Tuesday, 27 March 2012

goodbye, cameron james ellis (for now)

i first met cam in the summer of '09: i had just set foot in whistler, canada, at the behest of my little brothers, who in fact didn't warn me exactly (but i guess that might have scared me away). i had heard tales of cam, but soon discovered they didn't do him justice.

cam took enjoyment from watching me unwind into a whistler lifestyle. he was the first one to notice the skin i took off my nose that one time i fell over (my first dusty's experience). he talked me into snowboarding instead of skiing as i had planned, simply by saying "that's gay mate". cam has this wierd power where when he says something, it suddenly sounds like wisdom. i don't know how he does that. one time he even talked a guy out of getting on his flight back to australia. i'm not sure if it's in the compelling argument or the tone of voice... anyhow.

cam was also there when i broke up with my ex to sit quietly next to me on the couch, put a crappy movie on tv and top up my drink when it got low. he was a good and a bad influence that first season, and i'm grateful for the (mis)direction.

i put him on the bus when he left town just after the olympics and assumed he was done with whistler. bumping into him again when visiting australia just a little over a year later, he promptly announced he was coming back to canada, and i decided that i should experience living with cam ellis, as both my brothers had done it and they seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

perhaps a sitcom should be put together entitled "two aussies and two swedes"; we've had a pretty awesome season in our little house in the Vale (read: ghetto), hardly the looseness of my first season, but you know what, there's a certain beauty in watching "stepbrothers" that many times. and we did so many activities, on account of the many bunkbeds present... so many activities.

i imagined more riding with cam that didn't happen, and probably a little more mischief, but in the end, the roast dinners and movie marathons left plenty of good quality bonding time, reassuring me that it is with good reason cam is basically an honorary Taylor sibling. we 4 (cam, me, stu & hugh) clocked some quality time march 2011 celebrating hugh's 21st by steadily drinking our way through most of my stepdad jon's homebrew stash. it was a nice time.

today i sat on the couch, eating some pizza left in the fridge and washing it down with some pilsners also left behind, and i reflected upon the fact that cam was gone and our whistler time was over.

really not getting too sad though, as i'm headed home myself in june, and cam is going to be teaching me how to surf.

cameron james ellis: loooooooove yoooooouuuuuuuuu (said in a peter griffin accent)

seen below with my little brother stu, walking on air on their roadie.

i said i didn't want salmon! i said it like 4 times!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

treasure: back on the board again

ladies and gentlemen,

a long lost love has come back into my life. not in a horrid way, where you awkwardly pretend you're still friends even though you want to scream and run, but more in a way that incites welcome and joy.

with all the fresh snow and loveliness came a slightly-less-screwed ankle. and because i just couldn't wait another second, i went up the mountain to slay some pow. it wasn't epic, and no cliffs were dropped or nothin', but i had a very most excellent time.

the best parts were when all the boys took it in turns to ride a groomer with me. it meant i got 4 runs before waffles, which is the exact right amount when you're only just back up the hilll. and being mid-week (for the boyfriend's birthday no less), the powder in and around the groomers was still plentiful, and satisfactory for my powder-wanting-self.

let it be known here that fresh snow in fact possesses healing qualities for ankles, therefore making it a very wise decision. the floatyness of the snow soothes the injuries; it makes the ankle sing instead of shriek.

i was riding my new board, that's been new for far too long (new, and staring at me saying "helen, am i not pretty enough? you chose me to be custom made. do you not love me anymore? will i never see the snow?); a Prior custom Khybers, 150cm, built for powder with a huge nose and the absolute ease of not even needing to lean back. it does the leaning for you, and it likes it. i also like it.

on those beautiful snow-filled days i rode my little heart out. and my goodness was i tired afterwards. i don't think i've slept that well in months: the sleeplessness had worried me until now, for now i know that i really just need to go riding in the pow; it's a really cold wet lullaby. music to my ears.

i hadn't yet spend even a second on blackcomb with a board attached to my feet. i rode out on rock & roll, a blue groomer off the side of crystal chair, and i loved every second of that run: there were fresh pockets off the sides of the run and not another person to be seen. my heart floated like my board did.

