Kate pointed out, and rightly so, that an important element was missing from my last post on reflections. The travel companions you choose for your journey are key to a great journey. We were blessed with wonderful travelling companions. A second note that I am compelled to add is that National Geographic publishes great maps. Our map of New Zealand was folded and re-folded many, many times and never ripped. It marks interesting sites to visit and has topographical markings as well as well defined roads. I highly recommend checking out NG maps if you are planning a trip.
After a couple of days of napping, Brian and I began crosscountry skiing again as there is no shortage of snow. Monday and Tuesday we did our 7.5 kilometres around the golf course. Tuesday we probably had one of the best ski days all winter: perfect snow conditions, blue skies and sunshine. We still went to bed early, not quite back to the Canadian clock. Wednesday it drizzled most of the day, but not much snow disappeared. We read. I think Kishu was a little miffed that she had to share her chair with me.
On Monday evening we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in fine style with a great lamb stew dinner with friends. I baked a guinness chocolate layer cake for the occasion.
Thursday brought snow and bus cancellations, but. to enough to close schools. I went to work as a supply principal and did the same on Friday. Staff and students welcomed me back. Friday the snow was especially good for packing and students rediscovered the joys of making snowballs. I kept reminding them that snowballs were for making snowmen, but grade four to eight students are not as enamoured of this pursuit. They prefer perfecting their target skills.
Brian busied himself with home projects and finishing Kate’s bathroom ceiling. He even made a shelf for our laundry room. One more item off the list!
I reconnected with an important person in my life after forty years of absence. It is hard to believe that I can talk about something that happened forty years ago AND that I was an adult then. I still think I am thirty, except when I look in a mirror. I am grateful for Google and long distance phoning.
We both got haircuts. Simple pleasures! An even better pleasure was having a Cobble Beach facial on Saturday morning. This involves a shoulder rub, hand and foot massage as well as having my face kneaded endlessly with a variety of oils and creams. Bliss. I never feeling like doing much after a facial, but I rallied and we went skiing at Sawmill Trails in Hepworth. Again, no absence of snow. It lies deep in the woods and is well packed and groomed on the trails. But for a Saturday there was definitely an absence of people. Two people were leaving when we arrived and two more were finishing just after us. There was no one else. Could people be tired of winter? Could they have moved on to spring pursuits although spring has not shown her face yet?
We skied again on Sunday at Cobble and I zoomed through three thousand travelling photos to pick out five hundred to share with friends that evening. In spite of Brian’s best efforts to show them on TV we ended up watching them on our desktop. The photos insisted on coming in reverse order on TV.
Yesterday we had our first long trip. We drove less than twenty five minutes to Colpoys Bay, just north of Wiarton to crosscountry ski in the woods. The roads to get there are all bare and dry. The ski trails are well groomed and perfect and no one else was there. The trails are mostly in coniferous forest, first balsam, then cedar then pines with other sections in mixed hardwood of maple, beech and birch. The 7.8 kilometre peripheral loop is gently rolling and squiggles among the trees in a most agreeable fashion. It is not a difficult trail. We basked in filtered sunlight and birdsong and saw evidence of several coyotes and a few tracks of two deer.
We tried to buy an ice cream cone at the smoke shop in Wiarton but apparently one does not eat ice cream until May. We settled for a chocolate latte at Tim’s. It was not the same as a NZ cappuccino, but it was cheaper!
In the past week week we have revelled at the full moon over a frozen Georgian Bay, stood in awe of a full sky of constellations, marvelled at rosy sunrises and sunsets, been happy to be inside while the wind raged outside. This morning the sun began to rise in apricot hues, then changed her mind, hid in grey whiteness and now it is snowing.
Happy to be home.