Friday, February 24, 2006

Rounding up!

Well, the last 3 days have been cracking. Good pistes, good weather (apart from today, mind, bit too much snow and cloud!).

Had my lesson yesterday, the very helpful Jean says my balance is excellent: comments were about twisting too much! He had me carving turns and doing a natural halfpipe! Loon! Great fun, I spent plenty of time on my bum. Must mean he was right! After we went down Piste L (the bowl) I ended up taking the lift over the hill, and unwittingly ended up in the third valley across: eventually met up with Nic for lunch. D'oh!

Today big weather: cloud and snow at high alt, hard to see, very flat light, so hard to see the piste condition, etc. You'll be pleased to know I have survived intact! Tom, on the other hand, staved his thumb badly enough to dislocate it a few days back but he popped it back in (eeeuw!) and now it's a variety of cool colours.

My board has been fantastic since I had it serviced at keilly sport on tues night: the wax is good, it's been faster than even Tom's burton custom X! not bad for a salomon, eh? The guy in keilly sport was dead sarcastic about it tho- "are yoo 'appy weeth this board?" - "really??" - I don't care, it works for me, nice and flexible!

So we're up and out at 5am tomorrow - sheesh! - but it's a raclette at La Casserole for Nic and I tonight, just us, I've been so happy to actually get the hang of boarding we've not seen enough of each other, so it's lil meal for two time. Nice.

Cheerio peeps, back to music next week: panic studios rehearsals and gigs!

A the knackered!

Today thw we

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another fantastic day...

Another fantastic day...
Another fantastic day...,
originally uploaded by Spammy Spamton.
In fact, I've worn out my board! It's in for a service, 23€ all in for edge and wax, which compares well to Snow and Rock in Chertsey which would charge me £35 for essentially the same job!

But today... finally .anaged to galvanise into an early start, and explored vast tracts of Tigne's pistes after taking both funicular railways to get to possibly the highest point hereabouts. We then rode continuously (with a few lifts in between, of course) between 930ish and about 2pm(!)-I've enjoyed a little off piste action, and came down a black run with possibly the best rendition of the north sea swell in snow form ever: moguls? these were all bloody rupert maxwells!

Now totally wiped!

The pic is of 2 jet trails tom saw, the camera added the third for my inital to come alove in the sky. Signs and portents!

Cheerio, you'll be hearing from me later...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Keilly sport to the rescue!

The bindings are fixed!

After a couple of false starts, including one hell of a bum steer from precision ski in val, Keilly Sport (praise their name) drilled out the cover screw, removed the stump, found a bolt and fixed it all up. Sweet!

So Nic and I have had a brilliant day, up Glacier, down as many blue runs as we could handle: we're keeping up with each other really well, exchanging positions and resting up for water at lookout points.

Magical weather today, as well: clear skies, great snow, and the lift queues weren't too bad :)

Happy days!

if it's not me getting broken...

It's the gear!

My flow bindings are shedding bits again: lost one of the left binding's highback retaining bolts. It would have been nice to have seen this BEFORE we got to the top of tommeuses lift.

Anyway, I patched it up with rope(!) taken from a helpful piste marshal.

Unfortunately my temporary repair is now proving to be impossible to undo: I think maybe it's time I stopped using Flow bindings. They're really comfortable, really convenient and on my feet, really unreliable.

Perhaps this afternoon someone can help me fix them. If not, it's time to buy yet another set of bindings.Arse! I had a great time this morning as well, really riding quite hard despite the rope fix thing. tch.


P.S. pic is view from the Brussels Hotel across the nursery slopes.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

view from the bar, solaise! - an explanation.

The pic in the last post is just before we charged up the solaise for Nic's private lesson with Arnaud (typically splendid looking hippy frenchman!). I had a wicked time between 12 and 2 going up and down blue and red runs at the top of solaise, down from the glacier, back to Val then back up solaise again...

Great fun, really hooking up with the board today: james bond style.

Today's embarrasing admission: I've split me trousers! Going to go get some outrageously expensive boarder pants later. Maybe corduroy. Maybe I'll pose yet!

L8r peeps

P.S. if you use Flickr to post to your blog, do remember to add the picture. D'oh!

view from the bar, solaise-pic!

Oops, forgot the bailey.


Andy the Rad (not)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

After 8 hours!!!

No kidding, it has taken 8 hours to get through a 3 hour transfer... god, torture with a europop soundtrack, save me!!!

French Airports...


Jeez, is lyon some small backwater where you don't usually see a soul or something?

I swear, it was funny when the guy driving the steps to get off the plane parked 2 foot short and we sat there waiting to get off for another 10 minutes... it was even slightly interesting to be stood around for 30 mins waiting for a bored french policeman to glance laconically at my passport... but waiting 2 hours to get your bags? The handlers all looked like they thought libertes were made to be taken.

