Swimming is a life skill!

Swimming is a life skill and should not be optional.  According to ROSPA, on average 40-50 children drown per year in the UK.

I know someone who, when he was at primary school, hated swimming lessons, I don’t know if it was because he was self-conscious of his body or what, but his mother would wrote him a note so he did not have to participate in swimming lessons.  I don’t think she did him any favours.  As an adult he eventually enrolled in adult swimming classes but will never be fully at ease in the water, he looks like one of those water boatman, arms rigid and barely breaking the surface tension!

This is one of the biggest reasons we put Madame into swimming lessons at a very young age (4 months).  In the early days it was probably more of a social thing for me as a new mum but I’m now overjoyed that at 3.5 years old she can now swim 10m on her own.  This is one less worry for us now when we go on holiday or are around water as we know that if she falls in the water, heaven forbid we’re not around; she at least has a good chance of getting herself out.

Well done, Madame!  We’re very proud of you!






The Mountain Wins Again (Hemel Snow Centre)

Madame had her first ever ski lesson this morning courtesy of  The Snow Centre.  Even though I’m Canadian, I was secretly hoping she wouldn’t like it as it’s one of those sports, like horse riding, that may require a second mortgage!  However, she absolutely loved it!  At the end of her lesson she demanded more and tried to make a break for the big slope!

A special thanks to Ali Fischer, the Marketing Assistant, at the Snow Centre for such a warm welcome and to Nicole for being and ever so patient Instructor.

I can’t wait till she turns 4 so I can get her into lessons.  Shhh, don’t tell hubby!

The music is by Blues Traveller one of my favourite bands.

UK’s Lesser Known Tourist Attractions

Most of you know that I’m Canadian.  Contrary to popular belief Maple Syrup doesn’t flow through our veins nor are we born with skis strapped to our feet.  I can ski although not brilliantly and I’ve never needed the services of Mountain Rescue.

I grew up 45 minutes away from Sun Peaks ski resort which is currently being developed in conjunction with Nancy Green of Olympic Gold Medal Fame.  When I was growing up it was called Todd Mountain, but apparently Tod means death in German, so to attract more tourists they changed it.

So, I have to admit when I first moved to the UK and came across a dry ski slope I fell about laughing.  Who in their right mind would make a ski hill out of washing up brushes?  Let me think about it, white fluffy powdery snow…..abrasive material used to scour pans.  There doesn’t seem to be any logic in it.

When my family comes to visit, I always take them to the main UK attractions like the Changing of the Guard, the London Eye, Stratford upon Avon, etc but I always have to take them to see the local dry slope and of course we go via the Magic Roundabout in Hemel!  They always have the same reaction as me and jump out to take a photo in disbelief.

We’re hoping to go on our first skiing holiday in February so I’m really looking forward to Madame’s first ski lesson, at the Hemel Snow Centre.  Apparently, they have real snow…

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