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The James Ruddock Show

Time to get back into this blogging business. I can't belize we are going to Belize! (Bad joke). 18th Feb - 27th Feb. Stay tuned.

Diary Entries

Friday, 04 December 2009

Location: On the train to Halifax, NS, Canada

So the Bills lost. I tend to say that a lot! None of the teams I went to see won. I am cursed and Arsenal haven't faired any better during that time either. Great to be at the game night, sitting next to a Jets fan so it was fun poking fun at each other although he had the last laugh....
Now I am on the way back home, been a great trip, met some great people but I am so happy to going home. I have definitely over traveled this year, just exhausted from it all. I used to love flying, everything about it. Now I despise getting on a plane, it's just a chore!
Saying that, I do love traveling and I am always planning my next trip. It's an addiction I think but more a passion. But for now, I just want to work!!!!

Thursday, 03 December 2009

Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Spent the night with an old buddy from Halifax named Matt Molloy. It was a good time, a lot of drink and late night which i spent on his couch. I did not feel too pretty this morning, although managed to drag myself back downtown, do a little more Christmas shopping and then saw 2012 at the cinema.
Tonight is what I planned my trip around, the Bills face the Jets in my first NFL game! There is a buzz about Toronto, or maybe just me but I am about to go join the 'tailgate' party which is a party held before the game. Primetime viewing, so shouldn't disappoint just hope we get a much needed win!
Tomorrow morning I leave for Halifax, 28 hour journey leaving at 11.30am. Much better prepared for this one, got some food, tv shows downloaded etc... Really looking forward to getting back, I have missed it. It really is my home now....

Wednesday, 02 December 2009

Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Went to the NBA game last night, Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards. Great time had, I have discovered that sporting events in North America are very family orientated, everyone has a good time and win or loss its a great evening out. In England and Europe, no one goes to have a good time, only if you win. Its definitely not for the family, with all the swearing and violence and if you lose, someone dies pretty much.... I would love to take my North American friends to a European game, I think they would get a shock!
Raptors lost so I am 0v2 in games I have seen live on this trip, but the main one is tomorrow night, the one I really care about! The Bills v The Jets. Did a bit of Christmas shopping today, saw a movie and now i am watching the Arsenal game. 0v0, halftime. Could do with a win, its been awhile. Shut Adebayor up as well.
Now just looking forward to tomorrow night and then returning to Halifax!

Tuesday, 01 December 2009

Location: Three Hours from Toronto, ON, Canada

I have been on this train for 32 hours now.... Only 3 more hours to go! I am using my cell phone to tether the internet through my laptop on the 3G network, pretty genius and its another reason why I love my iPhone.
I am so tired, not gonna do much today, maybe take a nap. Hard to sleep on a train with a screaming kid near you. Tonight I am going to see the Toronto Raptors against the Washington Wizards. Its an NBA game, very much looking forward to it. Gonna get some christmas shopping done while in Toronto, catch up with some old friends and then the main event on Thursday night, Buffalo Bills v New York Jets!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Firstly, not going to talk about football (soccer).

My last day in Winnipeg, spending it watching sports and movies before my 11.30pm train to Toronto, just a 36 hour long journey, no big deal right? Last night we went round one of Randi's friends house and watched a movie and socialised about cats. There are a lot of cat people around and you'd think it would be a short conversation but its not, people talk about their cats for hours on end. I think cats can be funny, don't get me wrong but after 2 hours of listening to people talk about how their cat does this sometimes and that another time, I get a little weary. Dan and Natalie, your cat talk was the appropriate length of time, so don't worry!
Looking forward to hitting Toronto, watching some basketball and then the main event, the NFL! That has to keep me going because if I think about the next 6 days, I am spending 3 of them on a train and then I start to get cabin fever.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Morning people. I am back in the coffee shop watching Aston Villa v Tottenham. The dreaded snow started falling but its not real snow, just tiny, tiny flakes which isn't settling at all. Hope it stays that way as I need to get the train out of here tomorrow for my fun packed time in Toronto.
Last night, Randi and I went out for Thai food then picked up some alcohol before being joined by her friends at her place for a night of socialising and drinking. I intend to walk around the city some more today, take in the rest of the sights, eat some good food, maybe catch a movie. Nothing big, just a nice relaxing day. I haven't worked for 4 months now, some may say that I have had my share of relaxing days, I am inclined to agree....

