Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cheese with a side of crazy

So I do my big bit about needing to watch what I eat a little bit closer and not giving into cravings every time one occurs and then I get an email from MySwitzerland today (another country for which I often feel great nostalgia) and the subject says "Grüezi, Do You Love Cheese?". What sort of question is that? Of course I love cheese. I lived in Switzerland, I believe it's therefore illegal for me to regard cheese with anything less than love. Asking me if I love cheese is like asking the PussyCat Dolls if they love skanky clothing. Duh! I open this email, knowing that it will taunt me with a picture and I find this:

It's my favourite type of cheese: melted! It also has my favourite cheese side dish: crusty French bread! Oh cruel fates, how dare you taunt me so. This was all made slightly worse by the fact that I decided I would not hold my annual winter fondue this year. Partially because I'm trying to be good about my food and there is no way to make a cheese fondue healthy, and partially because Spring has arrived and a fondue is very much a winter dish. Alas, My Switzerland, you do taunt me and now I kind of hate you. To take my mind off of cheese (specifically, cheese melted in wine) I threw on k.d. lang's rendition of Hallelujah and listened to it five times. I am a huge fan of Mr. Cohen, but her rendition wins me every time; I can't tell you how happy I was to hear that she sang it at the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony. It did get my mind off the cheese, but it also made me very melancholy. Note to emo bands every where: listen to that song to really learn how to emote while singing. Better yet, just stop singing; you all really annoy me.

I think I might have some issues. The more I start doing active things, the more harebrained schemes (or "goals" as I like to call them, seems less... crazy) I come up with. I haven't even finished part one of my three year plan (do the Juan de Fuca) and I'm already thinking of things to do after I do the Chilkoot... three years from now. Or maybe I will fit these ideas in before then, I don't know, but I think someone needs to stop me from thinking up new ones. Or maybe I just need to write down a list of things to do in the next 10 years and then transpose it onto a stone tablet cut-to-size so I can't keep adding things to it. I could refer to them as my 10 commandments... assuming there's only 10.

Today's plan grew out of the fact that I have never really seen Wales. I have been to Ireland more times than I can count (well, that's not true, I've been there seven times averaging about 2 months a visit... I'm due for another one) and have travelled around England and Scotland, but other than the Holyhead to Manchester train I've never actually seen Wales. I looked out the train window and thought the countryside beautiful, I read the signs with the village names and wondered what the Welsh obsession with with 18 g's, w's and l's but only two vowels in a name is about, but I can't even point on a map where my B&B in Holyhead was. "Why not make it a point to climb Mt. Snowdon (pictured right)?" was the refrain that kept playing in my head as I walked to work.

The crazy just snowballed from there when I learned about the National Three Peaks Challenge in which people compete to complete the three highest mountains* in the UK in under 24 hours. Of course, people partaking in this challenge drive between the mountains, but what if you hiked it? Sure, it would take some time but wouldn't that be a fun trip? The I scrolled down and saw the Four, Five and Six Peak Challenge (although these are not official). "I've never been to the Isle of Mann," I thought to myself. "Wouldn't that be a fun adventure?" I then spent the better part of my work day flitting between work and trying to figure out if a) this idea's even feasible and b) am I really daft enough to do it? The short answers I came up with are yes and yes but perhaps I should look up other possibilites like public transit only or bike the parts 'in between' or some otherway to make it a bit less rushed than the 24 hours idea but not as insanely long as the 'walk the whole thing' idea. I can see I'm going to have to contemplate this a little bit more before I commit it to my 10 Commandments, but it's definitely being add to that list now!

*as a West Coast girl, I giggle calling these large hills 'mountains'. The highest peak is Ben Nevis at 1,344 metres. The 50th highest peak on Vancouver Island (nevermind in BC, on the Island) is still 500 metres higher than that. It's not that I assume they'd be easy because of their height (I know many smaller mountains that are much more physically or technically demanding than higher ones. Mt. Meru vs. Kili being a great example of that), but if that's the tallest peak in the mountain range, isn't it really just a bunch of foothills leading up to one smallish mountain?

No comments: