OK I'm back from Mexico. It was minus twenty my first morning back and the car was making a disgusting noise. Subsequently it has a new flywheel and clutch and runs as smooth as silk panties! I was going to put on my great Mexico pictures but somehow I haven't time. So here is second best the letter I wrote over a month ago summarising my family in 2010. Still next week I will have time for Mexico pictures.
24th November 2010 This morning we woke up to minus thirty. Already it looks like Christmas, six inches of snow plasters the mountains. Now at midday it has warmed up to minus 20. The sun is sparkling on the new snow, the peaks chiselled like crystals in the bluebird sky. Curling mist from the central heating vents in the houses across the snow covered street, waft languidly through the air to mingle among the whispering pine trees.
Now who ever would have thought I would say minus 15 was warm? And we have an escape planned – we are leaving on 2nd Dec to Mexico for two weeks to catch up with Shona and Andrew. A wondrous change from going to the Lake Louise Downhill. I am so excited I can hardly wait.
This has been one heck of a year. It began with lots of nail biting and backcountry skiing. The two were not connected. The nail biting was watching from afar as Shona tried harder and harder to qualify for the Olympics, one tense weekend after another. Well it is all behind us now as she made it and performed well. Clive and I were super excited to be at the opening ceremonies and hear the huge roar that went up for the Canadian Team athletes. Particularly as we remembered that it was exactly 20 years since we moved to Canada. (Feb 1990). It was an unbelievable experience to feel the country unite behind all the athletes. To see not only athletes give of their best but all the other street performers and the general public. It was wonderful.
The Alpine events were dogged with bad weather and Shona’s first race was delayed. She was the only Canadian Skier to ski in four events. The Olympic Woman’s Downhill was the downhill from hell and anyone who survived it deserved more than a gold medal. Shona said it was as rough as a logging road. Shona’s best result was 12th and top Canadian, in the Supercombined, one run of super G and one run of Slalom - a huge feat of athleticism. It was a great highlight.
I thought I only had to worry about Shona, well not exactly worry but use my yogic breathing to control my anxiety. Then in September Chris’s TV episode with Salomon Freeski TV came out that they made during the Olympics and there is a video of him rag dolling down a very steep mountain! What an incredibly intrepid pair. Amazing after Clive and I are such stay at home people ha ha!
Shona thought that competing in the Olympics in your own home country was a pinnacle experience and could not be surpassed. She retired from Ski Racing. Not a young woman to think small she promptly bought a old Voltswagon Camper and is now well on her way to driving with Andrew her boyfriend, from Canmore to Yukon, Alaska, south to Vancouver, San Francisco, San Diego, the Baja peninsula, eventually Patagonia and we are going to meet them in Puerto Vallarta. I am much more familiar with the Geography of this great continent now. They have a fantastic blog. http://kumulife.blogspot.com/
After the Olympics, Chris took off to ski in Europe for 2 weeks and then in Morocco for two weeks. His Salomon ad ended up on a billboard in Quebec. Catch up with him on his blog
He also climbed Sir Donald this summer before he headed down to Chile for a week. In between all of this he renovates houses in Revelstoke and is a partner in the www.cheekybeaverchalet.com/ bed and breakfast. Just today – it is now the29th Nov there was a great video of their European trip on Salomon Freeski TV. These guys sure know how to have fun.
Not to be out done by his children Clive went for a short walk across Ellesmere Island although he does not have a blog to show off his activities. He walked with John Dunn who has done many trips up there for 8 weeks. They walked pulling a sled for 250 k over the sea ice, the second 250km pulling the sled now with wheels on it and the last 250k with backpacks. Their trip was completely unsupported through unexplored territory. They brought back great pictures, were definitely a little lighter but both in good spirits and still speaking to each other. Watch out for the up and coming article in Canadian Geographic. There are some photos on www.arcticlight.com/
Meanwhile I kept the home fires burning. I visited the Yoga Lounge most days, did lots of great hiking in our exquisite back yard. My plan was to write my memoir and while I did write a lot I had not taken into account it takes at least10,000 hours to become a master at anything particularly writing. I took several writing workshops that moved me forward. I have had thoughts of raging bonfires in the backyard, watching the flames lick up through the pine trees and my words mingle with the starry heavens, but have not yet yielded to temptation. In September I headed to the UK for my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. It was a beautiful occasions in a delightful little English church and country hotel. It felt like I was part of on of those great English movies. The weather and company were fantastic.
Then I headed to Edinburgh, brilliant fireworks to celebrate the end of the Festival against a backdrop of the castle. I visited with my fun nieces Sarah, Emma, Catriona, Jane and her little boy Ethan. Managed to fit in a little walk in the Scottish mountains with Fred and Alison. We hiked up a couple of those roundish hills covered with heather, sheep and rain. Sorry I have forgotten their names.
Then the highlight of my trip to see the latest addition to the family; my niece Amy delivered a adorable little girl Kirsten. At nine pounds she was not quite so little. She is sister to Daniel aged 2. For a week He and I had a great time baking cookies, reading books, going to the park while his parents got used to the nighttime demands of two children.
When I returned to Canada I taught several Conflict Resolution for the workplace workshops and Life Writing which I find truly exciting. I have a grand group of women in Canmore who keep returning to my class and inspire me to find new exercises. They are amazing. Clive has been working a couple of day a week in Calgary. So we are now ready for a holiday.
For 2011 I wish you health, wellness, vigour, friendship and enough money to enjoy it all.