Thursday 31 January 2013

total immersion

 After the plod, came the rush...
High above the valley, I glide through the forest,
on new skis, through new snow, with new courage.
Arriving at a crest, I plunge into the slope,
Ploughing deep furrows down through the snowy fields.
I turn, once, twice...
...and then tumble and fall,
Fall flat on my face, legs akimbo, head first into the powder.
I sink into a cloud of tenderness.
Totally immersed, I dissolve.
Seconds pass, and then he comes;
grasps my hand, my skis, my legs.
I was set to be wrecked but
he pulls me from the deep powder,
puts me back on my feet,
And we set off again...
I plunge into the slope,
Ploughing deep furrows down through the snowy fields.
I turn, once, twice... 
...and then tumble again and again and again..

Thursday 24 January 2013


On Wednesday, we awake to find ourselves once again in the bleak mid-winter.
I have an hour to spare before my first lesson. I pull on my snow-boots and step out into winter.

I walk through the village, towards the Chapelle Solferino.
Curtains of snow have fallen during the night, blanketing the village, the fields, the hills.

The roads are blocked, the snowploughs elsewhere. The snow heaps silence upon the valley.

The world has turned white and I am a child once again.

I run, I jump, I tumble.

All too soon it is time to return home and be a grown-up again.

Tuesday 15 January 2013


La Chapelle Solférino

When I ventured out again a couple hours later, there was enough snow in our little street for a group of Basque holiday makers to snowboard right past our front door!

On days like this, when the cold mountain winds heap fresh blankets of deep snow down onto the valley, it makes me wonder what it would have been like to live in the valley in days gone by.

Before they built the gorge road alongside the gave, meaning that only access out of the valley was over the Col du Tourmalet...which is snowbound for months at a time...

Un calvaire près de l'Yse

Tuesday 1 January 2013

filer à l'anglaise

Taking French leave. 
Taking leave of my senses? 

So here I am now, living as a foreigner in a small community, halfway up a mountain in the South West of France. 

You can read about all it here.