Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Calgary ZooLights

We went to the zoo on Wednesday evening to see the Calgary ZooLights - like Blackpool Illuminations at -10C. There were a surprising number of adults there without children - whilst the lights are spectacular, most of the other attractions are aimed at kids, and ours loved it. We did come home with a giant, flashing, insulated cup though.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Dan cruises down the green runs

Dan has made some good progress this weekend on the green runs at Nakiska. Off to simple blues next weekend, we reckon.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve Skating

Two years ago, for our first Christmas here, we went to Calgary on Christmas Eve afternoon to skate on the Bow River, and this year we decided to do the same. The skating area was quiet, only a few hardy souls braving the -13 deg C temperature, and it was great that we could all be skating at the same time, although there is quite a gulf between the level Danny & I are at, and that of Olga and Lara!
It was a lovely way to pass a couple of hours before coming home and getting the kids ready for bed. Lara has our digital clock in her room tonight, with strict orders to not wake us before it reads 6:00.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Dan conquers the bunny hill

The bunny hill holds no more challenges for Dan, so next weekend let's hope the Bronze chairlift is open here, which gives access to the resort's green runs, the next step up for Dan.. And Olga and I can ski together with him, which will be nice

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Larissa

We woke Lara up early this morning to give her her presents and chat with Grandma, before she went off to school, then onto Skating, before she had a "Nerf Battle"-themed party at the local recreation centre.
I started this blog before Lara was born to help follow her progress as she grows up, and so she can look back at this when she's older. So much as you might be embarrassed, Lara, we love you very much and are very proud of you (all the more so if you ever volunteered to clean up your room!!)


Dan Skiing Progress

Dan has had three proper lessons now at Olympic Park, and he seems to be doing really well. He's not as fast as the other kids, but he is one of the youngest, and frankly I'm happy for him to be slow but in control rather than fast and not-so-in-control - it wouldn't be fair to say the other kids who are faster than him are out of control. I did like the brief conversation I heard between the parents of one boy, about Dan's age, who tends to hurtle straight down the hill without turns or snowploughing, until he stops himself by falling or being caught by someone...
Mum, just arriving back from a coffee break: "Hey, how was Ryder?"
Dad: "Kamikazee."
That seemed pretty accurate to me.
Here's Dan putting in some nice turns:

Dan does get some practice in at the weekend at Nakiska, where we play a game with Mr & Mrs Pole, he has to grab them or high-five them on the way past..

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Almost start of the ski season

This was our last chance at a practise of our weekend schedule before Lara's ski lessons start again next Saturday morning. It takes some planning to get everyone in the right place at the right time with the right equipment.
At least Lara is helping now by carrying some of our gear (and it is only some!) in her boot bag. It's a lot lighter than it looks. Dan had a dozen or more runs down the nursery slope over the weekend, and so long as we don't pressure him too much, he's enjoying it. He likes going fast more than he likes stopping, though.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A bit of a snowy weekend and Remembrance Day

The weekend was nice, Lara is nearly fully fit now, the physio hasn't quite released her to full action, but she's out of her protective "boot" completely now, and wears just a normal, soft, ankle support for taekwondo and school. On Saturday morning she returned to dryland ski training, where a bunch of the kids do exercises for 90 minutes in a sports hall, all related to improving their physical condition for skiing. After that we bought her a new helmet for skiing, one that's hard plastic all over, as opposed to a normal ski helmet, which has soft bits over the ears to make it more comfortable, I presume. This "full-shell" helmet is a requirement for the 4 races she will enter this winter, and we'll not put kids' stickers all over this one! It's red, rather than pink, so it can be handed down to Dan as well, given it was rather expensive!
After that we went out to the trailer, and a little hike up a valley by a babbling stream. There was some snow on the ground so the kids practised snow-ball throwing, Dan is definitely a lefty. A dog walker we passed told us she'd just seen an elk on the other side of the river, but we missed it.
There was enough to build their first snowman, but they had as much fun knocking him down a couple of hours later - Lara practising her taekwondo on it!

