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I climbed on the back of a giant albatross... and ended up somewhere in Scotland

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On a Train

On a train in Buffalo, NY at the moment. We crossed the border at around noonish. Got thru customs and security fine.

We're headed to Rochester where we'll rent a car to Watkins Glen.

We're in business class, which is full. Some lady made a mistake when getting her ticket and only booked business class up to the border. Now people are getting on and she has to change seats to coach and is being a little awkward. Oh well.

Holiday so far

Been having a great holiday. in Hamilton, Ontario right now staying with Vito and Debbie.... Linda's cousins. Yesterday we had a big family gathering at Terry and Cass's house, with lots of other cousins.

Our holiday started when we went up to Glasgow to stay before our flight out last Sunday to Toronto. On arrival, we took a shuttle bus to our hotel at Niagara Falls, Ontario. We stayed at the very nice Marriott on the Falls hotel for three nights. Our room overlooked Horseshoe Falls. Spent a great few days walking around the falls and the streets, having food, seeing sights etc. Took a wine tasting tour on Tuesday as well as a helicopter ride over the falls area.

We've been in Hamilton since Wednesday. We went to Niagara-on-the-lake and to a supper festival Chrissy was selling her baking at. Thursday we went down to the shore of Lake Erie, to Port Dover, where we took a nice river cruise.

So it's been a great several days.... We're having more family visits today and tomorrow.

On Monday morning we'll start the next phase of our holiday as we take a train into New York state...

Fireworks

Wanted to mention... we picked a good time to go to Canada as they are celebrating their 150th birthday of being a nation. Lots of flags around. There were fireworks over the falls for that as well as for the Fourth of July on Tuesday.

Trip planning

My plan was to rent a car in Ontario and drive over a few days, with stops, to Massachusetts....  Turns out it's not all that easy to take a rental car one-way over the border....  and expensive, if it could be arranged at all.  So the latest plan is to take the Amtrak Maple Leaf train from Ontario into New York state.  We wanted to go to Watkins Glen, so we'll get off the train in Rochester, NY and take a bus to Ithaca.  That's as close as we can get by train and bus.  Taxi 30 miles will look like how we'll reach our final planned destination.  Or change plans, possibly.

We'll rent a car in Ithaca but I'm thinking of doing it at the end of our two night stay in Watkins Glen as everything we wanted to do will be right there.  We'll hike around the glen and we have a schooner boat trip on the lake booked.

An old friend from Natick days lives in Binghamton so we may get together for coffee or lunch.  Perhaps she can help us get back to Ithaca from Watkins Glen at the end of our stay there.

Weekends

So, last weekend was Guid Nychburris and we took Ayla and Adam to watch the horses go by in the Crichton again. Then to the farm fun place. This weekend we also have them and plan to go out for a meal. Next weekend we fly away to Canada.

Election Results

Mixed feelings about the election results.  Happy that Theresa May has failed spectacularly in her plan to boost the majority for the Tories by calling the snap election.  She really screwed up.  Not particularly happy that there's a hung parliament with the Tories still holding the most seats.  Happy that Labour has made a lot of gains.  Not happy that they didn't win enough to actually win the election.

Locally, I'm not happy that the Conservative candidate won in Dumfries and Galloway.  I voted for the Labour candidate, who came in third after the incumbant SNP candidate.  Happy that SNP lost, though.  SNP lost over 20 seats in Scotland which will delay the Indy2 referendum for at least a few more years, I think.

Monday

Went a slightly different way to work this morning.  A few cop cars were flashing their lights and making hand motions... and there was a queue of cars ahead of me....  looked like an accident ahead or something, so I ducked into a side road to try to get around it rather than get stuck in traffic.  Searching the internet now to see what it was all about, but can't find anything.  Puzzle puzzle.

This weekend we had the kids for a bit... went to the ice cream place.  Only one scoop was allowed by the boss (the wife).

Got a haircut this weekend, and got rid of some grey hair with Just For Men stuff.  People say I look a lot younger...  yeah, haircut.  I sort of dread someone saying, um, did you dye your hair ?  I 'spose it's not a big deal.... it's just never been something I thought I'd do, but I've done it a handful of times over the past couple years.  But I only do it after a haircut so it mostly just seems like it's the haircut that makes me look different, rather than putting stuff in my hair.

