It's Thursday tomorrow

We have no tree, I've bought no presents, and tomorrow I can look forward to getting up at 06:00am to go to work. If I didn't have to know the date to know my shifts up at the mountain, I don't think that I would even know it was Christmas tomorrow. In fact, back home, it's Christmas already. I'm writing this at 17:30 my time, which is 00:30 UK time. So happy Christmas. It's so beautiful though. I hate Christmas. And being here, I just don't have to care about it. I haven't bought a single present yet. On the off-chance that I get one from someone else, I'll just make the "I left yours at home" excuse, and buy something once the sales hit. We have no Christmas tree. We don't have room for it. But even if we did, I really don't think me or Greg could give a fuck what time of year it is. It really is a feeling of "Is it really Christmas tomorrow? Really? Fuck. I didn't even realise." It's beautiful.

To get away from the festive cheer... that's the biggest cheer of all. Fucking Jesus never did shit to help me apart from make me have to live through damn flashing lights and happy people every fucking December. And if that cunt Jesus thinks that I'm going to have a party in his honour, 2009 years after he was born, or died, or ate a giant fish or something, then he can think again. I have the same beef with Christmas that I do with marriage: I was born with the intelligence to realise that really, God isn't up in space watching everything I do, you can't get 100 people drunk on 1 bottle of wine, unless you use date-rape drugs, and snakes don't talk. So why exactly would I want to join in with the festivities of these mental Christians and their fairy-tale land? I don't. The gift of giving, and that bullshit. Christmas can only... only be the most elaborate marketing ploy ever invented. I can just see the fat-cats now: "How can we make it so every year, every person spend hundreds of £££'s buying crap that no one will actually use? I know, we'll make them buy things for other people." Call me a Scrooge, but I've never understood the concept. I buy something for you, and you buy something for me. I don't want what you buy for me, and you don't want what I buy for you, but we're going to do it anyway. Feel free to accuse me of being logical, but if people just bought things for themselves, then every penny that was spent, would actually be on things that people want. Rather than a load of crap that you have to pretend to like for the next 6 months before selling it on eBay once it's lost half it's value. Call me synacle, but until I'm proved otherwise, Christmas is just the greatest marketing ploy ever created. And thank fuck I don't have to do it this year!

In fact, I start work at 08:00 tomorrow. I have to catch the bus down to the mountain at 07:00, so I'll be up at 06:00. I'm working the gondola tomorrow. And as usual for the am shift on the gondola, I finish at 14:45. So over an hour of skiing. Then seeing as I have to get the same bus for work on boxing day, I'll probably come home, watch a couple of hours of TV, and go to bed. It'll be the best Christmas ever!

And speaking of Boxing day; what we've been told, is that this is potentially the busiest day for the mountain all year. We may well be running at over 100% capacity. And where am I working for Boxing day? On the busiest lift, the Mile 1. And where will I be working on New Years day, another very busy day? That's right, on the busiest lift, the Mile 1. That's all well and good. But I really don't know whether to take this as a complement or not. Is this an indication that my superiors have such trust in me, that they think that I'm the best person to handle to busiest place on the mountain. Or do they dislike me so much that they're putting me in the worst place possible. Or, is it just completely random, and I'm looking way too deeply into this? Probably the latter, but I don't know. But it does give me incentive to not be stupidly hungover for those 2 days. They're going to be long ones. Though it's not like I have plans to get wasted on either yet. On Christmas, well nothing seems to be really happening. And on New year, everyone that I've spoken to seems to be spending it up at the mountain. That's fine apart from how the hell do I get back? I have work the next morning. So although I may be able to find a place to stay at the mountain, do I really want to? I'll have to make sure all my work clothes are in my locker. And even if I'm up at the mountain, do I really want to get up at 07:00 after 2 hours sleep. I just don't care for New Years that much.

To me, Christmas eve is the biggest night of the year. It shouldn't be. But back home, everyone seems to go out. Yet pubs and clubs all leave their prices as normal. So everyone can afford to be out, and to have a good time. And it is always an unexpectedly awesome night. It's also good, because I hate Christmas. So I like to sleep through as much of Christmas day as I can with a hangover. So Christmas eve is the only night of the year where I wouldn't be going out to get drunk. I'd be going out to get hungover. And that means mixing up as many drinks as humanly possible. And when you're drinking with the sole intention of being hungover, getting drunk is kind of a side-effect. And you end up having an awesome night as a result. A few years ago, I managed to sleep through until 7pm on Christmas day I was so hungover. It was the best Christmas ever!

