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My mother was a test tube; my father was a knife. -- Friday


aus+uk / uk.media.radio.archers / Re: OT: End of an era

SubjectAuthor
* OT: End of an eraBrritSki
+* Re: OT: End of an eraBen Blaney
|+* Re: OT: End of an erajohn ashby
||+- Re: OT: End of an eraBen Blaney
||`- Re: OT: End of an eraBrritSki
|`- Re: OT: End of an eraBrritSki
+* Re: OT: End of an eraJ. P. Gilliver
|`- Re: OT: End of an eraBrritSki
`* Re: OT: End of an eraNick Odell
 `- Re: OT: End of an eraBrritSki

1
OT: End of an era

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From: rtilbury...@gmail.com (BrritSki)
Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
Subject: OT: End of an era
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 14:36:31 +0000
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 by: BrritSki - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 14:36 UTC

For those not on FB:

Friday 23 Nov 2023 was my last day of skiing – ever. 🙁

Ullr (Google it for non-RSAers) was kind on the last day with 30cms of
freshies and a bluebird day, but I couldn't really enjoy it.

I report this with great sadness but also a little relief as it was
getting hard work. The real problem though was my COPD. After a
pulmonary rehab. course last summer things had improved a lot and I had
continued the exercises so was feeling quite fit, but I realised that
there was a problem as soon as I walked up the stairs of the hotel at
1800m and was immediately panting.

I can still ski reasonably well, but the breathing just got worse as I
went higher and with the cold air, so it was no longer a pleasure,
slowed everyone down, and was possibly dangerous.

Skiing has been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. In January
1976 I arrived in Rieti to work and was told that the mountain you could
see from the TI office was a ski resort.
“But it’s winter and it’s green” [long before AGW was a thing]
“Yes, but snow is coming”

It did indeed snow at the end of that month and then we continued
through into May. I took my first lesson and was amazed to see that
unlike with ice-skates I didn’t immediately fall over. I had a lesson
every Saturday morning for 10 shillings (50p for you youngsters), then
went back for a curry lunch at Paul’s place that he had prepared the
night before and which was enjoyed by more and more people, then more
skiing and again on Sunday before going back to work to recover before
repeating the next weekend. What a great way to learn and Paul and Lou
and other experienced skiers let me ski with them and never pushed me
too far too soon. I bought my first pair of skis with cable bindings and
also alloy poles, which I used last week - the green paint has gone and
they've got a few twists and turns but they're all original apart from
one basket. I skied my first red with them with Paul, me following him
down in a thick fog.

“Again ?” “Yep” but this time the fog had cleared and I could see the
“cliff” I’d just skied down, but knew I’d done it once, so it was OK.
I moved into an apartment in the Panettone (based on the shape) in
Terminillo as it was only 15kms from work and on days when there was a
possible strike we would get the binoculars out early and if we could
see a picket line we knew we could take the day off and go skiing.
Then I met Vib who could already ski but was never addicted like me, but
we went to Brunico with Paul and Tina (mm, those spit-roasted chickens
at lunch time) and then when we moved to Texas skied in Taos with Simon
just a few months old.

I think we took a break for the couple of years we were back in Bedford,
but then we lived near Nice and could ski just a couple of hours drive
away, and Simon and Vic first went with their maternelle school from
about 3 and we also started to go to Club Med which has excellent
facilities that let all ages and abilities enjoy the snow in different ways.

