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In pre history, few parents enjoyed skiing with their kids – and mine were no exception. Resentfully, I had to adopt the magical sport too late to become the mountain goddess of my dreams. And yet it served me well, with spectacular falls on six continents as glorious powder rippled under my planks and breakable crust refused to yield. Idiotically lost in Georgian fog, I edged cautiously towards safety - or perdition. Thanks to a reliable sense of direction, I returned some hours later to revive over local vodka in front of a roaring fire.

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