We popped up to take a shot of the new church in the north east corner of Okotoks that acts as a land-mark for several miles around.
With all the space we have going spare in the basement, we thought it might be fun to start investing in a few cheap games to entertain us. First up, is Darts! At just $9 (about £4.50) from Wal Mart (including the darts), it cost next to nothing. We are both truly awful (but improving ever so slightly as time goes on). The games are tending to be pretty close run things. With the iPod set to throw out tunes from the Eighties to remind us of when we might last have played Darts, the game has already provided us with numerous hours fun, competing against eachother for the bragging rights.
The “post-it note” flipcharts and flipchart markers that stayed with Eamonn when he left BT have proved to be extremely useful for keeping score!
We’d like a Pool table but the Wal-Mart one is a bit flimsy so we’ll have to keep looking.
Until recently, Google Maps were using an out of date picture of our local community with lots of bare land awaiting house building. However, upon checking today, they have taken a new shot that shows our house and that of our neighbours. We’ve also marked the nearby community “beach house” which is our access point to the lake (unless we want to climb over the garden fences of a couple of our near neighbours!) You’ll see that those houses backing directly onto the lake each have a little jetty. It is from these, that the locals are making their way out onto the now frozen lake to clear ice hockey rinks and so on.
Wikipedia gives a good little summary of the history and geography of Okotoks.
It mentions the flooding risk but we’re situated way up out of the Sheep River valley and so hopefully any future flooding should not directly impact us.
…as they are innovative forragers and this bunch have taken up residence on our front porch.
We bought these at Spruce Meadows (a local show-jumping venue) when they held their Christmas Market recently. We spent an age choosing just the right three bears, each of which had a slightly different expression.
Danny, the chap who makes the bears (with a chainsaw!) was selling his wares directly and it was nice to be able to speak to him personally about his work. Here’s his website.
The problem, of course, is that the rest of the rooms and open areas now look that much more dreary…oh no, what have we started!
A number of people have asked us about the postal system here.
The first thing we should say is that postage is very expensive (especially for parcels), it feels quite dated, and it is a bit flaky.
The key difference from the UK is that you don’t get the post delivered to your door. Indeed, the doors do not have letterboxes. Instead, you are assigned a box at a nearby postal delivery station and the post-person drives up and pops all the post for the local area into the respective boxes. You’re given a key for your box and you pop along each day (or whenever you want) to see if you have mail. You can imagine how our little faces light up when we find mail in our box! Our box is just around the corner from the house, so it’s no big deal to walk (or in current weather conditions – more of that later – slide) over there to check. Here’s our postal station…our box is on the bottom row of the middle section.