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Trepid Archives

Exciteable descriptions of a new life living in "The Best Place on Earth". The new template is more basic, more classy, tidier... so totally not me! 

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Thursday, June 30, 2005

3:59 p.m. - Amusing quote of the day

Some people are like slinkies...

Not useful for much.

But still make you smile when you push them down the stairs.

We have had fun at work this afternoon, finishing everything by 3pm in time for a crew meeting in which the phrase, "It's not all doom and gloom but..." was used a lot. Still, we took a crew photo and several other photos of random cheeky grinning people which will be posted on a wanted poster on Monday I think.

For now I think I will hit town and see if I can purchase a pair of sandals that will not make my feet disintegrate into a plague of rashes and blisters. 28 degrees is killing me already. What will happen when it hits 40?

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12:54 p.m. - It's a beautiful day so I feel I should write something beautiful

The donut store across the road has re-opened after its run-in with an SUV.

Everyone is OK.

I can get salads for lunch again.

There are gigantic humungous boulders outside the store now.

Robins Donuts is untouchable.

Iced capucchino hits the spot.

I might go and swim in the lake tonight.

Happy Canada day for tomorrow. I will be on holiday, gardening and sitting on the beach. Long weekend. Hurray.

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11:47 a.m. - We created a monster


When we went away to Mt.E for the weekend, we left the cat with a sink full of water to drink. Now she won't drink from her bowl and appears at my feet meowing every time I go to clean my teeth.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

3:07 p.m. - Groovy lines.

If I smoked pot, I might buy this tee, which is being sported by one of our more junior members of the production staff today.

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2:33 p.m. -

This doesn't quite capture the enormity of amazing sky but it comes close.

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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7:10 a.m. -

And suddenly, one day a cell decided not to divide. But as with all things that are so similar, they are nearly identical, these siamese cherries will not last forever. How long should I keep them before I eat them?

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

1:01 p.m. - Near Drowning in City Pool

Well... at lunch I swam 1.5km in 40 minutes.

Number of attempted lengths in crawl - 32
Number of successful lengths in crawl - 2
Number of collisions - 3
Number of conversations to appologise for steering failure - 2
Number of lost gold lockets - 1
Number of refound gold lockets - 1
Number of broken gold chains - 1
Cross-velocity of pool being refilled with water evacuated by my swimming technique- 1cm/sec
Force of goggles stuck to my face to prevent them filling with water - 20 Nm
Number of un-attractive circles around my eyes from goggle suction - 3
Number of very polite people I've talked to since who haven't commented on goggle rings - 7.

A very fit man foolishly decided to come and share my lane instead of any of the other fast lanes occupied by more competant fast swimmers (I was only in the fast lane because it was empty and the medium lane was full of elderly people that my swimming should not be inflicted upon). He proceded to plough up and down avoiding near-misses with me on a regular basis. I couldn't help thinking he was annoyed by the chosen proximity to me as he turned around at the ends. But I refused to be moved from the lane. I was there first and I deserve to start learning. He was obviously scared by my obvious incompetance and the fact that with that, I could almost keep up to his pace.

I broke the back of trying to develop myself a rhythm and concluded that I'm not going to find one easily. Anything from 2 to 6 strokes per breath seemed to have the same disasterous disorientation followed by choking effect. I convinced myself I did the right thing booking the lesson at lest.

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10:42 a.m. - Boing! Scroll for the real story...

Too tired physically yesterday to do any training but I was pretty productive at work for once. Going swimming today. Sun is out again. Booked a swim lesson for next week to teach me how to do crawl properly as no-one has ever told me. Going to try for myself today though as I've finally brought the goggles I purchased for that purpose in 2001. There will be a tidal wave warning in town as I splosh and splash and mow my way down the fast lane in a wobbly line.

I drove the route to the baths in my car and discovered that it's within running distance.

Dare I?

The clouds along the lake this morning were like a musical score... but I left my camera at home by mistake.

Doh! New template on the way for this blog but it's deffinately a WIP so you'll have to keep scrolling for the real story for now.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

9:17 a.m. - Weekend of burnt shoulders and gardening-leg.

On Saturday we went to the Peach City Beach Cruise to hang out with the petrol-heads. We didn’t take the Toad because she’s not really a hot rod or a low-rider. Hubby bought some paint though and started painting her blue on Sunday. Meanwhile, I planted out the last of the flowers in either pots or the garden and the weather is obliging and raining on them and the cow poo that I applied.

Last night we watched, “Men with Brooms” – a kind of “Brassed Off” meets Nova Scotia comedy about 4 members of a curling team whose coach dies and leaves a legacy that they put his ashes in a curling stone and win the golden broom award for the town. Traditional levels of romance, intrigue and moral values. Good Sunday evening stuff. On Saturday night we watched “Spanglish”. I wasn’t really keen on doing that as I’ve heard it’s a bit of a heart-wrencher but actually found it brilliant without being too icky and very spot-on, having experienced living with families whose mother tongue and cultures are not my own – being involved, yet an observer at the same time.

Well, off to work, then time for a change of template I feel, to get rid of this problem I am experiencing!

