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Posts posted by ABritAbroad

  1. 16 hours ago, MargieH said:

    The nurses' uniforms these days aren't what they used to be in my day - I'll say no more, but eyes used to follow us up and down the mens' wards - at least in the orthopaedic Ward when all that was wrong with the patients was mostly broken bones and knee cartilage problems....

    How on earth did you keep those crisp whites clean, Margie? The nurses always look so elegant and refined, times changed.

  2. On April 9, 2017 at 6:50 PM, loppylugs said:

    I've sure realized that the older I get the less I seem to know!


    I've lost count of the times when talking to folks I have to say, "I don't know."   I'm think of shortening to just IDK.  Might be quicker.:wacko:


    There's a saying, Dave...

    "The sign of intelligence is

    that you are constantly

    wondering. Idiots are always

    dead sure about everything" ;)

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  3. Ayupmeducks, yes they are a big problem aren't they... and not a native species. You can thank those lot across the pond for bringing them over for hunting game, way back in the day.


    We have two farms in Northern Alberta that provide boar to the restaurant industry. A few got loose, thrived through the seasons and bred, they became an issue. Some towns offered $50 for each one killed so they are rare now but it needs watching as there's a lot of crown forest land up here for them to hide out on.


    I'm a big animal lover, but I am reasonable enough to understand that these are not a native species and need to be controlled or else they wipe out native animals in their wake and cause mass destruction of crops and attack livestock.

    In Argentina they hunt on horseback and use the dogs to catch the boar. They dispatch the boars with a knife to the neck quickly & cleanly. They don't use a gun, could end up shooting the dogs.


    I once cared for very well known english gentleman, he owned incredible antiques and one was a huge European boar spear, I gave out a very unprofessional and unregal "korrr, look at that!" when he showed me.

    He was tickled at least :blush:

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  4. NewBasfordlad, Akitas are beautiful dogs, that's like owning your own bear, what a regal dog. 

    Sorry for your loss, you must have years of wonderful memories of her.

    Yes, you would've been subject to going into everyone's homes and the mercy of the pets inside, can imagine.


    Ah, firearms, yes big changes on that front, law wise. My family is big into arms and I have a number of former Armed Forces friends and current police friends through work who are active in the local gun club. I just hosted a scotch party for the lads there - good fun!

    Myself, I'm partial to the historic end of the spectrum, duelling pistols, blunderbusses and the likes, I shoot traditional longbow (targets only, not critters, don't have it in my heart)... nothing I'd like to take my chances with on a boar though, thanks, they are like leather tanks with razor sharp cutters.

    I saw a video of a bloke once, he had one cornered in the bush, had it in his mind to catch it by the ears as it came out. I knew that wasn't going to end well... sure enough, it ran out past him, flicked it's head as he passed and sliced straight through his groin and femoral artery, he nearly died. Silly sod.


  5. Have to agree with you, NewBasfordlad. Never had an issue with a bully type breed going for me (though I'm not ignorant to say that they do not exist, of course they do) but I have on a couple of occasions been bitten by smaller dogs. A Dachshund bit my leg last year after it's owners didn't shut their gate and I walked past unsuspectingly. 


    It's a double standard really, irresponsible owners of less powerful dogs are no less irresponsible than owners of bigger dogs (in my eyes at least) but because bigger dogs can cause more damage they and their owners are judged by a different yard stick. I'd just like to see equal accountability and consequence across the board, an irresponsible owner is just that, regardless of their breed of choice. Some people should just stick to goldfish ;)  

    Kinda like a bad driver, be it a Robin Reliant or Bugatti owner, if you're a crap driver and run someone over, you should loose your keys until proven competent to drive more than a shopping trolly (though, you ever had someone run up the back of your ankles with one of them in Asda, hurts like a bugger!) 


    Ok off my soap box now...


    What did you do for work, NewBasfordlad?

  6. They aren't too common, katyjay. Seems in the US they are mostly owned in Texas by hunters due to the feral boar problem, apparently they do $millions worth of crop damage each year.

    Here's my boy in the tub, he's pouting because I wouldn't turn the tap on, a full bath tub is his best treat ever.


    I'll keep other pics to the pet post as not to sway off topic!

