Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lobster Fishing/Part 1

Nova Scotian lobster is among the best lobster in the world. Last November I wrote a post called 'Dumping Day' (you can read it by clicking here) about the first day of lobster fishing season. Well today, is the last day of lobster fishing season in Nova Scotia. On Monday I went lobster fishing and what a day that was! I had to be up at 4:00am! I hardly slept the night before as I was thinking about it too much.

So I was wide awake when the alarm clock went off. I was really excited, there's something exciting about getting up that early because it always reminds me of when I was younger and I used to live in Libya, we would always have to get up that early when we went on holidays and I always remember being excited as we drove to the airport in the early morning hours and the roads were totally empty.

We got to the harbour not long after 5:00am and got on the boat. The picture above was taken on the boat before leaving the harbour. It was so beautiful, at about 6 am, to see the sunrise out at sea...

Lobster Fishermen leave their lobster traps in the water overnight and then in the morning they go and haul up their traps to see if they've caught any lobster and to put new bait in the lobster traps before leaving their traps in the water again. To recognise where your lobster traps are, you have your own bouys in the water.

When you find your bouy, you pull it up on the boat like the one in the picture above and then you hook the rope to a wheel that then basically pulls up your lobster traps from the water as they are all tied to the rope.

For some reason, I am not able to upload any more photos on this post anymore, so I am publishing this part and hope to be able to publish the next part soon.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sunday Morning

This is another photo of inside our church. It's a really nice day today. I preached again this morning at church. I was trying to encourage people to remember how awesome God is and to get back to that place of being in awe of Him.

I'm going to have to have an early night tonight, as I'll be getting up at 4:00 am. And if you know me at all, you'll know that I'm definitely not a morning person. The reason that I'll be getting up so early tomorrow is because both Gary and I have the opportunity to go out on a fishing boat tomorrow. One of the lobster fishermen that we know said he'll take us out with him and his crew on his boat to see what they do and maybe even help a little. I'll be mainly going just to watch and take some photos. I'm not looking forward to smelling fishy, but it's not everyday that I would get the opportunity to experience lobster fishing, so I thought it would be a good experience.

I'll be sure to blog about it all and let you know how it all goes. Hope we don't get sea sick :)

Love Ash x

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Down By The River

I had a nice quiet time with God this morning down at the Boathouse and God really encouraged me. I read Proverbs 15:33 (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Humility precedes Honour) today and I thought it was such a cool verse.

Today, Gina, one of the 8 year old twins had a sore throat and was off sick from school and at lunchtime she asked me if I could take her out for a walk. I decided that it was much better for her to get some fresh air and go out for a walk than to stay at home lying on the couch watching tv. So I agreed.

We set out straight after lunch. It was nice and sunny outside. We made sure our arms were covered so we don't get bitten by black flies. We decided to go down our road to the bridge and sit down by the river.

Back in November last year I posted some photos of how bad our road was, you can see the photos here. Well today they were actually working on mending our road and so far they're doing a good job. They started off by doing just one side of the road so that cars can still travel on the other side. They even had to dig up our driveway a couple of weeks ago as they told us that the new road would be higher than the old road. I guess they weren't joking - you can see in this picture what I mean...

Here are some more photos of the road, you can see in some of them, the side of the road they have been working on today.

Along the way we came across these brand new pipes (which they will probably put in the ditches on either side of the road at a later time). So we stopped and Gina had a little play crawling through them pretending they're tunnels. It doesn't take much to amuse kids, does it?

We also passed by these lovely views as we walked down our road...

That last one is my favourite photo that I took today. We did eventually get to the river and sat down to eat an apple. Gina dropped her apple though and it fell in the river, so we shared my apple instead and yes I did take some photos by the river, here they are...

I love going on a walk and I had a really nice one today. Later on this evening, I went out with a couple of young people from my church. They took me out to a Lebanese restaurant in town called 'Little Lebanon'. It was a real treat for me and I really enjoyed it. The restaurant itself was small, simple but really sweet. I talked to the owner in Arabic. He was a nice guy and reminded me of Basil in Fawlty Towers. He gave me free dessert with my meal which was really lovely.

