Pink Jobs vs Blue Jobs

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As I stood this morning, monkey wrench in hand, taking apart the boot of my car to gain access to the battery, I began to think about the distribution of  the jobs in our household.  It has always been a fairly traditional setup with Husband going out to bring home the bacon and me staying at home with the children, but over the years I have noticed a certain mission creep in terms of the jobs I am doing around the house.  We have always jokingly called them pink jobs and blue jobs.  For instance, taking out the rubbish has always been a blue job and chauffeuring children to parties has been a pink job and that has always worked fine.  But lately things seem to be getting a bit mixed up.

Only a couple of days ago, I found myself at the local building supply yard buying cement, sand and discussing how many bricks we were likely to need for a job we are having done in the garden. Husband meanwhile was busy at his pilates class.  Admittedly it is a special class for triathlon training but you see my point?

I am now the person who knows how the central heating works, and how to restart the boiler,  how to programme the various electrical devices such as smart TVs, the garden irrigation system and how the pool pump works, I even do the basic car maintenance.  On the other side of the equation, Husband is much more sensitive to general order and tidiness around the house while I am much more laissez faire, probably because I am either under the bonnet of a car or wrestling with a deviant sprinkler.  He is a whizz at booking flights and making travel arrangements while I would leave everything till the last minute and it would all cost twice as much if it was left up to me.  He is also always happy to walk our extremely energetic dog.  It really doesn´t make a huge difference who does what, but it did occur to me that if I dropped off the face of the earth, life at home could become a little difficult for Husband.

After years of trial and error, not to mention dealing with droves of extremely sexist Spanish builders and repair men, I can now hold my own in discussions relating to the relative efficiency of condensing boilers versus heat exchange pumps and such gems as how often to change the sand in the pool filter.  The only thing I have flatly refused to get involved with is the use of the chainsaw.  I now have years worth of accumulated knowledge of how to keep all the various pieces of machinery in our lives running smoothly.  Where and when to kick them, how to dismantle and try to fix them and when to give up and call a technician from the endless list on my phone.

I suspect that if I was not around, most of the appliances would go on strike as they are used to being gently coaxed to work on a regular basis with each machine requiring a slightly different approach, not to mention the enormous numbers of different products they all need, from specialist hoover bags to ph reducing agent.  It probably makes sense for me to start compiling some form of house crib sheet incase I am away and the automatic gate won’t open or the lawnmower overheats.  Actually I should write a book with chapters, detailed diagrams and encouraging text.  That way, if I go on a week long silent retreat or stressbusting yoga holiday, I won’t return to a post apocalyptic scene with Husband surrounded by piles of smoking machinery.  But even if I do, I know the house will be spotless, the summer and Christmas holidays will be planned and booked and the dog will have been walked off his feet.




Fear of Needles

This morning as I paid our deposit on our summer holiday I realised that it was time to check up on the family’s travel vaccinations and see whether we need any top ups or new ones.  Getting injections is nobody’s idea of fun but I have to say that as a family we are particularly pathetic about it.  Husband blames it on me as he says that the “cowardice in the face of needles” gene comes from my side of the family and I am afraid he is probably right.

Apart from falling off a chair once during a blood test (I didn’t actually pass out), I am fairly stoic about being injected.  Although I have to admit that while I sit, waiting to be called in, the urge to bolt can be almost overwhelming.  I imagine myself saying, ” I am so sorry, I think I left the bath running. I will be back in a few minutes,” and then hightailing it out of there, never to return.

My brother and sister on the other hand, are fainters.  They  have both passed out during or after their vaccinations on numerous occasions.  Every time my long suffering mother would warn  the doctor or nurse that they would probably faint, the response would be “Nonsense, they will be fine!”.  This would be followed by silence as the jab was given and then a thud or a crash as one or other of them would hit the ground or a trolley full of medical equipment.  Once my sister passed out on top of my mother (who is only 5′ 1″) after removing her newly pierced earrings and nearly swashed her like a bug.  So I suppose it was to be expected when my own  little darlings were less than brave when injection time came around.

When Teenage Daughter was about eight, she needed a blood test and I decided to take her to the doctor first thing in the morning with her brother, foolishly thinking that I could drop them at school straight afterwards.  We were the first to arrive and as we went in to the “extraction room” my heart sank.  Instead of the usual smiling nurse there was a very grim faced woman setting up her things.   Surely the sensible thing to do with a nervous child is to talk to them and hide the enormous needle and syringe you are setting up?  But no, this sadist waved the injection around in front of Small Daughter who had begun edging towards the door.  Suddenly, with no warning the nurse grabbed her arm and began hitting it, obviously trying to raise a vein.  Daughter squeaked and tried to pull her arm away, to no avail.  The nurse swiftly inserted the needle while Daughter began to shriek like a tea kettle.  Small Son looked on in horror and after putting his hands over his ears, ran out of the room into the waiting room full of people shouting “no, no, noooo..”.

The blood letting seemed to go on forever but after what was probably only a minute, the nurse finally took out the needle.  Daughter kept on roaring and as we passed back through the group of people waiting their turn, I could see a desperate father trying to stop his own son from running off after hearing the sounds of horror coming from the extraction room. As we left, the receptionist suggested that I ring ahead next time so that they could arrange for us to have the bloodtest/injection in a  room further away from the waiting room so we wouldn’t upset the other patients.  After that, instead of taking the children straight into school, I took them  for an extended hot chocolate and croissant stop, to calm all our nerves.

Ever since then, any form of injection is a major drama with the need for bribes or threats to get either child to the doctor’s surgery.  Things are a bit easier now they are both at boarding school because if they need a vaccination, they are whisked off to the “San” with their friends for support (much more effective than Mother) and I just get the recriminations, moans about painful arms and gruesome details on Skype.

I have to admit that I was pleased when one of my friends complained over coffee that two out of three of her brood had passed out at their last vaccination and she had been forced to hang around the doctor’s surgery with them for over an hour to make sure it wasn’t an adverse reaction, while trying to explain to the nurses that this was a fairly normal occurrence.

It is nice to know we are not alone in our fear of needles and I live in hope that Teenage Daughter and Son will grow out of it, but  I suspect that is wishful thinking as I am still waiting to grow out of it myself.















The Moulting


Mustard our prize double-yolker laying hen is moulting.  The household has been thrown into gloom as that means our daily three or four eggs will drop to two or three if we are lucky.

We are relatively new to keeping chickens and last year, when our skittish white spanish hen Bustle suddenly lost most of her feathers, stopped laying and looked like she needed a month at an expensive spa, we thought that her days were numbered.  Luckily after some swift research on Google, we realised that she wasn´t suffering from some appalling chicken ailment  but was just updating her look with a new and pristine set of feathers.  The whole painful episode is called Moulting and is the chicken equivalent to having a really bad hair day for about two months.

It starts with the sudden appearance of a lot of feathers strewn around the chicken coop.  At first we thought the other ¨ladies¨ had been picking on her, which had happened a year earlier when she had been the new girl in the coop.  We had been told that it was important to introduce a new chicken to a flock at night when the rest of the ¨ladies¨were fast asleep.  That way when they awoke in the morning they would think that the new girl had been there all along.  I was highly sceptical of this plan because our other hens are brown and Bustle is a luminous white.  She wasn´t exactly going to blend in.

Nevertheless, Teenage Son and I crept out when it was pitch black carrying Bustle in our cat carrier and sneaked up to the hencoop.  The other three hens were fast asleep balancing on the perches so we carefully opened the cat carrier door and tried to extract Bustle and put her on a perch.  She had been gently dozing and when she was rudely awakened by a large hand trying to drag her out of her bedroom, she began to squawk and cling on to the edges of the carrier door.  Teenage Son and I had been whispering quietly so as not to wake the other hens but that quickly became impossible as we wrestled with an outraged hen that refused to be rehomed.  Meanwhile the other hens were starting to stir and as Teenage Son whispered desperately ¨she won´t let go!¨ I said ¨just gently but firmly pull her out and shove her in the coop¨.  There was a moments silence as he pulled against the straining hen who was clinging onto the edge of the door and then her grip slipped and he pushed her into the coop.  All hell broke loose.

Bustle flapped and squawked wildly and promptly knocked the other chickens off their perches. Convinced that the local fox was paying them a visit, they became hysterical and flew around the coop in panic. “That went well” said Teenage Son as the flapping and shrieking continued and we ran back to the house bent double with laughter. After her awkward introduction, poor Bustle had to put up with being at the bottom of the pecking order (the saying really does come from chickens) and her plumage suffered for a couple of weeks as every time she offended her flock mates they would mercilessly pull out some feathers which would blow around the coop.