So that's Christmas eve. It's awesome. Then take new years eve. Everyone is going out on new years eve. And the pubs know this. So they ramp up the prices. £50 to get into even a shit pub. £10 per drink. And at those prices, even if it is supposed to be the one night of the year to let-go, you can't afford to have a good night. So in reality, there's as many sobre depressed people about the place, as their is happy drunk people. And ultimately, new years eve to me, is known simply as, 'The biggest let-down of the year.' Every single year it's this. In fact I think last year I was in bed by 22:30 on new years eve. The only reason that I'm worrying about going out this year, is I don't want to see people on new years day, and they say to me "What did you do last night then?" I just don't want my response to be "I sat in front of my tv, jacked-off, and was in bed by 11." It just doesn't sound good. But the dilemma I'm having, is that I haven't spoken to one person yet who will be spending the night in Invermere as opposed to up at the mountain. And I just can't be fucked with the hassle of going all the way to the mountain for the biggest let-down of the year. Especially seeing as I'll have no way of getting back. I did sit next to a girl on the bus yesterday actually, who's house have booked the only taxi in town, for 03:00am, and they had 2 spare spaces in it. And I could have them. I just never got around to getting her number, so I guess that's out. I do know where she works, but I really don't think it's worth the hassle. I think I might just stay in on new years and have a pot-noodle and a wank. We will see. I fucking hate new year. I just feel that I should do something. It's just that I don't want to.

View from champagne Going out on new year will make me hungover. And as I think I said in the last blog, the more hungover I am, the less that I ski. And fuck I love skiing. It's like a drug to me. Ever since I stopped playing football (American) when I finished uni, it's like their has been a big void in my life. I've had nothing I can and want to, really, really focus on. I still watch the NFL all the time obviously. But it's just not the same as playing. But that void has been filled by skiing. I fucking love it! 2 weeks ago, I was the slowest person on the easiest runs on the mountain I was so shit. Now I'm one of the faster people going down the blue runs. I conquered my fear of the Champagne Express yesterday. I did 6 runs down it then. Then I had another day off today, so I must have done at least that number again today. And was it not for limited snow at the top of the mountain, I probably would have made it up to the summit, which is a fairly short chairlift further up from the top of Champagne. I don't know how to explain it, other than skiing is my new drug. Ever since the mountain opened a couple of weeks back, I've skied everyday. Even when I'm working, I'll get a couple of run breaks everyday. I haven't had any lessons or anything. I've just progressed naturally. And I've always been a fast learner. So now I'm contemplating when to ski my first black diamond. That, just 2 weeks after being the shittest skier on the green runs. But the Champagne runs hold no fear for me. In fact there isn't a single blue or green run that is providing a challenge anymore. I just want to do more, and more, and more. I just love it!

I had my camera on me today, so I'll add a few more pictures through the rest of this blog. They probably won't be relevant to the text they're next to. So now you know why there'll be a picture of a chair lift next to some text slagging off Jesus some more, if I somehow end up back on that again.

The Champagne Express chair lift Now you know how I said in the last blog that the temperatures really didn't feel that cold? Well I changed my mind on Saturday. It was -35°C. And on busy days, a couple of lifty's will have duties of car-parking. Meaning, standing in the car park, directing cars to the empty spaces. Well I drew the short straw on Saturday. I was only doing this for maybe 3 hours. But unlike working the lifts, when you're working in a car park, you don't have a hut you can go into to warm up. So even in 5 or 6 layers, being outside for 3 hours in -35°C... I'll admit it started to feel a little nippy. It's warmed up now mind. I never thought -15°C would feel warm to me. But after a week in temperatures below -20°C, -15°C means removing layers. It almost feels like Summer.

I lost a bit of respect for the NFL the other night. The Bears were playing the Packers on Monday night football. Obviously I was watching. And they kept on banging on about how this was one of the coldest games ever played, and how tough all the fans were etc. etc. You know what temperature it was they were playing in? -15°C. It's hardly worth writing home about. If NFL players think they have it tough, they should try directing traffic at -35°C. That'd teach them a thing or two.

