Ski Day 6 – Return To Kaltenbach & A Spot Of Night Skiing [3]

I was keeping an eye out for the others, thinking that given the barrel which was the limited range of available pistes that a crossing of paths mights occur… At one point i did see them from a lift, least i think i did, familiar looking jackets, but at i headed back down it became clear that if it was them, they had been heading back toward bars and restaurants and not headed where i was.  Even the interesting little black I’d accidentally stumbled upon went from being open and reasonably engaging, to being closed and no right turns, over the course of what was really remarkably very little time.  I couldn’t fathom the rational but there was no denying the notable barriers that had been erected in my intended path. They were in a bar, the others, that that was the update i received after the remainder of the lifts made their last run up the mountain. Regathered we made our way down, the last run of the day was the run back to town and although there was an intention to stop of in any bars on the way down that didn’t quite work out.  The top of the run actually has a closing time along with a red and green traffic light to denote when your meant to go on through.. We only just made it to the top in time for that but thereafter the speed of the decent presented problems, it was quite rutted and this caused issues for the back markers.  It was this speed of decent issue that ultimately put pay to notions of stopping off.

Once down and having located Damon, the last to arrive over here who was waiting by the valley station, we went over to the kiosk to buy our evening passes.  They were old school, pieces of paper completed with the highly skinny elasticated threads that were once common place.  Damon was concerned by the piste, its a red run and he’d been on the blues for his lessons.  The piste was not in a good way, especially toward the end, very rutted in places, so while eager to encourage his participation and not see anyone head back to Mayrhofen, the questions deserved forthright responses.  Daud, whose approach to such matters is less than forthright but more considered,  opted then to head over and ask the people behind the counter about the piste basher and whether it would be doing customary flattening of the pistes pre-night skiing.  A much more sound idea, which faltered only upon a language barrier, i rummiged around for my German and managed to ascertain that they would indeed be doing the flattening.  So with everyone now in i separated off.

It had become clear that earlier intentions to eat at this time were no longer current, so i headed off on a solo mission having half suspected, half hoped, that one of the hut shaped lights in the distance was a Schnitzel burger stand of sorts… The hunger had come, oh yes it had and any further skiing might perhaps be aided by stomach aids. There were multiple bars but most of them had emptied out by the time i headed back to meet up with the others.  The bar they were in was similarly emptying out from a not entirely banging starting point.  So a migration occurred, a larger bar with big external TV screen flashing out called them hope.

I can’t with any level of accuracy state that any or all of the above were playing during our time in this bar but it was our last night of Apres-Ski and so if the soundtrack of this holiday is ever to be duly noted it seemed like this might be that point.. though they are not THE SKI songs … that remains with the only one true king of the ski tunes

The time spent night skiing was limited, the train did not run so very late and after that it was taxis, not everyone was in favor of this and so it was for the train we would head.  Oddly though despite the lack of things going on or probably the lack of energy with which to do them and the extensive amount of time we had to burn, we ended up leaving hurriedly to head back over to the now reopened lift.

By the time we’d gotten back up to the half way station, the top of the night skiing some things had taken hold, one of these was rain, a developing more than drizzle that just never belongs in a ski resort let alone at the top of a run, there is something very not right about that.

Kaltenbach night skiing Kaltenbach night skiing

The other thing that had happened is a total departure of the legs, this became evident not so very long after as i attempted to ski down.  At this point i found my legs had a far stronger memory than I, clearly remembering that all ski holidays were 6 days long ans this was overtime, or as they saw it retirement time though they didn’t seem in full agreement on where they wanted to be going with that time.

By the time Charlie and I were back down i was soaked, thankfully wearing waterproofs it was only the outer layer but it pulled of a far shinier look than normal, it was kinda really grim out, not the level of grim that would be anything remarkable or even noteworthy back in the UK but it didn’t belong here.  A few decades ago, winter holidays back in Switzerland at still lower altitudes, so very snow abundant was it that my family would regularly build me a little igloo/snow house in the garden.  A place to which i was a little irrationally drawn to dwell for cold defying periods of time, while the car needed quite the effort to be dug out.  Its really not so long ago in any scheme of things that isn’t viewed from the perspective of the may fly.

The way down had not been as flat as talk of piste bashers would suggest, certain sections had barley been dusted down at all with the basher seemingly edging up most narrow along one of the sides, leaving the rest largely as it had been earlier.  Wherever the others were, our second run began with us setting off in pursuit, we found them on route, Damon was taking it slow, studiously but somewhat stiffly heading down.

We stopped off on route, a place we had intended to pause at earlier as part of the skiing down crawl that wasn’t, time had not allowed for it then especially once Damon had arrived, it wouldn’t have done to stop off while other waited at the bottom for our fashionably late entrance.  It was a small, octagonal or round, the bar stood at its center.  From within we watched the rain descend and heard from the bar staff about how such troubles had been ever more in evidence in recent years.  To a tired mind and person who had perhaps come to the point of over familiarity with the generally welcome JaegerTee, this was all a little depressing stuff… by now the missing of the last train had been insured.  Besides Damon was of a mind to give it a second go, having made it down the once his personal objective of completing a red this week was behind him.  Now he was of a mind to see he couldnt maybe do it again, take what he’d done, what should now be more familiar and do it better.  A sort of admiral obstenance applied to a clear ends, there’s something to be said for that, certainly when its set to solid ends.

Kaltenbach Piste Bar
Piste Bar – Night Skiing

Once more back up and round… Once more into the piste side bar.. On leaving the bad, Milton pointed out the visible grass as we left, grass or rather turf that smeared out where snow had been not long past, when we’d headed in. Then down.

Piste Basher Night Skiing Lights
Piste Basher Lights In The Night Ski Rain

There was time for more, the skiing was open until after 9pm but among the group as a whole not the mind for it, dinner was probably coming back into mind. We found a taxi, they loitered most eagerly around the bars and the valley gondola station and headed back, big old people carriers, though surprisingly the price went up as the driver realised there was more of us, enough to all but fill the vehicle.. seemed odd to have some sort of unit price situation going on for a single journey but the difference was small and our options none existent.

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Ski Day 4 – Mayrhofen – ICE BAR (3)

At some point on day two or there about, i had opted to remove the visor from my ski goggles – an act that would normally render them somewhat less than useful, however mine were camera goggles and while the goggles had proven since their first outing to be off questionable quality the video remained quite the handy way to keep a record of the days.  The visor by this, only the third or forth time of use, was so blotchy as to present quite a vision obstructing challenge, so while the visorless goggles provided no practical assistance nor did they inflict any additional impediments.

On the penkenbahn there were two Scottish chaps sharing the lift down with us, they started talking too us on the back of apparently recognising me and my visorless goggles from earlier in the day.  I have no such recognition but they were not the first to notice, not even the first to bring it up… i think someone had even advised me about the clearly less than subtly missing element ..

By now the sun was gone and Mayrhofen appeared beneath, yellow lights shining up in the dark, it was the first time we’d seen Mayrhofen from above, having skied in other areas since the general cloudy fogs of the first day.

At the base of the Penkenbahn there remained the ICE bar, there were only three of us on this occasion so the act of negotiating a mutually acceptable social forum was that bit simpler, all voting parties were socially  lubricated if only most moderately so & it was just so damnably conveniently just right there..  So we headed in … No Cider here … hmmmm .. Once more unto the Jaeger Tee it would need to be .. once more

Mayrhofen ICE bar
Mayrhofen ICE bar By Penkenbahn

After being in there for a bit Damon came to the realisation that a fair chunk of his ski school were also in there, near the back and he wanted to go and meet up with them.  Along with the Irish contingent from the ski school & their friends, there was also the instructor, a man who went by the mantle Wolfie.   He in turn had given the mantle ‘Speedy’ to Damon, which he explained was due to a lack of a natural propensity for turning.

Between investing time in alcohol and the girls of his group Wolfie shared some other stories, though the clarity of his speech was by now on the decline, he had been a world cup down hill skier, this i knew from Damon.  He’d gone 130/140 or something close to that down the “Harakiri” (Austria’s steepest marked run, the 78 per cent), had been bricking it and taken three turns to come to a stop, all most impressive stuff – he was also Stephan Eberharter’s room mate from a time on the world cup circuit.

A day without fluids or much in the way of sustenance – along with it being among the longer days skiing seemed to have an impact, offering efficacy enhancing qualities to the chemical reaction occurring within my system.  Id slowed my intake of alcohol anyhow, the sweetness of the Jaeger Tee’s on which i was stuck, quickly proving too much having already had two up upon the mountain.

It was quite the oddest thing one side of my brain seemed largely to operate unimpeded – remembering with an unusual level of efficiency .. one of the worlds great mislayer of things and forgetor of desirable next steps – it had a most full and clear notion of the things needed to be sure were in place – jacket, phone, boots (these having been removed around the time we’d entered), it had decided that this now was all quite enough .. what it wasn’t able to do was in act all it wanted to efficiency through the other half, the half responsible for implementing such thoughts.  The most telling evidence of this came after i had successfully retrieved my jacket from the mass of clothing upon the floor, Damon asked for his, my crouched self turned back and rummaged some more… then upon getting confirmation of having located it, i sought to lean in and drag it forth… my tired crouching legs wobbled, i failed to respond and instead of re-balancing they quaked, gave way and i rolled backward like a partially upturned tortoise – impressive stuff.  Seldom to never can i remember my head being so peculiarly segmented, one side so well aware and able to spectate upon the spluttering chuntering seized up efforts of the other …  The phone was the central concern – a work phone – I’ve lost a work blackberry before now, Ischgl some years ago, on the last day and found that moderately embarrassing, eager not to repeat… found it, mislaid it without moving it, found it again .. arguably not the finest of thinking times but very pleased with how it all worked out..

Damon and I headed back to our hotel leaving a still happily absorbed Daud  to some more life in the ICE bar.  Damon had a locker, so no stuff to hoick about, i had no locker, it would have served me poorly, what with the moving around and skiing different days in different ski areas.  It was not early, it probably hadn’t been early for a while now &  as such the hotel locker room was locked, leaving the smuggling to room maneuver the only available option.  Damon suggested a quick turn around and a heading off for dinner, it was clear this was a most solid idea.

Back in town we returned to yesterdays restaurant of choice, i’m not sure why, i heavily suspect it wasn’t my call and was simply happy to be making strides toward the end goal of eating stuff.. (http://www.sporthotel-manni.com/en/restaurant.html) We filled up, targeting some hefty stuff, for the first time i went for a starter , Goulash soup – with Damon suggesting bread as an accompaniment – it went down well, then potato, a form of hefty old Rösti, with egg, metal platter or greasy … not the meal of choice on most days but it was different and the eyes had fixed their not yet clear gaze upon tomorrow.

Back at our hotel Damon found his phone (doubling up into the role of alarm clocks) was not with him, he was a little perturbed by this and having rifled about confirmed its absence… we should go back, check the restaurant, why not, its only a small town, no more than 10-12 minute walk – no harm… Back out we went..

Today really was quite a good day – a few self created bumps but Damon emerged with his phone, found by the seats where we’d been sitting … and for all that interesting..

Mayrhofen – Ski day 1 (3) – Skiing In Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen Chair Lift Whitens
Mayrhofen Whitens

The group is made up of people with varying degrees of Skiing ability and priority inclinations. For some the none skiing aspects of a ski holiday are key, the coffee stops, the lunching, the bear, the bear and the next bear. For others a relentless need to not spend any time away from the central activity, to stand upon the skis or to ride a lift back to where they might start skiing once more. At one of those extremes is me at the other is Daud. So as the day proceeded the group divided, Charlie and I went off to ski on, to see whether we couldn’t discover some more to what, so far, had been a somewhat limited and ground hog daying experience of discovery, rediscover and rediscover some more.. A level of rediscovering appreciation normally dedicated to their work with pints. We found a new valley complete with its own brightly coloured yellow gondola cabin station, a marker so familiar it caused Charlie to ponder on whether perhaps we had inadvertently found our way back to where we’d started the day. We hadn’t, this was new, it was nice to find new. The new was a black run, the only one in the area that was open then as we’d been told all blacks were currently closed. By now the white from above had thickened and visibility was all but gone, my goggles are shite – each time this sort of thing happens i remember and determine to purchase some new goggles not inherited from an a emergency holiday purchase in ’98 (statement may not be entirely as accurate as abundance of layered detail suggests), then the year happens and such certainty of thought are left to another day. We made it down quite well enough but i was struggling more than i could recall struggling in recent memory, it was not going well, least not in terms of the skiing.

Mayrhofen Penkenbahn Restaurant
Mayrhofen Penkenbahn Restaurant – Bergrast

The group reconvened a couple of hours later, at the end of the day as the lifts set to shutting. We’d just got back after staring forlornly at the key connecting chair lift which we arrived at to find its access gates closed.. Thankfully the whole queuing area was being taken down for the night and a bemused looking attendant was waving people to just shuffle round to embark/get themselves loaded on.. He was chuntering something away most fervently, no idea what it was, this bit of Austria clearly has quite a different sort of a dialect … barley a word in the sounds he was offering us could i make out let alone make an effort at linking it to an established meaning. The bar by the Gondola came to its closing time, it had been most busy collecting to itself it would seem quite a large collection of those looking at the situation and seeing no reason to delay the descent back to town. It was nearing the time of the last Gondola, an advantageous time to leave, in Myrhofen, even in times of greater snow, has no home run and quite the only way would be by foot or by vehicle. We were not quite last but those who had successfully found the bar finished their beverages and we left.

