Saturday, 23 February 2013

Holiday post no.8

Today was my last day skiing, as our ski lift passes have run out and we are going home tomorrow. It wasn't a bad day, the weather was very cold in comparison to all other days we've had here but it could've be colder though. In terms of temperature, this week has been wonderful; most days it has been about -1 degrees. It sounds freezing because...well it is the freezing temperature of water, but for here, it is actually pretty warm and when you are dressed for skiing, it's actually a pretty damn good temperature. We managed to cover all of the surrounding mountain ranges in our skiing today, admittedly we did not do a lot of the runs in some of the areas but we made a good attempt at it! After going up one mountain range in the first place, we organised to meet at the bottom of a certain chairlift, but I misheard my parents and we spent about an hour looking for each other. After waiting a while for them at the chairlift i thought was specified, I then went up each chairlift around that one and ended up going down a load of different runs. In the end, they rung me and we organised to meet up at the start of the mountain, but when I went to the chairlift to take me there, I found it was closed. This pissed me off quite a bit but we eventually organised to meet somewhere, then eventually managed to get to the start of the mountain. From there, we went down 'La Face', a run I mentioned in a previous post. If you read that post, you would know it is a difficult run, I would probably say the hardest run in the area. Anyway, we were doing this not so much as a challenge, but more to test the conditions, because a ski instructor had told us that at the end of the day, the conditions on the piste were dreadful, to the point even he would not enjoy skiing down the run. He said that if we did the run earlier on in the day, it would be much more enjoyable, as the ice would not be so uncovered yet. I feel that we did not do the run early enough as it was still fairly icy at points, but I might just have too high hopes. 
I still sped down here, slowing down at points where it was just too icy to go fast and waited around at the nursery slopes where the run ends. My mum took a while to get down, as my dad had slipped over and had to put a ski back on. He then decided to take a cable-car down the mountain instead of ski down, as he had hurt his knee in the fall. It was probably a good thing that he did not decide to ski down as at some points, even I found it pretty tricky getting down at all. Meanwhile I did a couple of runs while my mum waited for him to get down. 
Once he came down, he said that he was finished with skiing for the day, as his knee was injured. It was a shame, but at least it was on the last day of skiing. So we took a bus to another chair lift up to a different mountain range, and sat at the bottom and had lunch. After we were finished, my dad went back to the apartment and me and my mother went up the mountain. It was intensely cold up here, and we skied around this area for a while before we gave up as it was just too cold. At the highest run of that mountain, my mother pointed out that the thermometers at the chairlift said it was -15 degrees..which is just unbelievable to me! I would expect it would feel so much colder. We then took the chairlift over to the other side of the mountain in hope that it would be warmer. It was, marginally. So for an hour or so we skied around this area, doing some nice easy runs. It was wonderful, as these two last mountain ranges had barely any people on them, so the slopes were much less crowded than usual. This made skiing today very enjoyable, ignoring the fact of the cold. Soon enough though, the time to come down the mountain for the last time came, not soon enough for my liking, as it was a little too cold up there for my liking, so I was rather in envy of my dad, in the warmth! I forced myself to stay till the end though, as it was the last day I would be skiing for a long while. 
I only managed to take one picture while I was up on the slopes today, as I completely forgot about doing so until the last minute. However I took a picture of the resort in the sun from high up on the run 'La Face'. I feel it really does show the size of the resort quite well.

After this, we went back and relaxed then eventually went out again to take our rented ski equipment back. Then later on, the ski instructor that me and my mother had been taught by earlier on came round for a drink and snack to eat. 
Anyway, i'm going to wind down now and get to sleep soon, so adios till tomorrow. 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Holiday post no.7

Today was pretty damn good. Much better than yesterday. It started off pretty much the same way it has for most of this week, wake up late, go skiing and come back then relax. Today followed that pattern except I decided to go out shopping with my parents later on.

