Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Crazy Fraser's Wrap-Up 2013 - a picture essay - Part 1

So it's that time of year again, the time to sum up the year. To remember the highlights (and sometimes low-lights) and be grateful for the good, and also for surviving and gaining strength & experience from the bad.

I have been doing an annual wrap-up for a few of years now:

This year  - 2013 - I am calling the year of AWESOME

started with the boys having a FABULOUS experience at Camp Hermanus. While I had a great 'stay-cation' at A's house, where I relaxed, read, ran, cycled and swam in the sea. It was a great break after the super-hectic work year which preceded it. 
Quinn also turned 13 and officially became a teenager. This year he has grown-up massively - both in terms of size and height but also in maturity.
The rest of January was about getting back to school and the usual beginning of year stuff

February saw me join the RED SOCK running brigade, I have done pretty much every race I have done since in my red socks.
There was also a lovely romantic Valentine's Sushi Date with my boys.

In March I ran the Milkwood 10km Race – my very first run in my new AAC club kit. I managed to finish in the respectable position of 9th lady!  J
Griffin got invested as a fully fledged Scout.
We rode another #MoonlightMassCycle – this time Quinn and I rode into town from home (and then caught the train back afterwards).
I also rode another Argus. It was a tough 110km slog and although I felt faster and stronger it took me 8-10 minutes LONGER than the previous year and I finished in 5h17m. Meh.

The best news of all though was getting a hearing test for Quinn done, a year post his last ear op, and finding that his hearing was much improved and fully functional! We are still very grateful to our incredible ENT for that. It was no small feat.

End March/April Saw the boys and I taking part in the Spar Ladies race again. Where I managed to set a new 10km PB and placing 70th overall (out of 11867)! J
Quinn ran the 10km event to – a first for him at that distance and he found it a bit too long, and Griff did the 5km.

My parents came down from Pretoria to stay for a week and we had a fab time with them, including a lovely day out wine and chocolate tasting and lunching in Franschoek, followed by a sunset stroll on the Seapoint Promenade and then on to see 'Mr Harold & The Boys' which is an Athol Fugard play which was directed by one of my yoga classmates..

And then at the end of March and start of April ... we was an incredible and very memorable trip to India!
India is incredible. Hard to describe and quite overwhelming. In a nutshell it was amazing. (Even though I must be honest a lot of the time I was thinking 'but not quite as nice as Thailand' - as that is still my first love and everything there is just better and more).

India's charm  though is the chaos and madness and vagaries.  You never know quite what is going on, or what you are going to get, or where you are going. There is never a direct yes or no answer either. That head bobble means anything from, yes, no, maybe, later, not on your life, I have no idea what you want, I am going to do what I want anyway, yeah right, huh ?, lol, whatever! etc. It's funny when it's not frustrating. In fact most things are amusing if you manage to keep your wits and sense of humour. Basically it is a land of extremes and contrasts: Crazy, humid, dirty, loud, tasty, confusing, entertaining, spicy, poor, dusty, beautiful, fun, colourful, exhausting, opulent, magical, bustling, HOT. incredible!

After returning from India, I finally had a chance to ascend Table Mountain properly. By joining a colleague's trail running group running/hiking up Kasteelpoort and around the back-table and echo valley to Mac Clear's Beacon and on to the Cable way for Breakfast. We then opted to keep going and climbed down via Platteklip and back to the parking. About a 25km round trip. It was AWESOME!

I celebrated my 39th birthday with a fabulous hike and picnic up Lion's Head with friends and family. It was good training for a tougher mountain climb I was preparing for a month later...

May saw me running my 5th Safari Half Marathon, Where I improved my time from 1:53:30 to 1:45:45!

Then our 'tribe' (as established in the wilds of India) took part in the Slave Route Challenge. A and I did the 10km and Q&G did the 5km.

 Toward the end of May beginning of June  I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to tag along to the CFA conference in Singapore. I realised I knew very little about Singapore. It is certainly a beautiful, efficient and functional place. But I am not sure I'd want to live there. I found it FAR too expensive, regulated and not very friendly at all.

However the Singapore trip was just a spring-board for the more exciting and adventurous leg of our journey which was to Borneo to climb Mount Kinabalu (the highest mountain in SE Asia) at an altitude of 4095.2m (not that high by International standards) but 4x the height of Table Mountain, so not insignificant! It is a 2-day climb where you have to enlist a local guide to lead and assist you, and you climb up to the base camp 'Laban Rata' at 3272m where you get cleaned up, eat, rest and sleep. We opted for the longer but more scenic Messilau Trail. We were pretty speedy and ascended to our rest camp in 5 hours. As a result we earned an extra hour of sleep, and 'only' had to get up and start our summit climb at 3am (and not the usual 2am). Whoop. We again were ahead of the curve in terms of speed and so we summited well before sunrise and then had to sit in the cold and dark waiting for the sunrise! It was beautiful once it arrived, although I was a little too cold to care at that point! It is spectacular though and was an amazing experience. I am so thankful I got the opportunity. The climb back down to Laban Rata and then all the way down via the regular Timpahon trail was quick and easy and we were chuffed at how easily we'd conquered the mountain.... until 2 days later when we were so stuff we could barely walk! Turns out slow and steady might actually be a better tactic with mountain climbing at altitude after all. J

After the mountain climb we headed to the other side of Borneo to Sarawat Province to see Orang-utans and Proboscis monkeys.  We were glad to have nothing to do for 2 days but cruise up and down the jungle rivers spotting birds and monkeys while our aching legs rested.

After we returned and during the June school holidays we got news that Quinn had been selected for his first choice high school Rondebosch Boy's High for 2014. Wonderful news indeed.

To be continued in Part 2.

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