Mayrhofen Ice Bar
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ICE+bar+mayrhofen.htm&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=jrq7VLG8No_VatDJgqAJ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=539

Snow continued to fall lightly and must have spread its way down into the town as a little bit of winter reached out into the town. Once there i headed off after an ATM, leaving my assorted clobber with the others. Milton and Daud deposited their skis in the first and most obvious of sports equipment shops, which during the course of the day they’d concluded were in need of a service. Beside the Penkenbahn stands the ICE bar, largely unnoticed in the morning, largely tricky to continue to go unnoticed around ski lift closing time, lights and people, quite a number of people inside and as i returned, quite a number of people outside, looking to head in. I think they’d been in already, the present members of the collective, but on my return i found most of them loitering outside. Not Daud, he remained within its smoking, illuminated, jostling belly, apparently seeking use of the facilities, while the others updated me on that which I’d missed. It was loud, congesting and generally not entirely what some among our number were presently seeking, it wouldn’t normally be for me either but when it comes to ski holidays the rules of my mind somehow come to realign themselves in some small ways… in way of example – lively and loud gains tolerance, befitting of a days end – sleeping in becomes thoroughly undesirable while early rises gain a type of support reserved at home for those days when Heathrow & a most early flight beckons. The vote seemed in and the determined outward standing about re-inforced it, we wouldn’t be going here, i confess i was fussed neither this way nor that, though Daud had that moderately sad & disappointed air about him that came with being separated from the tantalising promise of alcohol, people dancing high upon tables and something he’d already set his mind so much to that he’d all but touched it and caught the smell of it within his nostrils. Nothing like powers of recovery though as he bounced back and disappeared, Charlie in tow, while the rest of us momentarily turned our back to re-gather up our deposited things.

It took some phone call rebukes before the impromptu & unexpected breakaway scouting faction could be railed in, located & reintegrated.

They were some ways down the round at the very antithesis of the ICE bar, a highly sedate bar of apparently Italian inclination were we could sit restfully outside undisturbed by any other patrons. No doubt here we could here each other talk & we could sit, those important strength it had certainly cornered.

After a quiet drink we collected our things and headed on seeking out that third and middle way, a place touched by society but not beleaguered by its rampant onslaught.

Daud & Charlie somehow managed to disappear once more & though we caught sight of where they appeared to go there was most assuredly no sign of them in their when we also got to arriving. It was inside and my glasses had quite fogged up so verification from another was sought. They were not there.
We were about to leave perplexed and moderately beleaguered by this second successful vanishing act. As we made to leave a lift pinged and open, it had some sort of rail through it middle and was quite filled with assorted ill defined things, from before the crud and bar the other two emerged having apparently now spent quite the few minutes caught within.

It was quiet again and very much of the modern ilk readily available thought out most UK cities, I felt no particular need to be here, pleasant enough as it was you can perhaps have things too familiar.  Daud was researching, limitless roaming data, a love of beer and a dedication to the cause of not going back to the hotel & taking as many people down with him as possible, these were the familiar matters at play. I finally opted to remove the boots, it does provide a not entirely idea addition to the things to carry but it freeze the feet and that on balance seemed better, the boots were none to ready to relinquish.

Ski Boots On Feet
Head Boots Still In Place & Their Captured Feet
Dinner -Not Quite Next Door.  Not friendly by high Austrian standards, moderation portions & average quality levels
Dinner -Not Quite Next Door. Not friendly by high Austrian standards, moderation portions & average quality levels

The previous nights dinner was broadly considered the superior and i would probably concur having once again ordered Schnitzel Und pommes frites – somehow it seemed about right once more, most unusual to do such repeating.. Having trotted in, all in full mountain clobber we were not expecting to gain access, so it was as we left, having always found ourselves to be questionably welcome, an arm looking to wrangle its way back into jacket found both a jacket and a wine glass….Thank you and goodnight …

At this point the fatigue of Charlie had taken hold and he broke ranks.. While Daud had locked onto his internet research and had something specific in mind – http://www.brueckenstadl.at …. apparently it was close to the ski lift, back up into the town and a little bit beyond … i was not without sleepy and was the only one with skis still in tow, the walk was by this point not entirely welcome.