Whilst walking the dogs on Saturday night, I was struck by their shadows as I walked them in torchlight and couldn't resist trying to take a photo:

On Sunday we picked up our ski lift passes from Nakiska, and had a look around, so the kids could see how it looks when there isn't much snow around. Those slopes look different when you can see the grass, I would think twice about walking up or down some of them, but I have no problem skiing down them.
Then I took the kids and dogs down to the river for a bit of adventuring while Olga cleaned up the trailer - Nakiska is due to open on Wednesday, and then on weekends for the rest of November, so if there is any good snowfall in the next few weeks, we might well be skiing at the weekends, so it's important to get the housekeeping tasks done now while there's time!

Yesterday was a full-on sports day once the kids were home from school/nursery: Dan had skating then gymnastics, and at the same time Lara had a swimming lesson then her taekwondo. It's just as well the main sports centre where three of those activities happen is only a nice, 15 minute walk away around the lake.
After her lesson Lara took great pleasure in demonstrating some self-defense techniques on me, she really does know where to pinch my arm to tweak the nerve!
Today Lara's school had their Remembrance Day service, as 11th November is a public holiday here. Lara was singing as part of their Senior Choir, and it was an outdoor service, which in temperatures around 0 degrees, was quite a brave thing for them to do.

Today is a relatively quiet one, with only Lara's skating to deal with after school..

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Snow is Here.. sort of

The first flakes of snow of the season fell in Airdrie today, but nothing hung around, but it's worth marking the date.
The situation out at Nakiska, where we ski, is better, Here is a photo taken from their webcam at the top end of their highest ski lift:

It's not that deep at the bottom of the runs, but it all bodes well as the people who run Nakiska want to open to the public this coming weekend.
The main access road to Nakiska, and to our trailer, was covered in snow today too. Let's hope it lasts the week, though the forecast is for above zero daytime temperatures with below zero at night.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Busy November

Here's how the calendar looks for November, a little hectic between the kids' skating, Dan's gymnastics, Lara's taewondo & music lessons, then Dan's skiing lessons start, and Lara should get back to her ski club's dryland training on Saturdays as her ankle heals. Oh, and she starts another round of swimming lessons next Monday..

Happy Halloween

Halloween is a big deal over here, with the grown ups almost as excited about it as the kids. As far as Lara was concerned, during the buildup last week, "Halloween is going to be the best night of my life". As is it, she ended up having a mini strop during the trick or treat walk as Dan wanted to go home before she was ready. In the end I stayed out with her for an extra 10 minutes before she too was ready to go home and start eating.  Even today she's been sulking that Dan "always ruins my Halloween because he's a baby". I'm not sure what he'd done to upset her this time, but I'm sure it didn't ruin her Halloween. She can be quite the drama queen.
Anyway, here are the kids as Astronaut Dan and Abbey Bominable (from Monster High, of course), and the grown ups didn't escape a little bit of dressing up too.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Sunset photo makes the local paper

I'm in print (again)! After my photo of a major storm north of Airdrie was published in July, I've made it into the Airdrie Echo again, with a photo of a recent sunset which was very spectacular, for 15 or 20 minutes, anyway. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time..

First taste of Winter

We had our first properly cold morning today, although it was "only" -6°C. It was the first time I've seen ice forming on our local lake. It warmed up to +6 during the day, but I think it's a sign that the woolly pulleys and warm boots need to be dusted off.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Back on the Bus

Last Tuesday Lara went back to the Children's Hospital for a check up on her ankle, and they took off her plaster cast and replaced it with an "aircast" that she can put on and take off herself. She's wearing to go to school but taking it off at home.
She's also going to physiotherapy twice a week, paid for by the Province, thankfully, and the exercises she's doing there are helping to get rid of the limp that she'd developed. She's even going to some of the off-ice training sessions now, and is back at taekwon-do, albeit in a limited way. Her teacher did get her involved last week though during self-defense drills...

Dan's Lullaby

Last week Dan sang a lullaby to his big stuffy, Ellie....

He's got the family singing gene.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Another Weekend, Another New Lake

Just a quick post to show off some photos from a 3km walk we did on Saturday at the Upper Kananaskis Lake, 40km or so south of where our trailer is. Olga had given the dogs a trim, so they deserved to have some photos taken of them too...

