So Stage 1 of the trip unfortunately ended last Wednesday when I dropped off Sir Cliff Thorburn at Lyon airport for his return to the UK. We spent the last few days just north of Montpellier tweaking around a place called Lodeve and very nice it was too. Nothing as strenuous as the Tourmalet but some good climbing nonetheless and amazing desert like scenery. Bez informed me that he thoroughly enjoyed life as a hobo in the Collymore!
Stage 2 then has now well and truly begun. With a quick stop off in Morzine to drop off the bike at a friend’s house I headed to La Grave and Les Deux Alpes. The drive up into the mountains from Grenoble was awesome as a band of thick and moody cloud hung in the valley. Popping through though the snow covered mountains appeared and as I drove on the peak of La Meije and it’s stunning North face which hangs over La Grave came into view. Looking at it I was somewhere between massively excited and scared shitless! Trepidation perhaps describes my feeling more eloquently.
Been out skiing then for the last few days and it’s just dumped again today but the weather was fairly horrific up top so I’ve retired to the bar for a beer and a blog update, it’s a tough life. Nothing too much to report… the new skis are awesome though have taken a bit of getting used to and I managed to fall over on my first morning skiing them (I admit it!)
Other than that a bit of drinking was had on Saturday night (make that a lot of drinking) but it was good to meet up with some people. I had a Defcom 1 incident the other night when I dropped (and smashed) a bottle of wine in the van and another one today when I dropped my ski pole off the chair lift in a blizzard so had to go and buy some more. I also managed to lose my favourite Patagonia jacket after said night of drinking but the chap who I think has it is doing a season so hopefully I will be reunited.
All the doubters will be pleased to know that life in the van is not so bad… actually it’s quite comfortable though the Propex heater is the biggest contributor to that – without it I think I’d be coming home early!
To finish with then I will leave you with a joke told to me in an Irish bar by an Irish chap so I assume that if he is fine taking the piss out of his own then it is ok for me to!
There’s an English Paddy, an Irish Paddy and a Scottish Paddy… They’ve been best friend’s since school, they’re wives are friends and their children play together. They’ve all worked together around the building sites of London for years.
One lunchtime the English Paddy opens his lunchbox to reveal his cheese sandwiches… ‘Oh God’ he says ‘I can’t cope with these sandwiches: every day for god knows how many years I’ve had the same sandwiches… if I get the same tomorrow I tell you I’m gonna jump off this building we’re constructing’. The Scottish Paddy, opening his lunchbox, agrees ‘every day for years I’ve had these chicken sandwiches… if I get the same tomorrow I will jump with you’. The Irish Paddy has the same feelings about his ham sandwiches as he also opens up his lunchbox.
The next day the English Paddy opens up his lunchbox to reveal cheese sandwiches… ‘That’s it’ he says and he gets up and jumps off the building to his death as he’d promised. The Scottish Paddy again opens up his lunchbox to reveal chicken sandwiches… he quickly follows the English Paddy. Left alone the Irish Paddy opens up his lunchbox to reveal his ham sandwiches. He puts down his lunchbox and jumps like the others before him.
Several days later at the funeral the wives of the Paddy’s are talking. ‘I can’t believe it’ says the wife of the English Paddy ‘if only he had told me that he hated his cheese sandwiches so much then I would have made him something else. It didn’t need to come to this’. The wife of the Scottish Paddy agrees ‘I never knew he hated chicken so much’. The wife of the Irish Paddy looks confused… ‘I don’t understand at all’ she says ‘my Paddy used to make his own sandwiches’.