I got both pairs of my glasses fixed this weekend.... for free.  Now that's a bargain.  The nice guy at Boots Opticians took care of it for me.  Was considering whether I'd have to get new glasses as they were both a bit bent out of shape, falling off my face, etc..... but it turns out the guy fixed them up.... so I'm happy.

It's about a month 'til we go away.  Still need to arrange to rent a car... don't want to leave it too late.  Brian got a place for us all to meet up in Windham, NY.... north Catskills... for a few days.  It's a four bedroom house.

So, ahead of meeting them in the Catskills, we've got a few days in Niagara Falls, half a week in Hamilton, ON, then two days in Watkins Glen, NY.....  Catskills for a couple days.... then back to Leominster for a week....   Total three week holiday.  Looking forward to it.

Cat bother

We've had recent bother with one of our cats, or possibly another cat coming in, who has been spraying at the bin by the back door.  It's driving Linda around the bend, or bin....  She gets upset at things like this...  So after it kept happening, we tried putting all our cats it a cattery for several days, locking the cat flap while they were away, so that whoever it was would perhaps get rid of the habit.  That's the extent to which we needed to get rid of this problem.

Anyway, the cats came back last night and guess what ?  Within an hour, one of them has sprayed the bin again.

Must be some psychological problem.  Next step is a cat psychiatrist.

Horse BBQ

Yeah, I haven't mentioned... and I just want to get on here...

Last weekend the stables where we keep Meggie had a BBQ and Games Day type thing. It was fun. The fun went on into the evening with many adult beverages being had. We walked home as we live only 5 or 10 minutes walk away (but we normally drive anyway 'cause we're lazy gits).

There's a photo and video out there of me jumping over a horse jump... That was really my only activity on the day, aside from drinking and eating.... and watching the riders compete for the yard trophy.

Meggie was entered into the "best turned out" competition as Linda put some pink hair extensions into her mane and tail. I'll see if I can get a picture or two.

Here's Meggie and Linda...


and here's Seabiscuit jumping the final hurdle

Dumfries Debate

We went to the political debate in Easterbrook Hall last night, for the upcoming UK General Election. First time I've been to one in person in many, many years.... The turnout was a little less than expected, I think, as it was postponed for a week due to the Manchester bombing.

Anyway, glad I went... but it didn't change my expected vote, though. Just confirmed I will not be voting Tory to stop the SNP winning. I'd consider Lib Dem as I thought the candidate said some good stuff, but Lib Dems have absolutely no chance in my constituency of Dumfries and Galloway. The independent candidate will not be getting my vote. So... that leaves the Labour candidate, who I thought did well enough.... so Labour it is.

Ayla sports day

It's a Monday holiday today so I'm not at work. We went to see Ayla's sports day at St Andrews primary. She was a bit reluctant to do some of the races, but did a few, like the egg and spoon race... It started raining so everyone moved inside to the gym.

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Glasses lost and found

Nearly lost my glasses at the horse yesterday... found them on the ground in the hay when I realized they were missing and went back to search. whew. A little bent out of shape too. Thinking maybe I should get some new ones soon, maybe before I go away on holiday in about a month.

Man, it's hot today.

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Debate postponed

I wanted to mention.... I signed Linda and I up for tickets (free) to the Dumfries and Galloway debate for the UK parliamentary constituency we're in. Supposed to be at Easterbrook Hall tonight but it's been postponed because all campaigning has been suspended for a few days due to the terror attack in Manchester. It'll be put on next Wednesday.

Yer Blues

Also... for my Song Hall of Fame... "Yer Blues" by the Beatles

Lennon's tongue-in-cheek white-man-sings-the-blues song is a good one to play loud. Apparently, though, he was at a pretty low, suicidal mood when he wrote the song (in India). This is, like, the umpteenth song in here from the White Album.


Mr. Tambourine Man

And... for my Song Hall of Fame... "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan

Dylan at the peak of his poetic powers, perhaps. Surreal, proto-psychedelic imagery.

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