 12:00 on Friday and had Borchst soup and cake from the coffee shop in the village before going out for our first walk of the sunny-season. Down to Wharf Park to see if the Osprey have started nesting yet (no) then up “Gulch Road”. What a great name and it’s so distinctively right. Bubbly - Dan would love Gulch Road. It has real Lord of the Rings quality. The Gulch is an old stream-bed, now dry with a road winding up it. It’s about 1 in 5 steep with near-vertical “sandstone” walls (though I think the sandstone is what’s left of an ancient mudslide – not so much stone in the sense of being pressed out of good, strong, sustainable molten rock). The rain (what we get of it) has moulded little rivulets out of the sandstone faces and created Skyesque pinnacles and towers which the cliff swallows have carefully undermined by building their burrows in. Someone has managed to shoe-horn rows of apple and pear trees into the thread of land that exists next to the road before the cliff face rises up to the sky, for in the summer, the sun in the village flies right overhead so the dark shadows of the Gulch are eliminated. For now though, apples that were frozen in the winter still lie rotting in the grass, returning their nutrients to the ground – a little glow of bright green in the grey/green of early spring and a gentle smell of cider on the breeze.

The first time we came to the village - in February last year for a look-see - we ended up driving up the Gulch (which is odd since it’s a very minor Scottish-type, winding, almost single track road). There was an inch of compacted snow/ice under-tyre and we were in the bug. It was just a little hairy but we made it and somehow also ended up on the KVR. It was that day that I knew I wanted to live here and although it took us another month and a false start with another property to finally own our little piece of the village, it was possibly the best gut feeling I’ve ever had. In one weeks time it will be the anniversary of our ownership of paradise.

This morning Slaughterpuss (the cat) was meowing to me from the upstairs deck. Lord knows how much of the night she spent up on the roof / deck space but I really don’t think there’s any other way for her to have got up there, other than when we drank our last cup of tea at 5:30 yesterday evening in the setting sun. Poor chilly-puss though had she not been a cat she could’ve slept in the hot tub to stay warm but that would’ve involved crawling under the 4” thick insulation cover and then…getting wet!

On my way into work this morning, the summer cleanup has begun for the City Council. There was a cloud of fine dust coming from a tiny vehicle (about the size of an electric wheelchair) driving up the pavement (sidewalk) and blowing all the grit (from efforts to melt the snow in winter) onto the road for clear up by the road sweeper following close behind. It might not officially be spring till the end of the month but I declare it here. SO I dug up my little blue spruce tree from it’s insulated wintering hole, popped it in a big pot and stuck it on the deck to soak up some rays. This week (in amongst the painting) I think it’s time for some hopeful gardening. (Hopeful because I’m not sure what state the garden will be in by summer but I hope it will be suitable for at least a few bedding plants and perhaps some yummy homegrown greens).

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Friday, March 11, 2005

10:31 a.m. - It's a 7-truck Friday but I AM getting a hair cut tonight

There can’t be many communities left in the world where you can leave your yr2002 VW beetle in the driveway overnight with the boot wide open and not only does no-one steal your car, they don’t steal your rucsac, your $275 ski coat or your wellie-boots. The village we live in is one of those places. I tried it last night. Reading this, at least my mum and dad (and probably Dan and Lucy too) will be shaking their heads, thinking, “nothing changes, just the toys get more expensive”.

Last night, sleep was better because the cat stayed out all night (at least she was probably trying to get in the caravan – oops) so I didn’t have to wake up to do the necessary cat-fussing. We also switched to a quieter heater which ran all night at low setting and kept us warm and sleeping.

Just to really kick-start my day, Richard’s given me a piece of real Thornton’s treacle toffee, from the shop in Meadowhall, Sheffield. Ahh a taste of the old country, from somewhere you really couldn’t leave your car all night with the boot open.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

7:01 a.m. - 18 - Eighteen

Sitting in the office and the cleanup man has just made a scary gurgling noise as he fell sideways into the garbage can (the factory one that's about 10 ft high). I think he might've just caught his delicates on the way in.

Two nights ago I slept in Douglas. Douglas is a bed made of Douglas fir. He's a ¾ size bed and Hubby was in there too. Plus, from time to time, the cat. It was very cozy. We were in our basement. It smelt of Xylene (from the floor sealant) and the heating occasionally kicked in (for now set permanently to fierce, ferocious gale force level 3), but we couldn't hear the rain on the roof. This morning I got up and made coffee from a travel kettle connected to a 110-220V transformer and brought the milk in off the doorstep (no fridge yet) by the light of my head torch. It was like camping, but not, because we're in our own home and it's actually a bit exciting. Unlike the caravan which is now just dour and dull.

18 Is the temperature it's going to be today.

I've just shown a group of 8 Scotsmen, 2 Irishmen and one poor Englishman around the plant and got a bottle of Highland "Stag's Breath" Liqueur for my troubles. It was a Scottish tiny bottle (50ml), though it comes with a shot glass too. I can't complain about that for a day. I AM being the ISO manager today. I want NOTHING to do with 6 trucks in shipping.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

4:54 p.m. - It's 5pm

I have to get three men to make 3 and package 5 loads and put them on a truck. I told the driver he'd be outta here by 5pm.

