Chiller thriller.Byline: Hilarie Stelfox
A QUITE astonishing number of people are injured in skiing accidents every year.
Which is not something that normally troubles me, as it is many years since I gave up the sport after acquiring another expensive hobby - child rearing.
But a little snippet A small amount of something. In the computer field, it often refers to a small piece of program code. in the papers this week got me worrying. To be fair it doesn't take much to worry me, but I have my reasons for fearing ski-related disasters, as Second born is about to embark on her first-ever ski trip.
Apparently, as many as 1,500 skiers are injured in Austria alone every winter - with more than 30 fatalities. The main cause of injury is the fact that the European mountains are congested and skiers crash into each other. This year the snow conditions are better than expected in these climate-change times and so predictions are that resorts will be busier than ever.
With all this in mind we decided that it might be best if we booked The Girl a lesson or two at a ski centre. Not that this will prevent other skiers from crashing into her, but she needs to get her 'ski legs'.
Unfortunately, such is the popularity of skiing at this time of year - and in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of a credit crunch Credit Crunch
An economic condition whereby investment capital is difficult to obtain. Banks and investors become weary of lending funds to corporations thereby driving up the price of debt products for borrowers. - that the only lesson we could get was at 9.30pm on Saturday evening at the far side of Manchester.
The Man, who has never ventured on the pistes, booked himself a lesson as well.
"Did you book me one, for a refresher?" I enquired.
"No. Did you want one?" Firstborn, who is still home from university, intervened: "You don't need a lesson, you can ski with me." Ah the confidence of youth.
"You do know," said I, my bottom lip trembling a little: "that the last time I skied on real snow was several years before you were born." "Oh, you'll be fine." Which is alright for him to say.
Firstborn appears to have learned the sport by some form of osmosis osmosis (ŏzmō`sĭs), transfer of a liquid solvent through a semipermeable membrane that does not allow dissolved solids (solutes) to pass. Osmosis refers only to transfer of solvent; transfer of solute is called dialysis. as he has only been on one skiing holiday (the same school trip that Secondborn is going on), but zips up and down dry slopes with a certain reckless style.
And so it came to pass that at a time of the week when most sensible hard-working parents are settling down with a bottle of crisp Chablis and a DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. (I've wanted to see Mamma Mia for weeks now), I was clamping myself into a pair of slightly damp ski boots in a place with a mean temperature of minus 2 called, somewhat ominously, the Chill Factor.
The Man and Girl headed off to the nursery slope and Firstborn abandoned me at the bottom of the button lift, having spied two friends who were energetically thundering down the main ski run. "See you later." I was left alone to face my nemesis - the button lift.
In my opinion learning how to stay on a lift is the most valuable skill a beginner can learn, especially if planning a holiday during the peak season. Because, woe betide be·tide
v. be·tid·ed, be·tid·ing, be·tides
To happen to.
To take place; befall. See Synonyms at happen. the useless English first timer who shares a lift with an impatient European black run expert (which they all seem to be). It pays never to forget that most Europeans who frequent the slopes learned to ski while still being breast fed and see beginners as an irritation.
They do not like it if you wobble wobble /wob·ble/ (wob´'l) to move unsteadily or unsurely back and forth or from side to side. See under hypothesis.
1. about or fail to hook the T bar under your bum at the first attempt. They like it even less if you fall off half way up and cause the lifts to stop.
The perils of ski lifts were revealed this very week when a 48-year-old skier in Colorado was left dangling from a chair lift by his trousers - revealing his cold extremities to opportunist op·por·tun·ist
One who takes advantage of any opportunity to achieve an end, often with no regard for principles or consequences.
op photographers, who then beamed the pictures around the world.
I'm happy to say that my own lift-related mishaps have been much less newsworthy.
It turns out that skiing is just like riding a bike - even the falling over feels much the same. I found I could remember what to do and after an hour even managed a couple of parallel turns.
I was as pleased with myself as if I'd conquered the Matterhorn. Until I saw The Boy giving me a pitying look.
"Why do you lift one leg up in the air when you turn?" he said. "It looks stupid." "I don't notice anyone else's mum giving it a go," I was forced to reply.
I think I know what it is not to be appreciated in my own lifetime.
Apparently, as many as 1,500 skiers are injured in Austria alone every winter - with more than 30 fatalities
ICE TIME: It turns out that skiing is just like riding a bike - even the falling over feels much the same.