Tasting snow

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Face down in the white, skis at odds, snowflakes up my left nostril, I practiced mindfulness and observed silence.

The silence of the mountains.

The silence of a metre of fresh snow.

The silence of The Instructor, a relentlessly positive man, finally lost for words.

Clarity came at last.

Skiing is suicide and I am not ready to die. Continue reading

Surprising Switzerland

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“Why the bloody hell do they build these monstrosities?” the cross English woman shouted at her terrified little husband. “Why? It’s just so bloody awful!”

She was glaring at a sparkling new adventure playground in the final stages of construction high up the side of a Swiss mountain.

The husband nodded sadly and watched his wife pull her hat down over her ears, stretch her waistband high up under her bosom and storm off to start the bloody nature walk she had bloody come here for.

Meanwhile the five of us, absentmindedly wiping her spittle from our faces, were spellbound.

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The truth about travelling with kids

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Every now and then travellers are rewarded with a moment of sublime timing.

Ours came at the end of a lovely day exploring The Camargue wildlife reserve, spotting flamingoes, wild horses, beavers and thousands of water birds. We were planning to top off the day with a late afternoon ice cream at a sleepy seaside village nearby.

But Saintes Maries de la Mer was not asleep.

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Ditched

The quality of this photo is a reflection of the pain being suffered by the photographer

The quality of this photo reflects the mental state of the photographer

“Opp.”

That’s the soft little exclamation many French people make at those unexpected wee moments in life.

A coin slips from your grip. you spill a little wine, you crash your car into the ditch…

Opp.

That was the sound of Sabbatical Man’s perfect driving record evaporating in one teeth-suckingly embarrassing moment when our leased car nudged, teetered, then hurtled off the road, scraping, banging and crashing its way along a steep trench.

Yes, the very road referred to in an earlier blog.

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