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Uh oh, another trip to Airdrie Urgent Care

When I picked up Lara from school on Tuesday to take her to skating, she told me that her foot hurt a bit after she rolled her ankle during recess. She had a slight limp, but we've all rolled our ankle at some time, and I thought it was just a sprain. We went to skating, thinking that once her foot was laced into her Skate she'd be OK. She did a couple of circuits of the rink and told me she was OK, so we left it at that. After an hour of skating, she had an hour of off-ice exercise with her skating buddies, and got through that without complaining either. She came home and asked me to strap her foot up in a bandage, I thought it was more for the attention than anything else, and her foot didn't look too bad. But an hour later, when we took the bandage off when she was getting ready for bed, her ankle had really swollen, and now she was in some discomfort. So we took the decision that Olga should take her to urgent care in Airdrie, the same place we took Dan when he fractured his collarbone. They were gone for a couple of hours, before they came back with Lara in a blue cast and a pair of crutches, the diagnosis being a fracture of her foot, close to her ankle. She needs to on crutches for 4 weeks, so that puts skating, taekwon-do and dryland ski training on hold. We put her mattress on the floor in her room so she doesn't have to negotiate steps if she needs the toilet, and she's got the technique sorted for getting up and onto her crutches. She went to school today, though we took her in the truck rather than her going on her bus. Her teacher will organise "recess buddies" to help her at break time, and an elevator buddy to go with her in the lift at school so she doesn't need to worry about stairs. Let's see how long the love of crutches lasts, the novelty might wear off soon. She is looking forward to choosing the colour of her next cast though, as you can choose these days. My money is on pink...

Dan wanted a cast too, but he had to put up with a sock.,.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Dryland Ski Training & a Canyon walk

The weather on Saturday was great, sunny and high 20s, so we took the opportunity to have a trip out, in case this is the last warm Saturday of the year.
Lara had to attend the first session of her "dryland training" for her ski club at a park in Calgary in the morning, which was 90 minutes of various exercises designed to build up her strength and stamina, as well as helping to create bonds and friendships with the other "athletes" as the club refers to the children.
From there we headed out towards Banff, to a place called Johnston Canyon, between Banff and Lake Louise. I'd read in our "Walks in the Rockies with Children" book that this was a very popular place, and indeed it was. The car park was full, and there were dozens of cars parked along the roadside, but with a little bit of fortuitous timing, we ended up with a space very close to the start of the walk and the gift shop/cafe. The path goes alongside a stream, heading up through Johnston Canyon, where in places the path is a walkway attached directly to the canyon walls, and on a busy Saturday afternoon, there were times when the foot traffic came to a halt at narrow bits. If you walk the full route, you pass seven waterfalls, and it's a 5km round trip, but we just did the first half, as far as the first set of large falls, where we stopped to play by the stream, then we headed back for ice creams. It was a 2.5km round trip, but the kids didn't complain once, mainly because when the path wasn't a narrow walkway screwed to a vertical cliff, it ran through a lovely forest with lots of side trails to explore and trees to clamber over, under or around. It would be an amazing place to explore if there weren't 10,000 other people around, and it's open (almost) all year round, apart from a month from September 15th when they perform any maintenance on the path. So we'll head there in the dead of winter, when the falls will be frozen, and you can snowshoe along the path, with - hopefully - no-one else around.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Cochrane Labour Day Rodeo

Monday was a public holiday here for Labour Day, and we took the kids to see the Rodeo in Cochrane in the afternoon. The weather wasn't quite glorious, we had a bit of everything from warm sunshine to heavy rain showers - one was heavy enough to convince us to head into the nearby McDonalds to feed the kids, and the second shower was heavy enough to make Lara nag us into going home. So we didn't see too much of the rodeo itself in the end, but the kids enjoyed what we did see, and they probably enjoyed the mini donuts and candyfloss more.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

From one extreme to the other - boredom to crazy busy

Lara will be going from the extreme of boredom at home in August to not-enough-hours-in-the-day in September.
This is how the Armstrong family calendar looks for September:

As well as going back to school, skating starts up again, and she's got three sessions a week after school - Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
She still has piano lessons on a Wednesday, and that gets more complicated now by throwing guitar lessons in there too. Then there's practice time at home everyday (fat chance!)
On Saturday afternoons she'll have dryland training for her skiing club, this is fitness and balance work initially in a park during September, then it moves indoors from October, until the actual skiing starts in December.

We'd known about these activities for some time, and in putting them on a calendar, we noticed that there was a glaring hole on Mondays (Sundays we decided to keep activity free, at least for now!), and Lara has been pestering us for karate lessons. So Olga did some investigating, and found that there is a taekwondo school that operate from Genesis Place (the sports centre near where we now live), and lo and behold they have lessons for beginners on Mondays and Wednesdays, and they were having an introductory lesson today, so Lara went along, loved it, and has now been signed up. By Canadian sports standards, it's very good value, with 2 x 1 hour lessons per week for $65 a month. I think it will be really good for Lara, not just in her physical development, but also helping to channel those emotions - that are getting stronger - in the right direction, as well as keeping her busy and tiring her out.
On top of all this, we should try and fit in some reading and writing practise for school...

As for Dan, he resumes his skating lessons, twice a week, in October, and then he has 5 skiing lessons in December at the Olympic Park in Calgary.

Back to School (at last) and tales of poop

Lara returned to school today, after 2 months and 6 days off. She's been counting the days for a week now, it's great that she's been so excited about going back. It's also a reflection on her getting bored at home, of course! Olga and I have to work, so we're not there to play with her or do crafts with her, and this caused friction from time to time.
We used one of my old phones to set an alarm for 7am, and she got herself up, and into the shower (complete with shower cap!), and dressed all without any interference from us. She packed her own school bag and was ready to leave 10 minutes earlier than necessary. Long may it continue!

Somehow she has convinced us to buy her a guitar, and split her piano lessons into piano/guitar lessons. We'll see how long the enthusiasm lasts, but at the very least it gives us grown ups something to use to keep her behaviour under control!
Only yesterday I was accused of ruining her whole school year, as she was too upset with me to go to school today - I'd taken her guitar off her because she wouldn't get her apple core out of the truck, where she'd left it on her seat. We had a stand off for 20 minutes or so, with Dan acting as mediator, passing messages between us, that bit was very sweet! In the end I got a very begrudging apology out of Lara, and she got the "I'm your dad, not your friend, you have to do as I tell you" speech. I had to get the apple core though!
Within an hour she was all sweetness again, and offering to help me to get Dan ready for bed, and she got her guitar back today ;-)

Speaking of Dan, for the first time last night he told Olga that he needed a poop, and he made the toilet in time, so that's very good news. Tonight he put himself on his potty in front of the TV, he thought to do a pee, but the look of complete surprise on his face when he discovered a poop in there was priceless!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Nursery home time

OK, sometimes, just sometimes, I'll admit that the kids can be quite cute, like today on the way out of nursery..

And Dan is wearing the same clothes on the way out as he wore on the way in, for the second day running - good boy!

Let sleeping dogs lie... On new beds

We felt it only fair that given we have moved to a new home, the dogs were entitled to new beds to go with it. What we've found in the past is that we buy a large bed for Mishka, and a smaller bed for Jackson (Jackson's last bed was actually better quality and probably more comfy than Mishka's), but Jackson doesn't respect this idea - he decides which bed he'll sleep on, and it's usually the bigger one. We can tell him to move, and he begrudgingly slopes off to his smaller bed, and Mishka sheepishly creeps onto his bed, but it doesn't last.
So, in order to try and make things fair on Mishka, we've bought them the same, large bed, now that we have enough room to put them down (although not quite enough room to put them next to each other!). 
Both a re a bit wary about lying on them, Mishka initially resorted to dozing on the floor yesterday, which Jackson found the pile of towels we use to wipe their feet after walks more appealing. But I think they'll soon realise that those beds are them and not the kids (who could easily sleep on them too!) and equality will reign.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Dan's potty time

Dan was off nursery for a few days at the end of last week, so we took the opportunity to start him on potty training. Today was a red letter day, as his third day in nursery without diapers, and he's come home wearing the same clothes that we sent him in this morning. So he's heading in the right direction..

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

New Look Lara

For some time the topic of Lara's hair has been discussed here, with debates on whether to have it cut shorter or not. She has had a couple of trims in the past, but really it's been left to grow to its natural length since she was born.
Today all that changed, and for a good cause. We'd heard about Angel Hair for Kids around Airdrie as some children had donated hair to children who had lost their own through medical conditions or treatment, and the donated hair was made into wigs. So this afternoon Lara went to see Frank, Olga's hairdresser, who also happens to be Lara's piano teacher, and she had at least 30cm taken off, and the result is an older-looking Lara:

Frank put some colour streaks in too, just for fun:

And some before, during and after pics:

Smoke me a kipper

It's a bit smoky here today, as this article in the Calgary Herald explains. It made for a nice sunrise this morning when I was taking Dan to nursery, and I whilst you can't exactly smell the smoke, I did catch myself coughing a little bit, and my eyes got a little watery as I walked the dogs. It's all thanks to forest fires in Washington state and BC.

