06 January 2009

Even Serpents Shine

I can work quite effectively like this, away on holiday, picking up emails at a public hot-spot twice a day and preparing my replies in between.  Why bother with an office?

This morning I went to the Office de Tourisme to log on, and asked the young lady behind the desk in my best French what the opening hours are.  (The wi-fi connection works outside office hours, I know, but I prefer not to work in the street when the temperature is several degrees below.)  She told me, in English.  I explained that I wanted to speak French: she countered by telling me she needed to practice her English.  (Not as much as I need to practice my French!)

Being Courchevel, there is more opportunity to speak Russian than French anyway.  Today was the Russian Christmas Eve, and we attended an event to mark it with a Russian choir, Father Christmas on a horse-drawn sleigh, and all the Ecole de Ski Français moniteurs from the three Courcheval resorts and a few others snaking down two pistes carrying flaming torches.  A rather inebriated Frenchman who rose to the challenge of communicating with me in his language told me there were 1500 of them, which didn't seem much of an exaggeration.  Spectacular, it certainly was.

As for skiing, I took a half-day break yesterday but skiied today morning and afternoon - with the result that I fell asleep as soon as I returned to the apartment this evening and had some difficulty getting to the Russian Christmas festivities.  Yesterday I worried that I would cause too much damage to my knees, but today I do at least seem to have identified the technique problem that was causing the trouble.  It's a long way from being rectified, but knowing what I am doing wrong is an essential first step to stopping doing it.  So I have progressed from simple greens to blues by now, and developed enough confidence to imagine I might go further.

No comments: