The Gallery – Easter

I can guarantee, with no shadow of a doubt, that I will be the only person in this week’s gallery that will be posting a picture of a raccoon for this weeks Easter theme!  Allow me to explain…

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Unlike many of you we don’t have school holidays this time of year, even Easter monday is a normal business day here (so no pictures of day trips or family outings to share) but luckily Mother Nature did smile on us for a very welcome long weekend.  In fact it was our warmest this year by far  so we spent as much as possible outside and I spent it chasing this particularly bold, supposedly nocturnal , cheeky little blighter off my bird feeder!

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“Is she still there?”

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with our neighbourhood raccoons, whilst they are extremely clever, devious but really quite cute looking with their bandit style markings they are also a pest, spread diseases and can be pretty vicious so I try not to encourage them into the garden and this is usually accomplished by taking the feeder in at night but this brazen beast decided to blitz attack my stash of sunflower seeds in broad daylight again and again and again!

All weekend it was me versus raccoon and guess who won? :-D

 

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The Prompt – Bacon

The Prompt for this week is a phrase and it is:

Everything tastes better with bacon…

 

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There’s something about the aroma of bacon that can transport me like a time machine.

 

I’m 7 years old, it’s Sunday morning and I’ve just woken up in our ancient old caravan alongside my sister, parents and grandparents.  My Grandma is in the tiny kitchen cooking the fried breakfast while my Dad walks down to the tap to get some water to wash up, my mum sets the table and Grandad drives to the shop to get some milk.  My sister and I eagerly anticipate the delicious breakfast followed by a day on the boat in the warm sun, a trip to the beach or a few hours crabbing on the causeway is on the cards.

 

I’m 22, we’re out on the boat enjoying the late summer sunshine watching the start of the Barge Race.  We sit and munch on the bacon rolls my mum has just cooked while we watch the beautiful old Thames barges with their huge russet sails silently slip passed us.  My two year old jumps excitedly waving and exchanging greetings with some friends as they drift by us.  I reflect on how lucky I am to be here with my family, four generations of us together.

 

I’m 29, we’ve just flown with our boys on our first trip abroad, we’re in a diner in New York and Hubbie has just ordered waffles with maple syrup and bacon for breakfast.  It’s 6 in the morning, we’re all terribly jet lagged and have been up for hours and my sleep deprived brain cannot comprehend a sweet breakfast that includes bacon but I figure ‘when in Rome’ right?!

 

I’m 36. It’s a beautifully bright Saturday morning in spring, Hubbie has some invited some clients over to fly their model airplanes on our land, I’m on brunch duty and the smell of the bacon fills the air as I prepare the sandwiches.  I giggle as the men find every excuse in the book for crashing their planes as they glue them back together.  I’ve got the wrong glasses on, one explains.  The sun was in my eyes replies another. I have my controller set up wrong, says the last.  I can’t help laughing, they’re just rubbish at flying but wont admit it I think as I serve the sandwiches grinning to myself.

 

Everything tastes better with bacon? I’d say so :-)

 

Word of the week – Spring!

 

I can’t honestly say Spring has sprung but we are so close I can smell it, it’s like we are standing on the precipice of the season waiting to jump into Spring head first. (I’ll just skip over the part where we woke up to a covering of snow on Tuesday morning!)

Last weekend was our first ‘warm’ one of the year and we literally spent all weekend outside, I can’t explain the joy of it and I could literally feel the relief in my skin cells as they absorbed the first natural vitamin D of the year.

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We washed the cars, pressure washed the driveway to get rid of the salt and I got 8 big bags of garden waste off the lawn and flower beds as we raked, pruned and tidied.

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I was over the moon to discover an abundance of green shoots underneath last year’s leaf litter.

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I planted some bulbs, put out the patio set and cleaned up the remaining debris from the harsh winter.

We are ready for Spring, bring it on!

 

The Reading Residence

A Favourite Place – The Gallery

I’m so glad Tara gave us ‘A Favourite Place’ as our theme for this weeks Gallery post rather than ‘My favourite place’ which would imply I would have to make an impossible decision. How could I possibly choose between my home town, a small east coast town that I loved from the time I was small and always vowed I would move to or the quaint Cornish fishing villages I visited as a child, my grandparents lounge full of happy childhood memories or the beautiful remote campgrounds we have discovered since we moved to Canada?  I couldn’t.

So I chose a spot here in Canada that we have visited many times and I will revisit many more times, it is stunning in every season and I could stand and look upon it for hours.  It’s also a fantastic place to people spot so when you have done marvelling at the view you can turn around and watch the people who visit from all four corners of the world and wonder at their stories and what brought them here.   Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the spectacular, breathtaking, beautiful Niagara Falls

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A Perfect Day – The Prompt

mumturnedmom

 

The Prompt for this week is a phrase and it is:

A perfect day…

 

I awoke to the sound of chipmunks chasing each other up and down the bark of the big pine trees that tower above our campsite, the sun already warm on the side of the canvas promises a lovely day ahead.  I creep quietly out of the tent so as not to disturb the softly snoring bodies beside me, into the fresh morning air.

It is still early and the campground is quiet except for the wildlife that scurries through the trees.  I light the fire under the kettle and sit listening to the crackle of the wood as the water boils, there’s nothing quite like that first cuppa in the morning and I enjoy mine in solitude.  The heavy sent of pine fills the air and I listen to the birds singing and watch the squirrels forage in the undergrowth.

