So, still in on holiday, waiting in my room until someone comes back (or until I fall asleep…). Still a bit grumpy, and blogging up a relative storm. Still ranting, though I will probably blog about the holiday (probably on the trip home, or once I’ve woken up the next day.)
On the whole, today has been a good day on the slopes. We went on our first red slope yesterday, and today we went on another new one. This was more difficult than yesterday’s, but came with the awesome achievement that we had skied all the way down the mountain. It was hard, there’s no denying that. Everyone in our group struggled with it, and we had more than a few falls on the way down. (The sort of falls we got tend to be the fun sort where you are on the floor before you realise, slide a few meters on the snow, and most importantly don’t get hurt.)
My mum, who doesn’t like heights, didn’t feel able to go more than the first few meters, so she and my dad walked back up to the top while we continued. An Australian lady with us got to the bottom, but was a bit shaky afterwards. When we started up again in the afternoon, there were a few shaky legs (mostly belonging to my mum and dad who were knackered after their walk), and a little fear after the long trip from a couple of the people (mainly my mum and the Aussie). For the most part, the group was fine, though struggling a little at the slower speeds (some of the manoeuvres are easier when moving at a reasonable speed).
All this time, Dad is going on and on about how everyone is a little shaken from that big run, and how we’ve all had a bad day, and other similar generalisations. I realise some of it might have been for Mum’s benefit. However, it was difficult not to add ‘hang on a minute, most of us did fine, thank you very much’. Sure it was a scary trip, but it was definitely worth it, both for the achievement when we reached the bottom, and for some of the views (hopefully some of the photos I took have come out). Of those of us who went all the way down, all but one enjoyed it when we reached the bottom. I’m sorry if it sounds selfish, or overly sensitive, but it is irritating having an achievement like that belittled by such sweeping generalisations.
So I’m doubly grumpy at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow will be better (parents-wise) and we have no falling out. This is, after all, a holiday.
In other news, some group is singing a drunken rendition of ‘Drunken Sailor’, possibly in Polish, I’m now more comfortable after showering away the cigarette smoke, and my brother has just arrived (thankfully it’s only 2155). But he’s not having a shower, so the room is going to smell even more of cigarettes… Grr…
While I write this, I’m on holiday. Specifically, I’m in the hotel room I am sharing with my brother, in Austria, on a skiing holiday, and it is about 2100 (local time).
Why, I hear you ask, am I sitting writing a blog post while on holiday? Well, it goes like this:
Our ski instructor also works in a bar, and he invited us to come see him this evening. Now, I hate bars, but it didn’t sound like too bad an idea for a little while, and I can’t really not be social when on holiday with my family. However, we’d forgotten that there is no smoking ban in Austria. (For the benefit of any non-British readers, it is illegal to smoke in an enclosed public space or workplace in the UK, and banned in many of the open ones). And this place is hazy with smoke. Not a major issue, but still rather unpleasant.
We stay for a drink, and while our instructor is friendly (he didn’t bat an eye when I declined the alcoholic drinks, which is instantly puts someone in my good books, especially as I didn’t have to explain), I’m getting bored and fed up. As I said, I dislike these places with a passion, and sitting around doing not a lot is hardly the most attractive idea. It’s pretty obvious that I’m fed up (it tends to be…) and I start getting my mum asking me what’s up. That’s great, in theory, but over too many bad experiences in bars I’ve had people ask this, and now it just gets me more irritated. Then you get the annoying ‘poor you’ in that tone that could be genuine, or could be downright patronising.
And then, just when all the drinks are finished, and it looks like we might be taking our leave, my brother suggests that he might stay for another, as long as he’s not alone, and Mum and Dad agree to stay, and look to me. And I’ve had enough. So I head back to the hotel, trudging across the snow, to sit in front of my laptop and rant on my blog.
And boy, do I expect to hear about it tomorrow…
I took rather a lot of photos. I may publish a few up here or on Flickr under this name, but most will be going up under my personal account (which I won’t link to from here for obvious reasons).
I have a few blog posts that I wrote while I was there that I’ll publish over the next few days, and I may write about the holiday as a whole, then it’ll be back to business as normal. I’ve just started my project work, and already have a few things to grumble about. And, of cause, the Organisation is doing its thing.
