Thursday, January 31, 2008

On getting older

You know you're old when the kid you used to babysit gets engaged and sets a wedding date.

Congratulations to Kathryn & John.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


India here I come, baby!!! OK, not quite ...

But I did register today for the TESL certificate I'm going to take in March. It'll take place over 3 weekends. 60 hours of instruction, plus homework and probably a sleepless night or two but then I'll have what I need to take some serious time off work and travel, work and travel.

This work/travel thing is still a long way off (2012 is what I'm aiming for) but this is a step in the right direction.

Yeah me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fitness Test

Saturday I took part in my first ever fitness test. All things considered (the minuscule ego after Wednesday's horrific Fat Test), I think I did pretty well.

The maximum weight I can bench press is 70lbs.
The maximum reps I can bench press in 90 seconds (using 45lbs) is ... I don't remember, but possibly close to 30.
The maximum weight I can bench row is 65lbs.
The maximum reps I can bench row in 90 seconds (using 45lbs) is 60 (!).
I can do a back extension for 4 minutes, 43 seconds.
I can do 40 sit ups in 90 seconds.
I can do 5 push-ups in 90 seconds.
I can do zero chin-ups in 90 seconds.
I can do zero dips in 90 seconds.

Of course, the push-ups, chin-ups and dips need some serious work. But these are things that require me to lift my full weight and unless I lose half my body weight or increase my strength dramatically, there are a few things I will never do well or many of, and those will probably always be my weakness. I'm not too worried about that. I have a good cardio routine and my endurance is increasing all the time.

And hey, if I can outpace a couple of Swiss guys (one even called me a gazelle!) on their own territory, I figure I'm doing alright!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fat Test

Honestly, how can anything called a Fat Test have a good outcome?! Impossible. What I wasn't ready to find out was that if I had another 3% body fat, I'd be considered fat. Who knew?

Last night at practice, our coach did a fat test on each of us in preparation for Saturday's fitness test. I was totally unprepared for this and rather shocked at the results. Even though he did qualify the results by saying it's not really an accurate reading, it does give an idea. An idea of what, I don't know and quite frankly, now I'm not sure I want to know.

Apparently the average woman should have between 20% and 30% body fat. I have 27%. So for me all that means is that I am way too close to being fat than I find comfortable. Accurate or not, it just doesn't sound good to my ears.

Granted, since returning from our fantastic Swiss Christmas Vacation, I have not been to the gym regularly. The first week I was home I didn't go at all (bad cold), last week I only went twice (too damn lazy) and so far I've only gone once this week (sheer exhaustion). Let me state it right here, right now. No more lazy ass, no more colds, no more being tired, no more chocolate (easy one, I've eaten it all anyway) - TOMORROW I am back at the gym. Next week I will be there a minimum of 3 times, working up to 5 times a week again and in two months, when we do our next fitness test I will NOT have 27% body fat.

Or so help me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend Update

Talk about a whirlwind weekend.

Thursday Toronto
Friday Windsor
Sunday Montreal

I'm beat.

Had some camera problems. Not as many pictures as I really had taken, but here you go - Wesley's Christening.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pit Scores

Sunday night we finally had our Christmas Dinner. Little bit late but that never hurt anybody.

Christmas Dinner goes hand in hand with the Titcombe Annual Christmas Pit Extravaganza. And so, I will give you the winners, the losers and the boring ol' fart who didn't even score.

Tie for first place: Sam & Me with 175 points each
Tie for last place: Jasmine & Marc with 50 points each
Boring old fart who never scored: Eric

Marc still leads the high score record with 410 points (2004) and the lowest score record with -120 points (2001).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Here I Go Again

Seems I only just got back from one trip and I'm preparing for the next one already.

Thursday morning I'll be heading to Toronto to visit a few friends and then Friday afternoon my brother Marc will pick me up and we'll continue down the 401 to Windsor to celebrate Wesley's christening on Sunday with the rest of the family.

Of course, there will be lots of pictures for posterity.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Like "Buttah"

Have just made the most of my spa gift certificate and had: (1) aromatherapy massage, (2) facial and (3)pedicure!

Feelin' like "buttah". Anybody jealous?

Friday, January 11, 2008

How did that happen?

Last night I started sorting through chocolate and presents that will need to be packed for next week's visit to Toronto and Windsor when I discovered that I didn't have a Christmas present for my niece, Darcy!

How did that happen? I could've sworn that I had all that shopping done before December 1. Guess not. Looks like I'll have to do a bit of shopping this weekend.

Nick, Sue - I'll need a few ideas, please.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Message for Eric and Marc

Please hurry up and get your pictures up on flickr.

