28.12.2011 - 28.12.2011 -10 °C
Wednesday 28 Dec 2011
Had a lovely lazy morning with birthday messages coming in on my mobile phone and also on Skype adn Facebook. The snow had stopped falling, the sky was blue, the temperature was low and the wind was icy. We rugged up well (thermals; gloves inside gloves; head, ears and nose covered) and took a walk with Colleen and her beautiful dog through the snowy landscape. It’s amazing how little colour there is in the landscape when it is covered in snow, and also how quiet it is.
My birthday treat was to go tobogganing in nearby Orangeville. Colleen had checked out a likely spot with some people who were in the know, and we loaded the toboggan in the car and set off along the icy road. Some parts of the road had been cleared by the snow plough and the bitumen road had been salted, however there were still treacherous patches here and there.
We found the slope Colleen had been told about, and there was about a dozen or so families already taking advantage of it. The toboggan was a simple slide of ribbed metal (like a bit of colourbond roofing) about 40cm wide and a metre and a half long with a curved front and a bit of rope to hang onto – no steering, though. Colleen showed Robyn and I how to sit – I took the front seat the first time – then shoved us off, after making sure our prospective path was clear. We had a clear run down but were heading directly for a child at the place we were likely to pull up – fortunately he scrambled out of the way just in time. It’s a great buzz coming down, added to by the uncontrollable nature of the craft and the inevitability of being tipped into the snow on landing when acceleration runs out. Then there’s the hard part – righting oneself and the toboggan and trudging back up the hill. It’s a great way to increase the heart rate when the temperature is -10 °C.
When we’d had our fun, we had a bit of shopping to do before heading back to warmth indoors.
I had a wonderful birthday dinner. Pre-dinner drinks and nibblies (including some luscious cherry tarts Colleen had made in the morning followed by barbecued salmon that had been marinated with maple syrup and lemon pepper – a delicious combination – and some king prawns. Steamed broccoli with hollandaise sauce, boiled baby potatoes and garlic bread completed the first course, and a beautiful pecan tart (bearing one candle) with whipped cream formed the dessert.
Altogether a very enjoyable and memorable birthday, and I say a huge thank you for the generosity of my friends.