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Currently living the dream of moving to Toronto for 12 months for a Firefighter Exchange!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Xmas Trees, Good times and Hockey

The snow continues to fall in Toronto.  With a bit of spare time on my hands, I am often found sitting by the front window with a coffee, gazing outside daydreaming.  The snow is very mesmerising when it is floating and falling softly.   We had quite a heavy snow fall a few days back and Troy and I spent some time looking outside at the cars which were skidding and losing control on the corner into our street!  Must be Aussie drivers.
The roads have been quite good, really.  Most of the roads we travel on are regularly ploughed and salted, so they are quite clear and good.   The cars get really, really dirty here from all the salt and crap on the roads.  We are still figuring out how people keep them washed and clean when the outdoor water (garden taps) are turned off at the main for the winter time!  Must be a car wash job. 

We have not yet used the snowblower to clear the driveway and sidewalk (footpath) as shovelling is still a novelty.  Jack shovelled nearly the entire bottom part of the driveway last week all by himself!  Now we just have to teach him how to use the mower

Candace treated Bob, Troy and I to a concert last Friday night.  Candace's daughter, Shea babysat Jack for the evening.  We went to see a band called 'Skydiggers', which is a Canadian band who formed in 1989.  They are a great band with some beautiful harmonies.  They were playing at the Horseshoe Tavern downtown, so after enjoying a meal before the show, we headed to the Tavern.  Doors opened at 9pm and after sitting for close to one and a half hours, the band came out and played.  Candace and Bob were a bit miffed that they weren't playing their good old songs and instead seemed to be promoting a new album.   I was wondering where their beautiful melodies were!  After the sixth song, they announced that they were the support band and that Skydiggers would be out next!!!  WHAT???  But it's now 11pm!  Oh god, looks like a late night.  We spent the next 50minutes hanging shit on Bob and Candace for thinking they were the skydiggers!!!  So, at 11:50pm, the Skydiggers came out - we think we may give them some feedback that as their loyal fans are mainly people over the age of 30yo, it is strongly advised to appear EARLIER so that the oldies don't get too sleepy and tired and have to go home. 

Anyway, it was definitely worth the wait.  They have a really different sound and yes, their harmonies ARE beautiful.  We really enjoyed the concert.  

On Saturday, Candace took the Bower family to Hockley Valley Tree Farm so we could pick out a real christmas tree.  They have five different varieties of christmas trees growing in their plantation and you just walk out, pick a tree, cut it down and then drag it back to your car.  We took a ride on the horse drawn wagon, just for the extra country christmas experience.

We found our tree!

Troy was not very happy that Candace and I spent a long time walking through all the trees, when he found one right in the first row!   Of course, the good trees were at the very back of the plantation and before long we found the one!  The snow on the ground was about 30cms deep, so it was fun stomping through the snow!  It's not so much fun stomping all the way back, dragging the tree!  I tried to get some christmas carolling going, without success.  We were exhausted when we got back to the wagon which thankfully gave us a ride back to the main area.   After enjoying a hot chocolate, we strapped the trees on and headed for home.   The whole thing had a bit of a Chevy Chase "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" feel to it, which I loved!

On Sunday, Bob's neighbours Tom and Joe invited us to Christmas Drinks at their house.  Tom and Joe are really lovely and I got a tour through their house (they live behind Bob).  They have the most beautiful stained glass casement windows which are recessed deeply in their living room walls.  It was nice to meet some of the other neighbours and to enjoy the afternoon with lovely people.   

On Monday, Troy did some more work with Bob on his house.  Now that winter is well and truly here, Bob is focusing his attention on doing his kitchen and hall/entrance area.  Troy still really enjoys working over there and Bob is so happy to have another set of hands to help him out.  Bob says it has also given him the motivation he needs to continue his house restoration project.  He has run out of blood, sweat and tears from the past eight or so years of restoration work....so now Troy is donating his blood, sweat and tears!   They are making great progress and it's great to see the progress week to week.  
We had a lovely roast dinner at Candace's house on Monday evening and then we all strapped on our ice skates and headed down to the lake to skate along the ice trail.  It's like an outdoor rink but more like a outdoor ice path with trees with fairy lights and christmas carols playing.   Jack is getting good at skating.  He is able to skate along unaided and is starting to get the hang of gliding on the skates, rather than shuffling along.  He wanted to skate by himself most of the night and we weren't allowed to skate beside him.  Mr Independent.  The atmosphere was really special and although we were only their for about an hour or so, I will remember it for a lifetime.
This morning, we went to hockey to watch Troy/Daddy play.  It is the first time I have watched Troy play a real game of hockey and for those of you who know and love Troy, it will be no surprise to hear that he is a NATURAL!  I know I am a little biased, but he is seriously quite good and even scored another goal.  He did a few tricky moves which resembled the quickstep and cha cha cha, but on a whole he skates very well and his puck handing is pretty good, considering he has only been playing for a month or two!  He and Bob were playing on opposing sides, so there was a little sledging and nudging.   Some photos are below:  Troy is in the red shirt, number 20.  Bob is in the white shirt with red stripes, number 22.

 Troy and Bob (above) shoving a bit in goals.

 More shoving from Troy and Bob

 Bob going for a sub!

We picked up a set of second hand ski's for Jack on Monday.  He and Daddy had a lot of fun trying them out today on a small hill at Jack's school.  Troy said he did a good job.  Jack is enrolled in an 8wk learn to ski program starting in the first week of January, so if he takes after his father, he will be skiing confidently in no time! 

 First thing to learn is the snow plough - slows you down....it's actually my main ski move on the slopes!

Take care and love and kisses to everyone xxxxxx

1 comment:

  1. Oh my Bowser Family – you are truly embracing the Canadian winter. You will be Canucks in no time! It warms my heart - and after these last two weeks of weather up here that’s saying a lot.

    Glad you got a real Christmas tree – artificial ones are for pussies - and you get 10 bonus marks because you cut your own down. Shovelling the driveway instead of using the snow blower, that’s worth at least 30 bonus marks. Bye the way, you WILL get over the novelty of shovelling very soon.

    Awesome to see Jack skiing and skating. Troy is a bonafide hockey player now – move over Sid the Kid here comes “The Down Under Wonder”. Erin’s now hanging out at the rink, probably drinking a Tim Horton’s coffee, topped up with a little jungle juice to keep the blood flowing. Careful you don’t go to often, they’ll be calling you a puck bunny!

    Merry Christmas to all of you – hope you enjoy your first Christmas in “The Great White North”.