Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter update 2014!

I see it has been quite some time since I posted to my blog. 

Much has happened during the intervening months. Highlights have been the visits of the grand children, the visit of Gigi's sister and husband, Christmas and all the trimmings, and having a part-time job at the church.

Fcr those of you who remember, last Easter was spent in the Ortho-One Hospital in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India with a double malleolar fracture on my right leg. Thankfully I was truly blessed by having Dennis as a companion and care-giver! His cheerful presence and uncanny ability to anticipate my needs were, and continue to be, very much appreciated.

A quick trip to Ottawa enabled us to visit with the grand children, and see our son, Nick, in his church play, "Alone on the Altar." We also managed to colour eggs, go to the park, have lunch at Eastside Mario's, and visit the Nature Museum.

Today, Easter Sunday, we went to church and were able to witness 12 new members presented to the congregation. The Waffle Extravaganza following church was a great way to share an Easter meal together as a church family. We had plenty of waffles, strawberries, and whipped cream!

This afternoon my wife and I enjoyed a stroll through Monkland Village. This was in sharp contrast to last Easter Sunday afternoon when I lay flat on my back!

The leg has healed nicely and I am thankful for the excellent care I received from The staff at Ortho-One!

Stay tuned for further updates - maybe a few photos!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mid-August update

Wow, where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday we were expecting the grand-children!

We started our time together by going to the retirement party for my airline pilot friend. The kids had lots of fun in the pool and on the trampoline! We had lots of fun catching up with friends we hadn't seen for some time.

Then on the Sunday it was on to the cottage with an obligatory stop at what was Lowe's Dairy for ice cream. Mmm, delicious! Our first afternoon at the cottage was a rainy afternoon and everyone quickly found something to do.

The fishing rods were readied, the noodles were found, and I was challenged to an Uno championship by Big D! The game has not yet been completed as there were so many other activities to keep us busy once Monday morning arrived.

All the dietary rules were broken, what with sugared cereal, potato chips, marshmallows cooked over the campfire, and buttered popcorn to name a few.

Much fun was had fishing off the bridge over the creek. There was, of course, the mandatory visit to the Beaver Dam. There were no beavers to be seen but we did find a piece of wood with beaver teeth marks on it. That was quite a find. On the way out we stopped at the abandoned house for a quick look around.

We had two campfires. The first on Monday evening was in a light drizzle and we somehow managed to toast our marshmallows over the fire. The second on Wednesday night was much better as it was a pleasant evening and Uncle Marc and Valery added to the fun.

There was beach time on Monday and Tuesday. We also had a trip to see Uncle Marc's garage in Arundel and then went fishing on Lake Paddy. Unfortunately we had to call the "Tow Boat" as the rudder came loose and the the fishermen had great difficulty in steering the boat.

Wednesday was a perfect day and there was beach time in the morning as well as the afternoon. There was a great big sand castle built, lots of splashing as we played "Monkey in the Middle" and even jumping off the raft!

Thursday arrived all too soon and the kids had to go back to Ottawa and we had to come back to Montreal for a Physio appointment on Friday.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Home and having fun!

I have been home for 6 weeks now!

My ankle is healing nicely!

We had the grand children for 3 days at the beginning of the month and we are having them again now for 7 days. Lots of fun to be had as we spend a few days having a good time!

Stay tuned and you can find out how it went!

That is all for today!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Homeward Bound!

The taxi left Inter's porch at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 16th!

The time of departure was supposed to be 2:00 p.m. and we would have been on time if the luggage had not all been put in the car before the passengers. Once the luggage was in there was no room in the back seat for 1 passenger! So the luggage was taken out and some of it loaded on to the roof. With the rainy weather we then had to search for tarpaulins to protect the suitcases which were outside. Thanks to the Graham's some plastic tarps were found an the luggage was safely stored and the journey could begin.

The 36 hair-pin bends were negotiated without any problems - such as running into a herd of cattle or some other wildlife! As we drove through the Tiger Reserve we saw deer, monkeys, peacocks, and a wild boar. Obviously there were no tigers in the vicinity that afternoon.

We reached Bangalore Airport after an 8 hour 30 minute journey. The only stop along the way was a 15 minute bathroom break. By 11:15 p.m. I had checked in and had gone through Immigration. No questions were asked this time! Then it was on to Security!

I had to take the water pot out of my hand luggage and take off my shoes and belt. It would seem the plate in my leg was no big deal or cause for concern. The cause for concern was my Zimmer frame walker. Once Security was cleared it was on to the waiting area and a quick snack before boarding the Air France flight to Paris. We were a little early when we landed in Paris at 8:00 a.m. local time which was 11:30 a.m. Ooty time!

Having the Zimmer frame was an advantage as I had the short route through Security at Charles-de-Gaule. Due to inclement weather our flight was delayed and we eventually took off bound for Montreal! Little did any of us expect to find ourselves back at the airport because of a hydraulic problem. After trying to locate a replacement part and other delays the flight was cancelled.Here was my chance to spend the night in Paris! Again, thanks to the Zimmer Frame I was processed rather quickly and found myself waiting for the taxi ride to the hotel. The Customer Service rep who had served me found me and invited me to take a later flight to Montreal. I jumped at the chance!

