Sunday, 16 August 2015

Thank you … seriously … thank you!

We are back "home" now,  to "winter" (it's 10c) and I'm thinking about all of the people we are indebted to and the THANKYOU's I should have said … all of those people that made it such a great summer … that summer of 2015 ... in Canada!

The highlight  was probably celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary - not the usual grand party - but a lovely relaxing afternoon of cake … and friends.  So there were thank you's for that one for sure!   We (well Joseph mostly)  also managed to pack and successfully ship all our worldly possessions off down under.  So there are thanks required there as well!  … and of course those unsuspecting friends who housed and fed us and the sibling that loaned us his car … thanks there for sure.

So here we go - a tad boring unless you are mentioned I guess … and if you should be mentioned and aren't … well um … remember I might have mentioned you in previous blogs  …and if I didn't …well I'm sorry! :(

 Thank you Hungry Goat Cafe - Ottawa

That's Henry Assad the owner with his niece - his helper.

- for letting us invade their garage … er cafe … with some friends and the girls from ONW and The Boutique and our cakes and making us coffee and tea as needed and for making the sandwiches to feed FORTY people (that turned out to be only twenty)!

That's the girls from ONW … and Brad in front!
Jacqui, Luna, Sara, Candace, Sasha, Simon (Danielle's husband), Danielle … and Brad!!
That's the girls from The Boutique
Jo-Anne, Joe, Sarah and Gala!

It was also our 40th anniversary
not far off how we celebrated 40 years before
when the guests bought their own food and drinks!
now you see why I married him … such a cute bow tie!!

Thank you Jane Keogh:
-  for offering to make a cake and then to be told it needed to be for twenty people!!
… and then she went ahead and made the most spectacular cake!

Thank you Dan and Wendy
- We squeezed in a visit at the last minute and Dan cooked up a great meal as usual (and we woofed it down … as usual), and Wendy was gracious as always in-spite of her difficulties.

Thank you to The AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario)
 - for letting us escape the hottest day of the summer in their beautiful air-conditioned building. Lunch at Frank was great … and cool ...

Ken,Eileen, Joe, Gwen Les
et moi - nice and cool!

and so was the art
That's Ken and the project he works on
(counting the birds (in the circle)

and so were our friends (Les & Gwen) who shared their membership with us (& the Ross').

We are definitely connected.

Thank you Guido:

-  the forklift driver at the shipping site who offered to help us pack the boxes. 
 The last two HUGE boxes containing chairs were assembled and packed on site - and there were lots of cavities that needed things stuffed into them…

Poor Guido had trouble understanding that "yes we could buy (most) of these things in Australia" but "no we don't want to part with these things because … they are special to us"…

Well …maybe the Inuit-art print a wedding present from Tom … and maybe the original Terry Lewistka Australian scene … and maybe one of the three or four posters we had mounted (but are freely available to all) …maybe just maybe they were special … but he really had trouble with the mounted poster of the original iMacs!!   I'm afraid that's "going straight to the pool room" …  We are going to have the most art-adorned garage in the whole world… upstairs there just isn't much wall space to mount art… of any kind!

And I might add - Guido was mightily impressed with Joseph's very accurate planning of how the different size boxes would line up on the remaining two pallets.

The two large boxes to the right - the other two pallets full of boxes
(placed meticulously) on the left!
Thank you Brie:
- for a nice Airbnb in Toronto on Queen street - right on Queen street - very convenient!
We would NOT like to thank Toronto traffic for turning a 1.5hr car ride to Waterloo (to visit the Feeney Clan) into a three-hour epic journey… but we DO thank Tom and Andrea for being so gracious about it all … and we showed our gratitude by woofing down the yummy steak and salads … and then leaving!  (well we did visit for a while but it sure did feel like that!) … note: return trip was … just under one hour!
why didn't I take any photos? :(

Thank you Cook's 
- we actually need to thank Greg & Florrie for ALL of the visits to THEIR cottage - but this time poor things had barely unpacked their bags after arriving from Calgary and Florrie was on crutches with a cracked hip and then we (& the Ross') show up for one last (overnight) visit!
That's Florrie showing off her crutches , Joe, Greg, me Ken & Eileen
 - a rather ethereal photo no?
That cottage has been a life saver to us - back when we couldn't afford the time (or cost) for a vacation - so thank you Greg & Florrie for letting us use your cottage even though for most of those years you weren't even there!!

That iron-lung kangaroo sugar dish was a gift from Melinda way back in the Nortel days!
It fits in so well at "the cottage"!

Thank you O'Brien's
 - double thanks here - to the Bushes for driving us ALl the way to the "cottage" (it's a mansion) - way up on the other side of the river in Quebec!!  …

Mary broke her noodle!
 and thanks to Al & Gail for hosting seven of us… 
just one week after hosting a massive wedding party for their son including housing visitors from USA and Australia in their "cottage"

That's Al and Gail between Mary and me!
But, ever the gracious visitors - we showed our appreciation by woofing down the beef tenderloin and salads (that we didn't bring) and drinking copious amounts of wine (one from us!)

...and marvelled at how small the world is that has their son Scott was marrying a girl from Adelaide on New Years Eve - not in Adelaide - but in Victor Harbor AT THE SAME VENUE that Mischa & Simone housed their wedding party (and partied on for two days after the wedding!)!!   Once again we have been gracious in offering our help to fill out the Canadian contingent at the three-day celebration… we'll probably show our appreciation by woofing something down!!  … and most importantly I will have to buy a new dress.

Mr. Disney was right … it is a small world after all!