I have another cool cold weather experience though. I like this one almost as much as the beer freezing over in my hand. You know how I said in the last blog that we don't have any heating, because, well, Greg can't afford it, and I'm too tight to pay for it? And I said that most of the time that didn't matter. You just keep your layers on inside and it doesn't bother you. I did also incinuate that the one time it did feel a bit sharp, was getting out of the shower in the morning. Well just as an indication to how cold it actually is getting out of the shower at 06:00am, I had a shower the other day, and my shampoo was a little harder to get out of the bottle than normal. I eventually figured out the reason why that was. It was so cold in our bathroom that the shampoo had partly frozen in the bottle. It just doesn't feel that bad though. When you're spending your daytime outside in -35°C, being inside in, say -5°C or -10°C, feels warm. You come into those temperatures to warm up. I take a Mars bar to work with me everyday. And although I leave my bag in my lifty hut all day, my Mars bar is always a solid rock to eat. That hut feels warm to me. But thinking about it, I just think it's the coming in from -35°C. If it's cold enough to freeze a Mars bar, it must be sub-zero. But that's warm to me in this climate.

Champagne Express chair lift If you read the pre-departure blogs, you might think that a Mars bar doesn't sound like the kind of thing that I'd eat. Well back then, it wasn't. But over the past month, physique has just gone completely out the window. When you work in the cold, all you care about is eating foods that help you stay warm. So my diet currently consists of foods I wouldn't touch 6 months ago. High-sugar foods, high-starch foods, and high-fat foods. Anything to stay warm. And you know how many times I've been to the gym since I've been here? Once. So I'm getting fat. I'll make no beef about it, I'm definitely getting a bit of a wobble going. Not excessively so. Yet. But there is definitely some that's been added to me. The problem I have though, is that I'm working nearly everyday. And on days I'm not working, I'm skiing for 7 hours. And seeing as most days I get up at 6, after a day of skiing, you need more than the conventional 8 hours of sleep. So I'll be in bed by 9. Which means that I have around 3 hours a day between getting back from the mountain and going to bed. And I'd love to get to the gym in that time. But I'm just so fucking tired. Today, for example, it was a choice. I could go to the gym, or I could write a blog. I'm sure you can guess which I chose. Because after a day of skiing, lifting weights just doesn't appeal to me. And it's not like skiing isn't exercise. The problem is, it isn't weight-lifting, which my body is used to doing. So where as in the gym, 4 of every 5 workouts that I'd do would be primarily upper-body, here I'm working my legs. Which means that the muscle that I've built up before coming to Canada on my upper body, just isn't getting used enough. At least not as much as it was before I left. And what does that mean? It means my body won't maintain it anymore. So with my primary exercise currently being skiing, even if I was eating well, I'd still expect a decline in my physique. But now, I'm eating pizza, and chips, and chocolate bars, and burgers... just anything to keep warm. I've got to make a choice I think. If I take my 3 free hours a day, and use that for gym time (and recovery time. You need time afterwards to rest-up and eat the right foods), then I will have precisely zero free time left to spend watching tv, writing blogs etc. But, if I do choose to do that, combining the cardio of skiing with a comprehensive weights workout, I could really be in good shape come the end of the Winter. Plus doing weight training would go a long way to negating the negative effects of the foods that I'm eating. But that would literally be, all of my free-time, gone. If I went to the gym, 5 times a week say, I could spend the other 2 nights writing a blog, and that would be it. I would have no time to socialise. I would have no time to party. My conscious life would literally consist of 4 components. Working, skiing, lifting, and writing. I would have no time for anything else. On the plus side, I would look good. Right now, my physique means fuck-all to me. But that's because I'm wearing 6 layers everyday. I could be anywhere 6 months from now. And however much people like to preach about equal rights for fatties, if you're in shape, you get privilages that fat people don't. And I don't know my plans after Panorama. I might be working on a beach with my shirt off everyday. And I want my sexy person pivilages dammit. It's just very hard for me to motivate myself to get to the gym everyday, when right now, in the daytime I wear 6 layers, and at night I seem to be sleeping alone. I just don't need to look good. But there's no doubt about it. I can see it in the mirror. I'm getting fat right now. And I know the strains of losing weight. I've been there, done it, got the shrink-to-fit t-shirt. But do I want a lifestyle where I look good, and I'm healthy? Or do I want a lifestyle where I have time to relax in front of the tv in the evenings, and go to the pub now and again? I don't know to be honest. All I know, is I'm not willing to forgo skiing or writing. I can't afford to forgo working. So it's simply gym, or no gym. Do I want to look good, or do I want to have a life? I'm honestly not sure which way this one's going to go. Common sense says "Get to the gym you fat-fucker!! You'll regret it later if you don't." But it's always much more appealing to be short-sighted and take the easy path. And the easy path says chill out now. Worry about it later.

