December 2015 & January 2016: Edinburgh, a wedding in Whitstable and an English adventure

February 20, 2016

On December 27th we departed for the UK – a bit of a whirlwind visit – primarily to see two of our closest friends Dani & Holly (Dolly) get hitched in Whitstable on January 2nd.

The journey didn’t start out too stellar. Our plane was delayed by over two hours on the tarmac. We just sat there breathing recycled air with very few updates on what was going on. Then they also re-routed the plane due to inclemate weather, adding another 2 hours to the journey. I wouldn’t have minded so much had they kept us updated. Blurg. So inevitably Roisin and I both got super ill with chest infections. Happy New Year.

Once we landed we had to race to Kings Cross to catch a train up to Edinburgh. We spent 4 days there trying to recoup so we could potentially enjoy the remainder of our trip. Hooray for antibiotics!

Roisin played a gig with her talented pals Kirsten Adamson and Roberta Pia of the Banana Sessions. We got to enjoy the Christmas markets, do a tiny bit of shopping, eat some Cuckoo’s cupcakes and we had a nice meal at the Canny Man’s. We didn’t get to enjoy our usual Black Medicine noms as they were closed for the holidays (we opted for Artisan Roast instead) and Roisin was doing so poorly on New Year’s Eve that we had to cancel our plans and miss out on the torch procession the night before. :(

We DID get to see Hannah and Roy Henderson though- two of our best pals. After 23 hours of travel from their honeymoon and New Zealand adventures, they dragged themselves from their beds to enjoy a cheeky breakfast at the Balmoral Hotel (Yes, the hotel where J.K. Rowling finished the Potter series ahhh!) before we hopped on a train back to London.

From there we went on to Canterbury where we had a lovely nighttime saunter and some cocktails. It really is what you'd expect. The architecture is stunning. We stayed at the ABode – I’d highly recommend it.

The next morning we were off to Whitstable for Dolly’s wedding – what an incredible celebration! AHHHH! I feel so lucky that we got to be there. These two ladies looked incredible and everything was so beautiful! SWOOOOOOON!

I think as our very own wedding is fast approaching this one was extra, extra sentimental for us. What a great way to enter a new year.

The next morning, after believing that we were stranded in Whitstable due to flooding and having a massive fight, we finally made our way back to Canterbury where we caught the necessary 4 trains to Brighton. Blurg. Rain + illness + being lost = deadly combo.

Brighton was incredible. I honestly need to go back. We stayed in a hotel right off the beach. The waves were pretty impressive. As a person who grew up around lakes I think salt water still weirds me out somehow.

We fell in love with Small Batch Coffee – honestly their Rwanda Kanya roast is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. We wandered the Lanes, ate breakfast at Bill’s, checked out the Royal Pavilion, explored antique stores in their Kensington/North Laine and of course we ventured out to the Pier to play a few games and wander the closed amusement rides.

We made sure to have a cheeky Nando’s and we definitely swooned over the Black Dove – such a fantastic space for a beer. I also managed to have one of the best pain au chocolat pastries… so many layers of buttery flaky noooooommm.

And then we were off to Bristol.

We opted to save a bit of cash by staying in a private room at a hostel but the place was filthy. There was garbage all over the floor of our room and the bathrooms were disgusting :( Needless to say, I kinda wished we hadn’t left Brighton. But we made the best of it, at least the location was stellar.

Their local Brew Dog became our home base. Between there and Small St. Espresso, we felt at home. Their billionaire shortbread squares were insane.

We made a day trip out to Bath to check out the Roman Baths (and to have high tea), having a necessary Greggs along the way. I’d wanted to go there since my very first trip to the UK. It’s so lovely and the baths themselves are hella interesting.

Then my pal Scott visited us from Manchester!! We enjoyed a tasty dinner at Cafe Kino, went back to Brew Dog and sauntered around Primark and the city center the following day. I love that over these past 4-5 years we’ve really made an effort to keep in touch, taking turns traveling for visits.

Bristol wasn’t necessarily our jam. I think one trip there was sufficient, but we did discover Cabot Circus in the end which was pretty neat. I somehow introduced Roisin to Wagamama while we were there. So bloody good, and the next morning we went back to the shopping center and the surrounding high end shops so I could begin looking for some sort of wedding dress scenario.