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Friday, June 24, 2005

8:41 a.m. - Summer

Thin ankle socks and the gentle breeze
blowing through the mesh toes of my shoes
The omni-present smear of chain oil on that bit of my leg,
Never quite washing or wearing off before its next bite

Fingerless gloves if I could find the other one
Shorts in the morning without goosebumps
The smell of cocoa butter after a shower.
Neighbours giving me free planted herbs over the fence at 5:30 am

The slop of my tires on tarmac climbing the hills
The vrizz of my freewheel on the downhill side
A big smile and hello from another bright rideress going the other way
We know we’re best off here, not in our beds or behind the steering wheel

A little yellow chickadee sitting on a fence
Too quick for me to get my camera out
A horse that is skitty as I quietly zip by bright in the morning sun
Woodpeckers that bounce on the breeze with a flip of the wings

Blue sky dragging apart the clouds that rose off the lake overnight
A daylight that wins through the deepest of morning drowsiness
Tugging the corner of the duvet
Gently teasing my soul out of bed to come and play

She is here

(c) Feedom the bike shop

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6:29 a.m. -

Because there's nothing better to do today except rest for the ride home I drew a pig in my lunchbreak.It's a crap game. My pig was great. It even had a hand scratching it because pigs like to be scratched and it was hairy but they didn't pick up on that did they. NO!Plus the html didn't work so here's the picture.

Toward the bottom, you are pessimistic, and have a tendency to behave negatively.
Facing left, you believe in tradition, are friendly, and remember dates (birthdays, etc.)
With many details, you are analytical, cautious, and distrustful.
With 4 legs showing, I am secure, stubborn, and stick to their ideals.
The size of the ears indicates how good a listener you are.The bigger the better. You drew medium sized ears, you are a good listener
The length of the tail indicates the quality of your sex life.And again more is better! You drew large tail, WOW! Obviously I can't control my right hand on a mouse when I have eaten a beef sandwich for lunch.

My hairy scratchy pig. Because it's what pigs want.

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

12:13 p.m. - pLOd

6.61km run - but up the hill - in fits and starts due to gurgling tum
and stitch.

If I manage to ride my bike to work tomorrow I will have done half the
triathlon over three days. Result!

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12:04 p.m. -

They took the tree away before the beaver finished.

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:03 p.m. -

Stables by running track

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:03 p.m. -

Gate and valley

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:03 p.m. -

The golden horse

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:02 p.m. -

Golf course and river. Okanagan mountain behind

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:02 p.m. -

Poor picture of a deer eating trees

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:02 p.m. -

It doesn't matter what country you live in, there's always a white ford escort in a ditch

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:00 p.m. -

Running track

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:00 p.m. -

The early quail gets the best post to sit on

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

11:17 a.m. -

Last night was just a lazy evening, lying around watching lightening storms in between the power going out. Fortunately the storm passed long enough for us to watch the penultimate episode of Doctor Who which was a bit feeble but I believe is warming us up for better things next week. I was amused by the Welshman talking about Anne Robinson in such reverent terms after she once described Welsh people as, "fairly useless". Do you get those cheesy background comentaries in the UK or are they just for the Canadian market?

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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10:46 a.m. - An Englishwoman on Mount English

When my alarm rang out at 6am, my brain convinced me it could see bright sunlight out the window. Sadly, when I came round for real this was not the case. We set up the couch in the toad and made our tea behind closed doors watching the rain running down the window. We packed our stuff into our rucsacs for the last time then huddled under the tarp to wait for the others to catch up. Ha ha! I won the largest pack competition.

In fairness, the weather was not extreme. It was drizzling lightly on and off.

We set off through the forest to calls of, “Wo! I lost the trail here” as we immediately began to crash through the undergrowth and, “Hey! I’m getting my boots dirty!”

With instructions to meet at the lake if any of us got separated we continued to trudge up hill close to the stream. Really though, we all kept in fairly close contact except for a few, including Hubby who was feeling rather fragile from 2 Old Speckled Hens and the tinned dog-food we ate last night. At one point I joked, “OK Who’s pushed Hubby off a cliff?” and expected 5 instant marriage proposals for the car but thankfully he caught us up.

Once at the lake we all hit a breakdown moment. The cameras came out because suddenly there was something to look at instead of just trees. The mountain rose steeply from the other side of the little tarn and our route was actually exposed to us for a while so we snapped it whilst we could. A few broke into song of, “You are my sunshine” which worked for a moment and even the Monty Python lines were flying, “I’m not dead yet…”.

I found out a new thing about Canadian Mountaineers – they don’t like to get their boots wet as they tiptoed around the shores of the lake and I splooshed along behind. So long as your wax is good and your gaiters are tight – where’s the harm? As I followed Brenda through the meadows I also found myself musing how odd that she should be carrying an ice axe in one loop of her rucksack and folded umbrella in the other. Forgive me but I believe any English mountaineer with an umbrella would be laughed off the hillside but sure enough, when we stopped for lunch 6 umbrellas came out – 4 held by Canadians and one by Chris who was from Tenby, Pembrokeshire but has been Canadianised (and yes the resemblance is frightening). Carla and I mused that this is definitely a Canadian thing and Chris explained that it’s a great idea which just wouldn’t work in England because you’d either be holding your brolly at 90 degrees to vertical to stop the horizontal rain or fighting to keep the wind from dragging you away. Fair point. The other was held by Geoff (with the Co Durham accent) who ate his lunch under his umbrella in his tee but then he is a life-long hardened mountaineer that’s seen the worst the North of England and Scotland can throw at a man.

Beyond the lunch stop the meadows were littered with yellow and white flowers, providing great, though a little guilty, skipping potential. So many flowers you couldn’t avoid stepping on them with every footstep… until we reached the snow line. Altitude was starting to hurt so I dug out my ice axe for something to lean on and less weight on my pack and off we went, wheezing a little.

The gentle slopes soon gave way to 45 degrees and pink streaks of algae growing on the snow made for an interesting display. I realised I have never seen this in England because the snow doesn’t stay around long enough. I’ve never seen it in Europe because I’ve never really been off-piste to such an extent.

