In January, for the second time in my short and lustrious(?) life, I went skiing. Skiing is the art of staying upright on a slippery surface and is the richer cousin of skating. When I first when skating, some 15 years ago, I took to it like a fish to a food processor. It hurt. I went home with a wet, bruised arse. Something I don't want from any of my hobbies.
When I went skiing for the first time, some 5 years ago, I took to it like a fish to vodka. I was not completely at home in it and it made me very unsteady, but I soon adapted a little. Actually I progressed very well in that week.
This time round, my progress was not so marked. It was still quite impressive, but very soon, I found myself left behind.
Our instructor, Jean-Pierre - or as Joanna could only say, Champignon - was of the school that there should always be one person in the group who makes the rest look better. I was impressed at the way he did this, so that on the first day, there was one guy we were always waiting for who seemed to spend most of his time getting out of snow drifts. By the second day, he had given up, and two days later it dawned on me the group loser - the guy who came home more snowman than human - was me. I was the one who did the spectacular falls. I was the one who would always have to go off and search for his skis. or sticks. Or gloves.
Joanna sounded like the one he was nurturing in the snowboarding group. His only advice to her consisted of "Don't fall, Joanna, don't fall." A less helpful thing to say is not imaginable.
The last few days, I dropped out of ski accademy 102, leaving the group to find a nother 'bottom of the class' to land on his ass. This was after a superb fall finding me landing on my shoulder with the full weight of my body. Pain came instantly, and I was almost rude to the French girl who came to help me, as I did not want help up. I just wanted to lie there and nurse my shoulder. Eventually, I made it to my feet, but found most bodily movements caused my shoulder to let forth shots of pain. I skied down slowly went home and found even climbing into bed gave me great pain.
Nothing was broken, but for several days most bodily movements made me want to give up and go back to bed. Except going to bed was painful as I was on the top bunk.
The journey there had been overnight on a coach packed with excitable girl students from Leiden. It had been uncomfortable and there had been an incessant schoolgirl chatter.
The journey back should have been worse for the injury, but somehow my expectation of it being unbearable and the fact that the group of gaggling girls was on another bus, meant it exceded expectations, whilst not being in any way good.
After this holiday I made a proclamation - one I made after the last time - that skiing, whilst fun, is not for me. It is a very active holiday, whereas I like mine to have some time for writing and relaxation. I would probably never go again. A few days later, Jochem - organiser of the trip - announced next year the group would be even bigger and even more fun. We'll see how this proclamation holds up, shall we.