The festive period for was pretty quiet for me this year. There was no snowboard action on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve felt a world away from last year’s heavy night in Whistler. On Christmas I had a day sort of to myself, spending most of it on Skype with my family. Some of my friends had seemed worried that I’d be physically on my own, and might feel lonely on Christmas Day, but my time on Skype and all the Christmas messages/presents I’d received from near and far very much prevented this from happening. The way I see it, when you strip away the cultural/consumer stuff the most important thing about the day is that you make time for your loved ones, so given that I’m in Canada Skype and texting is really the only way I can achieve that, no different from any other day that I’m on this trip.
As for my friends here in Canada, they had all spread out around Ontario, going back to their families, so I didn’t get chance to do anything with them, but I wasn’t really bothered. I made my first visit to the Drake (Toronto’s most famous hipster bar) with Justin on Christmas Eve and enjoyed quite a bit of fine whisky, and I’d done a fair bit of socializing / climbing all around Christmas, and had more to come. So this was really just a day to myself, and a much needed break as I’d been working at the tower a lot the week before.
I also got a special Christmas present from Edgewalk in form of a few shifts back at my old stomping ground. The warmer weather had meant that there was still plenty of interest from guests in going up, and so me and a couple of the other guys were transferred back to the team to open up some more places. I use the word “warmer” loosely, as it was still at least a couple of degrees below freezing the whole time! The pace of things was also a world away from the fast and occasionally stressful pace of the summer, so we actually had time to have lunch together in the middle of the day and time in the morning to wake up and chill out, which was really really nice.
New Year’s wasn’t a particularly massive blow out, I ended up going to a party with Georgia (one of the instructors from Joe’s) which was pretty chilled, with a couple of beers.
Winter is finally here now, and the frequent showers of snow are filling me with hope that the next 3 months will be filled with decent Ontario snowboarding. It’ll also be interesting to see how I adapt to living in a region with an actual proper winter, as opposed to the 5 month long autumn that I’ve been used to in the southern UK. I’m off climbing tomorrow and the forecast is showing -21° (with wind chill) IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!!!!!