Two of the club kindly hung around at the back for me and hubby to be unfit - though I was pretending of course. I demonstrated this by hanging off the back to cut myself a wee-lay ledge on the downhill side of the only rock bluff for 200m, waited for Steve to pass then relieved myself on the most comfy wee-lay ledge I’ve ever known. The view was excellent too so I multitasked and took a photo or two (yes, I was desperate so I had time). Then I caught everyone up again and huffed and puffed to the saddle. The whole gang was waiting ready for the joy of screes where we marveled at a few determined little pine trees clinging to the edge desperately sucking what oxygen they could from the air – reminded me a little bit of how I was feeling.

At the bottom of a rock bluff, Steve and Cat were waiting for us again, calling, “The Burger King is still open if you hurry”. I protested that I’m more of a Wendy’s kinda girl (better salad). We skirted the rock bluff and attained the final ridge via another snow slope and it was snow all the way to the top on a path about 3 feet wide – one of those spectacular moments when you come to a quick stop because you know if you step any further you could be in trouble. When I reached the top I said, “Hmph, this is just like England – get to the summit and it’s packed” but it was just my 15 companions waiting to give me a high-five and take some pictures. But let’s face it, it could’ve been anywhere for there was no view.

I didn’t need my down coat so could’ve escaped the biggest-pack award, though I did need my goretex mits to keep my hands warm and that made eating crisps difficult so I gave up and resorted to cereal bars.

The descent of the scree was awkward – slippery lichen, snow and sharp rocks made it slow so it was my turn to hang at the back and make sure Australian Robin was OK as she was a little nervous on her feet. One couldn’t take all that pain without a little pleasure and so came the 500 ft bum slide to the meadows. On and on. Hubby collided with me legs either side shouting “farster farster!” and off we went. Enough speed for foot steering, practicing axe-arrests and taking air over the final jump. YEAH! Sometimes being at the back with everyone smoothing the path is way better than climbing in someone else’s steps.

Of course, no sooner had we left the summit than the clouds lifted and we could see the far side of the mountain range. Beautiful it was. It occurred to me that most mountaineers get into trouble on the descent, not because they’re tired but because Murphy’s law indicates that the clouds always lift after they’ve left the summit and they’re too busy admiring the view to watch their footing. The meadows with yellow flowers extended up the other side of the valley. Snow lined gullies and a towering ridge faced off against us like an angry tidal wave. Andy surfed past me in the snow on his belly and Brenda objected to my suggestion that she slide down the slope sitting in her umbrella – just because it had a steering column.

The descent was otherwise fairly uneventful. We trudged down fairly deliberately to make it to the car in time to run Deren back to Lumby and get home by midnight (only! Ha! I was so tired). When we got home we collapsed into bed so fast we didn’t really have time to enjoy the come-down though I am still enjoying the pain today.

I had a fantastic trip full of the things that I have missed so much over the last couple of years since we last went on an IMC meet. At the same time, this trip (I am sorry to IMC members for this) was much better in a way. I felt little pressure to conform, not conform, be funny, be drunk, sleep with anyone. It was all about the mountain and the atmosphere. Sure we had a beer or too and exchanged long tall tales but no-one was embarrassed to talk about climbing, their jobs or the fact that they’d seen a Canada Goose nesting in an Osprey’s nest last week.

I also got the impression that I was surrounded by some of the most experienced mountaineers / back country skiers / best athletes in BC but no-one was saying anything too loudly. And they were athletes. I’m glad of all my running now and I really hope to see them again very soon.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

12:35 p.m. - Swim little me! Swim!

At the weekend I was put off doing Ironman by Carla but also encouraged and mmotivated further to do the Peach City Triathlon in 1 month.

Trick is, I have to continue the 10km running training and build up to swimming a fast 2km as well as getting my bike out again.

Today I started on the swimming since my legs still hurt from climbing. 40 lengths, 25 minutes. It's a start - It's half way there!

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9:53 a.m. - Mt English - Part 2

When we met some of the members of the club in Kelowna at 11, we offered to give someone a ride up to the camp. Deren was our man, who then announced he wanted us to drop him off in Lumby at his mate’s house. Lumby was a bit out of our way but we didn’t mind. Actually, he suggested we take the Mable Lake road which is kind of a short cut to the meeting point the others were heading for. We agreed to meet them there at 2pm.

Deren squeezed an amazing amount of gear into the toad including two rucsacs, skis and ski boots, leaving little room for himself.

From Lumby we turned right instead of left to take the Mable Lake Road. Before we could realize our mistake we found ourselves with 60km of dirt-track logging road ahead. All I can say is it’s a good job we were in the toad and were able to storm along at a decent speed - bumps no trauma.

By 13:55 we realized we weren’t going to make the meet. At 14:25 we passed our turn off but saw no tracks going up so we continued North to the meet to let the others know where we were, or join the convoy as it came towards us – which we did – a flurry of off-road vehicles coming the other way, their drivers waving and smiling.

The track to camp was interesting to say the least – more interesting watching the others’ cars jiggling, scraping and rolling as they climbed over water butts and slid around fallen trees. The convoy was momentarily halted to saw and tow away a purposefully felled tree designed to keep us out of the camp area but to no avail for the 4x4 is supreme and the Toyota towed it away easily. OK, it was a dead tree so it offered little resistance.