Today we skied in a a new area, in the valley around the resort 'Tignes'. We went there to go to the top of the mountain, to ski down the glacier. It was rather a long journey to get there, as we had to get to the highest point of one of the surrounding mountains, but then had to get all the way to the top of the Tignes mountain range at around 3500m. With this fact, I would have expected that it would be very cold up there, however as it was a very still day, the cold was minimal compared to what it would be on an average day. The runs down there were also not especially icy, as type of mountain range would suggest. I really enjoyed the pistes around the top here, and also down the bottom of the mountains, as many of the runs were fairly steep and had a fair amount of powder on them; these factors were great as they made it not too tricky to speed down a lot of it!
While we were in this area, we stopped for lunch at a rocky outcrop that was a fair distance off piste. We chose this area because the view around there was astounding; the snow had been barely touched by skiers, and the views were great because of the height we were at. It was a little tricky getting back to the piste as the snow was so deep, i mean if you really tried, you could probably sink to waist height I expect. I took some pictures while I was up on top of the glacier and this rocky outcrop because the views from both locations were amazing.

The mechanism of the cable car up to the glacier

A view of the mountains around the glacier

A view of the mountains around the glacier

A view of the mountains around the glacier

A view of the mountains around the glacier

A view from the rocky outcrop

A view from the rocky outcrop

A view from the rocky outcrop

A view from the rocky outcrop

Also during today, I took a video of me skiing down a small section of  run. The video wasn't that good as I was skiing down, phone in hand, not using poles..but that isn't my main concern. I think that it come out with very bad quality but I shall see when I post it. You may also have to turn your head sideways to watch it..but it's the best i could do!

Later on tonight, I went out shopping with my parents, and was surprised to see some sort of street carnival type event going on! There were people with costumes on, holding floating balloons in the air. There was a pair of people dressed in an old divers style costume (with the large, round brass helmet) holding a large whale balloon. One of the best costumes I saw was a man dressed up as a penguin, in a suit. Anyway, in the street, there was also a small bandstand, with two people playing music. One person was playing guitar and the other was singing. Their set was obviously catered towards young children as it was all very interactive, but I still found it over all entertaining to watch. I was also in wonder at how the guitarist could play well in the cold, as it couldn't have been any warmer than -2 or so degrees C...
Also in the street, there was a stall that was handing out free hot chocolate and heated wine; I of course chose the wine. The streets were also lined with lit up multi coloured shapes.
Over all, this unexpected event was wonderful, it was something that was just so unnatural for me to find anywhere near where I live.
After wandering about the street for a bit, we finally went into the supermarket and got the shopping done. We then came back to the apartment then a little while later had supper. My father had cooked some steaks, which tasted wonderful.

I apologise for the lack of structure in this second part of the post; I had written the first part earlier, and now I am finishing it off a little too late (it is currently 12.24!)
Tomorrow is the last day of skiing! I'm both happy about this and also disappointed, this week has gone by very fast. I am happy about this because it means that I am soon returning home, back to normality and my friends. The disappointment in this is obvious, because well this week has been great, but I guess you can have too much of a good thing though.

I'm going to leave it here, I don't have that much more to say, and besides, the writing would not be that good anyway because i'm tired.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Holiday post no.6

Today wasn't the greatest of days, not a bad day, just a bit off. It started off with me waking up in the morning in a pretty shitty mood, because of some dreams I had that seemed quite realistic. They linked in with some things i've been thinking about lately, it's just feelings and stuff like that about someone; i'm not going to go into it here however. The dreams were just imaginations of me doing stupid things and said person making it obvious that it will not work. These thoughts transferred into my awoken mind and made me feel yet more hopeless in this situation. Either way, this was not what I was supposed to be writing about, i'm on holiday, it's supposed to be an enjoyable time! Besides, I would consider myself to be lucky to be here on holiday, I should count my blessings.

Anyway this was only the start to the day. After this, I went up the slopes with my mother to have a shared lesson for 2 hours. As you can guess, I was not particularly in the mood for a lesson, but I felt that it would be good to get skiing as it would distract me and possibly cheer me up.
In the end, the lesson went very well, it was not necessary for me but helped me improve my technique well. I enjoyed this, as it was obviously helped and also because we were being taught by a friend of my uncle that we know fairly well. During this, my mind was still at little active but I took no notice of it.
After this, we met my dad at the top of the mountain and had lunch. But then after this, my skiing turned to shit. Suddenly it seemed that my technique was just not there,  I was skiing worse than during the lesson, and even before that. This lasted for a couple of hours and really irritated me. On the run down, I seemed to recover a fair bit of technique, which was good, just a little too late. A little bit before this, I realised what I was doing wrong, what I was missing and I think this helped me improve for the last hour of skiing.

I also left taking pictures a bit late again today, I also was a bit lazy due to my irritated mood so I only took one because my dad pointed out a view that would make for a good photo and I forced myself to bother.

