Well dear reader I have been putty in the hands of Walter.
Walter has been mein Instruktor on the pistes for the last few days, and I have learned much. Mein angulation has improved, and das parallel turning and das kompression in the turning on das fall line is muchly improved too.
Now, I am at heart an indoor cove, unused to the great outdoors. Despite my stoical efforts, Walter saw I was suffering on the second day.
'Ja, das pain is güt mein herr, for your Englischer body is soft unt veak, and das pain teaches you to be alive!'
Conan the ski-instructor is alive and well.
After another blood curdling descent to what apeared to be certain death we were on a lift trundling back into the clouds.
I was wondering through a haze of endorphins what these fellows do when they haven't got tourists to shame. I struck up a conversation wit the chap, on a cheery note....
Now turns out he was an agricultural fellow - he farms sheep and cows in the valleys and high alpine pastures around here. In a feeble attempt to distract him from punishing me for my flabiness, I set about engaging him on a conversation about his cows.
For example - what breed are they, is it a dairy or beef herd? Are they Fresians for example?
At this, he made a spitting sound.
'Ach, zey are fat unt flabby breeds for the swampy countries like England or Nederlands. Zeir milch is not fit for das schweins no?'
He then laughed.
'Zey are hard mountain breed wiz strong shins for ze high pastures, zey eat little fodder, but give good Austrian Milch! Ja!'
He slaps his thighs and makes a fist gesture.
'Güt Milch for Austrian children to make strong bones so Austrian children grow to make fine skiers and strong farmers! Ze children in your country grow veak and flabby, but we are strong! Jawohl!'
It was a captivating display and I feared he would break into song. Possibly one involving uniforms and a bit of marching. You never know with Austrians.
'They sound like rather fetching beasts old boy - are they cozy in their winter stables?'
'Oh ja, zey are warm and and dry, and zey have ze calves wiz de big beautiful brown eyes, zey are proud beasts! I am proud of zem! Not flabby cows from ze lowlands, zey grow to be strong Austrian cows!'
'So Walter, what breed are they?'
'Zey are Jersey!'
Couldn't make 'em up.
Sound fellow, and bloody good skier though.