Sunday, 24 February 2008

Travel XVII, Cold Places

When I was a schoolboy studying science the teacher asked us "why do animals have fur in cold places?", the answer was "to keep their cold places warm", which brings me rather neatly to Sankt Anton in Austria. That was the skiing do two weeks ago, a bit challenging but manageable. After all it was the British who invented winter sports, as pointed out to me by an Austrian. Makes perfect sense now, of course it has to be a Brit who first tied two planks to his feet and set off down a mountain at a ridiculous speed.

I can just see him now picking himself up and saying "nonsense, only one leg's broken, help me up, I'll get it next time". Being quite challenging slopes and not cheap, there are less reckless lunatics (teenagers) around so there were no accidents this year. For me anyway, two of the group came home with cracked ribs. Although one of them had a cracked rib before we went.

After that I had a team building trip to Aberfoyle, Scotland. Driving 4x4's in the woods, archery, caber tossing, highland fling (the dance) and so on. It was a nice few days away but team building isn't really my thing. The team building people encourage lateral thinking but if you start telling them their course sucks then you're being difficult. I wasn't that crude but I did demonstrate to the nice lady that her personality typing test didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Her lame response was that it gave me confirmation of what I thought I knew, my lame response was "yeh, thanks for that".

Oh yes, the Edinburgh Ghost tour, a trip around the most the haunted place in Britain. It would've been great if we did see a Ghost but in the end it seems we just paid some geezer to stand around in the freezing cold for three hours. I suppose that's pretty much what people do when they visit Scotland anyway. Though it is true what they say about the scenery - spectacular. I must have taken a million pictures. Maybe not quite a million but definitely more than twenty.

The Amsterdam airport security were giving me some strange looks as I explained the Haggis to them. I had a tinned one in my carry-on and it set off the alarms. They just let me through because they didn't want to hear anymore about it. I don't see what the big deal is, bit's of pork and oatmeal in a sheep's intestine, if that's not exactly the same as a sausage you can bugger me with a banana.

So that was the delayed Valentine dinner, Haggis, mash and salad with a chilled Sancerre. Unfortunately, the Sancerre was red. Someone decided to get a red one for change and didn't tell someone else about it, needless to say it was all the first someone's fault as usual.

It's good to be back in Belgium though, sometimes it does feel like home. It must be the little things like chilled red wine that make me think "well, if I can do that then I must belong here somewhere".

Good day to you all.