After our meal, we went and played pool in a place in town called 'Doolys'. That was really nice too, and I won two games out of three. I love playing pool. I would definitely go back to both places again. So all in all I had a really nice day today. I hope you did too.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Iraqi Doctors from Baghdad

Baghdad at night

Well, I said I would update you with news about my meeting with the Iraqi doctors, so here it is. First of all, the Doctor who was going to visit us yesterday ended up cancelling and not being able to make it because he had some patients to see.

But then today Gary had another appointment to see the eye doctor and asked me if I wanted to go with him, as we were going to go food shopping afterwards. Well when we were at the doctor's surgery, both him and his wife were there, so I was introduced to them and we started talking in Arabic, and they were really nice and invited me to go to their house straight away. So I went with the Doctor's wife (also a doctor herself) back to their house as she was just finishing work anyway.

Gary went and did the food shopping on his own to give me time to spend with the Doctor's wife. She was very nice and gave me some Koba (Iraqi food) to eat. That was really nice. Then the doctor came home from work too so I got to spend some time talking to both of them. They have a son my age (who is abroad studying medicine) and a daughter who is a few years younger than me and she lives in a different part of Canada, where she works as an Electrical Engineer. So I guess, with their kids living far from home, and me being their kids' age, it is nice for them and for me to get to know them.

They were very nice to me and gave me an open invitation to visit and stay with them whenever I like. They basically treated me like I was their daughter. Gary came to pick me up after he did the food shopping and he had a really nice chat with them too. I even got to speak to their daughter as she called while I was there and spoke to me on the phone, she seemed really nice too.

So that's the basic update and hopefully it will be the start of a new friendship.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Afternoon

Today we went to church in the morning as we usually do on a Sunday morning. I was there before any other people were, and I had the camera with me, so I took some photos of the views from the church windows. Two of the walls of our church have full size windows, so you can see the pretty view outside quite clearly from inside the church.

Then after church we had a nice barbecue lunch and then the girls decided to go and visit a friend of theirs for the afternoon. So Gary, Rachel and I had a really nice afternoon without the kids running around. It was a nice sunny day today, so at first we just sat in the garden enjoying the sunshine and had a little time to relax. Then Gary decided he should mow the lawn. Rachel did some other work in the garden to tidy it up. And I decided to move some wood over from the barn to the basement.

Back in England, we have central heating. You just press a button and the heating comes on. Over here, in the Canadian countryside, people use either oil which they store in a tank in their basement, or they burn wood. We try to burn wood rather than use oil as oil is a lot more expensive. As the weather is getting a bit warmer now, we don't put the heating on all day, just when we need hot water and late at night and early mornings. So we're trying to get by on just burning wood when we need to.

Gary and I stacked loads of wood in the basement until it was all full of wood back in September. This is a photo of when we first started to stack wood last September.

But now we're in May and we pretty much had used up all that wood by April, so now we have a little supply of wood left in the barn and we have to move it across to the basement. (The furnace where we burn the wood is in the basement). So I decided to move some wood across this afternoon. So I loaded up 3 barrels of wood like this one.

I took the wood over to the basement, and threw the wood down in the basement floor like this:

Then I went down in the basement and stacked up the wood neatly next to the furnace so it now looks like this:

And now we have some wood to burn in the furnace that will keep us going for the next few days. I really love stacking wood and making a fire in the furnace. It didn't take me long to move this wood as they are very small pieces of wood that I moved today and they're very light. You can see from the pictures that the wood I moved today is very different from the wood I stacked back in September. The wood in September was a lot bigger and heavier. This is a photo of the fire this afternoon in the furnace.

If I go back to England this year, I will definitely miss stacking wood and making the fire. I love living in the country. After I finished doing the wood, I sat down with Rachel and Gary on the veranda and we all had a nice cup of English tea. (I love English tea. Canadian tea is not that nice. They have nice coffee but not tea. I used to drink Arabic tea before I was 18 and went to university in England, then I got used to English tea. I love my cup of tea.)

We enjoyed sitting there and looking at the nice lawn that Gary had mowed and smelling the fresh cut grass.

