After all the grouchy old beeatch musings of yesterday, awoke to a new day and a new, improved attitude.
The snowmakers had been whirring away overnight, erasing the previous day’s lumps and lines, and La too had been reforming, shape-shifting, evolving…into someone determined to conquer a chairlift.
Eighteen years La’ve been stuck in a snow plough, confined to magic carpets. Trapped by fears of knee injuries past and because GUTLESS. Spectating. Benched. It’s a metaphor for life. And as ol’ Georgie Michael (*sob*) would say, “Choose LIFE!”
It was a split second decision, highly spontaneous. Out of character. (Put it this way, no stonemason in 2061 is likely to be chiselling, “You never knew what she’d do next!” on La headstone.)
We’d relented and sent the Male Junior Cost Centre (JCC) off for his first snowboard lesson. As the owner of the loins that fruited him, it’s hard to see this as anything other than the first step toward a future of unemployment, dope-smoking, butt-crack revealing half-mast trousers and slackerism. But at least he’s off a gadget.
Walked into the rental shop in my civvies, and rented the goods. When the slackerdude boot-fitter asked how I’d go on the slopes in my non-waterproof ponte pant, I replied, “Oh, fine. I don’t fall over.” I mean it, I don’t. I’m so rock-solid and cautious I make ‘glacial pace’ look Schumacher-esque. (Well, before he brained himself on a ski slope, poor Michael.)
Seriousimo accompanied me to the dreaded lift. The non-stop parade of doom-and-gloom signs began to scare the bejeezers out of me.
In all honesty, I couldn’t tick the box on this one, but I persisted.
The chairlift is a hairy, scary one — yup, its official moniker is “The Easy Does It Chairlift”. Or EDI to those in the know (and trust me, everyone except me seems to be in the know in Thredbo). Shit! It’s been ferrying ski-flesh as long as I’ve been out of school? Is it safe? Does it get maintained by people who aren’t stoned and have all their teeth? *Breeeeaaathe*
Seriousimo takes my poles, the chair slides under my ponte-panted butt and — we’re away.
Find it hard to look at these empty returning chairs and see anything other than the ghostly forms of skiers who never made it home. Am determined won’t be my narrative.
This makes me want to void my bowels: cross sections of chairlifts, a spaghetti junction of wires and dangles. Remind self to sit back in chair as instructed by shouty nanny-state sign. Thankful am person happy to do as told and not nihilistic counter-cultural slacker on a snowboard, always looking to break the rules.
Find self nodding in violent agreement with signs. Look fore and aft to make sure everyone doing right thing. They seem to be a good crowd. Mostly they are under the age of 10.
Hyperventilation sets in. Have never successfully dismounted a chairlift and stayed upright, even one called Easy Does It. Seriousimo takes poles. Pushes up bar. Slacker-type chair attendant beckons for me to slide forward and…I do it. Upright. Skiing. Facing downhill.
Loving self sick! Schuss past the boardy slackers, always on their half-mast arses, lazy bastards, too hungover to be upright. Get some pride in yourselves, people! Be one with the nobility of the alps! Look sharp! Pull ya dacks up!
TOTALLY SMOKED these little bastards! They were so freakin’ SLOW! Ha! They think they’re so farking great, bloody Thredbolanders! Not today! They ate my snowdust!
Think I’d earned today’s reward. And let’s face it, one’s better than four.