Wednesday, January 04, 2006

getting to grips with blogging

I'm still a blogging neophyte so I don't feel too bad about struggling with the basics. However, I am rather jealous when I look at other blogs and see the dizzying array of pictures, links and other fancy bits and pieces. Anyway - Julie and I have started our pre-training for the Belfast Marathon. So far so good - we've been running a bit this week and comparing notes on the various running plans and information we have at our disposal. E-Dunny will be joining us for the race and we are looking forward to counting the miles off. So far we are still trying to come up with some new routes around East Belfast - it's a far cry from St Andrews which I now see as something of a runner's paradise.

Aside from the running, I've been reading a lot of crime fiction recently. Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, Harlan Coben and currently PD James. It's interesting to read a British writer after a few months of nothing but US crime fiction. I know this sounds cliched, but the pace is much slower and there is a distinct lack of violence. But I've still got a Lee Burke and a Coben waiting for me when I finish with Ms James. There's an amazing Crime Fiction bookstore here in Belfast called No Alibis - if I had the money I'd be in there a lot more, but at the moment, I'm a regular at our local library. Well that's all for now - I'll leave you with a quote from PD James "What the dectective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order."


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A quick update

Stu cooking dinner by the Yukon River

So where have we been etc? Well, here's the digested recent history: In April we set off for Canada to work and holiday for 6 mths. We got a job with NATA reforestation as cook (stu) and baker (julie). This was loads of fun and a lot of hard work. We cooked for between 55 and 75 tree planters every day and faced the challenges of life in the bush. It was quite an experience and we had a amazing time. Canada is an incredible country and I fell in love with the the great outdoors - after all our adventures, life sometimes seems a bit pedestrian. After working until early august we had some holiday time with the Broten family in saskatoon, SK and a two week holiday of a lifetime with Derek and Lesley.

Here's the four in-laws, or should that be out-laws in Banff.

After 2 weeks with D and L, Julie and I went to a summer camp run by Pioneer SK, this was a great time for all - even though I had to share a room with a bunch of teenager guys who were much cooler than me. After camp we had a couple more weeks in Saskatoon and then it was back to Belfast.

It took us a while to get settled, but pretty quickly Julie had a full-time job she enjoys and stu was working part-time at Starbucks and continuing to try and finish his thesis. I will soon stop writing about stu in the third person, as it seems a bit strange.

And that's the digested recent history...

New Year, New Blog. Welcome to the Shampoo Planet. Coming up with a blog name is quite the challenege - however, a quick scan round my bookshelves and Douglas Coupland's novel came to my aid. Judging by my current hair style I'm not all that interested in shampoo. However, I don't feel so bad about my blog naming method. I heard recently that Chris Martin (of Coldplay fame) was stuck for a word for the lyrics to their breakthrough hit 'Yellow' - sitting with his guitar in his lap he looked over and spotted the yellow pages - the rest is history. So Shampoo Planet it is. Welcome and enjoy.

Here's a shot of julie and myself looking happy on Boxing Day.