All posts by Eamonn


We’ve been delighted to receive a variety of new home and Christmas cards. They have all been so welcome. One, in particular, really took us by surprise, so much so that we have framed it and it is now hanging on the wall. The author will instantly recognise her handiwork, thank you to Sue, Jan’s sister, who hand painted such an accurate picture of our new house without having seen it “in the flesh”. Again though, sincere thanks to everyone for the well-wishes.



So, after a month of waiting, we took possession of our new house on Wednesday, 14th November. However, we spent that night as our final night at the barn as we had to wait until the following day until our UK furniture (and a number of other items) were delivered.

We were pleasantly surprised to see how much stuff we could fit into the carĀ (we had been stock-piling essential purchases at the barn over the prior few weeks).

On Thursday morning, we arrived at the house bright and early and shortly afterwards, the lorry delivering our goods shipped from the UK, arrived.

There were just two, apparently slightly built chaps on board to shift all our belongings but boy, could they carry heavy loads! They would reach behind their backs and grab the far edges of a package and then run into the house and if necessary, up the steps) with the package (some of which were extremely heavy) behind them. It looked weird but was very effective. They unpacked many of the boxes for us and left us to do others when we told them that was OK. Our driveway was a mass of packing debris when they finished some hours later.

The lads did a pretty professional job on the whole, especially as they had to work around a series of other deliveries from other companies (ie: sofas, TV, etc) the same day. We do have some damage to a small number of items but versus our expectations of moving a house full of things 4,400 miles, we’re reasonably satisfied with how things went.


Mmmm Pie!

We went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market today, which was really nice. It is an indoor affair.

We stopped off at a pie stall and the stall holder, picked up on our accents immediately. We were drawn to the stall by a sign saying “Melton Mowbray Pies”, which you don’t expect to see 4,400 miles from the UK and the stall holder advised that the owner of the business had been trained by Melton Mowbray. We got a steak pie for tea, with a tub of extra gravy thrown in and two pork pies (made just yesterday) for our lunch. These were very possibly the finest pork pies we have ever had!

At another pie stall, (honestly, there were more than pies for sale at the market!), they were giving away samples. We tried the Steak and Kidney Pie and we both thought that it would put up a fair fight with the fabled Ye Horns Inn Steak and Kidney Pie (for those of our readers who know that very excellent establishment/fayre).
We also bought organic meat, in the form of Bison Steaks, Chicken, Beef and Sausages. We sampled the sausages while we were there and they were delicious. There seemed to be a good range of organic and non-organic fruit and veg on various stalls, as well as fruit cakes, biscuits and other baked goods, gift items and so on.
It’s open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, year ’round and as long as the meat we have bought tastes good when cooked, we would definitely make the Calgary Farmer’s Market a regular haunt.
After the farmer’s market, we drove to Millarville Christmas Market at the Millarville Race Track.

There seem to be an abundance of Christmas Markets coming up in various locations, so that should be fun. Janet enjoyed some roasted chestnuts as we strolled and there were a number of stall holders that we might consider buying from if we see them at future markets…but for today, we were very disciplined and kept our dollars in our pockets.

Calgary Hitmen V’s Everett Silvertips

We went to our first Ice Hockey match today. It was held at the Pengrowth Saddledome (we have attached a picture of the Pengrowth as we will hopefully be attending lots of events there over the coming months). This was also where we went to see the Brad Paisley concert we mentioned in an earlier post.

We were invited along to the Hockey game by Brian, the teller we end up using most often at the bank we’re with here. We don’t recall Lloyds TSB ever inviting us to anything at all over 7 years with them in the UK!

Well what of the game. Everett Silvertips are a Washington State based team so there was a good level of USA/Canada rivalry – mostly on the ice – where punch-ups were interuppted by occasional passages of play! Notably, any time the puck went near one goal or the other, it seemed to trigger a mass scramble that would develop into a mass brawl. On occasions players would shed helmets, gloves and sticks and dive into eachother, fists flailing, knocking seven bells out of eachother. What fun!

Seriously though, it was fast and furious and skillful but not without danger to the crowd as, surprisingly we thought, the puck disappeared at speed into the crowd on at least half a dozen occasions, despite there being barriers and nets to mitigate that risk.

Unfortunately, the Calgary Hitmen went down by 4 goals to 2 and played the last several minutes without a Goaltender (goalkeeper in soccer speak) as they threw on an extra attacking player in a desperate attempt to make up the deficit.

One of the joys of going to the Pengrowth (situated just south of Downtown Calgary) is that you seem to be able to drive away from it with ease. We made it from the exit of the building to the car and then to the southern edge of Calgary in about 20 minutes…which encourages you to go and see such events as it’s not a major drag to either get there or get home.

A good first experience of Ice Hockey and we think we could well see ourselves going along to a Calgary Flames game (which is sort of at the Premiership level, tonight’s game being a sort of Championship level affair…apologies to those that don’t know what that means in terms of soccer).



Well, here she is. May we introduce Lily (after our number plate).
Having considered all the options carefully (well, this IS Janet and Eamonn we’re talking about here!) we thought, what the hell, we only live once, let’s get what we want!
Is it fuel efficient?…errr no!
Does it have eight leather seats, front seats both heated and cooled, air con, sun roof, power tailgate, 6 CD player, iPod Line in aux socket, satellite radio, memory seats, adjustable foot pedals, DVD player for the 2nd and 3rd row seats, (3rd row seats that fold down at the touch of a button), 700km on the clock, wireless garage opener and things we haven’t even figured out yet?….YES! Can it haul a load the size and weight of the 20ft container that our life’s belongings are in transit in at the moment?…apparently so! Is it fun to drive?…oh YES, YES, YES!!
Here she is against the Dodge Magnum hire car we have been driving for the last couple of weeks. This itself is an estate sized car but is sort of dwarfed.
Now we have the SUV, we decided to return the hire car today….which meant Jan following Eam all the way from De Winton to Calgary Airport (50km) where the car hire office is…up the busiest highway in Calgary, the Deerfoot Trail. With only country music radio for company, she weaved in and out of the traffic like she’d been doing it for years and we both arrived safely at the airport before dropping off the car and leaving together in Lily!