Monday, January 30, 2006

Old Blog page 3 (Older)

In the style of Graculus (in my inbox this morning)


1. Vancouver: 1.5 million people and two bridges.
2. Your $400,000 Vancouver home is just 5 hours from
3. You can throw a rock and hit three Starbucks
4. There's always some sort of deforestation protest
going on.
5. Weed


1. Big rock between you and B.C.
2. Ottawa who?
3. Tax is 7% instead of approximately 200% as it is
for the rest of the country.
4. You can exploit almost any natural resource you
can think of.
5. You live in the only province that could actually
afford to be its own country.
6. The Americans below you are all in
anti-government militia groups.


1. You never run out of wheat.
2. Your province is really easy to draw.
3. You can watch the dog run away from home for
4. People will assume you live on a farm.


1. You wake up one morning to find that you
suddenly have beachfront property.
2. Hundreds of huge, horribly frigid lakes.
3. Nothing compares to a wicked Winnipeg winter.
4. You can be an Easterner or a Westerner depending
on your mood.
5. You can pass the time watching trucks and barns
float by.


1. You live in the centre of the universe.
2. Your $400,000 Toronto home is actually a dump.
3. You and you alone decide who will win the federal
4. The only province with hard-core American-style


1. Racism is socially acceptable
2. You can take bets with your friends on which
English neighbour will move out next.
3. Other provinces basically bribe you to stay in
4. You can blame all your problems on the "Anglo


1. One way or another, the government gets
98% of your income.
2. You're poor, but not as poor as the Newfies.
3. No one ever blames anything on New Brunswick
4. Everybody has a grandfather who runs a


1. Everyone can play the fiddle. The ones who can't,
think they can.
2. You can pretend to have Scottish heritage as an
excuse to get drunk and wear a kilt.
3. You are the only reason Anne Murray makes money.


1. Even though more people live on Vancouver
Island, you still got the big, new bridge.
2. You can walk across the province in half an hour.
3. You can drive across the province in two minutes.
4. Everyone has been an extra on "Road to Avonlea."
5. This is where all those tiny, red potatoes come
6. You can confuse ships by turning your porch
lights on and off at night.


1. If Quebec separates, you will float off
to sea.
2. If you do something stupid, you have a built-in
3. The workday is about two hours long.
4. It is socially acceptable to wear your hip waders
to your wedding

In Memory of...

Well, I just had to ride to work today. I have got the bike out again I am going to bath her at the weekend and I am going to get on with getting fit. A week off is tooooo long.

This morning:
55:33 min
39.9 max. Wheeee!
1495km since moving to the Okanagan 18 months ago. That's a bit crap for a cycling chick.

Laters: I actually dragged my speed up to 18.03kph by the time I got home. Must've been the wind direction. Amazing news - that didn't occurr to me last Friday is that total distance is now up to 1512km. I need to figure out if these are Okanagan kms or Canadian kms... interesting. OK - for me perhaps.


, , , ...

Hi Eve, Well, I was going to take my time over this but since you're here, I shalln't dilly-dally. I am new here to opera but come here from another blog-land.

I am excited. I have learned a lesson and I have implemented a change. It's something I have been meaning to do for a long time - start a newbie blog. It's both more public, being searchable, yet more private. The previous blog has, for some time, been a tad mundane, once I and my friends discovered that it was being invaded by - of all things - my family! And horror of horrors, they were mostly lurkers. And lurkers that exposed me to other family members, leadidng right up to Great Aunty Margaret. She didn't, I suspect, really want to know the fine details of my battle over pornography with the men at work or the exact swear words I used that day. And I must say, what I'd written suddenly seemed a little lame when it was replayed to my husband (up until now unaware of my blog) by my uncle.

So, my dears, my old friends and new, this is your forum, not just mine. Write what you will, let your keyboard wild, for this is me again...


