The Alps

We apologise for the break in diary service

Location India | Mood Deeply traumatised by events in Nigeria | Date 10 January 2007
Hello anyone who might be reading this. Sorry I haven't had a moment to get the diary entries from August to December up here.

Barely broke a sweat cycling 20km uphill aged 82

Location Cute bunkbeds in sleeper train across France | Mood Utter exhaustion | Date 20 May 2006
Second of two consecutive nights in two consecutive weeks in French train bunk beds. As Fernand dropped us at the station last weekend, he casually mentioned he was going on a big anti-truck cycle protest this weekend. 300 hardy Chamonix-ers cycling, Critical Mass style, along the huge motorway that cuts through the valley. Couldn't resist coming back to film it, as it's so perfect for the some-hope-remains theme.

Camera attached to bungee, Franny attached to helicopter

Location Eurostar back from Paris | Mood Lovestruck | Date 13 May 2006
The predicted thunderstorms duly arrived and wiped out our helicopter plans. But managed to get some good shots of skiers trying to ski across a wee lake thing - till a snowboarder crashed right next to me and sent half a lake of icy water right over camera and me.

"Did I waste my life?" as oblivion beckons

Location Eurostar to Paris, then three more trains to Chamonix | Mood Anything is possible | Date 7 May 2006
En route to Chamonix once more. Hoping to film aerials of the mountains for the opening scene in a bid to fool our viewers (and potential distributors) that they're watching a big budget extravaganza. Left it right to the last day of the ski season (tomorrow), so we can get lots of skiers on the mountain, but with patchy snow. Which was a good plan, except there's been thunderstorms all weekend, with more predicted for tomorrow, so looking highly likely to be a flop.

Signed-up snowboarding addict

Location Secret hut up mountain | Mood Ecstatic | Date 6 March 2006
Mountain Picnic with Fernand

Guarding a snowman to no avail

Location Morzine one bed | Mood Homesick | Date 5 March 2006
Lugging gear in the rain (again) Photograph: Charlotte Rushton  

Making a film shouldn't be all fun & easy

Location Four beds in a line in Monastery of St Bernard | Mood Happy, happy, happy | Date 28 February 2006
Got a bit of a running joke going with myself (sad, I know), to do something foolish every year on the 28 February. I set a very high standard last year, with an act of folly that couldn't possibly be printed. And this year seems to have come together at the last minute too.

Secret to being lucky?

Location Bar near apartment | Mood Jubilant | Date 26 February 2006
Lucky we had pro-skier & cameraman Tchouky on La Vallée Blanche

School trip in the morning

Location Apartment for six, party zone of Chamonix. Nothing else left. | Mood Scared | Date 25 February 2006
We're going to try and ski / film there?? Photograph: Charlotte Rushton  

Human race may as well destroy themselves

Location Train from Paris to St Gervais | Mood Human race may as well destroy themselves | Date 23 February 2006
Missed our night train to Chamonix after the Eurostar broke down and deposited us in Paris two hours late. So then we had four hours’ sleep in a dodgy hotel, the first train South, unfortunately full of what we are assuming are gonnabe soldiers. We'd been hoping to catch up on some sleep, but they put a stop to that. Then I cracked my tooth on, of all things, a crisp. Looks like the first job in Chamonix will be to find a dentist.