25 June 2008


One day my son, all this will be yours. What a view though.

Every winter for one week only, which I'm sure my clients still find immensely annoying. A bunch of buddies and I go snowboarding. This has become almost a religious exercise for us and preparations for the holy one week in the snow starts in early September, culminating in the first week of February when we usually go away. This, we have found is the optimum time to go away. Just long enough after Christmas for the prices to be coming down, but before the half term holidays so small lift queues and the snow is pretty good then as well.

There is a tactic to book the resort for our trips too, were the snow is, pure and simple although in later years we do seem to be wimping it and deciding weather or not we like the resort or not and then hoping the snow will be OK. Which always worries me and I find myself pawing over the BBC weather reports every day, in the hope for a bit of fresh snow in the resort we have chosen and booked and now seems to be the only place in the french alps without snow.

Little Craig demonstrating that his goggles just don't mist up.

Craig had a slow start in his Snowboarding career but boy has he caught up


Traditionally this was always a lads only holiday but in resent years some of us have weakened and invited our wives and girl friends along. As yet I have suck to rules but I don't know for how long I can rest Stephanie's feminine charms which she uses at times with great method to sway my iron will to her way of thinking.

"Andy! yea sorry mate, not that way".

Andy said "I just can't sleep unless my bed is really big".

Craig had to stop for a rest, the giant snowboard stuck in his thy was beginning annoy him. Courchevel France 97 Craig and Neil going a bit off piste

In the pursuit of the giant yeti Neil was tenacious.

Slowly Neil was gaining on his pray.

As high as this seemed Craig was only about half way up the piste, that would take us all afternoon to clime and about 2 minutes to ride down. So worth it though.

Coming down isn't always a bad thing.

Someone had the bright idea of doing a backwards somersault from the second story balcony. Little Craig not to be out done did it naked, although he did wimp out at the last minute and keep his socks on. It was cold wasn't it.

Neil loved nothing more than attending the January sales. Fully tooled up of course.

When you got'a go... you got'a go.

You just have to love those early morning cramps.

Being invited to come away is not an easy thing and there are many steps which a new candidate has to pass before they are aloud to come along.

Firstly a new person would have to be invited by some one who is already on the holiday team. This person would vouch for them but this would be to come along to one of the many pre holiday curries that take place before we go away. If the person gets on with every body at the curry and more importantly is liked, they are then invited to come on the holiday. If they come away and wind everybody up they don't get asked back again simple as that.

This probably sounds harsh but if your are going away for one week and one week only it's important that everything is as cool as it can be. Having said all of the above in the past couple of years Little Craig has invited a couple of random guys from down the pup, along just to make him self more popular and because he can't say no, but as luck would have it these guys turned out to be OK so there you are.

Back in the 60s Neil found he had a lot in common with the locals.

Neil and Craig playing silly buggers in the snow.

If it's good enough for Alice, it's good enough for me. "Look out wonderland here I come".

The open air Snowboard emporium didn't have much in the way of stock.

And from birth the baby skier is ready for black runs.

One of best years that we have ever been away and those who came along will I'm sure agree,  was Courchevel in 1997. It had snow pretty heavily a few days before we had arrived so the conditions were perfect and the weather was sunny for our week so it was time to rip. This was only my 3rd year away and was still learning the ropes but that was the year when I realised that just to go a little faster would make every thing work better and more easily. So now I felt I was beginning to get to grips with it now.

This was the First year that little Craig came away and became a life long friend. This was the year that there were girls, a bunch of doctors in our hotel that thought we were cool and hung out with us for the week and so on.

Maybe later I will write a more detailed post on this, the best of snowboarding holidays but for now enjoy the pics above and leave a comment or two.

21 June 2008


Surprisingly, for a bloke who likes his holidays in the winter, (with his friends and probably involving some kind of winter sport) I really enjoyed our "Hot holiday" to Crete also titled our late Honeymoon.

The holiday went without a hitch and was very relaxing. There were no delays at the airports, coming or going and the hotel, "The Golden Beach", was 3 star luxury. Well, the entrance, reception and lobby were all very posh and air conditioned, the rooms were a little more basic, air conditioned with excellent balconies and sea views but basic.


