So it looks like it was 2011 when I was living in London that the annoying thing happened.

I had been a regular customer of the shop when it used to actually sell things that were useful.
Having spent an appreciable chunk of my 1999 student loan on an Alesis DM5 and a dirt cheap practice drum kit, the store in question was actually where I got all the parts to hide transducers in the cheap kit and plug it into the dm-5 for my first ever electric drum kit, which oddly enough actually worked!

Those halcyon days behind me, I had a white macbook which had gone rather slow and grouchy in the cpu temp dept. I cracked the case late one night and pulled out the fluff packed fan and heat pipe arrangement, which included the bit that sucks the heat out of the processor.

When you crack that thermal joint, you obviously need to clean the surfaces and pop a new splodge of thermal paste on before you pop it back together and try to get another 5 years out of your laptop.

No worries, thought I; I’ll grab some paste during lunch tomorrow and have it back together in time to watch telly on it before my cup of tea has gone cold.

Clearly I got the thermal paste from an online marketplace of some kind, as 2mg of thermal paste contains alcohol so you can’t have it, even with a credit card, without photo ID; and I’ve never been back since.

Why am I talking about all this? I weakened. I’ve got a car ECU in its tin which needs programming to run my silly little open top car and I realised I’d need a usb extension cable for the serial adaptor and then I twigged I needed to get the serial port through 90 degrees because the adaptor can’t clear the case and plug into the port.

Needing these parts next day so I can punch the car in the digits tomorrow, I thought… just maybe…

No. They don’t even stock an rs232 that goes round a corner, and they wanted sixteen quid for a usb cable.

Nuff said, I’ve got both bits of plastic coated wire arriving in the post tomorrow for about a tenner delivered. So that toy shop can stay on the binned list

7 years, still counting.

I think I’m learning Japanese I really think I might be not actually

I’m learning Japanese or 日本語 as the cool kids call it…

but when I say that, I’m really doing the cut and paste, drag and drop, recognise the length of the phrase and link that to the English phrase duolingo wants to be happy.
I can ohiyo and konichiwa a little bit, even arigato gojimas sometimes and I know a ねこ from a いぬ but that’s about it.
So good morning Cat San, and thank you very much indeed Mr Dog.

I wish I knew why I’d started doing this.
I had a *mild* aspiration to visit Japan since it’s pretty and you can do a snowboarding there and possibly doing this might make that more of a probability.
I did buy a ridiculous car with labels on it that look like this:

And I have been watching some lovely things like studio Ghibli, Your Name, and complete pish like Initial D.
But there’s certainly be no solid *reason* to do this.

Oh well, I’m 35 days into the process and will see where it leads me. (so it wasn’t even a new years resolution)

Oh, also I’m blogging again, let me know if you’re reading again.

Oops, ignore the last post…

Looks like I need a little more aggressive confidence to get away with that. I crashed twice identically in a slightly spine jarring way, failing to edge change fast enough coming off a roller into a berm, then target fixating myself into a crash outside a gate. Invalidating the run even if I get up and carry on.

Being an older fool with a moderately serious spinal injury it makes sense to step back and work on a few things I learned from this; dropping out of gates and weight positioning along with gung-ho arrogance. Basically to brake is to commit to screwing up.

There will be no times posted on the score sheets for me.

Just seeking to capture some emotion.

I’m lying on a double bed, with all the pillows gathered from around the room propping me up, tippety tappetying on my Macbook. My snowboard bag is unzipped at the foot of the bed with the essentials for tomorrows exertions laid out in it.

My thermals are arranged ready for a rapid deploy in the morning as I stumble bleary eyed from the shower (I’ve checked how to work it so I’m not late)

My hairdryer and straighteners are lined up on the dresser and I’m using the bible to stop the mac burning my legs.

In the morning at 7am I’ll make the 12.7 mile dash around the M60 to get to Trafford Park and the Chill Factore 180m indoor snow dome where I’m entered into the British Champs Boarder Cross competition.

I’m not a competitive rider, in fact I’ve only been down a BX course 4 times in my life. Once in a resort and three times at Hemel; so it’s all going to be new.

I’m pretty excited about finding out how the racing scene looks, how it’s run and whether I can get down a comp course without falling over though.

By some degree of magic, apparently live scoring happens here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ziekfhikyml2dmd/JudgesTemplateLiveScores.xlsx

…but I don’t really see how that’s going to do any live updating.

Just barely in time…

I’ve got 35 hours signed off on my BASI level one shadowing sheet.
That means I’ve got all the documentation in hand to send to various agencies to get my teaching licence in my hands.

It’s good news because I’m doing my first aid course tomorrow and Sunday and then I’m excited to say that I’m starting my new job. I’m going to be pouring my energies into that whilst I settle in, find my feet and make some progress for the team I’m joining.

I’m totally stoked to have got it all done in the time I set aside to do it. I was a bit worried that I’d watched a bit too much Battlestar Galactica (I’m into series 3 :/ ) and not done enough hours, but yeh, 35 hours done and signed off, and just 31 left in the second 35 hour block I need before I start my BASI 2.

Not a very interesting post, I know; but I use this as much as a personal diary as a way to let you guys know what I’m up to.

Zomg zomg zomg.