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  7. Mosquitoes here are stinkers, they'll chase you, relentless little buggers. There are man-made still water lakes/ponds in every new community, I myself live in a new lake community, beautiful place but it sure can bring them in. Ironically, it was living in Bridgeland where they were the worst, maybe is was still water pockets in The Bow River? Who knows, but wow it was bad there, I'd run for the train just to outrun them!


    Dogo Argentinos are not allowed in the UK but they are allowed in Canada. 

    I'm torn to be honest, here’s why...

    I waited years to get my Dogo, waited until I owned my own house, had the time and resources to train one, etc. I researched the breed exhaustively and went in eyes wide open.

    He was not my first dog and I also volunteered with at the RSPCA in the UK for 6 years with their staffies that were confiscated by police from dogfighting raids. Never once had an issue with one of those dogs in all my years but I do have a scar on my arm from a Cocker Spaniel that attacked me as a kid :angry:

    I flew Rogan to Canada as a pup from Buenos Aires, good parents, well socialized, proven temperament. I saw two litters grow up from the same parents prior and got to see how they turned out, both health wise and temperament wise, all excellent.


    I don’t have kids so I let the neighbourhood kids socialize with him when he was a pup, he adores kids now and is beside himself if a kid will play with him, he turns into a big goof but is very mindful of his body and his power and is gentle as a lamb with them. 

    That said I wouldn’t leave him, or any dog, alone with a child, I do not believe it's responsible. It’s not that I don’t trust him, I don’t trust the kids. I have seen a number of my friend’s kids teasing and tormenting their own dogs when they think an adult isn’t watching, it would be irresponsible for me to take the chance. I’d feel the same with any breed, I believe they are first and foremost an animal and I'm responsible and protect him.


    He’d never make a guard dog, a perfect stranger can walk into our house and he treats them like long lost friends. He was inherently like that as a pup but I also socialized him daily to everyone and everything. I trained him kindly but consistently. You can’t raise your voice to this breed, this will shut down and won’t even look at you, they are very sensitive to harsh correction and do not need it.

    He knows his boundaries, I don’t have to be hard, I have to be consistent.

    They are a dog social breed, specifically bred to hunt in packs, if you have one that isn’t dog social there’s been a fault somewhere along the way, either the breeder or the owner did not do their job. 


    I also have a Corso, now she is a security dog, professionally bred and trained to be so. I have had two attempted home invasions whilst I was at home, prior to getting her. She is highly obedience trained, indifferent to strangers, social with friends and family, and not aggressive. I think people misunderstand the nature required of a dog to do that job, the worst kind of dog is an aggressive, reactive, dog, that’s just a liability.


    I don’t like seeing dogs in the wrong hands, inexperienced, or malicious hands, they are equally as bad as each other, especially with powerful dogs. I don’t want to see the breed become popular, it never did pitbulls any good.

    People can screw up dogs, last thing I’d want to see is someone getting a dogo and training it to be aggressive towards people or other dogs, or just as worse; not training it at all.

    They are a powerful hunting dog for wild boar and cougars and are great at what they were bred to do, but they were also bred to be dual natured and very people and dog social. 

    I’m not an advocate of banning breeds at all, I think legal consequences for irresponsible dog ownership fall far short of what they should be in most countries. Regardless of breed, we need to raise the bar much higher in protecting the general public and all dogs from idiots.


    Sorry, not to get political!


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  8. I think you're right, NewBasfordlad, likely a lot of wild imaginations, one too many pints and such. It's hard to tell from some recent photos, plus our technology today for doctoring is so advanced. I have seen a couple of clips, however, that were definitely much bigger than your average mog... makes me wonder a bit what they might be.


    I was hiking last Winter, quite close to the city limits, I passed a dead deer up in a big tree. Lots of cat tracks at the foot of the tree so I made myself scarce, I didn't want him/her coming back and thinking I wanted an arm wrestle for it.

  9. katyjay, hope you and yours stay safe with those fires going.


    Teach me to assume, I always thought those were some sort of pig/boar. My lesson for the day!

    They look like they could do some serious foraging, much like a boar.


    Arizona looks beautiful, what terrain, stunning. You don't see vistas like that back home.

  10. Yes, you are right about the Lyme disease, I should have asked if you were in remission, not just ok. I'm glad to hear you have been symptom free for 7-8 years now as it can be truly horrible, I know I don't need to tell you as you know full well. 

    It's a very controversial topic in Canada, I'm not sure how it is in the States? I knew someone who ended up going down to the US to get tested many years back.

    Good for you for seeking out a treatment that works in keeping it at bay, I truly hope it continues to do so for you.


    I got very sick from eating a rotten, undercooked fish in Honduras, it gave me bleed in my upper gastrointestinal tract, so I had vicious cramps and uncontrollable black diarrhea. The medicine I was given at the hospital did not work at all, no change in 2 weeks.

    Finally, I stayed up in the slums, a kind lady offered me food one evening and I tried to explain I was sick from bad fish and couldn't eat. She waved a finger at me and rustled me up a tea steeped from various plants in her yard, I watched her pick them. It was full of twigs and something that tasted like lemongrass, she urged me to drink it and I had nothing to loose at that point so I sifted the brew through my teeth.

    Well, by next afternoon I was completely symptom free, I was grateful and completely amazed.

    I believe that there are cures out there we are not aware of for all sorts of illnesses and it would not shock me at all to find out it's something that's been used by native people for generations.


    Picturing a bobcat watching traffic, what a sight that must have been! 

    Keeping nature and people safe and in harmony, it's a fine balance isn't it?


    What do you think of all the reported mysterious big cat sightings they have in the UK?

    • Upvote 2
  11. Thank you NewBasfordlad, I can't take any credit for him personally of course but I sure share your kindred appreciation of the beauty and the work. 

    It is a marvel to me, how these men made such majestic things, given their resources in that era. They were Russian immigrants who came to America to start a new life. Their trade from home was wood carving. They started with women's hair combs, it was the only work they could get, then they progressed to horses. Finally owning their own business.

    Their first full carousel was a massive machine, however, it burned to the ground on opening day due to an accidental fire in the park. Can you imagine :Shock: Not like you can uninstall and rescue these in a hurry, they weigh about 200lbs each. All that work up in smoke, gut wrenching.


    Be still my heart, I'd love to go to Vienna. The Lipizanna stallions would be such an experience to watch, magnificent animals aren't they? Seeing them in the flesh must have been quite something for you.

    He does have that kind of Lipizanna look doesn't he? Some people do not like this style of carousel horse, they find them too big and think the S&G horses just look angry, but I think he looks regal.

    When I was a kid I'd always pick a particularly unruly horse at Bestwood stables to ride, named Kelly. It was my chance to be a rebel and go galloping off wildly into the the woods, then blame it on the horse! ;)

    He's only an inch shorter than I am and currently resides in my bedroom. When the sun goes down at the end of the day he looks quite magical, it really highlights the hills and valleys of the carving.


    I'm soppy, these little things just make me happy as...


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    • Upvote 3
  12. What on earth are they thinking, eh, Cliff Ton?

    That Gustafson Porter + Bowman lot wrecked the market, it looked better in the 70's with the fountains and the gardens, it was beautiful at one time. Ok so it wasn't the Trevi Fountain but it was in keeping with the British aesthetic, it had character. I don't mind modern art at all, I appreciate it, but build a freestanding statue or put it in a gallery, don't F up historical architecture in the name of it. 


    That's like the carousel horses, they all got replaced after the Great Depression with fibreglass and aluminium ones, they were cheaper, you could bang them out quick and not have to look after them and no one saw the carved ones as historic art. 

    One of the greatest carvers refused to bow down and insisted on keeping his carving tradition, but he died broke. Now his remaining carousels are well over a $1M. I hope he's watching down here and finally seeing how much his work is treasured now.


  13. I'll ask my Dad, he'd remember, I think. Would love to see a photo, whenever you get chance. Is it vacant now, I thought I heard somewhere it was derelict? Did you go to Viyella's nursery?


    Everyone is lovely, yes Melissa, lots of trips down memory lane too :) 

  14. My favourites where, bonfire toffee (not the preformed sweets, the proper stuff, in shards) rhubarb & custards, sugar mice, mojos (spearmint - the best) fruit salads, the "cigarettes" (very un-PC now) the big Easter eggs (especially the Quality Street one) parma violets, drumsticks, Mr Freeze pops, sticks of rock from the seaside, sugar dummies, lemon sherbets, monster munch, frazzles, scampi crisps, 99s with a flake from the icecream man, cornettos, pepperoni sticks, prawn cocktail crisps, dip dabs, space dust (crackle - pop!) floral gums, jelly lager and beer bottles (again, not PC these days) pear drops, proper jelly babies, bubbly bubble gum (the pink hard stuff). Then there's school dinner deserts like jam roly poly, spotted dick, treacle pudding, cornflakes with golden syrup on a jam coated tart (don't know official name but was was good!)

