Sunday, January 31, 2010

Breaking in my sea legs - not my neck

Hey Bloggers.

Feeling real stiff all over my body today due to some indoor 'real snow' freestyle boarding shinnanegans on Friday evening. I arrived at the snow centre early and gathered alongside a number of others looking to do the same.

I went on my own, but there were groups and other individuals togging up and strutting their stuff around changing area.

I avoided the freestyle park for about 45mins, then decided to hit up their rather large kickers. First time I have done anything quite so big! Landing is a pain if you haven't launched correctly. I managed to grab the board a few times and land on the down slope.

All in all a great eveing out! DJ was doing his thang and I landed on my neck without any major injury concerns... some guy scooted over to me afterwards as he had his mobile out ready to call in the ambulance. Apparently it looked quite nasty. It was.

Looking forward to hitting the slope up again verrrry soon :-)


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spot Attack

Yes, YES! A spot. You know what that means? STRESSSSssss!!! All you people out there causing my stress and agro are giving me spots! It could be the last few seshs in the steam room which are cleaning out my extraodrinarily large pores... but I prefer to blame everyone else.

You did it.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Top Tips for organising short Snow Boarding Breaks

Expansive issue this. I think you'll agree with that, otherwise you wouldn't be asking the question... "Gary, how do I organise a snow break wit me pals/partner/family (delete as appropiate) without wishing I was millionaire with more time on his/her hands than a tanning salon owner in Scotland?"

I got news for you - accept that it will cost you more per head, per day basis than booking a week long jaunt. Not hard to imagine really, but as there are less companies which will deal with those midweek or weekend deals than ones willing to package you up a full week long deal.. then premium rates need only apply.

This does not mean that you cannot do it cheaply! Not at all, you can cut corners and do the legwork yourself and save a hunner (£100) if you are lucky.

To be clear about the about the advice I am now about to offer, I am aiming this post at working boarders/skiers who want to reduce the amount of annual leave they spend. This maybe due to many different reasons, but my favourite one is so that you can squeeze in more time on the snow without lending your entire life over to gnarly surf [don't spell check me BLOGGER!] from Jan to April every year, and, AND still have holiday left to sun yourself with your significant other.

It's got to be cheap, uncomplicated, and awesome.

First things first, find yourself a snow loving mate, who is a control freak, passionate about doing a job well, naturally thick skinned and self centered. He or she will do all the seemingly never ending web searching, organising and admin bollox. This role is important, but not as important as good friends and good times though.

Next up you got to have the 'snow dawg'. The one person in your group who eveyone wants to riiiiide with. This person generally will not care too much about where it's going down or how much it'll cost. They live to surf. It may not be obvious at first as to why this lady/gentleman is important - but it will, trust me.

First stop - run a commercial package deal online. This will give you a flavour of the cost. It's a great point of reference to use when lots of other offers start coming in.

All-in prices are as follows (in general terms);

£250 - £400 (4nights) AWESOME!!
£400 - £500 (4nights) Yarp, surfs up.
£500 and above.... book a week man - DO IT!

As you can see from above, the price differences are tight. This is why it's important to do your homework. When us snow junkies say all-in, we mean covering ALLLLLL of the following;

  1. Flights/Train tickets (both ways)
  2. Transfers (both ways)
  3. Kit hire OR kit carriage (both ways / all days)
  4. Slope passes (Local only for now)
  5. Taxes
  6. Food (B&B/Full/Half Board)
  7. Fu(k Factor (I'll explain this below)
Now, F.F. is not so important to everyone, but some of us are laydees when we go on hols. If you are smart, you'll know who they are in your group already. This is the emphasis placed on comfort of your holiday experience (transport mainly) vs. a raw 'hit'n split' mentality. When I say 'hit'n split' I mean driving/travelling an hour or more to the slopes and back to the hotel every day, in the name of having a good time.
For some people this crazy attitude does not constitute a good time. YOU NEED TO SET THESE RULES FIRST!

It the most part, a full squad of weekenders may not be in tow at this stage. Most will want others to do the leg work on prices and places first before they put forward their ideas forward too. This is where your bulldawg control freak earns their vin chaud credits. If you haven't realised this already... thats you. Yes YOU! No other person in your group would have read this posting for as long without the necessary need to do a proper job and commitment. So atleast you got your crazy control freak sorted and onboard....

