Sun, sea and sand

Best Friend in America arrived on Thursday and we had a fabulous visit. I was sad to see her go yesterday 😦 Flights between our cities are so insanely expensive that we’re making plans to meet up somewhere in between (maybe Toronto or New York) next year. The cost of flights plus hotel room will actually work out less than the cost of a flight between our cities. It’s insane.


On Friday, I managed to work through lunch and get out of work early so I hightailed it home to pick up BFIA. She’d spent the day reading, playing with Kate and Annie and going for a short walk. Apparently I live in a really lovely place πŸ™‚ The weather was gorgeous, warm and sunny, so we went down to the beach and spent lots of time paddling in the ocean and walking along the beach. I really must remember to do that when the weather is good πŸ™‚ Then it was off for yummy sea food for supper followed by a cup of tea with my aunt, who was eager to finally meet the fabled BFIA!

On Saturday we set out for a drive down the coast, planning to visit Lunenburg and Mahone Bay. Incredibly, I didn’t get lost! There was a craft fair at Lunenburg so we ended up with rather a lot of fudge and jam πŸ™‚ We ate sandwiches on the waterfront and watched the sailing ships. Then we hopped into the car and drove back to Mahone Bay where we had tea (and amazing chocolate shortcake) at the Biscuit Eater Cafe and I got to pop into Have A Yarn. I emerged with some 2.5mm Addi circs, some 4ply alpaca to make something for a friend’s baby and a skein of Tanis sock yarn in a gorgeous shade of blue – score! The drive back to the city was smooth and easy, despite the Paul McCartney concert, and after a bit of time to read and relax at home we went out for a sushi supper.

BFIA’s main comment was “OMG, it’s so fresh!” She adores shrimp and my sushi place does amazing shrimp tempura. I’ve never tried shrimp tempura rolls before (although I don’t know why!) and I may have discovered a new favourite πŸ™‚ We skipped dessert at the restaurant in favour of the insanely indulgent ice cream that I had at home and, sadly, concluded that BFIA will have to visit me if she ever wants that ice cream again as it’s a local store brand. Heh.

Sunday was grey and rainy, so we decided to have a lazy day at home. We did venture out long enough to check out the local touristy gift shops and pick up some Tim Horton’s (she needed to see why TH is so popular here) but mostly we read, watched TV and played with kittens. Supper was pizza and salad, which was just right and it was great to just sit around gossiping.

I took a long lunch yesterday to take her back to the airport. Apparently she’s gone home with tales of beaches and amazing food, to persuade her husband that they need to take a trip back here because he’ll love it. Yay!

It was great having her to visit and I’ve finally been able to persuade an old friend that moving here was a great decision. So many of my friends don’t really know why I’d wanted to leave England and can’t understand that I don’t miss it. Of course, BFIA is probably the most likely to understand seeing as she left England years ago and now has a wonderful life in America. Perhaps if I can bring other friends over to visit and show them what my life is like, they’ll understand better.

I suspect that the weather probably helped πŸ™‚ This place in gorgeous, sunny weather is amazing. The days of fog and ick get a bit wearing and it’s harder (but not impossible) to get out and enjoy the beach and the scenery. But BFIA pointed out that the ocean is always pretty spectacular whatever the weather, and she’s right πŸ™‚

I’ve been thinking a bit about the move this weekend. When I was planning it, everyone kept reminding me that it wouldn’t solve all my problems and I shouldn’t expect to suddenly be amazingly happy just because I’d moved. So I set my expectations for how the move would affect me pretty low and it’s turned out to be a much bigger thing in the end. There weren’t any problems that I was running away from when I left, but I did leave behind a crappy job and a country that I didn’t feel offered me much. Coming here, I’ve gained a great job, better prospects for housing and life quality, surroundings that I love and a new group of friends that I love spending time with.

I’ve got a new life that’s quite different from what I had in England and, despite all those dire warnings, overall I’m much happier and more content than I was. So actually it has been the fix that everyone was warning me it wouldn’t be – how amazing is that?