Friday, 27 November 2009

Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

After the train coming in late and stuck talking to some senile old woman about her coffee, I left Saskatoon for an 11 hour train journey to Winnipeg. I entertained myself by reading and watching a lot of American Office episodes on my laptop.
I arrived on time surprisingly considering we left an hour late. I had about half an hour to kill before my host picked me up so I grabbed some pasta and waited. Once Randi found me, we went back to her apartment which is very central, talked and then i went to bed....
This morning, I had a meeting with the Northwest Company about possibly working up North next year with Rachael as a Pharmacist. It was good to see everything that Rachael had been talking about first hand and I left pretty optimistic about the whole opportunity so they did a good job at their pitch but at the same time they were sure to mention that its not for everyone.
I walked around the city for a bit and now I am in a coffee shop catching up on some internet time! I don't leave here until Sunday night so got plenty of time to kill before then, although I quite like Winnipeg so far. Surprisingly warm for this time of year, no snow as yet so hopefully it will stay that way!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

At Saskatoon train station awaiting the train to Winnipeg. Hearing rumours of a strike, hope they are just rumours as I am on a tight schedule ad I got things to do at certain times... Anyway, Wendy dropped me off here so that was good. Had a blast with her, we went to a couchsurfing social last night so I got to meet a few of the hosts in Saskatoon. I was the only one surfing, but it's not peak season right now! It has saved me a lot of money, hostels are way overpriced nowadays, $30 a night is a lot for basically a bed and a bad nights sleep. Couchsurfing gives you so much more, priceless information and meeting people that live in the area.
I get into Winnipeg in 11 hours where the next lucky host will greet me! Got to sort out somewhere to stay on Toronto still....

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

It is Wednesday morning and I am in Saskatoon. Been here for a day now! The train was ok, too quick actually as I was enjoying my sleep before being woken up at Saskatoon train station. The station is quite far out of town and my couchsurfing host was at school all day so I grabbed my bag and unfortunately had to taxi it into the city as public transport is sparse around here! Managed to convince the taxi driver that I was a train driver, not that I tried, it was just miscommunication but fun nonetheless.
I got dropped at the bus depot and locked up my bag there, keeping it central so i could grab it when Wendy (my lucky host) was done. I walked around for a couple of hours, down the river and then grabbed some lunch. To be honest, got really bored. Saskatoon is nothing like Paris, so why call it 'Paris of the Prairies'? Must be ironic.....
Anyway, thankfully Wendy was done early so she picked me up and we went to Cosco shopping. Killed an hour there before going back to her apartment and settling in. Spent the night relaxing, watching some tv and went to bed really early. I was exhausted, slept for 12 hours and now i'm up and ready to go check out more of the city. This time tomorrow I will be back on the train to Winnipeg which i expect to be a similar experience to Saskatoon, but we'll see. At least its the weekend there and I can watch some sports such as Arsenal v Chelsea!! Up the Gunners! Plus Friday morning I have a meeting with the Northwest Company about moving up there after Rachael finishes pharmacy school and what they can offer me!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Location: Edmonton,AB, Canada

I am writing this from Edmonton train station as I await my departure to Saskatoon. I am so tired which is a good thing on an overnight journey, should sleep well! Today I went to west Edmonton Mall which is a big shopping centre that everyone told me I had to see. It has rollercoasters, an ice rink, waterpark etc.... You name it! I saw the movie 'The Blind Side' which is a great true story and well worth a watch.
Last night I just hung out with Christine. She cooked a black bean soup thing. She put so much effort in that I felt like I had to eat it. I'm pretty sure she can't read this, if she can then she is the type of person to find it funny but I can't get over the way that certain foods look like Kidney Beans. Anyway, the black beans looked like rabbit poo to me and she was so excited about me eating it that I swallowed most of the meal so I didn't offend her! Then she went to buy some milk from the store which was 2 minutes away so I assessed my options... No pets so coudn't feed it, the garbage had just been emptied so she would have seen so my last and successful option was to flush it down the toilet. Very slick operation. I don't know why I can't get over the way that some food looks because beans really don't taste of much. It's mind over matter I guess! If by some random chance that Christine read this - I just didn't have the heart to tell you but I appreciate everything you did!
Anyway, on to saskatoon where I have to wait 8 hours in the city to meet my next lucky host. Time to kill so I plan on locking my bag, watching the arsenal game and checking out the city!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

Firstly, happy birthday to my Dad. Getting old, i'll look after you though. Secondly, thank you Natalie and Dan for the amazing hospitality this week. They even drove me all the way into Edmonton yesterday. I had a great week!
After introducing myself to the couchsurfer who had the pleasure of hosting me, she went out and i had the place to myself for a few hours so I relaxed and watched some tv programmes until the NHL game.
The game itself finished Edmonton Oilers 2 v 5 Chicago Blackhawks. Shame but the atmosphere was so much fun and even though they lost, you could tell it was about having fun, going to the game and enjoying it. I loved it! Spent the night talking with Christine (my host) and drinking some vodka.
Today, I watched some NFL and then went and walked around Edmonton. To be honest, not much going on here. It is a Sunday so its to be expected. Tomorrow I will explore some more before the train tomorrow night.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Location: Rocky Mountain House, AB, Canada