Then we were off to London for our final few days. The first order of business was seeing the film Carol at the Soho Curzon Cinema. The film wasn’t as good as Patricia Highsmith’s Price of Salt, but it was still the best lesbian film I’ve ever watched.

We went to the Breakfast Club the next morning and had a long saunter through the shops. Then we sat down to a Sunday roast at one of our staples in Islington, The Angelic.

We made our way to the airport the next morning to discover our plane was delayed by well over three hours, that we’d miss our train home, have to get a random hotel for the night and attempt to avoid paying full price for more train tickets. Weeeeee! We made it home in one piece… eventually. But winter travel is the worst travel.

Overall the trip was pretty amazing, tainted slightly by illness, but really good. The moment we got back I started packing… I think it’s go time.

November & December 2015: Engagement photos, Hamilton and Chrimbo

February 19, 2016

In November, we traveled to Toronto to get our engagement photos taken in Kensington market with our ridiculously talented weddang photographer Jennifer Moher. (Honestly. Check her portfolio. Insane.)

As our wedding is all NATURE! – we opted for a much more urban couples session.

The results from that shoot… are just ahhhhhh. Who knew we could look so good?

During that trip we got to visit with my pal Bevan and we also took the opportunity to check out Hamilton as a prospective new home. It ticked a lot of boxes. Lots of wee cafes, lovely restaurants and bars – proximity to Toronto, housing is affordable… overall pretty good. But of course, we’re a bit hesitant this time around, lest we fuck this up one more time.

We did discover Tiki Sushi here in Windsor. And what a delicious find that was. Their shrimp ceviche is a thing of dreams – not to mention their oysters. I’m salivating already.

Saturday Night Beaver continued to plod along – November’s actually went over the bar’s capacity. Then in December we did a video dance party as a throwback to the days of the MuchMusic video dances. It was hella successful and really, really fun.

Roisin played for the Windsor Independent‘s Gallery series –

And the normal prep that accompanies Christmas happened. I decided to abuse my Indigo discount something fierce. There’s only a couple days before Christmas where I get 40% off. As we were skint, I bought all my Chrimbo presents in one day along with enough books to last a year. Mmmm books. Merry Christmas Kayla.

August, September & October 2015: A couch, a turkey and a wedding

February 18, 2016

In August, Roisin and I started what is essentially a lesbian promotions company called Schecter. (Insert nod to L Word-watching lesbians here.) So we started a monthly queer dance party called Saturday Night Beaver.

We wanted there to be loads of wee nuggets for our patrons. We put videos on the screens at the bar celebrating lesbian pop culture and chose some djs who we thought would understand our audience. And it wasn’t bad. We threw the first one during pride week and it was actually quite good.

The Windsor Star
interviewed us – you can check that out here.

I think we decided that if we were going to be in Windsor for a while we might as well make the best of it. So we started filling some gaps. As Windsor doesn’t really have a designated “lesbian hangout” – we made one.

Once we’d managed to pay off pretty much all of our debt we also decided to make ourselves comfortable, so we purchased a couch. A nice mid-century-lookin’ gray adult couch with wooden legs. We adulted. And time just kept sweeping by.

I had to laugh, in September Scott Moffatt came to town. As a Hanson-loving teen, the Moffatts were also on my playlist. It was a strange experience watching this isolated member messing around with synths. Weird, weird, weird. Also – thank god for the internet and the maturing of my musical palette.

I also designed and mailed out our Save the Dates. This weddang is gettin’ real.

Roisin and I also took on a turkey. We cooked it on our own as well as all the trimmings. No one died, we’re still together. I was well impressed.

Then, mid October, my sister got hitched at a private ceremony. It was pretty quick but her and her dude decided it was time and they did it their way. It was a lovely ceremony, a delicious meal and a superb celebration.

I continued with my two-job shuffle, Roisin continued to work full time at Villains … lather, rinse, repeat.

It was around this time that our itchy feet started to get pretty bad. This period of time was likely the beginning of the end. I think over the summer we could have clawed things back. But I’m pretty sure over the fall we started silently coming to terms with the idea that Windsor was a faux pas. That we’d done it again.

One saving grace was that we got new neighbours- and they’re AMAZING! They’re a lovely married couple from Hamilton and they love cats and they love music and teen movies and they’re not loud and they don’t mind lesbians and it’s so nice to feel safe in our home.

This is our neighbour Alex at Halloween: