Monday, December 15, 2003

Northern Exposure: Started my new job!

I'm at work at my new job! I started today!

I had an interview a few weeks ago, then a follow up, then a technical code exam, then they offered me the job. They wanted me to start last week, but we went away to Calgary for the weekend to see Sophia's family.

It was her grandmothers 91st birthday. We saw lots of cousins who I've never seen - and some Soph hadn't seen for 15 years - and had a big Chinese banquet thing. It was fun, we stayed over at her cousin's house, and played around with all their children.

I was all worried about this job because it was so sudden, but now I'm just sitting here doing the things I like doing, and it's all good! I guess it was just nerves, because in this new job I'm now a Senior Consultant and I'm getting a little bit more money, too.

Over the weekend Sophia's company moved offices. For the past few weeks, when I wasn't having interviews, I was in her old office boxing up stuff for them, or in their new offices putting furniture together. It was lots of fun, great to do something physical for a change.

Speaking of that, since I left my old job, I've lost 5kg in weight. I think it's just because I haven't had any big lunches!

Christmas stuff:
  • We were originally going to come to England over Christmas
  • I was made redundant, so we said we'd stay here and save money
  • Sophia gets lots of holiday time, so we thought we'd drive to Vancouver and stay at her parents place there for the holiday
  • I got my new job and I don't know if I'll get any holiday!
  • We might just stay in Edmonton
  • Some of her friends get married in May, so we want to come home then, we'll definately see you all soon!
Tomorrow night I've invited some of my first aid people over for a "potluck dinner" - have you heard of them? It's where people come over and bring food or drink. I think it's pretty north american.

Wednesday we're going to see the Lord of the Rings - her company has booked out an entire cinema to see it!

Thursday we're going to see her friend and help her pack, she's bought a new place and moves in Jan.

Friday is her company party and it should be really good fun! After that, she's on holiday until the 5th of January, it's alright for some!

Anyway, I'll speak to you all soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Northern Exposure: You'll never guess what...

...that's right! I had another bike accident on the high level bridge!

It really doesn't like me.

I was cycling south on the west side, I'd just got onto the bridge itself by turning the corner onto the bridge, and I clipped the railing on the right with my handlebar as I turned. This caused me to wobble at some speed until I stopped suddenly using only my nose.

I did not knock myself out. I was able to pick myself up and cycle the rest of the way home - mainly because my toe hurt too much to walk.

I'm okay, mainly once again because I was wearing a helmet. My left big toe is cut rather badly, but not deep. It has been bandaged up expertly by Sophia. I have a graze on my left leg. My chin took a whack, as did my nose, which is much bigger than it usually is... I'm going to have a pair of black eyes tomorrow, I'm sure. The nosebleed stopped fairly sharpish, but the dull throb in the conk is still there. My wrists are also aching, because I used my hands to stop some of the force of the impact. I'm sure after a rest they'll feel better.

This of course means I probably won't be in tomorrow, mainly to spare everyone the sight of my face. I'll let you know what happens, but really I'm just a bit battered. Also stupid. Ah well.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Northern Exposure: Fifteen

I just got back from fifteen, I have the menu for Wednesday Evening here so I can type what I had:
  • Spiadini of smoked buffalo mozzarella and rosemary pancetta with sweet onion toasts
  • Grilled rib eye of McDuff beef (hung for 30 days) with potato mascarpone and horseradish pie, braised leeks and a little jus
  • Creme Brulee
We started at Smiths of Smithfield, a cool bar. Their absinthe cocktail had quite the kick in the tail. After a bit we went on to fifteen, we were very lucky (or rather jammy) to get reservations there, they have a three month waiting list.

The place was very cool indeed, a nice bar upstairs and a good sized dining area. The service was fun, especially as we were all being rather cheeky, and the food was fantastic. Everyone had lovely dishes, and my beef was really REALLY good - Alberta standard, we're talking!

My only minor niggle, and I think it's a niggle for niggles sake, is that the creme brulee wasn't warm and the burnt sugar was a bit sticky rather than melt-in-the-mouth - should have gone for the fantastic lemon torte, but it was still nice.

On Thursday morning I'm driving back over to see Sophia's parents. I'll be staying with them overnight, and if any of you are in the area and would like to pop over to their house, they've said they'd love to see you. This way those of you that know them know where to find them, there's parking, and plenty of cups of tea! Much easier to do this than try to meet up in various parts of Kingston. Give us a call if you can't find the place!

Friday I'll pop over to my old work place in Hemel and see everyone for lunch - I will be in the Crabtree from 12 onwards, so please tell everyone who might be interested!

Later that day I'll return to Harlow and go out for a curry with some friends, got to have that authentic English curry. Hang on, that sounds a bit odd. You know what I mean.

Saturday my family is having a get together at my parents house - again, if you're in the area and you'd like to pop in, do please feel free - anytime after lunchtime.

Sunday I'll try to meet up with a few more people from Harlow, and perhaps go shopping for those essential things I really miss (ginger nuts and worcestershire sauce crisps).

Monday I fly back to Edmonton - and it had better have warmed up!

I do hope to see as many of you as I can - drop me and email, give one of the sets of parents a call, it would be great to see you!

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Northern Exposure: Home Again!

I arrived! Yay!

I'm at my parents house on a Saturday morning, it's so lovely here. When I left Edmonton, it was snowing and the temperature was just below freezing. Sophia told me it was acutally -11C on Friday morning, too.

When I arrived in England I was stunned at the warm sunny weather, the light breeze, and how everything was growing and basically not covered in snow. Fantastic.

I took a coach from Heathrow to Harlow. It was really nice because it took me through areas I used to drive through, good to see how some things had changed and some had stayed the same. Harlow hadn't changed that much, it seems - or I've been away so long I couldn't tell.

I tried to surprise my mum in Sainsbury's, but she's left her shift early. Instead, I got a taxi home and just walked up the back path. My mum said to my dad, "That looks like Dean!". Hehehehe!

The dog, Star, went crazy for about a minute then was all "Oh look, a bone". It's like I never left for her, the silly thing.

I had some dinner and relaxed with the family, heading for bed fairly soon. I am probably going to see the family this weekend, but I hope to see as many people as possible!

My parents-in-law in Surbiton still don't know I'm here, so shh, I'm going to tell them I have a friend who might be able to pop over to have a look at their PC if they're in on a certain day, then turn up myself! :D

Can't wait to see you all soon!

Monday, March 31, 2003

Northern Exposure: Homeward Bound!

I'm coming back to England for a while! YAY!

It's just me coming over, and it's just for 10 days or so. My project at work has stalled for a while, and I have some holiday free. Sophia is really busy still, so she can't afford the time off - but I'm homesick! She got to come home last year.

I am not sending this email to my parents or to her parents. I intend to get a coach from Heathrow to Harlow, and then turn up at my parents place to surprise them. I hope the dog doesn't bite me. Hehe.

After spending some time with them I'll arrange for a "friend of mine" to pop over to Sophia's parents house to "have a look at their PC", I can't wait to see their faces! I'd better fix their PC though! I'll probably stay overnight with them, but only for a day or so.

So - some of my family are recieving this. Don't tell either mum and dad. Let me know if anything is planned at any of the weekends or any time I'm over!

My parents and family are my priority, but I am going to make sure I see all my friends, Harlow, Kingston, London, wherever. This includes a few lunchtime sessions with the Hays Consulting people, and definately a drinkie or two at a pub in Hemel (yay Parker!).

I can't wait to see you all again!