Communication at All Costs

I am back home in Canada now and last night was my third night of uninterrupted, no jet lag, sleep. We spent the weekend at our friend’s place in Barrie celebrating her 50th. It was absolutely great to see the Collingwood crew again and I found that my ‘no alcohol’ policy meant I was sober for enough of the evening to actually talk to a few really lovely people who I typically only wave a vague ‘hello’ to.

We rode on Sunday at Buckwallow in Gravenhurst (another benefit of not drinking is the opportunity to do something other than hang my head in pain on Sundays after parties). Buckwallow is OK, the rocks are fun, but the trails are very short and I’m not sure it is better than some of our more local trails. Still the drive was nice and Rob got to eat at Webers (home of the worlds greatest hamburger, apparently). It is true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – he was so happy.

We got back on Sunday evening and all was not well. The post I did last week about being a source of irritation to my in laws was apparently read extensively over the weekend. My sister-in-law (who has a rare talent for telling the truth at all times without causing any offence and with whom I have a very valued relationship) pointed out, quite validly, that perhaps what I had written wasn’t very fair, and was actually quite hurtful. I read it again and, now I am back in Canada and my perspective is a little less tense, it does sound rather bitchy. In fact, I was mortified.

So, this morning I picked up the telephone and called everyone who it intimated and apologized. I have taken the post down, so you can’t see it now anyway. The feeling of wanting a big hole to appear in the ground and swallow me has subsided a little bit and I am able to reflect on the incident a bit more objectively. I wrote the post because I was mad and I felt like I didn’t have a ‘voice’. I hurt people’s feelings, then I picked up the telephone to the people who I didn’t think I could talk to and said what I should have said in the first place. Now, in retrospect, there was clearly another solution – I should have picked the phone up and tried that first. I assumed people wouldn’t want to hear from me, but by doing so I created my own situation in which, had I not apologized they probably would have ended up not wanting to hear from me.  So that’s how self-fulfilling prophecies work…

Drowning at Speed and Other Misadventures

Wakeboarding.jpgRob and I just got back from spending Friday night, Saturday and Sunday at a cottage on Jospeh Lake in Muskoka. It was a heavenly weekend.

There were twelve of us all together staying at a cottage that our friend’s Sue and Steve had rented for a month. They have that rare but wonderful quality in hosts – it didn’t seem like they were working very hard but the whole weekend ran like a Swiss Clock and the fantastic cocktails flowed (I love Sue’s mojitos). It was so much fun and the cottage itself is absolutely beautiful, complete with picnic area, fire pit, patio and a boat house and dock area just large enough for us all to sit and watch the world go by (not least the guy from the cottage on the opposite side of the lake ‘popping out’ in his float plane – to get milk and the morning papers no doubt).

Steve and Silvia bought their boat and all the related paraphanalia, so we had the chance to wake board as well as get towed at ridiculous speeds on a bouncing rubber donut around the lake. I was in stitches watching Rob fly backwards and forwards screaming his head off. I actually got up on the wake board, which is a first for me, although it took about ten goes and my right arm the next day felt like I’d been in a 24 hour Sumo wrestling marathon.

The weekend also gave me the opportunity to meet Randi’s new girlfriend, Robin. It materializes she is a huge fan of Monty Python and the Return of the Pink Panther and the two of us managed to get hysterical quoting our favourite lines from the various films. It’s amazing how funny ‘Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries. Now go away you silly English person’ sounds after the fourth time, and the tenth glass of red wine…

I’ve included a photo above of me wake boarding. Apart from the attractive grimace that comes from absolute concentration, I seem to have the same problem with this sport as I do with snow boarding….my bum. What the hell am I doing sticking it out at those precarious angles???? Oh well, I suppose the world would be a really boring place if we all looked super cool…..

Finally a new posting!!

Rob modelling my footspaOK, OK, I know, I have been terrible about updating my blog. So I am making a New Years Resolution to be better. Many thanks to anyone that has made a comment and to everyone that e-mailed me whilst I was away. I can’t possibly explain how nice it is to keep in touch.

To bring everyone up to date with where I am now, I came back from Gabon on November 30th and I’m flying out again on Sunday December 17th, which is in three days time. I am not quite sure where the last two weeks has gone but it has been fantastic to be back in spite of the -13C temperatures and the fact that the drivers side window of my Civic is stuck halfway up (I’ve been driving round with a ski hat and gloves on).

We had an amazing Xmas party at our house, complete with Blue Martinis!! Next day Paula and I managed to get up to participate in Burlington’s annual 5km Jingle Bell Jog dressed as ‘Santas Secret Service’ (sort of like a festive version of ‘Men In Black’ only we’re women and we were wearing Santa hats with our mirrored sunglasses). Click here for a very attractive ‘rear end shot’ of the two of us in action…..

Rob and I are doing the ‘five days of Xmas’ leading up to when I go away. As a result I am the proud owner of a Conair Deluxe Foot Spa, an item that I have always wanted. I am enjoying the benefits as I write. I have included a picture of Rob modelling the very same, above. In return Rob so far has received two books on photography and a Diesel shirt that is too small. Can anyone answer the question ‘Why are men so hard to buy Xmas gifts for?’???????

Today we are off to Ellicotville in NY to do some skiing for a couple of days and will be back in time to go to Dave and Lisa’s Xmas party on Saturday night. I have enlisted the help of a personal coach to keep up my fitness levels so I can still compete throughout the year and the next big race will be the Round The Bay 30km in March. Cold, hilly and long…..LOVE IT….. and now I have written it on my blog, there is no welshing out at the last minute.

So, there, I have done, it, updated my blog, it feels good. Watch this space for more updates once I get back to Africa. I hear Xmas there can get pretty interesting…..

Count Down to Gabon

Rob and I at Lowville Bistro On Friday 28th Oct Rob and I went for dinner at the Lowville Bistro. It was a night of firsts..first time at the Lowville Bistro, first time being served by someone who looked like John Malkovich, first time we had ever tried a Spanish Syrah (would recommend) and first time I ever used my digital camera. Check out the picture of the two of us..not bad for a beginner I think.

On Saturday the weather was amazing and we were able to sit outside with Bob and Doris who dropped by unexpectedly for lunch. In the afternoon it was Dave and Lisa’s wedding at the Dundas Golf and Country club. I do like a good wedding, and this was certainly a good one. Lisa looked absolutely gorgeous (I left the photgraphy for that event up to Rob – check out the albums) and Rob was happy because he got to shake his booty to some Violent Femmes at the reception. They are off to San Fran for a well earned honeymoon. Thanks guys, it was a great day (love the choccies that we got to take home with us).

Today Rob and I are up ridiculously early due partly to the fact that the clocks went back last night and partly because today is the day I fly to Gabon and I am crapping myself (excuse the language, but in this case I think it’s justified). I haven’t packed yet, so I probably should go. Thank you to everyone at Robert Half for a great send off last week and for my Hikers Haven voucher, which I have bought a really hi-tech rain jacket with. Please feel free to add comments to this blog as you see fit…

First Ever

So, my visa is on it’s way, I’ve handed in my resignation and I am off to Gabon in less than two weeks. Tonight I decided that I would start a blog to record this remarkable part of my life and to keep me in touch with all the cool people I know in the rest of the world. Please feel free to contribute at will – I look forward to hearing from you!!