This year, after I finished my work placement, I decided I would remain in UniTown and try to find some part-time work to earn me some money. This would be the first time I didn’t go home for a University holiday when I wasn’t working, and the first time I’d stayed in UniTown for the entire summer.
To cut a long and boring story short, the hunt for work was a complete and utter failure. The only response I ever received was an email to say thank you, but no thank you. Needless to say, I’m not impressed.
Yes, I’ve had plenty to do for the Organisation for the past couple of months, and I couldn’t really have gone home during the School Term as I was needed at my Youth Unit, but for a good month this month I could have gone home, seen my parents, and generally bummed around with my friends, and probably saving money in the process.
Instead, I’m bumming around, not really getting any of my Organisation planning done, only seen my parents briefly, and seen even less of my friends. And been paying full rent and utilities for the privilege.
Yet again, I’m in a house designed for four (the same house as when I complained at the beginning of the year, in fact), rattling around and generally feeling down. I’ve tried to get out of the house as much as possible, going to every event in the area that I can get to, but that still leaves me with a stupid number of hours alone in this house. In short, it is driving me nuts.
It’s times like this that I start to think that going to this Uni was a mistake. The only advantage I can see is that I’ve made a few good friends, and I joined the Organisation, which has shown me where I think I probably want to go.
I suppose there I’ll just have to concentrate on that silver lining. Though, it doesn’t make the house feel any less empty.
I’ve just got back from my Christmas holiday. One week spent skiing in Austria with my family, as part of the first two weeks of real holiday I’ve had since I started my work placement.
I’ve never been skiing before, none of my family have. My Dad kept saying one of us was going to hurt ourselves. A lot of people said we’d end up at least aching after the first day. I was beginning to get images of having to treat some member of my family who had overdone it.
Fortunately we all got away with it. No serious injuries, and the only First Aid I had to do was make up an ice-pack for my Mum. A proper old-fashioned one with water ice and a triangular bandage. Playing around with the stuff to get it suitably cold, and holding it all in place, I definitely missed the fancy chemical instant ice packs I carry in my response kit while on duty. I’d forgotten how long it takes for these ‘old-fashioned’ ones to get cold enough to actually achieve something, though they do last a lot longer.
The most entertaining incident we had has to have been a highly entertaining collision between my Dad and my Brother. We were coming down one of the easy slopes, practicing ‘snowplough turns’ down the slope. Our instructor had the entire group heading down in a line, each following the person in front. We were half way down, doing well, until my Dad and Brother starting crossing each other’s path. I was following behind them, keeping well clear of them both.
Their first couple of turns were fine, but getting closer together. Then one got too close. I could see the collision coming well before it happened, and so could they. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to go. It was a classic cartoon collision, arms and skis going everywhere, leaving both in a pile on the floor. I doubled up laughing, just managing to keep upright myself. They were both unhurt, but it took a couple of minutes for them to sort themselves out.
I hope everyone had as good a Christmas as I did, and that the credit crunch isn’t hitting you too hard.
You’d think being a volunteer wouldn’t be so bad. You’d think I’d be able to do the odd event I wanted to do, and still have some free time to do the other things I really should be doing. Things like tidying the house, and shopping, and the other important things that really need to be done to help get along. I only have to do twenty hours a year to retain my membership. That’s 20 out of 8760 in a year. That’s nothing.
Unfortunately, the idea falls down when you take into account the ‘sure, I should be able to help you out attitude’. This seems to consistently overall all other important things, like when I’m going to do my food shopping, or tidy up the kitchen, or get ready for my holiday in not very many weeks time. I keep doing it. I know have no free weekends between now and my holiday. This could be considered a problem. I still need to get some ski goggles, some sunglasses and a pair of decent walking boots.
So right now I’m hanging around waiting for my Tesco delivery to turn up (I was sure this is supposed to save you time, but right now it’s just holding me up). I then have a mad dash to the train station on my bike, through the rain, in the hope that I can get to WorkTown to get in time to go to the ski shop there. Otherwise it’s going to have to be a quick trip in my lunch break, which could be an interesting challenge…