On behalf of my husband I would like to apologise to the youth of Calgary for the comments in his Running Bear blog - trust me he is in no position to comment on the latest hair fashion! Also a belated Happy Birthday to Auntie Hilary - we hope you had a great day on the 17th.
Stuart has become very attached to the car and has only driven on the wrong side of the road once (just after the Satnav sent us in the wrong direction). Don't worry Mum(s) it was in a very quiet residential street and we spotted our error in good time! In all seriousness, Mr B is doing so well I do not feel the need to step in and take over just yet!
On the way to Edmonton we stopped for lunch in Red Deer 'Waskasoo Park' and enjoyed a totally unexpected walk around the park; wildlife for today include hundreds of mozzies and dragonfly. We arrived at the Sandle residence just in time for tea - thanks Mark we weren't sitting around the corner honest!
Witty, Mark, Luke, Beth and Caleb emigrated to Edmonton two years ago and it was brilliant to see them so settled in their amazing house, which is somewhat bigger than their old Coventry pad. This has called for some brilliant purchases from the kijijis website (Canadian version of e-bay but with no auction). The star buy without a doubt is the flamboyant armchair which offers character, comfort and colour. Technically I am wrong by saying it was a star buy as the previous owners actually gave it away. J The said armchair was originally purchased for Mark's office but has yet to make the journey - rightly so in my opinion as it really is the most comfortable armchair I have ever sat in and you do grow to become very fond of the floral print over time.
Spent a lovely evening catching up on the past two years and eating ice-cream cake which was simply 'awesome' and blows 'arctic roll' right out of the water! We also met the lovely Johnnie a family friend who is studying to become a Nurse in Taunton Hospital which is where most of my family were born - what a small world. If ever you meet Johnnie on the ward at Musgrove make sure you hide your grapes!
The next morning after the best night's sleep I have had since arriving in Canada, we all headed off on a magical, mystery tour of Edmonton. First stop was King's University where Mark is a Professor of History, Witty works as a Student Support Co-ordinator and Beth is a student of history and about to start a new part-time job on the Reception Desk. King's is home to 700 students and has a very friendly and close knit feel to it. We enjoyed a visit to the Student Support area and Mark's office which includes an impressive library of books and a bath! I have to say the armchair would fit right in.
Upon arrival to Mark's office I was somewhat surprised when Witty insisted on taking a photo of Mark opening a parcel of books which had arrived. The surprise turned to pride when we discovered it was Mark's most recent publication hot off the press. This is a book which documents Mark's research into 'Communism' and a must read for all you historians out there. Mark has written several books including one which has been translated into Estonian for any of my Eastern European students who might be reading this blog!!
Next stop was a visit to 'The Legislature' an impressive 'Houses of Parliament' type building. The building houses the original Mace of the Alberta's Parliament which was made out of a shaving mug, plumber's pipe, ballcock and beaver buttons and was used for 50 years before a more grander version was purchased. Definitely worth a visit if ever you find yourselves in Edmonton. Don't forget to stand on the golden spot and experience the virtual waterfall effect.
On to culture of a different kind now as we made our way to the Edmonton fringe festival and watched some street performers including 'Bob the juggler' who I think it was fair to say was having a pretty bad day at the office but entertaining all the same!
Luke - I hope the interview went well and that my gentle grilling the night before helped in a small way; I would have you on my team any day, best of luck also with your year at the University of Alberta and final year at Leeds. Beth good luck as you start your studies at King's and Caleb we look forward to seeing you on Masterchef very soon!
Big thanks and hugs to the Sandle family for making our short stay in Edmonton memorable and fun. You have clearly made a great life for yourselves in Canada and wish you continued happiness and many more fun purchases from kijijis.