There is a globe beside my computer with the Americas covered from top to bottom in bright pink dots – showing Shona, Andrew and Kumu’s 55,000 km route from Canmore, Whitehorse, Alaska and then south. Yes south as far as you can go by land without falling into the southern oceans. Then a few dots north to Buenos Aires from where they shipped their vehicle to Jacksonville, Florida, then drove north to Ontario and west to Canmore. A year’s round trip. It was great to welcome them back to Canmore just in time for Shona to start her University education in Environmental Science at Calgary University, and Andrew to take up his position as a Coach for the Lake Louise Ski Club. They are living in Calgary and have settled into a routine of weekdays in the city and weekend in the mountains, which they assure me, are among the most beautiful in the world. I have to agree with them. We have enjoyed their visits. You can read about their trip in their blog: www.kumulife.blogspot.com
Chris continues his busy life in Revelstoke. He had an exciting trip to Kashmir, India last February. This was nostalgic for me as I spent a year there 40 years ago. Sad to say it has been war torn for years and soldiers were in many of his photos. Still he went helisking with a New Zealand company and the skiing has expanded significantly since the seventies. Chris was one of the athletes in a locally produced ski movie called ALL.I.CAN. It took two years in the making and has an environmental theme. In late September Clive and I were thrilled to be at the premier in Whistler along with 1198 others! The movie was even better second time round in Canmore. Superb cinematography, young people spreading the joy of skiing around the globe and inspirational reminder of the beautiful planet we call home. This summer Chris started to run his own Home Renovation Business and never seemed to be out of work. That has now been put on hold six months while he carries on with his winter skiing activities!
Clive and I spent 2 months in Scotland and Europe in the spring. One highlight was 10 days biking on the west coast of Scotland with two days of the Island of Eigg. Scotland, my first love did not disappoint and her beauty still takes my breath away. We spent 10 days hiking hut to hut in the Zillertal Alps in Austria with our university friends Fred and Alison. I loved it. In between time we reconnected with family and friends. Unfortunately Clive’s 94 year old father Theo, was not doing to well and had a few days in hospital with an infected toe that might have been a blood clot to begin with. He is still determined to live in his own home. He is actively very interested in the world, does his own grocery shopping and travels on Edinburgh buses and does the Guardian crossword every day. He is better now and his perseverance, wisdom and courage are inspiring.
Meanwhile in Canmore Clive and I have an active life doing yoga, hiking, biking and skiing. I have spent time writing and teaching. It feels like I have chased a snarling three-headed dog out of my writing brain as I work on the second draft of my memoir. Who knew it was such hard work?? We do have so much to be thankful for after all we live in paradise!!
Winter has got off to a very good start and we have already had some excellent powder skiing at Lake Louise. The backcountry snow conditions are still very unstable so trips there have been low key so far.
It’s really great at Christmas to receive everyone’s letters and news – thankyou for that.
All the very best for an enjoyable Christmas season and a memorable 2012.