After a tough month for all kinds of sad and difficult reasons, the obvious thing to do is to do something physically and psychologically challenging, something at which I progress slowly, fail regularly, and against which my comparison point is Andrew, who is both absolutely more skilled and progresses faster. So I was thrilled to open September with our intended-to-be-annual snow sports trip.
Yeah, that was sarcasm.
It went surprisingly OK, after it started exactly that promisingly. After a super difficult day at home, we got up to pack for a week in an hour with both children awake and grumpy. Everything bar the DVDs (so, beginners mistake) made it into the car and we had a good run down to Thredbo, taking about eight hours for the five hour drive, going out of our way through Goulburn, driving past my old infants school and the motel we lived at while my parents managed it, and hugely confusing and upsetting V who seemed to believe I was trying to tell him we were about to move there.
The first day, Sunday 30th, Andrew had a day looking after A while V did ski school and I skiied by myself to see if I could recover my skills. I felt fairly confident after the first day. My instructor on Monday was less impressed, and I was worried that this would be my second year entirely on Friday Flat, Thredbo’s bunny slope. So after some online encouragement I went up to Merrits with Andrew and spent Monday afternoon and part of Tuesday feeling challenged, ie, unhappy. Wednesday was my day off with the kids and the challenge paid off on Thursday when my instructor cleaned up my technique on Merrits and pronounced me “Level 4, if you ever need to tell anyone”, ie, about the same level of skill I reached as a snowboarder except in less time and with less dinner plate sized bruises. And I can get off chairlifts as a skiier. Presumably next year I will start skiing easier intermediate runs. I did a run with Andrew in which he was so thrilled I was doing well that he slid down to tell me about it and accidentally knocked me down.
On Friday though I was just about cooked. Which is OK. In an ideal world I’d do two or more long weekends of skiing a year rather than one entire week of it, but we live six hours drive from the ski fields and it is what it is.
V also had a fun week, in his case an indefatigable one. (Instructors: “he doesn’t really… get tired does he?”) With the bonus of a day off that featured the local water slide, and the anti-bonus of getting a nasty face scrape from falling off a trampoline, of all things. Someone suggested to him that he should tell people he hit a tree, but he doesn’t really understand that hitting trees is a skiing possibility. I think he imagined walking up to a tree and head-butting it.
When we came to Sydney, spring had come. The European invader trees apparently follow the European invader calendar; they reliably leaf in the first week of September. Everything is a slightly noxious looking light green while the new leaves mature.
Otherwise, my time is taken up by winding up my job and by job-hunting, as you can imagine. This included a day in Melbourne this past week, where I wandered around wondering why everyone wasn’t driving on the right, and realised that I need to travel domestically perhaps a touch more often. Drive on the left. Use multicoloured money.