Burns Supper

I just met Peter for a Burns “lunch”. We tried to get a booking for a Burns Supper but we were too late. What is a Burns Supper you ask? Wikipedia defines it as;

A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, occasionally known as Robert Burns Day (or Robbie Burns Day[1] or Rabbie Burns Day) but more commonly known as Burns Night (Scots: Burns Nicht).

So on January 25th, Scots gather, read poetry, sing Auld Lang Syne (and other Scottish songs) and eat dinner in his honor. As for us, we had a lunch with lots of haggis and Scotch. Yes, we actually sampled some Scotch at lunch. I’m ready for a nap at the moment but before I lie down I thought I would share my lovely lunch.


First we sampled some Whisky. Personally, I thought the best was the Balvenie 12 Double wood, followed by the Talisker 10yo and then the Alberlour A’Bunadh. The last one was like drinking a log of firewood it was so smoky. I also had the Bobby Burns cocktail…yes, now you understand why I need a nap!


Then someone should read some poetry. Peter found this one on-line:

Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat –
And sae the Lord be thankit.


For apps we had A Venison Scotch egg. (It was yummy!) And the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. Neeps means mashed turnup and Tatties means mash potatoes and Haggis is,  Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s heart, liver, lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, salt, all mixed with some stock and encased in animal stomach. Sounds gross but actually it’s quite good. They brought us a bowl of Haggis Pops because we waited for so long. They were also very good.


For our main we had a small portion of venison, a side order of mac n’cheese with haggis and some slaw.

Happy Burns Night!

Now for my nap!




Les Malheurs de Monty (et de Sarah!)

As many of you know, we have a 12 year old weimaraner named Monty, and like many old dogs he is starting to have issues…

He lives with Sarah and last year he was bit twice. Once on the mountain and once at the dog park. Ever since then, he has been very weary of other dogs. In short, he will growl at any dog that comes near him, especially puppies.

When I was in Montreal in December, Monty got this bump on the side of his jaw. I went to the vet and had it checked out. Vet didn’t really know what was going on. Could be an infected tooth, a soar of some kind etc…he gave him antibiotics and after a few days, Monty was better. While I was at the Vet’s office, the receptionist who LOVES Monty said, ”We could write a book about Monty entitled ”Les Malheurs de Monty”, translation: ”The Woes of Monty”.

I woke up Wednesday morning to pictures from Sarah of Monty vomit. She had been up all night with a sick dog. She was worried and a little stressed out. She reminded me of a young mother who just spent the night up with her sick child.

Thankfully, Mackenzy lives nearby so he was able to go and help her. So the two kids managed to take care of this sick dog between classes. Sarah took him to the vet and he gave Monty some laxatives and told Sarah that the x-ray showed his stomach is all plugged up. Monty likes to eat snow in the winter and he could have eaten a bottle cap or a piece of anything plastic and this could be lodged somewhere. If he doesn’t poop in the morning, he may need an operation.

Sarah went home, slept better that night and yesterday morning, she took him for a long walk so he could poop. He wasn’t pooping so she decided, maybe at the dog park he will run and finally poop…

She took him to the dog park and there were lots of dogs. She decided to take a chance. Of course, as soon as Monty entered the park, the other dogs came to say hi to Monty by sniffing him. Monty does NOT like to be sniffed, he growled and the other dogs backed off. Well, all but one who apparently jumped on Monty. After Sarah took Monty away from the dog, Monty finally pooped BUT, now he was limping. She called me yesterday and said, ”now he’s limping. I have to go to school but Mackenzy is coming to check up on him.”

Mackenzy came to check on Monty and observed that the limping was really bad.

I woke up this morning to this on my Messenger board.

”So remember the dog park thing I told you about”
”So this afternoon I went to vet to get his digestive food and another painkiller injection for stomach”
”His stomach has been fine no problem”
”He’s just been walking funny and crying all afternoon though”
”So at night Mackenzy comes over because he was going to take care of Monty while I go to my kappa meeting because he was really really anxious”
”But he notices that his hips look really funny so I should go to get
”I go back to the vet and yeah he sprained or bruised his left hip”
“So they had to make sure his stomach was ok to give him an anti inflammatory shot
Because apparently it’s not good for his stomach and that will stop the crying”
“And I’m like fuck just give him the shot!”
“They give him the shot then they do laser therapy”
“And they gave me more drugs for tomorrow night and anti inflammatory”
“And I should go Saturday or Monday for more laser”
“I’m never going to the fucking dog park again”
“No wonder this city is putting rules on dogs”
“Some owners don’t know how to take care of their fucking dogs properly”
“I feel so bad!”
“I’m so sorry maman for everything”
“I feel like the worst owner”
“I’ve also decided to go to winners or IKEA to get a closed trash can for bathroom (I’ll pay for it don’t worry)”
“And I feel so bad for Mackenzy”
“I promised him I would drive him to west island to bring him to his party.”
“So the picture you see has dog biscuits for his arthritis or old bones”
“Cans of food for his stomach”
“Laxatives for his stomach”
“Pills for his hips”
“And wine for MOMMA”
“I feel so bad for this dog”


So this is what is going through my head this morning as I am reading this.

On the one hand, I feel terrible that kids have to deal with this crap. (Especially Sarah who is in her last undergrad semester at McGill. She’s trying to get into Med/Grad school and she is running on fumes.) I hope you enjoyed that glass of wine kiddo!

On the other hand, I think this is a great lesson for them. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are learning to rely on each other, and they are caring for a living being, (okay, the dog is old and ”broken” but they are still caring for him), and I am sure, they are doing a great job regardless of what they think. Love my kids!

