Les Lundis de Londres

Carnon

Enfin un weekend relaxant!

Le premier weekend en sept weekend que je suis à la maison à Londres. Je n’ai jamais été aussi contente de faire du lavage en lisant le “Times” avec mon café, dans MA cuisine, hier matin.

Le premier weekend en sept que j’ai courru dans Hyde Park. Je cours le “Vitality 10K” le 12 juillet et l’entraînement n’a pas été fort fort. J’ai hâte de voir ma performance….NOT!

Une chance que j’ai pu relaxer en fin de semaine (pas que j’en avait vraiment de besoin), on part pour un weekend à Montpelier et Carnon vendredi matin à 4 am. On va rejouindre mon frère qui est à Carnon dans le sud de la France. Ensuite lui et sa douce moitié vont faire le tour de la Corse en voilier et par la suite venir ici à Londres nous visiter.

En même temps ce weekend, on va en profiter pour aller voir des collègues de Peter qui sont en vacances à Montpelier. Quatre petit jour de relaxation dans le sud de la France. Pas tellement qu’on en a de besoin mais plutôt que c’est facile et pas cher. Avec des billets d’avion sur Easy Jet de £79  chaque (aller-retour), une location de voiture sur nos points BA, et mon frère qui a déja loué un condo…FACILE!

J’ai bien hâte de voir mon frère et Manon et de leurs payés un petit apéro sur la plage mais avant il faut finir la semaine. Ciao!

Throwback Thursday

Two weeks ago Peter and I were flying from Bermuda to Montreal to eventually meet up with Sarah and Mackenzy in order to celebrate Mackenzy’s 11th grade graduation.

Probably 98% of students in Quebec graduate after their 11th grade and go on to two years of CEGEP (College d’Education General et Professionel) and then a 3 year Bachelor’s degree. When you attend a private school such as BCS, many times you have the option to stay on and do a 12th grade and then go straight into a 4 year Bachelor’s degree. You bypass the 2 years of CEGEP. In the end, it’s the same amount of ”years” to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Since he will do his 12th grade (like Sarah did), this was a small graduation…a practice run for next year. But it was fun nevertheless.

Of course Fujimoto Mama was on hand to take some photos. Sarah helped too.

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The procession coming out of school. 11th grade in white, 12th grade in purple.

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Looking ahead to next year…

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Getting his Honor Roll medal for obtaining more than 85% average all year.

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Getting the music prize in his form.

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Getting the creative writing prize. He was soooooo happy.

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With his Godmother and his cousin.

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The nagging parents!

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At the headmaster’s house for cocktails before dinner and dance.

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Some of his mates.

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Getting guys to take a picture is pretty much like herding cats!

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Me and my Thing 4. We’re going to miss you Nick.

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Mr. Madsen finally took a good one after 3 attempts… subjects weren’t easy.

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Mac with Nanny and Pappy.

After Peter and I left the dance we left Mackenzy in the very capable hands of Sarah. We got them their own room at the hotel and that was a good call. It appears that his big sister took him out on the town in Sherbrooke with a bunch of people and they made it back to their room pretty late. I don’t want to know what happened that night. What happens in LennoxVegas stays there and thank goodness for that!

Sunday we emptied his dorm room and headed back to Montreal. There I started the annual process of laundry, getting uniforms set aside to take to cleaners etc….

Peter and Sarah soon left and headed for the airport. They were on their way to London. Peter to get back to work and Sarah for 9 days of R&R in London.

I stayed behind with Thing 2. Did laundry, got him ready for camp. We visited Concordia university. Both went to the dentist. Mackenzy took his boatsmart license, we went to see Jurassic World and Entourage and pretty much chilled around Montreal. It was a nice week with Mackenzy.

Sunday afternoon I drove him to his camp where he will be for the next 9 weeks working as a counselor. After a quick hug and some last-minute advice I drove back to Montreal and soon headed to airport to go back to London. It was not to be. First there was a delay, then bad weather and lastly the plane that had just flown in got hit by lightning on the way in and they had to verify everything. At 1:30 am I left Trudeau airport with my taxi vouchers in hand and headed back home to my bed.