Moulting, on the other hand, involves the loss of nearly all the feathers until the chicken looks like it has escaped from someone´s oven.  At one point, Bustle had no tail at all apart from a small pink nub.  As well as the indignity of losing their feathers, a chicken in moult stops laying eggs.  This can go on for months and with Bustle the egg yield suffered to the point where Husband would mutter darkly about putting the unfortunate hen in the stew pot.  Luckily just when I began to consider buying another hen to provide enough eggs for breakfast and to keep up with Teenage  Daughter´s prolific baking, Bustle surprised everyone by producing a beautiful pearly white egg to match her new feathers.

After all this drama, things returned to normal until yesterday when I noticed some brown feathers in the coop and Mustard looking distinctly dishevelled.  I wish a quick visit to a chicken beautician would sort her out but I´m afraid we must expect fewer eggs for breakfast until her Great Reveal some time in mid April when she will be transformed back to an object of beauty and hopefully begin laying her trademark double yolkers again.





The Giggles

How often do you have a really good laugh?   One of those laughs that starts deep in your belly and forces its way out, regardless of where you are or who you are with.  One of those laughs over which you have absolutely no control, either to stop or even laugh quietly.  Any attempt to dam this kind of laugh normally ends in explosive snorting noises which of course only makes you laugh more.

This happened recently to me while having a rather grownup and civilised meal in a restaurant in France.  I was showing some family members a few photos of a christening when one of the group  suddenly pointed to the picture and said   ¨OMG!!  Mother´s bloomers are falling down!¨ We all craned forward to see, and unfortunately, due to weird trick of the light and a flesh coloured skirt,  it looked exactly as if Granny´s knickers were indeed on their way down. (see below)

IMG_0219 (this is not photoshopped)

That was it, I started to chuckle and shake and then laugh harder and harder.  Pretty soon, tears were pouring down my face and while everyone else had a good laugh and moved on to other things, I continued snorting and spluttering through the Salade Montanarde and into my wine glass.  Every time I managed to calm down, I would think of the picture and the whole thing would start over again.  Luckily everyone at the table found it funny enough to put up with my intermittent giggling and eye-wiping and I eventually managed to gain some control.

There is something about laughing like that, that leaves you feeling wonderful and lightheaded and puts you in a tremendously good mood.  Even remembering it brings a huge smile to my face.  Apparently, laughing is very good for you, it raises your heart rate, releases tension and even burns extra calories.  I might suggest it to my personal trainer, instead of some of the more unpleasant exercises he gives me.

On the flip side, it can be fairly uncomfortable being with someone who has the giggles and you either don´t see the joke or don´t know what they are laughing about.  This has happened to Husband on a couple of occasions when we have been on a flight and I have started laughing at a book I have been reading.  The need to keep quiet has made the whole thing worse and I have ended up snorting and hiccuping with tears pouring down my face while he has looked on aghast and tried to help by handing me tissues.  I suspect that we are hard wired to find any form of loss of control uncomfortable viewing, whether it is crying, shouting or even unstoppable laughter.  People seem to look away whether out of embarrassment or to give the person crying/shouting or giggling manically some privacy.

I can still remember most of the occasions when I have got the giggles and generally what has started me off roaring with laughter, can still make me titter today.  Sitting on a chairlift with a friend who insisted that one of her colleagues was called Hugh Janus (say it quickly to yourself) and my subsequent inability to stop laughing for two days.  Or the time someone broke wind loudly in a extremely serious school assembly.  These are all memories which can bring a smile to my face and even make me laugh out loud years later.

So I am going to treasure the picture of the christening and take a quick look at it every so often to keep my blood pressure down and fool myself that I am burning calories as I chuckle.








New additions to the Zoo?



Heavy lobbying has started from Teenage Son to add to the household.  “Bees”, he declared recently on a trip home, “we ought to get some bees”.

We already have a dog, three cats, four chickens and a couple of turtles.  I have always been a sucker for taking in waifs and strays and if anyone finds an abandoned animal (which happens all too often) I am first on everyone’s list to call.   Someone even chucked a three legged hamster over our garden hedge, probably thinking I would take it in (I did).  I finally realised things were getting out of hand when the Environment Agency called and told me that I had 6 microchipped dogs and cats, instead of the legal maximum of five and would therefore need to register myself as a small zoological garden (I know, it’s completely crazy but the spanish are a bit neurotic about domestic pets).   Luckily I realised that one of my elderly cats had died a couple of months before and her microchip had not been cancelled so I was able to wriggle out of that crisis.

