Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm qualified as a dog listener

I have just completed the Advanced Course in Amichien Canine Communication.
What a great 3 days it has been, and I have learned so much. Whether I choose to practice and give consultations to people with issues with their dog's unwanted behaviours, will be totally up to me. However, I am probably leaning towards fostering work or working with shelters and rescue centres. I have many choices ahead of me now and its comforting to know that they are there. 
And I have met so many different types of people and personalities, all brought together by our desire to understand the dog and how it can sometimes struggle to live within our human world; and knowing now that we are equipped with the knowledge to help.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Back home to reality

One thing that has fascinated Craig and I while we've been in London, are the urban foxes. They literally live in amongst the backyards. This guy above was our first. He sat and watched us watching him, quite nonchalantly.

Next we saw this guy sunning himself on a shed roof in the backyard that is attached to the house that we're renting the loft.

And this mum and cub were frolicking next door. Quite a novelty to us, but a right pain for residents as they rummage through rubbish bins and leave a stink behind wherever they go.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Brugge, Belgium

We had a lovely 3 days in Brugge in Flemish Belgium. A gorgeous little canal town not unlike Venice (except with less tourists and pigeons). We enjoyed walking the streets and discovering little squares and pretty vistas and bridges over the canalways. Our second day we took a 4 hour bike tour through the countryside around the old town. It was a glorious sunny day and we had a small group (3 plus our guide Jos) so we had a really informative time. I even tried a little Belgium beer called Kriek, which is a cherry flavoured beer (amongst the some 500+ varieties of Belgian beer). I could get to like that kind of sweet beer I have to say!
Our third day we just walked around the town and went to the Chocolate Museum. A fascinating story of how Belgium became such a centre for chocolate. There is also a new Fritje Museum: a museum dedicated to the fried potato chip, claimed to be invented by Belgiums (and not the French!). The Belgium fritje is a staple in Belgium. It comes accompanied with any food you order. You can also find vendors in market squares selling their fritjes with any number of sauces: mayonaise, tomato sauce, chilli sauce, curry sauce, mustard etc etc etc. So me being the fry queen, I really enjoyed the fritjes!
And Craig enjoyed the chocolates. There are so many chocolate shops in Brugge that it was hard to work out which ones were the good ones (some may argue that all Belgian chocolates are good) but Jos gave us a tip on the best (and most expensive) place to buy fresh hand made Belgian chocolates (that aren't factory made): The Chocolate Line. Amazing stuff there. I must say the smells that came out of some of those shops were amazing though. Mmmmm praline...

Brugge is also big on lace. I'm talking giant doilies and hankerchiefs and the like. But we never found out why but apparently its been big for 500 years. I did not buy any lace.
Sorry but photos will be uploaded when I get home in a few days time.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Fair weather at last

Wow we had lovely weather today: sunshine and warm even! I didn't need my jacket and scarf at all as I walked around Greenwich and the Royal Observatory.
We booked our trip to Bruge on the Eurostar today; we leave on Monday and back on Thursday. Just a short break in a Flemish town with canals. Looking forward to it. Weather looks good too: 23 degrees!! Woohoo!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away

My time in London has been marred by rain. Hard to get out and about when its pouring with rain. London is difficult to negotiate as it is with the sheer number of people here, let alone dodging puddles and umbrellas.
I have managed to get out a little bit, but have mainly stayed in SW London in Balham, where our flat is. Its kind of nice getting familiar with a place and becoming a bit of a local. We walk by this cute little italian restaurant on our way to Craig's office and the tube station and they wave and say hello. They have great food and a killer dessert.
Since my last update I have been shopping on Oxford Street and at Sloane Square. I've visited the British Museum and see the Rosetta Stone. Checked out the beautiful young people in Camden Town (kind of like St Kilda only bigger). Been to Borough Market under the railway bridges.

In the coming days I hope to make it to Greenwich and the Observatory, weather permitting. Sunday I will be catching up with a uni friend and we're going to Spitafields Market for some shopping and browsing. Plus Craig and I are planning on a little getaway for a few days; maybe to Paris, Lille or Brugge in Belgium. We had planned to go to Dubai but that idea will have to happen another time.
And while we've been here we've seen another baby arrive safely in the world to Andrew, Caroline and little Eva: Fergus was born on the 30th April. My second new born in 3 weeks.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A teenager

My gorgeous god daughter Ysabell is now thirteen years old. A teenager already. How time has flown by and she is becoming a young lady.
Happy Birthday Ysy!