Thinking about it, I need to get to the gym. At least 2 or 3 times a week. I really don't want to lose that gym mentality. That mentality that had me going out running in the Summer. That had me walking 30 miles to London and back, just because I felt like it. That had me cycling to the gym and back nearly everyday. I like that guy. Where fitness isn't a barrier. I don't want to become a person that spends 10 minutes trying to fit their car into a space right by the store entrance, to save walking 20 yards further. Those people repulse me. Driving to the supermarket a 10 minute walk away. Fuck it. The more I talk about this, the more I'm realising... I need to get to the gym. I'm in danger of becoming a regular person if I carry on like this. I can't allow that to happen. It's a little tricky right now what with it being the festive period. Places aren't open as regularly as you'd like. But if, by the second week of January, I haven't written in a blog that I'm back to a regular gym routine, I'd like someone reading this to very nicely, and very politely, come and shoot me in the face. There's no way I'm going to become one of those people.

The view from the top of Champagne Something I've said in the past, that reigns true here as well, is that maybe all North American's aren't lazy fuckers, and that's not why they're fat. Maybe, they're just all unlucky. Everytime I'm on North American soil, I get fat. But everytime, it just seems to be bad timing. I just happen to be on North American soil at a time I'm eating shit food and not getting to the gym. But it's just a coincidence. If I was anywhere in the world in the circumstances that I'm in here, I'd be living the exact same lifestyle. Yet it just happens to be, that I'm on North American soil, and I'm getting fat. It's just a coincidence. But it happens everytime. And I just wonder, maybe all 360,000,000 fatties in North America, aren't actually lazy, fast-food guzzling losers. Maybe they're all just unlucky too. Maybe, by some huge coincidence, all people just happen to get fat here, but it's not their fault. I very much doubt that's true. But it just seems to happen to me. Everytime I'm in North America I get fat. But just by coincidence. Strange.

Something that I sort of mentioned in that fat person rant, was where I would be in 6 months time. That's something that I'm starting to think about. I know that I only just arrived in Invermere, but I'm starting to consider my options for when my contract expires. That's only 3½ months from now. Here's what I'm thinking right now. I could probably get a job working at Panorama for the Summer. Probably working the lifts again, for when the mountain opens for Summer sports. I guess downhill biking or something like that. The positives of that, is that the work would probably be easy to get seeing as I'm already here. The negatives though, is that I have no interest in those sports. I came here wanting to ski. What the fuck do I care about mountain biking though? I'm sure it could be fun, but I'm really not interested in earning a shit wage to do it. That's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to go skiing. But, one possibility, is that maybe, just maybe, if I worked here for the Summer as well, then Panorama would be willing to sponsor me to get a visa extension. Because as things stand, I get kicked out of Canada on November 19th 2010. And I'm not able to extend my visa without having an employee sponsor me. So that's a possibility there. It's a shit situation. Aussie's and Kiwi's get visas with no trouble at all. Aussie's get 2 years straight away. And they can extend it. For me to get a 1 year visa, it took about 3 months. And I can't fucking extend it. And to think. We invented this country. Great way to thank us. But working at Panorama for the Summer is one option. I could maybe not work for the Summer, and still get them to sponsor me for next Winter. Though that's a pretty long shot.