Once we were back in the UK we managed to ski most winters with a
mixture of package deals and chalet holidays (especially in Le Praz
Helen) and I also discovered usenet and the skiing newsgroups and made
lots of friends there, electronically at first and then in meatspace.
One of the first I met in person was Ian Dexter Roberts – Simon and I
picked him up in Ashford on our drive down to the 3V having no idea if
he was a psychopathic axe-murderer! Thankfully not, just a lovely guy,
very funny and good company. On the drive down, knowing he was a much
better skier I’d said that if he wanted to give me any tips I wouldn’t
be offended. First morning in awful conditions we stopped for coffee and
he asked if I’d been serious about getting advice and I said yes of
course. The next 3 days we had a masterclass that improved my skiing
beyond recognition. It was soon after the advent of carving skis, but I
wasn’t using them properly and skiing in a very old-fashioned,
feet-together French style. I also had an idiosyncratic way of holding
my head and shoulders which Ian pointed out was copied exactly by Simon.
When he eventually met Vib and Vic he was killing himself laughing as
they did the same too which is not surprising as they’d followed me for
so many years.

I met more of that group, Big Ritch a kiwi in the UK, and lots of
Americans, first when I went to Vermont and was looked after by Tigger
Dayna Wilde, Tabi, AviDan, Rob and Nadine and then when they and many
others - notably Boots David Hobbs, Rebecca, Tom and Rob Elovitz - came
to Europe to ski in the 3V and Zermatt.

Also during this period I had many trips with Charles and Paul again,
many hosted so generously by Paul and Chantal in their apartment in La
Foux where superb curries were still a big feature of the menu.
Trips with Vib, Simon and Vic continued and later with their partners
Raquel Emer and Damiano who love the snow and ski/board well too.

And that has now been passed on to our grandchildren who, aged 7-14,
were able to ski just about everything Pila was able to throw at them
last week. It was a pleasure and a privilege to ski with them and I hope
they’ll remember their old GrandPops when in years to come they ski with
their own children and grandchildren.

Family is the most important thing in my life, but skiing and my ski
family are an important second and I thank you all – including those not
mentioned above - for the joy you have given me over the years.

Re: OT: End of an era

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From: benbla...@gmail.invalid (Ben Blaney)
Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
Subject: Re: OT: End of an era
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 15:44:51 -0000 (UTC)
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 by: Ben Blaney - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 15:44 UTC

On Feb 25, 2024 at 9:36:31 AM EST, "BrritSki" <rtilburyTAKEOUT@gmail.com>
wrote:

> For those not on FB:
>
> Friday 23 Nov 2023 was my last day of skiing – ever. 🙁
>

That was an engaging read; thanks for sharing.

I'm wondering if I'm at that point too. I skied on Wednesday last week, at a
small hill in Upstate New York near my house. We had snow last weekend, but
the week was sunny and warm, and the kids are on half term so I took a day off
and the three of us skied together. It was glorious.

But...I think I learned improper technique when I first started skiing, when I
moved to Colorado 18 years ago. I had little available cash, so I bought the
cheapest boots I could find, and they were actively painful on my shins. Not
just uncomfortable, but painful. When I asked people about it, they sort of
shrugged and said "that's skiing for you". So I dealt with it. Consequently, I
think I learned to ski while putting the minimum pressure on the shins, to
minimize the agony. This, of course, has knock-on effects.

After a lovely day Wednesday, late on Thursday my right knee became tender.
Then on Friday it was agony and I could hardly walk. Rest. ice, compression,
elevation. It's better today, but still not right.

IF I could unlearn my bad habits, fix my posture and my technique, maybe
there's more skiing in my future. But I'm wondering if this dog is too old to
learn new tricks.

Re: OT: End of an era

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From: G6J...@255soft.uk (J. P. Gilliver)
Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
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 by: J. P. Gilliver - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 15:45 UTC

In message <l411jfFlh0jU3@mid.individual.net> at Sun, 25 Feb 2024
14:36:31, BrritSki <rtilburyTAKEOUT@gmail.com> writes
>For those not on FB:
>
>Friday 23 Nov 2023 was my last day of skiing – ever. ?
[]
>I can still ski reasonably well, but the breathing just got worse as I
>went higher and with the cold air, so it was no longer a pleasure,
[]
>lots of friends there, electronically at first and then in meatspace.
[]
(I've not come across "meatspace" before - I like it!)

