Italians seem to do everything with flair. They’re just ever so cool. This past weekend was my first time skiing in Italy with a group of Italians and it transpires that their skiing is no different from anything else they do – cool. Continue reading “256. There’s skiing and then there’s Italian skiing.”
It turns out that cracking out your Chinese in the French mountains doesn’t tend to lead to successful communication. I suppose there are much bigger problems to have but ideally I’d really like to get to a point where my brain can fully engage with a conversation in the right language.
By the end of my week in France, I was just about speaking the correct language again. Lo and behold, I came back to the UK and had a Chinese lesson where it took me doubly as long to answer anything because I kept thinking it in French first.
I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say that there are few things in life that really beat finding yourself amongst some of the most beautiful mountains in the world and taking on the snow with a set of planks attached to your feet. Those bluebird days of clear skies, fresh powder and burnt noses are nothing short of perfect. Continue reading “254. Skiing in the rain is not the one.”
For the first time in two and a half years, I am back in the UK, spending Christmas with my family and retracing the footsteps of my old life. Continue reading “253. Some things never change.”
Probably about two years ago, I made a post about how you should strategically choose your friends – it was heavily laced with sarcasm but did mention that I had made a friend who was very good when it came to food (understatement of the year). Continue reading “252. Find yourself a personal chef.”
For those of you that don’t know, ‘hygge’ is a Danish word that refers to that warm, cosy feeling that you get when you’re sat next to a fire, or have lit a candle and you’re with friends and family and you just feel at home and comfortable. Continue reading “251. Hygge is great.”
You know that phrase: ‘if you want something done properly then just do it yourself’ – it turns out it’s entirely true.
On my way back to the UK, good old Beijing airport managed to not put my back on my transfer to Manchester, which is, all in all, great news when you get off an eleven hour flight and you’re standing in Manchester airport at five in the morning watching the carousel come to a halt without having delivered your luggage. Joy. Continue reading “250. Don’t trust Manchester airport with anything.”
My friend Shannon and I recently decided to conquer Taiwan’s highest mountain – 玉山。To climb this mountain, as with many areas within Taiwan, you must obtain a mountain permit at least a month or two before your climb. For two highly disorganised individuals, this took a lot of thought, mostly along the lines of how can we possibly know if we’ll be in the mood to climb it on that particular day, can’t we just decide the day before? – alas, we acquired the permit, got ourselves sorted and put the matter to rest until the day before the climb. Continue reading “249. Sometimes getting there is the hardest part.”
North East Asia’s highest peak lies in the centre of the beautiful island of Taiwan. At nearly 4000m, it’s a relatively easy climb safe for the last 50m up to the summit where you’ll need to traverse and haul yourself up some rather dangerous looking rocks. The whole thing is beautiful, with sharp cliffs and tree covered slopes and waterfalls and endless mountains in the distance – I only know this part because we saw it for about twenty minutes, the rest of the time we saw white cloud and nothing else. Continue reading “248. Climb Yushan but choose the right circumstances.”
Picture this. 3400m or so high in a lodge on the slopes of Yushan, Taiwan’s highest peak, braving the torrential rain and freezing temperatures sit two wholly unprepared foreigners. Whilst they sit sporting every layer they own that isn’t wet, a kind local wanders over and places two glasses of homemade port on the table to warm their bones. Sorted.