A January morning ski on Hasliberg, the local mountain above Meiringen

A January morning ski on Hasliberg, the local mountain above Meiringen

08:10. Left my house a bit later than planned, but easily buy a half-day ski pass and get the next gondola from Meiringen at about 08:25.

08:41. Bidmi - Käserstatt lift. Getting close to the top!

08:45. Good morning, Meiringen. Under the mist in the distance is Brienz, with Lake Brienz behind and to the left.

08:46. Photos done, it's time to go.

08:48. There are way too many photo opportunities in the Swiss Alps.

09:13. After a shaky start, I'm getting back into this. I've invented a game for myself where my torso must be facing downhill at all times when in motion. I zigzag across the slope when I'm nervous. I'm infinitely more relaxed when facing forward, with relaxed and bouncy knees, and doing tight turns.

09:19. Oh, Switzerland. Slowing down to admire the view means losing all momentum, but there's always the opportunity of a bit of a cross-country ski to get it back again.

09:53. Wide slopes, beautiful views, snow-dusted trees... it's my kind of run.

10:32. Time to get back for work. This is just above Bidmi – I can ski a little further down and then get the gondola from Reuti back to Meiringen. And from there, it's skis back on for the final leg.

Safeguarding what's important and cutting out the rest

Safeguarding what's important and cutting out the rest

Three days in Coimbra, the real cultural heart of Portugal

Three days in Coimbra, the real cultural heart of Portugal