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  • M&A

Day 4 - Aunt Carole’s Dahlias and other stories!

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

We set off on our morning walk a whole hour later than yesterday and you could tell. The roads were a lot busier and although it was still cool and fresh you could tell it was going to be a bit of a scorcher as the day progressed. Not far from Myrna’s are the Guisachan gardens, the ‘place of the fir’, a lovely garden habitat purchased by Lord and Lady Aberdeen back in 1890. The gardens are beautiful and are host to a wonderful display of brightly coloured flowers, most prominent being the lovely dahlias. We even saw what we thought was a black squirrel prancing across the carpark. When we enquired with the gardener we were told they were introduced here many years ago and are quite evasive, not getting on with the grey squirrels and driving them away. Bit like the grey/red squirrel communities back in the UK.

Something we see every day on our walks are Quails. I’ve never seen Quails in real life before, only on a dinner plate but round these parts you see them in abundance. They’re quaint little things, move quite fast on the ground, are vocal and always stick together. We’ve seen quite a few in Myrna’s garden as well as on our early morning walks, usually foraging in people’s front gardens. They seem as common here as the common sparrow back in the UK, and although small, they’re much bigger than a sparrow. Lovely little thing they are.

It was obviously ‘bin’ day today as all the bin trucks were out in force on the roads and we soon became transfixed by how these operate. It’s a one man band over here due to the trucks having hydraulic arms on the side of the truck that reach out for the bin on the sidewalk, grab it round its waist, lift it up and empty its contents into the back of the truck. Fascinating. We managed to keep a safe distance whilst we videoed this spectacle, any nearer and who knows……we could have found ourselves squeezed in between the mechanicals arms and swept off our feet! Of course, like anything it has its pros and cons. Pros…reduces the amount of man power required and Cons….residents need to ensure their bins are placed in a certain position on the sidewalk. Will it catch on in the UK. That’s something to debate!

We enjoyed our morning cappuccino at the Bean Scene cafe, a lovely little rustic cafe on the high street which gave us the kick-start we needed to contend with the day ahead. It was another lovely walk that took us to a small beach along the lake where we watched a group of women and children take to their paddle boards. The water looked very inviting and we made a pact to go swimming at least once whilst were here. Walking back to the house it was like someone had flicked a switch as the temperature shot up by at least ten degrees and we could feel the intense heat on our backs. It was going to be a very hot day!

Back at Myrna’s we were just tucking into brunch when Peggy, one of Myrna’s neighbours popped round laden with loaves of bread and buns, baked by Cobbs bakery, a renowned bakers here in Kelowna who donate to food banks, people in need and shelters for the homeless. Peggy is a volunteer who helps distribute these loaves of bread to the various organisations but she couldn’t get rid of these as the places were over-stocked and unable to take any more donations so she brought them round for Myrna. With this welcome and unexpected stash of bread we thought we’d give a loaf to Carole and Mark when we see them later and give the buns to Tara and Dave when we go over there next week. They’re such nice buns however, we’re not sure if we’ll have anything left to take!

After brunch we thought we’d sit outside and catch some rays, you know, to try and retrain our healthy glow. It was midday and the heat was so intense, must be at least 30degrees by now and the chairs were so hot that we could only muster 10 minutes before we admitted defeat and returned indoors to cool down. Maice took it upon herself to stew some of Myrna’s home grown rhubarb so having prepared it and cut it into chunks she put in on the stove to stew and promptly forgot about it. So tomorrow our breakfast will consist of yoghurt, topped with a stewed caramelised rhubarb infused with a smoky burnished essence. Yummy……..can’t wait!!!!

I felt a bit debilitated without being able to use my phone here, not that I wanted to text or phone people but at least wanted to have the option of using the camera element. We decided to regroup at the breakfast bar and put our thinking caps on. Surely I could take photos without a SIM? We put it to the test and it transpires that yes, I could. Good, we’re making progress. So, next question. How can I transfer them into our holiday folder? Mmmm, that’s a tricky one. We need the internet. Can I still connect to the internet without a SIM? We deliberated on that one and thought why couldn’t we? Surely it would be no different to using an iPad which don’t use a SIM. So, I connected to the Wi-Fi and lo-and-behold, voila, we have lift-off. Well, who knew that even without a SIM as long as you connect to the internet you can still access everything on your phone except to make calls or send text messages. You see, you learn something new every day, or is it so glaringly obvious to everyone else but us that you could do this?

This afternoon we’re off to ‘Aunt Carole’s’ for a family gathering. We decided upon a siesta before we left as we didn’t want to risk falling asleep when we were there as it’s going to be a late night, and you know we’re not night owls! The three of us dolled ourselves up, put on our finest and set off across the bridge to West Kelowna. I must say, it’s taken me a while to get my head around the family tree and remember everyone’s names but here goes…….

Myrna (Maice’s mum) has two daughters, Maice and Tara, but you don’t pronounce it as Tara as in Gone with the Wind but pronounced as in Terror. Tara Terror is married to Dave and they have 2 daughters, Kerris and Katana and a son named Kyran (yes, all the K’s) and they live in Kelowna (another K) with their menagerie of pets. Carole, Myrna’s sister is married to Mark and they live in the house on the hill that mark built 30 years ago and they have two daughters; Ginger who’s married to Sean (a Paul Hollywood lookalike, he of The Great British Bake Off programme) and they have a son called Blaise and Tina whose partner is Scott and they live in Vancouver. Everyone named above, except for Tina, Scott and the three K’s will be at Carole and Mark’s soirée at their house over the bridge in West Kelowna.

Well, I am happy to report that a good time was had by all at Carole and Mark’s soirée. Their house on the hill is lovely with lovely flower beds and has some amazing views. We all sat in the garden underneath the shade of the big maple tree eating, drinking, chatting and making involuntarily hand movements as we swotted away the wasps that kept annoying us all. We ate lasagne, enjoyed some amazing home made salads, garlic bread and for pudding, ice-cream, fruit and cookies. Delicious.

The topic of conversation flowed from one topic to the next ranging from a) why are their wasps on the planet b) how to roll a kayak without drowning c) bathing suits v swimming costumes v swimsuits (here they call a swimming costume a bathing suit which I say is something stripey the Victorians used to wear to go into the sea) d) plants and flowers….particularly dahlias and e) hawks, quail, moths and an abundance of other stuff! After supper we, the ladies retired to the flower beds to admire Carole’s dahlias which come in all shapes, sizes and colours and which she very generously shared around. The evening was a great success and definitely gets a 10/10 from us!

We arrived home at just after 10pm, cracked open a bottle of wine, retired to the lounge and promptly fell asleep. Well Maice and I did……Myrna was still wide awake! We took ourselves off to bed as we’ve got a busy day tomorrow. We’re off to a local music festival with Tara Terror and Dave which we’re really looking forward to. It’s going to be another late night, well for us it is.

And finally, we would just like to give a huge Birthday shout out to Milly who is 13 today. Alison at Purrfect Cattery is arranging her birthday party full of treats to make her special day, special. Milly, you’re gorgeous…….just like her mumsy!!! 🥰. Happy Birthday my lovely x

Night all……..M&Axx

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