For those who haven't met me before, here's what you could know to help you decide whether to stay, revisit or just read-on:
  • The content of this blog varies from day to day depending on who is authoring it: wifey, athlete, employee, pet owner, insane biker. They're all me, they just vary their input.
  • I generally work on the principle that if nothing's worth saying, don't say anything. I don't apply this to my blog
  • I work hard to find something to say every day and occasionally what I say is described as "classic"
  • I form strong attachments to friends I haven't met yet, but especially to those I left behind in the UK
  • I love my bikes a lot. They need new names, except "Red"
  • I like my cats and photograph them regularly. They are quite photogenic for cats. They're S-puss and Andrew.
  • I love posting pictures but my camera is a bit cheap.
  • I love my husband (Hubby) more than I blog about him.
  • I am a ski professional (instructor) but too much of a chicken to be poor so I am a slave to a "proper job" which I actually enjoy and care about (but I have to be in a good mood to admit it)
  • After years of denial I actually quite like kids adn would seecretly like to have one... or two.
  • I blog from work and don't really have time for surfing, posting links or downloads. I'm a bit of a luddite for technology but I get by.
  • Politically, I care about: the environment, cyclists rights and safety, government funded health services, personal choice in charity and religion.
  • I race triathlon: I love cycling. I'm learning to swim crawl. Running satisfies me but deep down, I don't really like it much.
  • Shhhh. I used to live in England
  • I miss: Friends, family, history, dry stone walls, pubs, rolling rural landscapes, familiarity (accent, dialect and awareness), sheep, employee rights, effective managers
  • I don't miss: British media, traffic, frantic lifestyle, high cost of living, the mortgage, rain, damp, mould, TV license, road tax, fuel tax, lack of community spirit, crime.

No time in the present.

, ,


I'll be here soon.

Friday, January 27, 2006

There she is.

(c) Andy

I am working on something right now...

But until then, anyone got any suggestions for a new name for my bike "Green"?

"Red" is OK with her name, but this morning, "Green" told me that her name doesn't really reflect her independent spirit and happy-go-lucky lust for life.

She needs a make over (and a bath - but that's another issue).

Answers on a postcard, email, or comments.


Thursday, January 26, 2006



Police have said they asked for a north Wales road to be gritted an hour before a crash which killed four cyclists. Whatever.

Maurice Broadbent, 61, from Rhuddlan, Dave Horrocks, 55, from Llanerch, Wayne Wilkes, 42, of Rhyl and Thomas Harland, 14, from Prestatyn, were killed.

The world is has 4 less good-people in it. Maurice Broadbent has been a weekly feature in my life since the age of 14, when I started racing. Actually, more like since I was old enough to be allowed out in my woolly baby clothes, since Maurice and those like him have been part of my life for-my-ever. He was one of life’s great organisers & rode his bike every day. It is not surprising to me that the 12 cyclists on that day’s ride met up at his house. His wife Sue must be indescribably upset.


(c) BBC News

I am indescribably shocked. This picture shows Maurice as I remember him. His woolly hat is a tribute to the all-weather attitude of all my cyclo-cross cohorts. This face was always serious and focused… until you said “Hi” then it would be a big smile and asking after you and your family. He had a cyclists nose. He always shouted for me when I was racing and sometimes I called him “MO” because I was a cheeky teenager. Maurice was a trained coach, developing the youth of the sport. It does not surprise me that he was out riding with Thomas Harland who was as old as I was when I started racing with my life ahead of me and I have no doubt in my mind that Thomas would have been riding by the side of the road, with a protective circle of adults around him, for that is how club rides are.

The driver of the car, who was doing 50mph around a bend in a 60 speed limit is not thought to be at fault and speed is not considered to be a factor.

When I did my driving test, I am sure the highway code said that the speed limit was a maximum and that speed should be adapted to the conditions. The driver is understandably shaken, as anyone would be… I feel bad for him but I feel worse for Thomas’s father who was on the ride.

If you ever climb Everest, or fly through mountains in an aeroplane, be warned. You’ll probably see Maurice passing through the clouds on his bike.

And I was awesome.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I am Trepid Explorer

And today I will be doing two people's jobs.
If you listen very carefully, you can hear my brain working - both of them.

Made funnies.

We have communications radios with us at work. Very very occasionally someone is funny with them… Before you read on, know that we have a row of cabinets outside the office filled with electrical parts and equipment.

Millwright - Electrician, do you have a copy?
Electrician - Yeah, go ahead.
Millwright – Where are you pal?
Electrician (laughing) – In the closet
Millwright – Were you going to come out of the closet at any time?
Electrician – No. I kinda like it in here.

I just finished the treacle toffee left over from bonfire night.