Our turtles live in our pond all year round come sun or ice.  In summer they can often be seen basking on the rocks with the frogs.  We started with one which had been purchased as a pet when the children were small.  One day Daughter decided that “Turtley” should be set free and lobbed him into the pond.  I tried fruitlessly to catch him but  he was perfectly content hanging out with the fish and  hiding under the weed and so I left him to it.  Shortly afterwards, a mother from school turned up unannounced, clutching a small box with another turtle inside. She had heard about The Great Turtle Escape at school and after greeting me, she showed her two small sons the pond.  “Jaime will spend the summer here while we are on holiday” she said to them, and before I could stop her she had liberated Jaime.  “You probably won’t be able to get him back”,  I whispered doubtfully to her.  “I know” she whispered back smiling, “that is the whole idea!”.

The chickens (again a suggestion from Teenage Son) have been a huge success and we love collecting the fresh eggs every morning and seeing them scratching around the garden.  But  the flip side of keeping and caring for all theses creatures is that I seem to spend all my time sitting in the vet’s waiting room (he is heading for early retirement on our pet’s ailments alone)  or buying and carrying enormous bags of  feed for all the different species.  Bearing that in mind, I have to admit that the idea of keeping bees is very appealing.  No feeding or vet visits, in fact minimal effort.   I can just see myself dressed in white with a broad brimmed, netted hat, clutching a smoke puffer.   And to make the idea even more appetising, Teenage Daughter is taking a beekeeping course at school and has already brought home some outrageously delicious honey.

There are a couple of hurdles to overcome.  All our neighbours fumigate their gardens to kill greenfly and other perceived garden pests  annually.  Unfortunately this exterminates all the good bugs as well.  I am worried that this could conceivably wipe out our hive so I may have to install locking doors to shut our bees in on fumigation day.  It is also quite likely that I will  need to take out an insurance policy for civil liability incase the colony decides to up sticks and relocate to my least tolerant neighbour’s attic space.  That said, the draw of having our own honey and  the thought of helping the dwindling bee population makes it a very exciting idea.  I will start reading Beekeeping for Dummies forthwith.


photo credit: <a href=””>net_efekt</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

Everyone is looking!


Yesterday I was sitting on the train on my way into London, reading the paper and  looking forward to eating at my favourite Indian restaurant, when all thoughts of food were wiped from my mind.  Two rows down was a man with his index finger so far up his nose it must have been tickling the back of his skull.  He began to rummage around and then triumphantly produced something on the end of his finger and proceeded to examine it in minute detail.  At this point I looked away, too afraid to watch how the scene was going to end.  It got me thinking about what is acceptable to do in public and what is most definitely not.

Obviously picking your nose in public is an absolute no no, although it is surprising how many people forget, particularly on public transport.  It is also horrifying how many men will blew their noses into a tissue or handkerchief and then have a good long look at the contents.  Why has no one told them that it is completely unacceptable and likely to set off the gag reflex in sensitive onlookers?  Another revolting habit is spitting,  the terrible hawking noise that precedes the actual thing is enough to send me rushing off down the road, terrified it might land on or near me.

Then again, some things are open to debate.  What do you do if you have a monumental wedgie while walking down a busy street?  Do you sort yourself out quickly then and there, or do you sidle into an alley or back up to a wall and do any adjustments out of sight?  Husband tells the story of an ex  whose knickers fell down while out shopping with her mother (I know, sounds suspicious doesn’t it?) and her mother said “Step out of them dear and keep walking” and apparently she did.  I can’t help wondering what would have happened if an observant shopper had rushed over, picked up the offending garment and said “Oy!  You dropped these”.

Another scenario which is interesting to watch and I am not sure of correct etiquette is the use of hot towels in a restaurant.  When we are given the lovely warm, scented towels after eating, I use them to refresh my hands.   Husband on the other hand, uses his to completely wipe his hands and face and has even been known to rub the back of his neck with it while I am hissing at him to stop.  I must point out that he is not alone in this, as I have seen other husbands doing the same while their wives look either horrified or resigned.

At school we were told never to eat in the street or brush our hair in public, but both of those rules seem a little outdated now.  Many people grab a sandwich for lunch and munch it on the way back to their desk, not the mention all the women who put the finishing touches to their makeup while on the train to work.

I suppose it is just a question of not doing anything which is going to make anyone in the vicinity feel queasy or set off the gag reflex.  Making them roar with laughter should be avoided as well, although wardrobe malfunctions can happen to anyone.   I am not sure that I would have had the nerve to step out of my knickers and keep walking.  It is however a convincing argument for always wearing trousers.




