Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Just Chill!

It's muggy in Sydney this week. Not that hot, about 27 and my iGoogle weather says it's only 57% humidity but they must be sitting on top of an inland mountain cos it's sweaty conditions out there. I am being aided and abetted I might add by the odd 'waves of warmth' that seem to have kicked in now that my pituitary has actually realised my ovaries are long gone. Interesting sensation that . . .I'm hoping a combination of herbals, Red Clover and Black Cohosh will stem the flushes otherwise I'm going to have to move to a cold country before the motor on my standard fan burns out!

That reminds me. Thommo is packing her backs on Friday and heading off to Japan for the second time in as many years. She's a serious skier, hampered only by the odd rickety knee which she's planning to have fixed upon her return. Her theory is that she might as well make the surgery worthwhile by smashing it to bits on mount 非常に高い山. It's the newest skiing sensation apparently. Ian is popping off to Austria to indulge his habit and whilst I envy them both a few weeks in the chill, I don't care much for skiing . . .or snowboarding . . .or tobogganing.

I took DrummerBoy with me for a snowy weekend when he was about 8. He'd never seen snow, let alone tried skiing so I booked him into 'Kindy Ski School' and myself in for a half day lesson thinking that at least I'd be proficient enough to tackle front valley at Perisher or Friday Flat at Thredbo if I could manage to hang onto the T bar without doing the splits sideways.

He took to it like a duck to water. Mind you the centre of gravity for an 8 year old is like that of a Chinese acrobat. Perfectly proportioned with the middle in the middle. As we grow we seem to get longer in the leg or torso and that means balance isn't as easy. Within four hours, the kid's got no stocks, a crash helmet the size of a watermelon and is competently scooting down the slopes and managing to get on a chair lift, TBar and even a pommer by himself.

Meanwhile, fat biatch is walking like a cripple across the car park in unbendy ski boots (nobody told me to not to put them on until you're actually in the snowy bit). I met up with a charming instructor, all dressed in conspicuous red. She was young, European - probably German or Austrian. In our group were also 8 Japanese, non English speaking tourists. Before we even started the lesson, she took one look at my very expensive shades and asked if I'd bought them in a $2 shop. . . I mean . . .crikey . . they were $250 Raybans! I was determined to look good even if I couldn't ski! So whilst my hackles took their time laying back down on my neck we commenced the lesson and I'd already made up my mind that this girl was going to be a cow of gargantuan proportions.

First thing: learn how to snowplough - that's 'stop' for the uninitiated. Tackled quite well for a beginner I thought until I finally planted myself firmly in the snow. I started to undo my bindings to get the skis off so I could stand up and she shrieked, "Leave you're bindings on. You can't be taking them off every time you fall over!" As if I'm going to ski to Blue Cow unless I can avoid falling over! I'm talking about the front valley, about 1km of gentle slope here! So, I was taught to plant one stock in the snow and get up without removing the bindings. This my friends involves the use of stomach muscles . . .WHAAAT! Besides the enormous embarrassment of admitting that since having children, my belly was less than a six pack - every almost success was flouted by some cocky snowboarder either spraying me with slush or attempting to run me over. Meanwhile, children as young as 3 were careening past me with a "check the retard!" look on their face. I spent the next 40 minutes trying to get myself upright while she diverted her attention and yelled at Japanese tourists. Apparently, if you shout at someone who doesn't understand the language, their powers of comprehension improve tenfold -the hypothesis was not born out. They looked even more confused and became quite animated. They were wandering all over the place, ignoring instructions, trying to translate - meanwhile, our little Germanic guide was visibly losing the plot. She shouted at everyone. Berated us on being the most hopeless and hapless group she had ever had the misfortune to earn $500 from and stormed off about 15 minutes before the lesson was to end. I secretly hoped that her visa was revoked or that she fell off the T Bar 60 feet above the ground.

That my friends, was my first and last foray into the world of the white. Fortunately, our snowfields are littered with cafes and bars. I spend a lot of time in most of them acquiring a taste for butterscotch schnapps whilst DrummerBoy tagged along with competent skiing friends and conquered Mount Perisher. The rest of the long weekend, I resolved to cook and housekeep for the exhausted snowboarders and skiers rather than venture back for more public humiliation. I did do something I'm reasonably good at and went for a wonderful Snowy River trail ride with a guy called Jacko and a horse called Chocolate. I watched a little telly, did a little souvenir shopping, walked around the shores of Lake Jindabyne and generally enjoyed the cold and the solitude.

DrummerBoy still enjoys his skiing although our season is short and he didn't make it this year. He's now no stranger to black runs and talking about trying the slopes of New Zealand, Canada or Switzerland sometime. ClareBear has taken to snowboarding and handles herself admirably if the videos from the Dubai Snow Dome are to be believed. Me? . . .I avoid it like the plague but I do miss those chilly walks around Lake Jindabyne . . . especially now as another wave of warmth makes my hands clammy and my brow sweat!


Anonymous said...

I don't care much for snow, only been to Lake Jindabyne in the Summertime and sloshing through streams still forze me to the kneecaps!! Amazing how some think that by raising their voice to a non-engish speaking person, it would make the English easier to understand! Found Starflower Oil helpful for flushes but that was for konking out ovaries. Might be worth you investigating if the Red Clover and Black Cohosh don't stem :)

Anonymous said...