The weather was drizzly on and off as we set up camp. Well, it took Hubby and I five minutes to make the bed and unwrap our sleeping bags and then we settled down with a cup of tea brewed in the toad to watch everyone else wrestle with rapidly dampening tents and rocky ground. The toad acted as a firm anchor for the communal tarp and the whole thing started to take on the appearance of Silver’s hen night except we had a camp-fire and the tarp was higher off the ground and it didn’t rain nearly so much and someone was bright enough to put a centre-pole in to minimize the amount of water accumulating in the tarp. Plus we had chairs.

9:30 was our limit of resistance to the slowly crawling dark so we retired to the bunks of the toad to watch the shadows of the trees dance to the flicker of the campfire and to wake only occasionally to the sounds of showers on the metal roof and the occasional paranoia of, “Is that dripping on my rucsac?” but the toad is good now and sound and water-tight(ish) so the 6am alarm clock was not too much of a jolt.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

11:53 a.m. -

Is it just me? Or does this make you gigglge too? It's the Innovative Equestrian Products part. Then there's the "Otter co-op". What's all that about? Silver, maybe you can explain it, having been horsey horsey once?

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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9:25 a.m. - Mt English Part 1

Just to let you all know I'm back alive. Whilst I work on my Part 2, this is what I would've written on Saturday morning on my Blackberry if I had one:

This being our first trip away in a long time it has been much anticipated, much planned for and now we rumble along the highway in a loaded toad to our rendez-vous with the ACBC. Apart from our seating space in the front of the toad, there is no visible floorspace in the back of our mini RV for it is piled high with rucsacs, boots, food supplies and of course, beer, wine and bottle opener. We were working well into the late evening last night - packing, remembering better stuff, more comfy stuff, lighter stuff, unpacking and repacking.

I put on my 2-year-old-but still-new boots and ensured my crampons were adjusted to fit. I had to do this outside since wooden floors and crampoons do not mix. I got some very confused looks from people passing with a caravan as I walked up and down in the dirt to check they're not going to fall off on me on any ice we come across. My expression back was one of innocence - I'm aerating the soil as I looked contentedly at the little rectangular slots I'd made. Front point crampons in Naramata - whatever next.

My next project was to uncover my sleeping bag which I only did eventually at 9 o'clock this morning. For lack of a stuff sac, I'd confined it to a garbage bag under some curtains in a box.

Now Slaughterpuss is home alone for the weekend with a massive pile of food and a sink full of water to quench her thirst. She watched all of this unfold with an expression of, "you're going to throw me out any minute". She's probably still sat on the bed pretending she's not there. What a lucky cat.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

12:56 p.m. - Whenever, Wherever

I was driving home last night and turning slowly out of a side road. On the radio, Shakira was singing "Whenever, wherever" (or something like that - What EVER) which is a pretty jazzy, spanishy, rumba-rey kind of tune with good guitar and sharp .. pauses in it.

The guy driving towards me on the other side of the road was having a GOOD driver dance. At the pause .. he

Struck the pose - vogue style (both hands off the wheel).
Turned his head - whoosh
Slid his upper body sideways - cocked his hip
Threw his head back - yah!
Then took hold of the wheel again and carried on jiggling.

Yeah.

Get on down.

Freak-out! Doop doop. Doop doop. Doop doop.

Wonderful to see.

More men should show their feminine style behind the wheel.

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7:46 a.m. - It's going to piddle on my parade this weekend

But actually, I don't mind because its ages since I've worn a gore-tex. Taking my goggles though incase its snowing on the glacier. Hope the Canadian mountaineers don't woos out too early - not being accustomed to Scottish weather and all that.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

10:52 a.m. - Neighbours. Everybody needs good neighbours. (God what an awful title). OR The rift in paradise closes

Neighbours have always been important to me. Here’s a quick run-down.
Uncle Tony & Christine – got in my hair a bit when I was trying to get homework done as a teenager but all in all an OK bean. Christine’s lovely.
Barley (Herts) the lovely couple who lived in the house whose loft I was renting
Folkestone – a million ferry employees then a Chinese Rock fan
Dover – a lunie ex-con
Stockport – insane
Finally Alty – a couple with a cute kid and a lovely single girlie the same age as me with a great voice. Our walls were so thin we could sing together. A close shave as I nearly bought next to the neighbour from hell, his nine kids and violence problem.
Cheshire village with hubby – nice old couple who read the Daily star (as we found out when we came to pack up our house) and nice people the other side – who cares in a detached anyhoo?
Our first place here – people who kept themselves to themselves
Now – the strange ones to the South (VERY private), Bill’s elderly father to the North and Pauline and David to the East

(some names changed to protect the innocent)

Then last week a rift opened in Paradise when Pauline and David announced they were moving out to the city so that their 16 year old Elaine doesn’t miss out on her social life (or ride home with drunk drivers down our windey road). Fair enough but we will be so so sorry to see them go. She is a homeopath who works from home and David is on the Canadian board of Amnesty. They have been together forever and just exude the kind of good karma that everyone needs to be around. David has some wonderful stories to tell and he frequently writes about them in the local paper but he never sticks it down your throat. When you meet him he’s just a nice, genuine caring guy and is fascinated by other people.

On Christmas day last year we didn’t really celebrate because we were driving down to Van to get stepson on Boxing day and would be doing Christmas on 27th so we were mulling in the caravan waiting for a little lamb joint to roast badly and trying to figure out how to squeeze some roast potatoes in there with it when Pauline knocked on the door and invited us round to share Christmas dinner with them and their two visiting sons. It was an amazing evening. There was enough food for all and we managed to eek out the gravy. I think they were glad they wouldn’t have any left-overs.

