Table #11 – Black Ice


Coffee is ready and we’ve cracked open a Christmas cake from the Bourke Street Bakery cookery book….come on in it’s snowing again!

The streets here in Edinburgh have been in a bad way, sheet ice on the paths and the side roads fairing no better. The weeks exercise constrained to walking and the bus. To say we were going a little stir crazy is an exaggeration.

Fortunately the weekend saw a blue sky day and we were determined to get out. I love Braid hill, close to home at the same time a feeling of escaping and a way of looking at the world in a different light.

Inspired and in protest at the world I’ve signed my self up for a triathlon sprint in August. Apparently great for the beginner. 20km cycle, 5k run and 750m open water swimming. Cycle, not a problem and running I’ve finely got that distance in the bag without too much of an issue. The swimming….fills me with dread. I’ve not covered that distance since I swam for badges back in the 80’s.   Then add them together in succession…..I’m starting to realise I’m going to have to get a training plan in place…..fortunately it’s 7 months away and that’s the point right.

Retro movie re-wind time and what did I torture my boys with today?  The Last Starfighter!

Music playing on the kitchen stereo….a little bit of INXS.

I’m grateful for root vegetables and soup, just the ticket for these cold days and trying to be a bit more healthy.

Thanks for popping by, A nod to the #weekendcoffeeshare and a #DSFWeeklyrewind, thanks for hosting.

Coffee and Blue Sky for the Soul

If we were having coffee it would be in the airport lounge, we’d be drinking out of need a shot of some caffeine to aid with the shock to the system of being up so early (A 3am start).  The coffee is rubbish (I’m sorry), it’s what’s on offer and I leave it half way through. Like wine life is too short to drink bad coffee!

It’s ski holiday time, our chosen resort this year is Val Thorens in the French alps, the highest ski resort in Europe.

We’ve not been skiing for two years, the boys are excited and armed with their new Pokémon games that I managed to get them to pay for themselves alongside getting them to wait for the next big journey since its release in November!

I’m excited but apprehensive I hate the airport piece, the stripping down of oneself to walk through an X-ray machine that you hope doesn’t go beep. This time my boots and belt had to come off. If I could persuade my wife to go by train all the way I would…although deep down I know this is the fastest route.

Val Thorens is a purpose built ski resort that’s grown and evolved since the 60’s, part of the Les Trois Vallées. We picked it because of the number of runs, the height, the glacier and the prospect of guaranteed snow. This can have its downside though. We’d been before, 10 years ago and it was brutal…6 days of solid snow!

This time though we arrived to winds and blue sky, chilling to the core, this time though we had our two boys with us and the adventure was out there. Our youngest typically up first, dressed and ready with all the gear. If he could skip breakfast I’m sure he would.

We know many families who put their children into ski school, for us though it’s time to bond as a unit. A break from the norm, no jobs and nothing but snow to occupy our minds. Skiing with children brings another dimension to a father though. One of safety, one of caution at the same time one of letting go. The giving of freedom, speed and the learning of a skill.   My heart is in my mouth as the youngest weaves in and out of the poles, taking jumps without fear. It’s amazing to watch.

For those who don’t Ski, it’s a strange thing to fathom. The strapping of planks to ones feet, pointing them down a hill for enjoyment. I myself whilst sat on a chairlift reflected on the number of ants partaking in this past time and wondered what it is that drives this sport.

For me it’s the colour of the sky against the contrast of the snow. The spectacle and majesty of the land before us, covered in a blanket of white. The fresh air and a feeling of high speed freedom as you forget about everything back home. The worries and the pressure of everyday life don’t exist as you shift the weight from one leg to the other concentrating on the hill, the trees, the ground and become one flowing movement.

We’ve returned in one piece, our muscles a little tired. We’ve had six solid days of fresh air and blue sky. My mind renewed for the next chapter.

With thanks to the part time monster, the weekend coffee share used to be hosted by the Part Time Monster Blog, it’s now moved and hosted by NerdInTheBrain.  Thanks to both as they inspire me to write.