2013 christmas missive

So what have we done this year? Kayak obviously – anything else? Not much really.

Sarah returned from her 1st gap-year trip to Chile just in time for Christmas minus her kayak and most paddling kit (just the paddles turned up eventually). A big “thank you” to British Airways and a warning to everyone not to use them. Innumerable time-wasting phone calls later and we have still got nothing back. Apart from that I think she had a good time, met some cool people and paddled some exciting rivers (and waterfalls).

We celebrated Christmas at home with all the family and then held “Boldron Paddlefest” over New Year. The Upper Swale was downgraded to “A Nice Trip Out for All The Family”, several other rivers were run with varying degrees of competence and carnage and several videos of the antics were made.

Sarah then went out to Australia and New Zealand where she had various adventures, various car crises and even did a bit of paddling but not as much as she had hoped.

Michael, Mary and Andy skied over February half term. In our usual fashion it was all very last minute dot com and we were offered Mayrhofen. It was surprisingly good – a much more extensive area than first appeared, once we’d worked out the transport system. Snow was excellent with good off piste and birds nesting. We spotted Crested and Willow tits at a coffee stop (new ticks in the book for Andrew) and Michael discovered Amaretto hot chocolate.

Then we all had a week in Scotland at Easter with various friends (18, in fact). Water levels were poor and nearly everyone got a bit frustrated and grumpy. Some good paddling was done along with skiing, walking and a few people had a day trip to Skye.

Sarah next visited Italy and France, paddling with a variety of people, on a variety of rivers and had some scary runs.

Michael did his GCSEs, got some outstanding results and relieved me of a large amount of cash.

Austria was next, again with a group of paddling friends. I found it quite intimidating but the rest seemed to have a lot of fun and yet more videos were made.

Sarah then went off to Leeds Uni to study kayaking geology. She seems to spend quite a bit of time at home but that might be because she wants fed, her washing done and most of the rivers are this way.

Michael, Andy and Mary had a week in Scotland over October half term when there was more water than I wanted.

Andy was pleased with the photo Michael took of him.

Mike tripled his Scary Waterfall score and got a lot of Facebook likes for his “brown claw” as he swam over Right Angle on the Etive.

Andy and Mary then had a week with Glenmore Lodge where despite injury and confidence problems we did some good runs.

Just celebrated “Boldron Paddlefest” early. This time not enough water but still a good weekend. Sarah had to put both her father and her brother to bed as they were both “tired and emotional”.

We are off to Uganda over Christmas and New Year, I’m looking forward to 2 weeks in the sun. Not sure I’m looking forward to the massive waves and boils though but at least this time I know what to expect.

Wishing you all a happy Christmas,

The Waddingtons