I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

A New Year, A New View !

 

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My New Year message to you - great health, bubbling happiness and oodles of good luck - comes straight from the top of a mountain in the French Alps. Yes, I know. Abominable Snowman. Kiwi Yeti. Sasquatch. I've heard them all! You would dress the same if you were standing there in a slapping wind of -5°C (23°F)! By the way, that's Mont Blanc behind me, western Europe's highest mountain (4808 metres). We can sometimes see the top of her hat on a fine day here in Lyon. Here's a closer look at her.

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I can think of no better way to end one year and begin another. The sensation of pure freedom when gliding down those slopes is something I first discovered seven years ago - my beloved comes from the French Alps and is a skiing fanatic! This latest excursion to the snow took us to La Plagne.

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Every year, without fail, there is that lush layer of new snow, inviting us to go back up to the top of a new mountain and just go for it! We wobble, we sometimes fall, but the thrill and rush of vitality is always there.

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Each time I go back into that magical whiteness, I feel as if I am being reconditioned, as if all I need to do is simply push off and let myself slide into the unknown. There is the reassurance that despite the height and the speed, a fall into the snow will normally be relatively harmless.

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It's just about putting aside the fear. For me, each new ski season, with all its powerful metaphors of white purity and mountains being conquered, brings on a feeling of renewal. That's why a trip to the alps at the end of the year is so perfect: a new year, a new view!

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Wow, that was such a discovery at the age of 32. I was actually able to experience what it feels like to fly. Fast. From the top of an awesome mountain to the bottom. In five minutes. With views that make you want to cry. And if it's not the emotions that make you weep, it's the freezing wind, which seems to have a mission to make us one with the glaciers.

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One day I think I will try to write a series of novels based around a snowy mountain. Murder on the slopes! The adventures of a mountain guide! Love in the chalets. Surely anyone who likes to ski would buy them. Think of all those nights that skiers sit around after the slopes are closed, itching for something to do.

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I hope Chapter 2007 closed for you in a nice, satisfying way, and that you're now eager to crack on with Chapter 2008! We no longer have last year, and we don't have the next, so let's just focus on this one and make it our year. I wish everyone all the very very best for the months ahead.

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35 comments:

moonrat said...

wow. i'm still too scared to ski, but.

happy new year, seamus :)

Sarah Hina said...

What a magnificent way to greet the new year, Seamus! I love the photos, and my feet are itchy for skis now.

I'm glad you're soaring high. :) And happy New Year!

Nothingman said...

uhmm...this snow looks too clean to be true :P

i love the mountains, surely gonna go live there when i am an old man :)

cheers and happy new year!
keep rocking!

N

Wayne said...

Alright, alright. Wind it in. Seen enough. End the show. Melt the snow. Go back home.

Bah, humbug! (Me, jealous . . . ?)

Jon M said...

Brilliant views Seamus! I can't ski but I'd really love to escape to those mountain tops. Looks fantastic.
Happy new Year and thanks for everything you've done this year!

Shameless said...

Moonrat - Hi. Happy New Year! Yes, takes a bit to get over the fear. :-)

Sarah - Thank you. I also send you my best New Year wishes and look forward to reading more from you in 2008.

Nothingman - Too white? No pollution? I would like to think so. But no, that really is little old me up there amongst that white dust. All my best to you too for 2008. Let's make it hum! :-)

Wayne - I know. Sorry. We're such teases. :-) You can make me all jealous the next time you fly over some amazing place! :-) Happy NY!

Jon - Thank you and happy New Year to you and your family too. I look forward to visiting you often in 2008. :-)

Julie said...

Ah, brilliant - not ski'd but visited Chamonix, Grave, Lauteret, the Pic and ice caves etc etc in the summer
those cable lifts are breath taking - literally(!) and the blue of the sky...

Sieze the day, and the snow?

All the best for a rejunvented New Year...

The Quoibler said...

Okay, you're my hero. The Alps Conquerer. Is there nothing you won't try? :)

Happy new year!

Angelique

L.M.Noonan said...

I love the pictures but I'd love to BE there more. You don't look so abominable Seamus! Glad you're having such a great time. When did you lose the beige colour scheme...blog that is?
Happy New Year!

Jo said...

Oh, I'm there! Well, I wish I was, but your pictures place me upon those glorious mountains, relishing the freedom you described. Happy New Year to you, and may this new chapter of your life be a blessed one!

Lane said...

Those pictures make me feel giddy! I can almost taste the crisp air.
Many years ago I won a Mont Blanc pen in a writing competition. It never worked:-( The real thing looks oh so much better:-)

Happy New Year to you Mr S. Wishing you all good things and more:-)

(ps write that murder on the slopes story!)

Church Lady said...

Oh God! I feel like I'm there!!! (if only...)
So beautiful. I just learned how to ski last year, at the age of 40. It was something I've wanted to try for a long time, and absolutely love it. But the top of the French Alps? Wow.
I'm so glad you brought in the new year like that, and shared it with us. You should write about it, somehow.

Eric Valentine said...

Great pictures Seamus, love the views.

Truth is though mountains and I don't get along after my crossing the Rockies over here.

