I have always believed that where there is a ying there is a yang. To appreciate the highs in life you must face the lows. I used to hate winters....cold, dark, SAD sucking misery months even in Oz....well sometimes....J. But actually Ian and I have just returned from the most exhilarating winter mountain bike ride that has left chilly tingles down my spine. I admit it was cold, and a tad damp in places...well to be honest I’m soaked to the bone. However I haven’t wiped the muddy smile from my face since returning home, and once I finish writing this blog I will be rugged up next to our little wood burning fire feeling all tingly and buzzy, knowing I have earnt my extra portions of homemade soup and crusty french bread.
I have been hoping to write a festive blog to coincide with the festive period, but suddenly it is the something of January....I don’t even know what day it is. So I hope it’s not bad luck that I’m still going on about Xmas. I was told by my Mum once that on January 1st all decorations and Xmas trees should be packed away...mmmm...all I can say is ‘oops’ because our little tree remains in place and here I am still going on about Xmas.
I love Xmas!!! When I was growing up Xmas meant running along the beach, surfing (well trying to), tennis, touch football, more swimming, but this time in the platypus filled creek at my nan’s place....and in between playing sports and swimming, eating cold salads, tropical fruits, cold meats and on occasion my family would overdose on prawns and seafood (Urck, I kept to the salads). There was also the occasional festive BBQ...have you ever tried a barbied banana....now that is a Xmas treat, especially with some raisins on top.
Mr Potter on the other hand sees Xmas as one day of well deserved slothfulness that includes a DVD 12-24hr marathon session, depending on how many mid morning and afternoon siestas he treats himself to. Exercise, even mountain biking I’m afraid to say is banned in the Potter household at Xmas, well so Mr P reckons! Now they always say that opposites attract, but when it comes to Xmas day opposites argue, whine and at times suffer wifely pouting sessions or in worst case scenario the dreaded silent treatment....until one Potter gives in (and we know who that should be J ). Well that is what’s supposed to happen in KP world, but on Xmas day Ian is always at his most stubbornness....’bah humbug!’
Now because I couldn’t persuade Ian to join me in my own idyllic version of a KP Xmas in 2009, I decided we would go hiking on Xmas Eve and that the 24th December would be my Xmas day (In fact going by Aussie time it kind of was Xmas for me on this day anyhow). The Potters were to share 48hrs of Xmas festivities together....YAYAY!
KP’s XMAS 24th DECEMBER - Ian hates hiking, but I decided that was how I wanted to spend my Xmas day. Why does Ian hate hiking? Well we have a bit of a habit of finding amazing single track whenever I drag Ian off into the mountains, single track with a zillion switchbacks to play on....and in true Potter hiking fashion on KP’s Xmas day we came across a trail so good that Ian and I started acting like 8 year olds as we pretended to ride our bikes down this piece of heavenly made trail (we were even making sound effects). I was having so much fun!
But soon the bike pretending stops because Ian starts grovelling that he hates walking good single track and then without meaning to I suddenly have BLISTERS and can’t walk as fast as Ian would like me to...8hrs later and we are almost back from our little Xmas hike...well almost. By now the silent treatment has started (well and truly) as we Potters watch the sun disappear over the mountains that overlook Luchon....you would think for many couples this sounds like quite a romantic little Xmas evening...BUT...
Ian makes it quite clear that he is now HUNGRY (Ian does not do ‘hungry’) and does not want anymore of my rubbish ‘bird seed’ that I took for us as a snack to eat J. But I remind Ian that it is my Xmas at the moment and I want to watch the Xmas lights twinkling over Luchon and listen to the church bells before going home. I also say in a firmer voice (like my mother’s) ‘no shivering or hunger pain sounds allowed Mr P! I don’t care if it’s now minus 10 degrees!’ So the two Potters glove to glove, shiver to shiver, watch the glowing Luchon Xmas lights....then to cheer up Mr P some more I start singing jingle bells as the church bells echo across the valley floor and Ian's lips turn a shade of blue....and no I don’t care if I sound like Kermit the frog this is my Xmas night and I want to make the most of it.
IP’s XMAS 25th DECEMBER – Ian wakes me up with this truly evil laugh. He announces that it is 'his' Xmas day now....DOH! I have this horrible vision of watching 12hrs of Star Trek on what is a glorious sunny day in Luchon. “Why can’t we go mountain biking?” Ian almost looks torn between mountain biking with his wife or making his wife suffer after KP's Xmas he endured the day before. Mr P decides to stick to his Xmas marathon DVD plan, but firstly he thinks some fresh air would do us some good. I’m gobsmacked and so pleased , but before I have a chance to change into my running wear and trainers, Ian announces that ‘I’ will be getting dressed up for ‘his’ Xmas day walk....groan....I’m forced to wear boots with heels, stockings, a skirt and even lip stick. This is my worst nightmare. Then I realise that every step I take causes me more pain than you can imagine. My blisters have quadrupled in size and even I’m starting to wish the marathon DVD session had started now as Star Trek sounds far more appealing as I hobble down the main street....grrrrr.
Finally we return home and Star Trek commences, I refuse to join Ian in countless servings of chocolate pudding he bought himself the day before as a Xmas treat. I’m not even allowed to cook as Ian wants to see me completely relaxed and doing nothing for ‘his’ Xmas day. What he doesn’t realise is that doing nothing is complete and utter torture for his Mrs, but then I’m reminded that it was my Xmas day yesterday and that he was forced to go hiking.....but that wasn’t torture? J
Now it’s time for another Sci Fi/fantasy movie, but this time ‘Terminator 4’. I can’t do this anymore and I threaten to walk out, well hobble out, unless I can at least ride my turbo trainer during the next film. Ian decides I have been tortured enough and so I’m actually allowed to ride my bike (well kind of) for the next three hours. It might not be a trail, but at least I can imagine myself on one.....with sound effects and all.
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