Thursday, 31 December 2009

The roads we travel

It's that time of year when everyone seems to be looking back at what's been and making plans and promises for the future. So I thought I'd join in too.

As many of my friends will know, 2009 has been somewhat of an eventful year for me. To be honest I'm hoping for a quieter time in 2010.

But in terms of a review, in 2009 I have:-

  • become single
  • moved house
  • lost and gained a job
  • got a new boss
  • cried at the funeral of a friend
  • been admitted to hospital as an emergency
  • said goodbye to my feline companion of the last 17 years
  • been on TV
  • learned to snowboard and cross country ski (both after a fashion!)
  • spent more weeks with my sister in one year than the last 10 put together (and enjoyed them!)
  • made new friends and rediscovered old ones
I've also:-
  • climbed a grade 6b (indoors, outdoors perhaps next year?)
  • lost weight and got fit
  • lost more weight and got ill
  • put back on all the weight I lost in the first place
  • started walking to work
  • remembered that I like cooking
  • travelled on a steam train and a paddle steamer
  • laughed till I cried
  • cried more than is good
  • developed crows' feet round my eyes
  • survived rumour and gossip
  • bought a designer suit
  • treated my sister to a girls' day out
  • discovered Wii Fit and Singstar
I've learned:-
  • that good friends are worth their weight in gold
  • too much stress can make you physically ill (see hospital admission above!)
  • being alone isn't the same as being lonely
  • there is such a state as "too thin"
  • being single at 40+ is harder than at 30
  • exercise does make you feel better
  • laughing at good jokes (or even bad ones) is good for the soul
I also know:-
  • how to make a Cosmopolitan
  • how to put on mascara properly (on the top and bottom of the lash)
  • much more about climate change, sustainability and peak oil
  • to look up more and see what there is above eye height
  • that being an Aunty is a great job
  • that my sister is one of my best friends
And as for 2010, my main aim is to have quieter time, and hopefully to be less high maintenance for my friends (thanks guys, for all your help and support this year). I also resolve to:-
  • live life
  • laugh more
  • never act my age
  • take more risks
  • be as good a friend to others as mine have been to me
In fact, this pretty much sums it up. I don't want to look back later in life and wish it had been different.

See you next year.

If I had my life to Live Over - Nadine Stair

I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.

I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live
sensibly and sanely hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I've had my moments,
And if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I've been one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat
and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Winter sports adventures

While we haven't got any snow at the house, this was what we had up at Cypress Mountain on Boxing Day. Plenty of snow on the cross country trails, and as you can see, brilliant crisp sunlight too. Definitely my favourite kind of weather.

We were there again last night for the Jack Rabbits Lantern Night Ski. No sunshine, but plenty of atmospheric candle light from the IKEA lanterns all down the sides of a couple of trails. It was really beautiful and actually not too cold for a winter night in Canada.

Unfortunately I managed to prove that the only way I can do a black run, whether it's downhill or cross country, is on my bum - some very inelegant skiing and a sore behind this morning as proof!

Cross country skiing was winter sport number 3 for me this holiday - downhill skiing at Whistler being number 1 and skating being number 2. I'm keeping fairly active this holiday, but sadly I suspect not enough to keep the pounds from creeping on as a result of my sister's excellent cooking and baking skills.

And looking out of the window now, it looks like the rain might just be trying to turn to sleet. Hopefully anytime soon it will evolve into snow (particularly now that we don't really need to go anywhere!).

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Self assembly

Mr Ebb and I spent a delightful afternoon yesterday bonding as in-laws over the assembly of a garden bench my sister had sadistically procured for Christmas.

I can safely say we now know each piece intimately, having put it together and taken it apart on a number of occasions, the precise number of which we have sworn a pact never to reveal. In time honoured self assembly style, the instructions were far from clear, petering out at crucial moments and missing out some steps altogether.

By the end of the evening we had a mostly complete bench, which as you can see my sister rescued in the morning. In keeping with the family tradition, Mummy was indeed able to 'fix it with glue' (and power tools).

Monday, 28 December 2009

The finished article

(For the 'work in progress' pic of this piece, see Have Yarn, Will Travel!) And by finished article or work in progress I mean, of course, the jumper rather than my sister.

The jumper was crocheted using a Mission Falls pattern (but not yarn) and was a Christmas present for my big sister in Canada.

Actually it was all a bit 'coals to Newcastle' since my sister is pretty much a yarn expert and the materials were bought at her local yarn shop, Black Sheep Yarns, on my last visit to Canada. And it was actually meant to be a birthday present in the summer but this year has been a bit manic!

Anyway, it's done now and looking pretty damn good I think.

And as for my sis, well she's just amazing as ever!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

All present and correct

I've just had a pretty special Christmas courtesy of my sister and her family. This was the scene when we finally got round to opening presents. The wee man was incredibly patient and waited until after lunch before the great unwrapping began. Not altogether without complaint but without undue drama for a 6 year old.

Apart from having no snow (which ironically there's tons of in the UK at the moment) and starting a yukky cold, the day has been wonderful.

All finished off with a Wii extravaganza this evening from which I doubt I'll ever quite recover. I'll try to post photos soon, just as quickly as I can work out how to do it with a new camera and unfamiliar computer.

Sweet dreams and happy Christmas everyone.

Friday, 25 December 2009

A Merry Christmas to all our readers

I thought I should get back to the original point of this blog and celebrate some more handmade goodies. Today's festive offering is of a less permanent variety than normal but is handmade all the same.

This is our amazing (and informative) christmas cake. It was made by my sister, inscribed by my nephew and accessorised with sweets (or candies for North American readers) by me.

True to family tradition, the icing was rock hard and has now largely disintegrated. But the cake was delicious, and even better, completely wheat free!

Another chunk anyone?

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

On the Sea to Sky

We're on our way back from Whistler after a quick pre Christmas ski mini break and decided to have a coffee stop in Squamish. This was the view from the car park.

I think I'll need a bit more practice on the climbing wall before I'm ready for the Chief!

Watch this space for some photos of the snow at Whistler.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Have yarn, will travel!

Sitting in terminal 5 at Heathrow with a couple of hours to kill. Lucky I had some portable crafting to while away the time with.