April 30, 2007


Arrived in Alberta sans problems yesterday, other than some electrical malfunctions with the car. I kept track of my gas by counting mileage when the gauge showed empty 20 kms after a fill up...Went through some rain, some snow, some sun. Slept out under the stars. Well, under a tarp, which proved itself useful since it rained on night #1 and snowed on night #2. Saw some amazing sights. Won a lot of games. Euchre. Cribbage. Word games. I won them all. Well, almost.

Isaac took hundreds of pictures, but I took fewer since I was driving. These are my current favourites.

A lone little pine at the Columbian Icefields.
Sunshine peeking through the trees in Jasper.

I love being in the mountains and just looking around. I like being quiet. I realized that I am more introverted than I used to think. Isaac and I had plenty of time to talk, which we did. But it left me feeling pretty tired. Which is when the word games were fun. Or silence. I like just looking and thinking.

I'm glad we went. Would I do it again? As I told Isaac, I'm not sure. Generally speaking, I'd actually advise against such a trip - one guy, one girl, one car and two days. But I think, depending on the people and the friendship and the boundaries from the get-go, it can be do-able and maybe even beneficial. I'm quite sure it would have been less stressful if I'd been traveling with another girl. Or if I'd had a more specific activity plan in place. Good to note for my trip with Meredith this summer!

And now I'm at staff orientation for Calgary Project. I'm finally excited about these next six weeks, and the people I'll meet, and the staff that I really do love. I have some of the best coworkers in the world. Yup, it's true.

April 27, 2007

Leaving in a Malibu

In roughly 8 hours, I'm pulling out of Vancouver, leaving my "palace" behind, and heading towards the mountains. In store: one gigantic summer of adventure, starting with a weekend camping trip.

I am excited. And I am relieved that my earlier car troubles, which I thought may reroute this entire plan, turned out to be nothing more than an over-active theft-prevention device. Wendy's car thought I was trying to steal it and wouldn't let me start it. Good thing I remembered this tricky little attitude issue and was able to resolve the problem (although not without some duress and stress).

I have had thoughts in the last few days on conflict and misunderstanding and laughter and trying hard. But no time to blog about them all.

Until next week...you'll have to occupy yourself with some other time-wasting internet scheme.

April 25, 2007

Aquatic Life Fascinates Me

Originally uploaded by bethaf.
Isaac is in town visiting, and today he and Ian (one of his 4 brothers, whose names all start with "I") and I went to the Vancouver Aquarium. Super-fun times. Highlights include:

  • spotting the sloth in the tropical area - who knew there were sloths at aquariums!
  • tagging along for kid-friendly info sessions - I learned about sharks and dolphins and otters and cockroaches (from a very good-looking guy, I might add)
  • touching a Malaysian hissing cockroach - did you know that female cockroaches get pregnant for life!?
  • touching a sea anemone (did you know that their anus and their mouth is the same opening!?)
Click on the photo to find a few more pics. Most of them didn't turn out so great though.

Ooooh, also fun: all-you-can-eat chocolate fondue with my Bible study girls. My camera battery died...but Jane should be putting some pictures up on Facebook soon.

[postscript: I picked Isaac up from the airport yesterday and we watched game 7 with my small group. I really like my small group. Before we went over, Isaac and I had supper, which was delicious...I almost fainted while cutting veggies and talking to my parents on skype, because I gave blood and then missed eating lunch. It has been a long time since I have felt that incredibly woozy lack of all strength. I didn't faint, and we ate supper on my balcony. I am sad to leave this apartment, especially tonight when packing is getting the best of me.]

April 23, 2007

Whistler, Sunshine, Fun.

1 condo in Whistler + 2 vehicles + 3 adults + 12 junior high girls = one fun retreat! Nachos and crepes (not together, of course). My favourite movie, Ever After (mock it all you want, and I'll defend it to my death. It's not an Oscar-worthy movie, but it is fantastic in many ways). Photo-scavenger hunt in the village! Talks on friendship. Driving the Sea-to-Sky. Playing 20 Questions. Staple questions: "Is she older than Laura? Is she younger than me?" I like making wild guesses that don't fit at all - like asking if it's Sinead O'Connor (whom I know the girls don't know, when in the category of famous-male-actor).