Lyon airport sucks. Royally. And we had to trek about half a mile to get to the bus, which doesn't have enough space for all the boards and skis people have brought!

Hopefully we won't be too uncomfortable on the way over to Val. There is a bloody kid learning to speak behind me who has been saying IK for the last 10 minutes, then changed to HELLO, now she's talking normally.

I predict tears before the end of the trip. Kids are not meant to take 3 hour coach trips, it's cruel to everyone concerned, especially the kid.


Things you find out too late and didn't want to know...

OK, I'll admit it, I'm in Gatwick again. About to fly to lyon, then on to val d'isere for... more snowboarding!

This time it's the regulars: tom, ingy and jim. After the recent round of redundancies at Panasonic, to which I was not invited, Ed is finding a new job, bless, so couldn't come along. 3 interviews this week, including Microsoft. Talk about frying pan/fire...

Just found out Tom the ever-competitive once had a "see who can drink the most without peeing" poker competition: loser of the hand drinks a pint of water!


So here we are at gate 32 in Gatwick, an inevitable 1 hour late boarding (the irony!) and they've successfully conned us into getting to the gate just after 7am. I got up at 4! The gits!

Must get the board serviced in val before I go out, Verbier was not kind-snow coverage on Savoleyes was crap! Luckily the snow report for Val is currently fantastic, a foot over the weekend. Nice!

Music news!
Janeiro is now called Tempa Tempa, not sure what to do with the website: I may get another domain, then use as my own, redirecting people to Tempa Tempa's site.

Rehearsals when I get back, in Panic Studios again, in time for Izi gig next month. Did I mention Pop Bar is having us back? Yay!

Right, must get another drink.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Whaddaya know? It brushes!

Whaddaya know? It brushes!
Whaddaya know? It brushes!,
originally uploaded by Spammy Spamton.
Wierd. Last night's gig in soho was fun: I wore the bizarre BnR wig thing I got in london last yr for a giggle. As it turns out, it will brush up pretty good with some persuasion...

Too wierd. It's like gazing at Hal, or Stangus.

Makes you feel more human at a gig of 20somethings though. I was awake after everyone else went to sleep on the way home! I'm not so tired...

Good gig BTW.

Happy valentines, if you read this. My loved one, Nic, is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold. TM.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Gigs gigs gigs! And ballet!

Well. So this is the new year gig mountain i was hoping for... wow!

2 things to report, then:
- Lots of gigs coming up. Thanks to a great gig at IZIs in Witney-which, btw, is a great little venue, even if the stage is a little small and designed for pole dancers, I spent the gig leaning against the pole!- we now have what looks like a pseudo-residency on thursday nights, starting first week in march. There's another club in Witney Jake got talking to after the gig who are showing an interest in us as well. Witney is revealing a side I didn't think it had!
-We had a great time thursday night in IZIs. Jake was on fine for onstage, lorraine and George sounded really together, good harmonies, and Jamie the NewBoy :) had a fun time too. Lots of smiles, and he's got one hell of a handshake.

Now, we've just found out we've got a gig in soho! Monday night, at what sounds like a sorta open mike night. It'll be top 2 gig in london again: ain't done that since I was gigging with haematic ages ago.

Been shopping for guitar straps too, in reading. Seems modern music shut down, hickies is still a dead loss for guitar stuff (although I did get a good slap tech book in there) so happy to report they have a new place called guitar world near the post office. Nice Warwick collection.

Stop that. Expensive.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Witney gig tonight!

Cool, tonight's gig at Izi's in Witney should be a real blast. New venue, and the promise of gigs in london to come - this is the ramping up towards killing them in london!

Speaking of "in london" - first rehearsal at Panic Studios was great: good gear they've got there, after the trouble I've had with the Warwick Pro-tube IX unsoldering itself under heavy load I'm wondering if I should take a cue from Panic's choice of Ashdown gear - thing is, do they make a head big enough? ;)

I like the warwick cabs, but maybe I should swap out the head for an ashdown. I figure, if it survives in a rehearsal room (and believe me, many of the knobs were missing but it was still doing a great job) then it'll survive gigging with me, surely?

The trial with Warwick EMP strings continues: they're not really blowing me away the way I thought they would though, I can't help getting the feeling the Blue Label Elites I used for years actually stay brighter out of the pack for longer. Time will tell, I guess. I must remember to take spare strings with me tonight and restring the 4 string, I've been slapping the hell out of it for the last couple of days as Jamie the new drummer is making me well paranoid. He's very good... it's raising my game the way I hoped it would.

You've got to have someone to keep up with. I'm not the most competitive person in the world (to be honest, I've done so much intellectual introspection about myself I'm essentially useless to society as I can't find any reasons to subscribe to any of the behaviour patterns that mean you "get ahead" these days), but it helps if you get really embarassed every so often about keeping up with someone.

Besides, this is supposed to be the aspect of my life I'm good at: gotta make it work, or frankly, what is my life actually for? :)