WTF Wednesday

Sorry for being late with this posting, I am on island time!


My WTF this week is a small personal thing. We’ve been in a Bermuda hotel for almost a week and every time I go to the bathroom, I am looking for the switch OUTSIDE the bathroom. WTF Elise! I have been living in UK for too long! Every time, it never fails my hand is on that outside wall. What is wrong with me? I will have to readjust as soon as I move back.

WTF Wednesday!

Christmas Already? It’s October 18! WTF!


I had to go to Oxford street this morning and the Christmas decorations were installed last week! Mind you, Selfridges opened his Christmas shop on the 4th floor about a month ago and when Selfridges does something, the other stores follow suit. It wasn’t long that John Lewis, Peter Jones, Debenhams, House of Fraser and M&S followed by converting and decorating part of a floor into ”The Christmas Workshop”.

I had to go to John Lewis today, the whole store is decked out but thank goodness, still no Christmas music.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas. It is my FAVORITE holiday. I buy Christmas gifts throughout the year and I toss them in the back of my closet or stash them around the house and forget about them until December. The key word here is DECEMBER! December 1st is when it all starts for us. December 1st is when you can start playing Xmas music. It’s also the day or that weekend that I usually put up the Christmas tree, start writing my Christmas cards, start wrapping presents and start baking. Oh and that’s when I go searching throughout the house for those presents I bought earlier in the year.

But why is it, and I noticed this phenomenon is especially happening in London, Christmas seems to be earlier every year. If we keep up with this pace, next year Selfridges could very well set up its Christmas shop with its ”Back to School” promotion.


It’s Official!

We are moving back to the rock.



That is right, you read correctly, after over 5 years of living in London, Peter and I are moving back to the Jewel of the Atlantic.

Now that I have been dealing with relocation companies and a realtor here and one in Bermuda, I thought I would make it official.

March 1st is our move in date. Get ready Bermuda, here we come!

WTF Wednesday!


Today’s WTF moment has to do with tourists and specifically, Asian tourists.

Now, I don’t mean to pick at Asians per say but I must admit that having lived in one of the most popular tourist destination in the world, I have seen my fare share of tourists and some are better behaved than others…



The Brits are notorious for getting in line. You get in line for just about anything in London. Coffee, pub, museums, restaurants, bus, tube etc…you name it, there could be a line. Why is it that when I am standing in line at my local Starbucks or if I am in line at the tube, some Asian person deems it appropriate to jump the queue and get ahead of everyone. Meanwhile, all of us Non-Asian folks just look at each other and shake our heads.

Two weeks ago I was at the post office. I was next in line when this Asian lady just came in and went to counter #3 as I was approaching. I just looked at her and said, ”Excuse me?” she turned around and said, ”I was here 15 minutes ago, I had to go get money at ATM”. And turned to talk to the post office agent who informed her she would have to get back in the queue that went all the way outside the post office. She said to the agent, ”Don’t you remember me? I have to send money to China?”. Thank goodness the post office agent politely replied, ”Yes, I do remember you but you must go back in the queue.” In my head, WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!

Taking Photos

When I go visit an exhibit or see a show in the West End, and there are signs everywhere,

no photo

The only people who take photos are Asians? When they are told not to take photos they simply smile and nod yes, (faking the no speaking English. Yes, some of them don’t speak English but some of them do and anyone can look at a sign and see that the museum doesn’t want photos to be taken) but in the next room of the exhibit there they are, taking more photos. WTF!

Personal Space

Last Monday I was coming home with the car and there was an accident on Exhibition Rd. Someone was on the ground getting medical help. It looked quite bad. There were two ambulances and three police cars blocking the way. A police officer told me it would take a while and I should park on the side. I was one street corner from the house and didn’t feel like parking and going home so I waited in the car. I heard a police officer shouting ”Stand back! Please give us some room. Go AWAY!” There were about 10 Asian tourists who thought it was appropriate to go take a look and some were even taking photos. WTF!

I am not saying ALL Asian tourists are bad, but sometimes I feel they could learn a thing or two before stepping off the bus. I blame the guides. Sometimes I feel like telling the guide who is walking ahead with the flower or the umbrella, ”You should give them instructions about queuing, taking photos and personal space”, but who am I kidding, they will just nod, smile, say yes and repeat. And I will just mumble. WTF!

Enjoy your Wednesday!




Happy Canadian Thanksgiving from London!

This Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving. Although it’s not as celebrated as the American Thanksgiving, it has always been an important holiday in our household. Even when I was a kid, my mom would always like to celebrate “L’Action de Grâce”.