Over dinner on the way home, I discover that one of our girls is the daughter of the Canuck's owner. Sabrina comments, "Yeah, that's why [insert famous Canuck here] has been to our church a few times." To which I respond, "To be honest, I wouldn't recognize him if he did..." The car rides are my favourite part, except for when the station wagon I was driving kissed the pastor's van Sabrina was driving...I had to apologize on return from the weekend and tell him that there is now a small hole in his bumper, perfect for smuggling dope across the border, if he so desires. Which I know he doesn't.

Today is full of more fun and sunshine. I force myself to go for a jog/walk before church, which is really a good way to start the day. Church is great, as church always is, and I realize again that I really am going to miss this church over the summer. My pastor also references a passage I have been trying to find for several weeks - 1 Corinthians 15:14-19. It is talking about the uselessness of my faith in Jesus if his resurrection from the dead is not historical fact.
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. (emphasis mine)

After church, lunch with a friend and her mom. Good times. I am glad they came into the city today (heading to Il Divo in concert this evening). We talk briefly about the Virginia Tech tragedy, and our connections to it. Four of the students killed were involved with the Virginia branch of my organization, as was the girl who found the first two victims. It took finding this info out earlier in the week to really make me emotionally involved. I am reminded about a great blog/article by a friend on the subject of what a "proper" emotional response to distant tragedy may be, but I can't seem to locate it on her site...so you'll have to just have this vague reference.

After lunch, I go for Scrabble and coffee with Amy and Ali. It is fun and we laugh a lot. More than one of us reaches the edge of laughing-so-hard-I-almost-peed. When I challenge the spelling of "wily/wiley", we ask a stranger with a laptop to look it up online, since we don't have a dictionary. I am right: wily. We do, however, let Ali get away with "fernie." It is a pity word, when she has Q, I, I, I, E, E, E. I win the main game and the speed Scrabble rounds too. Maybe I shouldn't play Scrabble with people when I'm pretty sure I'm going to win, I think later. It can't be fun to always lose. That sounds totally egotistical...I don't want it to be. Can I say that without being egotistical?

Then on to supper! Malaysian cuisine with 3 of my new roommates (I am moving as of this week) and Russ, a co-worker who's in town this week. Good times eating supper and DQ and hanging out back at their/our! house. Dan, who lives in the basement, comments that it struck him at supper: we (Jane, Wendy and I) are like Charlie's Angels. If he had a phone that he could call us from the basement, he would.

"Good morning, Angels."
And we would respond, "Hi, Daniel."

I have a feeling this new house will be a lot of fun. Although they've already said that they'll more or less feed me to any intruders, since my room is right by the front door... I feel so safe.

It's bedtime now. Gotta be up early to take Wendy to the airport. Also on my agenda for the day: nap until 9am, physio, 3 hours of work, give blood, pick up Isaac from the airport, go to Daiso, supper somewhere, small group, hang out with Isaac's brothers/dad/aunt. Yay, vacation!

April 18, 2007


Who says late-night talk show hosts can't be serious? This clip is worth watching.

{it's of Craig Ferguson, another great Scotsman...}

April 17, 2007

In Our Heads

I love my hilarious and fun girlfriends. And you know what they love? Talking about boys. Especially any that may intersect with my life...

A married friend emails me on Sunday saying only "I hung out with your future husband today." We chat this morning and she fills me in on the details of an apparently amazing guy that she thinks I'd enjoy. If he's amazing as he sounds, I'm quite sure he'll be taken by the time I get back from the summer, and even if he isn't, then what?

I am chatting with a friend online and say that I'm leaving to do some work at the cafe with the hot french barrista. She refers to him as my "lover" (he is off work by the time I get there, which serves me right for being so shallow).

I tell the girls in my small group about the "future husband" email. One tells me not to scoff - that she's heard of stories like that actually working out. Another decides to look him up online. She uncovers his full name and alma mater, but can't find a picture of him. Too bad. I am laughing at our ridiculousness...and looking over her shoulder.

I get a ride home and we sit in the car for at least 45 minutes, talking about boys and relationships and situations that exist mainly in my head. Every time I think we're done, we get on a new tangent (good thing our bums are warm from the heated seats).