Up early to watch the Arsenal game, currently 0v0 at halftime. Glad I live in Halifax, this would be on at 11am there. Imagine getting up for a midday game?! I would have to be up at 5am. Not good, but I would do it, I did it in Australia infact.
The weekend is always planned around watching Arsenal and the NFL which I am addicted to nowadays, its become as big for me as watching the Premiership. To think I didn't even understand the rules a couple of years ago.... Can't wait to see my first game in just under two weeks. Very lucky.
Anyway, yesterday we went riding at a local arena. I used Dan's horse called Cutter and Natalie was practicing her barrel runs on her horse, Dexter. Good to get out there riding again, a little rusty but managed to put myself through the paces in trotting and cantering.
The afternoon was spent relaxing with the cats. I cooked Chicken Fajitas as a thank you gesture although it doesn't really match what Natalie and Dan have done. They have been great hosts and my time here has gone very fast.
After lunch, I am off to Edmonton. The last 2 weeks begin which in my experience is always the fastest. i tend to have a lot planned at the end of a trip to make it that way and this one if no different. NHL tonight, NBA coming up and then NFL on my last night before the train journey home. A few nights on the train coming up which i don't mind in the slightest.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Location: Rocky Mountain House, AB, Canada

Since I last wrote on here I have failed miserably at playing Guitar Hero and Dance, Dance Revolution. I always thought my coordination was good but I have been proved wrong! How humiliating!
Yesterday we went to Drumheller which is a couple of hours away where the landscape dramatically changes from the normal plains of Alberta to canyons. Its famous for Dinosaurs where lots of fossils have been found previously. We went around the museum there and viewed some of the landscape.
After, we went for dinner in Red Deer. i have been eating very well on this trip, no chance that I am losing weight like I usually do when I'm away which is obviously a good thing.
Today we are going riding. Haven't been riding in over a year, its always one of those things that I keep saying I should do more often, yet never materialises. its my last day here, tomorrow (after the Arsenal game) I am heading into Edmonton for two nights. I am also going to a NHL game to see the Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks. Should be good!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Location: Rocky Mountain House, AB, Canada

Been a couple of days, last time I wrote I was in Canmore. Since then, I left Canmore yesterday morning for Calgary. It was a beautiful day in Calgary, sun was out and it made a change from the dull weather that had fallen on the mountains the previous couple of days. The wind though was really strong, so strong infact that at the top of the Calgary Tower, it was swaying. Very weird feeling, but a good clear day to go up!
I walked around for the next couple of hours, ate my left over pizza and randomly stumbled upon the 'Grey Cup' which was being presented at a shopping mall with a few of the Calgary Stampede players. They are a Canadian Football Team (Football as in American Football).
Natalie and Dan picked me up at around 2pm and we drove back to their beautiful house which is near Rocky Mountain House, a town about 2 hours North of Calgary. We went out for dinner and relaxed infront of the tv for the remainder of the night.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Location: Canmore, AB, Canada

I was going to get up this morning at 8am for the early bus to Canmore, but just couldn't do it! I hit the clubs of Banff last night, partied it up with some 18 year olds with lots to learn about women....
Felt a little ropey today but made myself get the bus at midday to Canmore, which is only 25 minutes away from Banff but feels a lot different. Its a quiet mountain town, very nicely designed downtown so it feels authentic. I did my reconnaissance work and checked out the pharmacy that Rachael will be working at and I also visited Rachael's relations house which is beautiful.
This evening I am spending watching the NFL, eating pizza and recovering from the night before.....

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Location: Banff, AB, Canada

There is a cold wind today in the mountains. Haven't been up to much, its Sunday, day of rest! Plus day of sports so everything is on hold....
Last night I chilled in the room with a couple of other residents. The people in the room are young and up for partying but they are all very respectful and are quiet when they come back at the early hours of the morning. The hostel itself is pretty bad. Kitchen has no knives or forks, pretty ridiculous actually. Wish i'd known before I bought groceries for the two days I am here for.
I leave early tomorrow morning for Canmore where Rachael will be based next year for her placement so be checking out the pharmacy there amongst other things of course....