Tea-time update
OK, now visibility is very reduced, down to a couple of miles from the usual 20-30 miles, and you can definitely tell there's something not too pleasant in the air (cue a Blackadder quote about Baldrick's breath). Normally on the drive to Dan's nursery you'd be able to see Calgary, 15 miles to the south, but today it's a struggle to see the end of the road:

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Trying to get back on the Blog

After a rather hectic two months, in which we've moved house, had a lovely visit from Grandma, and been on holiday, I'm going to try and get back up to date with this blog. I've found how to back-date posts to give them a sensible, if fake, date of posting, but that will help in the years to come when we look back at this when the kids are all grown up.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Summer Vacation in the Trailer

Our summer holiday this year was to be in our trailer at Gull Lake, north of Airdrie, halfway between Calgary and Edmonton. We'd camped there last year on two occasions ("proper" camping, in a tent) so we knew what to expect, and we'd picked a nice spot within the campsite, where we weren't overlooked by neighbours, and the kids had a nice, big grassy area to play right outside the trailer.

Monday 3rd August
Check in at the campground was 4pm, which meant we had plenty of time to pack the truck, hook up to the trailer, and drive the 160km, 150km of which would be on one highway, then 10km on one other road - navigation wasn't going to be a problem. As it was, the drive was very straightforward, and because trucks here drive as fast as cars, I didn't have to overtake a single vehicle all the way.
It still took us most of the day to pack, so it was 5.30pm before we arrived, but we might finally be getting the hang of leveling and setting up the trailer when we arrive, as we were all done by 6.15, and we set off to the nearest town to stock up on food and drink.
We had a fire, cooked some burgers and roasted some marshmallows, and then the kids went to bed fairly easily, albeit at after 10pm.
Tuesday 4th August
It rained overnight, and was still a bit cloudy and damp in the morning, so Olga cooked a breakfast and we just hung around the trailer until lunchtime, when the weather cleared up, and we took a walk to the main beach area of the lake, about 30 minutes walk away.  As soon as we arrived, the sun came out properly and it was lovely and warm, so Lara couldn't wait any longer to play in the lake, I headed back to the trailer to get the kids' swimsuits. The lake here is very safe, it shelves very gently, only reaching a metre deep more than 100 metres from the shore. By this time of the year, the water, whislt not "warm", isn't freezing either, so it wasn't a problem to pass a couple of hours here with Lara playing in the water and Dan making sandcastles. We headed back at 4pm to light a fire; the kids and I played while Olga cooked a chicken soup on our dutch oven over the fire. Dan was asleep in bed by 7.30pm, and though Lara went to bed at that time, and was up again not long later, even she was asleep by 9pm, so the fresh air and water had its desired effect.
Wednesday 5th August
Wednesday followed Tuesday's pattern, rain in the morning, this time with some decent thunder and lightening, then the sun came out in the afternoon long enough for us to go to the beach for a few hours. Lara made a friend while she was splashing about, Illyana, who is staying here for a week with her grandparents, so we might bump into them again before we leave. Dan wasn't keen on going into the water past his knees, which meant he cuold go about 30m if he wanted, but he stuck within 10m of the shore before coming back, complaining he was cold and wanting a cuddle and to play on his tablet.
We'd inflated our boat before heading to the beach, and I've fixed up our fishing rods as best I can, but we'll see when we get chance to use it. If nothing else it gives the kids something else to play in. They had their lunch of "Pirate Soup" while sitting in it today..
We had another good thunderstorm at teatime which meant we had an indoors-tea, watching a movie, before heading out to light a fire for roasting marshmallows, so it was 9pm before the kids went to their beds, and little while after that before they went to sleep.
They do sleep well here, and it's usually after 8am before one or both of them sneak into our room to see if we're awake.
Thursday 6th August
We decided to do something a little different today, as it was the first day of the 100th birthday celebrations in the local town, Bentley. We were able to park on the main street, which meant that we sat on the tailgate of our truck as the town's parade went past, and the kids collected a very unhealthy amount of sweets. Then it was off to see a magician, then into the town arena to see Mutton Bustin' where kids between 3 and 7 ride on the back of a sheep, like a very junior rodeo. If we'd known in advance we'd have brought the kids' skating helmets, and they would have had a go, but there's always the next rodeo. The weather held long enough for us to cook some steak kebabs on the fire, before retiring early-ish, even Olga and I were in bed before 12.
Friday 7th August
From this morning on the forecast looks good, so after a major lie-in - Dan didn't sneak into our room until 9.15am - we had a breakfast cooked on the outdoor kitchen, then headed down to the beach at lunchtime. Whilst it was sunny, it was rather windy, so after an hour or so we decided to head back to the trailer, where there was virtually no wind, and it felt much warmer. We set plenty of toys up for the kids, and filled a couple of plastic boxes with water for them to play in, and that was the afternoon taken care of.
At teatime we cooked some giant steaks, and opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate our second "Canniversary". The weather looks like being hot and clear for the weekend, and the staff at the campsite said they are full this weekend, so we'll soon see how busy the beach will get.
Saturday 8th - Monday 10th August
The weather was indeed hot and clear for the next four days, and those days followed a similar pattern. All through the trip the kids had been very good at not waking super-early, and coming to bother us, and this continued through the weekend. On Saturday and Monday we had nice, lazy mornings, enjoying breakfast then getting everything ready that we might need by the lake, and after a light lunch we head off for a few hours by the water. Or a few hours in it, in Lara's case.
Sunday was slightly different - we decided that we really needed some more floaty things, as all we had was one rubber ring between us, so on Sunday morning we drove to Red Deer, 30 minutes away, to have a McDonalds breakfast, and a wander round Walmart and Canadian Tire, buying a small rubber boat for Dan, another rubber ring for Olga and I to use, and a boogie board for Lara.
I'd blow all these things up at the trailer then drive the short distance to the car park for the beach area, and the kids helped to carry everything, looking very sweet as they did it. A few hours each dayt really was enough, and we'd head back about 4pm to start the campfire, ready to cook whatever was on the menu that day. Almost every meal was eaten outside, and most were cooked on the fire, or on the outside kitchen. On Monday evening I took my last opportunity to go fishing, and the kids came with me, but we were followed by a summer storm, which never actually hit us, but the lightening and thunder were enough to have the kids convince me to return to the trailer - we met Olga on the way back, who was coming down to the lake to rescue us.
Tuesday 11th August
Today was leaving day, and the kids excelled themselves in letting us have a lie in, it was getting close to 10am before we got out of bed, and we had to be off the campsite by 2pm. I'd deflated all the toys on Monday evening before going fishing, but in order to let Olga do the majority of the packing unhindered, I took the kids to Bentley for lunch to keep them out from being underfoot. As usual, we overran slightly, but it's best not to rush hooking a 34-foot trailer to your truck when you're going to pulling it at 70mph on a motorway for two hours. We left at 2.20pm, had an uneventful journey back to Airdrie, dropped the trailer at the storage place, grabbed a burger dinner from A&Ws on the way home and were back at Thorndale Close by 5.15pm. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Offer accepted on Windstone Crescent

