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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 18 August 3, 1938

From London

From London.

It has been a marvellous holiday. Twenty-four hours' (continuous) travelling to get from there to London is not exactly comfortable, especially when you spend some 18 of these hours on the hard wooden benches that Germans seem to think good enough for seats. You have no idea what absolute luxury it seems to get on to the southern railway sunshine. My nose of course peeled at once and my face is as dark as it has ever been. The difficult thing about skiing is turning, for on the steeper slopes you have to twist and turn about to keep your speed under control at all; however, I picked up rather shakily one or two versions of stem and Christie turns from Dover to London, where you sink into nice soft cushions that spare the bruises of skiing and attempting to sleep on hard boards. Both going out and coming back we spent the night in the train between Koln and about Ulm or later. Very few got any sleep: the most comfortable place in the train is easily the luggage rack: not being an old campaigner I wasn't quick enough to grab a luggage rack on the way out and so spent the night on the floor as being. If anything, slightly preferable to a seat. However, on the way back I made certain of a luggage rack and by dint of a certain amount of padding got several hours' sleep. The party was very jolly: we learned a lot of German songs and there were several well-trained voices who did some part-singing one or two nights, and we had many thoroughly good evenings playing various sorts of games, old dances, modern dances, everything, even Sir Roger de Coverley for the benefit of some German spectators. Several of them could play instruments, concertinas, mouth organs, pipes, etc. That is one particularly strong contrast between New Zealand students and English ones, that the English have far more varied attainments in these odd little ways.

For the first ten days we had absolutely solid sunshine, bright, burning though I still fall over with them as often as they come off. It seems jolly funny at first on skis; they run about all over the place and you can't stop them however much you concentrate on them; then later, doing turns, you are taught to do everything with your shoulders and hips and forget about the skis altogether—look after the shoulders and the skis look after themselves sort of idea.