Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Northern Exposure: Smoke on the Water

Thursday October 29 2002 14:00
This morning I boarded the LRT - (Light Rail Transit) at the University Station. I get there by catching a bus from just outside HUB.

The journey takes me above ground as I cross the LRT bridge over the North Saskatchewan River. When I cycled to work, this was the bit I enjoyed the most - heading down the hill to the bridge, building up a bit of speed, coasting gently over the bridge and gazing out over the river valley scenery in the early morning light.

Since my bike accident, I've been taking the bus-and-LRT combo into work. The view is no less stunning, and as I looked out across the valley today I could see smoke on the water. It was actually steam, rising off the water in strange circular patterns, caused by the morning sun.

The temperature this morning when I came in was about -12C - as I write this at 14:00 it is -8C - and the sun was very warming, which I guess caused the strange effect. All too quickly we passed back into the tunnel, and two stops later I got off and walked to work.

We had some snow the other day, and it all but melted, then this weekend it snowed again, and a little bit more. It's cold, and winter is coming. It will get worse, but one thing I'm hoping is that it won't last as long as last year - it was still snowing in April. I'm still finding it hard to adjust, because it's nice to wrap up warm and be all toasty, sitting in Second Cup with a hot chocolate, but then again it's still bloody cold.

My new route to work means I don't need to stay outside that much, which is very fortunate.

I've recovered from my bike accident, the cuts have healed over and apart from an occasional twinge in my lower back I seem to be fine. The bike is currently chained up outside a repair shop, I just need to find the time to go there and ask them to take a look at it. What with the road conditions now, I might get them to check it over and then just store it for the winter.

I'm enjoying my Wing Chun - I took a Butterfly Knives class last Sunday, which was good - as part of the course fee I got a set of my own knives to practice with. Very nifty. I'm also going extra days, because Sophia wanted to keep going and normally the lessons are the same days as her Taiko practices. We started going to the Tue/Thu lessons as a community league hall on the
southside of Edmonton, but we've since found a smaller class in the west side at a community college. The smaller class sizes mean more attention and that really helps. Attending the extra classes is good, because due to various commitments I often end up missing one or two.

Speaking of extra commitments, the St John Ambulance duties are going really well too. I've attended quite a few now, including an Oilers game and some dragon boat races. I hope to write more about my experiences with them, as this is supposed to be a quick email.

Work is going well, we're finally into the big development phase (although saying that, I'm finishing off some more design documents). The atmosphere here is good, we all know we're aiming for a 31-Dec deadline.

Sophia and I are still thinking about our holiday plans this year - I'm still building up vacations days anyway - and we might not come back to England this Christmas, but instead go somewhere really warm in January or February for a week and a bit. We're not sure, still thinking about options and prices, and when to schedule a trip "back home".

My mum came over about a month ago, just as I had my bike accident, which limited the number of things I could do at the time. She had a great time, though, and we were so pleased to see her. I think she managed to explore more of Edmonton that we had!

Anyway, I'll write more soon, must get on with some things!