Can't get enough of it! Skiing that is. The best craic is to get tanked up on Gluhwein at lunctime and spend the afternoon rolling down mountains.

Ian said...


I started ski-ing three years ago. I gave up after two days. I'd spent neraly all my time on the floor. I took off the skis and started for the lift station.
"Vere are you going?" called our instructor.
"Down the mountain", I said, "I've had enough".
"Nein, nein, nein, you vill come with me". She brought me to a bloke called Erich who was dealing with the remedials - he was 70 wore an old woolly jumper and was a brilliant teacher.
Next week will be my fourth ski trip, I still snow plough if I can't be bothered to flex my ankles. Beginners arrive and are promoted out of the ski school group I get put into within a day or two - I don't worry I'm there for the craic and ein grosses bier at the end of the day.

Baino said...

Anon: Love snow, hate ski instructors. Ah, I'll persevere with the waves of warmth . . HRT is an option but I'm trying to avoid it (I'd rather take up smoking again,the side effects are the same!) *opens another pack of chewing gum*

Jack: Jack-Jack, Jack-Jack, Jack . ..You are so typical of the young hoons on the snowfield. I have the video evidence so I know . . My son has a penchant for night skiiing, making sparks whilst jumping over rocks (hey, they're not his
Rossinols), losing a single ski and then making his descent, one legged with a victorious beer in his hand!
Surely this is not acceptible in Europe!

My sister was once banned from Perisher Blue for rolly pollying down front valley in a hot-pink jumpsuit. I'm not sure whether rolly polly was the sin or the fluoro jumpsuit!

(I am the more sensible sibling!)

Baino said...

Hey Rev . .snuck in there between split second comments. (haha glad you're still talking to me actually - I've been on my soapbox today!)

Awwww darls. So you understand my struggle with Fraulein Biatch Face . .I've never gone back . . .although if I ever get to Canada that might be tempting (hey, I'll get an Aussie instructor for sure). Only been in the Austrian alps in Autumn so haven't seen their full winter awesomeness. If I venture there in Winter, I will look up Eric! Otherwise, if I'm in the neighbourhood, I'll drink Hot Chocolate with Herself while you're falling over on the Piste!

And for the good Lord's sake get your link working! Select Open ID remember! People need to hear what you have to say!

Anonymous said...

I said I loved Skiing, I didn't say I was any good at it! I still snowplough on the steep bits, sometimes I snowball down them. The Austrian alps are spectacular in the winter particularly around the ski-welt, although I must post a pic of last years ski trip. We would have been better off with wheels on our skis!

ian said...

Wheels on your skis, Jack? You were lucky if we'd had t'wheels we wud ha' sunk in t'mud.

Alpbach last January was down to four runs open. The snow was so thin that I got a clod of earth on the end of my ski pole at one point!

steph said...


I do all of that too - and I've never even tried skiing!

I stick to the walking and I have to agree with you - walking in snowy valleys is second to none.

I spoke to a best mate in the UK last night who's just back from a holiday in Goa. She was surprised to find it unbearably hot having never had problems travelling before. When she got back to the UK winter, she was amazed to find it was still terribly hot and only then did she realise it was her internal thermostat to blame! She'd stopped HRT the week before the holiday. So I'd stick with the sunshine if I were you, Baino.

Baino said...

Boys boys . . it's not a competition to see who had the muddiest ski trip! We had a bumper season down here last year but the snow's like that, beautiful one year, lousy the next. I hope there's plenty to play in for you this winter. If not, try Japan!

Steph: I've never been any good in the heat or humidity even with hormone producing equipment intact. You're right about the thermostat tho, it seems to be the same temp day and night but I'm resisting HRT until I can stand it no more.

Poor sleep patterns are becoming an issue however!

steph said...

I'm lucky on that score (for once). I was only 37 (long time ago!) when neutered (structural collapse and all that) and made the surgeon sign on the dotted line not to take my ovaries! So far, so good on the old thermostat though a a few structural girders wouldn't go amiss!

I can hear all the blokes groaning!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you have any idea how COOL it is that you live somewhere where they have to post a kangaroo crossing sign????? Just so you know... ;)

Baino said...

Wordnerd: Hiya! Footie season must be over! Yeh, they are cool . . even if the weather isn't!

Anonymous said...

I don't have a Flikr account because attached to Yahoo and merged and blah blah blah so can't comment there. Your duck type in Flikr is simply 'AUSTRALIAN' Wood Ducks Baino! Female on left, male on right ;) I would do anything to see some photos of a nest! Found one nest but not certain it belongs to them ... being in a tree over water.

Mike said...

Australia: An island that is isolated from other lands, inhabited by the exotic Great Barrier Reef, crystal clear water, golden beaches, wide open spaces, flora and fauna, basalt plains studded with extinct volcanoes, rugged wilderness, scenic mountain ranges, extensive coastlines, surrounding tropical islands, vast rivers, and the oldest rainforest in the world and considered by many to be the most adventurous place on Earth.