I'm waiting.

Not so patiently.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Going through the 700-odd pictures I took over the holidays brought back a bunch of little stories and anecdotes that I thought I'd share. Too bad I didn't actually write any of them down at the time but I'll try to remember a few. (Eric, Sam, Marc, Mom & Dad are all welcome to add their own.)

While waiting to go through security at Dorval airport, I told Marc about the time I'd sent a postcard to Eric with nothing written on it except a small 'S' at the bottom of the card and the post office clerk who asked if I'd forgotten to write it, followed by her shock when I answered "No", this gave Marc the idea to send postcards with nothing but scribbles on it. I added to the idea and included some commas, exclamation points, ellipsis. Funnier still is that I sent two postcards exactly like that!

Arriving in Zurich and shouting at Yvette through the glass while waiting for our bags to arrive. Think I scared off a few small children.

On the train to Leuk, Marc and I had a young goth couple sitting beside us for a while. They were not afraid of a little PDA and that was fine until we went through what seemed like the longest tunnel in the world and suddenly we couldn't pretend we hadn't noticed them making out anymore. All there was to look at was their mirror images reflected in the train window.

Christmas Eve at the thermal baths, 10pm, swimming outside, surrounded by snow and Alps, a full moon overhead. Does life get any better?

After our Christmas Eve under the full moon, Marc and I somehow beat Eric and Sam back to the apartment. Just as we were going up the stairs we saw them arrive and decided it would be good to scare them. So we ran up to our floor, hid against the opposite wall and (in the dark) just as Sam was about to unlock the door - we jumped out and yelled "BOO!!!" Sam nearly hit the roof and Eric a few steps back. Marc and I laughed and laughed and laughed! The next day we found out that a number of our family in the building had heard all the commotion and wondered what was going on. This being Switzerland, the house rule was that there was to be absolutely no noise after 10pm.

Christmas Dinner with Eric, Sam & Marc. We'd been watching some lunatic weight lifting competition and Marc made a joke (that I have long forgotten) about somebody's name that had us doubled over laughing.

Marc slipping on the ice (but not falling) and me telling him "don't do that to me!" Of course, I fell about a dozen times, sometimes even with a full backpack.

Discovering that the old bathing suit I brought was too big for me because all the jets in the pools inflated my top or bottom to either make it look like I had a very large uni-boob, or was about 8 months pregnant.

Falling down the stairs at the pool and getting the hugest, nastiest and blackest bruise on my butt. Mom, Marc, Eric and Yvette will all tell you how gross it was. I did take a picture of it but still don't have it in me to post it.

After an amazing raclette dinner at a restaurant on the ski slope (literally) with my cousin Chantal, her husband Carlos, Eric, Sam and Marc, we sledded down the slope back into town. It was completely black, only our flashlights and the moon to light the way. We may have woken up the whole town with all our screaming on the way down. We were soaked with snow by the time we did make it and struggling to catch our breath after laughing so much.

Spending the day on New Year's Eve in Urnasch following the yodellers dressed up as ugly, pretty and wood creatures around the town. Took 150 pictures in about 3 hours.

New Year's Eve raclette dinner at home with Yvette and her family. Much, much laughing. Possibly I may have spit my coffee out (twice).

New Year's Day in Stein-am-Rhein. Most of the shops closed, precious few people about and lots of beautiful old buildings just waiting to have their picture taken. Yvette, Andy and I had afternoon cake and coffee at a quaint little restaurant. Walking along the river we found a great little spot for some fun and funny pictures.

Day trip to Hasliberg. Friends of Yvette & Andy have a chalet on the side of a ski slope. Spent the day laughing, eating, laughing, hiking, laughing and laughing. Shockingly exhausting all that laughing.

First tripping Yvette on purpose, then bashing her cart into a freezer at the grocery store. I had to run away because I was laughing so hard.

Girls day with Yvette in Zurich. Coffee, laughing, shopping, lunch - just the two of us. Awesome.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pictures are up!

Better get comfortable, folks. I finished downloading my pictures before leaving for work this morning and got them up on flickr.

Without further ado ... click here for a look at the last 2 weeks.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Home Again, Sigh ...

A quickie to let you know that I'm home again. Post Vacation Depression (PVD) has set in with full force.

Leukerbad was too amazing, beautiful and wonderful for words. Seeing how small and frail Grandmaman is now was heart wrenching. Spending a week laughing with Yvette was some much needed soul-therapy.

Managed to download the first 612 pictures last night but then my battery ran out and I couldn't charge it because I don't have my luggage yet ... Will do my best to get a selection of pictures up on flickr soon. Promise.