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Monday 25th January 2016


Oh it’s still going. Shit.

Two years ago we went skiing with some non-risk-averse mad people (and I say that in a good way) and I had a nice and fun time. Apart from when I was skiing, which admittedly was a lot of the time and the point of being there. But I liked the sitting in outside jacuzzis and eating stuff covered in cheese (and being allowed to because of all the calories I’d burned hobbling around in boots that crushed my feet) and the company was a lot of fun. I am pretty sure I’d never go skiing again, but my wife likes it and some Austrians said they thought they could show me how much fun skiing really is. So, with my work completed just in time, we’re taking four days off to go and fall over in the mountains and prove me right that skiing is rubbish.

And it’s our first proper holiday as a family. Phoebe came with us to Amsterdam, but that was a working break as I had gigs and we’ve been to visit friends in the UK, but she’s been too young to appreciate much of this and as she fast approaches her first birthday I think she’ll get a bit more out of this.

Because even on a three night break, when you have a baby you have so much stuff, it made sense to drive to Gatwick and park there (it was significantly cheaper and more convenient than taxis). It was an early start, but somehow we got everything into the car without a cross word (or maybe there were some, but we were too tired to remember). Even though we now wake early (and annoyingly I was up at 4am, even though Phoebe didn’t wake til 7), I am always amazed to go outside and see the thousands of people who are out and about at this ludicrous hour. Being self-employed sometimes sucks, but rarely having to be part of this dawn chorus of insanity makes it all worthwhile.

And once we were through the awful Hammersmith traffic, everything else was easy. The parking was just a matter of handing the keys to a woman (who didn’t look that delighted to be working so early) and then we were straight into the airport. And another rare benefit of having a baby is priority at airports, so we more or less skipped the queues and went through security in the same casual manner. Again, dubious whether these bonuses pay off, but nice to get something out of failing to do sex properly. 

The flight also passed well, with Phoebe laughing in the face of anyone who looked at her and we flew over mountains, which looked amazing, but reminded me of the recurring dream I have of being on a plane that fails to get high enough - it rarely crashes, just ends up flying through motorway bridges and brushing mountain peaks. Every time I think, “This is just like that dream I always have”. So I guess if it ever really happens then I am going to assume that for once it’s just a fantasy. Hopefully I won’t get to experience it.

Innsbruck airport is stunning though, surrounded by the mountains that I fear and the drive to Oberlech where we are skiing was similarly impressive. It’s utterly beautiful here, though we were already exhausted by the time we arrived and picked up our ski gear. The man fitting the boots seemed to know what he was doing, so I  was hoping I wasn’t going to have my feet squashed to the point of torture this time. But no skiing tonight. Amazing views from our hotel and incredible food served by Austrian women dressed in traditional costumes. But just awesome to be on holiday with my family and for neither Catie or me to have anything that needs doing imminently and though Phoebe didn’t sleep in the restaurant she behaved well and charmed everyone as usual. I am cautiously looking forward to having another go on the slopes tomorrow. Though hopefully it will all go wrong so I can get some good  blogs out of it.

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