Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wednesday 9 Jan, 2008

We are all definitely getting used to skiing because getting ready in the morning is getting a lot quicker so we met George at 09:30 at the bottom of the button lift where Kirsten and Carl had dropped the kids and George had dropped Nathan.

We had decided to go over to Plaine Dranse which is quite a nice area for skiing but I have found it a bit nerve wracking firstly for the ski into the valley which can only be done on some quite steep red runs and the ski out is on this miserable blue run which I just detest.

The red run into Plaine Dranse was steep but manageable and Kirsten, Carl and myself find ourselves on the brink of being able to ski red runs rather than survive them but I suspect that it may take some time to get over the brink. The run from Plaine Dranse down to Pre La Joux is absolutely fantastic and we did it I don't know how many times and enjoyed it every time. I think that it was particularly great because, while it was snowy and dull, the conditions underski were great.

It was really nice to go whizzing past beginners at what to them must be a great speed and feel totally in control. Before we knew it, it was 11:30 and George, Kirsten and Carl had to head back to pick up their respective offspring while I stayed behind to do a couple of extra runs. The one, La Perdrix Blanche, turned out to be like a long super tube which was actually quite fun but by 12:30 I had done enough and I headed home.

The dreaded blue lived up to my memory and I didn't enjoy it at all, I did however survive and made it home where everyone had kindly kept some lunch for me.

The weather had deteriorated so we spent most of the afternoon reading or if you were Caron and the van der Riets, sleeping. Kirsten and I were sitting in the dining room when a very grumpy Caron burst through demanding to know why we hadn't answered the person knocking on the door. Problem was that there wasn't anyone and she must have been hearing some other flats door but this was enough to put her into a bad mood for a few hours so everyone did the sensible thing and avoided her.

In preparation for the evening supper we went to shopi to buy some provisions and on the way met an enormous great dane which was tied up outside shopi and would periodically bark which would echo through the shop. The french, like the english seem to have a love affair with dogs, even taking them on holiday. Besides the great dane we've seen greyhounds, huskies, jack russels, saint bernards and many other breeds for which I don't know the name. You've actually got to be careful in some areas because of the dog shit and quite where the owners put them overnight is a mystery. We're in what is considered an enormous, palatial apartment and it is only just 50m2.

George, Yvonne and Nathan came over for supper and some action scrabble but unlike home where you just kind of assume that you have enough chairs, crockery and cutlery, this is not an assumption that one should make here so we ended up sitting on bedside tables and step ladders. The table fortunately expands but although we had enough forks we were shy on the knives and plates. After a very enjoyable supper of macaroni and cheese or macaroni and bolognaise sauce we played a couple of rounds of action scrabble which everyone seemed to enjoy. Caron, Megan and I were playing as a team and Megan must have lucky fingers because we got both the wild cards in both of the hands that we played.

We had bought some pre-cooked crepes from shoppi for pudding which turned out to be less than successful but was saved from disaster by big dollops of Nutella.

I think everyone enjoyed the evening perhaps because it gets some outside interaction and personalities into the mix which is always, at least mostly, a good thing.

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