I just sent another man off to Kaleden to get weighed since Berry Smith's scales said his load was too fat (he has a heated trailer on, full of fuel and a fuel tank and a beer belly and his wife who probably also has a beer belly - so there's an extra 400lbs). Can I tell him to get out and push over the US border? I wonder if he has a 4 dogs and a budgie in there too? I want to go home. I want to get the 5 loads loaded and run away before Mr Heavy comes back.

From this morning: When you cut a piece of wood you get a product and an offcut. Sometimes the offcut is obvious because it’s small and sometimes it’s not obvious because it’s big. Last night we gave instructions to machine as much product as possible. I’m not sure which is annoying me more – the fact that they only did 5 loads of product or the fact that one of those loads was a load of offcut. It's now very pretty offcut but no points from the shipping department.

Last night at home we learned that: The quality of the viewing setting doesn’t improve what’s on TV.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

4:56 p.m. - At last the good stuff

Not my blog...my STUFF!

A couch, a TV stand, a coffee table, fluffy cushions, a chenille throw, 8' ceilings, a happy cat, a bottle of wine, a dressing-gown, corkscrew and two glasses. It's all you need for true happiness. I am sure of it.

This weekend the sofa arrived at its new home. It doesn't have its view of the lake yet, it has a view of the inside of the basement but it's soooooo comfortable. It took some wiggling, wedging and engineering to get it into the LandRover. Combined with brute force we did it. And by 7pm we were all set up to watch the TV premiere off Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets. It doesn't matter that it was boring. We were so stimulated by the novelty of living in a house and the fact that we didn't realise it had started raining because we couldn't hear it on the roof.

This morning: gorgeous sunshine and with last nights rain gave rise to chronic hayfever or I have another cold but at least I'm happy enough to be in work with it today.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

7:01 a.m. - Can you say, "My husband did the packing"?

It's the start of Spring!

I found my snow chains for my car last night.

They were in a suit case with some make up.

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6:54 a.m. - They put Delia Smith in Prison

Well, not her actually, but her American counterpart - Martha Stewart.
She was released yesterday - from "Camp Cup Cake".
She's now under house arrest.
Is that a punishment? For a woman who makes her living teaching people how to cook and create co-ordinated living spaces and dream dining rooms. I just hope she's enjoying her newly renovated estate this weekend.
Well it was only a little embezzlement...

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

1:46 p.m. - This is where I work.

7am: shift starts

8:30 am: Man phones work and informs supervisor he will leave at 11am because he’s going to prison tomorrow and wants to spend time with his kids. Fair enough but he’s known he’s going to court for 6 mnths and not told anyone he’ll be finishing work early today.

11am: Man asks supervisor if he has anyone to cover for him so his mates aren’t left in the lurch

11:01: Supervisor says “No, we didn’t have enough notice to arrange your cover".

11:01:30: Man quits. Supervisor suggests where he should go.

11:30: Man calls supervisor back and says, “If I don’t go to prison tomorrow can I have my job back?”.

11:31: WHATTT!!!

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11:05 a.m. - Owch

When I was a kid I was running down the fenland chasing my daddy on his tractor. He had the trailer on tow which he'd just fitted with a new piece of steel angle at the back because 30-odd years of big (and little) feet jumping off the deck had finally taken their toll on the wooden edge.

I had often run and jumped onto the back of the trailer as it pottered down the fenland and I thought that this day was no exception. However, something exceptional happened.

I'm not sure what it was - a surge in the sun's gravitational field might have caused the earth to twitch or more unlikely - the tractor may have experienced a sudden burst of speed. It probably went over a bump. My foot, however, fell short of that metal edge and instead the full force of my flying body fell upon my shin bone, which was the alternative medium that met with the metal edge.

For a short time I just held the leg since it was numb from the impact. Then I started to cry as the nerves remembered what pain was. I was taken into the house to sit with an ice pack (bag of peas) on my leg and recuperate for the rest of the day. I still have the scar.

Last night we went out to get milk. The orange-saw dust-pathway around the house (designed to stop boots getting muddy) has been moved out of the way of the verandah deck which is to be built around the outside of the house. This gives the builder's thugs something to do during the day whilst he is being artistic indoors. The verandah deck is now in construction. Its frame is built and in the darkness last night, as we walked mud-free to our car (let me say this again - it was DARK) I also discovered there was a 2 x 6 in the path and I hit it with my shin at full swing-through stride velocity. It wasn't the same leg I hurt when I was little but it sure felt like it.

I went to the shop with tears in my eyes and when the server asked me how the house was coming I simply replied, "I just walked into the thing!"

No ice pack this time - in fact I had a hot tub which made it worse. We had to go in the tub though because I finally got around to buying a rubber duckie. Actually, the plastic duckies were ugly so I bought plastic dolphins instead - well, they match the blue tub. They squeak realistically and jet water quite effectively. The bathing experience is complete.

I got a lot of boxes into my car last night. Lord knows what is in them. I had to rescue one box from a leaky bottle of fabric conditioner (please don't ask why it's in there) and left a suspicious looking trail of pearlescent liquid across the road as a result. I hope no-one has to break into the storage unit to figure out its source. Everything sure smells fragrant though.

Buzzer for end of lunch has sounded. It's back to a frantic day of shipping for me.

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