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Downhill


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ski
Look cool, look cool, don’t look scared

There is nothing remotely natural about hurling yourself down a slope. And yet people do it. For fun, ostensibly. I spent a week in the Alps learning to ski. Being a natural klutz, I was adept at falling over and not being able to pick myself up. I struggled to let go and it was only at the very end of the week that I actually managed to enjoy the rush of careening unbridled down a slope. I watched with envy as my children threw themselves down a piste with little caution and utter recklessness.

I worried that they may not be able to bring their own children skiing one day. Instructor after instructor told me that this year has been the warmest yet. And how the surface was more ice than snow making it difficult conditions to ski under. They talked about glaciers which have shrunk over the years and how the weather was more like Easter than Christmas.

Back home, I heard about floods that have affected several parts of England and recalled how I have barely used my winter coat this season as it has been so unseasonably warm this year. Are such extreme weather conditions here to stay? Have we wrecked the planet beyond repair? Are the dire predictions of environmental experts that were supposed to happen in the distant future here already? I sincerely hope not.

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