If it's the height/cold that's the problem - do indoor ski slopes still
exist? (Other than that ridiculous one in, IIRR, Dubai!) Or would that
just remind you of things that were?

Are there places you could go where it's possible at lower altitudes?
(Though I imagine any such would still be cold. Can you do something
that gives you a similar feel without the cold - skateboarding, surfing,
roller ...?)

Sorry if you have to become Brrit. Keep cheerful.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Veni Vidi Vacuum [I came, I saw, It sucked] - mik@saslimited.demon.co.uk, 1998

Re: OT: End of an era

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From: johnashb...@yahoo.com (john ashby)
Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
Subject: Re: OT: End of an era
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 15:59:03 +0000
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 by: john ashby - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 15:59 UTC

On 25/02/2024 15:44, Ben Blaney wrote:
> On Feb 25, 2024 at 9:36:31 AM EST, "BrritSki" <rtilburyTAKEOUT@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> For those not on FB:
>>
>> Friday 23 Nov 2023 was my last day of skiing – ever. 🙁
>>
>
> That was an engaging read; thanks for sharing.
>
> I'm wondering if I'm at that point too. I skied on Wednesday last week, at a
> small hill in Upstate New York near my house. We had snow last weekend, but
> the week was sunny and warm, and the kids are on half term so I took a day off
> and the three of us skied together. It was glorious.
>
>

I gave up skiing after about 4 days when I generously gifted my partner
a birthday ride in a helicopter over the Pyrenees by toppling over
getting off a ski lift and breaking my son's leg by falling on top of him.

He then spent a week in a French hospital on morphine and had his first
experience of cold turkey. His mother and he were medevac'd back to
Oxford while I struggled to get all our luggage to Stansted and pick up
the car.

Skiing lost any attraction it might have had for me after that.

john

Re: OT: End of an era

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Subject: Re: OT: End of an era
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 by: Ben Blaney - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:06 UTC

On Feb 25, 2024 at 10:59:03 AM EST, "john ashby" <johnashby20@yahoo.com>
wrote:
>
> I gave up skiing after about 4 days when I generously gifted my partner
> a birthday ride in a helicopter over the Pyrenees by toppling over
> getting off a ski lift and breaking my son's leg by falling on top of him.
>
> He then spent a week in a French hospital on morphine and had his first
> experience of cold turkey. His mother and he were medevac'd back to
> Oxford while I struggled to get all our luggage to Stansted and pick up
> the car.
>
> Skiing lost any attraction it might have had for me after that.

On the positive side: your days:stories ratio is absolutely superb!

Re: OT: End of an era

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Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
Subject: Re: OT: End of an era
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 by: BrritSki - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:18 UTC

On 25/02/2024 15:44, Ben Blaney wrote:
> On Feb 25, 2024 at 9:36:31 AM EST, "BrritSki" <rtilburyTAKEOUT@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> For those not on FB:
>>
>> Friday 23 Nov 2023 was my last day of skiing – ever. 🙁
>>
>
> That was an engaging read; thanks for sharing.
>
> I'm wondering if I'm at that point too. I skied on Wednesday last week, at a
> small hill in Upstate New York near my house. We had snow last weekend, but
> the week was sunny and warm, and the kids are on half term so I took a day off
> and the three of us skied together. It was glorious.
>
> But...I think I learned improper technique when I first started skiing, when I
> moved to Colorado 18 years ago. I had little available cash, so I bought the
> cheapest boots I could find, and they were actively painful on my shins. Not
> just uncomfortable, but painful. When I asked people about it, they sort of
> shrugged and said "that's skiing for you". So I dealt with it. Consequently, I
> think I learned to ski while putting the minimum pressure on the shins, to
> minimize the agony. This, of course, has knock-on effects.
>
> After a lovely day Wednesday, late on Thursday my right knee became tender.
> Then on Friday it was agony and I could hardly walk. Rest. ice, compression,
> elevation. It's better today, but still not right.
>
> IF I could unlearn my bad habits, fix my posture and my technique, maybe
> there's more skiing in my future. But I'm wondering if this dog is too old to
> learn new tricks.

