Tuesday, 19 March 2002

Old News - Newsletter March 2002

A good friend of mine once stated that any woman who passed the age of 30 without being married was a lesbian. So you will all be glad to hear that I have now reached that significant age without the benefit of matrimony, and am awaiting the change with interest. I have had a very short haircut so far, but the ‘comfortable shoes’ have yet to materialise!

As I was in France skiing over my birthday, I had a party in London the Saturday before. J and T kindly let me use their flat, and 12 of my closest friends came along for oodles of snacks and much, much champagne. Cheers to everyone who came for making it such an enjoyable evening! (and to those who couldn’t make it, you missed a great time!) It was a lovely chatty, boozy, laid-back evening, and at around midnight we all staggered over the road to an indie club where the music was excellent. Then back to the flat at 3 for more champagne… I had one of the worst hangovers on record the next day! 9 of the 12 stayed over, and we limped down the road to the greasy spoon for a fry-up at about midday on Sunday. I had meant to produce breakfast, but was too ill to face it! I still felt terrible on the Monday, and work was a trial!

On Friday the 8th Mountain Man, T, J and I went to France to go skiing in Les Arcs. We travelled by train, which is not bad – it means you get 2 extra days skiing, as the train arrives at 7am on Saturday, and leaves the following Saturday at 10pm. I managed to drink far too much far too fast on the train there, and was not feeling well when we arrived in Les Arcs. Mountain Man and J had stayed up most of the night sponsoring the bar, and were not too good either! But as we could only check-in at 5pm, we bravely hired skis and launched ourselves at the chairlift.

I decided to try out snowblades (v short skis, turned up back and front) for the week, while the others took skis. They’re cool, you can get down any slope, no matter how steep or icy, as their turning radius is so small! On the downside they react to the surface a lot, and I never felt quite safe at high speed.

Mountain Man, T and J are very good, and very fast, skiers. I had spent a large amount of time in the gym before the holiday building up my leg muscles, in the hope that I could keep up through brute strength. It seemed to work a bit, as I was not too far behind at each stop (and my legs didn’t get sore - bonus)! I will never be as fast as they are though, even on proper skis – my sense of terror kicks in too soon at high speed!

I’m a bit of a lazy, social, fair-weather skier, and 8 days in a row of 6 hours a day is a little too much skiing for my liking. I took a day off after 3 days, and an afternoon off a couple of days later, and towards the end of the week tended to head for home an hour or two before the others. Unfortunately there is not much else to do in a ski resort, and I was bored silly! If I go skiing again it will be in a big group, with at least one other lazy person to chill out with.

Les Arcs is a superb skiing resort. We were very lucky with the snow too, as they had a huge snowfall the week before, and the piste was still 1m thick at the bottom and 2m at the top. It was getting pretty thin at the bottom by the time we left, and I felt sorry for any novices trying to dodge the grass! There are about 4 villages that you can ski between, and one of them is very high up and always had excellent snow. It was very sunny for most of the time (we all got sunburnt on the first day, and now have sunglass-tans!) and surprising warm. This is the latest in the year I have skied, and the sun is getting strong!

I had a great birthday – I didn’t even notice it! The best way to spend your 30th I say! (or the beginning of your fourth decade as someone said – sounds even worse!)

The rest of this week will be spent packing up our flat, as we move on Saturday. Yuck, I hate packing. My Mom is coming to visit tomorrow, and we are having a ‘packing party’. Heh, I wonder if I’ll be able to find anything that was packed after the second bottle of wine!

Mountain Man is still job-hunting. The IT job market is really horrible, and he is starting to talk of taking absolutely anything offered. He is thinking of perhaps nipping over to Nepal for a month in the hope that things pick up while he is gone. He was planning to go next year, but if he has to take a permanent job now then he won’t be able to :-(. Is anyone out there interested in going along? On the bright side (for me), he has taken over shopping and cooking duties while he is at home, and has been trying out our cookbooks. I have been eating like a king for the past few weeks and I’ve begged him to use the ‘slimmers’ cookbook this week, as my clothes are starting to creak at the seams! (also since I’ve promised myself this week off from the gym, after all the activity before skiing!)