My skis were quite lonely outside the Brueckenstadl bar. A conveniently located set of seats were available close to the entrance so we collected ourselves around that. The music and its lyrics has a certain way about it largely, a familiar and heavy beat and lyrics such as they aren’t, yet the people enjoy it and in a way that far exceeds what can be appreciated when out and about in the UK, people though mostly younger, of assorted ages, bounding about enthusiastically with few breaks from largely familiar moves, little preening just a while lot of people, drinking quite a bit and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Its rather nice.

Then the music changed, all of a sudden some beach boys stylings music and with it the dance move altered, knees waving and legs shaking in full 50s dance mode, most unexpected. Tignes is and will probably always remain one of my favourite Ski resorts and its very possible to overstate the case for the bars of Mayrhofen but objectively they had these things going for them: they existed, they were open, they had people in them and all of these thing could be found prior to the Witching hour of 11pm.. Hurray for a return to Austria, it may be that the skiing wont be a Tignes or even anything close but there is life after piste closure, it takes a super abundance of energy to be going out into the wee small hours and ski the next day …. no thank you most kindly. For a reason most unapparent a person from the table opposite appeared, pint glass outstretched, glass clinking and clonking time…..
This would be it for our evening, when our time here came to an end it was surely time to be taking ourselves back to our resting places.

BOXING DAY 2014 – OMISSION BIAS – & 2015 QUESTIONS 2

With all the unfettered chuntering of previously contribution there was a question and direction I think – though I’m not sure I know what it was. Perhaps if I do come back to read this some future day, a capsule from the past like the video watched this evening perhaps …

Yesterday I went to see my grandmother I was not alone and never am on such visits. She had dimensia of some sort and it’s taken it’s hold of her over the last ten or more years .. This is I’m led to understand a long slow burning example of such a condition .. i know not having never looked into it.

Going up there to the home / hospital my grandfather had told me of a man who spends his days in the smoking room, he sits and plays around with 5 or so lacks of cigarets & presumably smokes .. He told me about him and that he was up until only a few years ago a pilot for Swiss on their transatlantic route. I heard this but thought little of it other than it was quite a change to befall a person non shorter time. On arrival sure enough there was a man sat in the smoking room cigarette boxes lines up on the table before him.

At first when I would go up there and for many years I was fortunate, mostly I seemed to get good days, she knew who i was and while far from conversationally adept, she would sort of smile, say the odd thing and be happy to see people. She was sad to be up there and so leaving was always uncomfortable but within limits.  More so when she was brought home and seemed to know when other things were lost to her that time was finite and she would be going again.. Now physical accidents, brittle bones, stronger drugs and the disease itself have changed things, she is either in bed or placed into a chair, barely speaks and seems uncertain where who and what things are about.. But not entirely, occasional flickers still splutter up from somewhere, I’m more the audience member, there with whomever else has gone, little call for exiting my observation posting and somehow it’s barely the person who used to be in any real way. I rather hope it isn’t – these places are awful, this is switzerland, the building are nice, well kept, the rooms highly sanitary and the ward well staffed but it’s not life, it’s a prison, a tedious, odd smelling prison without any security, it doesn’t need it, they’re all prisoners of their own incapacities, unable by and large to escape, or too confused to make good on it, even if their initial faculties & person rendered an attempt possible, if ill advised.

It’s a none life – before she could walk and there were days when some more of the person would break free from their prison and appear on a look, a jesture and to decreasing extents in words – no more .. Though among the confusion and none sentence offering came this to the apparently rhetorical question – do you remember any English … Bisschen – thought to be a random response at first along with the other incoherent words lumped together in strings of no meaning (which is a good day I’m led to believe) – can you say something in English? She’s asked

there is a pause and things seem to move on

– yes – the English yes not the German .. She smiles at us, presumably a response to our surprised smiles .. That was unexpected.  It begs a familiar question, how much of the person that used to be, is now trapped in there? Hopefully, I think again – not too much

Many years ago, also over Christmas I was invited round to a good friends – during that visit, they forgot something and having a car while they did not I headed to collect it. Bringing it to the home / hospital where their grandmother was staying. I remember it reasonably well, she seemed quite a strong willed old lady though small and frail and in the end she was taken back to her room. It’s was obscure & uncertain for me, I didn’t know quite what I was doing there or what I ought to do, so steered into the gap between polite as possible and distantly observant. I was stood toward the back of the room by this point removing myself so much as was possible from events while those who were left were clearly emotional about things. It was uncomfortable, not that this was of any consequence and I know not now a this time later if such a reaction was poor, ok, correct or what or how it would be done better.. Was not that useful in such matters.