BTDT with the boots. My first pair were really sloppy and then I went to
the other extreme to the point where I often had to stop and take them
off on the slopes.

I then rented for a long time until a trip to Meribel. I went to the
shop and tried several pairs that I kept saying were too
tight/loose/painful. Then the guy said "try these, they are so
comfortable that skiers come in and put these on in the evening instead
of slippers".

He was right. They were so comfortable - but also a good fit and were
effective - that at the end of the week I offered to buy them and he
only charged me a few quid more than it cost to rent them for a week.

Those boots served me very well for years and the worn down heels were
repaired at Jean Blanc in Courchevel 1850, but eventually had to go. I
went back to JB and spent some time in there with the same old problem,
but then he asked which model were the comfortable ones, went out the
back and found the current version which were just as good - the outer
shell had to be blown out at one point where it was rubbing and there
were proper moulded footbeds, but so comfortable, stable and warm too.

As for learning bad habits - I only started skiing at 28 and learned the
style of the time. The 3 day masterclass I mentioned must have been in
the late 90s when I was 52ish. Ian was a master instructor - not on
paper, but definitely on the snow. Huge emotional intelligence.
Identified problems and ways to rectify them. We did lots of crazy
exercises, including skiing with boots completely undone and tongue
hanging out so if you did any unsubtle unweighting you came out of the
boot. Also cowboy turns where you took a stance as if you were sitting
on a horse with your skis wide apart which forced you to keep the weight
on both. Many others too to correct my stance and get my weight forward.
I still managed to cut 2 perfect parallel tracks and finish pointing up
hill last week - a few years ago I could go faster and get further round
to finish parallel across the piste.

The proof of the pudding was when we came down a track on the last day
in the continuing whiteout, I didn't see the turn so skied off the edge,
but instead of landing and crashing, I touched down in a perfect
position and just skied to a stop off piste.

I hate to think what a 3 day private lesson with a top-class instructor
would have cost - thousands I guess, but it was a complete eye-opener.

Hope your knee gets better soon and you can get some good help.

Re: OT: End of an era

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Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
Subject: Re: OT: End of an era
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 by: BrritSki - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:24 UTC

On 25/02/2024 15:45, J. P. Gilliver wrote:
> In message <l411jfFlh0jU3@mid.individual.net> at Sun, 25 Feb 2024
> 14:36:31, BrritSki <rtilburyTAKEOUT@gmail.com> writes
>> For those not on FB:
>>
>> Friday 23 Nov 2023 was my last day of skiing – ever.  ?
> []
>> I can still ski reasonably well, but the breathing just got worse as I
>> went higher and with the cold air, so it was no longer a pleasure,
> []
>> lots of friends there, electronically at first and then in meatspace.
> []
> (I've not come across "meatspace" before - I like it!)
>
> If it's the height/cold that's the problem - do indoor ski slopes still
> exist? (Other than that ridiculous one in, IIRR, Dubai!) Or would that
> just remind you of things that were?

Yes they do, but the runs are very short and you get back up on a button
lift which I've always hated. They're good for getting your ski legs
back for and hour or two, but there is no comparison to the overall
experience.
>
> Are there places you could go where it's possible at lower altitudes?

One of the usenet ski guys went kite skiing in the Arctic. They took
sleds and went up glaciers being pulled by kites. They then camped,
climbed up the mountains and then skied down them. A bit extreme for me.

> (Though I imagine any such would still be cold. Can you do something
> that gives you a similar feel without the cold - skateboarding, surfing,
> roller ...?)

Nah, it's the whole mountain experience with friends and family that is
what counts.
>
> Sorry if you have to become Brrit. Keep cheerful.

I'm fine, not as sad as my post might have suggested, but thanks.