I will just admire the scenery my friend, thanks for sharing and have a brilliant 2008. :)

Hotwire said...

love the photos!!!

puresunshine said...

Awesome pix! great man! so envy u... :) Happy New year!

Shameless said...

Julie - Thanks. Yes, this is a pretty special part of France - in summer or winter. I hope your New Year also started well.

Quoibler - I like that! lol The Alps Conquerer. What a title. :-) Happy NY.

LMN - Thank you. Yes, being there is always so much better than the picture. Yeti then? Re the loss of the beige ... it was coming up in different shades depending on what computer I was using, so I decided white would be easier. What do you think?

Jo - Thank you. Yes, I do feel incredibly lucky to have these mountains on my doorstep. I also send you my best wishes for the New Year.

Lane - Yes, giddy is the word! And a Mont Blanc pen that didn't work? Wow. I've always wanted one of those. But if they don't work. Bah. I look forward to following your blog this year, Lane. Lots of good vibes for you and yours for this New Year.

Church Lady - Yes, never too late to learn. Thanks. All the very best for the start of 2008.

Eric - Thanks. Yes, I have some friends who get too sick in the mountains. Altitude? The turns to get there? Happy New Year, Eric.

Hotwire - Thank you. Have we linked yet? I will take more time to check out your blog this week. All the best for 2008.

Puresunshine - Thank you so much. :-) Have yourself a very nice start to 2008.

Meloney Lemon said...

I like your atitude to altitude. What minty fresh photos - thanks and Happy New Year to you!

Marie said...

Happy New Year, Shameless!

Beautiful photos.

Minx said...

Happy New Wotsit.

Love and light, and best wishes for a book bite this year, Seamus.

colleen said...

I feel utterly refreshed. Thanks for shouting Happy New Year all over the blogsphere from the top of a snow covered mountain!

apprentice said...

Happy New Year. What beautiful clear mountain air I can almost breathe it in here in damp, slushy Scotland!

Sorry about the form rejection you got -but give up. I heard a woman on the radio yesterday whose book won an Orange prize or something like that and 13 editors turned down her manuscript before it got accepted. And even the Beatles got blown off.

Shameless said...

Meloney L - Attitude to altitude. I must remember that! lol Thanks. All the best for your 2008 too.

Marie - Thank you. I send good 2008vibes your way too. :-)

Minxy - Happy Wotsit to you and yours too, lol, and may this year be mega fruitful for you. I look forward to reading your word this year. :-)

Colleen - Thanks. Refreshed is how this year should begin. Good luck for an amazing 2008.

Apprentice - Thank you. I was hoping that you would be able to breathe the air from just looking at the photos. lol. Re the form rejection, you're right. Onwards and upwards. :-)

Meloney Lemon said...

Sorry S, I missed the other 't' in attitude due to Christmas lobotomy!

Billy said...

Dang, but I suddenly want to be in the mountains. What views! Happy New Year, Seamus!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Oh my gosh! Those are breathtaking views! I live in the Rocky Mountains, and I am 'jaw-dropping impressed'... Seamus, WOW!

Such a great way to ring in the New Year, and what encouraging thoughts.

I hope this year is one of your best chapters too!

Shameless said...

Meloney - It's that time of the year! lol

Billy - A very happy New Year to you too, Billy. May it be rich and exicting! :-)

Wanderlust - Hey! The Rockies! Wow! You must be seeing similar views. I also send you lots of positive thoughts for this New Year that has already shot off from the starting point! lol May 2008 bring you nothing but good things.
:-)

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

There is nothing quite as invigorating and exhilarating as skiing - and the French Alps are one of the best places to do so - I have many happy memories from several French ski resorts!

Here's hoping 2008 is your best year ever!

chiefbiscuit said...

What fantastic shots ... splendidiferous, stunning, gorgeous ... lucky you.

Shameless said...

Absolute Vanilla - Thank you. Yes, I wish you a fabulous 2008 too. May it be filled with wonderful things for you. And yes, aren't the French Alps something? I hope to get in lots of skiing this year (just 2 hours away) ... if there's enough snow. So far so good.

CB - Helllloooooo. Long time no hear from. A very happy New Year to you and yours. I hope 2008 is a year of magic in your household.

Pearl said...

Happy New years! Good place to be head and shoulders over any lows of 2007. Beautiful photos.

Debi said...

That guy you buried in the snow has really wasted arms ...

Happy new thingy, Shamey. Hope the coming year's a good 'un.

Shameless said...

Pearl,
Thank you, and same to you! Yes, the mountains give me a great feeling of perspective! :-)

Debs,
Hahaha. A friend in NZ said the same thing when he saw the photo!
A very Happy New Year to you too Debi and, likewise, I hope it is full of everything that's good.

Richard Womack said...

Stunning!

Marja said...

Wow you don't have to be homesick when you are on the Mont Blanc. Beautiful. How great to start the New Year. I went skieing in the Dolomites in Italy when I was young on the blue slopes. Wasn't very good at it but loved it.

Shameless said...

Richard - Yes, aren't they great views! Revitalising! :-)

Marja - Yes, this is something else, isn't it? Blue yes. Red yes. But not black slopes. They are too much like hard work. I'm there to relax not work! :-) lol