For Christmas, my friend Mike Boyle took me ice skating in the Rocky Mountains The weather was great, well as great as minus 20 degrees can be, and there was HEAPS of ice. Unfortunately there was a tad too much snow to make skating viable.
I went skiing at the Sunshine ski field in the Rocky Mountains twice while living in Calgary. It turns out I’m not very good at skiing
Well what do you do when you’re stuck in a strange foreign land on Christmas day? You have a Christmas orphans dinner that’s what! Gregor and I bought a turkey, got a bunch of other foreigners (Gregor’s from Oz) and then we deep fried the little bugger – the turkey, not the foreigners!
The locals seemed to think it was some sort of weird Aussie/Kiwi tradition to deep fry a turkey, but of course it’s not. It was just a crazy idea of Gregor’s which turned out to be lots of fun. We also deep fried brocoli, carrots, cauliflower, Moro bars and other assorted goodies
The photo below is of me standing on our rink with my Possum Bourne beanie and Speights T-shirt that my mum sent me. Of course the deep fryer was right in front of me so I couldn’t play hockey that day, but it made for a nice photo
My roommate (flatmate in Kiwi speak) and I went tobogganing. Of course those crazy Canadian kids decided it would be a good idea to build a nice ramp exactly where the natural flow of the hill goes so you end up going backwards at full speed over a ridiculously steep jump! We had a scary fast purple flying saucer style sled and a suicidal magic carpet to risk our lives and limbs on. We had lots of fun though, albeit we were the oldest kids on the hill
Well what else do you do when it’s -15 degrees outside and you have an itch to play hockey? The idea of the rink came about one day when my roommate (flatmate) Gregor and I were sitting round talking about how his old roommate had built a rink in their backyard. So I was like “dammit, I’m buildin’ us a rink today!”, so I googled as many things as I could on rink building to figure out the best plan of attack. You can build them by building a snow wall and spraying water directly on to the ground, but this apparently messes up the lawn and takes longer to freeze, so I headed to Walmart and picked up a rink liner for $10 (big sheet of plastic) and filled it up with water. A day and a bit later and we had a fully functioning ice rink in our front yard
Getting the ice surface smooth is no easy task. I tried leaving hose on it for a while, but it just created a nice big lump on one side of the rink Buckets of hot water did the trick, but it took quite a few to cover it.
Anna Williams came to visit me in Calgary Unfortunately she wont let me put any photos of her online But here’s a photo of the beautiful sunset we experienced while walking back from the Calgary zoo.