Tag: Taking small dogs skiing

“There’s No Business Like Snow Business” – Our Season in the Alps!

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The ever-changing views; from the top of Bettaforca, evening falls on the Champoluc Valley.

We are well into our three months here in Monte Rosa and have really got into the swing. We enjoy the ever-changing views of the mountains, the smell of log fires and the muffled silence of a snow-covered wilderness. The days have been a glorious blur of joyous ski descents and beautiful walks with the dogs under bluebird skies, followed by a sauna, a simple, hearty meal and a DVD.

Our skiing has improved markedly, although the only Italian that I can claim to have learnt is the word for Haemorrhoids. This is a condition from which the Italian version of Facebook seems to think I suffer, judging by the frequency of pop-up ads for some special kind of haemorrhoid-relieving toilet paper! Continue reading ““There’s No Business Like Snow Business” – Our Season in the Alps!”

Experiments on the Edge of Control

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WOW! Did two fifty-somethings just overtake me?

“The fastest I’ve done is 128km per hour. That’s about 70mph!” “Really? That’s about the same as me!” claimed a youthful American accent, concurring with London. Both a little too loudly for the confines of a crowded gondola. “You need the right slope. One that is steep and then flattens off.” they added, for everyone’s benefit.

Such claims should not go unchallenged, but our eyes met and we kept our counsel. We didn’t really want to bother to engage or discuss the fact that with speeds like that, they should be in the Olympic team.

As we alighted from the gondola, Mark whispered in my ear “There was a strong smell in there.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “Of Bullsh…”  Continue reading “Experiments on the Edge of Control”

The Vikings Have Left the Building

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Frozen Waterfall at Gressoney St Jean

Peace has descended once more on the Lys Valley. The Vikings have left the building.

We suspect that they departed in the wee small hours and decided not to do anything as mundane as go to bed. Nightlife here is limited – we did once see a person dance on a table in bar but that was an isolated incident and happened well before 8pm.

Nevertheless, I heard some Viking improvisation. Sleep evaded me as a light switch in the next room was switched on and off really quickly to produce disco-effect lighting as an accompaniment to the clattering, singing and what sounded like handfuls of marbles being dropped repeatedly to scatter on the tiled floor.

Noisy neighbours for a week. Such are the tribulations of skiing for a season!

Continue reading “The Vikings Have Left the Building”

A Viking Charm Offensive – and Other Oxymorons.

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We went to bed in rapt antici…pation of an early start and getting first tracks…

Oxymoron – noun [ok-si-mawron]. Rhetoric.

“A figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in ‘cruel kindness’ or ‘to make haste slowly.’”

We went to bed in rapt antici…pation of an early start and getting first tracks, but our plans went horribly awry at midnight.

The Vikings arrived!

We got a small sense of how the monks of Lindisfarne might have felt in AD 793. We cowered in the dark while doors slammed, voices shouted and a multitude of feet echoed as they ran up and down the stone stairwell. Continue reading “A Viking Charm Offensive – and Other Oxymorons.”

Pups in POW!

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Pups in POW!

We awoke to a very different Monday morning.

We were up with the larks at,er, 11:30! After our journey of 1000 miles, we both felt like we had been bulldozed.

It was a beautiful bluebird day but neither of us felt anything like skiing. With no new snow for some time, the conditions were quite icy and hard packed. Unlike our previous 1-week skiing holidays, where we were queuing for the first lift and did not return until dark (with a maximum 20-minute break for lunch) it was so lovely not to feel like we HAVE to spend every waking minute on the slopes. We wanted to make sure that the dogs were settled and happy in the apartment before we left them and after all, we are here for 3 months. There will be snow. Sometime. And we will ski. Sometime!

In the back of our mind, however; was this going to be a repeat of our road trip in the summer that didn’t actually go anywhere…?

Continue reading “Pups in POW!”

The Italian Job – Pups on Piste; Monte Rosa

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Our view for the next 3 months. Not too shabby!

“You don’t look old enough to have given up work!”

9th January – 18 years ago I stared across a crowded room and saw a tall, handsome man leaning against a bar. Little did I think that within 37 days, we’d be engaged, after 37 weeks, married – and 18 years later feeling completely at home on the first day of a 3-month stay in our Italian Ski Residence!

We had always wanted to do a ski season, but never envisaged that we would achieve it without working – we really are Livin’ the Dream! We feel so lucky and so excited. And for those who ask “How do you do it? You don’t look old enough to have given up work…” (which is just about EVERYONE – we clearly don’t look wealthy!) here goes; you rent out your house, which brings in 1/3 more per month than the cost of renting a basic apartment in a small, uncrowded Italian ski resort with all bills included. Continue reading “The Italian Job – Pups on Piste; Monte Rosa”