Thursday, 28 May 2009

Not much Happening

I haven't posted lately as there hasn't been much happening of particular note. So here is a brief stream of consciousness with some goings-on.

There have been 5-year old behavioural shenanigans that I am attempting to deal with somedays more effectively than others. J is going through an argumentative stage where he debates every decision to death and adopts a defiant position seemingly for the rise it gets out of us. I'd like to think that our family thrives on the democractic principle of meritocracy but lately we've been teetering between banana republic and autocratic rule. I'm working on it and Mighty Mom's new blog 'Creative Parenting' is helping.

Otherwise, the weather in Geneva has been sensational. Last weekend, the temperatures never dipped below 30c though this week has been a far more tolerable 25c with brilliant sun. During my run today, I actually had to pause and drink in the spectacular views of fast-growing sunflower fields and sky-stretching cyprus trees in my foreground framed by crystal-clear Alps in the background. Roses are in perfumed full-bloom and it's not even the end of May yet.

We spent the afternoon and evening yesterday with my friends Lisa and Arthur and their kiddos whom I haven't seen in ages. It was really really good to catch up with them. And, you can't go wrong sitting around a table outside drinking champagne and eating barbeque. It was a good day.

My mum's 3-month visit with us is fast coming to a close - bummer! She returns to Canada a week from tomorrow. It's hard to believe how fast her visit with us went. On the up side, I just booked tickets for a quick 2-week trip to Calgary and Victoria for J and I. It will be good to visit Canada in the summer after the miserable weather we had last Christmas. J and I have a date to decorate my dad's memorial tree with Christmas decorations as it was too bloody cold to venture into Fish Creek Park last December.

Four weeks of school left, then school promotion and summer is officially upon us. Woo hoo! We're heading to our usual piece of heaven in Italy in July. This time we're bringing Marc and Nat with us. Shortly after, we plan to join Sheila and her gang for her birthday at their house in the south of France. A week after that J and I head to Canada.

So that's all that's new for the moment. Oh that and I finally ordered a Mac powerbook. I'm hoping that having a computer that isn't two long floors above the main part of the house will help me in my quest to find more time to devote to writing. Watch this space.

Monday, 11 May 2009


Well, it's done and I'm happy...happy it's over that is, to quote Cindy. Seriously, the half-marathon was a great experience and overall lots of fun. The morning dawned slightly overcast and cool with no wind - perfect! Cindy, Leigh-Anne and I took the tram to the start on the Quai Wilson as much of the downtown core was closed to traffic for the race. We met up with several other acquaintances and chatted to lower our nervous energy.

But at last the start gun fired and we thousands were off. It took a while to get through the start and to navigate the throng of runners and into a stride but eventually I did. The course wound down the Quai Wilson, across the Mont Blanc bridge, through downtown and then headed south into the Vernets area crossing the Arve river a couple of times. Eventually we wound our way back up the river toward the jet d'eau and followed the Quai Gustav Ador as far as the village of Cologny to the turn-around point which by then I was desperately seeking. The turn-around marked approximately 5K back to the finish.

I followed my plan pretty well and really only began hurting around the 16K mark. The 2-hour pace-setters were always in my line of sight but I didn't have anything left to give as I neared the finish. Those last 3K were the hardest I have ever run but run them I did and crossed the finished line exhausted but ecstatic.

So, I'm happy that I ran the race, proud of the accomplishment, pleased I achieved my goal time and now that it's over, bugged at myself for not breaking the 2-hour mark. Errgh, guess I know my next goal!

Leigh-Anne, Cindy and me post-race, post-shower, tired but toasting our accomplishment

Friday, 8 May 2009

YES I CAN (I think)

Two days to go and here's my plan for the Geneva half-marathon this Sunday.

Find the 2-hour pace setter, take the first 5K to find a comfortable rhythm and stride, hold that pace for the next 10K. For the last 6.975K, hang on for dear life, keeping the 2-hour pace setter in my line of sight.

My nagging hamstring and achilles strains are no worse, in spite of a day walking around Evian-les-Bains today in pretty but not practical shoes. The weather forecast looks ok, sun/cloud with a temperature around 21c.

Much of the race takes place around both sides of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) and lucky for us, the Julius Baer Challenge regatta also takes place this weekend which includes the Swiss team Alinghi, training in their defence of the America's Cup next year. Cool - stuff to watch while lamenting my burning lungs and screaming knees.

My iPod is updated with a longer playlist and I've started carbo-loading. I've also put a bottle of champagne in the fridge to toast the occasion with my fellow competitors and friends, Cindy and Leigh-Anne whom I've invited over with their families for a post-race apero on Sunday afternoon. Okay, I think I'm ready...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Guilty Pleasures - Tag You're It

One of my favorite bloggers happens to also be a really good friend, a literary phenom, and an intellectual giant. So it was really satisfying to discover that even Jawahara indulges in the odd guilty pleasure.

Jawahara tagged me in her latest blog, to 'fess up to one of my recent guilty pleasures. Ok, here it is. My friend and young-adult novelist, Katie, lent me the book Twilight a couple of months ago. For those of you living under a rock, the Twilight series written by Stephanie Meyer is a New York Times bestseller and the first novel was one of the best-sellers of 2008. It sat on my shelf for quite a while, though, while I focused on books for my book club.

Last weekend, I found myself between books and picked up Twilight on a lark. Suffice it to say that for the next 48 hours I largely ignored my family, the news, feeding my animals and pretty much anything else that begged my attention as I found myself completely absorbed in the romance between the vampire Edward and new girl Bella. I finished it Monday morning and headed straight to the DVD store to rent the film which I watched in solitary delight that night (C2 being in South Africa and my visiting mum being in the U.K.).

In the final analysis, the movie was disappointing, seriously wooden acting, though Edward was divine. Is that a little on the 'ewww' side, given his age? Ah, tant pis, hence the guilty pleasure. Tag you're it!