On a positive note, now that I am back in the apartment i'm in a better mood, I should probably use this time to get work done though, so i'm going to leave the post here. It's a bit of a shame that today's post wasn't especially happy, but tomorrow should hopefully be much better!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Holiday post no.5

Today was brilliant. In terms of where we skied, that was nothing new, as we mostly covered runs that we have been down already in the last two days; but the new feature was jumps.
I don't really remember ever trying jumps when I was younger, except for one time that I remember clearly: I tried a fairly large jump, probably too big for my height at that time and as I went into the air, I lost balance completely and came crashing down on my back. Nothing bad really happened from this incident, but I think that I remember it because I was so young at the time.
This was the last time I remember doing a jump while skiing..until today. I broke some new ground I feel, as I did my usual thing of hurtling down the piste in relative control, but then when I found ones that I was happy doing, I took many opportunities to try out jumps. It came quite naturally doing jumps it seems, I wouldn't say I landed them gracefully..but I managed fairly daunting looking ones without crashing, so it's good enough for me!
Here is a video of me going over a jump, it isn't that great I know, but I think that I landed better on the other jumps I did.

If you read my post from yesterday, then you will have seen where I mentioned about how my confidence will get the best of me. Well, today it did. I had my first proper fall, it wasn't at all bad, I just fell over and one of my skis came off. It happened because I was a little!  bit cocky, as at the top of a slope, I went over a small ish jump, which was fine, but then after that there was a succession of two smaller ones. I think what happened was that I messed up the landing of the first jump, then decided to continue with the second one anyway and wiped myself out. But anyway there you have it; the first fall of few (hopefully).

Also, tonight there was a display on, where first a couple of skiers armed with parachutes went down the mountain and took off then floated around for a while. This wasn't that interesting, but this was only the start. After this, about 100 or so skiers with torches skied down 'la face', the run that I also mentioned in my last post. This was amazing as I can't imagine skiing at night, let alone down such a tricky run! After this there were fireworks to finish it off. It did not last that long, but it really was a wonderful sight. I managed to get a picture of the skiers going down the mountain, but it wasn't that good quality as it was night.

I haven't got any specific pictures from today, but just an assortment of images that I took in a panic when I suddenly realised that I hadn't taken any today when I was up on the mountain. So here are said pictures:

A view of Val-d'iser from one of the surrounding mountains

A picture of the town from the nursery slopes

Monday, 18 February 2013

Holiday post no.4

Day 3 of skiing was brilliant. I feel surprisingly confident on the slopes today, not that I didn't yesterday, but I feel confidence and retained skill just increasing more and more! I found that today in most cases, I was shooting way ahead of my parents on most pistes, waiting for them to catch up further  down, with the exceptions of the 'schusses' which are just a straight run down a hill, crouching down attempting to gain as much speed as possible. My parents usually went past me in this case, due to weight. On an average run, where we would be traversing across the slope, I was faster than my parents because my mother found that at speed, she did not have much control at all and my dad is just a little cautious about going over the top, because he doesn't want to wear himself out, and also because he does not want to risk causing leg problems, as he broke it a couple of years back. Over all, I just act a little stupidly, I probably go a little above my ability at times, in terms of the speed I go at; I expect this will be my downfall at some point, but so far I have stay upright except once today. I fell over as I attempted to turn my skis by simply angling my feet rather than moving the actual ski itself. It wasn't a big tumble though, I am yet awaiting my first proper fall of this skiing holiday.

While I am on the subject of falling, at the end of the day, when my mother and I (my dad had gone back earlier as he was worn out) were going down a very steep run called 'la face'. This is a black run, that most people find tricky at points, even ski instructors! Anyway, we were going down the  steep bits of this slope, and I found the first part great, it was nicely angled so I could get a good amount of speed up and there was a a good amount of grip; this was where the grip ended though.
For the rest of the descent, the grip was spread far and thin, a lot of the piste was icy, which is dealable with but then we found there was occasional patches of blue ice, which is just frozen water. The grip on it is minimal at best, so I found that I was struggling at times to stay upright. My mother was not so lucky, a lot of the descent down the mountain she spent sliding, unable to stop herself. This was partially because she was tired after a long days skiing, but mainly though due to the patches of ice.
If you are interested, here is a video of someone skiing down La face ( It doesn't look too steep in the video, but trust me it really is. The first time I went down, I was seriously worried about going down it, I admittedly was about 12 at the time, but I would guess it is still worrying for skiiers of any age.