They have been really sweet about us turning up and building a house in their view which has been sacred for the 5 years they’ve been there. They’ve never complained, just complemented us on our choices and our vision for the place and said how happy they are that we rescued the ponderosa pine and the wild roses from the bulldozers.

I didn’t get to talk to Pauline about her move as I was inside with Linda when she talked to Hubby but last night she came around to see me whilst I was in the garden planting out tomatoes. I started a joking tirade of, “Listen lady, I want to talk to you. You can’t up and move, I’m going to get a court order to stop you moving more than 500 yards from me. You’ve no right I tell you, no right.” She listened patiently, smiling and I could tell she’d something important to tell me. She came straight to the point to spare me any more misery.

“I’ve come to tell you that Yanti’s dad is buying the house”. I cried. I actually shed about 5 tears. That’s so wonderful. Yanti is a lovely person and her husband Brent will be running a massage therapy centre from there. There will be yoga on my doorstep. Her family will use it to visit and eventually, one day they will move into it together with the little family that they are planning. Pauline said that Yanti was thrilled when she realized that we would be her neighbours (Pauline and Dave’s house is not technically next door but behind us so not easy to visualize initially but we do share a boundary).

Today is a happy day. One for landing on my feet. Except it’s supposed to rain at the weekend. At least I wont kill any more tomato plants.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

11:18 a.m. - Great Customer Service

Today I have been offering Great customer service. Go on go on go on. Try it, it's good for you.

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11:09 a.m. - Slacking

Today I had lunch at 10:00. It’s usually at 11, since I start work at 7 but today I went into town to buy some cards during my 9am morning coffee break. I went to support my local shops on Front street instead of going to a big store but they were closed at 9:05am! Does this entitle them to complain about losing custom to big stores?

I went to the Post office next because they have good cards anyway and I found some really good ones and posted the one to my dad.

Then I thought I’d quickly buy lunch at the drivethrough so I can eat at lunchtime whilst I work back the time but I forgot that Wendys doesn’t open until 11am. Which is good because then kids can’t buy burgers at 10 am but all I wanted was an honest hearty salad! That meant I had to stand in line in Safeways and of course I got behind the woman who couldn’t find her club card and then the till receipt roll got all messed up.

After all that, every light on the way back to the office was red but I don’t care. I have already eaten my crudités and ranch dip from Safeway because it looked yummy and I couldn’t ignore it and I now feel holy and great because of it.

We got a post card yesterday from mother in law who’s back in Blighty playing on her bike and hiking with the Congleton Ramblers (she’s 63 and still kicking ass). She also lost her filo fax which explains why she hasn’t called or written for a while. If I don’t get in touch with her soon she’s likely to turn up unannounced on our doorstep, which is fine, but alarming since we’re planning a trip to see her in sunny Spain in September.

Tonight is the great shopping trip to stock up for the weekend with yummy yummy food then its home to cook the first dinner that hasn’t actually been ready 24 hours in advance. Damn I’m slacking on my domestic goddess karma already but at least the dishes are done.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

12:55 p.m. -

On the weekend I gardened some more. Most of my seedlings are now either potted or growing in the flower beds where they are struggling not to be eaten by the snails that are flocking to the only damp area of the garden. This week I have to get the last of the tomatoes in or watch them die. Only 50 to plant! Yikes! I was so in love with my new kitchen that on Sunday night I cooked dinner, made Monday's dinner (home-made buffalow burgers) and had enough mixture left over for tonight - buffalow manicotti! Well, the manicotti needed using up. I just think it highly amuzing that I have managed to compact such a big animal into a 1 inch diameter tube of pasta.

I'm glad I'm ahead because the plants are not going to get planted this weekend. It’s the big trip. In the meantime I have to send something Fathersdaysey to dad and buy some supplies. The important camping trip stuff like morning fry ups in a foil bag and cakes for the top of the mountain. I have to dig out stuff like sunscreen. At least we found hubby’s second crampon – and I have all my gear on hand now. The usual suspects – the arctic expedition down coat, goretex mits, big wooly hat and neckwarmer. Flask for tea

We will be offroad vehicling part to access the mountain. Someone has to bring a chainsaw in case we need to clear tree debris from the trail. There are some water splashes en route. Someone made it in a Honda SUV last year so I think the Toad will be OK. Actually I think the Toad will be adored and stroked in awe and wonder and expect that we will be the most comfortable people on the trip. There are days when she pays for herself, she really does.

Yesterday I managed to run 5.94 km with only two walk rests and it threw it down on the way back so we were having wet tee shirt competitions at the shipping department. I was winning although (self-confessed) fatty Dave gave me a run for my money.

Last night I worked on a drawing at work till 6pm, so today I am outta here early and heading for the store to get me some dadsy thing to send to England. Fingers crossed it gets there quick!.

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Monday, June 13, 2005

6:52 a.m. - Leaps, Bounds and the Real World.

This weekend we went from a matress on the floor which served as our bed, sofa and dining table to separate kitchen, dining room, living room and bedroom complete with grown-up bed and everything. We're upstairs away from the "noise" and we have rugs on the floor. This is it, this is OUR ROOM. The bathroom attached to it is also fully functioning.

The kitchen cupboard doors and drawer fronts were fitted and varnished and the fridge was slid into place. The pan hangar was hung and the boxes of crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils unpacked. Drawer organisers slid seamlessly into drawers and the camping-ware was relegated to the basement for this weekend's trip to Mount English.

The futon was errected in the green room to give us comfortable TV viewing until the living room is finished. The builder moved all his tools out of there leaving the floor empty and us wondering where we're going to get the furniture from to fill the space.