Keeping my Cool

berry cartoon road rage 092711

What is it about getting behind the wheel that brings out the worst in some people?  I have to admit that I am known among my friends and children for having an extremely short fuse while driving.  This is not helped by the fact that I am often driving around the suburbs of Madrid where the antics of some motorists have to be seen to be believed.   I am notorious for using exaggerated and often obscene hand gestures to inform other drivers that they have just undertaken a highly dangerous or ill mannered manoeuvre.  This can cause all sorts of problems when you live in a fairly small town and you are likely to bump into the offending driver at the supermarket or outside the school gates.

After just such an episode where an extremely rude gentleman stole the parking space that I had been patiently waiting for and I wound down the window and told him exactly what I thought of his driving manners as well as insulting the size of his brain and manhood, only to sit down opposite him a couple of days later in our dentist´s waiting room, I have realised that I need to tone down my reaction to bad driving etiquette.  Therefore I have decided to do the opposite of  what other drivers might expect and remain calm and smiling at all times.  This is no mean feat when you are hooted at for NOT pulling out into oncoming traffic at a roundabout or have to slam on your brakes when another road user has cut across three lanes of traffic to make the motorway exit while still travelling at 120 kph.  But now I am a picture of serenity (at least on the outside), I wave at the offending drivers with a big smile and the most I will do is blow them kisses when I have been hooted at for obeying the speed limit.  Actually, blowing kisses seems to be more inflammatory than the worst hand gesture as I have noticed the recipients becoming apoplectic with rage on a couple of occasions.

My verbal insults have been toned down as well, and Teenage Son and Daughter seem faintly disappointed that I am not swearing viciously after each traffic incident. They still remind me of the time when they were small that I called a reckless female driver a stupid cow after she jumped the lights at our local intersection.  For months afterwards the children would look for the dairy cow that they were sure lived at those traffic lights.   Husband, on the other hand, still hoots and shouts at his fellow commuters on his way home, as everyone weaves in and out of lanes or tailgates.  I can now smugly touch his arm and say ¨Let it go, it isn´t worth getting worked up about¨and wave in a stately manner at whoever has put all our lives in danger.

By smiling and reminding myself to breathe deeply while driving around, I am hopeful that my blood pressure will stop skyrocketing.  It will also fit in nicely with my resolution to try and reduce stress in my life although frankly the best way to achieve that on the roads of Madrid is to buy a tank.


Sorting Family Photos





Life and photography having gone digital, I now have approximately 2000 photographs on my computer which I need to sort out.  It is one of those jobs which should be enjoyable but there are so many to wade through.  The whole process is fraught with difficulty.

The first hurdle to overcome is that the moment I start to look at old photos, the memories come flooding back and inevitably I start going through them slowly, smiling at how small and blonde the children were, or how young everyone looks.  This then leads on to how young I looked (sob!) and the energy that seems to jump out of the picture as I am cheerfully dragging the children out for another extremely long hike when the poor things had only just learned to walk.  Husband (again looking absurdly young) can be seen assuring them that the walk will only last half an hour.  Unfortunately they learned very quickly that he has a very skewed idea of how long half an hour is supposed to last and we have struggled to get them to walk for more than 10 minutes ever since.  So after hours of scrolling and clicking on photos, I have only managed to add the odd caption or merge the occasional file but have completely failed to put them into any sort of order  or even better, put them into albums which is my ultimate aim.

The next problem with digital photos is duplicates.  I have hundreds of examples where I have taken three or four photos of the same thing.  Each photo is slightly different and I spend ages switching back and forwards between them, trying to decide which is the best one and which I should delete.  Once I have decided on my favourite I then lack the ruthlessness to delete the rest, fearing that I might want to use those pictures in the future (I have no idea for what).

The one instance where I am merciless with the delete button is with photos of me.  I actually appear in very few as I am generally the person taking the picture,  but every so often someone offers to take a picture of the family and I make an appearance.  Unfortunately most of these occasions are after I have been taking part in some strenuous or terrifying activity such as downhill mountain biking in the Alps or steep offpiste skiing.  I am wearing no makeup, my hair has been encased in some form of helmet, I am wearing deeply unflattering clothing such as lycra bicycling tights or vastly padded skiwear and my expression is one of wild terror or soggy relief at having survived whatever we have just undertaken.  It always seems that everyone else in the picture looks perfectly put together and completely unaffected by the near vertical descent we have just made on our bikes or the zip lining over a bottomless gorge.  Needless to say, these pictures are swiftly consigned to the trash while I hunt for more suitable examples where I am at least dressed vaguely normally and perhaps even made up and wearing a heel.  Sadly, these are few and far between, so some of the less flattering ones have been kept for the sake of having some family pictures where we all appear.