Lets give you some tools to do your job now.
  1. Run that web search on package deals. Add on all the extras which make the basis of the holiday and send it out to your chums. Suggest that they all do the same. As their deals come in, you can then talk about the next stage.
  2. Why you going? Many, many reasons are good answers here - but be weary of those who answer with this; "I have never been there - so thats why I want to go there". The problem with this answer is that it can possibly cut out the rest of the group. It's a self indulgent request and will not help the group book. A good answer is, "This place has got great apres ski, thats why I like it". This answer gives you a response that you can work with. Therefore you can put a positive spin on your suggestions, by researching the cool spots to hit up in the resort ;-)
  3. Hopefully the biggest reason for boarding together will be because you all love to hang with each other - and look forward to that. Next up is try becoming a member of a snowboarding forum. Thiese places are full of cool folk who LOVE their boarding and know an awful lot about where to go, what is cheap and how to enjoy yourself. Don't be afraid to quote them to your friends. They know their shit.
  4. Once you have a couple of good options, then let the group think on it for a few days first, It's good to let eveyone do some final checks and hopefully before the prices begin rising, you'll have the lions share of the group booked. More importantly, get the snow dawg onboard. This guy/gal is the key to involving the party as a whole. If snow dawg is coming, then the snow party will definitely be a righteous one.
Right, I think thats all you need to get started. I cannot possibly offer up all my favourite deals to tease you and generally lord it over you... but the best bit of advice I can give you is, get a good group. Love the time spent with them, because when you are trying to spin a holiday for your buddies - the final speach that always gets the job done is sentimental crap spoken from the heart.

More gold dust from Cuba. Love me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Karma Wrath


I did something today which I am not entirely sure as to whether or not I can count it as good karma... or baaaaad karma. You help me decide.

I was travelling into work, on the M25 carpark which we laughingly refer to as a motorway, and a guy cut across a couple lanes of slow moving traffic and finished directly infront of me.

Not a problem in itself, but then the guy wound down his window and emptied a clutch of cigarette ends onto the road infront.

Now... I was p1$$ed off. I mean, what a tw@t. I memorised his car details, and went on my merry lil way. Once at work I reported his littering to that littering website - all his details. They don't have any powers to do much apart from add another name to a petition for the government to do something more about these truly pointless anti-social acts.

Tell me, was that a good thing to do or a bad and vengeful thing to do?


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Creative Interlude VI

First Attempt

Blurred star shards chequer through curtain and dirty pane,
coating rolled up bundles of randomly discarded skins.
The morning burns colourful, greyness and hazy rememberance,
beckoning a brief and dileberate counting of body parts.

A new mind taken into the day, cuddled by soft warm down,
daring the first uncomfortable decision to quit the womb.
Pull back, just once more the warmth, the repeated idiocy,
the evenings poison an ever present balloon of insurgency.

The god's have been summoned by pain alone, promises made,
they have heard, witnesses to the eves pageantry now lost.
Tighter are thoughts held in the soft shifting confusion,
long last the increased glow light reconstitutes reality.


Tramp Hunter

Hey, been a hectic day - plenty 'O work to do and not enough time. I won't bore you with that today though.

Popping into Oxford city centre whilst waiting for my next appointment, I hurried over to my favourite fast food shop - The Cornish Pasty shop on the High Street for a lunchtime filler.


I reccommend it to anyone vsiting Oxford who finds themselves out on the town and hungry.

Walking back to my car and scoffing my pasty, I was called to by a homeless dude, laying on the floor looking well sorry for himself. Pleading for some money. I don't like giving out money to street beggars most of the time, and told the geezer "No, sorry I couldn't help him" and carried on past. He called back to me asking for me to buy him a pasty too... so I readjusted my route to swing by the king of cornish pasty shops and buy the rascal his lunch. I couldn't turn down a request for some food could I?

I bought the pasty and headed over to where he lay, and he was gone! Couldn't believe it!

So I quickly walked around the city centre looking for him... nothing.. Shame for him, bully for me coz I got my diner sorted too.

I'm pretty sure that doesn't count towards my karma credits as I didn't manage to deliver... I mean, I could have called back to him and told the fella to wait on, but I wanted to suprise him with some pure pasty gold. I'll keep looking for my karma credits this week..... who knows where they may be.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Slippery when Snowy

On the hunt for my karma credits this week still, unfortunately my bid for the mother load was immediately repaid by the gentlemanly geezer I helped out.

Travelling out in my nice new vehicle to complete a survey for work, I found myself on the wrong end of a slippery snow slope. My car buried itself in the snow in about 30seconds flat... seemingly never to move again.

While I was contemplating how long I could survive in the boot of my car (hopefully until spring), another car came past and got stuck too. Wheels spinning - going no where.

His car was lighter, and front wheel drive, so I figured if anyone was worth saving, then he was. I walked over introduced myself and offered to help him out. I was met with a cheery smile, a shovel and huge wads of appreciation. Nice fella - named Luke, works as a satellite dish fitter. He had been trying to get into the cul-de-sac since Christmas to sort out a students tele reception.. but snow had kept him at bay. Today was his first go at it - and now he was stuck like me.

We both dug each other out of the snowy prison - so no karma points for me, but I felt pretty good doing something nice for a random stranger and is fast becoming a new interest of mine.

...and this is the good part - it alllll seems to get reciprocated pretty fast... people are nice.


Saturday, January 02, 2010

For Shizzle...Shiver

Yeah man. It's been fun this last few months - again with the changes, all pretty sweet.

Had a wicked crimbo and new year! Check out the photos.

You will be forgiven for thinking that I spent all the crimbo hols chilling and making snowmen, and why not - of course.

New house, new car, new priorities and new hope for a classic future. Let me see if I can relay some of that to you guys over the next few weeks :-)

Cuba out for now.
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