twilight and shadow

In search of snow and ice (and a tour of hospital)

I have so much to say to you. I want to begin at the beginning, because that is what you deserve. I want to tell you everything, without leaving out a single detail. But where is the beginning? And what is everything?
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Until recently I'd never skied before. I've been to the mountain (as in Mt Ruapehu) many times but usually in summer to go tramping. J, having become hooked on snowboarding last year, was determined to change that. On flicking through an old entertainment book J had (basically a big book filled with vouchers for all sorts of places from restaurants to tourist activities) we discovered 2 for 1 vouchers for Snowplanet, a big snow dome (but not nearly as big as the one in Dubai...for a start it doesn't have chair lifts) filled with real snow. J had snowboarded before but signed up with me for a beginner ski lesson.

To say it was fun would be one huge understatement. Once I got used to these ridiculously long sticks attached to my feet it was all go. We had so much fun we were back a few days later after work for another go! This time I made it all the way up to the top. There were some hairy moments but I think I'm totally hooked!

J and I are also keen ice skaters (don't get me started about the frustrating inability to buy proper figure skates that aren't made of leather). In fact that is how we both met. Anyway, my Christmas present from J was tickets to High School Musical the Ice Tour. Oh no, I hear you all groan! Actually it was pretty brilliant. I loved the way the cast effortlessly changed the scenery but wheeling on lockers or desks or even lilos! Plus ice skating while playing basket ball? Wow!!

Okay, so the guy playing Troy doesn't exactly look like Troy from the movie but one can suspend their disbelief for an evening.

The following morning J and I headed off to Christchurch to visit family. I did a lot of the cooking while we were there (his Mum had me in the kitchen whipping up some pumpkin, kumara and peanut butter soup before I'd even been there 20 minutes!!) but no photos since it was all too busy. We also checked out one of the vegetarian cafes in Christchurch, The Lotus Heart. Again no photos but we had smoothies, vegan samosas and vegan chocolate cake. Very good food but there wasn't much choice at the cafe. I suspect the restaurant in the central square would be better.

We had our skates with us as usual and took J's sister and a friend of mine to the rink on the Monday (it was a long weekend over here). Well, unfortunately me and the ice got rather well acquainted when I ended up falling and breaking my wrist (the right hand one, damn it!). Well, I got to get a tour of the local A&E as well as Christchurch Hospital in the department they affectionately call the bone shop! It shall be interesting as I'm useless at resting and relaxing but I'm supposed to have several weeks off work to recover!