I think the solution is probably to use Photoshop to transplant my coiffed and made up head onto my body in some of the more exciting family pictures but I suspect that my relaxed and benign expression may look a bit odd in comparison with some of the earlier pictures.  Hopefully only I will notice!





How to make a New Years Resolutions List

1.  Find a serviceable pen and a sheet of paper. Easier said than done in our household , where any form of writing tool has either dried up or been stashed in a school pencil case.

2.  Pour yourself a good measure of your favourite wine, brandy etc. (this step should be left out if giving up alcohol is one of your Resolutions)

3.  Grab a piece of Christmas cake or some chocolate (again, this should be treated with caution if weightloss is about to go on your list)

4.   Find a comfortable chair or sofa and clear any debris left over from last nights revelries or even Christmas  partying  (in this instance, it might be worth considering  keeping up with the household tidying as a possible Resolution).

5.   Tell everyone that you must not be disturbed under pain of death.  Demands for food, queries about lost garments and requests to be chauffeured to friend’s houses should be met with a forceful negative reaction (if done convincingly this could gain you at least a few minutes peace).

6.   Sit back, relax and possibly close your eyes  (you should be careful about this step if you have had a heavy night, but it can be justified if Taking up Meditation is on your list).

7.   If partners sidle into the room with suggestions of chores that need doing, take the opportunity to start a very useful Resolution and begin delegating  immediately.

8.   Consider carefully how much effort a Resolution may require.  Vague  statements such as “I will eat more healthily” are preferable to concrete commitments such as ” I will give up chocolate”.

9.    Make sure your list of Resolutions is for your eyes only, so partners or children cannot question your commitment to anything on the list at a later date.

10.   And finally, if all this sounds too much like hard work, make a Resolution to do the list tomorrow, after all no one need know and you can use the few minutes you have gained to catch up on any lost sleep!

Happy New Year!!





Face Plant

Embed from Getty Images

Well here I am in the French Alps feeling like I have gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson..

Seasoned skiers might assume I have been involved in a lift queue altercation. Such scuffles can break out at any time when the queues are long and cheeky skiers try to push their way to the front. But in this instance, lift etiquette has been exemplary.  No I have committed the classic face plant and landed entirely on my nose.

Having spent many happy holidays skiing both on piste and off, I have had my share of mishaps. I have fond memories of bouncing down a mogul field on my head, only ten days after surgery and praying the incision wouldn’t open. Not to mention the time Husband and I ended up at the top of the Tortin in Verbier (one of the steepest and longest mogul fields in the Alps) after only a weeks skiing to our name and it took me all day to get down, crying and swearing the whole way, while sophisticated Swiss skiers whisked past us and eyed us pityingly. But today was entirely due to a rooky error – I forgot to check my bindings.

I was swooping majestically down a very wide but somewhat uneven blue run in poor visibility when suddenly both my skis stopped dead and I ejected face first downhill. I seemed to fly for ages before I landed with a loud crunch on my nose, and lay there writhing in pain.

It is always so embarrassing when friends or well wishers rush up and ask you if you are alright when all you can do is roll around in agony and say “give me a minute”.  Husband was 20 metres downhill and had witnessed my flight and landing and said admiringly ” Wow you really landed hard, I felt the ground shake!” (Note to self, weightloss is definitely on the New Years Resolution list).

Instantly all our friends rallied round fetching  my skis which were still neatly side by side pointing downhill, assuring me that my nose didn’t resemble a squashed tomato and feeding me a painkiller strong enough to knock out a horse. I then followed Husband gingerly down the slope and decided that our lunch stop would be a little earlier than usual today.

So here I am sitting infront of the fire feeling a little battered while Husband is getting my bindings cranked up. This afternoon I am going to stay inside, nurse my aches and pains and put ice on my nose which is not quite as small and narrow as it usually is.

Outside snow is gently falling and I know that tomorrow morning black eyes or not, the fresh powder will call and I will hurtle down the mountain again (with my bindings on a much higher setting).