And just before we went inside the house, I noticed a new flower that has recently appeared so I had to take a photo of it, even though I have showed you others that were similar. This one was in a different place and on it's own, but I really liked it.

When we got inside, the Iraqi doctor that was new in town that I met up with for a coffee a couple of months back rang me. I had not spoken to him the last couple of months, so it was really nice to hear from him today and tomorrow is a holiday in Canada, so he wanted to meet up again. I invited him to visit us tomorrow afternoon for a cup of coffee. I had enjoyed my last meeting with him a couple of months back, but as he is a married man and his wife is not here with him, I did not want to meet up with him very regularly. I look forward to seeing him tomorrow afternoon.

I am really excited though, because this weekend Gary had to visit one of the eye doctors in town, and the guy that he saw turned out to be Iraqi too and his wife is also here with him! Yay! Two more Iraqi people for me to meet. So I'll ask the doctor who's visiting tomorrow to introduce me to this couple. It will be nice for me to have an Iraqi female to talk to and visit.

So I guess the world is a small place after all, that after eight months of being in Nova Scotia, I come across some Iraqi doctors (yeah all three are doctors). I'm looking forward to making new friends.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


When I went out to feed Jake and Bridget this evening about 8:30pm, it was still very light outside, and there was also a really cool sunset that I just had to take a photo of to show you:

I love sunsets. In the photo it looks like it was dark already, but it wasn't. I took another photo, this time of the road to show you how light it still was outside:

This is actually a pretty typical Nova Scotian view. You can drive for hours on a road like this with trees like this on either side - it is pretty. Nova Scotia also has many lakes everywhere. As I was going back in the house, I noticed some more flowers that have recently appeared in the garden so I took a photo to show you :)

And seeing as I am in a mood of sharing photos with you, here is one from Sunday that I forgot to put in my previous post:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Down By The Lake

Oh my gosh - time is just going by so quickly these days! I don't even know how or what I've been doing with my time, but it really is flying by. Sunday comes along and I think to myself, I have a whole new week ahead of me and then before I know it, it's the end of the week again. So yeah, I guess it has been over a week since my last post. I don't know what to tell you that's new.

I think Bridget our cat has totally got rid of the mice situation now as we haven't heard or seen any for over a week now. This is for Naomi - the photo of the dead mouse that I didn't put in my last post:

At least she didn't cut this one in two and leave it's blood and guts spilling out.

And here she is, Bridget herself having just woken up from a lazy sleep in the sun...

Well Done Bridget - You've earned your keep!

We had a church leaders' meeting tonight and for some reason right at the beginning I found myself being really shy and nervous to speak and totally did not want to be in the spotlight. Normally it's not a big deal for me to share in a small group. Maybe it was because they were all married couples apart from me. Who knows? But I did eventually get over my shyness before the meeting was over and said my bit.

Last Sunday I preached at church again. It was probably my shortest message and again I was a bit nervous before speaking, but I was alright once I started though. It was such a nice day on Sunday. When we got back from church, after lunch, I spent all the afternoon and early evening outside in the garden and down by the lake with the girls. It was so much fun. I tried to take some nice photos, but it was so sunny, most of the photos were over exposed. I even tried to put my hand over the top of the camera lense to shade it from the direct sunlight, but it was still too bright. So here are a few pictures (and please excuse the over-exposure):

It was so nice just to lie down in the sun and relax after church.

Then the lake beckoned to us to go down there...

An excited Jake at the prospect of us going down to the lake which translates as we're going to take him for a walk. Do you see what I mean about the bright sunlight?

We went down to the lake and I threw a branch in the water just for the fun of seeing Jake jump in the lake after it. So he got his walk and a swim too.

As much as I like the Boathouse, I now have a new favourite spot down by the lake and that is the picnic table by the lake.

I love just sitting on top of the table looking at the lake.

The Beautiful Lake

The Lake Of Shining Waters - (as Anne of Green Gables would say)

This surely has got to take the prize for the worst photo when it comes to total over-exposure!

I think this is my favourite photo - I'd love to print this on a postcard to send people :)

The only thing missing from this beautiful place is YOU.

(Not that you are a 'thing')