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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Been Skiing

Sorry it's been so long, I have been skiing for a week in Austria - had to include a photo of my skis because they look like Chanel ones - obviously they are not, they are Atomic Cloud Nines but they had Chanel quilting on and the italic handwriting looks as if it says Chanel. I rented the skis but otherwise I've got all the kit, I look as if I should be very good, but once I am on the slopes it is a different matter, my turns look like a circus clown with oversized feet.

The scenery is amazing, and it is not at all cold - even at minus 16 under all those layers, putting so much effort in to stay upright I was burning more calories than Pamela Stephenson on Strictly - seriously a week skiing is the only holiday I have had where I can eat and drink as much as I like without gaining an ounce. I am by turns petrified (I hate heights, speed and steep hills) and exhilarated, the air is like breathing in champagne, it literally sparkles when the sun shines. I am waxing lyrical about this holiday because last year was my first attempt at skiing and it was in a very rainy Switzerland, I loved every minute inspite of the weather and the long trek to the lifts, and this year with amazing weather and snow conditions, and a ski in ski out hotel was an absolute dream, I am hooked and hoping to return soon.
A must for any ski holiday (for someone of my years anyway) is a spa where you can ease the aching muscles - in most of Europe this involves nudity - you have to look at them but you have the option to drape a towel over yourself to stop them looking at you - it passes the time anyway whilst you melt away the pain - comparing wurst sizes and checking for pygmies in bushes bigger than Africa!!!!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Fawlty Towers Reigns

It was our 31st wedding anniversary on the 29th of December, and the lovely man secretly arranged a romantic night away for us - fairly local because of the recent blizzard conditions in most areas of the country. It was in a lovely new hotel which I am not going to mention by name because although some aspects were very "Fawlty Towers" the actual experience was lovely in the end.

We arrived at around 11 am and attempted to drive into the car park, to find that a woman (cliche I know but why is it always a woman?) in a white sports car was leaving through the one way entrance system - required a spot of tricky manoeuvring by all concerned. Once we were in the car park it was evident why said female had difficulties leaving - bit of a maze and lacking in any signage.

We got to reception and were told our room was ready - very impressed since check-in was supposed to be 2 pm. We traipsed up to the room, overheating rapidly as we were still in our coats and wrapped up for the minus 3 temperature outside, to find that the room had not been touched, other than the bed stripped. Receptionist was very apologetic - the computer said "No", so we left our luggage and went out for a glass of champagne and some lunch.

Three hours later, we returned, our room was now ready and our luggage had been delivered there (or so we were told) - in fact the room was exactly as we left it and no luggage in evidence! Reception were now puzzled - how could this have happened? I mentioned Wedding Anniversary twice in the hope of an upgrade (not possible - the lovely man had tried to book a suite but the mid-range we had booked was all that was available). The receptionist solved the problem, we were moved into the room immediately above our alloted one - it was beautiful, huge plate glass window along one wall and the whole of one bathroom wall overlooking the local race course, and a fabulous bouquet of flowers waiting for us! Only snag is that the flowers were for someone named Heatherstone - I phoned reception - honest I know, but our luggage was still missing - they admitted their mistake again and offered a bottle of wine to make up for their shortcomings - we accepted.

Some time later, the flowers disappeared, the luggage appeared and the young male receptionist said unfortunately he had dropped our bottle of red wine and it had broken! Can you see why I am thinking "Fawlty Towers" at this point. We agree to take our wine with dinner in the famous chef's restaurant that evening, although I now really doubt the ability of the kitchen to produce anything edible. An hour or so later, whilst we are having a quick snooze, the hotel manager phones to apologise profusely - she is on her day off but has been told about the disastrous impression we might be gaining of her sparkly new hotel.

In fact the cocktail bar was lovely, the food and service were perfect, the room was really comfortable and we had a fantastic night.

The next morning as we checked out, the same male receptionist was on the desk - the desk was very cleverly designed from glass and marble so that you could see the beautiful limestone floor beneath it - now artfully stained with the contents of a bottle of red wine - flipping heck I think the receptionist had a worse day than ours!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy 2011

Yorkshire Fish and Chips - the perfect hangover cure.

At last a quick chance to sit down and type for a moment or two - but not for long because going to a dinner party across the road at 7.30 - benefit I don't need to cook tea, downside - more booze!

I hope you all had a perfect Christmas, ours was wonderful, all the problems that might have occurred because of the very cold and very snowy weather thankfully did not - so the lovely man's parents joined us, I managed with the help of a neighbour's 4x4 to pick up the Christmas ham and pork from Narnia (otherwise known as Glanrafon in Tremeirchion), and we had no power cuts or pipes burst. The week prior to Christmas we did the Santa run to Yorkshire where our families are, and went to a family party too - the party was fantastic (celebrating 7 years since the kidney swap and a big birthday coming up), we got back to our hotel at 3 am and had full English breakfast the next morning followed by Yorkshire Fish & Chips for lunch (absolutely the best hangover cure).
We all had a lovely Christmas day, my lovely man excelled himself again on the gift front, as did my children and family - I can tick off most of the letter to Santa list!
I have lots of New Year's resolutions, main one is not to gain back the kilos lost in the pre-wedding/Christmas blitz! Anyone out there got any inspiring resolutions?