i haven't really updated my journal in forever. sometimes i like to do it just because it's fun to write it down, and perhaps some people might get a kick out of the photos. of course this journal is about me. if you're not interested then i obviously understand so go somewhere else. please excuse my poor english.

i think the last time i posted something was last summer. since then a lot of stuff has happened. i was in nelson, bc, canada and had met my lovely girlfriend, spent the most fantastic winter snowboarding 3-4 days a week and worked in the little outdoor clothing store i managed to land a job at with great people. life was perfect!

Ymir Peak, Whitewater ski resort.

a friend standing at the ridgeline, after an 1hr walk with snowshoes and gear on our back.

dropped.. sadly it has hard to do this justice. but we were dropping into a small bowl below us and then down a gully (shoot) back to the main resort. it was quite scary because the snow was very sloughy, which means that it slides as soon as you ride over it. if you were to badly get caught underneath it would take you down with it essentially causing a minor avalanche. here it was pretty safe with the trees surrounding us.

for me the season was about learning and later on exploration (plus next year some proper photography - sorry). snowboarding in canada makes you feel inferior because the locals have been on snow since before they can walk, it's ingrained into their way of life. i was just glad to be 'riding' and to see it come on leaps and bounds quickly to a level that i am really proud of. as the season progressed i met many friends and with this was able to throw my board on my bag and put some snowshoes on and go explore with them.

Being in the mountains is my passion and to be out there in an untouched winter wonderland with a friend or 5 is just magic. sometimes the sun will be blasting on a clear blue sky if you all stand still you can't hear a thing, the snow just deadens all sound. other times the snow will be whipping in your face so hard you can hardly see infront of you and the powder so deep underneath it's up to your knees blasting you in the face with every turn.

a few photos o' me:

and a few i took:

well anyway. the season was fantastic and at the start of april it came to an end (with me giving myself the only bad injury of the year; a light concussion on the last day - great).

Before i knew it May had come around and i had to leave Canada... my 1 year one-time-only work visa had expired. Long before the start of the new year i knew i'd be returning to move here permanently....

I hopped on a plane out of Calgary after leaving Nelson and emptying my lovely little home, fighting with my landlords over owed money (assholes), saying goodbye to all the great people i'd met and sights i lived around. and of course my girly.

It's not til you leave the home you grew up in that you then really learn to appreciate it. or at least that's the way it is in my case. when i'm away i see these pictures of the green english countryside, it's rough coastlines or it's modest yet striking mountains and i get pretty nostalgic and i forget that there really isn't anywhere like it in the world...

well it was pretty cool to be back in amongst that again for a little while

and of course i got to see my 4-legged homie again

i desperately wanted to get back to canada asap but had no funds and this was when the ECONOMIC CRISIS was front page news everywhere, therefore i figured i'd be scrubbing dishes for months just to afford a plane ticket. but once again i got lucky.. my old employer who i had vowed never to go back to (this will be about the 5th time and hopefully the last) granted me a 3month contract doing horrible database work... i took it in an instant.

in june/july my girlfriend came out to visit for 3 weeks. probably the best 3 weeks of weather we've had in england for years too. it was funny to see her reaction as a small town mountain girl experiencing the M25 for the first time. we spent a couple of weeks at home and one fantastic week in scotland at one of my favourite places in the world: applecross. i recommend it to anyone.

i also had a fantastic day out with my best friend on the toughest ridge around on the mountain called Liathach. Below is him with it behind but i didnt manage to get any showing it's pointedness (is that a word?), it didnt really come out that well.

top left

looking back on the route.

and then she went home...

so i have 1 month til i fly back to canada. i'm pretty fed up being back. i have to get through immigration at canada (which i think i've figured out) because it's a bit suspect coming back so soon after a work visa. and then we have to figure out how i can get a permanent residency. there are 2 options; either live with my girlfriend for 1 year (and getting a visitor visa extension excepted) and then applying for her to sponsor me which can take up to 2 years without me working through 'common-law' or..... get married.....

.... you really never know what lifes going to throw at your sometimes.