Archive for December, 2012

Taking Mom to Richmond Park

Monday, December 31st, 2012

This has sort of become a tradition of sorts around our place.  Come to visit and we’re very likely going to Richmond Park.  I think we both just really love it there but need some sort of excuse to make the trip out.  Especially now as it’s a couple of bus rides away.

We found this willing group of bucks to pose as some nice background decoration for us.

We had much more success finding the deer than we did at our last family outing.  The winter weather had killed off most of the shoulder-height ferns so there wasn’t anywhere for the deer to hide.  Well, apart from being somewhere in the vastness that is Richmond Park.  Fortunately we didn’t have to wait too long to find them, we just needed to be willing to get our shoes a bit muddy.  It has definitely rained this year!

A couple of birds flying over the pond at the center of the park.

I’ve been enough times now that I can act as a bit of a mini tour-guide, provided I can keep to the general middle area of the park.  We did a wide loop around the ponds and through as many of the treed in areas as we could.  I enjoy the wide open spaces as much as the next prairie raised lad, but the bitter winds had us seeking as much shelter as possible in order to prolong our hike.

Another one of the large Red deer.

All in all a very successful deer spotting sojourn.  I think mom was quite happy with the wildlife, which is saying something for someone who grew up in Vancouver with the Rocky Mountains on her doorstep.  There are a few more images in the gallery, but they’re mostly family images.  If you’re after more deer photos, I was at the park with gusto earlier in the year to get my fill of deer shots.

Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

This post is mainly here as a showcase for the the amazing Christmas Goose that we cooked this year.  I don’t want to waste any time, so here it is!

And one more shot of our lovely goose.

Not to toot my own horn, but does that not look like it’s right out of a magazine?  We were all incredibly pleased with how it turned out, especially as most of us had never even eaten a goose let alone cooked one.  How did it taste?  Well, the flavour was really lovely with all of the citrus fruit and spices we rammed into it while cooking, but if I’m honest it was a bit dry.  And there isn’t much meat on one of these guys compared to a turkey.  The estimate was for 5-6 people with this goose, but only one of us had any leftovers the next day before it was all gone.

Some of our side dishes (yay for sweet potatos with marshmallows!)

The sides didn’t turn out to terribly either.  I got my sweet potatoes smothered in marshmallows and I added enough bacon and butter to the brussels sprouts to make them palatable for everyone.  The ‘roasted potatoes’ where more like ‘soft boiled in goose fat’.  Not was I was aiming for, but if I were to write a cook book my secret for everything would be to soak it in goose fat. Instant deliciousness!

Some more mom-sponsored ornaments.

I’m making myself hungry again, so I’ll end on this photo of one of the cute new ornaments mom hauled over from the mother land.  There are a few more images of our Christmas day in the gallery!

Christmas Portraits

Monday, December 24th, 2012

For the past couple of years we’ve been doing Christmas portraits and this year was no different.  We had mom visiting so it was another special year, though the photos were a bit trickier to do in our tiny flat.  Still, we’re happy with the results and very happy to have been able to share the holidays with my mom (who, by the way, is a terrible cheater when playing any type of board/card/dice game.  That’s right mom, it’s on the Internet so it must be true!).

I realize now that I probably shouldn’t have posted the link to our 2010 Christmas photos.  The keen viewers out there might have realized that I’m wearing the same sweater/jumper.  I seem to only have two that are suitable and just rotate them out each year.  Look out for the return of the purple one in 2013!

Our Christmas Family!

Here is my lovely (London based) family for the holidays.

And some more Christmas nibbles.

I didn’t want to bore you with too many photos of the same three people over and over again, so here’s some of the snacks we had that night.  I don’t know about you, but it makes me painfully hungry just looking at that photo.  I don’t know why I save mini-burgers for special occasions.  They really should be an everyday affair.

There’s a few more family style images in the gallery.

Well done Parcelforce

Monday, December 10th, 2012

At some point in 2010 I started following this artist on twitter.  Something about his style really interested me and I knew I wanted to own one of his pieces, I just had to figure out which.  After looking through his archives and several months of watching his new posts, I finally found the one for me.

So a couple of quick emails to the artist, a painless Paypal payment and I had my tracking number.  All I had to do was wait.  And wait I did!

The package was shipped in April of 2011 and was successfully delivered around August 15th, 2012.  I say around as at that time in 2011 I was subletting from a friend and the package was delivered to her place. I’m not 100% sure of the date it arrived, but that’s about when she called me to say she had received it.  I just met up with her last week so I didn’t get my hands on it till then (hence the delay in my post).

This is the post mark, 29/04/2011 and it was delivered 17/08/2012

You can see here the post mark from 2011.  The next two images are just to show that there isn’t anything on the packaging to explain the lengthy delays…

Here's the package as it arrived.  No marks or notes to give a hint as to where it's been for the past 16 months.

Again, nothing interesting.

I have a screenshot of the tracking information from which you can find here.  It’s pretty clear that the folks from USPS got the package into the country without too much hassle, but it seems to have fallen behind a desk for a year after that.

Here’s a rather cute note attached to the back of the painting.  I like to think that it was this little guy who helped the package arrive in the end!

A slightly commical note (given the circumstances) written by the artist

And here’s a quick photo of the piece.  I’m very pleased it arrived in the end, it’s getting framed shortly and will be the first thing I hang in our new home when we move in next year!

And just in case you were interested, here is what I was waiting so long for!