I am home from my skiing holiday, and lo! it was good. The aforementioned course was brilliant. While I would not proclaim myself a champion skater, I was respectable and it was a lot of fun. I'll definitely be doing more of it in future. Also bonus language practice thanks to the tiny group of two German speakers and two English speakers* each of whom knew the other language a bit, but not sufficiently to make either one dominate conversation*. The Alps were spiky and impressive even when the föhn was blasting a hair-dryer at the snow**, and a glass of wine with dinner less than a third of the price of Norway. It was all very easy and restful and I didn't have a cold during it (or, so far, after) for the first time in years.*** I expect next year to revert to where my heart lies, in the high white wilderness of the Norwegian fells, or at least Finland, but for this year the logistically easy and more populous version with shops was definitely what I needed. I managed just enough fitness to make the most of it, though at times it felt very noticeable to me that I had a veneer of energy laid over a pit of absence. But much as ice starts on the top of the water rather than the bottom, the veneer can in time be built into the real thing.
Back to work tomorrow! I feel simultaneously refreshed and reinvigorated for it and terrified of my inbox.
* The coach was Swedish and explained everything twice.
** Except the day it rained. I did my course in the morning, a diligent 3km of practice afterwards, and then went to the 'sauna world' to get rather more pleasantly drenched and hang around in a heated pool outdoors in the rain.
*** I have now not had a cold for about 5-6 weeks. This is amazing, maybe I've finally run out of new ones.