Music from my family

A couple of weeks ago in Canada part of my family had a reunion. They’re what you could call the musical part of my family. Here’s a couple of short video clips I took.

My cousin playing the bagpipes:

My uncle singing a song he wrote about working in the Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre (VIC). My cousin (the same one who plays bagpipes) accompanies on guitar:

My uncle, my cousin, and a family friend have a little banjo/fiddle/guitar session:

Not kidding

Continuing their Kid Fun Tour of England, SWMNBN’s nephew and his mom hit London again yesterday, this time on their own while we went to work. They did the Tower of London, Hamleys toy store, the mummies at the British Museum, and – best of all, by all reports – the Science Museum, especially theScience of Spying exhibit. That night, I also got to play a round of a board game they picked up: Outrage! a board game where you try to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.


We had supper at our local Italian, Osteria del Portico (awesome, as usual). They fly back to Canada today. It was a super trip for him, and I’m sure his friends will be bored to tears with his constant stories.

Chelsea 3 Blackburn 0

SWMNBN’s brother-in-law stayed with us again last night after finishing his work stuff here in London; he goes home today. Because he’s into sport he had asked, before coming over, if we might go see a Premiership football match. As it happens, we live quite close to Chelsea’s home at Stamford Bridge, and they played Blackburn there last night. I was able to get tickets for us when they went on sale a few weeks back.

It was fun. I’ve only been to two Premiership matches in the 6 years I’ve been here. Like all sports, it’s better watched live. I don’t follow football here at all, but – just by osmosis from news and papers – I knew what was going on: 2nd-place Chelsea in a bit of a slump with Liverpool and Arsenal coming up behind them, middle-of-the-pack Blackburn on a bit of a winning streak, Chelsea distracted by speculation on the departure of coach José Mourinho.

Anyhow, it was a decent match to watch. Although Chelsea won 3-0 they didn’t dominate. It was more like several sharp bursts of skill on Chelsea’s part to get those goals, and some very good goalkeeping by them. Blackburn got several chances.

The big moment of the game was actually when Ashley Cole, going up the side with the ball and no one near him, misplaced a foot right on top of the ball and went over on it. It looked painful. They had to stretcher him off. No word yet on how seriously he’s messed up his knee.

At the end of the day, it was a fun night out. It’s always a fun and exciting vibe at a good football match, with the crowd singing and chanting. The quality of football was good. It’s a proper British thing to do.

After the game we walked down the road to 24-hour restaurant Vingt Quatrefor a late meal.

2007 underway

That was a very quick and efficient flight home. We’re now safe and snug at our flat. Ealing looks the same. All is quiet on New Year’s Day*. On the to-do list now are laundry, packing for skiing (after checking if there’s snow in the Alps), and nursing my sore throat.

It was a good holiday. Our families rock.

*Apologies to U2. It gives me a feeling of community to know that – all around the world – bloggers are making that lame reference.


It was another family night out last night, this time with SWMNBN’s side. We hit Gio, a hot new restaurant in Halifax’s Prince George hotel. Another very swish place to know in the city. It was a very good time.

Now we’re back on the farm for a final 30 hours or so. We’re packing so much in that it feels like we’ve been holidaying for weeks.

Tomorrow – new year’s eve – we fly out.