So here we are at the end of another week. After four days of egg collecting at break-neck speed (none of the subjects put up much of a fight) I finally said ‘Goodbye’ to the RMU after four years in the best company imaginable. The RMU is the Reproductive Medicine Unit in the Womens Hospital in Liverpool and the company is the crew of colleagues who are skilled and highly professional, as well as friendly and full of fun. I have felt so much at home with the team and they have sent me on my way with good wishes and God speed, with a generous donation towards the cause, with enough syringes and needles to keep a diabetic junkie going for 3 months (fortunately I am neither) and a card full of lovely zany comments which will sit on my new work desk alongside my family photos.
Meanwhile we have arrived safely in Flaine, in the French Alps. The trees and earth were bare when we arrived on Saturday although there was snow on the north facing pistes. We collected skis, boots and other gear but didn’t use them – our passes were not valid until Sunday. Sleeping arrangements in the apartment are novel. Sharing a double sofa bed with Nathan, my seven year old grandson, with bolsters down the centre which unfortunately didn’t prevent the snoring reaching his side and the wriggling reaching mine was something else. But since we went to bed before 8 pm and woke at 6.30 it hardly mattered. I guess we’ll do the same tonight.
When we opened the curtains the world had gone totally white and it was still snowing, in fact it has snowed pretty well all day and the skiing this morning was a bit difficult owing to the lack of contrast and the piles of fresh snow gathering into heaps on the piste. We stopped for lunch at 11.30 – the usual bread, cheese, pate, salami and red wine. My son Andrew had a second ski alone this afternoon while Nathan and I watched Marmduke – an amusing film about talking dogs – before swimming in the outdoor pool. We rolled in the snow and jumped back in the pool a couple of times just to prove how macho we are. I really must make the most of these winter opportunities – soon I’ll be baking in the sun and swatting mosquitos.
After a game of Monopoly City, which is so much better than the original because you can develop your properties from the moment you own them and build residential or industrial units as well as hazards (like sewage farms) or bonuses (like wind farms and parks) and which was so good because I won, we went outside where Nathan tobogganed while we drank mulled wine.
And so, I have achieved objective number one – I didn’t break my back last week at work, it was fun. Now for number two, no broken bones, and since this is the place I broke my ribs last year after launching myself into space on a black run trying to keep up with Andrew and landing on my camera in my chest pocket, I am skiing with more caution. The ribs have healed although they hurt for 9 months and the camera still works (hence the photos of Nathan) and I hope to keep it that way beacuse I shall need the camera and my bones intact for Cambodia. It would be nice to know when my flight may be … VSO please!
Meanwhile Nathan has gone to sleep before me tonight, so hopefully he will remain oblivious to my snores – he called me a Mad Snoring Piglet this morning while I was more polite – and I can settle down to my book: How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog. It could come in handy someday…