Yesterday afternoon when I picked up our very expensive 7 kg free range turkey from the butcher, he asked me, ”What is the difference between the Canadian and American Thanksgiving?” I said, ”In short, we are from the  Great North so our harvest is 6 weeks ahead and ours doesn’t involve any pilgrims.” I then paid my £103 (yes, you read correctly, this ain’t no butterball with a yellow button that will stick out when ready!) and walked home to brine the crap out of it.


The expensive bird!


Bird in Brine Bucket. 


I will cover with ice and talk to this bird for the next 36 hours, until I put it in the oven at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning.  

While I was putting the brine together, I started to wonder, ”what are the major differences between the two Thanksgiving?” I mean beside the timing? So I read a couple articles on-line about it. Here are a few differences:

  1. Both holidays celebrate a bountiful harvest but in Canada you Thank God for a good harvest and in the USA you are thankful for God’s bounty and the generosity of the Native Americans.
  2. Canada always 2nd Monday in October. Not a National holiday. Optional in Atlantic Canada. Did not know that! USA, always 4th Thursday in November and a National Holiday.
  3. In America, the most important travel holiday. In Canada, not as significant. Yes, we celebrate it but if we are not geographically close to family, we don’t usually go out of our way…(well, unless you are the Coopers and you put your kids on a plane from Montreal to London for a long weekend. They are young, they can handle the jet-lag.)
  4. In America, the most important shopping weekend. In Canada, our most important shopping day is still December 26th, Boxing day. In fact, according to what I read most stores in Canada are closed on Thanksgiving Monday.

There you have it. Some differences in a nutshell.

Must leave you now and go buy more ice for the bird.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

What is Going on at Weirwood

Weirwood is the name of our new Chalet in the Eastern Townships. Yes, just like the tree in Game of Thrones, that’s how we roll in the Cooper household, we name things and we have mottoes. Aside from, ”Adapt and Survive” and ”Suck it up Buttercup” now we have ”The North Remembers!”.


But I digress, you remember I had met a designer and she was taking on the renovations. We wanted 5 things to be done: 1. Get rid of Spa in basement. 2. Sand and stain floors throughout. 3. Install banister in mezzanine and maybe a spiral staircase to go to mezzanine. 4. Resurface the entire kitchen. 5. Finally, decorate by adding some curtains and getting some furniture.

The week after labour day weekend Marie, our designer, was at Weirwood getting all kinds of quotes for the various projects. We thought prices were reasonable and we gave the go ahead. We like that she is local, she hires local and she knows a lot of contractors who can do various jobs. Well, we are finding that the hard way…

Don’t Poke the Bear

Second week was first and foremost, get rid of the spa. The spa was old, it was not working properly and it was so big that when removing it, it would not fit through the doorway and the patio doors. She had to get an electrician to come and disconnect all the wiring properly and then her contractor came in and chop it up. Once that was done I received a phone call. ”Elise, the entire floor in that room will have to be ripped up, there is some moisture on the floor and we think it has spread.” My respond, ”How much more?” Marie’s reply, ”It shouldn’t be more than $200 of wood plus install time from the guys.” I told her to go ahead and get it done, it has to get done properly.


The Spa is gone!

For the remaining of the week they worked on emptying Weirwood and getting ready for the floor guys to come in. They were putting everything in garage and Marie was sending me pictures. I was getting excited and could imagine what the place was going to look like when all done.

Log home5

Kitchen Before


Kitchen at moment. It will be a nice French country blue/grey with a lovely grey cement counter top and sink that Peter selected. The cement counter is made in Bromont by L’Atelier Bétonart. Can’t wait to see it!

Log home4

The living/dining room with the mezzanine.


Getting ready for the Spiral Staircase. At least we’ll be able to go up there with a cup of coffee or a drink! Again, she got a local welder in Sherbrooke to design us a staircase. 

Everything was moved into the garage (minus the pool table, that was gone when we moved in), even the bar.

Log home6

Of course, when you move stuff you find things. Things like dead mice and holes…In comes the exterminator. Marie knew a guy (of course she did!). He came and when he showed up he told her he had been there a year and a half ago. Good thing is, he knew where all the ”entry” holes were, bad thing is, nothing had been done about it. The only thing the previous owner did was have the exterminator set the traps. Kind of counter productive but whatever. I think the place was probably for sale by then and they just wanted to do the minimum. Last Thursday I get a call from Marie, ”You definitely have mice, possibly some squirrels or chipmunks and the poop that we found by the front door is bats but he doesn’t think the bats got it, they just like to hang out under your main beam. Welcome to the country Elise!”

