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24th February

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We had a second day snow shoeing in the mountains on Wednesday, we have to make the most of this wonderful weather, I think it is only in the winter that the skies are so clear we can see peaks hundreds of miles away. We set off from Payoll, which even by 9am was busy with French families enjoying the snow, but none seemed to be heading up the mountains on snow shoes. . We were up on a ridge at about 1800m and could look across to Arbizon and Pic du Midi and down to the villages in the next valley. In fact we didn’t need the snow shoes until we started the descent on the north side of Plat del Naou, where we were suddenly in deep powder snow. Putting on snowshoes in deep snow isn’t easy, we should have put them on when we were on the ridge, but there is always the temptation to think one can manage without them.

It was our monthly book club yesterday, our numbers diminished with members away for various reasons, it felt quite cosy with just four of us and the host produced a delicious lunch. The book was Self’s Deception, (Bernhard Schlink), who apparently has written some excellent books, (The Reader, Homecoming.) This was an early book based on a Private Eye character and I found the plot rather implausible and long winded, but the others enjoyed it, so there was lots of good discussion. Husbands were banished and they themselves had lunch at a restaurant.

It was the first day of the Y180 module, Understanding the arts. I can’t help feeling it won’t come naturally to me and will be much harder work than the creative writing module. I’ll start reading through the material today. I have just realised my laptop doesn’t have a disk drive to listen to the CD. Philip is off to the mountains yet again, skiing with a neighbour, I am wimping out, it will be busy with so many families from eastern France over here for the half term holiday.

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