Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Stream of Consciousness

Where to start, where to start?  Where did I leave off?  Half-way through our one-month summer holiday in Canada in December I think.  Summer holidays since that's what it is in Australia.  Have you ever had to leave on holiday in summer clothes but arrive at your destination in winter ones then do the reverse upon your return?  It's complicated people!

Victoria, BC city hall

Anyhoo, when last I blogged Christmas in Victoria had just happened and a joyful one it was.  We had two intense weeks with the family, warts and all (to quote my SIL).  J was DEVASTATED to leave.  Pretty hard to quantify the beauty and value of family when they have that kind of impact on us but we are very very blessed.

New Year's Eve with family and friends at THE best decorated house on the island!

This was followed by five full-on ski days at spectacular Whistler-Blackcomb.  Lousy weather, but great conditions way high on the mountain which is where we kept ourselves, punctuated only by really good lunches at the restaurants on the top of either mountain.  The poutine at Blackcomb was particularly memorable.  It was some much-needed family focused time.  Our routine was pretty easy: breakfast, ski, lunch, ski, complain about sore quads and uncomfortable rented ski boots (ok that was me), ski some more, moan that J and C2 never stopped on the 50-minute ski-out at the end of the day (ok that was me too), hot tub with beers, sauna with beers, dinner in Whistler village, bed; idyllic!

On the Peak-to-Peak gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains

The three of us flew on to Calgary for a weekend with our great friends, Jen and Jeff, and five days holed up at my mum's cozy apartment with the most amazing view of Calgary EVER!  While C2 worked out of the little office in the apartment, J and I reconnected with old friends, visited Tim Horton's a time or ten, and spent gift cards. My mum and I carried on our fine Christmas tradition of playing hours of our family card game Au Mille.  I think my Calgary highlight though, was my mum, J, and I trudging (ok mum and I trudged, J sprang lightly) through wind and ice in my beloved Fish Creek Park to locate my Dad's memorial tree.  We decorated it joyfully with Christmas decorations.  It sparkled proudly in the snow, and it made all of us happy.

Alberta Prairie Palette

I'm not going to revisit the looooong trip home for J and I.  Calgary to Vancouver to Los Angeles to Melbourne with many hours in all of the above airports.  Nope I won't really discuss it despite its' actual relative ease, or the fact that instead C2 headed off to Panorama (near Banff but on the British Columbia side) with work colleagues for 3-days of skiing, nope definitely wouldn't touch it.  And I certainly won't talk about C2s travel schedule that is keeping him in North America until his return on January 28 or that he leaves on January 30 for a month in Perth, nope don't want to talk about that at all!

I am having some kind of delayed frantic Spring cleaning episode.  Delayed in that Spring in Australia runs right into the busy lead-up to Christmas and therefore didn't happen at the time.  In the 30 hours since I've been home, I boxed all the Christmas decorations, scrubbed my kitchen pantry and fridge, vaccumed, washed floors, washed pillows and blankets and put them out on the line in the sun, unpacked five suitcases and two backpacks, re-arranged J's book and Lego shelves, thrown out a garbage bag full of broken and unused bits and bobs from J's room, worked with him to identify toys for donation, and re-organized my shoe shelf.  Did I mention the 30 hours part?  Still on my must-clean list are the inside and outside of my car, J's school backpack, my back terrace, my front garden, and Murphy's ears.

It was stinking hot today, 35+ degrees.  We worked and played in the house all day, both of us enjoying being home.  Murphy hasn't left our sides for a minute and is happily charging up and down our steep stairs just to be near us.  At 5:30pm, we packed up a quick picnic, heaved Murph into my car, and sped down to the beach for a couple of hours.  Now my clean house smells like wet, well-exercised dog...good thing that happens to be one of my favorite smells.


Jen said...

30 hours eh? Sounds like you had something to exercise.... also sounds like it was a good homecoming (sans C2 though). So glad we got some time together!

Sheila Cook said...

Whew!!!! and wow!!! I feel I have lived through your life in the last few weeks. Thank you - I'm up to date now. talk/skype soon, LOL sx

DL NELSON said...

Beautiful photos.

If I can't be reborn as a Swiss, I hope in my next life I'm Canadian :)