Friday, January 28, 2011

Science project/Spring Sunshine/ Skating in Bowmore Lagoon

Science Fair
Its been a few days since our last blog-my laptop has been hijacked by Lucie and her friend Jasmine for the Science project. The Science project is a big event at School, and the children do an experiment and have to explain their methodology/results by doing a presentation....

Much to Lucie's horror I have volunteered to be a Judge at the Science Fair (anything to hold a clipboard and hand out rosettes) but of course you cant judge your own childrens work :-)

Pot Luck Valentines Lunch
Lucie's teacher is organising a pot luck lunch for the children, they are all to bring in a main course, salad or pudding....Lucie is keen to bring in Haggis-not sure where we will get some in Calgary but we will try..

Sophie Ice Skating
Sophie is off at an outdoor ice skating lagoon tonight for her friends birthday. It was absolutely beautiful, a natural lake, so pretty with snow falling lightly and giant fir trees lit up with blue Christmas lights. She is then going back to the birthday girls' house for a sleepover and shopping at the Mall tomorrow with another group of friends....

I was asked to go into School this morning for a very brief meeting with one of the teachers about Sophies excellent progress in Maths :-) Everything starts early here so it was 7.30 am....Sophie and I were talking to the teacher sitting on the sofa with Lucie behind the teacher as it was too early for Lucie's peers to be in school-what does Lucie do but start imitating the teachers hand guestures behind the teachers back, hilarious - but what a monkey!!

Spring Sunshine

It has been gorgeous, really warm , about +12 degrees and Calgarian's have been wearing shorts! So lovely, bright and sunny, I had the doors open to the terraces...Bliss! However, all set to change now as its started to snow again-a foot of snow expected overnight- but forecast to be warm again by Tuesday.


We are having a rest from making our own but have discovered Crave Cupcakes . We buy the mini ones and they are absolutely delicious! Im not a major fan of sweet things but these are really good...(note the empty space, couldnt resist ...  :-)

Needless to say, Lucie loves them and takes them into school for a small sweet treat...

Jasper Day Care
Jasper loved Sringbank Pet Resort and Spa (had his nails trimmed too....),  he had a really good day, had to stifle a giggle when the manager brought over a DVD to show me of Jasper on his 'first day'...he did really enjoy it but it was a fair old drive out of Calgary I felt like we were nearly in the Rockies, so he will just go very occasionally so he gets used to it for when we need it for kennels when we go back home on holiday. DVD to follow...


We are off to Nakiska on Sunday to ski which is only 40 minutes or so away, should be fun..

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jasper goes to Daycare

Yes, its true, Dog day care or nurseries in Calgary and sooo many of them to choose from.

Jasper has his first day at Springbank Pet Resort and Spa (owned by our vet here), in preparation for him boarding there when we go back to scotland in April.

Im dreading it...but it does look amazing (photos tomorrow-Tuesday)!

Lucie and the grilled Snapper

Long after everybody else had finished eating, Lucie was left to finish her meal, everybody else gone, everything cleared away and Lucie decided to take her time with the last of her grilled fish....she was promised the same fish meal for breakfast if she didnt manage it.....surprisingly she managed it! x

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lucie Open House/Deer-Moose?!!

Lucie's School Open House
Had a wonderful morning this morning. The Elementary side of the school had Open House where parents were invited to sit in on the lessons, sit quietly at the side, and watch the class in action.

Lucie wanted me to go to Maths-it was brilliant-very interactive, controlled so well by the teacher Mrs Leong-the parents who were there were asked to do the work as well, and joined in to the work groups mixed with the children. I wanted to stay for break ('recess') that was a bridge too far for Lucie :-) ....all in all the children loved it

Deer (or was it a Moose??) in the Garden
The usually very peaceful Jasper suddenly went beserk this morning and barked constantly as if we were under siege-I rushed to look out of the window to see four huge deer skulking around the back garden nibbling at the bark. jasper was unconsolable-what were these giant strangers doing on his territory?? They were much bigger (and fatter) than any of the deer I have ever seen in the UK..below are some pictures of them this afternoon still in our garden

Driving in Calgary

Have had one or two Mr Bean moments on the roads-Bruce managed to drive through the Construction workers lane on the way to the bus one morning (6.30 am it was too dark to see ) and appeared out of the other side unscathed...!

One particularly snowy morning when the road was covered by snow, I drove right through the intersection and parked right under the red light (as we would in the UK) I quite quickly realised that i was meant to stop 6 0r 7 metres further back and I was in the middle of an intersection and managed to move back in time-aaargh!


Our shipment has arrived-we are over the moon. It cleared customs at lunchtime today and should be with us first thing Wednesday morning. we cant wait to see all of our things...


