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Initial Musings….

I’ve put off writing something regarding our "visit" to the UK after 6 years, but I’ll try to get it down here….

First impressions;

1. Where are all the bangers? All I see, everywhere I go are newish, sparkling motors. When I was starting out, I had a banger, most of the first time drivers I knew had one. We were students, it was all we could afford, or all our parents would stump up the cash for. What happened? If you’re telling me you can’t afford to live here, to buy your food, I can see why…..

2. The food…. it doesn’t seem all that pricey, to be honest. Everything we bought in Canada was twice if not 3 times as much, and not as good quality either. So, maybe if you hadn’t splashed out on state of the art mobile phones, the shops of which are always busy, you might be able to eat properly. Just a thought….

3. The big stores, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Boots, WHSmiths, all look tacky, or tatty inside. What happened? There are sale, or deal signs everywhere, bombarding you when you get in. Luckily, I’m immune to ’em…. On a positive note, the smaller independent stores look to be a lot more inviting.

4. Most places seem a lot cleaner than I rememeber. Parts of London we visited weren’t as bad as they used to be and even railway platforms we stopped off at were not bad.

5. Speaking of railways, we took one from Eastbourne to Richmond, buying a One Day Travelcard. Cost? GBP 9.50 each. Now I know it was after 9am, and we had to return after 7pm, but I didn’t think that was too bad for a day trip to London, allowing us to use the bus, train and underground all day unlimited. The odd thing was, the website I was looking at the night before said it was going to be GBP 19 each…..

So, some things change, some things stay the same.

Oh, but the telly programmes, are utterly, utterly crap. Sorry, but they are. In fact, words fail me as to how bad that really is. Please, stop trying to tell me how wonderful the BBC is. The nature stuff is OK, but the rest, is mind numbingly awful. And ITV….. please….

Should I return full time, the TV licence won’t be on the list of things to get, I assure you. Give me my Netflix account and the library anyday.

A highlight though, one thing we have enjoyed so far, was spending a Saturday afternoon in the pub, with the kids, watching Arsenal play Chelsea. Being an Arsenal fan, the boy was in his element, cheering with the crowd when they scored, groaning when they conceded a goal. There were fans of both sides, there was no animosity, no violence nothing, only good humoured banter back and forth. Bugger getting Sky to watch it, I’d take a pint with a group of like minded fans anyday.

Pictures to come….. and more insightful commentary…..

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BC Tree Fruits…. from the US….

A B.C. Tree Fruits worker launches hunger strike after being suspended for speaking out against his employer.

That’ll be NAFTA for you. Mind boggling, that we’re surrounded by orchards in this area and it’s better to import them from the US, than support our local growers.

But, of course, I’ve got to “save the planet” by holidaying in the back garden, using the car less, or switching to mercury lightbulbs… maybe it’s just me, but, I’m suspicious….. I’ve got a real strong feeling I’m being fed a load of b*llsh*t

UPDATE….

Let me get this right then, BC Fruits are supposedly dealing with not just BC Fruit, but Washington state also so says this “whistleblower”…..

So, being a farmers market regular and buying my fruit and veg from local growers, I thought I’d do some digging around on the BC Tree Fruits website (www.bctree.com)…..

Because since 1936, we’ve helped to promote not just British Columbia’s amazing apples, but also pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, prune plums and nectarines. And even some stuff that doesn’t grow on trees, like grapes and blueberries. Hence, fruits.

We’re a part of the Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative, owned by over 800 local grower families.

No mention as far as I can tell of including apples from Washington, (in the U.S.) in a British Columbia local growers outlet, unless they’re included in those 800 local grower families and a state, from another country can be classed as local of course. I, as always, am happy to be corrected.

Our new tagline lets you know that our produce is nothing short of delectable. It’s also a subtle reminder that we have way more than apples (though we do have a lot of apples). Like pears, peaches, cherries and a whole host of other fruits grown by 800 local families who love what they do and where they do it: the Okanagan.

I see…. “the Okanagan”….. not Washington then. And oh, there’s a map…. http://www.bctree.com/about/our-growers

….. have a guess if Washington is on it…..

I think I’ll be spending a little more time at the Famers Market this week and see if I can find out some more info on what exactly this lot get up to…..

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How You Like Me Now….

On a bit of a “YouTube Music Video Trip” at the moment…..

Just found this lot after watching “The Fighter” and hearing this tune. Good idea to have this one up as loud as possible…..

I’m gonna play it again….

And then, this bit of guitar playing never ceases to impress me…..

Normal blogging may resume shortly, if I can think of something to report….

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Technology….

Once, when creativity struck, I had to move the old mixing desk out of the cupboard, make some space, set it up, and put it away again when the missus and the kids came home….

This is the studio setup now…..

Recording....

It’s a lot easier on the back, not to mention far more “efficient” at catching the creative muse when it appears.

So, blogging has been a bit sparse of late, as I’ve been tinkering with the Apogee gadget which has made the old gear redundant, to a certain extent. Doing some demo’s, maybe stick a few up on here for download, we’ll see.

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“There’s Gonna Be A Showdown”….

“Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others.”  – Winston Churchill

And so, my coaching season reaches, possibly it’s last weekend, the semi final is this afternoon. The final is tomorrow, should we get past Kamlooops today, against the only team to draw with us, and then manage a win, our seasons nemesis, Vernon. “There’s gonna be a showdown.”, sang Jeff Lynne…..

A place in the provincial playoff is the prize. The charge of whether the boys can pull it off is rapidly leaving my hands, I’ve done all I can, it’s now whether they want to do it or not.

“For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself.”  – Winston Churchill

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Hummingbird….

As we sat on our little deck amongst the trees, sipping a glass of wine, a multitude of hummingbirds were diving, fighting and playing around us.

This guy seemed to be the boss though….

Seemed like a good opportunity to test out the HD video on the little Canon Elph300 we just bought, so I sat patiently just by the feeder, as a number of hummingbirds hovered so close to my face, I could feel the draft caused by their wings.

Expect more of the same, should I remember to have the camera to hand, now I know how to use it….

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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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