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Work hard, Play hard... et un peu de déconne!

Quand il n'est pas occupé par son herbier, le petit P sème des pierres blanches dans la forêt... Adepte de vieilles séries policères allemandes, il n'est pas peu commun de le trouver en train de manger la choucroûte devant la télé!


22 janvier 2008

The Anglo-Swiss 2008 report

"How to make 10 additional facebook friends" or "The tale of sausages"

In memoriam Hans Kessler, 1920-2007

Wednesday - First contact
Getting out of work on Wednesday was a moment of pure joy: Traffic, picking up someone downtown at peak hour and crossing beautiful "Downtown Switzerland" at the contemplative speed of 30km/h. Soon though, as the conversation with Pius - my picked up SAS Bern partner - and the speed of the car picked up, we were going. Given some sliding during the driving up the Julier under hefty snowfalls, Pius and I were really in the mood for mountains at our arrival in St Moritz.
Soon after we met the entire BUSC team, Markus and Will the organizers, and the first SAS-ler, who had already arrived. The following meal was delicious. Already the quality of the meat was praised, much to the dismay of Clément and Alix, who arrived too late had to settle for pop corn and a lowly sandwich. A very enjoyable evening saw the boys continue to literally fraternise, the girls having soon given up after the first bar.

Thursday - First Harp, first ski
At the breakfast table on day two, the ambiance was surreal with a harpist and her harp... well... harping away, immediately prompting the bullies to fantasise about one famous stout... The skiing on Thursday was a really interesting way of getting to know each other. Group dynamics, whom to follow, with whom to be seated on the lift. Within a day of this and consequent alternated seating in the famed "Corviglia Club Hütte" for the three course lunch, we had gotten to know each other: Gemma, her rower boyfriend and her medecine studies... Dan the law student... The Newcastle team and their dry slopes anecdotes... Everyone chatting away merrily under a clement sun, while skiing on fantastic snow!
The evening routine seemed set with Jas showing off some evening kilt and the rest of us just sporting blazers and appropriate SAS or BUSC ties. As an aside the ladies should really be mentionned as they gratified us with a festival for manly eyes... Now that I think of it: a little wink and thank!
Intense partying among our group in the King's Club ensued and ensured a proper consolidation of the previous networking... Good stuff!

Friday - Where do you go to my lovely (sled?)
I'll readily admit my guilt, that Friday I put my iPod and willingness to sing to the service of oldie song "Where do you go to my lovely"... Friday went down very similarly to Thursday, except for a few tributes to the beginning of the week-end:
- A small group got some Glühwein at the Alpina-Hütte!
- Back at the hotel: Stones were brushed in and out of the house when an epic curling game saw Leonie, Alistair and Fréderic beating Alix, Pius and yours truly, whereas John, Gemma, Constantin, Jas, Dan and Scott were wielding other sticks and taking some hotel guests and staff in a ruthless game of ice hockey...
- Most of the competitors went to service their skis themselves, because they know how. Let me here state my admiration for Fréderic who to my knowledge did about four pairs. I didn't service myself, but the hotel took care of it...
- But last and certainly not least, Matt booked us some seven sleds to go slide down the Cresta bobsleigh run...
Oh boy, we did and all crashed (even though Cynthia did clear the run for us, except for one "little" hose)!!! I know for a fact that some of us had some explanations to give when back home: "No violence involved honey, I swear". The prize then again come to the brit team of Dan and Matt, who after losing their sled - Yes two of the teams had to finish without the sled having let it go during a crash - found a huge snow shovel and finished with it. Defenders of correctness can rest assured that the shovel was then returned... Sadly, noone really had the power to keep going on, so we settled for an early night...

Saturday - A kilt on the slopes
The early night turned out not to be good enough for me with a big crash as I tried to emulated Super-G moves by the other competitors. I instantly knew the competition would be stiff, except of course for Alistair who was wearing a kilt and acting as forerunner with me for the super-G. After our last lunch in the Corviglia Club Hütte, we went for the slalom. If the Super-G in the morning had turned out to be a close call with the british team emerging a close victor, the slalom in the afternoon was not really contested with the anglo part of anglo-swiss dominating. The entire gang found its way to the Alpina-Hütte for some Glühwein and serious meshing. Alix and Al deserve a special mention for intensive crashing and grabing in the snow... The return at the hotel saw the teams meet for the traditional afternoon delight: Friendly hot tub games among which drinking champagne (thanks to Leo, Cynthia, Matt & Scott for going and getting some) and learning new english words...
When everyone was dressed up, it was finally time for the apero, the award ceremony, the diner and the ceremonial part. Toasts were had to the Queen and our president, thanks were given where due: Badrutt's family, Palace, Presidents, current and former organizers. A deserved and duly observed minute of silence was held in caring memory of the late Hans Kessler, great supporter, spender and friend of the Anglo-Swiss competition as well as a personal friend to many.
Then came the captain's speeches: What can I say except that I had the honor to give a short losing captain speech talking somewhat randomly about Asterix, tea and magic potion, sausages and international friendship? Probably that Matt saved the day once again giving a robust speech with wits, thanks and a sip of the cup... the very same cup I ended up literally and metaphorically draining to the dregs. A crazy night in the King's Club later, we were ready for breakfast.

Sunday - Much adieu about nothing
Of course, this had to finish like Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta after their holidays "And so we said that's were it ends, and so we promised we'd still be friends"... Much fun was made of the various luxury cars and promises were taken to see each other again!

Pics are on facebook as ever...
P

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