Re: OT: End of an era

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From: rtilbury...@gmail.com (BrritSki)
Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
Subject: Re: OT: End of an era
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:25:42 +0000
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 by: BrritSki - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:25 UTC

On 25/02/2024 15:59, john ashby wrote:
> On 25/02/2024 15:44, Ben Blaney wrote:
>> On Feb 25, 2024 at 9:36:31 AM EST, "BrritSki" <rtilburyTAKEOUT@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> For those not on FB:
>>>
>>> Friday 23 Nov 2023 was my last day of skiing – ever.  🙁
>>>
>>
>> That was an engaging read; thanks for sharing.
>>
>> I'm wondering if I'm at that point too. I skied on Wednesday last
>> week, at a
>> small hill in Upstate New York near my house. We had snow last
>> weekend, but
>> the week was sunny and warm, and the kids are on half term so I took a
>> day off
>> and the three of us skied together. It was glorious.
>>
>>
>
> I gave up skiing after about 4 days when I generously gifted my partner
> a birthday ride in a helicopter over the Pyrenees by toppling over
> getting off a ski lift and breaking my son's leg by falling on top of him.
>
> He then spent a week in a French hospital on morphine and had his first
> experience of cold turkey. His mother and he were medevac'd back to
> Oxford while I struggled to get all our luggage to Stansted and pick up
> the car.
>
> Skiing lost any attraction it might have had for me after that.
>
Eeeek. I can see why that would put you off...

Re: OT: End of an era

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From: nickodel...@yahoo.ca (Nick Odell)
Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
Subject: Re: OT: End of an era
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:40:52 +0000
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 by: Nick Odell - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:40 UTC

On Sun, 25 Feb 2024 14:36:31 +0000, BrritSki
<rtilburyTAKEOUT@gmail.com> wrote:

>For those not on FB:
>
>Friday 23 Nov 2023 was my last day of skiing – ever. ?
>
>Ullr (Google it for non-RSAers) was kind on the last day with 30cms of
>freshies and a bluebird day, but I couldn't really enjoy it.
>
>I report this with great sadness but also a little relief as it was
>getting hard work. The real problem though was my COPD. After a
>pulmonary rehab. course last summer things had improved a lot and I had
>continued the exercises so was feeling quite fit, but I realised that
>there was a problem as soon as I walked up the stairs of the hotel at
>1800m and was immediately panting.
>
>I can still ski reasonably well, but the breathing just got worse as I
>went higher and with the cold air, so it was no longer a pleasure,
>slowed everyone down, and was possibly dangerous.
>
>Skiing has been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. In January
>1976 I arrived in Rieti to work and was told that the mountain you could
>see from the TI office was a ski resort.
>“But it’s winter and it’s green” [long before AGW was a thing]
>“Yes, but snow is coming”
>
>It did indeed snow at the end of that month and then we continued
>through into May. I took my first lesson and was amazed to see that
>unlike with ice-skates I didn’t immediately fall over. I had a lesson
>every Saturday morning for 10 shillings (50p for you youngsters), then
>went back for a curry lunch at Paul’s place that he had prepared the
>night before and which was enjoyed by more and more people, then more
>skiing and again on Sunday before going back to work to recover before
>repeating the next weekend. What a great way to learn and Paul and Lou
>and other experienced skiers let me ski with them and never pushed me
>too far too soon. I bought my first pair of skis with cable bindings and
>also alloy poles, which I used last week - the green paint has gone and
>they've got a few twists and turns but they're all original apart from
>one basket. I skied my first red with them with Paul, me following him
>down in a thick fog.
>
>“Again ?” “Yep” but this time the fog had cleared and I could see the
>“cliff” I’d just skied down, but knew I’d done it once, so it was OK.
>I moved into an apartment in the Panettone (based on the shape) in
>Terminillo as it was only 15kms from work and on days when there was a
>possible strike we would get the binoculars out early and if we could
>see a picket line we knew we could take the day off and go skiing.
>Then I met Vib who could already ski but was never addicted like me, but
>we went to Brunico with Paul and Tina (mm, those spit-roasted chickens
>at lunch time) and then when we moved to Texas skied in Taos with Simon
>just a few months old.
>
>I think we took a break for the couple of years we were back in Bedford,
>but then we lived near Nice and could ski just a couple of hours drive
>away, and Simon and Vic first went with their maternelle school from
>about 3 and we also started to go to Club Med which has excellent
>facilities that let all ages and abilities enjoy the snow in different ways.
>
>Once we were back in the UK we managed to ski most winters with a
>mixture of package deals and chalet holidays (especially in Le Praz
>Helen) and I also discovered usenet and the skiing newsgroups and made
>lots of friends there, electronically at first and then in meatspace.
>One of the first I met in person was Ian Dexter Roberts – Simon and I
>picked him up in Ashford on our drive down to the 3V having no idea if
>he was a psychopathic axe-murderer! Thankfully not, just a lovely guy,
>very funny and good company. On the drive down, knowing he was a much
>better skier I’d said that if he wanted to give me any tips I wouldn’t
>be offended. First morning in awful conditions we stopped for coffee and
>he asked if I’d been serious about getting advice and I said yes of
>course. The next 3 days we had a masterclass that improved my skiing
>beyond recognition. It was soon after the advent of carving skis, but I
>wasn’t using them properly and skiing in a very old-fashioned,
>feet-together French style. I also had an idiosyncratic way of holding
>my head and shoulders which Ian pointed out was copied exactly by Simon.
>When he eventually met Vib and Vic he was killing himself laughing as
>they did the same too which is not surprising as they’d followed me for
>so many years.
>
>I met more of that group, Big Ritch a kiwi in the UK, and lots of
>Americans, first when I went to Vermont and was looked after by Tigger
>Dayna Wilde, Tabi, AviDan, Rob and Nadine and then when they and many
>others - notably Boots David Hobbs, Rebecca, Tom and Rob Elovitz - came
>to Europe to ski in the 3V and Zermatt.
>
>Also during this period I had many trips with Charles and Paul again,
>many hosted so generously by Paul and Chantal in their apartment in La
>Foux where superb curries were still a big feature of the menu.
>Trips with Vib, Simon and Vic continued and later with their partners
>Raquel Emer and Damiano who love the snow and ski/board well too.
>
>And that has now been passed on to our grandchildren who, aged 7-14,
>were able to ski just about everything Pila was able to throw at them
>last week. It was a pleasure and a privilege to ski with them and I hope
>they’ll remember their old GrandPops when in years to come they ski with
>their own children and grandchildren.
>
>Family is the most important thing in my life, but skiing and my ski
>family are an important second and I thank you all – including those not
>mentioned above - for the joy you have given me over the years.

On a positive note, you seem to have more than a JillyCooper's worth
(or if you prefer, DickFrancis' worth) of experience just ripe for
novelisation. Or, just from the summary above, a damn fine memoir in
the making.

I'm so sorry you won't be skiing again but - what a legacy you have
built!

Nick

Re: OT: End of an era

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From: rtilbury...@gmail.com (BrritSki)
Newsgroups: uk.media.radio.archers
Subject: Re: OT: End of an era
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:45:47 +0000
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 by: BrritSki - Sun, 25 Feb 2024 20:45 UTC

On 25/02/2024 20:40, Nick Odell wrote:
> On Sun, 25 Feb 2024 14:36:31 +0000, BrritSki
> <rtilburyTAKEOUT@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On a positive note, you seem to have more than a JillyCooper's worth
> (or if you prefer, DickFrancis' worth) of experience just ripe for
> novelisation. Or, just from the summary above, a damn fine memoir in
> the making.
>
> I'm so sorry you won't be skiing again but - what a legacy you have
> built!
>
Thanks Nick


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