Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Four. Ending up in the cockpit.

My final ski post.

The Family. Throughout the week we got to know everyone in our chalet. In the day we would ski together & in the evening we would play games or watch films after dinner. By the end of the week they were literally like another family to me. Especially our Scottish friends, Louise's family and Australian Archie. I miss them!

Above: Emily, Louis, David, Me, Louise & Australian Archie.

The Singing. Over the week, Emily & I discovered our shared love for singing. We would sing on the slopes, in the coach, chalet, chair lifts, everywhere! Chair lifts were our favourite. One time we were singing our favourite (Is this the way to Amarillo dun dun every night I've been hugging my pillow dun dun..) on the chairlift and two French ladies on the lift with us enjoyed it so much they decided to teach us a song of their own. For the rest of that journey, the four of us sang together loudly whilst beating the rhythm with our ski poles. Pretty darn awesome.

The Journey. After a sad goodbye (singing 'So Long, Farewell' as you do...) it was time for Louise's family and myself to make our own way home. Running on a couple of hours sleep, we put our heads to rest on the airport benches and did a little shopping before climbing aboard. During our flight a wonderful sunset was taking place on the other side of the aircraft, so I asked the air hostess if she could take a photo of it for me. Turned out there was a little misunderstanding and instead of having a photo of the sunset, I ended up in the cockpit. I'm not complaining. It was a really lovely end to one of my favourite holidays.

The End. (for now...)

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'Amarillo' by Tony Christie | 'The Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond' by the Corries | 'So Long, Farewell' & 'Do Re Mi Fa'

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Three. Shcuno.

My third ski post.

The Black Run. After a baptism of fire, by Thursday I had got to grips with my skis and was eager to try a black run. So I did. Without even falling WOO. That afternoon was also super sunny so we decided to take a break at the reggae bar, dancing and sunbathing as we sipped our hot chocolates. Hot chocolate was a big deal to us - we knew the piste map based on the nearby cafe or bar. It was good.

The Last Ski. The Friday (our last day) was snowy and we were all pretty tired by this point so not everybody wanted to ski. But Emily & I did. And so when we left the others in the cafe for one more run, it turned into skiing all the way down the home run (much much longer). The run was clear and super pretty from the fresh snow so we made the most of it and tried out the steeper route. I'm glad we did despite the ice. Below: Emily in red.

The Gondola. When Emily & I came back to meet everyone in the cafe, we had a long long break. Louise, Australian Archie and myself stayed for so long in fact, that we missed the last bus for a few hours. Which meant ordering more chips & drinks. Obviously. When we eventually came out to find Louise's skis covered in snow, we decided to do what we had been joking about all week. We rode the gondola. Three times. It was really funny, especially when we reached the top and bottom and had to quickly explain for them not to take our board & skis off.

Shcuno. 'Shcuno' is the process of showering, eating cake and playing uno. This was our daily post - skiing routine and I definitely recommend it to anyone. Especially the cake. And uno with the additional rules. The cake deserves a special mention, along with the food on the trip as a whole. Everything was made from scratch and tasted glorious.

Friday Night. On Friday night, a few of us younger ones from the group went bowling. After nearly breaking the alley many times (my technique is terrible) and taking gazillions of selfies on Louise's ipad, I managed to come third, yippeeee. When we came home, Louise, Louis & Australian Archie stayed up playing cards and talking while Emily & myself sang our way through my playlist into the early hours of the next morning. (We're definitely going for X-factor. Ahem.)

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'Everybody But Me' by Lykke Li | 'September' by Pomplamoose | 'First Day Of My Life' by Bright Eyes

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Two. Out for a ski.

My second ski post.

The BEST Chair Lift. This two man chair lift holds the best memories for me. Not only was it incredibly beautiful as it took us across untouched snowy landscapes but it was also host to my favourite journey. When I was on the lift with Emily, we decided to be friendly to those passing the other way. Each time in a new language. Which we found hilarious. Especially when the lift stopped after we had said hello in German and 'hello' is the only word we know in German... so you can imagine the conversation.

