"Is there some action around here or what?" - Prakash and Kublai mean business.

The emphasis was on everyone bringing their 'A-game'. No excuses. Last year, P. was the dictionary definition of a damp squib. All talk, no ski. Kubes rep was up, but you never know if he'll remember his passport. John was mentally rebuilding after piste bullying that granny in La Tania 2003. That video has given Mark's legend European scope: from the boardrooms of FTSE 100 companies to the villages that dot the Alps, they all know MacGyver. They know he's infallible. Jem always pimps it, but he had to fend off accusations that his game was not moving to the next level. And finally there was James. The enigma from Worthing. What would he bring to the table?


Mark had lost the backpack. He knew that the video was recording and didn't need the grief. Just the board and his courage, it was 'Zaretti: Unplugged'. The weather wasn't brilliant but it was still a beautiful experience. Lushly covered pistes allowed for us to ski and board with a bit more abandon.

'Get in the queue for the Hodgson Extravaganza!!!'

James and John grab the requisite passes so that we can show these lot how it's done. A bit of snow and rain and the locals disappeared. Then when the sun pulled it's finger out, from nowhere did they appear! Seriously, Italy would solve it's economic ills if it a) either closed down all it's entertainment venues (so the dossers would have to work), or b) block out the sun.

'I ain't getting in no damn Galaxy fool'.

No seriously, Hertz or whoever did us proud. Gave us the necessary comfort, and transported us safely between Fiumicino Airport, the ski resorts and John and Chi's house. Now if Mark could drop a spoiler on the back, paint it black and add the red stripe, then we're set. John can wear the gold chains.

"There's noone else here"

Absolutely brilliant! We more or less had the place to ourselves. What more can you ask for?

"What game did you bring? B+? A-?"

Prak and Kubes set off. Both looked good and kicked up the snow dust. They also had a great wipeout. Two for one and I missed it! Silly me.