Wednesday, April 04, 2012

2012 Gadget family update!

To those that occasionally pop in to see how we are doing.....WE HAVE PR.

Yep, in January 2011 we finally got our visas after jumping all the hurdles required of us.

A friend a couple of doors down from my brothers got a job in Alberta and wanted to sell her house, and another friend along the road said that he had too much work and would Gadgetman get over as quickly as possible. Gadgetman the completed and passed an oil-furnace course so that he can continue working on heating systems out there.

So our house went on the market and I joined Ebay to sell off some of Gadgetman’s hoardings, sold 750 items in the end making about £7,000.

We sold the house in July and Gadgetman and Gadgetgirlie have been over on Vancouver Island since August 2011. Gadgeteen was 18 by then and wasn’t sure that he wanted to go. He moved out and sofa-surfed until he ran out of welcoming sofas in November and flew out to join the others.

I will be there by the end of the year but I have to stay in order to turn 50 which is when I can receive my monthly pension. hopefully it'll be enough to avoid work but we'll see.

We have bought a house on an acre of land just 2 houses away from my brothers. Gadgetgirlie catches the big yellow school bus every day and Gadgeteen is doing a summer job cutting grass.

Gadgetman is recovering from a ligament injury done on a skiing trip and is struggling to get work. He is getting on with life there and making friends locally but looks forward to me being there too. He and a neighbour are converting the shack at the back of our house into a cabin for Gadgeteen. The main house only has 2 bedrooms and he has been living in a crowded basement.....The cabin, which will be a two-bedroomed cabin with a kitchen and bathroom, is looking beautiful now and yet there seems to be so much more to do before it is up and running as a separate living area.

Both kids are snowboarding through the winter months and Gadgetgirlie in particular spends a lot of weekends either up mount Washington or playing soccer in a team, her other main pastime.

Gadgeteen still suffers the affects of Aspbergers and struggles through daily life in a way that I don’t. We promised him a dog if he went to Canada so now he has a dog now who is a German Shepherd/Malamute mix and who came with the name of Dakota from the local SPCA. Gadgeteen also has a girlfriend who helps him along the way….He loves driving and uses one of the old cars that we have bought.

Gadgetgirlie has a grey cat whom she has called Carlos. Carlos and Dakota tear around the house provoking eachother, well, mainly Carlos prokokes Dakota.

I am lodging with a friend and her family and missing my family more than I thought I would….

Still, I spent 5 weeks out there at Christmas, will be spending 3 weeks there in May and 7 weeks there in the summer so the next 8 months will pass much more quickly than the first 8 months since they moved.

I am so looking forward to getting out there so that we can be a family again. My heart feels like it is breaking everytime we separate.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


6 weeks in Canada, both on and off Vancouver Island has flown by and now we're back to the next stage of our immigration plans. Gadgetman's TB testing has resulted in a negative result as we thought it would and he has been back to have a further x-ray taken. This has been sent back to the Canadian High Commission and hopefully the next contact will be a request from them to send our passports in for shiny visas to be inserted.

Our summer on Vancouver Island was spent mainly out amongst the islands sailing something.........

My happy brother Graham.....
with a flotilla of boats moored together at some stages. We even saw a grey whale......

....this time which caused much early morning excitement all round. It only surfaced about three times so it was difficult to tell where to aim the camera to get a good shot. This was about the best of the lot, showing the last of the tail as it dove. Then it was gone, and although we turned around to follow it's path, it didn't surface for about 2.5 minutes and was just too far away to get a good shot.
Raccoons...... pitter-pattered along the decks at night whilst moored at the dock at Newcastle Island, bald eagles soared overheard at many anchorages, seals poked their heads up inquisitively as we sailed or motored along, and we saw lots of loons, pilliated woodpeckers, cormorants and herons amongst other birds. The kids caught us crabs for dinner...... Graham, my brother, set prawn traps as well, and also went off to remote rocks in the dinghy to collect oysters, which he prepared and cooked in garlic and butter. Absolutely scrummy. This was dinner one evening....

....and Graham's feet for perspective!

We experienced some aaaaaah-type sunsets......

We met quite a few 'live-aboards' and friends of my brother and his wife who also cruise amongst the islands during the summer and had many an evening in the cockpit involving alcohol and singing.

The kids and I stayed up late on the 12th August for the Perseid meteor showers, allegedly 200 could be seen in 4 hours but 20 in an hr was enough for me and thrilling for us all. There was no moon and we were anchored off Herriot Bay on Quadra Island, (near the green bit in this photo), so light density was very low. What a great experience that was.

The day before we set off sailing we spent the day at The Filberg Festival in Comox, an annual arts and crafts show/festival. I had a moving and serendipitous meeting there with an artist called Monk. She paints and teaches for a living and lives on Vancouver Island at Rathtrevor beach. She was an amazing presence and we spent about an hour there with her talking and watching her paint. Before leaving I decided that I was going to buy one of paintings that had been printed. I profered the $50 for payment but she refused payment, saying that she felt so fortunate to have met us that she wanted me to have the painting with her love. I was moved to tears and we hugged. What a powerful and emotional encounter we had though difficult to describe here.

We had THE most fun water balloon fight of all times between 3 boats whilst enroute from one anchorage to another. Hundreds of water balloons were prepared in advance.....then it was game ON....
as attack after attack took place......

Gman & Gadgeteen left us soon after and headed back up island for a few days 'on dry land' and Gadgetgirlie and I sailed on back up north home with the others. GG usually stayed on the larger boat and I had whoever would crew with me for the day. Our last stop was at a beautiful anchorage called Codfish bay on Jedediah Island and this is our flotilla..... On the left is the hobiecat with the rubber dinghy on top and Berceau's dinghy tied by the stern, then Berceau, (I'm getting the charts out for the days sail), then Moku Lana, then my other brother, Pete's best friend's boat. On deck Moku Lana has another sailing dinghy...... ......3 kayaks, and a surfboard.

Here's the family photo taken that day, minus Gman & Gteen of course.....

I know......I know....this has turned out to be quite a lengthy post and I have stayed up far too late but I really wanted to post something and am also having trouble uploading photos onto Facebook.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ride to Littlehampton

It's too hot at home, and too hot to spend the day on my bike behind the trike so we're out on the Trike for the day and decide to ride down to pick up Annette.

A bit of Arundel castle

Sea view

Schooner with a mizzen staysail up

Dodgy maniac on the dodgems

Cafe at West beach
The trike

Another boat coming in

Arundel church

Green ride

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mainly Cornwall

Oh dear, I'm struggling to find the motivation to write at the moment.

Andy has done his sputum samples and delivered them for incubation. I received a nice email from CHC saying that because of this further medical request we wouldn't be able to land in the summer as hoped for. How surprising to receive an email from a real person in CHC! I now know that I have contact with our case officer if I have any queries, which is useful.

I spent a lovely half-term week with Gadgetgirlie in Cornwall. We stayed with Ian and Clare, in Snozzle, (St. Austel), and then spent a few days in a B & B in Falmouth.

GG & I visited the old harbour of Charlestown and went aboard a brigantine....

and another day we had a walk through a different seaside town called Polperro....

Ian took us for a fab walk up on Bodmin Moor where there were these weird giant skimming-type stones on top of each other on top of a tor.

Then we met a lovely couple at a market one day, a wood turner and his wife and we spent ages at their stall. She saw that GG was fascinated with the different items on the stall that her husband Pete had made, and invited her to have a go at making something at their place near Truro, so on our way to Falmouth we spent lunch and a sunny afternoon at their remote home. GG made a hawthorn bowl.

Falmouth was a great town for us to base in. We spent most of one day at the National Maritime Museum and as we wandered outside I spotted a familiar boat there called ‘Curlew’. She belonged to a couple called Tim & Pauline Carr, who Mum & Dad were friends with in Malta back in 1969. They went on to travel all over the world, ending up in South Georgia where they wrote a book called ‘Antarctic Oasis’. I believe that they donated their boat to the museum and now live somewhere in Devon.

We rented a 14’ dinghy called a ‘Bosun’ one evening. GG hadn’t been in a boat of such a small size before and I put her in charge of the jib and the camera. We had fun sailing around the huge harbour and fortunately for GG there wasn’t much wind. I would have liked a bit more wind.

