Monthly Archives: May 2005

Well I’ll be

Looks like I’m eating my hat when I get home, Liverpool won the champions league!!! >:/
Missed the game this morning but just caught the re-run now. I presumed Milan were going to wipe the floor with them but lo, look what happened. Unbelievable.

New photos available

There are new photos online here! The photo album is using a flash template, it looks pretty flashy but I’m not really sure if it’s what I want.. Ideally I’ll integrate the photos with the rest of the site soon rather than having a separate section, but still it’ll do for now!

I added a couple of links in the imaginatively named ‘Links’ section too :)

House hunting/New place

I was going to write about house hunting but in fact thereís very little to tell as we took the first place we visited together! So Iíll cut to the quick and say Ė we found a place, itís a 1 bedroom apartment in a near ideal location, top floor (although the building is only 3 storey) facing the street (rather than the back alleys that there are so many of), very sunny and airy, 4 blocks from the beach in the green, leafy, tree lined suburb that is the West End. Weíre also 1 block from Davie St, by all accounts the gay mecca of Canada, which provides for some entertaining sights whilst performing such mundane tasks as waiting for the bus, or going to the supermarket.

Anyway, our address is:

301 1435 Pendrell St
Vancouver
BC
V6G 1S3

If you like you can view it here :)

Whistler retrospective

Whistler is a strange place. You wouldnít see it if you were just passing through, but having been there for the season I think thereís no way that you couldnít notice. Itís just so commercialised and artificial! It really does feel like Disneyland, even though Iíve never been there to draw comparisons :) plus you get such a small section of the overall population there Ė no poor people, few women (and the ones that stay there get greatly above their station due to the favourable ratio), everyone smokes weed, has long messy hair, speaks like ďdude man broĒ, wears toques (or beanies to you and me), even in nightclubs and restaurants, SO many Australians, basically itís a bubble just like at university, except smaller and MUCH less diverse. Property prices are ridiculous, everything is so expensive (although not the degree of the bar prices in French resorts, thankfully) but everyone wants to go so nothing changes. Iím particularly happy to leave behind the junkie culture, although it doesnít really affect anyone, you just notice it (especially on the buses) and ignore it. Compared to the French resorts (and probably anywhere with an ounce of tradition) it just has no charm whatsoever. Having said that itís a cool place to live!!! Everything is so relaxed Ė the biggest decisions you have to make are ďshould I go boarding on my day off or chill out at homeĒ, and ďwhich bar should I go to tonightĒ, the scenery is absolutely beautiful, everyone is really friendly, you bump into friends every time you go out, thereís loads of outdoor activities. A lot of people I met who lived in the place permanently were deeply opposed to city life, which I guess is understandable considering the size of this countryÖ (I feel weíre going to return to England with such a different perspective)
If I had the opportunity to do the thing over again then there are certainly things I would have done differently, but then itís easy to know what the best way to do things is once youíve done it! Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The biggest changes I would have made are house and job (i.e. everything). Our house was cool but Iím sure if Iíd gone with instinct at the start then we could have found somewhere much better, particularly if me & Si had stuck with our plan of finding somewhere for the two of us. As far as the job was concerned the Ďfreeí pass you get for working for intrawest is in no way free. Basically you canít quit your job because if you do then you have to shell out another $1000 for a pass, I heard of one guy at the roundhole being told that if he didnít work the extra shift that they wanted him to do then they would revoke his lift pass, nice. Plus we worked out that working evening part time hours Si earned double what I did, and he was struggling for hours a lot of the time. Even when you take into account that he had to buy his pass he still earned over $2000 more than me. Plus he got to go boarding every day! Like I said before though the social side of my work was pretty good, and I think we got a bum deal because most other people who worked for Intrawest didnít seem to have so many bad words to say, we just got unlucky working at the roundhouse because of the idiot management there. Having said that I donít think that anyone was particularly happy with how Intrawest treated its employees. I mean itís a customer-centric organisation but they donít value their employees at all, if youíre not management. If you *are* management then none of the rules that apply to the seasonal staff seem to apply to you, you get to do nothing all day and you get paid a very nice salary to order around the guys getting minimum wage in probably the most expensive place to live in Canada. Still, I was happy to learn that our supervisor Stefan was demoted to lead hand for the summer from his supervisor position, maybe due in part to all the negative feedback I gave him on the employee opinion survey, heh. Well at least Iíd like to think so. Iím actually quite sad that in so many of my postings Iíve complained about work, I think if Iíd worked somewhere else then maybe the experience would have been altogether different! It was cool to work on top of a mountain though :) also the snow situation didnít help with the overall experience Ė Iím still dumbfounded by the fact that the one year we come to do this they have their worse season on record. We should have had fresh powder to ride every time we went up, but instead we got rain, sun, lots of ice and very little opportunity to improve for a long time. There were runs below the mid-station that didnít open all season, how crazy is that? Iíll tell you Ė itís unheard of. When the snow finally did come it was SO much better, you could actually see why people rate Whistler Blackcomb as the best resort in the world (to my family Ė you will have to go back and see what it really should be like!). Instead for a long time we would grimace at the poster on the wall inside the gondola mid-station with the #1 resort in the world slogan emblazoned in huge white letters. ďNot this year.Ē I would think.
I leave the place though with many fond memories of powder days and time with friends, most of whom I hope will remain so for the years to come. Already I miss the snowboarding, itís just so cool to roll out of bed, get your stuff and be at the top of a mountain less than an hour later! England sucks, they should build mountains there. And already I miss being there. You canít prevent the advance of the seasons thoughÖ it was cool to see what a resort looks like through the entire cycle from being deserted at the start of the season to incredibly busy and back again, and to see the snow arrive and depart. Whenever Iíve been to a ski resort before you just kind of assume itís like that all the time!

Anyway Iím babbling again, maybe Iíll finish this later (yes, finish Ė write even more), maybe I wonít, but Iíll depart with these poignant words.
Overall the experience proved to me that I still have a lot to learn, which is refreshing. Plus I think that now Iím actually domesticated, shock horror (well, kind of).