For the last few days I've been feeling a little under the weather. On monday night I came done with a sore throat and a cold. It's been a long time since I've felt this bad. Finally last night I started to feel a little better, and today it feels like I only have one collapsed lung. At the same time as being a 50 a day smoker and having the bubonic plague. It's not often that I feel I absolutely have to take parcetamol, but the last few nights it has become a must. You always know it's bad when you finish off a bag of cough sweets for breakfast.
Over Easter Callum Watson and Phil Bellingham from the Australlian team came to visit me. They are living over in Sweden and were visiting a friend on the Norwegian border so thought to extend there journey a little to come visit me. Now I'm pretty sure that I got ill from trying to keep up with them skiing and at the afterski "barbie". But this morning I was told in no uncertain terms that the sole reason for being ill was because I had skied in shorts. So you've been warned... skiing in shorts will give you the plague, according to norwgian folk law.
We skied a lot last week. I racked over 20 hours of training which for the off-season is quite extreme! The conditions were amazing with it freezing overnight and being between 10 to 15 degrees during the day in the mountains. Down in Lillehammer it was up towards 20 degrees. Cal and Phil were keen to get "bulk jobs done". Which I think translates from Australian to English as keen to do a lot of skiing. Most days we skied for 2 and half to 3 hours. And one day we went for a long one. We were out for 6 hours but skied for about 5. We stopped and ate along the way. Phil and Cal seem to really like going fast when they ski... the concept of a long easy ski seems sort of foreign to them. On pretty much every uphill I was dropped as they would sprint off up to the top... and then they'd complain about having to wait for me. Those two also carry the same approach to their cooking as they do to their training... full gas. We cooked up some feasts. After our 5 hour ski the asked if I had a BBQ. I do. So we decided to have a "barbie". However when we got home and I showed them our BBQ, which we had bought for 100kr, they were far from impressed. "Mate! That's not a grill!". Apparently coal bbq's are outdated and no longer used. So much so that the two experts didn't really know how to use it. I found it quite amusing that the Brit in the group was showing the two aussies how to cook outside on a bbq.
Apart from skiing, preparing and eating food the aussies enjoy pass times such as faffing.... in fact that is the only pass time they enjoy because they never get round to doing anything else. If you think of the best procrastinator you know. These two are at least 10 times worse than that. Sjusjøen is roughly a 20min drive away. So getting up at 8 should mean you are skiing by 9. With these two we were getting up at 7 and we still weren't skiing before 9:30. To top off there necessity for faffing around doing pretty much nothing, Cal is the most forgetful person I know. We were half way to sjusjøen one day when he decided to tell us that he had one skate and one classic pole in the car. And when they left to go home they reappeared 10min later. Cal ran into the house looking for his wallet. Turns out it was in the car all along.
For the first day or so I tried to keep them in line. So we actually got stuff done. But I quickly gave up and joined them. In the true fashion of "if you can't beat them join them". And so we ended up having quite a good few days. The skiing was good, and I managed to do a few new routes that I've never done before and I also went inside a snow hole for the first time. We bumped into Maffa and Trygve one day at the car park. They were just heading off so we headed with them. They took us up to look at a snow hole they had dug and slept in a week or so before. The thing was massive. More like a snow house than a snow hole. They said it took 5 guys 3 to 4 hours to dig it out. It had 3 separate bedrooms/shelves for sleeping on and was even finished with ledges on the walls where candles had been to give them light.
And then after the two Aussies left on monday morning I got ill. Since then I've not really done much.
I have however had a few exciting packages in the post. Firstly I got an indoor cricket set from Andy Cox. He had promised to send me a set when I met the Cox's last month when they were in Nordsetter. Played on a table with a ping pong ball and small hand made stumps and a bat, I can tell it could quickly become a fierce competition with in the british team. Perhaps even one day an indoor cricket ashes series between ski teams?
I also got my first sets of Exel ski poles. I met them in Lahti at the world cup there in March and put things in place to move onto their poles for next season. A box with different handles, straps and poles arrived for me to do the first set of testing.
Hopefully over the weekend I'll be able to wean my self off painkillers and cough sweets. It's less than a week until the season starts so hopefully I'll be "fit for fight" come next thursday.