Assuming that I do only have 12 months here, then going East is a definite possibility. I don't want to spend my whole 12 months in one place. Afterall, the whole point of travelling is to see a load of different shit. I don't want to see the same shit a lot therefore. So maybe, Toronto? Montreal? Going back to Halifax is even a possibility, although a very, very, unlikely one. Or maybe somewhere between here and there. Manitoba or Saskatchewan perhaps? Maybe even up North. Everyone and there dog has been to Toronto and Montreal. I want to experience what others haven't. So how about the Summer in Winnipeg?

From the Champagne Express Then what about going North? When I was travelling in 2005, I was camping in the Yukon (that's a whole other story). And I met a guy, who worked as a tree-planter. A load of them got air-lifted out to the middle of nowhere. They'd set up a camp. And for the next 3 weeks, they'd be transported around the area by chopper, planting trees where forest had been farmed. That's the kind of job that I just wouldn't be able to get back home. It'd be an experience. So how about something like that?

Then for some reason, I'm being pulled towards Dawson City. I was so, so close to going here in 2005. It's supposed to be this awesome place to go and party. A true gold-rush town. And I ended up deciding I didn't have the time to go here, just the night before I left Anchorage in Alaska. Instead I got the bus down to Whitehorse, which was cool too. But I've wanted to go to Dawson City ever since. I think it's a town of only a couple of thousand people. So it's even smaller than Invermere. I'd love a bar job in a place like that. So that's a possibility as well. I just don't know. But I only have 12 months in this country. Bureacracy and red tape... what a load of bullshit. I won't start on my millions of arguments against this now. But who the fuck took my right to spend whatever time I want on whatever piece of earth that I want? Surely freedom of movement is a birth-right. Why should I be limited by the discrepencies and petit squabblings of those that came before me? But like I said, I won't get started on that now. Where I go from here, is just something I'm starting to think about. Although the social life is limited here, I'm loving the skiing. So I really can't see that I'll leave before the end of the season. But with only about 7 months left come that time, I'm going to want to make good use of it. Maybe I can con some Canadian into marrying me. I really don't care who I'm married to seeing as a marriage has the value to me of zero. I'm sure there's some dumb Canadian out there I can con into thinking that I love them. Might be worth a shot. That'd teach the stupid Canadians to just let the Aussie's in.

Another thing. Why is it that only young people can get visas here? Wherever you're from, it's harder to get a visa in this country once you turn 30. What's the deal there? Can old people not do the same jobs? In this country that likes to think it's politically correct, surely that's a fucked up policy!

Now take a look at this picture. It's a screen shot of a conversation that I had with Chris, before I came out here. In this part, he's talking about the advantages that he'll be living with 3 girls. Well if there's one thing that I am, it's reliable. You remember how in Mexico, I was the one getting landed with all the relationship bullshit that was going on. Well that's because people can trust me not to say stuff. So as far as I was concerned, this conversation would never leave us 2. Well that dumb fucker has apparently been saying this kind of thing to other people as well. And before she started work today, I went riding with Kirsty down the Champagne runs. And she's somehow got wind of what he's been saying. It doesn't sound like he's getting on with the 3 girls in that house so well now. And in all honesty, the little that I've seen of Chris since I've arrived, he really doesn't live up to the person he made out he was before getting here. But you know the point I want to make from this: Lying get's you everywhere. If I'd been more of a cunt about housing, I could be living in that house instead of Chris. Then everyone would be happier. Me and them. Honesty got me a small appartment paying more than I would have had I lied. Lying about my skiing ability got me a job where I get to ski everyday. Fuck Christian values and that kind of bullshit. I learn from my own experiences. And you know what my experiences tell me? Lying is by far and away the best policy. Honesty gets you nowhere! I will never be honest again!

I have actually been thinking; when it does finally come time for me to leave Panorama, if I can get a solid reference from my supervisor here, and from my landlords, what Canadian is going to bother checking my other references all the way over in England? Exactly. None of them. So you know what that means? I can make up absolutely anything on my CV. Knowing as I do, that honesty is not the best policy. And knowing that in all liklihood, no prospective employer will bother phoning England if I have solid references in Canada, I could really spice up my CV so that I can get any job I want. I'm just thinking ahead. But if I can get a good reference from here... the world is my oyster! Well Canada's my oyster anyway.

Well that's me done. Happy fucking Christmas everyone.

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