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Location: Banff, AB, Canada

Ever been to heaven? Well I imagine it is like Banff, with its blue lakes surrounded by amazing mountains and trees covered in snow. I got into Banff at Noon today after taking the bus from Lake Louise. Last night, I had a few beers with the boys from my dorm room, talked politics and the state of the world etc.... The things that you talk about certainly changes when you get older. All you have to do is look at one of the guys in our room, Australian 18 year old and realise that you just aren't considered young anymore in the traveling world. He stayed out all night, then went straight to work, all he talked about was getting drunk and girls.
Nowadays I am more interested in an early night so I am fresh for the next day of activities.
Shame to leave the Lake Louise hostel, I liked it there very much. The hostel in Banff is ok, a little cramped but its only for a couple of nights. The place is overrun with Australians here, its an extension of their country!
I spent the afternoon looking around the town and then going up Mount Sulphur on a Gondola. The views were incredible!! I have probably taken my best photos on this trip of landscape, not because I am an amazing photographer (although I'm not bad) but because the landscape is incredible!
I met a couple at the top who had two huskies. I love huskies so I just want to reiterate that fact but they were very beautiful and i asked the owners all about how to look after them etc so now I am husky trained and ready.....
Not sure what I will do this evening. Relax probably, I mean my one night out last night has taken its toll on me. Pass me my zimmer frame....

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Recent Messages

From l
From Natalie and Dan
You are so welcome, we had a great week as well, wish it hadn't gone by so fast!!!
i know you love huskies remember mataz when you went skiing at schoolxxx
Response: I do Mum, thats why I love them!
From bobby
enjoy the hockey game this weekend!! I'll keep an eye on the crowd to see if I can see you...
I'm picking your Bills as a long shot over the jaguars this Sunday. New coach running a new offense, I think they have their number.

Talk soon.
Response: Thanks man, things are finally looking up for the Bills, about time something changed!
From Natalie Sherman
Can't wait to see you next week :) Do you know what time you will want to be picked up?
Response: Anytime you want, i'll be in Calgary for the night of the 17th so whenever on the 18th.
Yo bitch!

Say hi to Leonie for me x
Yours truly is faithfully reading regardless of our many daily phone conversations!!! K nite nite xoxo
keep safe love mumx
From Natalie
I'm reading James!!Holy crap about that wolf, that is amazing and rather frightening! Can't wait to see you!
Response: Looking forward to it!
not guinea pig they are so sweet mumx
Response: They look tasty....
sounds like great fun though eating kingfisher sounds a bit sad love mum x
Response: I meant Kingfish, sorry about that although I would eat Kingfisher
From ady
hiya james, gosh i wish i was young again looks like you're having a whale of a time !!. by the way arsenal beat wba in the carling cup (tues) ave age 20 !! take care !!
Response: I saw that, craziness! Hopefully we can win something this season, we deserve it
From Rich Bayly
hi, there here with your mum she's just been showing me some of your photos and things you get up too looks and sounds really good,

Response: Thanks Rich, didn´t realise she was over there until I phoned home yesterday. Hope all is good!
From Rachael
Your entries are more entertaining over time; maybe if the McKelvies thing falls through, you can be a comedian!
Response: Maybe although I think you will be my only fan.... Even Rapa lost interest
From Ben
You tell that cabby man!!

Enjoy Easter Island...i'm so bloody green dude.

Peace and love
From Nick
and to think that there was a time that you were too scared to ask a shop assistant if they had your book in store as you were too shy- you've now tackled the TAXI DRIVER duh duh duh. proud of you bro.. keep up the machoness x
Hey James, glad you are back on planet ranger and not on that other planet you were on Tuesday !!!
What about some photo updates ? Enjoy stay safe.
From Rachael
You are very cute.
Response: Yes I am
From A. Kate
Wow - sounds fantastic, green with envy over here! Carry on with the fab blogging xx
From A. Alison
Wow James,what an amazing time you are having,all these wonderfull memories of places and people. Brian wants to know if you ate the pirahnas??
Belated happy birthday from all of us.Where to next?
lots of love xxxx
Response: We did eat the piranhas. They have a lot of small bones in but we made it into a soup and it tasted delicious! I'm in Buenos Aires right now, heading down South after to Patagonia
From Auntie Sue and Ant
So glad you are enjoying your adventures travelling, I said when you were younger to travel and well you haven`t stopped ha ha
Take care
Sue and Ant x
Response: Ha ha, I took it very literally!!! See you at Christmas, hope you are both doing well. Thank Ant for helping the old man last weekend.
From Nick
No blogs... you still alive?
Response: Alive and kicking
From Julie
Wow, what a time you are having. I feel by reading that I am there. Only wish it was more of a reality than a dream. Sounds like you had an amazing birthday and a great farewell evening to Rachels final night. Can't wait to hear and see all of your amazing stories and pics. You are in a wonderful place and I am soooooo incredibly jealous!
Response: Thanks Jools! You´re next to break free!
From Natalie Sherman
Hi James, Sorry I missed your bday!:( Happy Belated Birthday! Gladyou had a good day. That's too bad that Rachael is going home tommorow but I look forward to another month of reading your adventure stories!!!
From Ben
James you legend! Happy birthday man! What better place to be spending you mate