Apologies to all my faithful readers for leaving you hanging for the past 10 days. We have been keeping busy, but my main excuse for not writing is that Telus has not been providing the service I signed up for (I signed up on the day of my last post and my most recent update from them suggested that we'll be connected on Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed.)
To pick up where I left off, our movers arrived on Friday morning, and I swiftly got the kids out of the way - we spent the morning at the park, exploring Miniature World (an impressive while diminutive experience), having lunch at daidoco - a wonderful Japanese-style deli that the mum in the park had recommended, and finally going for ice cream at Roger's (Lily is missing pamplemousse sorbet from Bilboquet). We headed home to find the house full of boxes and the movers still at it. Things became a little dramatic when one of the movers got knocked in the head with our ladder as he was getting something else out of the truck. The gash was significant, so Dylan took him off to the Royal Jubilee Hospital where he eventually got stapled back together. (He made it back in time for pizza at the end of the day, and seemed unperturbed by the injury). On the bright side, D. now knows the way to the closest emergency room.
At some point during this chaos Fern wandered off. (Cat has not been renamed for internet safety). I noticed that he was missing, and after a couple of hours looking around I made up some posters and stuck them up on posts up and down the street. We carried on unpacking and organizing, but were all missing Fern when we finally got to bed that night. I couldn't quite believe that we had driven across the country mainly to save him the potential turmoil of a flight in the baggage compartment and now, one week after arriving, he was gone. Saturday we carried on unpacking, and I took the girls to the library in the afternoon as Sam had a much-needed nap. Just as our new neighbours appeared with a chicken and pasta casserole for our dinner (with salad, and brownies for dessert!) another neighbour rang asking after Fern. When I answered that we hadn't had any news, he reported that he'd seen him the previous afternoon two blocks up. Fern appeared to be dragging his hind legs and he and another passerby rang the doorbell of someone's house to see if they could call the SPCA. To make a long story somewhat shorter, we finally tracked Fern down at the Elk Bay Animal Hospital, and after Dylan met with the vet and saw the x-ray, agreed to have his broken leg operated on. Three days later, Fern came home and now spends most of his time in a fenced-off corner of our bedroom (he isn't allowed to jump while he heals). He seems to be feeling better, and is now putting a bit of weight on his lame leg, seems to be a little fed up with being limited to one corner of the house, and howls if we don't go visiting him often enough. The whole cat fiasco ended well, and while Fern's definitely used up one more of his lives, we have at least met more of our neighbours than we otherwise would have!
The big highlight of the week was a visit from Vancouver cousins Amalia and George (with parents). They were returning from their holiday spent on Hornby Island and in Ucluelet. They arrived on Tuesday evening and I made our first proper dinner in the new kitchen: roast wild pacific salmon (renamed by my mother as the Oxymoron fish), roast Vancouver Island Russet potatoes, local green beans and salad greens. Very 100-mile diet-ish, except for the champagne that our realtor had kindly left in our fridge and we were finally in the mood for opening. Wednesday we went to the wonderful Bug Zoo together, where Amalia kissed a cockroach and George wore a giant African millipede as a bracelet. I declined Alexandra's begging for me to hold a scorpion. My only previous contact with a scorpion was in a hotel room in Mexico, where my friend and I agreed that I would be the one to kill it, but I would use her sandal. I said my quota for touching exotic creatures had been met with the boa constrictor at Lily's birthday, but that I would be happy to come back with her on her 19th birthday (the age at which you are allowed to touch the tarantula and scorpion). We then went for lunch at Red Fish Blue Fish, a gourmet fish and chips stand on a pier near where the sea planes take off from (good entertainment). We saw the cousins off on Thursday morning, after they had presented us with a gorgeous housewarming bouquet (still going strong!), and the rest of the week has been spent filling out forms for health cards, making a daily call to Telus to remind them we exist, enjoying the classic boat show in the Inner Harbour and hanging out at South Park (my replacement Somerville Park). Now we are getting ready for the start of the school year and I have a synopsis to write for the end of the week, so back to the grindstone. I've gone on too long, so I'll sign off wishing everyone a good start to September, whether it's back to work or back to school, I'm thinking of you all. Happy Labour Day!