[ed note: I don't intend to make it seem that I have a complicated "love life." Like I said, any situations exist mostly in my head. Although, as one friend comments, "it exists in my head too."]

April 16, 2007

Opening My Eyes...

In my self-absorption, I have been failing to see what's going on around me. Friends in crisis, and I've been oblivious. Or I know and promise prayer, but fail to follow through. I don't stay in touch often with friends back home, and then all of a sudden...things happen.

Families in crisis.
Couples break up.
Couples on the verge of breaking up.
People doubting their faith.
Emotional turmoil.

Sometimes, I forget that life goes on when I'm not around, and others have struggles and hard times and moments of need too. I can't solve their problems, I know this. But I can definitely be more purposeful in at least being available. I can pray more than I have been. And I can stop saying I'll pray when I don't really think I will.

April 15, 2007

Weekend Report: Hiking and Bond

Originally uploaded by bethaf.
I was going to spend the day reading on Saturday. Instead, I went with Andi and Wendy to Lynn Valley Canyon, where we walked across a suspension bridge (yup, still scared of falling), hiked a ways through the lovely spring woods, and stopped at the 30 foot pool, wishing it were warm enough to jump in for a swim. It was lovely, as the pictures show.

In the evening, Wendy and I watched Casino Royale. It was my first full Bond movie. I find them laughable - enjoyable, but not remotely believable: like how Bond is about to die from poison, but his fully loaded car has a portable defrib-thing. What's that? The wire isn't plugged in? He's blacking out? No worries! The Bond-girl comes to save the day. One plugged in wire, one push of a button, one big shock and voila! Bond is back in action and at the poker table! Amazing.

Speaking of Bond girls, we watched the special feature disc: Bond Girls Are Forever. An interesting look into the "privileged elite" who've seduced (or been seduced by) Bond over the years. Actually, it was really fascinating. Three different actresses said, in completely separate interviews, that they were different as a Bond girl. "I could do what Bond could," were their exact words. One in the 70's, one in the 80's, one in the 90's. All convinced that they were a turning point in the representation of women in Bond movies, from sex object to serious equal. Of course, with feminism being what it is, sex object is the new empowered.

I was a little bit shocked at some of the clips - Bond slapping someone's derriere, Bond forcing kisses on a woman who says, "No, no..." but eventually collapses with passion. Bond girls with overtly sexual names...And we think our generation is new and startling. We're just a different brand, that's all.

April 14, 2007

Year End Banquet

Before I forget, a few highlights:

  • Nando's chicken. I was skeptical. It was delicious. All the food was.
  • Realizing that in six short months, I can get fairly used to having people around. And sad at the thought of not having them there anymore.
  • The once-in-a-lifetime occurence of an earnest interpretive dance. It is a shame (and I'm still deciding whether it was an ultimately good or bad thing) that Canned Heat copped out on us.
  • Being reminded that 'changing the world' is something that's done in little steps, by "dwelling in the land (aka being fully present wherever I am) and cultivating faithfulness (doing my best where I am)."
  • Joy's rap. Where is the Love? will never sound the same...I never knew Singapore could be so ghetto.
  • Choosing to go for bubble tea with my students instead of watching Numb3rs by myself. Even if I did miss Bill Nye. Learning an Indian card game at bubble tea. Being told I was "in the white zone" with 2 other dancing girls.
  • Oh! I almost forgot...a lovely gift certificate for 'Death By Chocolate' - what better place is there on earth to spend money!?!
Non-banquet tidbits I also want to record for posterity:

  • I cannot use Windows Media Player when I have my xD card in. It is some sort of fluke and I can't seem to find the patch to fix that problem.
  • Some combination of keys, when accidentally hit in unison, turns email drafts into sent emails. This is to be avoided when sending professional emails, dealing with conflict over email, or any other such situation. I wish I knew what it was I was hitting that causes this problem.
  • New favourite stupid song lyric: "This is why I'm hot. This is why I'm hot. This is why, this is why, this is why I'm hot. I'm hot cause I'm fly, you ain't cause you're not." (thank you, Mims!) In case you're not sure you quite understand the lyrics, listen to and follow the link here for some oh-so-insightful thoughts on the song.