I also took some photos from high up in the mountain, as some of the views from up there were astounding. I feel that it is a bit of a shame that I cannot get the pictures any bigger without going over the border, but still, I guess it is pretty good that I can share holiday pictures via a blog.

By now, I feel that we have been down most runs that are local to this area, which is a little surprising, as the amount of slopes accessible from here is very big compared to other ski resorts. Over all, this holiday has been going very well so far, and I have also managed to keep writing a daily blog post!!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Holiday post no.3

The third day of the holiday went great. It started off with a lie in till 10 o'clock (probably one of the few lie ins I will have this week) which was nice start to the day, even if it did take up some time that could have been used for skiing. After having breakfast and getting dressed, we eventually got out by about 12 o'clock. This wasn't too late, as the ski lifts stop running at about 5 in the afternoon, so we still got a lot of skiing done.
We did some 'proper' skiing today, by that I mean that we went properly up the mountain, rather than piddle about on the nursery slopes. Looking back at the end of the day, I am glad that we did not go up the mountain yesterday, as today showed us that we were definitely not ready yet. However I am not saying that we fared badly today, but that we needed the practice. I say this as I feel that we as a family, have really retained a lot of skill since the last time we went skiing.

We first headed up the mountain and then took one further up and skied around for a while, going up and down the mountain. But then we went up to a chairlift that goes over the top of the mountain which has an absolubtly amazing view as you go over the top. I attempted to take a picture as the chair was at the top, but I didn't manage to do so in time. Over the other side of the mountain, we did some more skiing, but the main difference was that we went much higher up the mountain. This proved to be quite cold, as it was obviously more windier up there, and also the slopes were steeper, so we were going much faster. The cold didn't really affect me, except for my ears; I expect this will be my only problem with the cold in this week, but I will see if I can find a way to keep my ears warm on the slopes.
After a while we took the chairlift back over the mountain top, and on the way over, I managed to get a good picture of the view.

After this we continued skiing for a while, and at around 4 ish, my dad went back home because he was fairly tired out from the day. Me and my mum continued skiing for about an hour or so. At this time, the slopes were really busy, as people were heading back to their homes/apartments. This started to really get on my nerves as it took the fun out of skiing, as a lot of the snow was already quite icy, that was fairly worrying, but then I also had to worry about the multitude of people coming down the hill and those people stopped in the middle of the slopes. These two factors caused me to have to contiunally stop and therefore add to the problem.
Some of the parts of the runs today were out of the sun, which along with the fact that made it likely there would be icy snow, but also you could not see the surface of the snow very well, and therefore not really be able to see bumps there are.

This is a picture of me in some skiwear, excuse the face

There wasn't that much to say about today, because mostly it would be just repeating myself saying 'we skied down this slope'
On a note, I am happy with the fact that I have kept up with posting a daily just to transfer this effort to the college work I have been set for the holiday..

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Holiday post no.2

We have arrived! I just realised I haven't actually stated where I actually am on holiday; I am in Val-d'Isere, a french ski resort high up in the Alps. We are staying in my uncles flat that he owns here, which saves quite a bit of money on the costs of the holiday.
In the end, the coach journey wasn't so bad as I thought it would be, even though I didn't manage to sleep that much on the coach during the night. Coincidentally, it is now 11 minutes past 9 in the morning! I am now relaxing in the flat for a short while before we go out to hire ski equipment and buy ourselves some breakfast. It's been such a long time since we last went skiing here, but somehow, the area is engraved in my memory it seems, which I guess is a good thing.

The view from our apartment
A picture taken on the journey up the mountains
Another picture taken on the journey up the mountains

Just went out shopping for food, it's so bright out there now that the sun is out! Also food is so expensive here it seems, but that may be an early judgement. We are soon going to go out and collect equipment such as skis and other essentials then maybe do a bit of skiing near the end of the day hopefully!

An ice sculpture I saw in the town centre!
Spent around 2 or so hours skiing today, admittedly was only on the beginner slopes, as we didn't have a ski pass yet. It was great to be back on the slopes since so long ago (maybe 2-3 years was the last time  I went skiing). After this, we went exploring the town, looking around and shopping for food for supper.
Tomorrow, we will be starting on the harder slopes which will be great, mainly because there won't be so much waiting around on the chairlifts, which proved to get quite cold at times. So over all, a good day, but I expect the holiday will only get better!

