August 25, 2010


More stories about travelling around the UK this summer. At one point we headed for Wales. We spent a day romping around the lush, misty Welsh hills.... which are unbelievably gorgeous, especially in the rain. Atmospheric and... *magical*

Towards evening we went to hang out with our friend Brian (who used to play in my band back in the day - yeah, I'm a muso - and is an awesome guitarist who has even played with Marianne Faithful, how's that for name dropping). Anyways, we made our way back to his place.

Walking in, I took off my coat and boots, and suddenly found myself standing on something soft and squishy.

So I pull off my sock and there's this cute little slug curled up on it, hoping I won't notice.

Being basically kind-hearted, I gave the little guy a flying lesson into the neighbour's garden; stay tooned for a future animated post about that.

Days passed, and I forgot about El Sluggo. My laundry accumulated in my luggage and we eventually returned to Penzance, into the open arms of my MIL and her washing machine!

The sock got tossed into the wash with everything else and the machine did it's thing. Then the MIL pulled out my now soaking wet socks to hang dry, gave them a shake, and cheerfully proclaimed: "SLUG SLIME."

And guess what folks? It doesn't wash out. I even put the socks through the Extreme Cycle now we're back in Montreal. It dries up okay but as soon as the sock gets washed again, it reconstitutes into slime. This stuff is tough-tough-tough!

So, of course I did what any person of slightly above average intelligence would do.
I tweeted for help. And got the following suggestions:

Burn them.
Throw socks in garbage.
Get new socks.

And the lovely @BloggerTalk sent some enlightening slug info.

But needless to say....

...the alcohol was the only thing that really helped.


August 22, 2010

Chocolate Assholes.

WARNING: There may be one or two assholes in this story.

OK, so I was just travelling around the UK with the husband and kids, blogging about buckets, the Underground and surfing. Somewhere along the way I also discovered a gem of a shop in Hackney (London) called "Viktor Wynd's Little Shop of Horrors". Peering through the windows, I saw stuffed mermaids, jars of preserved two-headed bats, and dubious but nonetheless interesting adult colouring books lining the shelves. And I thought, what a perfect place to pick up a birthday present for my BFFF @TrashCanRoxanne. Since I was missing her birthday back home in Montreal, right?

So in I go, and they've got all kinds of weird and wonderful things, including a single box of chocolate assholes. Don't ask how they make these chocs people, they're very realistic; the mind boggles.
And I'm like, PERFECT!!! She's gonna love it!

A little back story: this is TrashCan and me. We've been buddies since University. We've worked together in animation. And she introduced me to my husband. I can fart in front of her. She can fart in front of me. She never does though. She never farts ever.

Ignore the rubber duckie, that's another story.

Anyhow, I hope you're getting that I just know she's going to really LOVE these chocolate assholes.

The nice man in the Little Shop of Horrors tells me that there are three handmade Belgian chocolates in the box. But they're past their sell-by date, so I have to promise him that no one is going to actually eat these chocs. Which I can easily do, cuz knowing TrashCan, she's just going to poke them with her finger, laugh her head off and that will be that. So the shop man gives them to me really cheap! Total score, I'm sure you'll agree.

Fast-forward to last night, back in Montreal. I had just picked up the dog from the kennels and was settling in to a nice glass of wine.

A little more back story: our dog is a mixed breed, part chaos, part trouble, and the only human besides us who understands and cares about her is Trashcan.

Anyways, I go upstairs to upack and I noticed, holy crap, the dog's got into my luggage, found the chocolate assholes, unwrapped them and gobbled them up!!!

I'm freaking out on two levels here - first, my dog has eaten chocolate, which could harm her - and second my dog has eaten chocolate assholes which I specially got for my BFFF.

Responding to my urgent tweets, a lovely tweep named @jmbuckingham googled the online shop and I have now ordered a new batch of Incredible Edible Anus' which are not past their sell-by date. Thanks to her, you can ALL order some yummy chocolate assholes for your BFFF.

And the dog? She's totally fine. She left me a nice chocolate turd on the bedroom rug to thank me for the chocolate assholes.


August 19, 2010


WARNING: There's a nude male surfer in this post.

This one is for The Mom-O-Matic cuz she's a naughty girl really swell. Plus I kinda promised I'd feature a hunky surfer with a Cornwall TAN.

Don't know what "hang eleven" means? Don't be lazy; google it. And then post the answer as a comment, heheheh.... *evil grin*.


August 16, 2010

My Cornwall TAN.

There are some beautiful beaches in England. However, when frolicking in the surf off the Cornish coast you should really wear a wet suit. Because it's bloody freezing.

(Only 15 year old girls opt for bikinis instead of wetsuits. They are seemingly immune to the cold, though they do look a bit strange once they've turned blue.)

If the wet suit fits you properly, others should be able to tell what you've had for lunch just by looking. Since it's so snug, it will insulate you against the cold like a neoprene forcefield!

Your face, hands and feet get nice and brown. The rest of you is white, white WHITE! 
I call this the Cornwall TAN.