So the sign went up outside here on Friday morning, we had a viewing on Saturday afternoon, another on Monday morning, and another on Wednesday morning, and then an offer on Wednesday afternoon!
There was some negotiation between the realtors during the evening, but we accepted a revised offer at 10pm Wednesday evening. So sometime in the next 10 days the prospective buyers will send a home inspector round to assess the place, and assuming he finds nothing to convince them to withdraw their offer, and their bank agrees to lend them the money (they've been preapproved by the bank it seems), then their offer becomes pretty much a done deal. If they change their minds after that, they lose their deposit (to us and our realtor).
The photographer that our realtor sent round took some very nice photos of the house, so I'll post them here for posterity. I'd credit him if I knew more than just his first name - Danny!

Now the real fun starts - house hunting. At the moment we've agreed to be out of here on 20th August, but if we find a suitable place much sooner than that, we'll negotiate about being out sooner.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Lara's first job!

Times might have changed, and we can't send Lara down the mine or to the mill to work at seven years old, but she has got her first job.  Her skating coach emailed today to officially request that she be a coach's assistant for the summer skating lessons sessions, where we have Dan enrolled. For his first set of lessons, she was allowed to help the coach out but it was all a bit unofficial. Today the head coach has given approval for Lara to be asked to help officially. There's no payment as such, of course, but she should get "something" at the end of the session for her efforts.