i rode with aaron, andy, cam and phill, then karin, annica and frederick, then (sort of) everyone plus kate and aiden (sort of means we totes rode the chairlift up together). i had a lovely time with kate riding soft lines under glacier chair. she did not abandon me for t-bars. i loved her for it. and hoped to myself my slow pace and lack of radness wasn't breeding discontent or anger. angry kate would be a scary prospect. she looks ok with it in the photo below, so i guess she probably had an alright time.

my days were a treasure for sure, and although i'm hopeful for more days like them, i am pretty happy just to sit back and enjoy the goodness that came my way.

it's just an excuse to come back to whistler, one day pretty soon.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

there are no friends/slow, injured friends on powder days. so i rode alone today.


  • music in your ear the whole time
  • no long conversations about where to ride next (under duress of fresh lines disappearing every single second you deliberate)
  • singles line
  • riding at your own pace; stopping to admire the view or change the song on your ipod
  • nobody's ego but your own
  • an opportunity for alone time and the serenity of it being all aboot you.


  • you're riding alone.

a big huge thank you to the beautiful kate jenkins who rode glacier chair with me yesterday.

i love you.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

treasure: quiet breakfast (with crunchy cereal)

i often choose to sleep in and then run around frantically trying to make sure i remember to wear pants to work, but i decided today that i really should get up when my alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze so many times that i begin to curse the "marimba", which is the alarm on my iPhone.

it is not the fault of the marimba. that fault lies with me.

this morning my body clock woke me up 1 minute before my alarm, so i didn't even have to hear marimba today, which is winning in everyone's books. i had exactly 8 hours sleep. i liked it.

this gives me the time for 1.5 hours of pre-work morning activities. i chose clothing that i like (today is a day for my lucky owl shirt), i made tea which had time to cool to a drinkable temperature, and i ate a bowl of cereal (cap'n crunch; it's a weekend treat).

it gives me the time to appreciate the gorgeous view out my window. i have whistler mountain peeking through the cloud at me. the trees are covered in snow. this is a picture for me that will never grow old, boring or tired. trees with snow on them is enough to keep my love of outside alive forever.

i'm trying my best to soak up these little bits of whistler, to fix them carefully in my mind so i can have them as little treasures for a long time. that view is priceless.

and i still have time to find a pair of socks and to make my way carefully down the hill to the bus stop. things are good.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

25 more photos of phill mitchell's beard: the slightly less hairy sequel

phill is my idol some days. other days he is just a guy i know. and most days he's somewhere in between, leaning towards awesome. here are some nice pictures of phill, who, similarly to ryan gosling, grows facial hair.

25. standing planking phill.

24. pow beard phill

23. australia day 2011 phill

22. iPhone rape phill #1

21. australia day 2012 phill

20. the day before australia day 2012 phill

19. just a small part of facial hair phill (also known as burgular phill)

18. phill watching canucks on NYE 2011

17. iPhone rapist Phill #2

16. phill has sisters who only wish they could grow beards like phill.

15. background phill: there for the big events.

14. iPhone rapist phill #3

13. phill plays SNES Mortal Kombat and learns that even facial hair won't save you in some situations.

12. "there's a caesar in the water pistol" phill

11. hollandaise phill

10. phill drinks out of a bucket with help.

9. phill stands between some stones and looks at something in the distance

8. technically not a beard shot, but look! i'm in his sunglass reflection! wizardry!

7. phill loves kate and kate loves phill

6. summer beers at merlins phill

5. mike and phill are friends but phill's facial hair is better, mostly, which makes things awkward. it's not a competition guys. but phill wins. sorry mike.

4. "i'm going to drink a lot now in case the keg runs out later" birthday phill.

3. "silly faces are cute when swedish girls help out" phill

2. gaper day white trash phill with the missus (sorry kate sorry).