The week went on and I realised that I was beginning to like the place. I liked the attitude that everyone seemed to have. They just didn't give a toss, especially when it came to personal safety which I thought was bloody great. You can sit in a bar drinking a Frappacino and a scooter will shoot past at 40 miles an hour with two quite hot looking local girls on it, wearing tiny skirts, vests tops, and no helmets, and they didn't have a scratch on them or even the hint of a scar that may have shown that they had falling off in the past. No one did. Stephanie pointed out that it was because of the lack of any kind of public health care. Because the government didn't have to pay for it, they didn't care what you get up too. I love that, wish it was like that in England.

After a hard night out on the tiles, Tibs took time to rest up.

We thought that the worst of Stephanies' drinking problems were behind us.

I suppose it could be worse, it could be a pair of trainers.

Stephanie's spying career has been over for some years but she still likes to keep her hand in.

"Hmm Doughnuts".

Think one of those old gits has pissed themselves, thought Steph.

I wasn't sure what to make of Crete when we first arrived, I thought it was a dirty, untidy place with what seemed to be a lot of half finished building work. I began to wonder if the island was called Crete, short for concrete which seemed to be used for all the pavements. The locals seemed to have little respect for this, especially if it was wet concrete and then it seemed compulsory to walk through it, ride your moped or drive your car through it, even cats and dogs wanted to get a look in and leave their paw prints.

Toby the Tuna lay on the wet tiles and cursed his Sat-Nav. If this happens again, he thought, I'm bloody taking it back to Argos.

Here Stephanie is playing an ancient Cretean glass flute, called a Vodka Lime and Soda.

I swear I was not looking at the topless sunbathing girl.


Rocks with waves!

Nothing funny to say here. This was just the best view I have ever seen from a dining table. Rethymnon is so cool.

Rethymnon high street was always a bit quite on a Saturday lunch time.

A Damian Hurst we were told.

"Yea ha! ha! if you think this is bad you should have seen were my mate the Tuna ended up. Still...no one can say i'm a sword loser Yuk! Yuk!".

At night our hotel took on an all together different vibe. Less of a Golden Beach, more a castle in flames.

And the Genie of the small sand shoes spoke to Stephanie saying " Make Neil a lovely cup of tea".

Steph walked up to the quad bike nonchalant, then when no one was looking, jumped on it and made a quick get away. Her old spying habits were hard to ignore.

Hmm lots of lovely food for around the 50€ mark, thought Stephanie.

The Ku Klux Clan liked nothing better than shouting abuse at passing horse back riders while watching the sun go down.

By now Stephanie was so adept at operating her camera, she could do it while fast a sleep.

Agatha Christie pondered the murder in the dinning room the night before.

What lovely pair of real, genuine, polarised RayBan's you're wearing. All the better to see you on really bright and sunny days Mr Wolf.

"Ay Ay Sailor"

Giant cocktail.

Our hotel balcony from outside. we were reassured that it was safe and will look a lot smarter after the renovations.

A knife shop, a bit of a dying trade these days : ).

Very cute holiday rep. It's a pity the chick in the blue blouse is in the way.

"God I could really do with a fag right now" thought Steph.

We surrender.

The actual view from my bed in the morning. That's a sea view then is it?

Drugs raids were a nightly occurrence in Rethymnon.

The invisible German couple finished their drinks in no time.

Just a great view of Rethymnon from the castle walls.

Later in the week we went to Rethymnon, a very old Venetian port a few minutes away from our hotel by taxi. I really loved Rethymnon and spent a lot of time shooting around clicking pics with our new Olympus E410 SLR 10 megapixel camera while Stephanie spent her time in lovely, lovely Cartier, Prada, Calvin Kline, Breitling and Tag watch shops. I was both scared and exited, she was either going to spend a lot of money herself or she was going to spend a lot of money on me, in the end and quite rightly so she showed restraint and did neither.

If your names not on the list you're not coming in.

Rethymnon harbor.

After a heavy night the Ku Klux Clan made their way back to their hotel rooms.

Stephanie shortly after her boob job. A guy at the market did it for €250, you can't go wrong.

The approach to our hotel was narrow at best.

"Storming the castle from this side is suicide" I shouted.

So I decided to take the secret stairs instead.

Rethymnon Light house and medieval harbor wall, I love stuff like this.

As with most holidays this one took the usual patten of getting to grips with a place for the first part of the week and not being sure whether you like the place or not, to finding your way around a bit more by the end of the week, really loving the place and being quite sad to be going home which I guess is the sign of a bloody good holiday.