This is a crazy photo:
That's Al's bag of spanners that, in the middle of the night,
for no particular reason,
suddenly acquired a hole in the bottom through which the spanners fell
one by one and clinked the bottles as they fell and woke everybody up
assuming we had been invaded by racoons!
A most strange happening.

Thank you Para Transpo
 - thank goodness for Para Transpo because that meant Jane could bring Monty home to their house in Greely to be part of our visit with the Brigham clan! (Due to multiple strokes Monty lives in a nursing home.)

Jill, Jane, Monty, Don, Stephen and Joe
   The "clan" included 3 of their 4 children,  their darling grandchildren (only 6 of the 8 under 5) and Jane's famous brother J.Donald Lafontaine (eminent entomologist) and her oldest brother Stephen.

There's the girls Eva, Annie and Mollie
That's Jackson

… and the twins!

Jane's daughter Emily is apparently a bossy Mother!
We go away back with them.  Joseph birded with Monty when he was a whipper snapper of 16 and I met Jane in London in '75 and I would say, that they have been the most influential people in our lives!  It was Monty who helped Joseph get a job at the CNF and eventually Nature Canada Bookshop - and who knew how important that would be to us.

And it was because of Joseph and Monty's bird trip to the Amazon in June 1975 that I met Jane in London … and well …no other people in our lives hold such an important place in our hearts and that just might include our parents!
We the Brighams!!

Thank you to The Ross'

- probably (no not probably - actually) the biggest thanks of this epic summer must go to Ken & Eileen who stupidly suggested waaay back in 2014 that when we visited Ottawa next summer "we could stay with them the whole time".  Well of course we wouldn't do that to anybody - not anybody we really liked!  But that is exactly what we did!

We holed up in their basement while Joseph used half their garage to perfect the box-packing and we came and went as we pleased and to show our gratitude we woofed down one yummy meal after another; breakfast, lunch, dinner - it didn't matter we were just there to please them!!

we left the door open to Ken's workshop in the hopes it would
make us be tidy … but alas!

We did try to give them the odd breaks - trips to Toronto, the wonderful wedding weekends away, and a week-long sojourn at the Elliott's (thanks a million to Brenda & Brad for agreeing to that!) - the odd weekend at various cottages - but mostly we were in their basement.  Through the tooth extraction, the root canals, the hot the cold, the movies, the shopping, the birding … on and on it went!

"Did those 2.5+ months of summer pass quickly for you?" people would ask "ask the Ross' " I would reply!  They may never recover!!

Note:  I should add that many, many (many) people offered to "put us up" (or was it "put up …"?) and it wasn't just that we weren't sure of the quality of the meals at their respective houses - it was just that once Joseph started on the box-packing it didn't make (too much) sense to leave… 
(although I do recall the Ross' offering to help move those boxes!)

No seriously we can't thank K&E enough … 
friends for more than 40 years … yep … that works!!

Thank you Brother & Sister-in-law

 - another random promise back in 2013 when Tom & Elizabeth were visiting us here in Aus - '"you can use "your" Honda while you are in Ottawa"" (Tom bought the Honda from us when we left).  Now, as if we would do that to anybody - take one of their cars away from them for 2.5+ months!!!… as if??  But that is exactly what we did!  We fell right back in love with our little Honda and we bumped along the roads from the Ross' to the storage unit and down to Toronto and off to cottages - off we went as though it was our own.
T&E hosting family!
Greg,Donna (cousin), Elizabeth, me, Paul (cousin), Joe, Patsy, Marie, Frank and Tommy!

 We returned the car to them and to show our gratitude we woofed down a pretty yummy BBQ with them the night before we left - and then - as if that wasn't enough - we made Tom get up at 4.30 a.m. to drive us to the airport.!!  Seriously - thank you T&E.

Tom, Joe me, Sharon (yes Sharon of the cliff-fall) and Elizabeth - just before the woofing down!

... and finally we left … a few last Thank You's:

Thank you Air Canada (I don't care what people say)

 - for an uneventful trip back to Australia - all the bags arrived - all four of them -  and not one thing was broken (and there were mugs and bottles in there).  They let us spend the WHOLE day in Vancouver (9.30 a.m. - 11.30 p.m)!!  … and that gave us a chance to spend time with Cassia's friends Emily and Katrina (& Scott) - so of course we woofed down some more food with them - both meals very (very) yummy and how lovely of them to take time out of their day and even K&S to drive us back to the airport!

Well …er there was one tiny hiccup for AC - the passenger behind us didn't get her "simple" meal!!!  What is a simple meal?  It seemed that whatever the flight attendants tried to offer as a substitute wasn't simple enough!  … well my meals were just fine - I woofed them all down!!

That's Em (Emily Schultz)

…that's Katrina and Scott - after more woofing down!

The Pharmaceutical company that makes Alprazolam!

 - there is nobody else in the world that completes my life like Zanax does … when I fly!!.  Not the little-half pill they suggest - but the THREE whole (and then one extra somewhere over the Pacific) pills that allowed me to be unconscious for most of the 22 hrs in the air.  Sadly I chose not to take one-last pill for the trip from Sydney to Adelaide - a mistake I will never make again - residual I thought - there will be enough residual effect left over that should get me through!  Ha!  Not enough for the ridiculously dangerous landing we had to endure because  our flight happened to land right in the middle of one of the worst storms this winter!  I was of course hysterical and vowed never (ever) to fly again!


So stay safe everybody... 
safe in the knowledge that I will never again land on your doorsteps
 to stay for a whole summer or use your car for a whole summer
 or plonk down at your cottage or eat your food 
or use your memberships. 

No - I promise I won't do that because …


No comments:

Post a Comment