You see all the great looking surfer dudes, with their tanned faces, hands and feet. But believe me, under that slick wetsuit they are so pale, they are practically see-through. 

How do I know this? 
You're just gonna hafta take my word for it.


August 14, 2010

The Dream WEEVER.

As you know, my first surf lesson ended in excruciating pain when I stepped on The DREADED Weever Fish. As those three little spines pierced the tender flesh where my toes join my foot, I could almost feel the weever fish VENOM injecting itself into my bloodstream.

Time passed, I had a few more lessons with the young/tan/fit/smiley dudes at Shore Surf, and I thought nothing more about it  But that venom was up to no good inside me. I began to have a series of bizarre dreams...

...prolly just the weever fish DNA fusing with mine, right? In my dreams, ha ha ha!

Well, imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning with VENOM-induced SUPER POWERS!!!

Don't laugh. It happened to Peter Parker, didn't it?

I still haven't figured out what those Super-Powers are, but I do have a strange urge to head to the beach, fling myself under peoples' feet and shout loudly:

Any suggestions for what my Super-Hero name should be? Will I be Hero or Villain? And how will my Powers manifest?!? Most importantly, what kind of Super Suit should I get?


August 11, 2010

The DREADED Weever Fish.

I bet you're all wondering how my first day of surfing lessons went.

I went with two of my kids - the 10 year old boy and the 13 year old girl. The husband came along to take photos and no, I won't post those here unless you get me really drunk. Anyhow we got there early, donned our full body wet suits and yellow "first time surfer" rash vests, and followed the Shore Surf School gang down to the beach at Godrevy, Cornwall. Everyone had to carry their own boards down, and that is why one of my arms is now longer than the other. Hurrah!

First part of the lesson went really well. We did "prone surfing" where you leap onto your board like a mermaid and lie there riding the wave in. Although much bigger than a boogie board, it was pretty easy to handle and I was having fun.

And then....I stepped on something sharp.

I could feel three tiny needles going into the soft flesh where my toes join my foot. And I thought, "could this be the dreaded weever fish?" It didn't actually hurt much more than a stinging nettle, so I ignored it and caught another wave.

And then it started to sting and and I couldn't even stand on it anymore. "Uh...Mr. Surf Coach dude? Hey, Mr. Surf Coach? Um, excuse me hello Surfie Coachie? Pardon me yoo hoo? HEY MAN I STEPPED ON THE DREADED WEEVER FISH!!!" That got his attention.

I sat down with the very young, very blond, very fit, very tan dudes with "Surf Coach" on their t-shirts and we all looked at my foot. There were three puncture holes and one was even bleeding. It hurt more and more, but I was very brave and didn't cry. Yet.

By now I'll bet you're wondering, ok JC, what the heck is a WEEVER FISH?!?

It's this teeny weeny fishie that likes to lurk under the sand in shallow waters, especially at low tides. The Echiichthys vipera has three spines on its back fin, and if you step on it, the spines inject VENOM into your foot!! How exciting is that, right? Apparently it's the nastiest thing the UK has to offer. Grown men sailors fling themselves in the ocean and drown rather than suffer the excruciating pain of the DREADED Weever Fish.

First aid: kinda lame actually. When you can't stand the pain anymore, you must hobble off unaccompanied down the long, long beach, scramble over a bunch of barnacle covered rocks slippery with seaweed and climb up a steep cliff to the dunes. There's a Life Guard up there and he will put your foot into a tub of boiling hot water. Very hot water will neutralize the protein in the venom by cooking it.

Folks, I don't mind telling you that halfway up those rocks, tears were streaming down my cheeks. This was almost as painful as childbirth. But after 20 minutes of soaking my foot in the Life Guard's tub of hot water the stinging began to subside and I was able to walk again.

On my way back over the rocks, I noticed a little girl about 3 years old, crying her eyes out - she was stuck in the rocks and the tide was coming in. Because she was inbetween the rocks, no one could see her and the waves were so noisy, no one could hear her. The poor thing was really frightened! So I plucked her out and carried her through the deep water to her mom (who was quite some distance away, believe it or not).

So, if I hadn't been stung by the DREADED Weever Fish, who knows what fate may have befallen that poor little girl.

Going back for my second surf lesson tomorrow!


August 10, 2010

Mind the GAP.

How about taking a month and a half out of the summer to drag your family on a sofa-surfing tour of the UK, hang out at beaches with no sun / freezing ocean, AND work to a deadline at the same time? Sounds real fun right?

See the grey people, see the GREY.

In case you're wondering what's up with the map, it's the Transport For London Tube Map, otherwise known as ... the Underground! Here we are, headed to see the Crown Jewels.

But no matter where I go, I can't seem to get away from @WhyIsDaddyCryin. Yes folks, even in the London Underground, I am reminded of him and all the things he can fit between his two front teeth.

Seriously, though, it's been wonderful to drink beer with old friends, hug cherished family members, visit our old haunts from back when we lived here, do some sight-seeing...did I mention drink beer?

Tomorrow, I start my surfing lessons. Yeah, I'll blog about it...IF I LIVE.