It’s already February and I haven’t done half the things I wanted to get started on in the new year, including blogging for sapeople on a weekly basis.

Firstly there has been the weather. I could go on about it, but suffice to say it has been one of the cruelest Winters since the Ice Age. About that Global Warming, when exactly is it going to start?

And there there’s been my gran. She is 89, sharp as a whip, lives alone in a massive big house which is on the Giro d’Italia route, and was completely self sufficient till she fractured her spine closing the garage door just before Christmas. We only found out about this the week before my mum left on a four month trip back to South Africa, so I have now become my nana’s primary care giver (my brother says I am collecting good Karma).

This is a short term position – she is thankfully already on the mend – but this, the icy weather and the heavy snow falls have prevented me from doing one of things I love doing, which is cycling. My grans’ injury, partly due to chronic osteoporosis, has however made me think seriously about this exercising and prevention thing. Also about closing garage doors. I’m thinking get someone else to do it for you. Three hours of gym a week (which don’t include too much cardio work) aren’t really enough. I need to hit the road and burn if I don’t want to end up the same way in the not too distant future.

The Lonely Planets’ Best in Travel 2010 voted Friuli-Venezia Giulia No. 3 on its list of The World’s Top 10 Greatest Cycling Routes. The Otago Peninsula in New Zealand took the No. 1 spot with Cape Breton Island in Canada at No 2.

As soon as the temps hit the teens I will hit the serpentine road that

Tagliamento River
Tagliamento River

cuts through corn fields, crosses a river and hugs the mountain side with a spectacular view of the Carniche Alps as a backdrop. The┬ároute that takes me to right to my nonna’s house. If you are out pedalling in Friuli-Venezia Giulia this Srping and spot a sweaty red-head cussing loudly, that’ll be me! Stop me for a chat, I will need the break.

First snow on the pre-Alps
First snow on the pre-Alps
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Born and raised in South Africa, Manuela worked in public relations & marketing before moving into the publishing industry where she made her career. At the infamous Radium Beer Hall in Orange Grove, she met, and later married, an Italo-Natalian electronic engineer. They moved to the Netherlands and produced two perfect little people Katia & Max before moving to the scenic region of Friuli in the north-eastern corner of Italy, the place of origin of their respective parents. She does freelance work to keep the grey matter active and is currently working on her approach to the upcoming half-century milestone whilst raising her two pre-pubescent children, her biggest challenge to date.


  1. Just to clarify a relatively general misconception regarding global warming…
    It has started a long time ago – it is not an event as simple as winter and summer, and does not even have a specific known start-date.
    What seems to be the coldest winters, is in fact one of the effects of global warming, the emphasis being on GLOBAL, not regional!
    One of the first easily observable effects of global warming, is the melting of the polar ice caps. Now most students of physics understand that ice melts at a temperature of 0 deg. Celcius. Pure water therefore, by the effect of latent heat, can never reach a lower temperature than 0 deg. C.
    The polar ice melting, therefore has a first result of cooling temperatures although it is actually overall increasing in temperature.
    In a kind of unrelated example, you can think of a gas or paraffin refrigerator. It actually cools the contents ONLY when there is a small flame burning to maintain the process.
    So for now, temperatures seem to be reducing – and as the ice caps reduce in volume (and they are pretty big still!), the actual rising temperatures will become more noticeable.
    Now not being a great expert on physics, perhaps my explanation is not quite perfect.
    My only real intention with this is to assist with the understanding that global warming is not something that happens immediately – but despite that, it IS happening, and we should not think it is just a speculation by a bunch of fanatics!
    To really understand it, will require a study of all of the scientific observations such as the daily temperature readings at many places around rhe globe, over many years.
    In the meantime, enjoy the biking – it doesn’t add to global warming, although the cyclist might feel pretty hot during the peddling!

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