Its been between minus 22 and minus 26 degrees for about two weeks-the native Calgarians are quite bewildered as they usually get a very cold snap like this but it apparently rarely lasts so long-there is usually a 'Chinook ' a warm wind which comes and warms things up to about -9 or even warmer.
Its a strange thing to say, but you dont really notice the cold-you just wear clothes designed for the weather, ie skisuits to walk the dog. It is extremely cold , for example walking from car to supermarket but you just wear ski gloves/hat etc before you get out of the car and walk very quickly!

Girl Guides

Lucie has been invited to Girl Guides tonight as a guest with her lovely friend from Aberdeen(Banchory) its a spa evening and they have to go in their pyjamas. Sophie has ice skating lessons as well, and both have homework to fit in, so its all go!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

skating/dogwalking/yoga etc

A quick skate after school at the local rec centre Westside Rec, 4 minutes door to door!

It continues to be approx minus 25 degrees but really is incredibly bright and sunny! You just seem to get used to going around dressed like a Yeti, I did actually go into the local organic food shop wearing a pair of jeans, skisuit over the top AND  coat and noticed everybody else was wearing similar clothes...the really good thing is that you park right outside wherever you want to go to as the shops are either fairly big and accessible in outdoor Plazas or in an indoor shopping mall where you can park underground and walk right in.

I have met some of the most friendly people I have ever met at the local off leash dog park - Edworthy, where I take Jasper every day for an hour's walk...

Jasper looking hopeful for a treat from my pocket!

Jasper now stopped trying to be on his best behaviour!

Both Sophie and Lucie have friends over this weekend which is great. Lucie has been invited to a Girl Guides Spa party on Monday and Sophie has been invited to a volleyball game with her friend from school and her family-her friends Dad is Sophie's Homeroom teacher, Mr Rose who is wonderful.

Sophie did her Cross Country skiing at school for PE (or Phys Ed as its called here) and had a really great time, both Sophie and Lucie are really enjoying the school-Webber Academy- which is a big plus. School starts at 8.15 and finishes at 3.30 and there are no after school activities at school but plenty to do after school in Calgary.

Bruce is working hard and enjoying working on the project. He has been invited to a Hockey Game on Monday night through his work, and is off skiing at Canada Olympic Park on Sunday with the girls, after their lesson. Canada Olympic Park is on the edge of the city so is really accessible. Im not up to skiing yet with my achilles but I will be hopefully in the coming months. We are meeting friends there for a quick snack after the skiing.

I am incredibly busy sorting out all our admin and getting things organised: car insurance, home insurance, Canadian utilities, after school activities etc. There seem to be very few native Calgarians, so many people here are new to Calgary and from other places around the world that the vast majority of people are incredibly welcoming and helpful, in fact they could not be more so-it really is a very vibrant city.  

I am also doing two websites at the moment for friends which I am delighted to be doing but will also be very keen to complete them :-) Ive started working in Wordpress which gives great results for the websites.

I did manage to fit in my first Mosha Hot Yoga class which was agonising!! the room was heated to 37 degrees and was packed full of people taking it very seriously(and wearing very few clothes!)

The yoga was very active and not too hard. The humidity was intense and I felt like passing out after five minutes but stuck it out for the whole 60 minutes and swore I would never, ever come ever again - got home and felt absolutely fantastic all day-cant wait for the next class...

We are off to the Mall tomorrow night after school, open 9am til 9pm to catch the end of the Aberdrombie and Fitch sale-the girls love it .

Finally, our air shipment from Scotland will arrive on Saturday. By the time it has cleared Customs and is delivered to us it could be Wednesday next week apparently. We cant wait for our own things, our clothes, pictures , kitchen stuff , and most importantly, Jasper's bed !

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ice skating lessons - Youth Skating programme at Westside Rec

Jasper waits at home for the skaters to return....

-19 degrees, windchill -27 degrees

...but at least its sunny! Have just walked Jasper in a skisuit, coat on top and a hat! Jasper doesnt seem to notice the cold...
The skiing lessons at Canada Olympic Park (on the edge of the city) were a huge success yesterday for Sophie and Lucie...think the cold weather must have meant a lot of Sophie's class didnt turn up-Sophie was the only person in her group, so had a private lesson. Lucies group had two boys in it who were too scared to come down the mountain....they were promptly moved to a beginners group!
Skating lessons tonight at our local ice rink.....

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Just a quiet day today - took Jasper to the vets to register and make sure that his rabies injections have worked.....had a quiet chuckle when they took a photo of him for his 'file' they actually got him to pose whilst they were holding a dog biscuit....!

