Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

the good the bad and the ugly

I'm in France, Montriond near Morzine, ski-ing. Its a gorgeous place, amazing ski-ing runs the weather is 27 degrees it couldn't be better. Chocolate box scenery although with no snow in the village or towns but lots up on the mountains. Our chalet is run by the loveliest people, so concerned that we are happy and having a great time, we've been so lucky in our choice.

The friends I'm with are old friends and one newish one and we've got on so well with non of the usual hiccups you can get when you come away as a group. We've been ski-ing together everyday and I've been pretty pleased with my performance although a little surprised at being the slowest member of the group. But hey I'm a scardy cat when it comes to speed and i know my ability is far below that needed to avoid other skiers and stop myself falling off cliffs if i loose control of my skis.

So i should be a delicate little flower of a skier, picking my way down a slope in a gentle ladylike way, not hurtling down at top speed like my adrenaline junkie friends. Ok I'm no where near as fast as them but for me I'm hurtling and it has provided some very hairy moments for me. I envy and admire them but i am at the level I'm at and trying to keep up has been daunting sometimes.

I love the lunches and apres ski of course, the jollier and louder and snow junkier the better for me. i love to watch the snowboarders in their funky bright clothes excitedly shouting at each other about their wipe outs and mega runs and i love watching the pretty people gliding along in their clompy ski boots as though they are wearing Jimmy Choos, cooly smoking their 'keep me stick thin' cigarettes chatting with the other beautiful people.

so its all been wonderful apart from today when i needed a rest. i was physically and emotionally exhausted. i didn't expect this part but the grief has hit me this week. ski-ing is tough on the body especially if your not that brave a skier like me and the people you are with are either experienced or fit and brave and I'm just not either.

I've done runs where i have been in tears, talking to my dad all the way down "come on dad we can do this" stuff like that. sounds silly now but when your in so much pain and trying so hard not to let others down your on your limit, well i am anyway. today i need a day off. i slept in till 12.30 then took my camera out and spent a few hours snapping moments. it was heaven and I've got a couple of cool shots which i will load when back. Its great to photograph in a different environment where people are doing something different than home and its inspired me to go to more interesting locations to do my people pictures at least.

taking the time to do some photography really helped, as pushed to the edge of my physical and bravery limits the tears came pouring in unstoppable and it felt like my heart was going to break. I'm away from my children , away from the other people who are going through the same grieving as me and the few moments it has come flooding into me while here its been intolerably hard. i didn't foresee it at all. but on the other hand it is the most enjoyable holiday and has helped enormously to have a break from the death that we have been living with for the last 3 months. i will be so sad when its over, as usual i go back with new resolutions which generally disappear the week or so after I'm back but i cannot hope to come out of all of this unchanged and hopefully it will be for the better.

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