The Exploring. Above: Me, Louise & Emily with our poles in the air for our pre-exploration photo. It was really nice to be able to split off into our groups after lessons and have the freedom to explore. After skiing for the day we also went to explore the town, finding a b.e.a.utiful cafe with teeny tiny marzipan fruits, patisseries galore, hot chocolate with REAL chocolate, a beautiful wooden interior and a waiter who found it too funny when I asked for a bottle instead of a glass of tap water.

The Evenings. Below: Louis, Australian Archie, Louise, Me, Emily. That night involved mulled wine, a beautiful encounter with a swing and running (then falling over each other) in the village by night. It was fun. So were all the evenings. Every night after our glorious dinner, we would stay after everyone had left to talk & listen to my (often strange) music whilst feasting on chocolate. It was looooovely.

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'Dog Problems' by The Format | 'Lemon Tree' by Fool's Garden | 'Coin - Operated Boy' by Amanda Palmer

Monday, 10 March 2014

One. That time I jumped off a chair lift.

My first ski trip in disposable camera photos.

The Flight. With a 2am start to the day, the flight was a struggle, even more so when most other flights in England were cancelled or delayed due to dangerous winds APART FROM OURS. But I'm happy it wasn't, because it meant we arrived in Switzerland quicker! For the holiday, I joined Louise (remember her from Paris?) and her family. I like to say we're family, because my dad is her cousin's Godfather, you see the link?

The Chalet. When we arrived at the Chalet it was perfect. The view was like a Christmas card, but in reality. Amazing. We soon met and got to know the different families over freshly baked cake and a game of uno/cheat/sevens(?) and became particularly friendly with a Scottish family (George, Emma, Emily & Louis) and Australian Archie (you'll see them crop up later on).

The Skiing. My first day of skiing was so much fun. After a short introduction to all the basics in my morning lesson, I joined Louise, her family and our Scottish friends for an afternoon exploring the resort. In that time, I did some red runs (kind of proud I did this on the first day), got to know some of the best hot chocolate spots (that's me with the mug in the photo) and found a reggae bar on the slopes (hence the crazy 'dancing' Louise is doing above).

Louise's family & our Scottish friends at the top of a mountain.

The Chair Lift. So, I jumped off a chair lift... It was my first day so I still wasn't sure how they worked and thought that as soon as it slowed a little you were meant to get off, whether that meant jumping or otherwise... Turns out I was wrong haha. Emily and Louise found it hilarious.

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'Tout Le Monde Ment' by Massilia Sount System | 'Cups' by Anna Kendrick | 'Touch The Sky' by Julie Fowlis

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Dining With Quentin Blake

I am currently suffering from major post-holiday blues and speed writing my essay so I'm ready for heaps of pancakes at church tomorrow. But right now I'd like to skip back a few weeks to a time when I technically dined with Quentin Blake.

I say 'technically' because what this actually means is that I ate my boots meal deal whilst in the same room as him before his talk at the Southbank centre... But that counts, right?

I had four favourite parts to the evening.

Firstly, walking in London by night. I don't know why, but I love the night. Jeanette Winterson explains it better than me. Running in the night is even better.

Secondly, the atmosphere in the room. The room was small, with incredible floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the River Thames with the London Eye and nearly everyone in the room seemed to be an artist or illustrator. It was pretty inspiring to see people paint and sketch Quentin Blake as he spoke. Art is a nice way to remember things, I'd like to do this more.

Thirdly, one of Quentin's stories. He read us two letters he had received from a hospital patient. They explained how Quentin's art had had such a profound impact that this patient now felt ready to enter the world of work again because of it. Art can heal, I find this awesome.

Finally, actually seeing Quentin Blake in person! Roald Dahl's books teamed with Quentin Blake's illustrations were a major part of my childhood and so to see the man himself and hear him speak was amazing. We even made eye contact. I think I'm a little star struck.

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Bird Song by Florence + the Machine | White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes - awesome video