Went to Aquaerobics first thing in the morning (8am), then went to buy ice skates for the girls at a sports shop called 'Play it again sport' which sells great second hand skates/skis/helmets. The skates have to be sharpened and the girls have to have helmets before they are allowed on to the ice-skating lessons start on Monday after school at the local ice rink - less than 5 minutes away

Skiing lessons tomorrow afternoon at Canada Olympic Park

Its very cold here today -15 or so and snow fallling so a quiet afternoon at home...x

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ice Creamery, walking Jasper...and talking Starbucks...!

Ice Cream

Took Sophie and Lucie to the local creamery after school yesterday at our local 'Plaza' (shopping centre). I dont think any of us had ever seen anything like it! The ice creams were the size of footballs - Sophie had two toppings 'mixed in' they rolled the ice cream around marshmallows etc........I asked for a childs size of Swiss Chocolate, the chap couldnt understand what I wanted until I asked for 'Chocolate Swiss!!' when it arrived it was the biggest ice cream I had ever eaten and was delicious.....

Talking Starbucks

This is our local Starbucks at Aspen Landing shopping centre two minutes away-its a Drive Through! I drove through yesterday and was busy looking at the menu when the intercom asked : 'how are you today?'. I replied, 'Good, thanks - and you?' The intercom replied that they were fine - then I was finally able to order my many to choose from.  My usual tipple is 'Tall, brewed, ...with Room'...' this means a normal coffee with space to add your own milk!

Jasper off - leash park

Japser in his element at the off leash park every morning which is basically a massive party for dogs - they all race around chasing each other and the owners are sooo friendly and laid back. All the dogs so far have been very good natured, if there's a grumpy one the owners usually keep it on a lead:

Lucie is off to a friends house this afternoon - her friend from Aberdeen who has a strong Canadian accent- and her Mum has very kindly invited me for coffee which will be lovely.

Sophie has gone on a French lunch today (lunch at a French restaurant in Calgary) and forgot to wear the formal uniform, it was lovely to pop round with blazer etc in just four minutes door to door!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New School - Day Two

First day went really well (phew!) both Sophie and Lucie loved the new school...

Lucie has a Scottish girl in her class-from Aberdeen, and Sophie has made lots of friends already. The teachers and pupils were incredibly helpful and welcoming which made a big difference. Lucie's 'homeroom' teacher gave her a big hug, and Sophie's class are very welcoming - Jack Wills is the coolest thing ever in Calgary, so Sophies giant navy schoolbag is getting lots of admiring looks, ( is Lucie's bag from Primark!!)

Lunch was a big excitment- the girls have a swipecard for the cafeteria, Lucie was very impressed by the popcorn on offer at breaktime, Sophie's English class had hot chocolate during the lesson....Sophie had both volleyball and basketball yesterday, neither of which she had played before but she really enjoyed it....Lucie was chuckling as she had a lesson called GH which she later found out is Geography and History combined :-)

The uniform changes on day two, to a more 'relaxed ' uniform (formal school uniform only on mondays and first day of term):

Bruce went off to work at 6.30 am - I drove him to Sunterra (a lovely food shop), which has an Express bus into Calgary. He made it into work door to door in half an Hour which is great considering we are right on the edge of the city.

Ive spent the morning rushing round buying padlocks, backpacks etc for the girls, and a kettle for a decent cup of tea...I met our lovely neighbour who has a dog almost identical to jasper-he told me about all the local dog walking places which Jasper seems to love already. Ive joined the local gym which is the biggest gym I have ever seen, it has what looks like an 800 metre indoor track above the three swimming pools and three ice rinks....I did an aqua class and managed quite well...good place to start, will build up to everything else as my leg gets better. xx

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First day at School...

Great excitement, all seemed to go well, Sophie learnt to tie her tie, and girls went to their 'Homerooms' (!) at 8.15 this morning. The uniform shop had sent some ambititous sizes for the girls (too big!) so a quick dash to the Second hand shop cupboard, sorted out a blazer and tunic for the the interim, I was roped in as a volunteer for the second hand uniform shop - aaargh! xx

Saturday, January 1, 2011

More photos of new house...

Photos of new house

New Years Eve - with a difference

We checked out the Chinook Centre  which has American Eagle, and Abercrombie and Fitch, and had a great time....when we got home, Lucie felt very tired and went to bed...and was sick aaargh! She was repeatedly sick for two hours - diagnosed over the phone with the WinterVomiting Bug...the poor soul was sooo ill.

In the interim Bruce went to the airport to collect Jasper, who came home looking very tired and timid but very glad to see us all....needless to say, we werent about to hit the town ...

First few days

Arrived in Calgary on Thursday 30th December. It was  -19 degrees on arrival. We met Sandy, our relocation agent at the house. Sandy had turned on the heating and lights which was much appreciated....

A good nights sleep for everyone, except Lucie, who was so excited she got up at 3 am and was sitting in the kitchen eating Lucky Charms - a marshmallow cereal that she threw into the trolley when my back was turned!