Sunday, 10 December 2006


We bought a house two weeks after we arrived in Canada, eighteen or so months ago. It was a bit of an unsightly thing both externally and internally, with garish decor, loud colours, an over abundance of mirrors everywhere we looked, and whole rooms that were completely unfinished...and this house was already 30 years old. was within 30 minutes to Ashley's work, in a nice part of town and relatively cheap, and cheap was all we could afford. So we endeavoured to do what we could with the place and fix 'er up.
Closer inspection revealed, dodgy wiring, leaky pipes and rotten floors beneath the scary carpet, but we sighed and got on with it and the transformation inside was something to be proud of, considering we only had two weeks to do it all in and a very limited budget.
In the warmer months we got to the exterior. Ashley started the reno season off by diminishing the hazard that was a rotten beyond repair garden shed in the back yard. We also had to replace the rusty gutters and repair the roof, but the gutters had to wait until we had painted the exterior of the house.
After the agony of trying to match the existing colour on the house walls, we decided to bite the bullet and repaint the entire house in a new fresher colour from Benjamin Moore. Originally we had a dreary Nantucket Gray with Heritage Green trim. We opted instead for Green Gables with Classic White trim.
Ashley did the preparation work, while I painted (except for the area I couldn't reach). It turned out great and I got a real work out from the experience. I had been wondering how I could get myself out of the physical slump that has lingered since the shock of my first Canadian winter, so I definitely recommend painting the house - although it might not be for everyone.
Well, not wanting to let this new energised me wane and evaporate into not so thin air, I thought about re-joining a gym. An Australian friend recommended a gym that also happened to exist here in my town. I looked into it, but the Canadian one has no creche (typical) - what is it with Vancouver services and their failure to acknowledge the needs of potential customers? Don't they realise that their client base would improve significantly if they provided the minimal means for women to actually attend their services i.e a free minute or free arm. This particular service claimed that its 30 minute workout was designed "for busy working women and moms" - I guess they just don't need the profits. GRRRRRRR, it is soooo frustrating. (SIGH), but I digress.....Once a week I have taken Alex and Olivia to the local indoor swimming hole for a play in the kiddie pool. And since I recently went to the excruciating effort of purchasing the most abhorrent of all garments (a bathing suit), I thought I might as well use them.
Last night I fired up; determined to go. The pool opens at 6am and closes at 10:15pm, so one can't really fall back on that convenient old adage that "time prevented me of going". So there I was, standing at the waters edge at 9:15pm, ready to take the plunge and plow through the water like a torpedo just fired from an enemy warship. Many may not be aware of this, but it was my childhood fantasy to become an Olympic swimmer - the next Lisa Curry (scoff!!). I did actually attend the local swim club when I was in years 6 and 7. I trained there four nights a week, but it was just a pipe dream really.
Straight off the bat I did 4 laps of breast stroke, revelling in the fact that I was keeping pace with a man in the neighbouring lane - never mind he was pushing 70 (oh the shame). All in all I managed to do 10 laps of the pool on my first attempt; in a variety of strokes I might add. Pitifully I exited the water at 9:30pm, a full 15 minutes after my hopeful and exuberant entry. As I staggered back to the change rooms, my heart was working at such a frantic rate that I thought it might splatter hard up against the adjacent wall, if not for my rib cage to contain it.
By the time I started walking to my car a terrible thirst appeared and thoughts of blackening out invaded my almost static mind ("Captain, do you read me.... we are losing transmission... over"). When I finally reached the couch, in the ego-saving privacy of my own home, I collapsed in a heap with my feet nesting on a pile of cushions, in the hope that the blood would pool back into my oxygen deprived brain. After a short while, I declared to all who cared, that I thought I might just throw up. YEAH...I am so FIT!

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