April 13, 2007

The Fray

I am listening to their songs repeatedly. Constantly. Unendingly. My two favourites are Hundred and Look After You. In case you feel like reading the lyrics, here they are. But trust me, far more emotionally moving with the instrumental background. I think these guys are incredibly skilled. They're in Vancouver in July, when I'm unfortunately not around. Also, if they were, I don't know if I'd go. My last concert has stirred some thoughts on concert-culture, and I just don't know if I'm into it. But that is for another time. Without further ado or explanation as to why the lyrics resonate with me, the compelling songs:

Look After You (it's the first line that gets me
every time)

If I don't say this now I will surely break
As I'm leaving the one I want to take
Forgive the urgency but hurry up and wait
My heart has started to separate

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Be my baby
Oh, oh, oh
I'll look after you

There now, steady love, so few come and don't go
Will you won't you, be the one I always know
When I'm losing my control, the city spins around
You're the only one who knows, you slow it down

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Be my baby
Oh, oh, oh
I'll look after you

If ever there was a doubt
My love she leans into me
This most assuredly counts
She says most assuredly

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Be my baby
I'll look after you

It's always have and never hold
You've begun to feel like home
What's mine is yours to leave or take
What's mine is yours to make your own

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Be my baby
Oh, oh, oh

Hundred (on this one, it's the chorus)

The how I can't recall
But I'm staring at
What once was the wall
Separating east and west
Now they meet admidst
The broad daylight

So this is where you are
And this is where I am
Somewhere between
Unsure and a hundred

Its hard I must confess
I'm banking on the rest to clear away
Cause we have spoken everything
Everything short of I love you

You right where you are
From right where I am
Somewhere between
Unsure and a hundred

And who's to say it's wrong
And who's to say that it's not right
Where we should be for now

So this is where you are
And this is where I am
So this is where you are
And this is where I've been
Somewhere between
Unsure and a hundred

April 12, 2007


I just had a moment of epiphany. It concerns spiritual and phsyical feeding/eating.

When I am feeding myself wisely spiritually, seeking satisfaction in healthy avenues [namely God], at proper times and with consideration, it unintentionally carries over into my physical food habits. I eat proper meals with healthy food and limit my extraneous 'goodies.'

Conversely, when I'm gorging myself spiritually on things that don't fill me up [be it validation through friendships, boys, perfectionism, TV, blogging, etc], my relationship with food inevitably goes downhill. Too much sugar, not enough veggies. Three meals turns into a consistent 'grazing' pattern that leaves me perpetually hungry but feeling over-fed.

If I want so badly to fix the one, perhaps the key is to actually focus on fixing the main problem.

April 11, 2007

Question of Size

Why is it more socially acceptable for women of colour/African descent to be curvaceous than it is for us white girls?

April 9, 2007

Table for One

Anybody know what day it is today?

No, I don't mean Easter Monday.
It's an anniversary of something quintessentially Canadian...
The 90th anniversary.

Still lost?

Vimy Ridge ring a bell? I went for lunch today (a yummy peanut-based soup) and picked up the Vancouver Sun. I had been completely oblivious to this anniversary, but I read a couple interesting articles and stats about my generation's lack of knowledge about Canadian military history. Some trivia questions:

1. Canada's most famous single victory in the First World War consisted ofthe capture
Front. What was this battle called?

2. Captain John McCrae served as a medical officer in the World War One and wrote what is considered to be Canada’s most famous poem. What is the name of this poem?

3. Canada has produced a number of outstanding military heroes. Could you please identify the two famous Canadians from the following list:
Air Marshal “Billy”Bishop; General Douglas MacArthur; General Ulysses Grant; Sir Arthur Currie

To view the answers and corresponding stats, click here.

This article made me wonder at the possibilities of having my grampie's memories recorded, and ponder why we, as a nation, are relatively oblivious to our military history - an anomaly in most developed nations.

April 8, 2007

Easter Related Reflections

Friday night is a reflective listening of Arvo Pärt's "PASSIO DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI SECUNDUM JOHANNEM." That is, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John (in Latin). I have more difficulty paying attention than I'd anticipated. Probably due in large part to the fact that I spend little time developing the discipline of contemplation in my life. When I'm not breaking down the Latin grammar (we had transcripts and translations), thinking about my plans for the next day, or anticipating the Mini Eggs I know I'll be eating later, I am trying to hear something "new." I've been through the Easter story countless times, but the point of this night is not to glaze over it once more. [for a friend's thoughts from the same night, read here.]