Coverstaions on a ski lift

Woman – So how was work yesterday
Man – Awesome, I went skiing
Woman – How do you manage that, I thought you were a teacher
Man – I am, we bring the kids up here once a week
Woman – but I thought you were a maths teacher. How do you work that one out
Man – I get the kids to divide the number of their chair lift by the number on the lift towers.
Woman – really?
Man – No.

Shaggy haired, saggy panted snowboarder dude – Excuse me, do either of you have a goggle-wipe?
Me (wiping nose on glove & sniffling) – A WHAT? Sorry?
Shaggy haired, saggy panted snowboarder dude – a goggle-wipe
Me – Oh, a goggle-wipe.
Shaggy haired, saggy panted snowboarder dude – Yeah. A goggle-wipe.
Me – No.
Me – This is mine (offers glove) but I just wiped my nose on it.
Me – So, is there sentimental value to the rag attached to your snowboard?

So true it's funny.

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Trepid Explorer!

  1. Grapes explode if you put them inside Trepid Explorer.
  2. All gondolas in Venice must be painted black unless they belong to Trepid Explorer.
  3. Trepid Explorer is the world's tallest woman!
  4. Trepid Explorer is actually a mammal, not a fish.
  5. The International Space Station weighs about 500 tons and is the same size as Trepid Explorer.
  6. You should always store Trepid Explorer in an airtight container in the fridge!
  7. If you break Trepid Explorer, you will get seven years of bad luck!
  8. American Airlines saved forty thousand dollars a year by eliminating Trepid Explorer from each salad served in first class.
  9. More than one million stray dogs and half a million stray cats live in Trepid Explorer!
  10. Trepid Explorer kept at the window will keep vampires at bay.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Dirty Weekend Away - Part 4

At the house, an icy haired woman with a smiling face is unloading the last trimmings from a horse trailer, though the reins she carries are slender, I expect to see a horse but there is none.

“Good morning,” she says, “Are you with this?” gesturing at the toad. I step around something that wasn’t there before on our way into the house, as I admit that I am with the car and there is a husband somewhere. The house is now warmed, not just with a female presence but with a kins-female presence. The toilet bowl in the washroom is lime stained and a dirty bra hangs from the towel rail but it’s a rural and friendly home. It’s a home full of people who don’t care much for the mundanity and unnecessary burdens of cleaning but more for enjoying life and filling their days with excitement and achievement. Back in the dining room the horse trailer and unidentified cart in the garage are explained by two beautiful huskies leaving nose smears all over the French doors. They want to come in and are allowed to do so, to meet the new people.

(c) Andy

(c) Andy
Go play, what?

(c) Andy
I notice, now, the beautiful solid wood furtniture that you can’t seem to buy these days and borrow the ornothologists reference book to look up a duck I saw last week. I admire the family dog and horse show photos. I am happy to smell of husky and the huskies are happy that I smell of cat, and faintly of lama. We go out and look at the car parts in question and finally I find “the stash”.

(c) Andy

An innocent looking barn is a workshop. Outside is a Rover 900 and an old rallye-sport Peugeot. A Jaguar Series I sits in the grass looking better on the outside than its WIP inside.
Old cat

(c) Andy
Check out the insurance sticker

(c) Andy

There’s a dishevelled mini backed into a hedge,
pretending it's not here

(c) Andy

4 old lady landrovers in this field and more that I can see in the field behind.
Older ladies

(c) Andy

One has an impressive, fancy, modified garden gate for a bull-bar. Do landrovers NEED bullbars?


(c) Andy

Squeezing into the barn, past the Aston Martin on ramps and the Westfield under tarps, and the chaos of gearboxes, tools, and trash that lies around, we head upstairs to a room full of shop shelves packed with parts – pistons, tents, racks, seats, exhaust parts, alternators, bearings. Art climbs over boxes and wades through packing material and begins to root through each gearbox, asking the first, “What are you my dear?”

I leave them to it to photograph some more outside but not without noticing large land rover posters, billboards and a few photos obviously taken in the UK. There’s a genuine-looking arctic crossing sign on the wall downstairs and some NorthWest Territories plates hanging on the wall.
Landy sign

(c) Andy

(c) Andy

Another customer arrives with his SeriesII to collect 2 new wing mirrors and a relay. He leaves with them and borrows tools and as Art works with us, he tries to give advice to the man working outside on whether the wing mirrors are handed or universal. We step outside and mutually admire eachothers’ vehicles.

