I started writing this entry a couple weeks ago, but got side-tracked and haven’t had much of a chance to get back to it. By started writing, technically I mean I wrote the title then gave up, and much of chance basically means I’d rather be burning through both seasons of house of cards than writing. Unfortunately I’ve finished both seasons and the third isn’t released for another month so I’ve run out of excuses to not update.

I always find this happens when I’ve settled into a new place and adjusted, it really isn’t that interesting to read about, a lot of fun to partake in personally, but in essence pretty much a day to day life that happens to involve quite a bit of skiing and drinking.

I just went to re-read my last blog entry and didn’t realise quite how long it has been since I’ve posted. My last entry ended with me about to start work, we’re now well into the season, everyone has got used to their jobs and short term contracted people actually leave us at the end of February which is very scary to think about – seasons really do fly by. We’re currently in the lull between Christmas and the Chinese New Year at work; no countries really have any school breaks, and I guess even the super-rich that spend weeks at ski resorts have to work at some point. This means that currently we are operating at around 10-20 kids a day, so it’s a bit slow and I’m looking forward to the rush that should hit a week or so and we’ll be back up to the hectic fun of 150+ a day.

Christmas and New Year was a lot of fun out here, we did a big house meal for Christmas and a pretty messy night out at New Year. We made our own fireball whisky, (a chili cinnamon blend), I shook up some espresso martinis and then ended up losing my phone between bars, but somehow it survived three days in a snowbank and was kindly returned to me! The Yorkshire Tea sent out in Sara’s care package has been a life-saver, even the international specialty store hasn’t realised what a vital product it’s missing.

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I’ve taken up snowboarding in the past couple of weeks, the rental setup here is fantastic and staff can borrow anything as long as the store isn’t too busy, so I’ve rented the gear and had a blast learning to ‘ride sideways’. I started out taking some actual lessons from NBS to try avoid getting the technique that the majority of my skiing has developed through, by which friends say point the tips down that way and you’ll figure out the rest! From there I’ve moved back to going out with friends, forgetting half the technique as my competitive side kicks in and I determine to keep up even if I end up flying down sections on my arse, which is better than my face at least.

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Skiing wise I’ve some epic days out hiking out the gates to explore the side country, putting in a 15 minute trek before or after the run means some insane powder with the highlight probably being a big natural quarter pipe that left me trying to clear my goggle lenses as I shot down through the trees. The night skiing here is probably one of my favourite things about Niseko, the slopes are pretty empty as most punters are too tired and there’s still nice spots of powder if you know where to go/if it’s puking. The view down over the village when it’s clear is also fantastic and you hardly even realise if it’s minus twenty!

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Other than that we still try and gym each week, (although not enough), I’m still heading down to the pool weekly and have gotten up to 2.5km front crawl before I collapse into the sauna and chilling out with other naked men in the Onsen is still a treat. My efforts at cooking have deteriorated down to just making pasta partly due to loading up with free lunch at work and also due to the effort of heading down to the supermarket and lugging everything back up. This may contribute to my mid-season man flu I’ve currently got, but more likely due to just being busy. Tonight though is the second ‘Japanese’ night at our house, the previous one a month ago was fantastic with some yoga, then some Takoyaki and Gyoza. Tonight Orie is cooking and Sushi is on the menu, so I have high anticipations. Hope everyone is well and in all honesty you probably won’t see another update until the season is drawing to a close, so enjoy the coming of spring!

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