Holiday post no. 1

Welcome to the first post about my weeklong trip to France! I say my first post because I intend to do a post at the end of every day or possibly some of the days blog while I am up on the mountain! (Isn't portable technology such a wonderful thing?) but I might not get round to doing so.

The date is 15/02/2013 and it is currently 11 minutes past 9 (pm) in France. We have been travelling since around 10 in the morning (England time, gmt). We first drove up to London to catch our coach into France, which took a while, but it is nothing compared to the time that the coach journey takes. As it currently stands, we are about 8 hours into the journey, with 9 or so more hours left! So far, the coach journey hasn't been too boring, but the only problem has been sitting down. Cramp has not been a problem, as there is a fairly nice amount of room, but a sore ass is the main issue as you can probably imagine! I think we are soon stopping at a service station.for to pick up some food for dinner, but this will probably be the last stop for a long while. I think the hardest part of the journey has passed though, as soon everyone will probably go to sleep for the night (except the drivers of course!)

We just pulled in at the service station that we planned to get some food at, but to no we pulled in, the driver announced that it looked like since the last time he was here, it has been demolished! And we could see the evidence with all the barricades around. So we are now driving for another 20 or so minutes to the next service station we can find.

Just had a 40 minute break at the service station, nothing out of the ordinary really, if anything, it was worse than a similar style service station in the UK. But now we're filled up and ready for the rest of the journey, I think I might do a bit of reading now, then go to sleep in a little while; and so I finish off the first blog post.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Unexpected events

It's been an odd weekend for me, with things happening that I really wouldn't expect to happen often. In a way, it's been kinda ups and downs.
On friday, I went to bed at sleep at 10. The rarity of me going to bed before 11.30 or later is the extent that i'll go for at least a month before doing so, even if I feel that I should (I sometimes try to sleep earlier but then fail to do so. This as I just said, was just an uncommon thing.
The next day, after a tiring session at my judo club, I went into town to meet some of my friends. I had been planning in the week to meet someone else, but by saturday they did not have the money to get into town so I didn't end up meeting them. However on thursday some other friends had said they were going to be in, so in my mind I would have met up with the original friend and the others that I talked to on thursday. In the end, I only met the thursday friends, and this was good, but the outcome of the day was totally unexpected. On the day, there were quite a lot of people around, but instead of hanging around in a group, I mostly was dragged around shopping by one of the thursday friends; they were shopping for job interview clothes. She continually apologised for asking me to accompany her shopping, but as I said to her, I didn't mind at all. In all honesty, it was wonderful to be able to spend a good amount of time with her. She is generally one of those people that is hard to keep in contact with and that you don't see especially often. I say this all respectfully, as she is not like this out of disrespect, college takes up a lot of time, and also she has split parents and both live a fair distance from a town. This event in itself wasn't really much, but due to circumstances, it was a little bit important to me, as a little while back, I was a little concerned about said friend, whether they were worth the effort, because i've known them a long time now, and at times, it's been tricky, due to what I said about them being hard to keep in contact with. This and also seeing them a little bit over the last couple of weeks has revived my hope in our friendship. But in the end, I think it would take a lot for me to give up on her, just one of those subconscious things that are very hard for even you to understand. 

Anyway, enough about focusing on one person, back to talking about my weekend..
That night, I was quite happy, I had a good day in town, got to see a lot of my good friends, had a good catchup with the thursday friend. 
 But oddly, a little while before I went to bed, my mood suddenly fell. I don't know what triggered it, but I definitely know what the mood was about; it was a bit of a sudden worry about the future: college, university, jobs and such things. I suddenly felt like I was just wasting my life, focusing on completely the wrong things. I have generally over the last two years focused a lot of my time on my social life, and that really has done me well, but then again, I have neglected school and college work. Not to be arrogant, but I know that I have academic potential within me, more than some people, who still strive hard to achieve. These thoughts make me a little ashamed of myself, for not taking advantages of the gifts I have, and made me think that I am just sitting back, and awaiting the day that those who are more disadvantaged that me overtake me, and I am the one playing catch up. I then thought that I should really get focused on my college work and get down to it, look towards achieving what is possible for me. 
 Even though I had a solution and the time to implement it, my mood did not fix it self. This was one of those rare moments when I felt that I was being truely pathetic and I utterly hate that. Other people I can accept being pathetic, but in most circumstances, I consider it almost a crime to do so, as I know that I have been taught by one of my closest friends to stay strong and to be self reliant. This alone can not be enough at times I know, but I recognise a mood I should be able to get myself out of, and to fail this I feel this is an insult to myself, the person who taught me this lesson and people who I have a stronger mind than. This irritated me greatly, so in the end I solved it the way that usually works, just sleep it through.