Art is interested in my friends who work at Jaguar and we talk about Dan applying for a job with Land Rover. Art mentions that he doesn’t do so much work with the factory anymore , but they used to take them out on secret test runs in the back country of Langley for undercover testing so no-one in the UK could find out what they were up to. Yep, Langley would sure make for good Land Rover testing country.

We were paying cash and promised to part-ex our existing box so Art throws in a Disco transfer box complete with cushty quiet helical gearing. We load everything into the back of the toad, fetch our stuff from the house and shake hands. We joke about cursing him in 6 months time when this project is under way. We try hard to resist the temptation to commit to the founders day meet next week (it is a long way).
Oldest lady

(c) Andy

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Power sea-horse

A whole friggin mile... and I swam crawl all the way... and I swam the last 10 lengths fast without getting out of breath.

Yes yea yesssssss.

I'd much rather be going home *this* tired than just work-tired. Save my sloppy spelling interweb.

A Dirty Weekend Away - Part 3

I head back to the house to say hello to the lama
The author makes no apologies for the glitch in lamatrix

(c) Andy


(c) Andy

which haughtily walks off when I turn my attention to the horses.
Fine, talk to the horses. Talk to my ass

(c) Andy

Mmmm, nice highlights

(c) Andy

I walk on as far as the closed 260th street which is such a tempting lane occupied by nothing more than dead leaves, but I decide to return.

I pass the selection of rural mailboxes, as diverse as the houses they serve.

Rural mailboxes

(c) Andy

And some Canadian brickwork which I suspect is really old (for Canada)

(c) Andy

Watching eagles reeling in the air on the way back to the house, it appears they are playing tag.

Blue skies

(c) Andy

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A dirty weekend away - Part 2

The grass is indeed greener and I do a study in green of the needles on the evergreens, the moss and lichen on the deciduous and, to my surprise, the bright green pussy-willow blooms and rising crocuses.

Ferns growing on Lichen growing on trees

(c) Andy
Green and Blu-green

(c) Andy
Dark Green

(c) Andy
Lighter Green

(c) Andy
Beautiful Bark

(c) Andy
Pussy willow. To keep DBO & Grac quiet

(c) Andy

I admire old barns, green with lichen glowing in the sun.

Green Barn

(c) Andy

There are more signs of rural life. A tiller chain,

(c) Andy

an ancient muck spreader,

(c) Andy

a tree farm

(c) Andy

smallholdings glimpsed through the trees.


(c) Andy
Smallholding thru the trees

(c) Andy

It screams paradise to me, but it also screams hard work.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Dirty Weekend Away - Part 5 - the clean bit

Once we leave rural bliss with the smell of dog, the fury floor, the choke chains and bridles hanging from the walls we drive to Fort Langley and eat fish and chips before taking the Albion ferry across the Fraser River as the sun is setting. What is it about a trip on a ferry that really makes you feel like you’re travelling? We have to wait for 4 ferries to make the crossing before we got on there but it is fun, making stunted progress along the road, remembering you’re saving a huge round trip, and it reminds me of the Kylesku ferry to Ardgour in Scotland.

La montagne

(c) Andy


(c) Andy

Evening blush

(c) Andy

1 hour later we are in Harrison Hot Springs public baths. We wallow for an hour in 100F (38C) natural sulphur water, staring at the white tile walls, wooden roof and Japanese screen-style window lights that are actually made of glass-fibre instead of paper. We discuss bunking off work to get more holidays this year.

Feeling healed and revitalised we drive on towards home, eating left-over Greek pizza. Eventually the cloud clears and the moonlight is shining on the mountains as we pass back through Hope. I see the most amazing mountain scenery I have ever encountered. The moonbeams are doing very strange things to the perspective and the cliffs are more vertical than usual, the trees magnified to 10 times normal height so that you can’t quite tell if you’re looking at a clump of fir trees or a towering boulderfield.

Hubby can drive on and on through the darkness – and he did. Meanwhile, I drifted in and out of sleep and eventually climbed into the back to lie down and roll around with the new gear box. He was gentle and didn’t flip me off my perch once.

Back home at midnight we finally slid into bed to dream of ferns and rainforests and smallholdings, of light spattering between tree branches and barns full of goodies. See you soon Rover Landers.