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Camping?….

With a break in the footie schedule, and the weather the right side of pretty good, a camp trip may be in order….

…. especially, now we have the excellent portable BBQ. Or should I put the boat licence to good use and take the old man’s little boat out for a run to the other side of the lake? Decisions, decisions…..

On this particular topic, I recently found myself in conversation with the parents of a students I am tutoring, and their plans for this coming long weekend. They were planning on camping, in their oversized trailer (caravan for my European readers!) at a local site.

There’s nothing to do there, but it’s close enough for us to come home for a shower if we want to, and we have other things to do. But it’ll be nice to get around a campfire for an evening with the kids.

I can’t say I am any the wiser on why they wouldn’t go further, but I think I’m getting a better handle on the Canadian camping mentality.

And they are right. Sitting round a fire as the stars come out, on a clear evening, so that the night sky takes on a bluish tone (which in itself, is something to behold), as opposed to a street lit orange is one of life’s little pleasures. We still remember the night we looked up and saw just how many stars up there you can actually see with the naked eye, when the sky isn’t “polluted” with shopping mall car park illuminations. Breathtaking, you’d be amazed.

So an evening under the stars may very well be in order.

Plus the mutha in lore turns up for her annual visit on Sunday, so we can’t go too far.

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Danger! Watermelon Warning!….

Look out! There’s a new threat in town!….

Exploding watermelons put spotlight on Chinese farming practices
New food scandal as fields of watermelons are destroyed after farmers mistakenly apply growth accelerator
Read Full Article @ http://tinyurl.com/3t2p2kl

Amazing. Please, I’m all ears, please, someone explain to me the health benefits of a water melon, laden with growth hormones and why an organically grown water melon and when I say, organically, I mean "like wot dey yous 2, innit", wouldn’t be a better method of growing ’em, not to mention, a healthier option, especially for children…..

No really…. I’m all ears…. but not growth hormonally developed ones…..

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Libraries….

As I’ve often maintained, here in the Okanagan, at least, the library system is THE best thing ever….

….. in the UK though, they seem to be under attack. Again.

If You Tolerate This….
It’s hard not to feel utterly despondent at the current plight of public libraries.

“….. a good library should offer escape routes down the most extraordinary avenues, pathways into different worlds from the one you’ve left outside.”

Read Full Article

Having not been in the UK for over 5 years, I have no idea what the situation is like, but I do remember the one we frequented in Richmond was always full of young kids with their mums and dads. I remember the one in Eastbourne being the next best thing, with DVD and CD’s rentals. Have they really found themselves that unused? Totally empty? I find that hard to believe.

With the cost of living increasing every time I look and with job security uncertain, the library would and should be, I would have thought, a place to learn new skills, or to develop existing ones and chart a course for yourself over the next few years. New languages easy to try via CD or audio book, tips and books on growing your own food, beekeeping, building a shed.  Far from being depressing, this period we find ourselves in could be, as Wire says, allowing you to find “pathways into different worlds from the one you’ve left outside.”

So, wherever you live, turn the TV off, get your shoes on and bugger off to your library. Support it. You never know what you’re going to discover or what ideas you’re going to have. One day, when it’s too late, you may suddenly realise what you gave up when you allowed them to get rid of them.

The rest of us are waiting for and, relying on you.

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Homemade Rolls….

Don’t know why we haven’t done this before, but we used the bread machine to get the dough ready and then whacked these bad boys in the oven….

Homemade Rolls....

Tuna salad on some, cheese on the others. Not a bad attempt for a first go, if I do say so myself.

Homemade Rolls....

Homemade Rolls....

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Scuba Diving….

Miss has reached 11 years old and the age old question arises, “What does she want for her birthday?”….

So, I suggested scuba diving….

Diving Mermaid

It went down a treat. She loved it. After getting over the initial nervousness of being in a new environment, she was hooked. I saw her go under at 7pm and she didn’t surface until 7.30pm!

Diving Mermaid...

Diving Mermaid

Diving Mermaid

Next time you’re looking for something to get your kids, or grandkids, or even your friends kids, forget the usual gadgets or crappy item that’ll be forgetten the day after and go for something memorable, that they’re going to remember for life. The lesson cost $50, or 25 quid for UK readers. A DVD is nearly $30 if you get a new one, and books here in Canada are nothing short of extortionate. A trial piano or drum lesson, a painting class, a scuba diving session, or even a flying lesson is not going to break the bank, especially if you all club together, whatever. It doesn’t even need to be something they ever do again, but it’ll be something they remember. It may even be the unlocking of a lifetime hobby or passion, which will always be worth more than a new iPod or cellphone, trust me.

Do it. They’ll thank you for it.

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Two Brush Fires, in Kelowna….

So, after we had the Peachland fire a couple of days ago, an ominous plume of smoke strated rising on the horizon, on the opposite side of the lake, about half an hour ago….

Kelowna Fire

Kelowna fire department and Ministry of Forests crews are at the scene of two separate brush fires near the end of Lakeshore Road at the border of Okanagan Mountain Park.

Forestry has sent one attack crew and two helicopters.

The fires, described as rank two out of six, were called in shortly after 1 p.m. They are in the area of the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire.

The nearest home is several hundred metres away, however, residents in the area are not being allowed to access their homes.  Residents that are in homes in the area are being asked to leave.  RCMP have set up roadblocks on Lakeshore Road at the entrance to Bertram Creek Park.

Winds in the area are relatively calm, coming out of the south at 17km/h with gusts to 37km/h.

More news, as we get it….

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Peachland Update 3pm’ish…

So, checking the news channels, I’ve got this for now….

Ministry of Forests and Range say fire is 18 hectares in size and is contained below the highway. 14 firefighters, 5 helicopters and one piece of heavy equipment are on scene. Calm winds are slowing fire behaviour.

The plumes of smoke have certainly dissipated, (I think that’s the right word!) and is nothing more than small’ish white cloud of smoke.

So, for now, we’re kind of out of the woods, as they say…..

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HomeBrew Lager….

The resting period is over!…

Homebrew Lager...

The first attempt at our own lager is ready for drinking. A European style lager, with a mild flavour. A success for our first attempt though. We’re enjoying the first bottles tonight!

Next up, the bottling of our Malbec, on Saturday. That’s best after about 6 months apparently, although, I’m not sure how we’re going to last that long with it sitting there….

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Where Have All The Males Gone….

Never mind the vampires, I’ve just seen a rather frightening CBC documentary….

I had a comment the other day,…

"Wow, look at your son! Look at the size of him. What are you feeding him, steroids?"

"Actually, no. The meat I feed him hasn’t got any. How come your boy is tiny?"

As always, anyone who knows me, you were warned. This hasn’t just come out of the blue.

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Homebrew Launches….

"Let’s make our own!", he said. Well, the time has arrived….

Bottles are ready and bottling begins in under 24 hours! My european lager is ready to go, although the wine, a delightful Malbec, is still a few weeks off.

Next step, is my own vineyard….

In the meantime, the missus, Miss, and Grandma, are off to some midnight launch of the New Moon DVD. Some "do" or other is going on at a local store. I’m staying at home, to polish a bottle of the old "el vino", after "beer bottle prep"…. I don’t do vampires.

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