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There are times when my sister and I have to check in with the outside world to see if things we consider “normal traditions” are in fact just that. It took us years to discover that kite flying on Good Friday was not, in fact, “normal.” It was a Bermudian tradition that my parents adopted as their own when we lived there from 1985-1989. And it’s a tradition they took along to our next place of residency: Winnipeg.

In spite of March and April snows in wintery Manitoba, we ran the lengths  of the school soccer field in snowsuits and Sorrels with friends young and old. (There’s even some video footage of one Easter’s kite judging - oh yes, we were very serious about this whole thing. There were many prizes to be won.)

When we moved again - this time to Germany - kite flying took a bit of a back burner. My mother and I only vaguely remember one Easter that featured it. (Perhaps because when in Europe, we spent a lot of long weekends traveling?)

But over the years it’s returned to our weekend of festivities. My sister’s university friends took part one year when my mother moved to the same city they were all located in. Last year, we passed it along to the next generation of little ones in our family (although do to scheduling conflicts kite flying has become a Saturday activity).

It may not be a widespread tradition, but we’re working on it.

(Photos: Top left - me in Bermuda circa 1987 or 1988; Right and bottom left - Good Friday in Winnipeg circa 1992, I’m in pink & my sister’s with our friend Jeanine; Bottom - me with Chelsey in 2012)

Filed under my life family Good Friday Easter kite flying

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(Some of my favourite Christmas ornaments/decorations at my mum’s place. The angel was the first ornament given to me; each year, Margot and I try to outsmart each other with our sheep and rocking horse ornaments to see who gets a prominent place on the tree; Santa greets all our seasonal visitors with a treat every year!)

Happy Christmas Eve!

This evening kicks off more yearly traditions that I look forward to: a tourtière and quiche dinner at our family friends’ house and going to church with my family. For the first time in about 10 years, we’re going to church first - trading the 11pm service for the 5pm service. I’m excited for the change as unlike my sister, the night owl, I am an early bird and therefore find myself waning considerably by the time we usually head to church. Plus, the chatting and semi-gorging on tourtière makes me want to snuggle into pjs, curl up on the sofa and watch White Christmas until bedtime.

Tomorrow’s traditions include: opening stockings, a cozy breakfast with my mum and sister (scrambled eggs, bacon, croissants..mmm!), watching the Queen’s message at noon (have I mentioned I come from a long line of WASPs?), presents and dinner, OK, a huge turkey feast at my grandmother’s.

Sending Christmas magic to all of you - may Santa find you and your loved ones enjoying each others’ company (and not driving each other crazy!

xo.

Filed under christmas Holidays my life traditions family decorations

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Snails and a childhood in Bermuda

      Me in Bermuda, age 4

My mother loves to tell people the story of my early days of education. We moved to Bermuda when I was 2 but I didn’t go to kindergarten/pre-school for a year or so after. When I did, it was to a wee school called Small World (as in, “it’s a small world afterall,” which really has just set the theme for my entire life but that’s not the point of this story.)

Anyway, allegedly on the first day of school we were told a story about a snail. This story provided me with a wealth of artistic creativity apparently because every subsequent day after for months after I would bring home my artwork from school with my artist’s note written on it by my teacher: “Joan says this is a picture of a snail.”

As the years rolled by, the story of Joan and her snails was often retold to people as a source of endearing amusement - by all of us: myself, my sister and my mother. And I further the snail history with odd knick knack presents in the form of snails to this day. (The most recent one I can remember is about 4 years back when I was off on a pottery shop expedition with friends and had to choose something to paint and what-not. Having not enough artistic talent to decorate a tile, plate or mug, I spotted a snail that seemed to fit the bill both in price and skill level. Mum unwrapped it for mother’s day just a month later and it now sits on her dresser.)

Which is why it’s so fitting that my younger sister would send me a link this afternoon with the following:

JOAN! scroll almost all the way down here and see what Kate painted on her easel!!!!

      Catherine Middleton during her LA visit, Getty images

(For your convenience - and my amusement - I’ve attached a few more photos (from Getty/WENN.) 

      Catherine Middleton during her LA visit, Getty images

      Prince William and Catherine in art class, Getty images

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and I have an identical skill level when it comes to art. And it would seem she and her husband are as much amused by it as my family and I are; which is why I’m sitting here staring at these photos and wondering what the story behind her snail is.

Filed under Prince William Catherine Middleton royal tour my life memories Bermuda snails Margot family duke and dutchess of cambridge

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About a year ago this weekend, I went west to Vancouver to visit my sister. Amongst many other shenanigans and a road trip to Seattle, we went to the Aquarium in Stanley Park and startled many many fish and other sea creatures with my large camera. 
(Really I should be posting the pics of her in front of the jellyfish tank, but this one just looks cooler.)

About a year ago this weekend, I went west to Vancouver to visit my sister. Amongst many other shenanigans and a road trip to Seattle, we went to the Aquarium in Stanley Park and startled many many fish and other sea creatures with my large camera. 

(Really I should be posting the pics of her in front of the jellyfish tank, but this one just looks cooler.)

Filed under Margot family Vancouver vacation travel

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Before anyone calls me a cruel older sister, I would like to state that she KNEW I was taking screen grabs while we caught up via gchat this afternoon (hence the last image on the right). 
That being said, THIS is what I’m dealing with. Thank God she ended up just as weird as me; it would have been awkward otherwise. 

Before anyone calls me a cruel older sister, I would like to state that she KNEW I was taking screen grabs while we caught up via gchat this afternoon (hence the last image on the right). 

That being said, THIS is what I’m dealing with. Thank God she ended up just as weird as me; it would have been awkward otherwise. 

Filed under conversations family Margot ridiculous

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My little sister tumbled off a direct flight from Vancouver this morning shortly after 7am. She used me as a leaning post as we waiting 20 minutes for her large suitcase to appear on the belt in front of us. 
Basically, this means I’ll probably be blogging less these next few days as we spend Christmas in Montreal with our mother, grandmother and various cousins and friends.

My little sister tumbled off a direct flight from Vancouver this morning shortly after 7am. She used me as a leaning post as we waiting 20 minutes for her large suitcase to appear on the belt in front of us. 

Basically, this means I’ll probably be blogging less these next few days as we spend Christmas in Montreal with our mother, grandmother and various cousins and friends.

Filed under family siblings Margot Christmas