I may not remember a conversation I had with you yesterday. Sure I was listening, and taking it in, but bear in mind there was at least seven other conversations that day that demanded my attention, which I took in, and tried to organise in my head in order of importance, but the ordering of it got too much so I just ended up thinking about snow, or lesbians, or lesbians in snow, and that conversation just dropped out of my head. Which puts me in mind of Christmas one year, a time for giving, and receiving, and being with family. Bear with me, this is probably going somewhere.
As was the tradition at the time, a few of us had been to the local pub on Christmas Eve just drinking and having a good time, as you do. I ended up staying at a friends house and needed to get back to my parents house on the Christmas day, so they kindly offered to pick me up, drive me to my flat so I could spend a bit of time in the shower scrubbing out the smell of Stella Artois, and then drive me back to theirs for a day of presents, food, presents, beer, and presents.
Due to my mediocre attention span I am not entirely sure how this came about, but as my parents sat in the living room of my flat while I made my way off to the shower, my Mother began to look at part of my DVD collection and asked if it was okay if they could borrow some films. Of course I said that was fine, thinking I was safe in the knowledge that any filthy films I had were secured in the bottom of my wardrobe (which a few years later, when I was moving out, she would end up packing up for me without batting an eyelid), and walked off to grab a towel and shower. And that is how, when I walked out of the bathroom with a towel around my waist, on Christmas Day of all days, I found my Mother - the wonderful woman that spent hours in immense pain delivering me some years ago (who I still feel a massive amount of empathy for every time I get measured for a helmet and they tell me I am an extra-large), with my Dad standing next to her - holding up a copy of a DVD called Snow Sluts and asking me, with a slight under-lying tone of sarcasm, "What's this one about then?".
Back to the attention span once more. It's fucking terrible. Really really bad. I could live with it if it was short. I could live with it if it was long. But it's fair to middling. Which basically means I start doing something, and when I think I am okay at it, I give up. Playing the drums in school - I took a couple of exams, got quite good, but then realised how much hard work was involved in being in a band so quit pretty sharpish. You want more examples? Sure, I've got loads. Magic. Loved it as a child. And got okay at it too when I was younger. But this one is surely understandable as magic is not cool. David Copperfield may have scored Claudia Schiffer, but then Paul Daniels scored Debbie McGee - and I can think of thousands of people on this planet that the words "The Lovely" should be used before, and all of them aren't her by any stretch of the imagination. The Great Soprendo was married to Victoria Wood for ages, and she still has a bowl haircut, appears on countdown every now and again, and is only Britain's favourite "comedienne" because she has jokes that don't primarily involve periods or useless husbands. But then where she is concerned, my attention span shortens even further, so she may actually have that, but I have never bothered to pay attention through her act.
Martial Arts. I spent quite a lot of time with this one. I got up to blue belt, which to be brutally honest is less than halfway, but I did well. I came second in one tournament (beaten by a girl, one of the more erotic moments of my childhood), had a good few results in group tournaments, then gave it up because I felt I had learnt all I needed to to counter the bullies at school who tormented me every day for being a lardass. Which was wrong to be honest. To counteract most of that, I just needed to keep my fat gob shut, but who knew at the time?
So getting back to the original point, which I can't remember due to my short attention span, but am going to assume it was something to do with skiing. Once again, during the course of the season, I have been lame. Really lame. Most previous seasons you would find me out there every day, working on something, whether it be on skis or a board, but this year, not a jot. There's a website where you can check your mountain stats online for the two local hills. While I thought I was doing really well, I checked the other day only to find I had done 12 days. Granted, I have been out to Cardrona a few times, which it doesn't track, but still. 12 days. That's barely a 2 week holiday. I have done that thing where I have accepted I have the whole season, so taken it easy for a while, and am now coming to terms with the fact that there is only 1 month of the season left, and I haven't hit anywhere near the heights I have done before. But you know what? I'm okay with that. Because I still have that one month to go. And as much as I don't generally like summer - I like Queenstown. And I intend to try and do another summer here to see if there is anything I can get into this time. And if I do another summer, I won't be able to leave before another winter.
This place just drags you in.
Dedicated - in a very strange way I guess given the subject matter - to Gramps, who passed away peacefully last Thursday. Rest in peace.