I spent most of today in running around in the pouring rain for hours on end, for my own enjoyment. Which in  my mind, would be considered quite an odd thing. I met up with an old friend of mine, I think the only one I keep in contact with from the first school I was at when I moved away from London. He had invited me out to play airsoft with him and some of his friends from his current school. It was a first time for me. For those that do not know what airsoft is: it is pretty much a competitive game similar to paintball, using BB style guns. I arrived at his house at 9 o'clock then got kitted up appropriately. We drove to the site then and by 10 we were out in the field playing. Due to the horrendous weather, the day did not run as it usually would. Apparently according to the other people I was with, on an average day, it would run continually, from around 10 in the morning till up to 5 in the afternoon, with people taking breaks whenever they felt like dropping out. This day run very differently, it was much more split up, with much shorter games than usual. It was quite a tricky thing, due to the weather, a lot of the gameplay followed the same style, wait in one area for the enemy to advance to ambush them, flank them and then ambush them, or go straight onwards. These tactics were much easier to use due to the unending rain, poor weather conditions and boggy ground. Obviously, after about  6 hours out in the rain, we were drenched to the bone, but it was great fun, and you didn't notice the wetness while you were busy in the field!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

past times, microphones and popeye

It's been over a week since I last wrote a post for this blog. Now this may be petty and a little OCD, but it irritates me because i've now broken my chain of writing a post at least once a week. I am one day late..I also feel a little guilty that i've let it slip, because I know i've not been writing out of laziness. I could say that i've been focusing on playing guitar a lot recently, and therefore neglected college work and blogging, but that would be a lie; as I just said, i've been lazy, sitting around not really doing much.

On a side note, I do feel that i'm regaining the social aspect of my life! Which for me, is very important. I knew it would happen at some point, I guess I was just disappointed at the pace it was happening.

I said earlier that it'd be a lie if I said i've been focusing on guitar a lot lately, this would also be a bit of a lie too..recently, i've been working on doing a bit of recording, since I found out that my cheap £10 webcam with an inbuilt microphone can do fairly good recordings of my acoustic guitar, and also, my electric guitar through my amp, even with a fairly high amount of distortion, which really does amaze me! For such a cheap device, I wouldn't expect a great video quality, and to be fair, it is about average, but the audio just astounds me! It really does please me, as this opens up more opportunities for me as a solitary musician; I can now use it to record any compositions of mine, to accompany the written explanation of how to play said piece. I can also use it as a looping device, to play the lead guitarists part of a song on repeat while I learn the other guitarist's parts.
Over all, I can use it to show myselfthe achievements I have made  by either learning to play a song or making a composition of my own!

Anyway, another thing I wanted to mention on this post was popeye! Me and my parents were discussing it over it over supper and it brought memories flooding back in. Usually, with things such as this (children's cartoons that you would have watched at a young age) I don't have any interest, as they are a  thing of the past; I can look at it and muse "oh I remember watching that" without much emotional input, but when I thought about popeye, I remembered it with joy, about how ridiculous it is and how enjoyable it was and still is to watch! It is just due to personal feelings of it, not any particular great aspect of the show itself.

On the same topic, I have also been looking back recently at the 'see friendship' button on my facebook, looking back at the times that I would say my life really began to take proper shape. I look back and see the mistakes i've made, the annoying person I have been, the odd person i've been, but over all, the friendships i've had and some that are still going since those 1-2 years ago. To reference only the people that I am still in contact with, for some, it shows how my friendship with them has always been tricky, but then there are the people that have really remained the same kind of friend throughout all this time, and have not faded away from me.
I cannot even begin to express the feelings of joy and wonder I got from reading these posts from the past, and memories that flooded back in from those past times.
If you are one of those people concerned in this last paragraph (you should know if you are or not!) then I thank you dearly for all the times that we have shared, you mean a great deal to me!