Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spring is in the air

It always seems a little dangerous to suggest it, but I dare say Spring is in the air. Of course it won't actually stop raining until the second week of July, but the dry spells are getting longer, the sun is occasionally wont to show his face and I have at odd moments been able to ride my bike without a coat. This is probably the best aspect of the change, as I positively hate my riding coat (I seem to have made it sound Edwardian by accident - it isn't), in fact a yellow and black possibly nylon waterproof anorak which is good for keeping me dry and being seen but otherwise ghastly in every possible respect. It actually reminds me of the blue seventies equivalent that my dad wore for about fifteen years despite its advanced state of dilapidation, at first unaware of the fashion atrocity that he was unwittingly unleashing on the planet, later positively reveling in the fact, or, more specifically in the enormous embarrassment it caused my sister when he happened upon her and her peers in public. Sitting outside the packed Irish bar after work in Hillsboro on St Paddy's day, in the freezing cold, I was actually too embarrassed to avail myself of its protective mantle, such was the shame it conferred.

The only twinge of sadness that the end of the winter now heralds is the knowledge that I won't be going skiing again until December. I succeeded in my goal of spending five days on the slopes this year and, much to my own amazement, have reached a stage where I can negotiate the green (beginner) runs without calamity, though panic does tend to set in where the route becomes both narrow and steep. Leon, Linda and Julie have all taken turns to educate and encourage me and I lay my rapid progress entirely at their feet. Having previously considered myself both too inept and too old to take up skiing, it has been enormously encouraging to find that I can pick up a new skill even at my advanced age and what's more find something enjoyable and relatively healthy to pursue in the otherwise dismal winter months. My aim for year two will be to become a solid beginner level skier (though I may try to sneak in one more trip to the mountain before the end of April when everything shuts down).

In other news, we've had the builders in this month. In Britain this sentence would usher in an endless litany of my trials and tribulations at the hands of the technically capable but fundamentally uncooperative "working" classes. Not so in the US of A however. Much to my amazement the job has been all but completed ahead of schedule and to a higher level of quality than I ever dared hope. They arrived en masse, worked whilst daylight prevailed with nary a break and returned the next morn etcetera until the job was done. The result is that we now have a garage that is "square" and sound, incorporating a door wide enough to actually get a car in, and a brand new deck built on an actual "foundation" and incorporating a ramp so that Rachel should be able to maneuver a pram in and out of the house without straining her back. The other result is that we have completely cleaned out our savings account. Still, I suppose that removes the temptation to spend it all on something pointless. Like that shiny silver 1960s Volkswagen Karmann Ghia that's parked down the street for example.

Rachel is coping very well with the pregnancy, but the need to withdraw from the vast majority of her prescriptions combined with the additional weight on her back and the fact that she is finding it increasingly difficult to sleep comfortably, are all beginning to take their toll. If you have a spare moment to send a cheery note to her at r underscore e underscore tammar at hotmail dot com, then I'm sure she'd appreciate it! "Baby Fluffy" as Rachel has taken to call him, is currently predicted to arrive on July 4th...


Anonymous Si said...

A Kharmann Ghia (and a silver one at that), pointless? Never! Just keep telling yourself it's an investment for Baby Fluffy's future....

April 02, 2006  

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