Moshi Moshi!

A habit I haven’t actually got into, but this saying (which sounds like ‘mushy mushy’) is what the Japanese say when answering the telephone. I think it’s a good representative of the slightly mushy spring conditions we’ve experienced over the last week in Niseko – slushy, mushy March at its best. Or when it freezes, bullet proof ice. However, we have had some exceptional snow over this past month, but there is no doubt that spring has arrived.

The weather has been a little crazy. We had snow and more excellent powder days when I was allowed to ski with the boys “because you can keep up” and then proceeded to out eat them at the Annupuri all you can eat buffet. I did Gate 11 down into Niseko Village for the 1st time and got a giggle out of the tow rope named the ‘Speedy Wonder’.

Then one weekend the wind whipped up and it was just insane. The whole resort was closed and the storm hit the news provoking Eri’s mother to tell her daughter to stay indoors. I had a very sleepless night, during which I genuinely thought the little green house was going to blow away and I’d find myself in the middle of the ocean. A little scary!

DSCN4998

A very windblown house. Eri loves to colour coordinate.

Dan and Anne went away to Shanghai on business and left me in charge (more or less!). The mountain really did become my office.

Needless to say the boys couldn’t help but hijack the phone whilst my back was turned leaving this photograph of their mugs as the screensaver.

20160306_122450

We also did some good publicity for the ski school.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then my parents visited with Aunty Jane. I’m not going to lie, the forecast was not promising and although excited to see them, I was manically thinking of what to do with them should the warm, wet and windy weather continue. Their bag then got lost. It really did look bleak… But the Japanese are THE BEST. They had their bag delivered within 24hrs (“Sorry for inconvenience, thank you for your cooperation”…) and the snow started to fall. Jane and my parents were so lucky and ended up experiencing all weather and snow conditions, including one of the best powder days of the season. I took them to a variety of restaurants to experience as much culture (well, food!) as they could, took them to an Onsen, and the Shiatsu massages went down a treat. I was also lucky enough to see them on my birthday. Spoilt rotten to say the least, I felt very lucky that they visited and we had such a great time. All that was missing was that big, little brother of mine. Aw.

Ripping in the powder

Gate 4 and the perfect end to a perfect day

Night skiing

Tempura, Sushi Train, Hokkaido steak and we splashed out on one Wagu steak to share, Soup Curry, Teppanyaki, Soba noodles (no photograph) along with trips to Milk Kobo for cheese tarts, ice cream and Shu Creams (plenty of photographs in previous posts!).

1918438_10153925718998818_9109999117912202953_n

And mum even whipped up loads of fish, veg and rice one evening – nom nom.

Needless to say by the time they left, along with the endless supply of Cadbury’s, Milka and Reblochon cheese they had brought over, I was feeling pretty doughy. A week off running, gave my ankle a little respite and once the birthday celebrations were over, marathon training resumed.

I have completed the longest run (35k) and am focusing on figuring out my pace for the marathon over the next couple of weeks before tapering. Thank you to all those who have donated so far – I really am very thankful and it is great motivation. Kim is out of her brace and is just beginning to walk as well as start her physiotherapy sessions. Limitless Pursuits recently published an article about the challenge and skiing if you’d like to check it out, click here.

The season is winding down, people are beginning to leave and I definitely have that sense of nostalgia running through my veins, but I am busy planning travels around Japan for April/May and confirming my southern hemisphere winter in New Zealand. Exciting times ahead!

Whilst the snow is a little mushy, it seems the perfect time to practise snowboarding with my favourite Japanese lady.

12325155_10207508416120914_504100518_n