Bitter sweet season

Well we have reached that bitter sweet time of year, when Autumn starts the cool down here, while the ski fields and mountains of the Northern Hemisphere begin their Spring thaw. That means one thing, race season. On the weekend we did what seems to be a fairly routine family outing to the airport, this time it was to drop Justin off and send him on his merry way to South America. He will start with the first round of the Enduro World Series (EWS) in Chile, followed by the second in Argentina. Ok so technically it’s still the Southern Hemisphere but he will head North for the other rounds.

This photo isn’t as heart breaking when I say it was actually taken when Justin came home last and Luca was waiting to greet him.


You would think that after nearly 12 years of saying goodbye and him going off to race it would be a fairly low key goodbye but it always sucks. In my head  there is an emotional roller coaster of thoughts like, please don’t go, can’t we have a normal life, people already think I’m lying when I say I have a husband, your leaving me with two children this time?  But I am always cheered up by the thought of what might the season bring, is this a podium finish that you are flying off to? Also this year it’s the added excitement of racing with a new team.

Luca clearly decided that he was going with Daddy


One thing I have learnt in our prolific goodbyes is to keep it short and sweet and having two children surely helps with that. The prospect of sitting at the airport for half an hour waiting to say goodbye is easier to avoid. Like a band aid rip it off quickly.

There are a couple of things that will be guaranteed to happen while Justin is away, the mice have already come back and I have disposed of one, the drains will block and I will take on lots of projects to help time pass quickly. Today saw me transplanting Tree Lucern, fixing the shelter in the dog run and stacking various stray gates around the farm. My focus is on transitioning a old neglected garden into a native haven for birds, oh yeah and looking after two little munchkins.


But any way, I will keep on, keeping on and let’s see what the season holds. One thing I do know is that we will be waiting at home cheering.

It’s a race baby

I should of learnt by now that the things that you worry about are never the things that eventuate, perhaps they don’t  because you have thought about them, anyway. I was so worried that Luca would still be sick for the weekend, not handle being in the pits for long periods of time, not sleep and be generally grumpy.

Ha, how wrong I was, this little champ took it all in his stride. The first two nights we were sharing a room with him but were pleasantly surprised by an 8am sleep in. First day of racing he slept in the car for 2 hours, through a thunder storm. (No good for Justin doing his run). Luca loved having everyone around and constant attention, he crawled around in the gravel getting himself into all sorts of states, played with tools, attempted to clean the tent with a bucket and brush and just generally had a great time.

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Justin didn’t have the best weekend of racing but it was so good to be there and support him where we could. Check out the link to some pretty cool photos from the racing.  http://m.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/Enduro-World-Series-Samoens-Stages-1-3-Race-Action-Slideshow,9191/Slideshow,0/sspomer,2 (check out slides 17 & 18)
We had the pleasure of catching up with some fellow Leov’s who were over on holiday and Luca loved seeing the two boys. He even waded in a near glacial stream to hang out with them, although he wasn’t so convinced to actually swim with Tom. 
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Luca loved the racing, waiting at the finish line in sweltering heat on his mummy mule and getting to see Dad on the podium, despite finishing 12th for the weekend, Justin still retained the lead for the series.

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Luca has already learnt how to keep his poker face under media scrutiny

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Sweltering mummy mule

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Luca even managed to assist with some interviews, although I am not sure how much assisting he was doing when attempting to eat the microphone.

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Poor Justin then had to do the big drive home, and we rolled in around 2.30am. It has been a massive day of washing, unpacking, repacking and organising as he is out to America for three weeks tomorrow. Unfortunately we will miss him terribly but Luca and I plan to take ourselves out for lunch in Nice as a distraction.

All in the name of racing 

Well I am pleased to report that Luca improved and we are now in Samoens. Luca has inherited his fathers appetite which can be described as ‘feed me always’, it was so off putting to see him hardly picking at food, but we are back on track and two of them will be growling at each other like Tigers to get the last scraps very soon.

The trip here was incredible, it amazes me on such a large continent how the landscape can change so dramatically in such a short time. That doesn’t even go to decsribe the cultural and architectural changes that we noticed on the drive. We were packed up tight and it was a case of timing to fit Luca in.



Luckily the night before we had the pleasure of helping Matteo celebrate his birthday, which was an incredible BBQ in a very magical spot. Even though we were typical kiwis eating early and leaving before most of the guests arrived, Luca had a late night which meant him playing sleep catch up on the car trip. (Perfect)


Luca learning the ropes

The view from the BBQ spot

Back to the trip to France, I was more fussed on getting Luca better than researching where we were going so I was very pleasantly surprised when after climbing up a beautiful valley I looked up to see Monte Bianco/Mont Blanc. I have seen it from afar but never up close. We then lost the view fairly quickly as we ducked into the tunnel, but it was equally as breath taking as we popped out on the other side.

We are now settled into our chalet and on the countdown for racing to start. Luca had his first experience in a chair lift in Les Gets today which he thought was pretty cool.


The brilliant view that greeted me bright and early when Luca woke today. (Admittedly I did take this later when the sun was a little higher)

My poor little brain is struggling through, I keep trying to speak to people in my strangled Italian, to then recognise their confused expression, try to correct myself in French (which is terrible) and then give up to speak English. Which most people speak excellently here. Haha imagine if I was going to America with Justin next week, I can only imagine what I would come out with!!
Not that Justin needs luck for this weekend, it comes down to hard work, skill and sheer determination, but, I do have all my fingers and toes crossed! Go smash that mountain tiger!