Saturday, January 27, 2007

Back again - Part 2

Not many word, just images of a great, cold morning walking around the island.

The sky looks like there is trouble ahead...

He is so much better at sliding than I am!

Art in the snow (with price tags; just a couple of thousand CAD each)

He says, it's a kangaroo. I say, it's a koala bear. The price tag says, it's an antilope. An antilope??? Oh, come on.

This is where all the ducks meet:

S. thinks about stirring them up to see the spectacle, but decides against it. It wouldn't be a nice thing to do, would it?
The island has a farm. The farm has animals. A couple of retired police horses....

... donkeys...

and goats.
Eventually we head back to the city....

And Tuesday, we DID really fly back home. Reunited with Mr. Cat, I am happy again.

Back again - Part 1

Reason for long silence on my part... an unexpected business trip to Toronto. On the 16th it was spontaneously decided that S. and myself should fly to Toronto the next day and stay until the 20th. Our mission... to account and control. Safe the Fast Close! Was it our idea? I don't remember.

So, I packed my Super Accountant costume and in the morning of the 17th of January we boarded an Air Canada plane and flew to Toronto. We worked on the plane, of course, ....

... yes, ok. We watched videos, too. I watched The Illusionist, which was not bad at all. I like Edward Norton. He is an excellent actor.

Ah, first signs of Canada...

Meanwhile, I am wearing Corporate Identity socks, courtesy of Air Canada. Our new Holding company's colour scheme is just the same. Argh!

Looks like there is snow on the ground...

Yes, there is.

We check into the Marriott just opposite the office. I don't remember having had that many pillows on a hotel bed before!

Then it is work, work, work for the next days. On Saturday, just a couple of hours before the car was scheduled to pick us up for the airport, we decided to stay for a couple of days more. Work is not completed, questions unanswered. The car is canceled, the flights home rescheduled for to the 23rd and we check back into our hotel.
Sunday morning we take off and cross the lake to Toronto island. If you would like to see what it looks like in summer, check this out.

Just how fast can a bicycle go???
Head, fish, flamingo... it must be art.

Swimming? You must be kidding!

Traditional shot of my feet in the lake...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stats of the week - week 9

Due to my trip to Paris, Jens had reduced my running programme for the week.

Total running time: 2 hours
Total distance run: 16 k
Total steps: 73,493

Must do more in week 10. To motivate myself I have booked a flight today to Manchester in March. Only a couple of days, but it will be good. Have been told, the only thing to do in Manchester is shop.

Mr Cat has just stepped into his carrier for inspection. He had a little... accident in there when we went to the vet a couple of weeks ago. So I ordered a new pillow. Even if you wash them, the smell doesn't go away completely. He has been avoiding the carrier since then, must have been for just that reason. He seems to like the new pillow. He is not coming back out.

Paris - yet again

Last Sunday afternoon I took the train to Paris to take part in a two day event organised by our new "maman". We are very busy in the office at the moment, so I needed this convention like a hole in my head. But I was told that it would be very important that I take part. Mmmh, somehow I cannot help thinking that noone would have noticed if I had stayed away.

View from my hotel window on the first night:

Almost everyone from the other offices had already arrived Sunday evening, because the event started at 8 am Monday morning. So a couple of us went out to find a restaurant. None of the ones the D. had on his list were open, so we ended up in a tiny place that served specialities from La Réunion (which is near Madagascar; when I said so, my dear collegue insisted it was in the Caribean, but it is not; ha!).

Paris at night is quite beautiful...

I am not so sure about Paris during the day, but the only time I got to see that during those days was from my hotel room in the morning:

Tennis anyone?

Monday evening ended with drinks in a old warehouse that has been turned into a place you can entertain large groups in. It has been decorated with all sorts of things from fun fairs and the circus. Very stylish. No food. Not good.

Back at the hotel, we walked a couple of meters up the road to take picture of the Eiffel tour. My hand is shaking. Too much wine, too little food. But it looks arty, so I will post it never the less...

Tuesday evening the convention ends with a dinner boat trip on the Seine. Much better view of the Eiffel tour inclusive...

But either the boat picks up speed or my hand is shaking again. The rest is just a blur...

I tried again, this time with the flash... the result is not shaken, but not exactly what I wanted either...

I returned home by train Wednesday.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Stats of the week - week 8

Total running time: 3 hours
Total distance run: 29.1 k
Total steps: 76,290

It's getting better... on the surface at least. I have run more this week than any week so far, but the pace the Jens has asked me to run was too fast. At least it was too fast Thursday and Friday evening on the treadmill. My head looked like a fire engine after minutes and I had to walk in between to calm down. This morning, in the forest, it was ok. I ran the same pace and was out of breath at the end, but not clinically dead. And I did not have to walk! Still, this pace was a piece of cake a year ago. The marathon is only 3 months and 14 days away. I am scared and seriously thinking about adjusting my goal from "4:10 - 4:15" to "survival".

Because I wanted to see if I can run this pace for 12k, I did not stop to take any pictures. So there is only one before the start...

... and after I returned...

It has rained quite a bit over the last days, so the ground was muddy and wet. I have dirty feet...

... and my little car too...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Château Migraine

This "dernier cru" is actually a Bordeaux supérieur from 2003, that was awarded a gold medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in 2005. It was very good. Very good indeed.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Stats of the week - week 7

I have only just realised that the "stats of the week - week x" header is confusing. It's week 7 of the marathon training, but week 52 of the year. But I guess it would be even more confusing if I now started a new numeration. So, I will continue down this path I have chosen.

And here they are, the final stats of the week for 2006. Slightly better than before, but still influenced by a cold and of course the holidays:

Total running time: 2 hours 10 min
Total distance run: 18.8 k
Total steps: 62,465

It is a rainy and stormy first day of the year. I will not go into the forest, I don't fancy branches dropping on my head. The gym is closed, so all I can do is work out a bit here at home. Some sit-ups are not a bad idea. My middle section has gone a bit... flabby.