Yeah for me! Anyways, I told her to hire the exterminator and get all the holes plugged up. This was taken care of Tuesday this week. And yesterday the ”contamination team” found a hole 3 feet long from the outside into the house where the spa was but again, I am getting ahead of myself…

Monday afternoon London time I get another call from Marie. ”Elise, are you near your computer? I am sending you photos.” I sit down at my computer and see the photos while she explains, ”Now that we have ripped the floor where the spa was, we found out the entire room is contaminated with mold, even the two walls where the spa was. ” I then spoke to contractor, got the various options and prices, told them I had to call Peter. After my mini ”Mold” call to Peter we decided we did not have a choice and to deal with it. In comes the ”Contamination Team” to rip the two walls and install fans to dry and then apply some products to get rid of mold. This will set us back a week and cost oh I don’t know how much but I don’t care. This will be the guest room. I don’t want to have my guests come and get sick with breathing and sleeping with mold. Had to be done and might as well do it while were in the thick of it. One thing is for sure, my budget is busted but oh well, ”Adapt and Survive!”

At least things are getting done and Marie assures me we are still on track for everything to be done by mid November.


Floor under the spa!

One thing is for sure, I would NEVER have put a spa INSIDE a basement like that. At least the sauna still works and is in excellent condition. Can’t wait to use it next February after a day on the slopes. I will go into my sauna and say ”The North Remembers!”





WTF Wednesday!


Crazy cyclists of London commuting in the morning.

This week’s WTF Wednesday is aimed at the cyclists in London. Specifically the ones who cycle through Hyde Park in the mornings and evenings. Yes, you know who you are. The ones who even though the city of London has made you a lovely highway to cross the park, you still refuse to use it because geez, you may have to cycle 200 meters out of your way to get to the cycle highway. Instead, you use the pedestrian paths where walkers and joggers live in harmony.

Now, in all fairness to cyclists, not all cyclists are bad. A lot of you use the bicycle path and all of us runners, walkers and riders (every morning from 6 to 8:30 am you see a lot of people exercising their horses).  I figure there are 20% of you still resisting the change. OR you are simply illiterate and can’t read the signs;


But I suspect it’s mostly arrogance on your part.



This is the North side path where I see the most cycling. Simply because they don’t want to cycle down to the middle cycle path. ARGH!!!!!


Where you can Cycle:  On the South Side of the park, you can enter the park at Palace Gate, Princes Gate or Hyde Park Corner. From there you can cycle North – South or East-West. On the North side of the Park, you can enter at Kensington palace gate but you must cycle down to in Front of Palace to get to middle cycle lane that will take you East-West and if you choose to go North again on Princes Gate so be it, BUT YOU CANNOT USE THE PEDESTRIAN PATH AT THE NORTH SIDE OF THE PARK TO CYCLE TO PRINCES GATE!!!!! This is where I see the most infractions! I thought cyclists were not lazy!

Little Anecdote:

Last week, I had just started my run and I was running on the path towards the cavalry house. It was around 8 am, I was minding my own business, trying to find my pace when a cyclist just ZOOMED by me. This was about 100 meters before the Cavalry crossing where every morning, cavalrymen and their horses cross the designated running/pedestrian path to and from the training area back to the stables. Well, after this fine cyclist zoomed by me, he then proceeded to zoom by a horse and his trainer who were crossing the path. The horse got spooked and kicked his back legs. Good thing the trainer was off the horse and walking beside him, he was able to calm down the horse. Cyclist just went on, ignoring the rider who was yelling at him. When I ran by he asked me, ”Did you see that? No respect from these guys!” and I simply said ”Yes, I know. Are you okay?” he replied he was and I continued on. The next morning when I went for my run there was a huge sign that read, ”HORSE CROSSING”.

I know, life is too short to worry about the little things but this is one where every time I go running in the park, I simply say to myself, WTF, (several times during my run!), and just because of the cyclists. I actually started yelling at them, ”NO CYCLING”. They ignore me, play the fool, ”Oh sorry, I didn’t know.” Right!!!!! The only time I am not allowed to yell at them is when Peter is with me on the weekends. Peter wants to relax on the weekends when walking in the park, he doesn’t want to know that he has a crazy wife who yells at cyclists. So when we are together and we see cyclists on pedestrian paths all I can mutter under my breath is WTF!