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I Can See A Rainbow, See A Rainbow,….

We’re entering the last stretch of the mammoth 2 month summer holiday break – I think we’ve had quite enough fot the moment thanks. (There is a warning that the teachers may be on strike next week too, that is not going to go down well in this camp, not this time i’m afraid….)

I Can See a Rainbow, See a Rainbow....

The temperature is cooling somewhat here in the Okanagan, been quite chilly the last couple of days/nights, although, next week the forcast is for up in the 30’s and sunshine all week. Just in time for them to head back to skool!

Leigh is preparing for her first exhibition with Annabel, up at Coyote Vineyard. The’ve got vine globes galore, as well as vine angels, birds and other assortments. Leigh has been making postcard/greeting cards for sale. They are for sale, if readers want any, and she can make other designs as well. I’m trying to get her to put more of her artwork on here and a website, but she’s taking orders now. Check out the “GALLERY” page later today or tomorrow for pictures and more details. I don’t know how many she’s made, but she’s already sold 5 packs (as well as half a dozen of her vine globes). So breakfast at the “Grateful Fed” on Saturday morning may well be on her….

A news item I read, made me chuckle. He had to be Canadian didn’t he….

Canada pilot in toilet trip dramaClick here to read article

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Jackpine Lake….

After driving for around an hour along what can only be described as a "country track" we finally found our destination, Jackpine Lake.

Samuel was kitted up ready to go, so we inflated the dinghy and set out on the lake for an afternoon fishing. The fish were jumping aaround us, the osprey where diving into the lake and a loon called out echoing across the lake and then the valley.

Jackpine Lake....

But we caught absolutely nothing, (I remember now why I find fishing frustrating!) but had fun nonetheless, in the silence of the wilderness, planning to get the tent out for a further excursion maybe next weekend. We’re getting adventurous now….

Oh and on a lighter note, West Nile Fever is getting closer to the Okanagan…. I can see the emails now!

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A Year in Canada….

Well, that’s a year gone by, experiencing life in Kelowna, British Columbia. I find myself working as a an equities and currency trader by morning, running various e-business by afternoon. Leigh has a Vine Sculpture exhibtion coming up and the kids are back to skool in a couple of weeks….

We’ve done a few things it would seem – we’ve tried wakeboarding, been out on speedboats, been "adopted" by the neighbours family, grown our own organic veg, been camping in temperatures of -25 degrees, suffered our first broken bone, tubed and snowboarded, worked in vineyards and spent a lot of time swimming.

The best things we have found about living in Canada? (Or at least Kelowna, having not ventured out of the valley this year….) The friendly people, the climate here in Kelowna. The way you can drive down the road and stop at any number of stalls at the edge of the orchards or vineyards and buy produce, cherries, peaches, apples etc. The Okanagan Library system! Get out and use your local library, take the kids there and get ’em reading. The farmers market, (I implore more people around the world, (mainly in the US and the UK!), to support your local market, get your food fresh from the farm as it were, forget Tesco or Wal Mart for your fruit and veg, talk to the farmer. Don’t use the excuse, "Oh, I’m too busy for that." Make the time. There is more to life than spending your day working, working, working….).

The bad things we have discovered? Without a doubt, Canadian bureaucracy. Leigh is still waiting for them to get their ar$es in gear, with her sponsorship papers and visas. One English guy I spoke to today is still waiting, 18 months after applying. Another friend who has been out to visit has told us that the Canadian Government will give him a grant to teach "rock and roll dancing" as opposed to helping him come out and use his skill as a glazier. As much as I like a little rock and roll, I think his talents as a stained glass window maker may be of more use…..and for that he must wait 44 months!

Anyway, our anniversary was spent as we spent our first day, diving off the boards at Peachland, swimming in the lake, followed in the evening by a meal at the Blind Angler (Abuse is free, Taxes aren’t!), also in Peachland. Their homemade burgers are hard to beat, and the setting, lakeside certainly beats the local burger joint. And the abuse? All in good taste, the jovial women who run the joint make you want to return. But you’d better make a reservation, seats are hard to get at the last minute….

The Blind Angler Grill....

And as yet, still no sighting of any bears. Although we’ve seen bear "scat" as it’s called here. I think we call it bear poo in the UK….

Bear Poo, by any other name....

So into year 2 we go. What it holds for us, I don’t know. We’ve lived in a small city for the year, big city life is calling us at the moment, we’re missing some of the things that it has to offer. Vancouver is 4 hours away, Calgary is 8hrs, by road. The weather isn’t as good, but….

….Lola Montez was in some amazing and dangerous situations in her life, when faced with an impossible choice she said "Courage et battre les cartes" – it seemed to work for her.

Our life since leaving London nearly 3 years ago has been nothing if not "interesting" and along with the future, continues to offer new "challenges". So, it is likely that we shall follow the example of Ms Montez and be "shuffling the cards" again.

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Monsters and Creatures Everywhere….

We’re officially on black bear watch here on the Westside. One has been seen at the end of the road by one of Holly’s friend, ambling through the horses field, but it true fashion, not by any of us. We sat up drinking beer and wine with one of the neighbours last night, in the feint hope that one might find it’s way into the back garden, or at least along the ridge up behind the garden. No news as yet I’m afraid readers. We are beginning to wonder…. So I added a picture of one of BC’s other mythical creature. Look at those teeth….

 The Ogopogo....

Close relative of the Loch Ness monster, the Okanagan has it’s very own "monster". Mysterious sightings, boat disappearances and much more besides. But like the fabled "bear", we haven’t seen it yet…..

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First Crops ’06….

Firstly a big thanks to everyone from around the world who got in touch with answers to the problems we had in the Organic Garden. Kathy in New Zealand came through with the correct solution first, although she was by no means the only one. Prizes are in the post….

First Crop of 2006....Lack of calcium in the soil seems to have been the problem, which we managed to solve in time it would seem to reap some produce from the hard work.

This was all we had left before I was reminded that a photo could be put on the blog, but I can say, the tomatoes are my favourite so far. Compared to the insipid bags of water that the supermarket is churning out, these are juicy and full of flavour. More to come….

Other news, Leigh has finished a second deck in the back garden, which is bigger than the first one, maybe not as cosy as yet but she’s now got to try and find, or "excavate" some rocks to landscape the thing.

The kids have about 2 weeks of summer holiday left. Where has nearly 2 months gone?

I’m still trading, getting better as the days go on, despite a number of what can only be described as "large hits" setting me back at the beginning of August.

And the 1 Year Anniversary is on the horizon….

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Who Wants to be a Millionaire?….

How do you keep a 9 year old boy occupied? I’ve played cricket, volleyball, been in the pool, begun teaching him the guitar and still he says he’s bored….

So I discovered something he could have a go at. Be an entrepreneur and start earning his keep!!

So, after getting him reading a Rich Kid, Poor Kid book from the library, Samuel has been hard at work seting up his new online shop, selling t-shirts, mousemats, coffee mugs and g-strings!

Now his Dad has to work out how to promote it with him. I thought I was going to get some peace for a bit, letting him use the laptop in his bedroom/office, it seems like I just made it worse! Now his Mum wants to do a different one to sell her gear too!

Use the links to his shop on the sidebar, or go click here.