Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Are we mad????

We are both doing the London Marathon this year!!!

I am running for Shelter, a housing and homelessness charity, and Joe is running for Sense, a charity helping deafblinded people.
Joe has known for a few weeks now of his fate on 25 April but I just signed up today!!!
More news later because franlky I am too shaken to write any more!

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Alphabet Dinner strikes again!

Some of my followers may know about the Alphabet Dinners already, but for those who don't, here's a little history and explanation of what it is:
Sometime in 2006 or 07 (eek!  they've been going on for a bit now!), we and three other couples wanted to figure out a fun way to catch up with each other on a regular basis, doing something that wouldn't cost the Earth.
We decided on dinner parties, held in regular intervals, roughly once every 2 months.  Not just any old dinner party, it would follow the letters of the alphabet.  Each letter must represent a country and its cuisine.  Yes, only countries - no provinces, no cities, no states (and we are very strict with our rules, well with the expection of the letter Q). 
Several points to mention here:
  • None of the countries of our patronage could be used at all in the process.  Being quite the international group of 8, The States, India, China, Ireland and Vietnam were automatically struck from the record. 
  • Restaurant wildcard could only be used once every 2 turns.  Hence, if you wanted to eat out on your turn, the next time around you would have to cook.
So, wide eyed, naive and excited, we embarked on this epic, eternal dinner party.
Three years on, one new baby, countless disputes whilst cooking and 17 letters later, we arrived at Q on Saturday night. 
Only one country comes to mind for the letter Q.  Lucky us, it was our turn (not jaded at all by the fact that the three other couples get easy street with R, S and T, but nevermind....).
We decided to take a stance and risk the consequences of breaking the "Alphabet Rules" and told everyone we weren't going to do Qatar - we were going to celebrate Quebec.  Heck, Quebec has been fighting for independance for so long anyway, it might as well be its own country!
Joe planned the menu and we prepped together.  All I have to say is WOW, those Quebecians (or whatever you call em) sure like their stodge!
Ham and Yellow Split Pea Soup
Salmon and mash pie
Roast Dusk with Pecan stuffing
Poutine (french fries with cheese, bacon and gravy)
Maple Syrup Pie

Afterwards, my stomach was a brick.  None of us could really sit upright at the end, but it felt good to know we only have two more letters to go for our contribution!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Speaking of the Big Chill....

Just got a chance to look through some photos Shari (my sister) sent me of their trip to Chicago a few years ago..
and to my fellow Brits, this WAS my childhood......every year!
the only two things that are different about this photo than one taken in the early 80s is my dad's age and the actual kid  - otherwise this is the stock winter photo for the Lock household - now with grandkid being photographed!
From Drop Box

mom and coco out front. 

the snow is so thick the swing can't move much!

the stock winter outfit for chicago!

sis and fam - look at the size of that!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Big Chill

I feel pretty lucky that I have seen snow more than a few occassions in London over the past eight years.  It has never been much, but enough to bring back those fab childhood memories of building snow forts, sledding on Briargate Hill, snowball fights, the 20 minute mandatory "get ready to go outside" ritual filled with moonboots, sledding pants, winter jacket, long underwear, scarf, mittens, hat, double sock layer, double trouser layer, double shirt layer.....you get the idea.
Well, winter came with a vengence this year.  Snow everywhere!  London was hit and the snow actually stayed because of the freezing temps.  All outside London got dumped on causing travel chaos like nothing seen in decades, and which will not be soon forgotten. 
And boy was that snow THE perfect packing snow!  Kids in the street slamming snow balls at each other, Joe smashing one in my face (yep, what a guy!) and snowmen everywhere - a winter wonderland!
So, here is what we got up to on one of the bigger snow days - my first snow man in a good 20 years!