Friday, January 09, 2009

Downhill Only

The DHO (“Downhill Only”) is a British ski club here with which I have a long connection; as I recently commented, I married the rep’s son seven years ago – and as Sacha’s bride, Lisa, drew up to St Bernard’s in a horse-drawn sleigh, it forever changed my perception of a “white wedding”. Paul and Maree Zvegintzov have been good friends since then to me in my stays here, and it is with due sadness that I mark their retiring from the DHO post here next month.

Paul’s successor, Sheridan, and her trainee, Rupert, persuaded me to ski with them yesterday, and I had a terrific time, skiing well past my usual sedate speeds and on runs I often ignore. Today we went on runs I always ignore, and upped the tempo. I did have a moment or two of panic, and got lost briefly, but actually it was a fantastic trip and I am delighted to have spent the last two mornings this way.

Sheridan and Rupert, together with Maureen, from the Ski Club of Great Britain (different to the DHO) and her husband Peter and I have been eating together this week in the Belvedere. Food maybe not as good as the Belle Vue – company excellent! And one evening we came back to my flat for a while, and let the conversation wander on.

The pleasure of this place is both in the beauty of the mountains, the thrill of the sport, and the joy of the friendships renewed year in year out. Supper with Maggie Gerber and Karen Jones (at Karen’s – which makes it my turn again next year) was wonderfully restoring, as Karen is always a good host. It was nice to see Andreas too, though his tales of Swiss music students were a mix of very funny and very depressing, his enthusiasm for his gadgets (watches and a remarkable CD player called a Geneva) was catching. I love that enthusiasm about him – even when it is aimed at saying he doesn’t have enough of it. He gets enthusiastic about how little enthusiasm he has. We should all have such passion about life!

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