For our final stop on the Write Around the World tour, we go to a place of fantasy, of beauty, of history. Cold As Heaven is a "scientist, skier, and drummer," futball lover, and father. For a glimpse into his personality, see his lists of "cool places on the web" in the righthand column of his blog. One after the other: 'Church of Satan,' 'The Vatican,' 'Muhammed Cartoons,' and 'The Hitchhiker's Guide.' Talk about crazy juxtaposition! What does he write? Here's his prize-winning entry to my Happy Birthday Blogfest, and I'm guessing the rest is dark and probably bilingual. As to where he writes, I'll let Cold explain...
I was born in a pile of snow, and grew up in a pile of snow. Well, that’s an exaggeration, I admit. We have summers here too, very light and sometimes warm summers. Fair to say, I have only lived half of my life in the snow. And believe me; I really enjoy it.
When the ice pulled back, the people moved in. They needed something to do in the snow, so they invented skiing. Skis have been used in Scandinavia for a long time; 4000 year old rock carvings found in Finnmark, show the use of skis. Historically, skis were used for general transportation and for hunting and warfare. We have a long record of ski heroes: Now they bring gold medals back from the Olympics and the World Championships. In Medieval times they rescued a king.
In the 12th century there was a civil war going on around here; a conflict between king and church, and about succession to the throne. The main groups involved were called the Baglers and the Birkebeiners, the latter supporting the king. When the king died, the only successor to the throne was a one year old boy. He was of course a target for the enemies of the king. The winter of year 1206, Birkebeiner skiers carried the little boy across high mountains and deep forests, in blizzards and cold, to safety in Nidaros (painting by Knud Bergslien, 1869). The little boy grew up to become the legendary king Haakon Haakonson. In memory of this historic event, the Birkebeiner Race is held annually. Today, the best (professional) skiers, with modern equipment, cross the mountains in less than three hours
I got my first pair of skis when I was three years old. That’s quite normal in Winterland. When I was a kid, I often skied to school in the winter, on cross-country skis. I wanted to do alpine racing, but unfortunately, it was too expensive for my family to afford the equipment and the lift tickets. When I got my first pair of alpine skis in the teens (when family economy improved), I was too old to become a good racer,
When my older boy was six yo, I brought him to alpine racing practise (as you could probably guess). He was competing in slalom, giant slalom and downhill racing and was fairly good. At age 13, he wanted to switch to freestyle skiing, and I approved it right away. I had chosen alpine racing for him. He had chosen freestyle himself. There’s nothing better than the motivation that comes from inside. My little boy is still into alpine racing. He will get the same freedom to choose when he gets older.
My boys are passionate skiers. For them it’s the meaning of life. Freestyle skiing is in fact the fastest growing kids’ sport in our country. The kids all want to become the ski heroes of the new generation, and some of them are quite good. I’m happy to be a ski dad, spending the winters on the slopes with the kids. We even go skiing in the summer, on the glaciers in the mountains, the last remnants of the ice age.
You see why I enjoy living in Winterland?
Finally, I want to thank Michele for inviting and hosting me. This is in fact my first time guest-blogging, and it was great fun.
Thank you so much! I am not only suddenly dissatisfied with where I live, I am also very definitely taking my protagonist on a murder-solving trip in the future!
This is the last of the Write Around the World posts...Wrap-up tomorrow.