1. australia day 2010 phill with some awesome chick.

dear phill. i respect you.

that is all.

please now can i have my passport back?

a blogging manifesto, or, what blogging is for me

i've just realized recently that part of the reason i write is that nobody ever asks me the right questions- i suspect that i blog about myself sometimes out of sheer desperation.

blogging is like writing down everything about yourself that you want everyone to know in a diary that you leave out somewhere for people to pick up and read.

humanity sort of sucks at this point, in a way, because we're all about connecting through social media and posting funny youtube clips of cats on each other's walls, but there's a serious lack of dialogue. the forgotten art of conversation.

i said that no-one ever asks me the right questions; sometimes no-one ever asks me any questions at all, let alone the right ones. i feel confused and sometimes a little bit abandoned by the oft non-reciprocated fact that when i meet someone i like, i'm driven to know things about them. i want to know their quirks. i want to hear their story about their awkward teenage years. i want to know what got them to where they are now. to be honest, there are only a few that make it as far as this category. i dismiss a lot of people i meet offhand for any myriad of reasons, and the reasons i find others interesting or stalk-worthy hold no pattern whatsoever. most of you reading my blog are loyal and interested in things i have to say, and it's probably because i feel the same way about you. i have asked you many questions. i have remembered your answers, to a degree, and i have follow-up questions.

i treasure these conversations, this human connection, where i get the luxury of being myself, of narrating and verbalising my self to whichever degree i so choose.

so bless you all for reading my blog and giving my voice a place in your head. the fact of it keeps me sane. i know that mostly you read me for my silliness, my attempts at humor, my numbered lists. blogging for me is my way of saying what i need to say and answering the questions that someone should have thought to ask.

and bless those of you, the very tiny few, that think to ask. this group is even smaller than those of you that think to read. you are precious and without you i would have to be locked away like jim carrey is at the end of batman forever.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

treasure: new friends

it's bittersweet to make new friends even as you make plans to leave town. it's the nature of this place; within the huge and sometimes obnoxious australian/british/etc population there are little treasures of folk who are lovely, sweet and offer tidbits of enlightenment to your life by observing it just slightly differently than you do.

i'm working with the beautiful sarah, who brings calm and deep breaths to my scattered way of addressing just what Needs To Be Done.

but i can't help but wring my hands about the less than 2 months i have left to work with and learn from her. awesome lady.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

secret: 5 to 10 years

i came to whistler to escape the plan i had for the next 10 years of my life. i had things all organized up til 33 years old. it was a good plan too, i nailed that plan. it would have been a great life- i would have been organized, intelligent and meticulous. and muscular. because i was planning to run marathons.

i would have kept up with my avoidance of wheat and processed foods. i would have kept up with my 1 glass of wine a week on saturday night.

i would have been well on my way to becoming an optometrist.

can you see why i had to come to whistler? you can't have it all worked out at 23. it's ridiculous.

i came to whistler to have little to no responsibility for anything except myself. me being me, i managed to get a job that eventually lead to me managing a store, and the path was a little traumatic and convoluted but in the end, the responsibility wasn't unwanted and it wasn't impossible.

by the time i leave here in may it will be just short of 3 years i've lived in canada. i think it's done what i needed it to do. i shall march back to australia with the right attitude. with the enlightenment of one who has spent 3 years acting her age, saying yes to things and making friends in a scope that encompasses those like-minded snow-obsessed types.

and now i have some ideas about a new 5 to 10 year plan. i want a space that's mine, where i don't have to keep packing up my life. somewhere i can settle into, maybe only for pieces of time here and there, but that i can return to, live in, rely upon. i want a bookshelf or two of my own. it breaks my heart having to give away books whenever i move.

i want a big desk, a comfy chair, a space conducive to writing and thinking thoughts. i want a nice view. i want a teapot and 3 teacups for when friends visit me. goddamn it, i want to live in an A-Frame house, i've been drooling at them on the internet for weeks. i'm hoping to talk my stepdad into building me one under some gumtrees.

i want a job that means i can afford to take bursts of time off. maybe something that uses the practical parts of my brain, to keep them happy, and then the time off can be my creative happy place time.

i want a cat. i've struggled with the ultimate cat or dog question for a while, but in the end, i'm pretty sure a cat is what i want.

that's as much as i know.