#25 – Host a Book Club Meeting

Cups, plates, cutlery, napkins ✔

Coffee, tea, cream, sugar and wine sometimes ✔

Food, including gluten free treats ✔

This is not a luncheon, party or shower, it’s “Book Club”. Why the fuss? It’s not a fuss and all of us in book club do it, because like going to a movie we like to eat, and book club is no different. Food and conversation go together. Book Club Our book club meets every 6 weeks. It was formed of ladies in the neighbourhood. We are a diverse group. There are 11 of us but we are rarely all present, hence the large number.

Our discussions are tame and polite in that everyone has a chance to say their piece. We usually go around the room but sometimes it’s hard not to interject when someone makes a point and you just have to make yours because it’s pressing and you can’t wait your turn. And then everyone starts talking at once with only the person in earshot hearing what you have to say.

It makes for an interesting discussion when views are different. Our interpretations of what authors have written can be so wide spread. Conversations become that more engaging when someone in the group has experienced a place, an event, a situation and can put in words first hand experiences or prior knowledge about a subject. Book club is gratifying in that we learn so much more about history, countries and their cultures, facts of life and inevitably about one another. Books

I joined book club as an incentive to sit quietly for 30 minutes to an hour and read. It worked and most of the time the book is finished in time for the meeting. I keep a notebook. I’m terrible in remembering author’s names and book names. I include a short summary of the book and jot down whatever catches my eye and especially new words I learn. My favorite word these days is “plethora”. I use it whenever I can.

My husband and I often host book club on our boat, just the 2 of us. We are usually in the middle of a bay, with no TV, no radio reception. We will have the conversation, usually sitting across from each other, in front of a candle with a glass of wine in hand. It’s a switch from the usual yachting jargon.

I’m not describing anything new about book clubs. Most of you reading this are probably part of one. I’ve often wondered why men don’t have book clubs like the many women book clubs. Oh wait a minute, that’s called “Gentlemen Clubs”. They don’t read books, they settle the problems of the world over a beer and sometimes get into trouble.

#52 – “Descente Rapide” from the top of the Peak to the bottom of Creekside at Whistler

I was exaggerating when I said “Descente Rapide”. I am no longer in my 20’s and those days of skiing non-stop and fast from top to bottom are out.

I am not exaggerating however on the following facts of Peak to Creek:

  • 7 kms (4miles) from the top of the Peak Chair to the bottom at Creekside Village.
  • 5,020 feet of vertical.
  • 400 acres and hundreds of lines to choose from.
  • It’s the best of Whistler Mountain all in one run. It’s an intermediate run.
  • Notable runs include, Dave Murray and Franz. The World Cup downhill is skied on the Dave Murray.
  • The peak boasts views of 360 degrees including a view of Black Tusk, a volcanic rock landmark south of Whistler.
  • You can experience everything from alpine bowls, glades, rainforest and rolling trails through big timber.
  • The Creekside Gondola was one of the first lifts on Whistler Mountain.
  • The après ski at Dusty’s is always popular.
Panoramic View from the top of the Peak

Panoramic View from the top of the Peak

We arrived in Whistler/Blackcomb and skied in fog and rain for a few days. After taking a day off, we hit the slopes again. It’s a bonus day, the sun is out and the Peak Chair is open. Our first run of the day is going to be from the top of the Peak to the bottom of Creekside Village. It’s -1˚ and sunny, there is blue sky interspersed amongst the clouds, snow is glistening. Black Tusk stands majestically as always off in the distance. It hasn’t moved.

We ski the Upper Peak to Creek. The run has been groomed but is covered with a light dusting of snow. There are very few skiers on the run. We knew that the Lower Peak to Creek run was closed on account of lack of snow, so we altered our route and took Highway 86. The visibility is nil. This cloud of fog has been coming in and out in the Alpine all week. We stop a few times to take in the view, some pictures and clean our goggles. It’s more like give our legs a break.

The Peak

We round the Big Red chair, passing the Raven’s Nest Hut and catch the Dave Murray, our favorite. We are out of the cloud of fog. The snow feels like cornmeal. The Dave Murray is the best because of the terrain you cover. It’s everything all in one. A long winding trail with steep pitches, flat sections where you need to carry your speed, some 90degree turns and rolls. You can take air if you are not attentive. At times we have the entire run to ourselves. Every now and then, two or more skiers show up merging from other runs. The next thing you know, they are out of sight again. We are now within sight of the Creekside Village below. We make it to the bottom, exhilarated for having done the run again in one piece.

As always in Whistler/Blackcomb, the mountain wins. Somehow we never seem to be able to make it through a 7hour day of skiing. We do look forward to the après ski beer at the Longhorn Pub in Whistler Village. Nothing like sitting outside, enjoying a beer, the buzz of the crowd and watching skiers ski out. Everyone is smiling as they come off the mountain. It just makes for a great day in the fresh air, with people as happy as you! Love it.

Cheers!

WB Trails

#19 – Attend an Exercise Class that is Different

Barre Fit” – I thought this was a type of energy bar until my friend told me it was the craze amongst celebrities for toning and shaping their bodies. Not that I am a celebrity, but who doesn’t want to look good! It’s a fitness class that incorporates yoga, palates and especially ballet. I prefer to exercise outside but I’m not opposed to trying something different, so I went.

When I first walked into the studio, I wish I were 6 years old and wearing a tutu. It was one big dance studio with mirrors all around and bars! Not the vertical ones but the double horizontal ones.

Barre Fit

Majorette

Where I grew up, nothing like this existed. Our type of exercise was building forts in the woods. I remember always wanting to take dance. Tap dancing that is. I loved the clicking sounds of the shoes. Mom would have nothing to do with it and luckily for her there were no such classes offered in our hometown. She did however get me into majorettes and that was as close as I got to performing.

The instructor looked like a dancer; graceful, fit and sculpted. Quite a few of us were newbies and the instructor did an excellent job guiding us through the many poses while at the same time progressing us with arm movements.

Ever notice how each sport has it’s own set of clothing and lingo? We started with the simple first position; heals together toes pointed out. From there she added various stages of pliés. We moved on to second and third positions with more pliés and now incorporating small pulses. The pulses are killer.

“Pelvic tilt, feel the elongation throughout your spine like a string pulling you upward from your head, tummy in and closed in towards your belly button, stay tall and long” were the reminders throughout the class.

We did a pose called “attitude”. I liked that one. All I could think of, was this is killing me. Too many things to remember.

“Don’t look at your feet, eyes forward, elongate”. Oops!

Once we were done with all the leg exercises we moved on to the abs. All of them! Followed by the arm exercises. Mustn’t forget those to get rid of our mothers inherited arm flaps. She didn’t miss a body part and every muscle felt it, especially the fine twitch ones that she managed to focus on with the small pulses.

Throughout the class I kept reminding myself this is good for skiing. It’s cross fit. I also thought of celebrities training with “Dancing with the Stars”. Wouldn’t it be fun to partake in that? I’ll be getting a punch card for more classes. After all, who wouldn’t want to look like a dancer… at 60!