Monday, February 16, 2015


Before we went to the museum on Family Day Monday the kids needed to be entertained while I did the Loppet on Sunday.  And if I was skiing, they wanted to ski.  And because there was a wind chill of -35 outside, they got to ski inside.  Felicity is so competent she is carrying a picnic basket, plate and doll.  

Toby looks like a natural.  I always remember seeing toddlers running around the chalet in salopettes and ski boots when we went skiing in Switzerland on a school trip age 11.  I don't know why that memory has stuck but I'm pleased we've been able to at least give them a feel for being on the snow fro the outset.  The forecast is for a high of -1C this coming Sunday so we shall dig out the shorts and sun cream and hit the slopes.

On Monday it was cold again, blah, blah, blah.  So we wet to the wonderful Children's Museum which is housed inside the spectacular Museum of History, formerly Civilisation.  They had some extra activities going on:

Bilingual bien-sur:

Bob the Builder was supervising:

On a camel in snow boots.  I like the juxtaposition.

Ski #13: Loppet (including cold weather skiing infographic)

See if you can figure out this pictorial representation of skiing in the Arctic north that is Ottawa (we're really nowhere near the Arctic):

Technically the Loppet is in Gatineau but it's all part of the National Capital Region.  I know that skiing is inherently a cold weather sport and that it is not much fun otherwise but there are different degrees of cold.  For a start, and what better place to start, there is our friend Kelvin, way down there where there ain't no Kelvins: 0 degrees Kelvin (-273C).  That's really cold.  That's where there is no energy at all.  Anything warmer than that and we have energy but if it's colder than we are, 37-ish degrees C (310K!) we're losing heat to our environment.  So when on Sunday, day of the Loppet ski race it says that it will be -23C on the start line with a very brisk wind gusting 50kmh, we're losing a lot of heat.  This can be mitigated by some well chosen items of clothing but the face gets little protection.  Disconcertingly almost everyone I saw in the indoor are had some sort of tape covering their cheeks and nose.  I suddenly felt not very well prepared.  Oh well, we would get to the trees soon.

It was a good race.  Well it wasn't really but I did enjoy myself.  The snow was so slow, there was fresh loose snow on the climb up the back of Pink, I feel over trying to smile at a cameraman and the wind was at times really painful.  But the sun shone, the course was shortened from 27 to 22.5k and I got the frostbite all-clear from the medic at the aid station.  It took me 2 minutes longer than last year despite the shortening which is an reflection of (a) the conditions and (b) my having skied half as much as I had this time last year.

Photos have not been posted yet.  Here are some bits of trivia:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Where does the time go?

This is the question I asked, idly, aloud, somewhat rhetorically.  "In here!" was the answer I got, emphatically, from Felicity who was simultaneously banging her hand on the super lazy susan corner cabinet.  A super lazy susan is, I believe, differentiated from a simple, straight forward, bog standard lazy susan by the sole fact of its separately rotating two shelves.  Make sense?  Good.  So what better place to keep that elusive, bendy, unruly and enigmatic of concepts: the time. 

I am affording myself this indulgence of semantics today to compensate the cross I have to bear in the form of a continuous stream of green/yellow/dark green/dark yellow phlegm emanating from my daughter's nose today.  All of that on about 3 hours of sleep last night thanks to my course, some late night grocery shopping and a Toby who refused to sleep from 3am until 5.30am when we finally gave up and got up.

Pictures come to you today from yesterday.  Reading lesson:

Outdoor activity time:

Indoor activity:

And from today, the alphabet dinosaur puzzle that Toby did all on his own.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ski #12: Mission accomplished, 37 for 37

We did it. Chris Roy and I. Yesterday, Saturday.  37km skate skiing around the park. It was fun, really fun. I took some photos. 

Here are the details:

P8-P9 - 3.5
P10-junction - 4
Junction-Champlain - 2.5
Champlain-McKinstry - 9.2
McKinstry-Champlain - 9.2
Champlain-Penguin via #1 - 7.3
Penguin-P8 - 1

Approx. 36.7km

We left a bag at Huron on the way up which was a magical treat on the way back. Stopped at Huron, McKinstry and Huron again. Strava said 36.5 when we got back to P8 so we skied 250m towards P9 and back!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ski #11: Precious children

Dr Meg Wilson works shifts in the ER which is great for everyone but especially great for me, Felicity and Toby when she chooses to spend a day off skiing with us.  It was a snowy, milder day yesterday and we went all out skiing to Keogan after a gnarly drive to P10.  Felicity did her best ski to date on the way back down and if we had had more time she could have done even more.  Next time I think we will try some uphill.

That was Wednesday.  Now it is Thursday, the snow has been cleared up and the sun is shining. And it is cold again.  My son is developing in leaps and bounds but is currently hell bent on climbing everything.  The problem is that he can so if I turn around for a moment he is on a chair or a coffee table.  I vaguely remember this phase with Felicity but I think she was slightly less reckless.  Case in point, he has just climbed onto the chair, leaned over to the fruit bowl with the result that the chair slowly slid backwards.  This is why I write my blog in the evening.  Only evenings have more or less evaporated with my spec ed course, course work, Crystal's soccer, flooding the rink and sleeping.

All that to say, the blog will carry on recording skiing and hopefully some magic family moments but it's going to have to have a rest.  He's on the f@#king chair again!!!  Help!

Monday, February 2, 2015


The cold has kept us in a lot but on Sunday we went outside mainly because there were two of us to deal with the fallout. Toby lasted about 10 mins, maybe because I buried him (I thought the snow would be a good insulator) but Felicity was out for nearly an hour:

A tender moment earlier in the day:

Ski #10: Slow quickie

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Our cold winter continues and the snow was painfully dry and slow.  P8-P9-#1 turn-off-Penguin-P8.  Had planned to go to the lookout but it was just too much of a grind.  On the upside it was wonderfully sunny.  Go Eddy...