Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Ski France and Home News

Covered wooden bridge and church with mountain slope behind
Moûtiers, April 2016
It's been a busy fortnight for me, so nothing unusual there. There was my second ski holiday of 2016, followed by a week containing (as well as work) one badminton club night, two badminton matches (we lost both) and an introduction to Buddhism and meditation. I'm behind with everything, not just this blog.

Before Easter I managed to finish the dress I've been making for sister D, and posted it off to her. That dress pattern has been very good value - three dresses made and possibly one more to come! I also managed to negotiate a 9% discount on a new ski jacket and trousers, which were still jolly expensive but fit perfectly, unlike my previous ski clothing which was low price/low quality and bought for a larger version of me.

The ski holiday was with friends who had arranged all transport and accommodation independently in order to maximise the time available for skiing. On a normal package you fly out and arrive in the resort on day 1, head back on day 8 and have six days skiing in between.  What we did was travel by train overnight to arrive in the resort and ski on day 1, and head back on day 8 after a morning's skiing. So eight days skiing in total.

The travelling wasn't bad - Eurostar to Paris, then local sleeper train to Moûtiers, then local bus to Méribel, and the same in reverse for the way back. We had some time to kill in Paris on the way out and in Moûtiers on the way back, so there was a tiny bit of French sightseeing as well. Ski conditions were variable - one gloriously sunny day, one day when everything shut down at lunchtime because of wind, one day when clouds were a bit low and visibility came and went quite suddenly, the other days a combination of sun, cloud, wind and rain. But we skied every day and it was fine.

I only fell over properly once, but unfortunately I did something nasty to my left shoulder which is still rather painful. If it had been my right shoulder I could have avoided playing in those two lost badminton matches - thankfully we are being demoted next season so maybe we'll manage to win a match or two next year.

The introduction to Buddhism and meditation was very interesting, and the first of four weekly sessions. Nothing revelatory to announce here yet, but I'll keep you posted because I think I'll have something to say by the end. At the weekend I journeyed south to help mum clear out some of the accumulated detritus of a lifetime, which is ultimately necessary but rather dispiriting, and which I am starting to regret slightly. Anyway, it's in a box not in the bin so there is time to retrieve the situation. Maybe my gay abandon has resulted from the clearing out of 15 years worth of accumulated detritus from the garage at Lola Towers in preparation for remedial work. Still not finished and more trips required to the tip.

The Lola Towers Renovation Project (LTRP) continues apace with yet another workman coming round to look at some small jobs - very small in comparison with the garage, but if completed then they will add materially to my personal happiness (at least as much as learning to meditate, if not more). The only down side is that about half of the small jobs need input from me in terms of locating and buying things. It's not enough to tell the workman that I want this or that light fitting replaced, I've actually got to choose what I want it replaced with. Not easy for a non-shopper like me.

The workman - let's follow a theme to its fullest extent and call him Ilf - seems like a nice chap, enthusiastic and very talkative, and he certainly describes himself as the kind of workman I want. He's actually coming back to get started tomorrow, so either he's very keen and sees the potential goldmine that the LTRP represents, or he's not very good and hasn't got any other work at the moment. We'll soon find out, and you will be among the first to know about it.

I have also reached the point where my expanding waistline can no longer be ignored, and I have designed and instituted a set of Diet Rules for the next 5 weeks. These are designed to disrupt the bad habits I have acquired and embed a new set of habits that I hope will become the new normal. You may imagine the type of situation I am trying to prevent if I let on that one of the rules is 'No more than 100g of dark chocolate a week'. I'm not prepared to reveal the level of weekly chocolate that previously prevailed.

Five skiers lined up (almost) ready to go

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