January 7th, 2006


My trainers now have snow chains!


I’ve been doing my hour lap of the Uetliberg for a few weeks now, but it’s been getting progressively harder because of the snow and compacted ice on the mountain, which means I’ve been walking / skating / slipping and nearly falling, rather than running! So today I went into our local “Bergsport” (mountain sport!) shop and bought these great heel spikes. They fasten over your trainers and your heel then has fantastic gripping power! I was able to do my circuit in 58 minutes and managed to keep up my 3 minutes running / 1 minute walking for most of the circuit (apart from the 16 minute steep uphill climb at the start) and it felt great! I didn’t slip once as long as I remembered to dig my heels into the ice first!


First Snowboard of the Season...


...and I am bruised all over! Wanna know where they are? Knees, calves, palm of my right hand (how?!), my butt, my butt again (where the cocyx? / tail bone ends!) and my inner thigh. Again, don’t ask how! Let’s just say it’s painful to sit down :-)

I started to learn to snowboard last year, but gave up after about 2.5 days of lessons / practice. This year I am determined to practice a bit more and get competent at turning and braking so that I can tackle blue slopes on my own. My problem is that I tense up and get a bit stressed, and therefore fall over a lot!

So, yesterday I booked a day’s lesson, but then found I was in a group of 6 year olds. My pride took a battering but I joined in. However, the teacher wasn’t really doing much teaching, so I complained and got my money back, so transferred to an hour’s private teaching instead! I learnt that I can turn (but not reliably). She corrected my stance (I was learning back, which just means you fall over more) and we worked on my turns. I have to do them more slowly and feel okay with pointing down the hill for a few seconds before completing the turn. So, loosening up and slowing down and enjoying the ride!

I still have to learn to control my speed, but also embrace the fear of going downhill fast. Plus, there’s still a lot of work to do on getting on and off lifts gracefully, particularly the b*stard T-bar lifts. I HATE THEM! I was going to go to Flumserberg again tomorrow, but I think my poor 30-something body needs a few more days recovery! Anyone out there who can give me some tips / words of wisdom? I don’t think I’m “really” enjoying snowboarding yet, but I really want too, if that makes sense! I’m hoping for a turning point….

Brad my board is pictured above :-) I like to ride him!


Taking Photos Obsession

The blot on the christmas landscape turned out to be my obsession with taking photos and recording verything. I used to complain at my Mum who made us all pose for photos. But I really thought I was different. I tend to just snap at what's there, without alerting people. But then I found myself getting a bit obsessed over Christmas, trying to take photos of each stage of the proceedings, as though I needed a photo for the event to happen. And of course, if I took a photo, Mum took one. Except that she makes a big fuss and gets everyone to smile, and it all gets a bit stressy. I realised that it had all got a bit out of control when both hubbie and dear sister complained. And I felt really embarassed because I could then see how silly all my photo taking had got :-(

So there has to be a balance somewhere. I really believe that family history and records are made up of photos, and I'm so glad my Mum took so many when we were kids and growing up. A family's past lies in its photos and artefacts and stories and communal memory. But there has to be a point where you think "I don't need a photo of this." I think I've been taking more photos since I've been using LiveJournal and 43things. It feels like an entry isn't complete without an illustration. But what do you all think? Do
you find yourself taking too many photos? Do your families mind when you snap away at things? Do you ever catch yourself taking a photo and thinking "Stop, this is ridiculous, I don't need to record this"?

Igludorf, Engelberg

I think this is my last post about the Christmas period!

As a surprise for my Mum and sister, my Dad and I colloborated to book an overnight stay in an igloo!
There are 4 Igludoerfer (igloo villages) in Switzerland and we stayed at Igludorf Engelberg in central Switzerland, not far from Luzern. The village is a huge igloo with various rooms. You walk in and its like a tardis, much bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside! The igloo takes a month to create and has these amazing ice carvings and sculptures inside, done apparently by an native innuit of British Columbia! We were just bowled over by the igloo. Everything was made of ice! The Tables, the seats, the beds. And it was pretty cold, probably just under freezing. As you walked into the igloo there was a bar area and then a passage way that led into a large lounge area. There were candles and nightlights everywhere, it was just so beautiful.

During the evening we sat in the igloo bar and had drinks, ate a fondue together and tried to keep warm. We were told to keep moving, not to stay sitting down. It was quite cold even inside the igloo! So every half an hour or so we'd all get up and walk around! We also went for a snow shoe walk which was great fun. The shoes allow you to walk over quite deep snow without sinking!

My sister and I tried out the outdoor steam pool. It was very warm and gorgeous. Dark night sky overhead, stars, hot steam bath, and me and my sister sitting in it with wooly hats on!! Getting out was a bit of shock to the system....

We had a group room for 5. There was an ice ledge, then a thick foam isulation mat, then a reindeer skin rug and then a expedition sleeping bag. It was quite an adventure getting ready for book - how many layers to take off? And we were told to keep our clothes for the morning insider the sleeping bag. A. found out the hard way. He left some damp socks on the ground, and by the morning they were frozen solid!! It took a while to warm up before going to sleep, but the sleeping bags were excellent, and I woke up in the middle of the night absolutely baking, so had to remove my hat, clothes and a few layers!! The next morning the weather was clear and beautiful, and we walked for a few minutes over to a mountain chalet for our breakfast. It was just perfect, and my Mum and Sister were amazingly impressed and surprised. Mission successful :-)

Click here to see all the photos