What stands out to me the most is Jesus' dialogue with Pilate; likely because it took up half the choral arrangement. I am trying to get inside of Pilate's head, which is a tricky place to be. He is ridiculously powerful, yet he is so swayed by the voices around him.

Jesus: "Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
Pilate: "What is truth?" (is he sincere? is he mocking? isn't he just like us today?)

Jews: "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."
Pilate: became even more afraid, went back inside the palace and asked Jesus: "Where do you come from?" (does he recognize Jesus' authority? why is he fearful?)

Jews: "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' [above Jesus' cross] but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."
Pilate: "What I have written, I have written." (is he just spiting the leaders, or does he recognize that Jesus was a king?)

On Saturday evening, after a harbourfront cruise with my coworkers, Wendy and I watch Chocolat. It was a purposeful choice on my part, as it's actually an Easter movie - almost the entire thing take place during the Lenten season. There are lots of great lessons on redemption and grace, tradition and legalism. Unfortunately, the impetus for giving grace stems from outside the church, which is an all too common occurrence - one of many great discussion jumping points into a complex topic. Plenty of food for thought (or chocolate for thought...) on our need for community, what it looks like to celebrate life and enter into meaningful relationships, and the difference between religion as rule and relationship with God.
{I would love to be Vianne, offering chocolate and love in a small European town.}

Sunday morning service is fantastic. At this point, I haven't had too many deep thoughts and am wondering if I'll just be floating through another Easter. But as my pastor speaks, he stops at this verse and idea: "But God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

He was made to be sin for us. On the cross, Jesus didn't just suffer physically or emotionally. He experienced the weight of sin - a new and entirely excruciating thing for him. His unity with his Father was broken because of it. He literally bore our sins for us.

So he died as an idolator,
a cheat,
a liar,
a murderer,
an adulterer,
an unjust judge,
a manipulator,
a rapist,
a thief,
a lover of self,
a greed-monger -
the list goes on.

Any sin we've committed, any wrong thought we as humanity have had, Jesus felt the weight of it, and suffered the punishment for it. What a sobering thought. Thankfully not the end of the story though - if Jesus' death had been pointless, not accomplishing anything...how terribly wasteful my life has been. But I believe that he did accomplish something. He suffered so that we don't have to.

The gravity of this thought and Jesus' choice to endure great suffering was still in my mind when I watched the Jesus Film this afternoon. I found myself almost unwillingly drawn to tears at one point. It was nothing I felt coming on, nothing I was trying to induce. But here's the scene: Jesus has already said to Peter, "You're going to deny knowing me three times before the rooster crows." Peter responded something like, "No, never! I'm willing even to go to prison with you!" Surprisingly (but not at all), Peter does deny knowing Jesus. As the rooster crows, Jesus looks over at Peter, who is just realizing what he's done. And I welled up.

Now, I know my mini-description is not nearly as stirring as seeing this in movie format would be, but that's not the point. It hit me how easily and quickly Peter dismisses and under-estimates the weight of what Jesus is going through. In his quest for an easy life (in this case, one that avoids imprisonment), Peter makes light of his loyalties. But you know what? Jesus knew. He knew before Peter denied him that it would happen. It didn't stop him. It didn't stop his course of action, and it didn't stop his love for Peter.

Jesus knew before hand that I would intentionally and for my own comfort deny knowing him. Multiple times. And it didn't stop him. Grace and love like that don't come 'round too often.

April 6, 2007


Originally uploaded by bethaf.
It's Good Friday and I walked down a street lined with magnolia trees. They smell delightful. Tonight I'm going to a contemplative listening of a choral arrangement of The Passion of John (in Latin). I think it will be great. I want to do some real cooking and baking, but it is too much effort just for me. I am realizing how self-preoccupied my life is becoming. It is all about me. Me, me, me. At least, that's how I'm living. This ought to change.

April 4, 2007

In Case of Confusion...

Just to make sure everyone knows - this is an official disclaimer: the thoughts and words in my blog are exactly that - mine. They don't represent the organization I work for in any way. They just represent me. In some way.