The dining table (a maple work bench which Hubby "acquired" from a business garage-sale and added stainless steel Nuclear reactor rod shells to for table legs) was sanded with 300grit sandpaper to remove blemishes from the re-work of the TVR and polished with a new finish to restore its virgin maple appeal.

We can not believe the ammount of stainless steel / black stuff we have - all of which goes with our new kitchen - the toaster we bought for our last place, my pizza cutter and serving spoon, our bread-bin and many other wedding presents from our wonderful friends and family.

This weekend the Builder done good but he also learned a lesson about the big bad world of banking and playing the game. He put in for a payment on his next project - lets call them the McInterfereons - as he has "finished" their basement. I am guessing though, that as with us, he has put in for it early but this time his fingers have been burnt. The bank sent round an inspector who reconed progress was worth $5000 less than the agreed payment, so that's all he's got... Well look at that, after 7 years in consultancy you learn something new every day.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

4:07 p.m. - Outdoorsy geeks meme

Where did you have your 3 most spectacular (in the style of Jim Carey) “YEAH!” moments?
Leading a Severe chocksone crack on Millstone Crag (not edge) with Adam in 1996 (?). The crux move was finger holds either side of the chockstone – just at the extreme of reach then feet up to waist height onto nodules either side of the crack which was about body width so you could just about squeeze into it. Of course once you lasso the chockstone (and find out its safe) it’s the most awesome feeling move but until then it’s about 20 ft up and SCARY.
Finishing the Yorkshire 3 peaks for the 1st time (followed by the second and third times)
Getting to the top of Mt Omu in Romania solo, finding the weather station was manned so I wouldn’t have to sleep exposed on a 2500m peak in early April and not dying. Then watching the lights in the villages below twinkle at 11pm in a distinctly Eastern European manner.

Favourite place for seeking solitude.
For now, my lunchtime runs into the Indian reserve. Used to be Stanage Pole in the Peak District.

Favourite place to take non-outdoorsy geeks for their first outing?
Wastdale because it’s spectacular yet “mostly harmless”. Here - the KVR for an A1 view and historical interest.

Favourite place to take ex-outdoorsy geeks that have been in the city too long or big southern jessies for a refresher course?
Same as above or Tryffan depending on experience and enthusiasm. Here I’d probably go back to Vancouver Island and climb Becher. Very accessible, not too hard and fab views of the Comox glacier.

List top three places have you felt most at peace in the outdoors?
Top of Stac Pollaidh in Assynt, Scotland on a summers day with hubby
Top of Pen-Y-Ghent, Yorkshire with Stuart Morcom and Roo, looking at the moors.
Running across the green pastures on Beinn-An-Fhiddeller, Assynt with my dad skipping, singing the “hills are alive” from the Sound of Music. It was after mum had been cleared of cancer and we were all very happy. This might also come under the next section where we thought mum would kill us both for being back three hours late because we couldn’t resist the final ridge of the horseshoe.

Give three instances where you scared yourself out of poop.
Mountain biking out to the Peak from Dan and Chris’ place on Sheffield’s coldest day for quite some time I imagine. Getting so effing cold my plaited hair froze and I nearly cried at my fingers. I slept for 16 hours afterwards.
Riding in the 3 Peaks cyclo-cross one week after recovering from deli-belly and running out of energy on the top of Whernside. I was so short on energy I couldn’t get on my bike without my legs cramping which meant I had to walk – prolonging the agony. The downhill was OK and I ate a banana at the bottom. I waived my support car by having been persuaded to carry on then nearly fainted at the next hill, at which point I hitched a lift off the Orrell’s and was happy to get back to the finish to sign off alive.
Zen Dawn HS lead in Anglesey with 15ft of run out, waves crashing into the undercut 40 ft below me and a relatively inexperienced Rach on the other end of the rope. (Forgive me for that if you read this but I don’t think we’d been climbing together more than one season at that point). It didn’t help that we saw a bloke fall on his tail bone before setting off on his lead before us.

List top 10 things about being an outdoorsy geek that you love.
Walks / bikes / climbs where you don’t see a sucker all day and you’re completely responsible for your own destiny and nothing else matters.
When the weather clears after a long hard slog and you realize that “this is the “why?””
Tea on a shitty day

List top 3 things about being outdoorsy that you hate. (there can’t be that many can there?)
Shitty weather that lasts so long even the most hardened geeks get sick of it.
AGNIs (all the gear, no idea) and over-competitiveness on the hillside. If you can’t chill, go back to London (or Calgary)
Bears

Other outdoorsy geeks that you admire.
Chris Bonnington
Mum and Dad for teaching me the ropes
Steve Astley – Gah! For founding IMC and giving me an outlet.
I don’t really have any other mountaineering heroes.

Best outdoorsy geek chomping material
Peanut butter sandwiches
Canadian Pure Fruit Bars (how they make pure sugar that’s good for you I don’t know but they’re FAB)
Malt loaf
Kendal mint cake – when truly done-for

What wouldn’t you eat on death’s door.
Egg sandwiches would probably make me sick and turn inside out
Dog poo.

The biggest luxury in my backpack is…
Chocolate.
Seasonings to make camping food taste like food.
Dry socks on wet days and swimwear on warm days

3 things: When I stop doing it, it…..
Hurts more.
Makes me appreciate what I’ve done and the fact that I’ve stopped.
After a while it would make me sad and I need to do it again.

Threading out the rope for:
Silver Lining, Grump, Franchini

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2:00 p.m. - Friday running. Thank god no-one followed me with any work!

