Greetings all and a very happy New Year. As those who are kind enough to follow my blog will know, there’s been a not-very-brief hiatus since the last post.
What may be surprising to those who are familiar with my appalling lack of balance (except on perilously high heels, whereupon I’m really quite good) and general unsportiness, is that I spent the majority of time between then and now throwing myself down slippy mountains in sub-zero temperatures with long smooth slidy things attached to the bottom of my feet. Add to this that I am nearer to 40 than 30 and haven’t attempted similar for nearly a quarter century, and the Very Unwise factor increases exponentially.
Possibly the least surprising revelation relating to my exploits is that I managed to knacker my knee. The other one. So, now weight bearing on bent leg is horrible on the left knee (old knacker, bone-related) and weight bearing on straight leg is horrible on right knee (new knacker, cartilage-related).
Anyway, not even deadly peril and mortal wounds will keep me from my current addiction to flash fiction (a rhyme! did you see?), so here is un soupcon (yes, we were ‘en France’) for your delectation:
The heat hits us like a blast, like opening the oven door. We step inside, the frost on our hair immediately melting and starting to steam. We are weak-kneed and shivering, but our spirits are not broken. Yet.
The room is full of other lunatics, nursing their overpriced bowls of hot chocolate, the windows steamed with their collective condensation. We join them, disrobing (partially), mindful of our mothers’ warnings. Benefit.
Rather too soon, I feel, my companions stir, eager to start again. I hang back, wobbling on the edge of uncertainty on this, our last day. I make a decision, or try to. “I’ll get the lift down” I say. “I think my knee’s gone. I don’t want to hold you up”.
The others, kind girls, half my age, are insistent. “It’s OK!” protests one. “I’m slow too. We’ll wait. It’ll be more fun with you.” They disarm me with their kind deceit and I agree, against better judgement, to carry on.
Suffice to say, there are benefits to advancing years I reckon, one of which is having strong instincts that can usually be trusted. Clearly my years are advanced enough to give me an instinct but not advanced enough to trust it. Either that or I have a weakness for lies and flattery.
Weather comes in at 2400m. Lifts closed. Zero visibility. Gale-force winds. Sheer drop to the left. Frozen-muscled terror.
We got down eventually, relief and exhilaration fighting it out with exhaustion and fear. We are home now and I am to rest, apparently, till the soft tissue heals. Yes Doctor. I understand. No running, no unnecessary walks.
Every last second is worth it.