Friday, 31 January 2014

Olympic Bobsleigh Love Match

One of the small pleasures that gets me through the week at this miserable time of year is David Parkin's column in the Friday edition of Always a sideways view of business life and usually with an anecdote or two along the way. This week's column made me smile because it brought back a special memory. David has just been down the Olympic bobsleigh track at Innsbruck - something which I have also done ... in January 1982.

People sometimes ask how my beloved and I first met and it was indeed on our one and only skiing holiday. Why never again? (The children ask this a lot because they feel they are in some way deprived when their chums go off to the slopes and we steadfastly refuse to go.) Because that holiday changed our lives and, call us superstitious, but we don't want to make that kind of change again.

In January 1982, as Human League's Don't You Want Me Baby was number 1 in the charts, we (my then other half and I) set off by Wallace Arnold coach from Elland Road, Leeds to the Austrian ski slopes with two other couples whom we barely knew. One of the four was my beloved, though he wasn't that then. And one thing I knew by the end of the holiday was that I would never meet anyone as kind and lovely as himself ever again.

But that's skipping ahead. Amongst all the crashing about with planks on our feet and late night drinking (and I'm not going into any more detail than that) there was a trip to the Olympic bobsleigh track at Innsbruck. Crammed into a bobsleigh with a professional brakeman at the back (think Cool Runnings without the egg) we set off at high speed in something which felt literally as fragile as eggshell and went like the proverbial clappers whilst we sat with our legs gripped around the person in front in absolute terror. It was brilliant but, like our skiing holiday, never to be repeated.

Back in Blighty, we, my beloved and I, did eventually get together and four children later and a whole rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, we are still together and will be celebrating our Pearl (30th) wedding anniversary in a couple of months. Yah boo sucks to all those people who said it wouldn't last.

So thanks to David Parkin for bringing back all those memories and although the weather isn't being kind I shall be basking in the memory of the terror of hurtling down the ice track, holding on tight to the rather less-stout-than-today man of my dreams.
You see... still gorgeous! 

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