Monday I woke up late, gave Monty one last big walk around town and just like in ground-hog day I repeated the process of checking in at the airport. While I repeated this process I inquired as to why no booze in the lounge. Turns out the airport admin person in charge had made the stupid error of not renewing the alcohol license! Moron! The new license was to take effect on Wednesday. I was two days early. Oh well, c’est la vie. I took my nyquil with a perrier instead of a sancerre and drifted off as soon as I got in my seat.

Tuesday morning when I arrived at Heathrow, Thing 1 was waiting for me with a nice large latte from Cafe Nero. Sweet! We went home, I changed into my running gear and we proceeded to run 4 miles before I drove her to the airport. That’s right, she was leaving late that afternoon. We were suppose to have a full day together but only had 6 hours…

Now I am slowly getting back into London routine. Yesterday I hosted a St-Jean Baptiste lunch for the ladies in my French Conversation group and now I am off to run many errands. Back to life in London.

Chilling in Bermuda

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Yesterday was my first day back in a year, I think? Anyways,  after my run and breakfast at Bouchee,  Peter went to play squash and golf and I just chilled.

My chilling involved walking to the Supermart on front Street for some light coffee cream, juice, bananas and yogurt.  You know little breakfast food to start the day. It’s there that I found out two things. Supermart has Waitrose products and Bermuda now sells liquor on Sundays.  The last one is big! When we lived here for over 6 years you could not buy any type of alcohol anywhere on Sunday. We always had to plan in advance if you wanted booze for a Sunday trip to the beach or a boat outing. No problem for us, I am a big planner.  As I was paying for my breakfast items, my bottle of Pimms #1 and all the Pimms ingredients I was thinking,  Sweet!  This alone could make me move back to the Rock.

Back at the hotel I had some time to kill before heading to my good friend Lorrie’s house so I want to read by the new infinity pool. Hamilton Princess built this new infinity pool overlooking the great sound and it is absolutely gorgeous.

I must have been a littlilittle tired because it didn’t take me long to doze off. I was reading Mavis Gallant’s “Paris Stories” and two pages into her first short story I was gone.  I was woken up by some “strong” and loud male voices and the sound of lounge chairs.  When I opened my eyes I realized I was surrounded by about 8 large men speaking with British accents and pulling off their “Harlequins” team shirt over their heads and jumping in the pool. That’s right, I had just woken up, drooling,  a bit confused,  surrounded by half a team of professional Rugby players from London. (Peter had mentioned the night before that the Harlequins were in town to play some rugby). I wiped the drool off my face,  said hi to a couple of them who were right beside me and casually exited the pool.

Now that this embarrassing moment was over it was time to head over to Lorrie’s place. At Lorrie’s house we talked,  swam, and drank some Pimms. When Peter got there we had a lovely dinner on the patio,  talked some more, saw a turtle,  some fish…it was a great evening catching up with good friends.

Morning, Good Morning = Running in Bermuda

I am back on the Rock. Big is here on business and asked his Babe (that’s me) if I would tag along.  I said yes! Come see some friends,  maybe get a tan before Thing 2’s graduation,  it’s a win-win.

This morning I got up put on my running gear and off I went down Pitts Bay rd (we’re staying at Princess Hotel). Gotta love running in Bermuda.  Everyone you meet says “good morning, morning, hi”, much better than the very seldom head nods I get from my fellow runners in London. When I got to hospital I decided to turn around and make my way back. When I reached Corkscrew road I thought okay challenge,  I am go to go up. Halfway up I was thinking WTF what was I thinking? My legs were screaming stop! My lungs were begging for mercy and I was sweating so much from the humidity that I looked as if I just showered.  Never mind, I reached the top turned left and  “ran down de road and up de hill” and so on through town and back to the hotel.

Now we are back at hotel, chilling,  contemplating a morning swim. Got to go. Much to do today! Cheers!

A Nice Weekend in Zug

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Old Town of Zug

Three weeks ago Peter asked me to go to Zug, Switzerland with him. He had to go for work, one day only on a Monday and he didn’t want to go by himself on a Sunday night, work Monday and then come back. He thought we could make it a mini hiking weekend. I thought it was a great idea.

