Friday, July 18, 2008


Home again home again, jiggety jig

"Cheers". We're home again! And it's a lot warmer here, I have to say! (Which is very good for drying mountains of washing!)

OK, so we did go seeking snow. Which requires cold. Some might say we actually brought the snow to The Snow, because it dumped in the few days before we got there. (And the first day we were there too, but 'snowing' is not something you can complain about when you want the stuff to ski on!). Given that two weeks ago it was looking more like we'd be bushwalking than skiing, Mother Nature was certainly looking after our interests.

So our whole trip, in the main, went pretty well, albeit with the occasional hiccup.

The highlights:

I found my thin thermal/polypropolene gloves the day before we left! This was good! (I also like to use them under old, stretched gloves for cold weather bike riding.) Then, I was stupid enough to leave them 'for a short time' on the heater, and one thumb kind of ..melted... making one glove unwearable. This was not good. Fortunately I had a few alternatives in the glove department - so no cold hands on the Sunday - just the knowledge that I'd ruined something through sheer stupidity, and will have to source, and pay for, another pair.

After fitting the girls with their hire skis and boots on the Friday, they went off for an hour and a half lesson, while we set out to re-familiarise ourselves with cross country skiing - in our antique/retro/totally out of fashion gear. ("Gee, you don't see those three pin bindings and leather boots these days!") Within 10 minutes, I realised the plastic 'basket' at the bottom of my stocks had shattered from the brittleness of nigh on 20 years lying in sheds. Some time wasted (but only $7) getting new ones bought and fitted. (And the new style of nordic ski boot certainly looks interesting, but still, ours worked. After all, the snow is still the same as it was 20 years ago!)

I had been a bit concerned about how the old bod would cope with the unaccustomed muscle use and exertion that XC skiing is reknowned for - but I didn't anticipate the main problem being my THUMB! Yep. Tracey goes cross country skiing, and her left thumb hurts - from the loop on the stock? maybe? - so much so she can't hold the stock properly by the third day, and the usual jobs done by one's thumb in the course of a day bring tears to her eyes. [I did get a sharp pain in my back too, but that dissipated by day 3, thanks, presumably, to a good sleep and lashings of Deep Heat.] The thumb was just plain weird (and painful) - but even more weird given that painkillers on Sunday night seemed to ease it, and by Monday all was back to normal. Go figure.

We transferred all the photos we had taken - from the netball through to the second day of skiing - onto Marc's laptop, but forgot to delete them off the camera before taking another batch on the third day. To cut a long story short, I queried whether the memory card would be getting full, but realised we couldn't just 'delete all', but Cait kinda sorta accidentally had a BRAIN SNAP and very efficiently deleted ALL the ski photos (despite our conversation) meaning we'd lost ALL those taken on the Sunday. I was just a teeny bit upset about this. We hadn't taken any on the Friday because of the weather, so it meant we'd effectively lost half our ski photos - with, I'd seen, some pretty nice looking 'family snow' shots.

Fortunately my husband is not only resourceful, but techno-savvy enough to have the ability to get online (in a motel - in Gundagai - at about 11pm!) and locate some recovery software. A free trial version showed the missing photos were recoverable - the big catch was that it would cost $40 to buy the full version to recover them. My decision. Was it worth forty bucks?

... I decided it was. I pay nearly that amount per child for a set of school photos that aren't that great. What price do you put on a few potentially good family photos? (I'll get to putting up a few in the next post - I'll mark the ones I would have lost - and you can tell me whether I made the right decision. At any rate I am already planning a large photo frame to showcase this latest family adventure of ours...)

The girls and the whole cross country ski thing? They kicked arse! In attacks of negativity about this whole idea, Marc had questioned the wisdom of taking them cross country skiing. "Maybe they aren't old enough to appreciate it. Zoe is probably too young" - "The age range - 15 through to 9 - won't make for very easy family skiing." Yadda yadda.... Well, the biggest threat turned out to be Alison having a cold, and being understandably a bit miserable - so Marc and Cait skied on a bit further on the Saturday. But we fixed her up (we reckon) with a take-away curry - that wasn't "mild" even though it was supposed to be - on the Saturday night, and all together we covered at least 10 km on the Sunday. Zoe was really getting the hang of the gliding, and I did comment that it was lucky she was a bit slow on the downhills, otherwise I would be the one getting left behind, and that wouldn't do at all!

Alison possibly still thinks downhill skiing is more fun, but the other two liked getting away from it all with the cross country - especially when we got off the groomed trails and cut our own tracks across fresh snow. Overall? I'm very glad we took them.

Our scenic and social detour home was fairly uneventful - though yesterday Cait, quite bizarrely, did have several bouts of real hiccups. They all, of course, proved that siblings will be siblings, and did the usual back seat fighting and bickering - you know, the type that makes parents wonder why they left home at all. - and basically two weeks of other beds, and other showers, make you pretty happy to be Home Sweet Home.

But if you never left home you'd probably not appreciate it as much, would you?

And you'd never get photos like this to put on your wall either.

Love seeing Aussies in Snow.
Welcome home - sounds like you had a great time, all in all!!

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