February 15, 2007

Invite received

"We may just chuck some snags on the Barbie and slap it on a bit of bread."

Well, that is my Saturday night sorted.

February 14, 2007


We are back from our holiday. We had a great couple of weeks skiing. We stayed in La Tania, a village in the middle of the 3 Valleys ski area. It is an area we had visited before; in 2000 for a particularly ridiculous holiday, and was where I had a more than ridiculous downhill accident. I took a picture of the slope for those of you that ever heard of my accident (in the web album link here somewhere); or who may have been there on the night. In retrospect, I was lucky to walk away clutching at my frozen rum and coke.

I have a web album up with some photos we took. http://picasaweb.google.com/luckymojito/January2007FranceAndBelgium

We just went skiing all day on most days so there is not much to tell – the photos set the scene. I will say one thing about skiing – this is the kind of sporting holiday you can do at any age from 3 to 70+. There are lots of old folks out there on the French slopes. By that age, sure, you are not going to be fond of icy black runs; or be queuing for the first lift (I must be prematurely 70) – but you can get out of bed, stretch your legs, get your gear on, trot outside, sit on a chair, ski down a gentle slope – maybe do that 2 or 3 times and off to lunch and then an afternoon nap. I doubt that there will ever be many 70 year old snowboarders out on the slopes. The assault on the knees and arse would be too much for the elderly. So there is a whole load of snow sport enthusiasts out there who might find that their winter holidays in the snow won’t continue because their mode of travel is designed primarily for youthful joints and those 20-somethings willing to wear their pants hanging down around their knees. I may be wrong about this. It makes for conversation.

There are a lot of Russians in Courcheval 1850 these days. It seemed a bit seedy. I know that it is bad to make generalisations about anyone. Having said that, there is a generalisation about rich Russians being crooked Russians. The poor French. They put up with the touring English for so many years, and now the Russians are coming. As well as this ill-informed generalising Australian (with a pommie passport). Still, someone is making loads of money up there. For instance, there is a pub that sells a half pint of Kronenburg for 25 Euros. A $7 half pint of Leffe in Perth pales in comparison.

After we had our dose of skiing, we went to Brussels, Belgium. We were greeted by our marvellous friends at the train station. They even had an esky waiting for us. It was a lovely week catching up with the Osborne’s and a lovely 30 minutes catching up with the Meston-Bunting’s. The latter got tragically ill and retired to the toilet for the next 3 days. Poor loves.
There are some photos from this expedition too. I was quite surprised at the beer. I had heard the Belgians were into it; but they really are very, very into it. And its great and its cheap.

Like us, our friends live in a house that needs some renovation, so we were glad to go and check out some salle de bains magasins with them. You’ll be glad to know that tiling and bathroom shops are much the same no matter where you go – located in the sticks and full of too many tiles that you could never hope to choose between. They did spy a great bath though.
I know I should write more about the holiday. But I am bad at it.

It was the usual long trip home plus 2 hours in the customs hall at Perth International Airport. No wonder there is a low unemployment rate – everyone is in uniform checking your passports or rifling through your luggage. One day I am going to be brave enough to re-enter Australia on my British Passport. When the ever-so-casual immigration man asks me how long I am staying, I will say ‘forever’ and get into some argument about visas. When it gets too much I’ll whip out the blue passport and tell him to go and get a real job. As if I can talk about real jobs…

Anyway, as soon as we got home, we jumped in the car and went to the beach. A swim in the ocean can cure so many things including the devastation of a 28 hour rail and air and customs hall journey. And then the next day we got back into the Burbs. Starting with picking up a big tray of Carnarvon mangoes for $11.99. Bargain.