We flew out of London on Saturday morning at 7:05 am. Arrived in Zurich at 9:25 am local time. Zug is located roughly 40 minutes south of Zurich. After going through customs, getting a taxi etc… we finally arrived in Zug. We were staying at the corporate apartment of Peter’s company. The apartment is located on the 16th floor and the office is on the 15th floor. Peter was not going to have a long commute on Monday morning.

Peter checked a couple of things with work, we changed and off we went to the old part of town of Zug. I had printed off some hiking trails but everything was in German and not very clear. We decided to look for tourism info to see if they would have more accurate hiking maps. They did! The nice lady at the tourism office suggested we take the bus to the local cable car that brings you partly up Mount Zugerberg. From there you can start hiking in many different directions. After grabbing lunch, that’s exactly what we did.

By the time we got out of the cable car it was already 2 pm so we decided to do a small hike (a couple of hours), take in the scenery and get our bearings. We headed in the “Blasenberg” direction since on the marker it said we would be there in about 1 hour and another 1 hour and 15 minutes from there to Zug. We hiked up and down valleys, passing cows, farms apple orchards and we just enjoyed the sun and the beautiful scenery.

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Going up in the cable car.

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Our scenery as we were walking. 

We made it back to Zug around 4 pm. Just in time to go buy some groceries for breakfast. Then we went back to the very nice, high tech and comfortable corporate apartment. After a nice dinner at a local Italian eatery we went to bed.

Sunday morning over breakfast we looked at the hiking map and put together a plan for a nice day of hiking. Once again we took the bus and the cable car to Mount Zugerberg. The cable car was packed with young families. I guess this is what the Swiss do on Sunday, they go hiking!

Coming out of the cable car we looked at the markers and started hiking in the direction of Alpi. On the map, Alpi showed as being almost at the top of one of the mountains surrounding Zug. It was 2 hours and 20 minutes away so off we went.

Talk about Cows! In Switzerland you cannot hike without seeing a cow (or hearing one). And yes they all have bells around their necks. At one point it was all we could hear but we couldn’t see the cow. Finally we came out of the woods into a valley and saw that the cow we had been hearing all this time was scratching against a tree, hence the cow bell song. When you encounter many of them it is pretty hilarious. Of course this brought back some memories of Christopher Walken’s skit on SNL. And Peter couldn’t stop shouting, “I need more Cow Bells!”.

Going to Alpi was lovely. You would hike through the woods and end up in a valley by a farm. Then you would follow the marker through the farm, going by someone’s house and get back into the woods. We met some people but the trails were in no means crowded like they are when we hike in the UK. It was nice.

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Coming out of the woods you end up in these lovely valleys.

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One of the many markers. The trails are well marked and you can choose to go to one destination several ways.

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“The hills are alive with the sound of music”…..sorry that’s in Austria not Switzerland! 

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Alpi hut where we stopped for lunch. Doesn’t look like much from here but once you get there you see kids playing in the jungle jim and the trampoline. Parents are having lunch and drinking beer. You meet hikers, bikers or people who simply came by car. What there’s a road that comes here?…

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On our way down from Alpi we encountered these beehives in the middle of the forest.

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We also saw many sites such as this. Stacked wood in nice round piles. I’m guessing the Swiss heat with wood a lot.

We hiked down from Alpi in the small town of Unterageri by lake Agerisee. Pretty tired but happy with our hike of 14 1/2 miles through the Swiss mountains. We located a small bakery. Had tea and pastries and then we took the bus back to Zug. The hike back to Zug was 2 hours and 30 minutes and I was NOT doing it. We just chilled the rest of the day.

Monday Peter went down one floor to work. I walked into town. Took in the scenery but mostly the sun. It was another gorgeous day weather wise and I was taking advantage of the natural vitamin D.

Now we’re back in UK. Back to the routine. Peter actually had a bigger commute this morning (25 minutes on tube)and I just went for a run in the rain. Yeah we’re back in UK.