Perhaps this instance, though it sticks in my mind is not really noteworthy but it highlights that what was true then is basically true now… Just as it had been true before.

Before that then – my orger grandfather was in hospital.  Having travelled to Glasgow, on the second of third day I remember not, he awoke. The room had many people in it, my father his brother and others .. He was. Straight talking often offensive more often funny man who’d struggled with the death of his wife. He was possibly not as he hoped himself to be or as he hoped to be seen and such things were too much for him. He woke and drew me close, I don’t remember how or why only that he asked that we go or that I go. I took no offence, said ok and did as I was asked. I was there, I had generally abstractly perhaps though i would be saying goodbye, so it proved to be, I see now as I seemed to then in nothing wrong in simply obliging his request.  One size though seldom to never fits all.

I returned to Glasgow not long after for his funeral – I don’t remember much of it – I remember my grans for the unusually raw state in which this usually proud and gruffish man now barley stood. I observed, distant and a row or so back.

This had been a quick year – there is upon us all a requirement to exist in the moments afforded to us to the most that the opportunities afforded us allow. This evening an old video ran from summer holidays in the mountains & one in Cornwall and there was the past, familiar faces not so very different for many of us but not for all.

We are bound to ourselves and the way we are – New Years are nothing more than another day of sand falling gradually.. But occasionally it does to reflect, am I paying enough heed to today in my predilection to concern myself with what could be tomorrow, was I enough there when spending all that time filing 20 odd yeas ago, those days when I couldn’t realise how unusual and fortunate much of my life was – am I doing the same now writing these notes to myself about future and past matters rather than appreciating what remains in this today …

New Years – compounded by uncertainties in careers or life – doesn’t do wonders for inherent introspection .. Observing too much? Not taking sufficient care of the day in doing jobs that take up so much life but that relate in only minimal ways to anything that I could conscrue as either interesting or good use of what time we have. The most fun is in the interesting, in the new and in the striving to be that better person making better decisions – nothing that is worthwhile is easy apparently but despite what initial discomforting shock it might bring a visit by three most well informed and directionally certain ghosts being heralded might not have gone amiss ..carrot by the fireplace to encourage forth a visits from the undead dead or whatever ghosts are .. The unquiet dead .. The informed & opinionated dead

Questions … & 2015 .. Antworten

Skiing in 2015

After a year of bowing that I was to abstain from the group ski holidays in 2015, a line diligently and resolutely maintained … I succumbed at the last.

The organiser & chief of such trips, a civil service lawyer-persistent, duplicitous, devious, smart and in no small way a bit of an unusual character had turned me round..

Welcome the affirmation that that happens – question if it was sound judgement…

Not least, I’m told (and I myself suspect) it’s a dangerous president to be allowing to be set. This is after all the same chap I have observed observing his acquaintances as they squabble over a scenario entirely ( & one can only suspect quite deliberately) of his making…

Still there’s something about this one that’s hard not to respect .. Very bright .. To trust would be foolhardy but .. Well he’s more like a bored mind seeking entertainment (and one must not allow oneself to become a subject) .. The intent seems little more than that.. I think in this areana & probably others, he holds no small advantage over me – I may be inclined to study but lack the will or means for practical experimentations .. It’s not a forum for me to stand toe to toe in … While I am a naturalist studying behaviours in their habitat – he is a scientist setting environments to elicit behaviours .. But I like him, his bored mind and thoughtful intellect along with, at times, something amusingly and kindly human, they intrigue me.. It’s interesting

Anyway he got me, this man with many names (depending on how and when you came to know him) .. After all the cost was low and my primary objection had been there were better way to spend the money when the holidays in recent years had not been great. What do you do when a lawyer takes away the central pillar of your argument ..

But now work is wearisome as I may have mentioned, the holiday is actually not expensive and judging by the losses my employer sustained this year, work at any rate may soon be coming to a premature end.. When compared to sitting at home, commuting to work and waiting for an axe to fall a trip to Austria away from all this sounds pretty good.. Why not?

Staying at home and working has one thing and little more to recommend it – fund raising … Though I mean no ill to staying at home in that ..
To think I used to really like working – I was told it was odd at the time – guess that was right ..

Apparently though there is no snow – switzerland used to be white in the low lying farm villages where I first failed to ski .. Vast thick cold snow – no more – it’s not so long ago it really isn’t … Now one must seek it out and hunt it high