An Edinburgh Christmas Carol [production week]

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Since October, I’ve been working on two shows for the festive season:

one, an immersive weekly cabaret; the other, an Edinburgh take on The Christmas Carol.

Similar to The Suppliant Women, there was a callout for singers to play protestor carolers in the production. Yes, protestor carolers. The ban on Christmas/Yule vacation in Scotland wasn’t officially lifted until 1958; to be caught reveling in anything even vaguely festive or churchy was a criminal offence – Scottish history is journey, but in a nutshell, the Calvinists were the worst.

With evening shows, matinees and an exhaustive number of morning shows for school audiences (very canny thinking), the near 6 week run finishes tomorrow. As for me, my role ended before the new year.
This would’ve gone up sooner, but I had a month long flu – I’m still getting used to being upright again.For reasons I’ll cover in the next post, in spite of actively having had the most festive season going, this has definitely been the least festive I’ve ever felt. Personally, anything Christmassy before December is a cardinal sin, not least because my birthday is the third week of November. I hate it, I don’t see the point, it weirds me out. That isn’t to say I hate the holidays, I just don’t get festive fever. Continue reading

[Risoul/Vars] Snow by Airfield

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Risoul – 1174m. Vars – 1320m. Not very high,

but what they lack in height, they make up for in width. Alpine skiing with American slope width? Hot damn.

As an advanced skiier, rarely ever away for longer than ten days, the challenge is always the same: ski as much terrain as possible. The whole point of the challenge is that it’s challenging – most of the time, we’re about 90% successful, and 100% exhausted. But when the terrain is smaller, you’re also looking for the spark that brings you back to the slopes long after completing them.
As a beginner to intermediate, Risoul and Vars are attractive: wide slopes, easy access to chairs, and the slopes are true to their colour key. While I can’t speak for off-pisters and park-rats, as an advanced-er (new word), the slopes lose their thrill within a couple of rounds. Then again, both sites are weekend holidays for locals, and I envy that. But then…

At the base of the Hautes-Alpes, over the bridge that crosses the Durance,

and down behind St Crepin’s aerodrome sits a warren of bungalow chalets with an incredible panoramic view – grounds backing onto an airfield, anyone?