Emigrating…

…to a new blog for the next adventure, so if any of you would like to “follow” this one, I would be honoured and grateful!

flightlessbytheseatofmypants.wordpress.com

Adios 321 fans – until the next season!

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Learnings from a Ski Season

48 hours since the bubble burst and I am pondering a few things between trying to buy a car to drive to Moscow and sort a Mongolian visa. Those that know me well enough will understand that this need for productivity results in me putting my thumb in my mouth (yes, 26 years old), twirling my hair in my hands and attacking my spilt ends. This can steal hours from me in times when life needs me to man up and get things done. It is my comfort blanket, a meditative regression to a semi-conscious state where the thought train steams around barely touching the tracks and completely out of control. Even a dose of hypnotherapy has yet to stop me from reverting to this odd habit, fuelled deeper by a four year degree in “pointless thinking” [philosophy] and today it has been out in force e.g. was going to write this yesterday but sat staring at a panicked bumble bee coming to terms with the undeniable existence of glass (Prime of my life, mother fuckers).

Part of this lull of action comes from forcing myself out of a post-season depression, realising that 12/13 winter has come to an abrupt end and allowing myself to briefly wallow in the fading glow of a mighty swell time. I have spent 5 months in a place that exists because of wealth and done nothing towards saving the world or the people in it. Painful to admit, yes. But any guilt I feel for that is dissipated by the simple fact that I am happy and proud to have lived this little chunk of life full of laughter and days I’ll remember forever. The closest I’ve got to debating metaphysical theorems is asking if the table is really present, because I’ve got toffee vodka in my eye and cannot see. Should I dare to use my red brick degree, could I even begin to note what a third ski season has taught me about life?

Some would say the trivial knowledge is not worth mentioning. I very much beg to differ. These little insights might well save you from a boring night in over the coming weeks, save your dignity at a village fair, or they might just save your life (NB doubtful on that last point).

  1. Rum and coke is a friend in both good times and bad. (Sure, label me an alcoholic, but I won’t remember so it doesn’t really count)
  2. Don’t think about anything other than “left foot, right foot” whilst carrying two jugs of beer across a pub garden. Journey first, then stop and locate friends. Head down and journey again.
  3. Never ice a cake that is still warm, unless you are really in a rush and going to miss the bus to go bowling.
  4. Beware the Irish friend who will never let you abandon the craic.
  5. If ever there is an opportunity to a) crowd surf b) do a half yard challenge, back yourself and just do it. No one wants a life filled with aching regret.
  6. Laughing at people who have fallen over is kosher. But as you laugh, the decent thing to do is offer a hand. However, you will be forgiven if you don’t. Whaaaammy
  7. Dance like everybody’s watching (is that how the saying goes?)
  8. If you put green veg directly into cold water after blanching them, it will keep them from losing their colour.
  9. It is a bit frowned upon to order a jager bomb for one, but you shouldn’t care what other people think. Hater’s goan hate.
  10. If you forget baking powder in a cake, pour some oats over the top, call it a flap jack and be done with it.
  11. If there are no more Jenga blocks that can be taken, you have beaten Jenga. Accomplish this and you get free entry into Ministry of Sound (unconfirmed)
  12. Always choose the mountain. Avoid getting the last bus home. Nap when you’re dead.
  13. Never forget where you’re coming from. Never pretend that it’s all real. Someday soon this will all be someone else’s dream.
  14. A champagne fight will make you look like a twat (in every language). Live with it, or just don’t do it.
  15. Erasure’s “Little Respect” can be sung over anything. If ever you find yourself in a club with a irritating beat and nothing else – start singing (I knew this one before the season, but I feel it’s a key lesson to share)
  16. Leave the cake alone. You’ve eaten enough.
  17. Scrap that. Eat cake bitches!
  18. Ski aggressively off piste. I choose Chase & Status.
  19. A demi is not going to hurt anyone……..
  20. Appreciate kindness, silliness, good conversation, laughing whole heartedly. Don’t waste too much time with people that don’t offer it, or bring it out in you.

And then there are the inevitable things that you learn about yourself; your tolerance for skid marks and douchebaggery in the queue for the bar; your need for a feed around half past 11 and the dilemma of whether to call it a late breakfast or an early lunch; the realisation that whilst you have the name and the members, the band Tenacious Ski will never get off the ground because you have no, [NO] musical talent.

It’s not like doing a season equates to running off to Indyah and “finding yourself” under a set of bongos, but it certainly allows for personal growth like any other situation where you take yourself away from the people that you lean on and push yourself towards living in the present. I know this is not how everyone approaches a season, but it is how I’ve tried to approach mine. In the month prior to setting off on a journey overland to Australia (or as far as I can get), I figure it’s beneficial to have learnt a little more about myself. Sure I knew I was impatient, but I don’t bloody well have time to talk about that now! I now know that I can send a text with perfect spelling and coherency and have no recollection of doing so. I have a faux-knowledge of penguins that is perfect conversation for any van-based commute. I will never be able to wink with my left eye. I crave hugs. I am a control freak. I need to hear an 80s power ballad at least once a week. I waste a fair bit of time thinking about what other people think. Cuddles are key. In my humble opinion, cats are arseholes. I like Bruno Mars. My defence mechanism is to become blindly self righteous. If it’s food and it’s going in the bin, ask me first. Most of all, I like finding out about people, I like stories and histories and learning about people’s drives, why they think how they think, finding out what a person’s favourite joke is, how much they can quote from Stepbrothers… And privileged I have been to spend the last months with such entertaining little feckers as the Meribel Massive. Has been an honour. Best season yet! Off to meet some new oddbods on my way to Oz, but doubt if they’ll be able to quote Stepbrothers (sadface).

Here’s to Apres Apres. 24th May bitches….

Please work out the lyrics…