Monday, 8 February 2010


Had a lovely week with our son and future daughter-in-law, would have done more if I hadn't had a cold and then passed it onto Mark our son and Ian, very generous of me don't you think? It didn't stop us sitting around the table talking for hours though, a habit our family developed over the years. I am so pleased that as a young family Ian and I agreed to eat together with the kids at the table and didn't sit around watching the tv as was the habit of both of our families except for special occasions. Most of my childhood memories stem from those special occasions of eating around the table and I hope that by sitting around with our family the stories of the past which got recycled at the time helped to give a sense of history and fun that make our family what it is. Hopefully those family times lasts longer than the disappointment of not being able to go to dancing/swimming/horse riding/ etc etc etc that all the other kids got to go to because their families could afford it. The problem with that kind of lifestyle is that usually it means not everyone is in the house at the same time to eat together. It wasn't always easy, there were times the mood around the table was frosty to say the least but there were plenty of good times too.

Had one of those bonding moment with my future daughter-in-law as I screeched for Kerry, "Can you help me please? Quickly!" It was  panic stations as the u-bend on the sink came apart for some reason and my beautiful hand built cupboards were swimming in a layer of water, fortunately Kerry was in the house and so I was able to pass things out to her and bale out the cupboard quickly and between the two of us we worked out how to get the kick boards off under the cupboards to allow everything to dry off. Did have a good time in the bakery to make up for it though.

We know all the best places to go and so took a visit to a DIY store - isn't that what everyone does on their holidays? It is there that Kerry found out her future husband's interest in tools and gadgets as Ian and Mark waxed lyrical about mallets and bought one just because Ian hasn't got one (I did think it might come in handy for hammering in fence posts and so allowed it). It is funny to see how children grow and take on some of the interests, mannerisms or outlooks of the parents and now as young adults we can see flashes of ourselves in them and also marvel at how different they are at other times. I love listening to our kids talking of hopes and dreams as they embark on their new lives and I pray that their journeys will be full of excitement and a sense of fulfillment. I know their journeys will not be without hiccups and ups and downs as no life journey is ever smooth. Taking time to enjoy the journey and appreciate all that they have and the experiences they can learn from makes for a much better journey than to be always wondering when you will get to a destination, after all we are still enjoying our journey which we are on.

We did do some touristy things though, honest! We made use of the cross country ski run at the top of the road and wouldn't you know it, with an audience and trying to show Kerry how to classic ski (well okay what works for me to get moving), I managed to fall over four times. Hmmph! Only fallen over once before and I wasn't even showing off. We also decided to investigate the downhill skiing at Lidokalns  as well, it's a man made ski run built by the same guy who built all the Lido restaurants in Riga (nearly everyone we know who has gone to Riga will have been to the original Lido restaurant at some stage); this is situated near to the highest point in Latvia (now at this point all my Colorado friends need to make sure they are sat down somewhere safe when they fall about laughing) Gaizinkalns is a whole 312m (1032 ft) a bit lower than where we used to live in Fort Collins at 1524m (5003ft) and we weren't even in the foothills. Skiing was a little cheaper at Lidokalns, 3LVLs (£3.70, $5.80) for ski rental and 3LVLs for ski lifts compared to $34 ski rental alone at Winter Park, Colorado where we went two years ago. Okay so the ski run was not exactly the longest run in the world and couple of minutes and we were at the bottom but since it was Kerry's first time skiing then the nursery slopes were excellent for her and Mark and I could then do a couple of runs on the main run without everyone freezing too badly at the bottom or my legs seizing up too badly. Ian didn't join us skiing but I nearly fell over in shock when he said we might go back again because everything was so close, instead of requiring buses to get from the car to the slopes meaning he didn't freeze in the transfer process.

And now for something completely different as they say, a post on Forum of the future begged the question "If climate change didn't exist would we have to invent it?" Martin Prices asks what if climate change didn't exist and turned out to be a myth, then are we mad to be spending time on research on renewable energy and energy efficiency when oil is not an infinite source of energy? Forest conservation would not be essential or would it? After all it is not just about reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere but also about preventing soil erosion, and flooding. Basically all the steps we take to reduce the CO2 we emit would improve the environment we live in so why aren't we taking the steps anyway? Love it! Just my kind of thinking. Let's stop arguing over whether climate change is happening or not and start looking after this good ol' planet that God made and stop trashing it.

Photo 1 - Me powering down the straight (if you believe that you will believe anything) at our local cross country track
Photo 2 - Yes I fell over and Ian had the camera to prove it
Photo 3 - Me passing on my not so vast experience of downhill skiing to Kerry
Photo 4 - Mark looking uber cool
Photo 5 - Kerry doing ever so well at her first attempt at skiing (at least she stayed upright) which is a good start.
Photo 6 - Mark tackling the very technical slalom course


  1. Glad to hear you had such a great time with your family.
    We are a family that eats together. In fact today Ben and I are meeting up for lunch as we are both a bit busy and keep missing each other. But for all of us it is a special time which we are training Ian into. Sometimes the meal table explodes as a fight breaks out but even with that I am pleased that we have made the time to hear each other's views and opinions. Even when they have friends round it is always expected that we all sit for an hour or so over the meal table.
    So as I get use to more and more times without them I will know that when they come to visit after they have left home we have this to look forward to.
    I love your blog as it gives me hope for when things have changed here.
    Thank you X

  2. Not thought about the positive aspects of the arguments around the table but yes I see what you mean.

    It is great when they come indeed and we just spend so long talking around the table. Adjourning to more comfortable chairs in the living room just doesn't have the same effect.


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