Second day offline [en]

[fr] Deuxième jour de vacances à la montagne hors-ligne.

My legs hurt. So do my feet. And my bum. We walked about 4.5 hours today. Not bad for two out-of-shape girls. The first bit was the steepest (quite steep actually) — about 45 minutes to the top of Chaux Ronde (I understood yesterday that there are two mountains around here called that, so this was the one with the cross). We sat at the top and just looked at all the mountains around us. A few yellow butterflies kept hovering around us and I got some photographs.

Bagha is settling down, after an encounter with his local “twin” (I got a photo with both the cats last time I came up here, about a year ago — even I mistake the other one for Bagha if I’m not careful). He’s not very enthusiastic about going out — quite out of character for him. But then, this isn’t his territory.

I’ve been completely offline today, except for a few TwitPics (wanting to make my offline friends jealous). A work phone came in and almost got me “worrying” about how to deal with it, but I quickly decided to put it out of my mind and deal with it when I came back to work.

It’s hard keeping my mind in “holiday-mood”. Well, not very hard actually, but every now and again I think about all I haven’t done for Going Solo and feel a surge of panic. Oh well. What’s not done isn’t done, and it will work out even so. I’ll be late for certain things, but hey, worse things have happened.

What’s important is that I’m realising how much I love being up in the mountains and the woods (we had both today). I’ve been in town way too long. I’ve been spending too much time in cities. I grew up in a house bordering the forest. After school fun was outdoors, playing with a few kids in the neighbourhood, but also flying my kite in the fields, howling like a dog wearing my home-made yellow cape at the top of our drive (and listening in delight at all the dogs answering me), running in the forest and building (rather unsuccessful) tree-houses.

Family week-ends and holidays were skiing in winter, of course, and in summer, walking in the mountains, sailing, or camping all over Europe (well, not always camping, and not quite all over Europe, but that kind of holidays — not hotels on the beach or city-life).

I spent an important part of my late teens with the scouts, making fires in the woods, camping, walking — again.

I love living in town. When I left my parents’ home at 22, I wanted to live in the city, near the centre. To be close to everything, instead of 15 minutes on foot from the closest bus stop. To be able to invite people over easily. It was great to be so close to everything, and I still love it, though when I came back from India, I moved to a more quiet and green part of town (still just 5 minutes from the centre by bus).

But somewhere along the way, I stopped going out of town. Once I had my own life (and wasn’t just following around my parents’) all my activities became more and more city-centric.

Over the last years, I’ve felt a need to get out a bit more. I ask my Dad to go sailing a few times a year. I keep telling myself I want to find some friends to go walking with in the mountains, like I used to do when I was a kid. And most of all, I remember that I own part of this chalet I’m staying in now, and that I hardly ever go there.

There are some family-luggage issues around it, of course. But my excuse is usually that it’s “too complicated”, specially now that I don’t have a car. Actually, as I experienced this time, it isn’t too bad. First of all, it’s one of the rare places I can take Bagha with me. Leaving Bagha behind when I travel is always difficult, particularly now that his health isn’t as good as it used to be, between FIV and old age. It’s 90 minutes by train from Lausanne, and with a taxi to the station it honestly isn’t much of a hassle.

There is also the fact that as I don’t come regularly, the chalet itself is not practical for me. If I came more often, I’d leave stuff here (or acquire it) to make coming here easier. Stuff as stupid as bedsheets (I have plenty at home) so I don’t need to bring back the “common” ones, wash them, and worry about how they are going to get back up to the chalet.

We’re hiring somebody to come and cut the grass (the garden is a real jungle, and it’s our turn this year to deal with the grass) and my brother is coming up tomorrow, so we’ll be spending the day armed with various tools to reduce the amount of greenery which is literally swallowing up the chalet. I looked at the garden with an owners eye for the first time, maybe (OK, co-owner). “If it was up to me, I’d knock some of those trees down.”

As we were walking down from Taveyanne to Villars, and I was realising I needed “more of this”, I made up a plan: come to the chalet for an extended week-end (3-5 days) every three weeks or so. Book in advance. Find a friend to come with me and go walking. I’ve half a mind to come back on the 9th of August: they’re calling out for voluntary help to remove bushes and saplings from Taveyanne on that day, to keep the forest from taking over the “pâturage” (no clue what that’s called in English).

A day of physical work, completely away from what my professional life is.

On the way up here, the friend who came with me was telling me she’d taken up cross-stitch (she started doing it to keep herself busy during the ads while watching TV). I thought of Suw and her lace and jewellery again, and the penny dropped. I need some kind of creative activity that does not involve words. Painting, maybe. I’m crap at it, of course, but I always enjoyed painting when we had to do it at school during art class. Mixing colours, putting them on paper. I wanted to buy a box of paint when we went grocery shopping, but unfortunately they didn’t have any.

Gosh, that’s a lot of writing for a day offline. I took lots of close-up photos of flowers — I’m looking forward to seeing them on the computer screen. But not today: I’m dead, and the grass guy is showing up tomorrow at 8am.

This entry was back-posted upon my return online.

One thought on “Second day offline [en]

  1. “howling like a dog wearing my home-made yellow cape at the top of our drive (and listening in delight at all the dogs answering me)”

    I love to imagine how great that would have felt 🙂

    “Over the last years, I’ve felt a need to get out a bit more.”`

    This is good, especially the part about reacquainting with your parent's usual hobbies. That whole paragraph is something to always keep in mind.

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