It’s turning into a tradition — birthdays in hotels. Fiona will be the only family member to be at home for her birthday this year. Sophie had her ‘hotel birthday’ this past weekend in Calgary. We were able to get our two favourite Calgary violin/viola teachers to join us for a restaurant dinner, and retired to their place afterwards for cake and silliness.

We got home last evening and today Sophie set off for her day-long aikido gasshuku. Two hours of class in the morning, lunch, an outdoor activity and two more hours of aikido in the afternoon, with belt-testing and the presentation of colour belts and certificates at the end.

Sophie was thrilled to be awarded her yellow belt. She earned it by attending forty-plus classes, having a positive attitude and strong skills mastery. She’s been patient, hard-working and cheerful since she began as a student last February. I think she’s in it for the long haul.

Double digits

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