Friday 14 November 2014

Today’s life lesson: where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Useful, yes? This year, my mother, Steph, and I are all working part-time, and so we have met in the Blue Mountains once a month or so, give or take, for a picnic. Today was looking dicey as it was, with forecast temperatures of 35°C or so. That’s high for the mountains, where I’d normally think one would escape Sydney’s heat, but this is the new, improved Australian climate where the heatwaves come out from the desert, and those heatwaves do not play by any former rules about which are the cooler … Continue reading Friday 14 November 2014

Saturday 8 November 2014

The fortnight of our discontent is over. I’ve been waiting to say this for two months, ever since it appeared in our calendars in the first place. Actually, it was a week and a half of our discontent, and that made it even worse. I had been planning to go to Skudcamp in Ballarat last weekend for a few months. So far so good. I’d even planned it to be a family holiday in which Andrew and the kids would come down and he’d look after them during the day in a chill way (very chill, actually, since maximums there … Continue reading Saturday 8 November 2014

Late September

I can never remember weather emotionally once it’s passed. What’s summer like? I’m only remembering now that we’ve had a few days above 30°C. And memories of August, which was very wet, have all faded like dust. I guess we got rained on? I can’t access the feeling. Two weekends ago was my niece C’s first birthday party, involving picnic rugs on the sunny grass at Jubilee Park with the harbour glinting at us. Steph had made jars of chocolate crackles, biscuits and rocky road, decorated with ribbons. It’s taken me three decades but I finally appreciate an understated consistent … Continue reading Late September

Late August and early September

I see Andrew and I had our fifteen anniversary (as a couple, not as spouses) in August and I think managed not to remark on it to each other at all. Happy times. Not very surprising when that was just a week out from his flu recovery. We’ve always largely ignored that anniversary, although it would make sense to mark it since it’s the only event of any significance in our household that occurs in the second half of the year. Instead, we pack it all into the first half with both children born in January, Andrew in February and … Continue reading Late August and early September

Skiing, August 2014: day 5

Andrew had, as near as we could tell, pretty typical flu-like symptoms: fever, pain, respiratory symptoms. This makes this the third time in seven years he’s been sick like that, two times in years when he had a flu vaccine. (The first time of the three was the reason he started having flu vaccines.) So not the best of of luck. In a way, however, he felt comforted that it explained aspects of his snowboarding he’d been unhappy about earlier in the week. Had something fundamental about his body changed since 2008? No. He was getting ill. He’d been a … Continue reading Skiing, August 2014: day 5

Skiing, August 2014: mid-week

As I expected, I woke up on my second day of skiing, Tuesday, very sore and stiff. As I expected, V did not. We grumpily trudged through our morning. There was an annoying timing issue at this point: my expensive and timed down to the minute private lessons were to begin at 8:30 on Tuesday through Friday (because 8:30am lessons are significantly cheaper), and that was the earliest possible drop-off time for V at his ski school. I didn’t want to waste ten minutes of my lesson on his drop off. So Andrew gathered up himself and the baby solely … Continue reading Skiing, August 2014: mid-week

Skiing, August 2014: Day 1

When I left you last, we’d just stumbled off a bus and onto a minibus overloaded with children and luggage and ski gear and hauled it all up a steep driveway and two flights of stairs on an icy day and fallen into bed in bad moods. One useful thing I did before falling into bed was watching through some of the earlier ski school lessons on Youtube. Video cheat sheets; new since I was last skiing. So after the second slighter hell which was helping V get down the stairs and the driveway in the morning, while carrying his … Continue reading Skiing, August 2014: Day 1

Skiing, August 2014: the journey is not the destination

Aside from having a memory that I twice successfully skied nearly half a lifetime ago, there were two things I’d been told about skiing that tempted me back. One is that it is somewhat easier to learn on carved skis, but the other bigger consideration is that being tall is apparently essentially a complete disadvantage in snowboarding, where holding your centre of gravity pretty much above the board at all times is the key skill. In skiing, this is not so. I asked a few people, and someone I know who is quite good at both agreed that with my … Continue reading Skiing, August 2014: the journey is not the destination

Snowboarding intermission: 2003, 2006, 2008

I suppose it’s just possible I have enough loyal fans to actually remember my snowboarding epics, but it’s unlikely. The distance between 1998 and 2003 doesn’t seem so long now of course, but at the time, it was about a quarter of my life, and encompassed university. (Which is why I didn’t follow up skiing; I couldn’t have remotely afforded to. I am not sure how I paid for the 2003 trip during my honours year, but possibly Andrew, who was working by then, paid for some of mine.) My memory of the fun of skiing at the very end … Continue reading Snowboarding intermission: 2003, 2006, 2008

Skiing round one: 1998

Me learning to ski a couple of weeks ago is a weirdly long story, beginning in 1998. In 1998, I was in the final year of high school, but because of my ludicrous and I now think in some ways ill-advised academic program, I had already completed 9 units of study of the required 11 minimum for the Higher School Certificate and was only doing 8 more. (The reason I now think this was ill-advised is beside the point, but in short, I should have risked a slightly lower university entrance score in return for just completing the entire thing … Continue reading Skiing round one: 1998