    How'd we keep our teeth? I used to buy a 1/4 a week, that was all my pocket money, that made a pound of sugar month I ate :crazy: 

    To redeem myself, I don't remember eating sweets when I went to the city centre, I'd go to the Victoria market and buy a bag of white button mushrooms, loved them!

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  15. On June 21, 2017 at 0:51 AM, FLY2 said:

    Re# 130. Maybe the decrease in size of various chocolate bars, snacks and biscuits is due to the enforced introduction of metrication. Also on some I notice, the type of chocolate has altered. Perhaps it's the consistency of the ingredients, again maybe due to EU interference, or the inferior quality of Fair Trade produce. Let's face it, the majority is crap ! 

    On the cake front, the chocolate on cream puffs or 'Elephants Feet' has definitely deteriorated, as has the chocolate on top of eclairs. It's more like a soggy icing sugar these days.  

    Lets return to our proper snacks ! 

    I'm gutted to hear this FLY, elephants feet were a rare luxury for us, it was a special treat for Mum to buy them. I always ate the bottom first by itself then turned it upside down and ate the chocolate glazed top and the cream together by taking big mouthfuls, the cream would always go up my nose, it was the best! And it was proper rich whipped cream too, none of this light stuff. 

    They need to stop messing with our food, if I'm going to indulge I want the real monty. 

  16. katyjay, I have never seen a javelina in person. They're like a smaller version of wild boar right? Do they cause any damage to gardens and such? I have family in The Forest of Dean and wild boars have dug up their garden a few times.


    I have heard lovely things about Arizona, how do you like it there?

  17. Oh carni, that's tragic, progress isn't always progress is it? That must have been bewildering for you, no?

    I only knew the Market Square had changed quite a bit, when I left it was still with the fountains, which I know weren't always historically there but still... My mates did a leg-and-a-wing and tossed me in one on my last day in the UK. T'was like pigeon poop soup, at least I kept my head out of it!

    I tried not to "squelch" when I got on the bus home, I was worried the bus driver wouldn't let me on.


    Better bring a box of tissues with me next trip home, a pint or two might be in order after too, drown me sorrows ;)


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  18. It's so true, Jill, what a step backwards. Back in the day things were made with such artistry and craftsmanship. People treasured them and they stayed in families for generations. They were made so well, form, function, and beauty.

    Now, it's the norm to buy new furniture every few years, on a whim or for fashion, or because it falls apart and you have to. 

    Same for clothing, I'm in awe of how men and women's clothing was once made. Now that was tailoring and dressmaking, exquisite! 

    Not that you can't find well made things today, but it's a niche, a rarity.

    The general mindset of the masses is now so different, it's fuelled by instant gratification, a throw-away generation. 


    I used to work next to a lovely high end, privately owned, jewellers here in Canada. They sold new jewelry but also took in old pieces to sell in their estate section. Sometimes customers would request items to be melted down and be remade into custom pieces.

    There was a feisty Russian jewelry designer who worked there for over 20 years, her name was Ivana. I just loved her quick wit and dry humour. She was very poised, the epitome of grace, but always very direct.

    I was in there when a customer came in once with jewelry inherited from her Great Grandmother's estate she said. She asked Ivana to dismantle a number of the pieces and redesign them into some modern jewelry items that she'd actually wear, she hated them as they were and considered them ugly.

    Ivana looked through them (I desperately wanted to peek!) and told the girl that these were exceptional pieces, rare and exquisite and bluntly said "no I won't do it" to which the young lady said quite aggressively "you have to, I'm the customer, that's what I want!"

    Well, her reply was priceless and you have to imagine this in the bluntest Russian accent you can think of. Ivana said "you would not bring me a Picasso and ask me to repaint it to match your f-ing couch!"

    The girl just grabbed her things and left.

    I died. I never did get to see what she had but they must have been something pretty special, Ivana was a diehard puritan when it came to historic jewelry.

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