Last thought, how much is this costing me? Laser therapy? For the dog or for Sarah? Hahaha! I guess I should go check the Visa on-line…


I hate buying tickets so much in advance but we really wanted to see this play and I knew if I waited till tickets were available for the general public to come on sale, they would be sold out. A while back I registered online to be on the pre-sale list. A couple weeks ago I received my “pre-sale “special code and instructions to log on today at noon for the sale of the pre-sale tickets.

Personally, I find this total madness that we do these things in order to get theater tickets. I know Hamilton is good and it has the most Tony awards, blah, blah, blah, but seriously?

Peter and Sarah tried to get tickets while they were in NYC last summer and they were upwards of $1000 U.S. a ticket. That is even more crazy. They REALLY wanted to go see it, (especially Sarah), so I got on a list for when the show would come to London.

Tickets went on sale today at noon London time. I logged on just before noon and just that took be a good 5 minutes.

First, I was put into a ”Virtual Queue” just to get access to be able to buy tickets with my “special code”.


The song “Virtual Reality” by Jamiroquai came to mind while I was waiting…

Then I put in my first date. You see, I have to put dates when the kids, especially, Sarah will be able to come to London. This morning Peter and I had a discussion. When would she be in her exam period? or should we buy them after? When will that be? Will she have a reading week in the fall next year? Not if she goes to McGill? We don’t know where Sarah will be next year??? (See kiddo, it’s not all about Butthead. We talk and think about Beavis too).

Play starts to run in London on Nov. 20th. I was trying to get tickets for the first weekend, (American Thanksgiving). That way if the kids had to fly just for that, maybe if Sarah was at University in the States….you know where I’m going with this.

Nothing. Then I tried every day from Jan. 1 to Jan. 6th. With the New Year’s holiday in mind. I got close 3 times before getting the “Your tickets are no longer available”. By the way, before they tell you, “Your tickets are no longer available” you get this message,


They did NOT secure my tickets three times. Then the system prompted me to just request “Best Available” on my dates. Again, twice I got, “SOLD OUT” and twice the system would say, tickets are available on Dec.  26th. at 19:30.

Well, guess what people? The second time I replied to the system, “Fine (okay, here I may have used the other “F” word but I was going on 40 minutes of dealing with this shit!) find the BEST AVAILABLE TICKETS”, actually speaking to my computer. Well, the system must have felt my despair, within 2 minutes my tickets were secured and the system was prompting me to pay with my “already available on file” credit card. I agreed to a bunch a stuff (it’s all a blur, I may have bought a toaster while I was at it) and now I am the proud owner of 4 tickets to go see Hamilton on Dec. 26th at 19:30. Tickets are £89.50 each and not $1000. So that’s good.

Beavis, it better be worth it!

It’s That Time of The Year Again

Where I reach under Sarah’s bed and dust off this baby.



Yes, this is my Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) light. Apparently, if I sit in front of this light for 20 to 30 minutes it will liven up my mood…

I bought this light from a friend relocating back to Ottawa last year and used it a couple times last winter. Don’t know for sure if it works but I need something to get past the grey skies we’ve been having since our return. So depressing. I honestly don’t know how my brother functions in the Yukon with 4 hours of sunlight a day in the winter. I think I would jump off a building.

I guess on the upside, my chances of getting skin cancer have been diminished drastically since we moved from Bermuda to the UK. Humm, I think given the choice, I would take my chances with skin cancer and Bermuda and just apply loads of sunscreen daily.



Best in Travel 2017: #1 Canada


I was at our local Waterstones bookstore earlier today and came upon the “Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017”. I picked it up and opened it only to find that Canada occupied the #1 spot of the top 10 countries. “Bolstered by the wave of positivity unleashed by its energetic new leader Justin Trudeau, and with dynamic cities that dominate global livability indices and a reputation for inclusiveness and politeness etc…” Their words, not mine. But I agree with the Lonely Planet’s statement.


I continued my reading of the Top 10 and guess who I found sitting at #6 between Nepal and Mongolia???



Way to go BERMUDA!!!!! Top 10! I think it has something to do with the upcoming “America’s Cup”, so tell Chris Furbert to come off his high horse and get the unions back to work. You have to get ready by June.

Back in the UK

We flew back this morning to a mild and green London. After a long much needed nap, (I did not sleep well on the plane), I got up, walked to South Ken and picked up some coffee and something to eat. After lunch I took down the Christmas decorations, for the second time this season. (I had to take down the Montreal Christmas decorations before I flew back. Getting pretty good at this.)

These are some of the decorations that were all over the kitchen.


With Christmas decorations in two countries, we sure have accumulated lots of decorations over the years. And from all over the world too. One of these days, I will celebrate Christmas in one country only and when I do, I will have LOTS of decorations. I have two sets of tree decorations, two sets of stockings, nutcrackers from all over the world, Santas in all shapes, Christmas linens and cushions, coffee mugs, Thing 2’s collection of singing stuffed animals (he has gotten one a year for the last ten years, some are hilarious), etc….I have 3 large rubbermaid boxes and two small ones in the UK and I have three larges boxes in Montreal plus the stuff I bought at Winners on sale on Dec. 30th. It’s all stashed in Thing 1’s closet in Montreal. I have a 4 feet tall tree in each country, you never know when you may need a fake Christmas tree? and Indoor/outdoor lights galore in both countries.

Just happy I was able to take everything down today and now Peter and I will play Tetris with rubbermaid boxes to store everything in the garage until we have to do it all again next year.

We are ready to start the New Year!