So that’s why I’ve been grouchy!

The sun is shining and the sky is blue for the first time in over three weeks. And suddenly my funk is gone – I’m feeling cheerful and hopeful even though my back is still quite painful.


I’d never considered myself to have seasonally-affected moods before. Turns out that I do, though. Damn.

In other news, Best Friend in America flies in tonight for a visit! Woo! I am rather ridiculously excited about this. It’s so good to have the weather behaving this weekend so that I can show her my new home at its best. Right now, I’m considering having a road trip along the coast on Saturday and mooching around the city on Sunday. If I can arrange it with work, I’m going to leave early tomorrow so that we can go for a walk on the beach and then have supper at my local seafood place.

It’s going to be so much fun πŸ™‚

The Tour continues to be thoroughly enthralling. Someone yesterday commented that this is the most exciting Tour since, er, 2005 (Lance’s last) and that it seems like Armstrong’s presence has livened up the peloton a lot. While I don’t want to attribute the recent problems in cycling to Armstrong’s retirement, I have to admit that this Tour has already had more drama than the previous ones and none of it has been related to drug busts. No, I don’t think that it’s entirely down to Armstrong being there but I am willing to admit that it’s a factor in the level of excitement in this year’s race. Cavendish would be the other factor πŸ™‚

Problem is, I don’t really know how we combat that. All the riders that have got me really excited over the last few years have been arrested at some stage in the race for failing dope controls. On the one hand, the sport is catching the cheats. OTOH, it’s been getting hard to continue being thrilled and excited about riders when you’re just waiting for them to get busted. I’m really hoping that the new, young riders that are starting to come through will reverse that trend.

In other news, I bound off a sock last night and it actually fits πŸ™‚ This is particularly exciting because it’s the first pair that really do that – fit, I mean.

I’ve gone down a needle size to 2.25mm, which has produced a denser, firmer fabric. I’m a pretty loose knitter at 2.5mm needles were not working well with the very fine sock yarns that I like. I also re-measured my feet and discovered that I’d been working to the wrong measurements for all these months. Those two factors combined have produced a sock that fits beautifully and feels really great. Yay me! I shall cast on the second one in the pair tonight and probably work on it while I wait at the airport.

My lacy sweater is proceeding well. In fact, it’s proceeding much faster than I’d anticipated (all those hours of Tour watching are a help) and, after a week, I’m already most of the way up the back. It’s entirely possible that I’ll finish it by the end of the month. Weird feeling.

In cat news, I have finally figured out where Annie goes when she disappears in my office. My wireless router sits on a shelf, hidden by the hutches over the desks. Annie has discovered that she can lie on the shelf with her head and front paws pillowed on the lovely, warm router and take a really comfy nap. Silly kiten. I am onto her now!

See? I must be feeling better because I just babbled extensively. Heh.

It’s a date

Last night I got a call from Best Friend in America (BFIA). She announced earlier in the year that she’s getting married and I couldn’t be happier for her. We’ve known each other for more than half our lives and, even though we haven’t lived in the same country for ten years, she’s still my best friend.

Strictly speaking, I have three people that I’d consider my closest, best friends but BFIA has a special place in my heart for many reasons. It’s great to finally be on the same continent.

Anyway, the call was to invite me to her wedding (d’uh!) and then ask me to be her bridesmaid.

I can’t believe that I actually teared up over that, but I did and babbled something about yes and of course and I feel so privileged. I really do feel honoured because this is such a special, important day for her and she wants me to be a part of it.

The practicalities still need to be worked out, but on the weekend of June 13th next year I will be in Aspen watching my BFIA get married and probably crying bucketloads.

In fact, I’ll hopefully get to see her married twice over because she’s having a Hindu wedding on the Friday (for her fiance) in addition to her white wedding on the side of a mountain.

OMG, I sm so excited!