As exhausted as I was it was a great feeling to arrive at Trudeau (Dorval) and go through Canada Customs quickly (thanks Zimmer) and then have to go to Missing Baggage and file a claim for my bags which were still in Paris. My wife met me and 41 hours after leaving Hebron I was home!

The baggage was delivered to the house before 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

End of story!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Leaver's Weekend 2013

The 2012 - 2013 school year is over.

It started off with the tea for the IG's on Thursday afternoon and then the Staff Party on Thursday night! Speeches and presentations all round. It was the time to start saying "Good Bye" to people I had known for the past 18 months. Thisis a photo of the Modern Language staff which will be quite changed in the next school year.

Friday was final dorm meeting for me with the Standard 10's and in honor of the occasion, after all the good byes were said, Mrs. W. made Dutch Donuts! Mmm... were they delicious!!! So delicious I managed to eat 3 of them!!
Saturday morning was spent packing my suitcases and getting ready for the Leaver's Service which was in the afternoon.

 It was really quite an emotional occasion to see "our boys" all dressed up and being presented with their Record of Achievement folders and then seeing Ande as one of the Valedictorians. It was really a thrill as some of them received rewards of achievement for Music, Sport, and Academics.
The service was followed by the Leaver's Banquet at Gem Park Hotel (Holiday Inn) Ooty.

The buffet was delicious and the entertainment which followed permitted all to share memories of life at Hebron. Especially meaningful was the tribute paid by Tom George, A-level Dorm, to the last A-levels to live in Blades.

On Sunday I went to church with Dennis on his motorcycle. It was a real treat for me to do this on my last day in Ooty. Union Church was packed!

All the extra chairs which were brought in were taken and some people stood outside and listened in through the open windows. Following the service there were 2 baptisms in a bathtub.

This was followed by a farewell tea for the Leavers. The snacks were great and it gave me a chance to greet former students from 2007 as well as some of the parents of the students in my classes.
At 2:15 p.m. I started the 8 hour 30 minute taxi ride to Bangalore! More of that in the next post. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The end is in sight!

It is quite hard to believe my time in India is almost at an end. Where has the time gone? It seems such a short time ago I arrived back at Hebron School and now I am planning the last 2 days of classes before returning home.
So much has gone on since my last entry. The week of May 27 saw a return to classroom 8A on the lower teaching corridor. That means 61 steps to negotiate going down and 61 steps to negotiate coming up for morning tea, lunch, and after school. It also means making sure I am well organized and have all the necessary books with me when I leave my flat in the morning.
The weekend of June 1st was the A-level formal dinner at one of the exclusive Ooty hotels. As many other dorm activities were taking place that weekend there were no school buses available to transport the students. The available autos had to make several trips with the last group arriving at 8:00 P.M. The first group left school at 5:00 P.M.! It was a great opportunity for the students to mingle, chat, and otherwise enjoy themselves while waiting for the different groups of students to arrive. the decision was made to eat dinner at 7:00 P.M. and the last group arrived just as the entertainment was commencing. There were the requisite speeches for the Leavers by the Standard 12's and then the responses by the Standard 13's. There was also a fitting farewell tribute to the Georges who are leaving after 26 years here. The Georges were the first Dorm Parents for the A-level boys in blades and are also the last A-level Dorm parents in Blades. The A-levels are moving out of Blades and into Ebeneezer for next school year. This will have all the A-level boys in the same dorm and not spread out as they are now in Blades and Silverdale. (We were Dorm Parents of Silverdale from Jan. 12 - June 12)
Saturday, June 8 was the Standard 10 formal dinner at Kluney Manor, a 200 year old establishment. The meal was buffet-style Chinese followed by a melodrama, which the students enjoyed, and then speeches for the leaving students. Transportation was much easier this time as there were just over 40 students involved as opposed to the over 80 of the previous weekend. You can see the staff who work with the Standard 10 dorms.

This past Sunday was the annual chamber Concert. Once again this year the music was top-notch. We have some very talented students here at Hebron and they were able to show off their accomplishments.
Just last night, June 11, I was a guest of the Standard 13 boys at their Leaving Dinner. We were their dorm parents last year and have wonderful memories of our time together. The dinner was held in the Taj Savoy. Both the surroundings and the meal were of high calibre.

While all this was going on we have the tree cutters in taking down some tress which had previously been identified and then have the logs carted off site. What a production that was. We have also watched as the Junior playground has been rebuilt.
This Saturday, June 15, is the Graduation exercises for the Class of 2013 which is then followed by the banquet at Gem Park ( formerly Holiday Inn) .


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Exam week is over

That is correct!

The exams have been written and marked. The marks have been entered in the mark book.
The reports now need to be completed. The exams will be reviewed by the students. The 18 remaining teaching days will go by all too quickly as teachers finish off the course of study.
Where has the time gone?

The walking frame has been put aside and replaced by a crutch stick tripod! Getting around is so much easier. Stairs still pose somewhat of a problem, especially the going down. Coming up stairs is manageable!

Last Friday's visit to Ortho One in Coimbatore was longer than the 2 previous ones. What with X-rays, the doctor, the physiotherapist, and learning to walk with the crutch tripod, I was actually in the hospital for almost 2 hours. This provided enough time to get over the twisting and turning of  the journey down before starting the return.

There were some great sights along the way. I will share some of the photos.