 

It is only the crackle and aroma of cooking bacon wafting across the campground that gets the boys out of their beds and a cooked breakfast sets us up perfectly for our day, starting with a hike.

 

The trail is a gradual climb to a look out over the lake, I can feel the burn in my legs as we wind our way on the path through the rocks and trees and as we finally reach the view point we stand together in silence, amazed at the natural beauty before us.

 

At this point I quietly chide myself for the homesickness that is like a constant background noise to my daily life, what a fool I am, it is impossible not to be content and happy in such a stunning environment.

 

We return to the campground hot and sweaty and immediately head to the beach for a swim in the crisp, clear water of the lake.  The first steps into the cool water are utter bliss and as the sun beats down we enjoy swimming,  floating and splashing around in the afternoon heat.

 

That evening as we sit around the camp fire cooking our dinner of steak and baked potatoes and with a chilled glass of my favourite Pinot Grigio I admit wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.  We all have a glow to our cheeks from the sun and our active day has left us tired but happy.  I am so lucky to have my family around me and I struggle to fend off sadness as I think about how few days like this we have left, the boys are growing up so fast and will be off on their own soon.  I feel immense pride in them as I watch them chatting and laughing together, thank God they get on so well.

 

The sky turns from dark blue to peach and orange and then a spectacular night sky is revealed above us so we take a walk down to the beach to escape the light pollution of the campground and to get a better view. I’ve never seen the sky so full of stars before and we lie on the sand and point out the constellations that we know.

 

Later that night as I curl up in my bed feeling the warm glow of my Sunkist skin and my aching muscles I listen to the haunting call of the loons on the lake, a final thought runs through my head as I drift off to sleep…What a perfect day.

 

 

Word of the Week – Shabby

I am struggling for inspiration for my posts right now, usually my photos are my inspiration but here in Canada we are in the transition of seasons when quite frankly the whole place looks a little shabby and far from photogenic.  Almost all of the snow has melted, there are a few patches still lingering in shady spots, revealing brown grass that is a result of the frozen ground.  It looks scorched and dull.

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Since the snow melted the full damage of December’s Ice Storm has been revealed, broken limbs and branches still litter the ground adding to the unkempt appearance.

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Our summer is so beautiful here, the colours of the sky, water, fauna and flora are so vivid and lush, the autumn is spectacular with the hardwood trees producing vibrant scarlet, lime green and burnt orange, the winter brings the combination of bright white snows and Azure blue skies.  However, this period that is no longer winter but not quite spring is dull, brown and shabby.

 

The Reading Residence

Word of the Week – Positive

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Last weeks thaw is continuing and slowly but surely spring is arriving, this fact alone has got me feeling positive.

My new regime of exercise and healthier eating is continuing too and this week I’ve reduced my alcohol intake as well. Anyone who knows me knows I do love a glass of wine, or two (!) but the extra calories has contributed to the size of my butt and that is not good.

The weather is sunny, it’s April at last, which means camping season is just around the corner and I’m feeling healthier.  Positive sums up my outlook and mood this week, how about you?

The Reading Residence

The Prompt – Truth vs.Modesty

mumturnedmom

 

The Prompt for this week is a quote and it is:

Truth is more important than modesty. Roald Dahl

 

I had to do a little research to see what Roald Dahl was talking about when he wrote this phrase, the beginning of it was this;

When writing about oneself, one must strive to be truthful. Truth is more important than modesty.

 

I can’t say I agree with Mr Dahl in his view and saying that is in complete contrast to my own morals because, in addition to loyalty, honesty and truthfulness are character traits that I value above all others so to say that I don’t agree with that statement is at odds with that.

Let me explain. I am modest, probably too modest truth be told but boasting about what I do or what I am good at is just something I never do, it just doesn’t feel right.  An example of this was recently when someone asked me about my photos and straight away I started to deny that I could take good pictures.  It wasn’t that I was trying to lie and not tell the truth but it’s just not in me to ‘blow my own trumpet’ so to speak.

I have found many Canadians are brought up to be supremely confident but there are a significant number that take this to the extreme and to my reserved British ears they can come across as boastful, or even conceited.  In these circumstances ‘truth is more important than modesty’ is absolutely not true. A touch of modesty would go a long way to making these people more likable and pleasant to be around.

Often I am part of conversations where people are talking about their jobs and how great they are at them and how they are surrounded by idiots who can’t do anything right and maybe that is true, maybe these people do have the weight of an entire corporation on their shoulders (I doubt it!) but all I can think is how arrogant they sound. I admire confidence, I’d even go as far to say I envy it but I don’t want to spend my time with people constantly talking about how great they are however truthful that may be.

A touch of modesty makes people seem more human after all nobody is perfect and isn’t speaking only about your strengths but not your weaknesses untruthful?

I prefer a change the phrase to say Truth is as important as modesty, what do you think?

The Gallery- What I’m Doing Right Now

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Tara asked us to share what we were doing at the at the moment we read about this weeks Gallery theme.

Well, we were in the car on the way to the Movies to see Noah at the Imax when my email came through.  It was a typical early spring Saturday afternoon, chilly but beautifully sunny and it was almost a shame to spend a couple of hours in the dark and miss out on all that sunshine.

 

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