Monday, 26 March 2012

Summer in the Snow!

The end of March 2012 at Courchevel in the French Alps was a gloriously sunny weekend. Not a cloud in the sky, just sunshine and amazing blue skies. One very amateur skier pitted his wits against the slopes and came off second best, but had the most amazing time doing it.

I stayed with Calum and Mary Anne in their stunning chalet at the bottom of 1650 in Courchevel. The views from the chalet are simply amazing.

On the first of many ski lifts the views were stunning as we headed up the mountain. There are 3 valleys and we set out to do the lot, which I just about managed, although I did spend a lot of time on my backside!

The photo opportunities were excellent as there was not a breath of wind, and it was crystal clear. I could almost pass for someone who knows what he is doing at this point!

We had a stop for coffee mid morning and it was just the most brilliant view!

And whilst some of us enjoyed a well earned refreshment, others had to deal with work matters. Not a bad place to do some work from though...

And during lunch young Emma dunked her face into her hot chocolate. This actually gave me a great photo for my other blog.

It was a wonderful weekend. The hospitality and the way Calum and Mary Anne and the family looked after me was amazing. Also I must not forget their patience on the slopes, especially when my stamina began to sap badly in the afternoon. Their great friends Steve and Alison who also kept me going and picked me up out of the snow on too many occasions to mention.

We enjoyed post skiing champagne at the chalet and then went out for a wonderful meal after our exhausting day on the slopes, which was the perfect end to a brilliant weekend. Roll on 2013! :)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Winter Nears Its End

As another Winter nears it end I took the opportunity driving home from to stop off in Wargrave to capture a lovely sunset. The scene is outside The George & Dragon pub, where my mum abnd dad had their wedding reception in 1960. The view is largely unchanged to this day. Always nice to see the swans on the river :)

I was quite surprised just before leaving work to also see hot air ballooning at this time of the year, but the good news is that Spring is just around the corner thankfully!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Baking Cakes

One of my long standing ambitions has been to learn how to bake cakes. This year I have finally been given some baking utensils for my birthday so my first attempt was rock cakes.

I was following some hopefully idiot proof instructions given to me by my mum, although when all the ingredients were in the bowl I wasn't sure if I was doing it right.

But once I had the mixture in the baking tray it was the point of no return and it was time to put them into the oven for 20 minutes.

So 12 rock cakes came out of the oven 20 minutes later looking edible... in fact were edible, and well they didn't poison me. Not too bad for a first effort I reckon. Hopefully I will begin to develop my baking skills and I wonder what I will try next!

Friday, 2 March 2012

A Gem Of A Book

I was recently lucky enough on my working travels to deliver some stuff to an absolutely magical book warehouse Plurabelle Books close to Cambridge railway station. The company specialises in second hand books at very low prices and has a vast stock of 70,000 books!

So I took the opportunity to have a browse around before leaving and found the beautiful old photography book in the picture for the princely sum of £2! It contains a wonderful collection of old photographs of London painting an amazing picture of the city in days gone by. For instance how did The Embankment look before it was created? Fascinating and although I have to confess I am a fan of e readers, there is still something unique of irreplaceable about picking up a physical book, and the enjoyment you can get from it.