It was something below on the ski slope
and the sun was a long way from rise
at the front of the queue for the chairlift
were the English with sleep in their eyes.

The locals are not quite so eager
to show off their style and their form
they lie-in and have a good breakfast
or stay in the bar and keep warm.

After lunch its a different story
with ski's flying this way and that
the bars up the mountain get busy
as everyone stops for a chat.

There are one or two things to look out for
whether starter or expert you be
a piste basher's bite can be fatal
as can a fight with a tree.

And the one thing you dread while you're flying
down a red run but looking for black
is the ski school chock full of beginers
all falling and blocking the track.

Just now if the sun is still shining
the posers come out for a drink
they don't actually do any skiing
just sit in the sun and go pink.

The English do things a bit different
they rush everywhere with a frown
and just when they get to the top of somewhere
they straightaway want to come down.

A holiday should not be like that
even though there is plenty to do
if it wasn't for missing my breakfast
I'd stay in my bed until two.

We British are terrible moaners
It's always too cold or too hot
we're just like the yanks on vacation
and the're short of nothing they've got.

The favourite winge of the English
is the cost in some monetary term
"It only takes two weeks to spend it
but it took over twelve months to earn".

To drink beer at lunchtime is fatal
although there are plenty that will
you seem to be skiing much better
but it usually ends in a spill.

And after the skiing is over
assuming we've had a good time
it's around the bar we all gather
for coffee and beer and gluhwein.

So it's back to the hotel we wander
on feet or on knees as the case
for a warm filling meal and a shower
just glad to be back at home base.

The T.V. has only one subject
what with the Olympics on hand
plus the fact that it's always in German
- a language I don't understand.

So the bar gets some more of our custom
they know us by now I should think
what with the cognac and beer and the gluhwein
and goodness knows what else to drink.

The locals are always so friendly
the invite us to join them for schnapps
we agree and it isn't much later
we are all slapping each others backs.

So as we go to bed nicely squiffy
after swapping our stories of spills
we dream of good weather tomorrow
and of plenty of snow on the hills.

Roger Greenwood
Obergurgl - Austria - 1988

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This page added 15/5/2003   RG