The long and climbing road

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:59 p.m. -

Church & Totem Pole on the Indian Reserve

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:45 p.m. - Village Pictures

Phew! What a day I am having today.

Last night I got home and LO! the builder had done nothing but he turned up and hung around to see the bath plumbed in properly - mostly by Hubby so we had a bath last night. The first proper bath since... 2003 I think.

Whilst they were plumbing I went to the store to get more veg for the left over roast and took some pictures as it was so pretty out.

The centre's chapel. About as funky as god gets - whichever one you choose.

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:44 p.m. -

The cherries are a' comin'

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:43 p.m. -

Camp Creek (no really that's its name)

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:43 p.m. -

Summer snow (that's seeds falling BTW - for those of you who think it's always cold in Canada)

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:43 p.m. -

The coffee shop

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:42 p.m. -

The nicer village motel

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:42 p.m. -

The village store with its new paint job. See, one person paints in blue then everyone copies.

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:41 p.m. -

Mural on the wall of the Fruit-Packing plant

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:41 p.m. -

The village museum

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:41 p.m. -

Blue Spruce living up to its name

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:41 p.m. -

Village library, thrift store and general hang-out for Oldies

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:38 p.m. -

A better gardener than me! It's amazing what you can do with a small space

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:38 p.m. -

School bus in the driver's yard

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:37 p.m. -

Wildflower garden

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:12 p.m. -

Little Swallow, Big Sky

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

12:50 p.m. - Lady luck is shining on me today

I remembered to bring my lunch to work today (it's only 4 days old pasta)...

Which means I wasn't in my usual coffee shop at lunchtime...

When a truck smashed through the window and into the restaurant...

And to get there he had to leap over two curbs and cross the parking lot so my guess is he was shifting some.

I think I probably work near one of the most exciting traffic lights in BC.

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10:02 a.m. - I'm so confused it's funny.

Hank's truck pictures

Why? I don't know. I found it whilst looking for something else!

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

1:18 p.m. -

Making sure no-one steals his mate's carpet

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:17 p.m. -

But no, there's the lookout

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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1:16 p.m. -

Looks like a pile of rubbish

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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11:57 a.m. - Due South

I ran all the way down to the South Bridge again today to Skaha Lake and knocked 3 minutes off the time I last did it in. Still running for 6 mins and having a 1 minute breather. Hopefully my body won't go into meltdown after last time I did that run.

The recently recalibrated pedometer says 7.83km. I still haven't verified any of these distances against the 1:50,000 map. I must, I really must. Or come in on my bike and check it with that toy... or Hubby's GPS.

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7:00 a.m. - Erectile Disfunction

The phallic filler on the tub needed to be located last night. We can't have it in the middle so it's left of centre.

This morning the knob dropped off the handbreak on Willie the blue bug.

What shall I do I ask?

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

6:59 a.m. - No, not good. I don't like it

Yesterday, Isabelle Dubé was killed in Canmore, Alberta by a grizzly bear. It was on the news last night. As the words rang out in the beautiful green room and our attention was drawn by the words, "grizzly attack" I also felt a pang of, "I know that name". The comentator proceeded to fill us in that she was a world cup mountain biker and a wonderful picture of her muddy spreckledy face flashed on the screen. There was some fill-in about her family back in Quebec then pictures of a memorial service in the forests above Canmore - a group of about 20 hardened nutcases all in biking gear snivelling in the trees - a mixture of tears and the rain dripping off the ends of their noses. The atmosphere did her proud, mud at your memorial service. What more can any mountain biker ask for?

She was out running with some friends when the bear appeared about 20 m away from them. Her friends backed away and she climbed a tree. They heard her shouting at the bear and ran for help. By the time the ranger appeared Isabelle was dead. Some grizzlies climb trees, some don't. She was really unlucky.

The story begs a question of Canmore - development or bears? Which do you want? The bear that killed Isabelle is now also dead. It was relocated some time ago after it followed a woman photographer for 20 minutes. It had been fitted with a radio collar and had reappeared in the area (just knows where the good garbage can be found) but it was not considered a threat anymore. The beauty of 20-20 hindsight eh? As the size of our mountain "villages" expands into the bear's territory these kinds of interface issues will arrise more and more often. Saying that, it's obvious that Isabelle never thought twice about going running that day on the off-chance that she might die.

However, tourists travel to Canada every year in the hope of seeing a bear. Tours are offered across the country aimed specifically at seeing bears. I hope I never see a bear, although I have and it's wonderful - when you're in a car. I can't help thinking that bears becoming accustomed to humans being around and viewing them is a bad thing, especially when tourist resorts expand to gargantuan sizes to accomadate the tourist industry surrounding it. I thank god that people no longer pay to see de-clawed, chained bears on the street and in circuses, but really when the people die and the bears die - have we actually achieved anything?

Then I remembered that I used to race with Stephanie Dubé back in England. She moved from Ontario with her English hubby and turned up with a whole pile of whoop-ass for me for a couple of racing seasons - until she discovered the clean-side and turned to track racing. We talked a lot with Stephanie because Hubby was comforted by her Quebecois / Ontarian accent and she even knew of the house that he built back East - the exact house.

I looked Isabelle up on Google this morning, to see if I could find anything that referenced her relatives. A search for her yeilds a plethera of Extreme sporting events results from the Trans-Rocky mountain bike race to the Cause running race for human rights and the Bow Corridor Nordic Ski race. Although I never knew her, I admire her and hope above all hopes that she never had a sister called Stephanie but there's something deep down that makes me think Stephanie had talked about her mountain biking sister back in Canada. I just don't know if my brain is making that up.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

11:44 a.m. - Grace and Porpoise like Mary Poppins

Super-calorieburning-not-so-fragile-legs-tic-expedious-where's-the-douche-now?