Another day we drove over to Perrenporth on the north coast of Cornwall, picturesque drive and view but the beach was just too crowded and windy for our liking. We went shopping in the town instead…

Neither of us wanted the week to end because we had settled into enjoying each other’s company and found our time so easy and fun together. I don’t think I’d ever spent a week with just GG before and I will always treasure the closeness that we found, laughing at the same things till we cried…

Gadgeteen is struggling through the final weeks of assignments at college and I hope he has done enough to return for the 2nd year. We have all been quite stressed about his work load because he’s left so much to the last knockings. Still, I think he’s done them all now. He breaks up next week so I hope so.

Since I last wrote he has passed his ‘Passplus’ course, which should make car insurance cheaper, though we were quoted £3,400 for him to be insured on a Fiat Cinquento before the course and still wouldn’t be able to afford to insure him. We’ll have to look again when he is 18 in November.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Gadgetman received a letter from the CHC yesterday saying that he has to provide sputum smears and cultures for mycobacterium tuberculosis, taken on 3 consecutive days and incubated for 6-8 weeks. Then he has to have another chest x-ray on or after 24/7/10.

The consequence of this is that we will not be able to 'Land' in Canada when we go out for a Holiday on 22/7.

What this all means in layman's language, is that there is some kind of shadow on his x-ray and CHC want to cover themselves and make sure that he doesn't have anything serious that has caused this. They certainly don't want anyone in Canada that has TB.

G'man has never had TB, nor is he aware of anything else, but this causes us more expense of £150 for the cultures, £50 for the repeat x-ray and the added expense of having to fly out to land before 24/4/11 if we get visas at the the end of this further testing.


.......And before you think that we should be worrying.....lots of people recently have had this happen to them and have written about it on, and not one of them have come back saying that they have done the cultures and had a further x-ray only to find that they have something serious wrong with them, not one! so I am not immediately worrying....just frustrated by yet a further delay and great expense

Monday, May 24, 2010

The waiting game

A month ago today we went to have our medicals in Thornton Heath armed with £730 in cash and various bits of paper and umpteen copies of our photographs.

The first part was to have the chest x-rays taken, (to check for TB or other shadows that may require further investigation), which were done in a side building of Mayday hospital. Ordinary members of the public were there too but after booking us in we were whisked through as if of high importance. Our x-rays were £50 each.

4 in-and-outs later and we drove a few blocks away to the medical practice (known as a designated medical practice). Practices such as these charge huge amounts to do the required testing for immigration purposes for other countries. Ours were £150 each and £80 for Gadgetgirlie due to her age.

We were assigned 20 minutes each and had blood and urine taken to test for aids and syphyllis, then we were asked a zillion and one questions about our health and medical history.

I had to answer a few extra questions about Gadgeteen and hand some reports in then that was it.

Now we wait again for the next brown envelope to fall on the door mat. Either it will demand more reports on something to do with our medicals.......or it will be a request for our passports to be sent in so that shiny visas can be put in them......this is of course what we hope for more than anything else right now....

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Over the Edge Rally

Highlights for me this year

Our friend coming too, she'd been to the 3B's rally before but NOTHING like this rally with big exposure to bikers in fancy dress with a difference.

The moment that GadgetGirlie realised that she had left her bag of clothes in her bedroom at home!

Lots of dressed up or down bikers.

Seeing the dutch/belgian or german guy who was over 7' tall, struggling to walk around in 6" high stiletto boots.

Stan and Jane in a different outfit every half an hour or so.

Stan getting a bucket of water chucked over him whilst in the stocks by Gadgetman.

Watching PDQ...a local band with a VERY nice looking lead singer, who could sing fabulously and was very sexy.

Seeing The Alma Boobies play again this year, a very tight all girl/3 sisters band, who were all gorgeous too.

Dancing with the Very nice looking leading singer of PDQ whilst the Alma Boobies were playing.

Licking cream off a young mans nearly-naked body in the silly games.

Seeing Annette come back after winning a raffle prize.......a purple vibrator! Well, okay, I'll look after it!

Seeing Gadgetgirlie on the stage being sung 'Happy Birthday' to by 1200 bikers, as happens every year.

Seeing Gadgetgirlie blow the candles out on her birthday cake made by Gadgeteen and his girlfriend.....