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Skiing in Les Coches

Sarah and me headed off to Les Coches on 19th March for a cheeky last minute ski trip, going on our first ski trip just the two of us.

Chambery airport is truly awful when more than one flight arrives within half an hour of each other, which must rank up there with airport design oversights. The 1920s airplane hanging from the roof does not inspire confidence either – some of the arrival procedures have probably not changed since the plane was in the skies last.

The bus transfer pretty easy, although our driver got lost in Moutiers which subsequently involved some 20-point turning in narrow streets. Our rep was a little disappointed that we did not want to buy tickets and ski hire from him and could not contain his disappointment when we saw him later after having bought said items from a colleague of his – commission payments are are alive and well!

Our accommodation is nicely placed next to the slopes and only a 10 minute walk from the small centre square of Les Coches. A studio apartment that has a bunk bed and two single sofa beds is adequate for our needs but is definitely operating on the “bare minimum” principle.

The lack of hot water on the Friday night put a dampener on our last evening and the lack of staff on reception did not help.

Les Coches itself is pleasant enough but a little on the small side to not get a little tired of it’s offerings after a week. As far as we can tell there are three restaurants (one of which is a little out of the way for us and the other has very limited veggie/fish choice), two bars plus a pizza place. That pretty much left us with La Poze which luckily has friendly staff and free wifi so pretty much is the only place we went to when we ate out.

Les Coches is situated between La Plagne and Les Arcs and does give you good access to both areas. Given the lack of snow this week I would guess that you could ski back to it throughout most of the season. Although we have coined the run into Les Coches from La Plagne the “run from hell” as it goes on forever, gets increasingly sugary and energy sapping.

The nicest place we lunched was most certainly the Cafe Verdons Sud in the Champany valley, the place is run with a flare and style that is so often missing at the on piste cafes. The music is great, the free sun hats are fun and the staff seem to be enjoying themselves. We visited it twice, and on the second occasion it did feel very much like the melting snow was going to maroon the restaurant in a sea of grass which would be a shame. The second time round, there was a more decadent feel to the place, we sat next to some gar├žon beckoning Russians, with a group of large cigar smoking Frenchmen forcing one of their party to down ginape from a bottle the size of a small child ginape and a group of loud English people on the other side. While the ice melted around us and we all indulged, there was definitely a strong metaphor or two kicking around.

On another note the restaurant owner could have been my friend James in another life.

Water skiing…
Jumping into crash matt…

Sarah’s mood tends to fluctuate in parallel with the snow conditions – icy slopes bring a chilling in the mood whereas powder on the pistes generally signals a return to powdery loveliness.

Longest sledging run I have ever seen. There were no signs forbidding you to ask your more garrulous friend to lie down on the run while you attempt to jump over them – i looked – so it is Jim friendly.

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To all 'like-minded' people out there

To all like-minded individuals out there, I have decided the term “like-minded” is stupid and has no pay someone to do your assignment meaning, so anyone who thinks that too please leave a comment on my blog.

I might even start a petition to collect signatures of all those that think the same way as me.

OK, so I concede it does have meaning… but there is just something insipid about describing someone as “like-minded”, I am not sure what it is about it.

Perhaps it is because it is usually used in an exclusive manner, being used to invite “like-minded” people to an event is essentially to say “don’t come if you don’t think like me”.

Anyway, just a thought and it is probably just me…

Jesus Laughing… Human Rights Denied

Jesus Laughing Pictures & Human Rights Denied

"Jesus Laughing Pictures & Human Rights Denied"

I took this a while back and giggle every time I see it, I am not sure why I find it so funny…

it just seems like the most ridiculous sign.

I wonder if Jesus is laughing at the human rights being denied and someone managed to capture this momentary lapse in his good nature on camera?

Or perhaps you can only see the pictures if you are willing to give up a right or two?

James is Wolfman

James shows off his collection of wolf related art

I forgot that I had taken this photo of James and his “Three Wolf Moon” t-shirt standing next to one of his man wolf based art works.

He was not holding his Chump lighter but I think it was most likely in his pocket.

For full Three Wold Moon joy see reviews on Amazon.

Si P and Tribalogic in Corsica

Last night I enjoyed a great catch-up-curry with Australia’s Si P along with Fran, Mike and Sarah. It was great to see Si (one of my 2 best men, both of whom has since left Scotland for Oz…

conicidence? Or was the best man to Robin experience the last straw?) after so long in Australia and he was full of tails from the colonies.

He is clearly enjoying his care free existance in Brisbane, althouh that may change when he is forced to get an actual job.

The venue was Mother India on Infirmary st which I thoroughly recommend. They go for the tapas approach which let’s you taste loads for different things even if it slighly threw us when we first looked at the menu, service was extremely slick although a little more joie de vive would not go amiss.

We returned to our flat for a whiskey and a bit of Dizzee Rascal… genius – the Aswad singer was a particularly good spot by Si. I remembered to switch on the Skype just in time to see Mike “Howie does it” Howie (my personal blog commenter) logging out, shame as it would have been good to have some Paterson/Howie drunken chat. So Mike will never know that he was so close to being shouted at by a couple of tipsy louts across the interweb… unless he reads this of course, which I will know when he comments… unless out of spite because I have said he will comment he now does not comment.

So, Mike if you do not comment on this blog post you are a spiteful man.

I had to rapidly chuck some stuff in a bag for heading out to Corsica today with Colin to catch up with Gerome for our Tribalogic

away week! Gerome has kindly invited us to work from his parents house for a week which should be fab.

Turkey Chicken

One of things I forgot to mention in the podcast but did cross my mind this week was my best ever dream: my “Turkey-Chicken-Turkey-Chicken” dream.

I dreamt that my wife was a top class live Turkey Chicken stacker. The basic contest involved the stacking of live turkeys and chickens (you had to alternate), with the help of a see through glass/plastic “starter cylinder”. Sarah seemed to be

really good as there were a lot of people watching and I had a feeling of pride and a nervous feeling that she do her best.

Podcast Failure

Mike "Howie Does It!" Howie

Mike "Howie Does It!" Howie

After weeks of talking about doing a podcast/movie/poem/novel together, Mike and I ran a test run of a trans-european Madrid-Edinburgh podcast… although it was really just a conversation over Skype that I recorded.

We were shit. ┬áThere is no doubt that it was not interesting podcast material, and for that reason it will never be released for public consumption – but at least we got past the first hurdle of actually agreeing to a time and attempting to record it. A little more preparation next time might make us talk about interesting and funny things instead of rubbish things.

Personally, I blame Mike.

On top of us being really unentertaining, the sound quality was not really up to being broadcast, Mike’s Madrid bar location was a little noisy and his internet connection was not really up to the job – so the technical problems were really Mike’s fault too.

I am glad that I this is my blog, ‘cos it means I can blame all the problems on Mike.

It was nice catching up with him and hearing that he is getting on great in Madrid, sounds like a great place to live for a short while and I am sure that soon he will be a fully fluent Spanish speaker.

It would be good to have regular Wednesday podcast slot, hopefully we will manage to sort that out.