6.3 km to the bridge at the North of the channel in 33:42. If I go further I'll be able to run up to the lake!

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10:13 a.m. - Safety Special

It's amazing what you come across when you're surfing for a work picture for a safety poster and you search on "chains", "trapped" and "fingers". All sorts of kinky stuff.

But I changed my search parameters to include "safety" and "industry" came across this instead. Check out "Just a little off the top please". I love the crumpled car roof stuck to an airoplane wing. "Bridge over the river Yikes!" is pretty scary too.

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9:31 a.m. - Dark Playcees

Grumpy posted this little gem on his underground activities last week and it inspired me to write of my fun and games in Mid Wales in 1995. As a climber – one accustomed to going UP – OUTDOORS – I was not over-exited about caving but back then I was a "youth" and I was lucky enough to join one of the Engineering Council’s "youth" programs for a weekend of team-building, leadership, goal-setting, drinking, playing silly games and generally being filthy. Much fun.

On aforementioned debauchery, we were encouraged to talk about our weaknesses, set some goals, be honest about how much booze we’d taken from the mini bar and come out of it all having achieved something – all in a Georgian mansion in mid Wales. On day 3 we were to focus on what we were bad at. I must’ve been wise at some point in my life because I said I was weak at taking a back-seat role and being told what to do – being a team person instead of a leader. So, for the trip to the caves, I was a lacky – not a leader.

In our groups of 8 we had to perform 7 out of 10 appointed tasks and at least 6 people in the group had to perform the task for it to be deemed successful. The tasks were various holes, wriggles, plunges etc with great names like “Letterbox”, “Toothpaste tube”, “the River” etc. I’m sure there should’ve been a “Sphincter” but there wasn’t.

We were duly kitted out in coveralls, wellies, a hard hat and gloves and given the instructions that everything we did was our own making. The instructors (one with each team) would not intervene in any way, except to show us to the entrance of the caves and to stop us from doing anything dangerous (I mean REALLY dangerous). There’s dark playcees in them theer caves.

So, us being the organized team that we were, under the leadership of Tim (out there to improve his leadership skills), decided to knock off our first task straight away by choosing an entrance to the cave that was on the task list. We walked past the 100 ft high gaping chasm that was the main entrance (complete with tourists in trainers and flip-flops) and scrabbled up a grassy hillside where the instructor pulled apart two clumps of grass, pointed to the ground and said, “there’s your entrance that you chose”. Whimper!

I looked past the person in front of me (in my new submissive role at the back with the nice, tall, blonde haired guy) and couldn’t help myself saying, “I don’t think my arse will get through there”. I took a chance though and was pleased to say, I was skinnier than I imagined. Actually, I could see the hole, about body diameter, then there was a rock in the way which narrowed that hole to about 8 inches. However, if you stood on the in-the-way-rock then you could get on your knees and extrude yourself around that rock to touch down on the path below. WRIGGLE.

The letterbox was fun. We commando crawled through a chamber that was too low to crawl on hands and knees but left reasonable clearance for shoulders, elbows and head. It terminated in a drop off of around 4.5 feet. Since my legs were completely stretched out in the chamber with no room to bend up or turn over, my upper body bent down at the hips and I had to rely on the instructor and one other team member outside the hole to hold up my upper body and pull my legs out behind me.

In the Toothpaste Tube we crawled in the same position but as we went further and further along the chamber got lower and lower and closer and closer. In the end I had about 1 cm to move my head up and down in between my hard hat touching the roof and my chin touching the floor and about 3 inches to either side of my elbows. For a tall person it was mightily scary actually. I’ve been more scared on climbs but it was a different type of scared. It wasn’t an, “I might die now” feeling, it was an, “I could die here eventually but it’d take a long, depressing time” feeling.

Another task was the Plungepool in which 4 women (including me of course and my love of cold wet places) and 2 very brave boys walked 20 ft in icy cold water up to our nipples whilst the other two boys stood by the side and whimpered and held their bits in empathetic pain.

The only other place I felt scared was when we had completed all our tasks, we were having so much fun we decided to head out of the caves via another task and crawled up “the River”. This crawling was hands and knees stuff but there still was only just enough room to make the motions – this time though, a stream in full Mid-Walean spate was roaring in the other direction and, as the one at the back – still following the cute blonde who turned out to have a nice ass too – I spent the entire time, not looking at his ass, nor worrying about him farting but concentrating on not being swept back into the depths by the excessive quantities of water channeling themselves into my wellies. It was like a John Waterhouse scramble but without the proper gear or the daylight!
Still, there’s something about peeling off a sodden set of coveralls, the GREAT noise that wellies make when you take them off after they’ve been filled with water and a dry fluffy towel accompanied by a cup of flask coffee in all its nastiness that fills the heart with glee and makes you so relieved that you didn’t wet yourself in the “Toothpaste tube” that you want to come back and do it all again some day. Maybe.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

12:08 p.m. - New hair bear

Shiny, that's what we're trying to achieve. (Ignore the eaten-pizza box purlease)

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:07 p.m. - Yikes it needs cutting as well

Like the sapphire earings I bought with my first proper Canadian paycheque?

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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12:06 p.m. -

I'm sure the safety officer shouldn't have so many files on the shelf up there!

(c) Andy Click on photo for a larger image

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