So, I’ve… oh wait… SPOILIER: utterly boring snowboard content:

Yeh, so I’ve had a weirdly productive Sunday, hung over from last night’s exertions *all* over London; seriously we did Oxford Street, Soho Square, Trafalgar square, China Town, Camden, Southwark, pretty much the lot except Stratford.

I’ve booked onto my First Aid course, so I’ll be learning how to laugh at your broken leg properly on the 13th and 14th. (laughter lowers stress and releases endorphins, right? (oh, YOU want the endorphins? Sorry!))
The paperwork for my CRB still hasn’t shown up so I guess I’d better call those guys tomorrow.
I’ve booked my plane flights to Barcelona in January to meet the bus transfer over to Arinsal and having that done does start to make the trip seem a little more real. WOO; mini season!

So, no work in the morning since I’m unemployed but I can trundle up to Hemel and get some more hours on the shadow train.

Fun times.


I’m a selfish sod most of the time; I like to do things that make me happy.
I’ve been a slightly sad person at times and life’s a lot nicer when I’m happy so I like to do happy things to be happy.

I’ve also kicked around hospitals a bit, and had a couple of life threatening experiences which utterly sucked. They make you sad. Being sad sucks. Doing things to feel happier are epically good.

So, I snowboard. You may have noticed that. I’m going out to Andorra in January for a ten week blowout session to get my riding somewhere close to BASI L2 standard, ending in an attempt to sit the two week Level 2 assessment to get my mountain qualification.

Having long hair pretty much down to your arse when you’re a 6 footer is fun, I love having long hair. It’s all swooshy and people say things like “gosh, you have long hair”. But, as it goes, my long hair happens to be in a plastic bag on top of one of my hifi speakers since I’ve taken the plunge to become a short hair to make my styling time that much shorter when I’m up a mountain for ages.

My good friend Robin suggested that I get enough hair cut off to donate to wig makers for cancer patients when I asked her what she thought I could get away with when doing short hairstyles, so that’s what’s happening to my ponytail. I’m kind of rocking a long bob thing like I’m a surfer or something and that other bit of me is off in the post to *hopefully* make someone *else’s* life just a little bit less shit than it must be seeming to them.

Should add, this is what went:

Yet more (bloody) snowboarding.

Yeh, it’s all I talk about, right? I do plan to get some music on the go at some point but there’s a little too much else going on right now. I’m moving house this month and I have some job interviews to have a go at.

I promised that if I passed my BASI, then I’d get stuck into some other things that will make me a better all round coach and certainly more employable on a mountain, so last wednesday this happened:
Oh help!
Which resulted in a blister on my right shin which still hurts now and a *strong* desire to buy a set of my own ski boots which are only like £250 🙁 gah.

I didn’t suck half as bad as I anticipated. I have skiied before. I’ve been round three valleys sulking my way down red runs with far too many snowplough turns, no clue and having no fun at all. So that means I’ve had a chance to get some terrible habits down.

We started out at “level 3” of the 6 level training course, but had a really quick run through level 2 as well just to make sure. First up, controlling speed and direction with pressure and rotation of the skis on the baby slope. A quick look at edging for traversing and a chat about speed control in turns and we scampered over to the main slope to have a go at parallel turns.

This is where it got a tiny bit sketchy, because I’ve got a nasty little habit of stepping through the last part of my turn if I feel a bit fast or a bit wobbly. So I’ve got that to work on. Happily I remembered how to skate on the skis so I can get around on the flat ok. That’s sort of fun but possibly what lead to the blister.

Long story short, I’ve been signed off as a rec level skier, so I can go on my own and practise. But I’ll be back in for another lesson as soon as I can. If I work really hard, I might be able to have a go at the teaching qualification this season.

Rest days…

After gruelling physical and psychologically demanding sessions it’s understood to be wise to take some rest and recuperate.

I expected to spend my Saturday having a reasonable lie in. After all, I’d spent the preceding 5 days training full on from 9:30 in the morning (sometimes earlier for warm-up riding) till 6pm or later (when practising teaching) with just an hour for lunch.

However, I woke this morning at 6 am fairly bright eyed, having slept the stress free sleep of the entirely worn out, yet happily successful winner of the 5 days of testing. I tidied the flat some, and did some laundry, but then felt a little edgy…

I decided that maybe I’d pop up to the snowy hill to put what I’ve learned through its stress free paces, with no-one watching who is actively assessing me. After all, I’d already paid up for a month’s riding so any slope time was just getting more for my money. So up to Hemel I went, figuring a couple of hours would be fun.

I booked in for 4.

On the slope I had brief snippets of conversation with the wonderful staff there who’ve got bored of seeing my face in recent weeks, but they laughed at me for a) even being there and b) whilst doing so suggested that I could do some of my 35 hours of shadowing.

So that’s that, my rest day consisted of being on snow for 7 hours, and taking part in teaching for 4.5 of those.

I think I may be an addict.

Teaching is *awesome* fun.

What I did on my holidays, by Caitlin.

I booked a week off work quite a while back and started prepping for something I’ve come to care quite deeply about over the last two years.

There was this video that got taken when I was on a skiing holiday, it’s been linked here for two years and loads of people have looked at it.

So, just coming up to two years later this week of work came into play, because it involved more work than I’ve ever put into one week in my LIFE, cost me a few hundred quid and has possibly given me trench foot.

Anyhoo, I’ve got this:

…and I’m a snowboard instructor*

*I need to do some hours shadowing and a few bits of paperwork still.