Merry Christmas

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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Monday, December 22, 2008

Xmas special Dec 10th

Well a couple of snow falls later - though no shoveling this time!- and we're all looking forward to Xmas. The houses of Halifax and beyond are decked not only with holly but with what must surely be trillions of lights. Some look absolutely magical, some absolutely...well... I'll leave you to fill that in yourselves. When there's been 'flurries' and that can mean several cm's here! the whole place is a winter wonderland, this of course is OK if you aren't going to venture outside. Earlier this week the rain turned to flurries and the wet roads and pavements froze with a nice layer of the fluffy stuff on top. Snow ploughs were out all through the night. So the roads were fine, but the pavements (sidewalks to those of you on this continent) were a death trap. How is it all the locals manage to carry on as normal when it is clearly so hazardous. Mum's laboring with buggies, red faced joggers - presumably with crampons on their soles, even joggers running with their dogs - how does that work?? It seems that it's all about confidence; I'm assured that accidents do happen - assured by Natalie and her fellow health care workers who see the consequences of this weather. And here's a thing... Monday the temperature was -6 degrees, Tuesday it was +12 how does that happen? and today Friday (+16) there has been enough rain to warrant an Ark!! Not to mention the gale force winds that accompanied the rain.
Anyway enough of the weather, back to Xmas the tree is collected, small by NS standards at only 8'but a great specimen - Toad was proud to be part of that operation and since the trees were wet and snowy it saved messing up Leo's car.  

There have been pre-car years when he has collected on his bicycle so it was a new experience to actually tie it onto a roof rack. Nat has made a brilliant job of decorating it and the presents are beginning to collect beneath its wonderful pine scented boughs.

We 'chose' what was probably the coldest day yet for a run down to Peggy's Cove with Ross and Karen - but we were not alone, it seems a popular destination whatever the weather. We spent just long enough outside for the obligatory photos before dashing into the restaurant there for hot soup. I'm sure if I spent very long outside I would just die! ...well it was -17 with the wind chill (felt like -100). The only bit of me that was actually exposed - hurt!

Sunday 20th we have just arrived back after a trip to the valley - to stay with friends Peter & Myrna; last night we indulged in their specialty - a lobster fest. Fresh lobsters bought direct from the fishermen that morning and eaten with the aid of whatever tools are to hand, check out the photo. 

I could get used to the idea of a newspaper tablecloth that you roll up with all the rubbish and then throw away, seems very sensible to me. After a wonderful breakfast we set out for the morning walk. 

 It was a little slippy but we were rewarded with beautiful views overlooking the bay of Fundy.

 It's surprising how warm you get crunching through the snow, but again it can be treacherous. Aching muscles were revived in the hot tub when we got back...aaahhh...

There is more snow on the way tonight too, so it looks like it will be a white Xmas. Now that Ross is here it's also going to be a Thornley Xmas, Nat is coping very well with the influx of Brits. The pile of pressies under the tree is growing and the excitement is building...we hope all of you are able to spend time with loved ones over Xmas or at least speak to them if they are far away. We wish you a happy healthy 2009 and although the blog has been a little thin since we've been in Canada we hope you will come and travel with us again next year.
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hjl on

Merry Christmas
Ay Up Mi Ducks.
Thanks for sharing your travels with us back home. It's nice to see Malc is still a dab hand with a big 'ammer, though he didn't use it to eat with at RR. Both of you, Ross & your friends have a super Christmas and all our Best Wishes for 2009.
John & Julie.

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