In other news, I am eating too much sugar and not doing enough laundry. My feet/calves are still a bit sore from the weekend, and I have a strong desire to write something. Not just blog-writing, but creative fictionaly prose writing. If only desire = ability.

I have the beginnings of a cold and am taking a nap now. Or at least a rest.

April 1, 2007

Busy Busy Bee: Chapter 3

You'd think my days o' fun would be just about over...not quite. Saturday was less amazing fun, but there are still a few things worthy of note:

1. Drove Lisa to the airport, remembered how much I love driving, got really excited for my upcoming roadtrip to Calgary. The car I'll have even has a sunroof. *happy sigh*

2. Hung out with Ali and Amy - laughed, ate, talked about Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version with the dashing Colin Firth)...this only increases my UK crush.
[sidenote: Lisa and I (and maybe her sister Laura?) once watched the movie What a Girl Wants, a true teeny-bopper flick, merely for Colin Firth, who played the main character's father. If I had to pick a movie-star-that's-old-enough-to-be-my-dad to date, it would be him.]

3. Fellowship Dinner happened. I was more dressed up than usual, or ever, with the exception of weddings. I wore what I thought I would never be able to pull off: pointy, black, 2 inch heels. Apparently I "owned" them, although there were a few close calls. There were a few close calls of other sorts as well...but God is good and everything came together.

3b. Wendy and I ended our night with a much-anticipated and yet impromptu visit to Quattro, a dining establishment almost within view of my condo. Talk about swank...

4. I booked our flights. Meredith and I (save some sort of disaster) are visiting the UK from August 1 - 11th. Travel plans in country are still under negotiation, as we haven't actually talked for more than 5 minutes in one sitting...but we wanted to get the flights booked before the price gets jacked up again. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH.

Lots to Do: Take Two

As if Thursday night's fun wasn't enough, Friday found me entertaining my cousin Lisa, at the end of a work conference that had her visiting the west coast. Smoothies in my new blender, a walk along the beach, quick stop in the SUB, supper at the Naam, and then...and then...

A ceilidh!!!
(A ceilidh, for those who don't know, is pronounced kay-lee and is a Scottish/Irish country dance. I usually explain it as "kind of like a square dance, only a hundred times better.") Lisa and I used to ceilidh-it-up in during her uni years, and we were both looking forward to another fun night.

Lisa reminded me, as we sat at the bus stop, about our first ceilidh visit. She'd just turned 20, I was 17. At the door, everyone got ID'd to determine whether they got the of-age or under-age mark. Lisa gave her ID. And then her second ID. He asked her birthday. He looked skeptical. Eventually, he gave her the you-can-drink mark. I didn't pull out my ID. It would do me no good...he looked at me and didn't ask for it. I put out my hand...and got the drinking mark! Ha. Poor Lisa (she'll be grateful when she's 40, but at 25, I think it's getting annoying).

Anyway, our ceilidh at the Scottish Cultural Centre was much more informal. A brief lesson and then the fun begins. Plenty of space, a reasonable crowd with everyone from 3 to 75 years-old. Many first-timers, but no lack of experienced dancers either. Andi, Wendy, Lisa and I weren't the only ones our age, which makes me happy. I wish I could communicate the amount of fun that happens at these things...After dancing The Dashing White Sargeant, one of the girls confessed that she had to take a bathroom break - she'd been laughing so hard she almost wet herself.

Some of the other dances included: The Gay Gordons (one of my favourites), The Flying Scotsman (pretty close to my favourite), Strip the Willow (another favourite), and The Barrowdale Exchange (who am I kidding - that one is my favourite too).

Determined: to go to the monthly ceilidhs in the fall and drag as many friends along as I can. You won't find better fun anywhere else, unless you're at a real ceilidh in Scotland, where the men wear kilts and there's a general dance proficiency. At least, I assume that's the case...

Post-ceilidh gathering with some of Wendy's friends at The Wolf and Hound. On our way in, a man with a British accent tells us we're not English enough to go inside - I almost retort that anyone who's leaving a ceilidh is allowed to go to the pub, British or not. But I don't. We are the only Canadians in our group (US and NZ are well represented in Wendy's circle). It is a great ending to a great night.

At this point, my infatuation with the UK is only growing.