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Today is the last day before my holiday

Today is the last day before my holiday

and this so sums up the next two weeks for me. I’m currently at the level of most stress just before the first yellow line…

PHD Comics

Indeed these days I find I don’t get the holiday spirit until I see the words ‘Airport’, and once I’m actually sat on the plane, I tend to collapse and snore like a donkey…

We're all going on a … Scrabble holiday…

We're all going on a … Scrabble holiday…

We’re all going on a … Scrabble holiday
playing tiles we always wanted to
Qua and Zygoid on a … Scrabble holiday
No more Es for me or you
For a tile or two…

We’re going where the tiles shine brightly
We’re going for that corner square
We’ve seen it in the pubs
Now let’s see who’s got the X

Ok, nowhere near as good as the infamous Scrabulous song, but seriously, there are Scrabble holidays available.

Now who’s for a game of Scrabulous?

Why Americans and Brits just don't mix in the workplace…

Why Americans and Brits just don't mix in the workplace…

Or alternatively, American (corporate managers) don’t believe in holidays, the Brits believe in more holidays. As I am Woman exclusively reports from some no-doubt-award-winning building in the heart of South Wales.

Losing my snowboard…

Losing my snowboard…

First full day of snowboarding beckons to find a veritable blizzard descending over Niederau. Unfortunately, we have to go on a coach to get to Scheffel, an hour away. At 8.45am. And we haven’t even got our boots yet. So we’re a tad groggy.

Eventually get up the lovely cable car to a blizzard at the top of the mountain, and we meet our snowboard instructor Val. She has the patience of a short-fused bomb and most of her ire is concentrated on a poor little boy called Oliver.

We start practising on a teensy weensy slope – the same one that 5 yearolds are learning to ski on – and I soon get the hang of it. Can’t be that tricky, I think…

But then we enter the first proper slope. Which is a proper slope. And we proceed to keep going at high speeds, then falling over on our arse, failling around in the snow, trudging back up the hill and trying again. It is really like being a kid again.

Val leaves us after lunch to allow us to start practising by ourselves. And despite falling over every 5 seconds or so, I start to get cocky. Especially after managing to keep upright, moving and looking as if I know what I’m doing – for about 10 seconds before i fall over and strain my right shoulder trying to break my fall.

Twenty minutes later – after watching H disappear into the mist as if she was born to snowboard – I manage to bruise/sprain/twist my ankle and collapse in agony on the lovely snow. Deciding I’ve had enough, I unbuckle my boots from the board – and then watch helplessly as the snowboard obeys the rules of gravity and lurches to the right before spinning off incredibly fast down the side of the mountain.

At this point, I figure the bottom of the slope can’t be that far and start trudging my way down the mountain, hopefully catching my snowboard en route. 90 minuteslater, after a false alarm over a snowboard sighting sends me back up the hill to find a snowplough machine and me knee-deep in snow, I reach the bottom of the valley. And try to cadge a ski-lift up sans skis or snowboard. Which is apparently against the rules. Still, I manage to bend them enough and get back up to the top, limping away. I look for the snowboard as I cross the valley but no luck.

Find H in the restaurant bar who had almost given up hope of finding me and we limp back down to the car park, and our journey back to the hotel – where the reps announce they’re going to rip us off by charing us again for a day’s coach and ski lift pass at Scheffau, as Niederau still isn’t open. I slip twice in Niederau going to the shops exacerbating my ankle, and then hobble back to the hotel.

It is the Quiz/Bingo night tonight but H and I are far too exhausted, broke – and we’ll probably skip the ski-ing tomorrow. But it’s a happy exhausted as opposed to a chaotic exhausted feeling I’ve had in the last month.

Night!

Ahhh, Roma!

Ahhh, Roma!

So Friday finally arrives – and H & I leave a wet Cardiff, changing trains very simply at London Paddington for Heathrow Airport. The easiest journey ever made, but at a whopping £79 price – it was cheaper to get the flight to Rome!

Once at Heathrow, I still manage to keep the flight destination a secret …

Back from Crete…

Back from Crete…

Got back from my first beach holiday in Crete. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, but it wasn’t a dream come true either.

On the plus side, I met some great new people. It was like being back at University in Freshers Week, except I did it right this time. Relaxing at the beach – or rather relaxing in the shade by the pool – was a great new thing, just relaxing and reading or even chatting to others in the group. The sightseeing trips were (for the most part) fun. So on that front it was a good holiday.

I even got a romantic moonlight snog. Unfortunately, we were both rather drunk, and she promptly had an allergic reaction to something, her face swelled and she disappeared and hid in her room for two days.

There was another woman who kept trying to entice me. Unfortunately, said woman was about as alluring as Barbara Windsor – and looked liked her as well. Hell, that’s what I told her when I first saw her in a drunken splutter, and she still tried seducing me. It turned out that she was mother to two kids, on benefits, and had to take out a personal loan to go on holiday, where presumably she *really* wanted to find a new boyfriend.

Only I could go on a singles holiday with 18 women, 12 men (two of which made me look like a social butterfly and hence were out of the equation) and fail to get anywhere. Although I’m quetly chatting up Emma…

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