Tuesday 13 April 2010

Tuesday Ten

In what I hope will be an annual series....

Ten Pictures From The Ski Trip

Olympic Women's Downhill at Sansicario - the top, right before I skied down it with my hair flying horizontally out from my head due to my immense speed!

New helmet, bought on the first day, which made me feel a lot more secure - and awesome blue trail leading down from the Sestriere bubble, which had a very steep drop on one side, then both sides for a little way, then the other. It afforded amazing views into France, though I was glad not to lose a ski down there.

Helicopter landing on the piste on the first morning, while we were on the very uncomfortable two man chair. I got a faceful of snow, but was glad not to be on the ground. There were deckchairs and gloves all over the place.

Mooooooooooose! (I know I don't have the helmet on, but I was only skiing a little way and it didn't seem worth putting it back on after the lift. Cara and I were running a bit late for lunch anyway, after an extended hot chocolate tasting session at a pisteside cafe)

Snow Angels. It wouldn't be a ski trip without them. This year I broke up the frosty hard ice on top of the snow before taking my dive, it was much more successful this way.

We bought Mr J a new pair of retro skintight salopettes for the race, since he was desperate to be fastest (he was) and always bemoaning the fact he had become too fat for his 15 year old pair. He was even more pleased with them than we anticipated; others less so - I refer you to Lou's "MY EYES!" pose in the background.

We like it when it snows because Lou puts her hood up and we tease her for looking like a gnome, even making her hold a ski pole in a fishing rod position.

The view from my hotel room. It was an amazing hotel: like a big drum stuck on the side of the mountain; I could see all the way to the tunnel. Awesome. And it has a BATH! I have a good picture of me pointing at it in a delighted fashion. I was so glad I took Lush with me; those baths made all the difference to my poor aching legs. I really noticed the difference not doing circuits made this year and am determined to be properly ski fit for next year. At least my knee didn't give me any problems - at least, not while I was skiing; my other knee, the one I didn't injure, was a bit painful, weirdly, but not very bad and then it sort of crunched and clicked in a very painful way and was OK afterwards.
Should also say that the only thing better than the view/bath combo was the hotel food. Couldn't fault it.

Ski trip FO. Cabled hat of my own design, finished on the Friday for Saturday's skiing (or for wearing while not skiing, since I cannot wear a hat with my new helmet). More on that in a later post.

And finally - Piste Benny. His skis worked much better this year with stabilising cross bars - too well, in fact, as shortly after this picture was taken he escaped and got himself tangled up on the slalom race course next to which Cara and I were sitting. Thankfully I managed to retrieve him before he tripped someone up, but I didn't allow any more Benny skiing for the rest of the week, as he was so aerodynamic on his skis I feared I'd lose him forever.

All things considered? Best trip yet. We travelled with a group from another school who turned out to be really lovely, so much so that we sang Bohemian Rhapsody with their staff at karaoke and totally dominated; I had a lesson in which I was told I was, "Not bad - for a woman"; there were no injuries and no major kid problems, except for a bad case of nits which we treated and then prayed we hadn't caught; many parents followed my Twitter updates from the school phone; Jonts and I went into deep off piste snow to retrieve some goggles which was very amusing; I had a couple of minor falls, during the second of which I banged my head and was pleased to have the helmet; and I FINALLY managed to get my own ski boots, on the second attempt. Sunday's attempt left me tearful (I was overtired and the SA couldn't find me a pair) but on Monday a slightly pervy man from Folkestone was able to provide me with the perfect pair (in between jumping up and down, a curious manoeuvre which he explained by saying, "Sorry, I've got holes in my boxers...." Nice)

The difference a lesson, my own boots and a helmet made was phenomenal - especially when combined with giving myself a stiff talking to every morning: most overused phrase of the week was definitely "Man up" or, for something especially difficult, "Woman up." Tom asked after seeing me ski on Friday afternoon, "What happened to you?!" and I think the answer to that can only be, I've found the joy in it. I love bombing around and even tried a few mini jumps. I thought I had joy last year but this year put it in the shade, it was just so much fun. I cannot wait for next time.

I'll leave you with the video of the Men's Ski Cross Final from 2010. Delbosco hitting the snow is one of my favourite sporting moments. Part of me thinks he is an idiot for giving up his bronze to try and get into silver position; part of me has enormous respect for him for risking it all. Either way it's great viewing!

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