Christmas 2013

Hakuba Tree Snapshot 1

I’ve just come home from a three day Ski-ing trip to Hakuba, which gave me the chance to ski down some of the same runs used in the 1998 Nagano winter Olympics. After so many years off the snow, it was a thrilling and somewhat humbling experience to be on skis again.

Hakuba Snapshot

The conditions were amazing (only iPhone snapshots this time). Hakuba is renowned for its great snow and it was thrilling to arrive in town and hear there had been 50cm+ of snow overnight at the base of the runs and even more on the top of the mountain. The snow continued to fall for the first two days of the trip, before the skies opened into glorious sunshine on the final morning.

Hakuba Self-Portrait

As I’ve written about before, I used to love Ski-ing for the same reasons I loved golf, it is a sport you can enjoy socially and yet is largely a personal experience. Ski-ing is a deeply creative activity, the way you approach the mountain, the line you ski, the way you ski it and yet, it requires a degree of real discipline and mastery of technique.

It was an extraordinary end to an amazing year. In January I was sweltering in tropical heat in Singapore and by December I was enjoying a snowy winter wonderland in my new home country of Japan. It’s the nature of this time of year to reflect back on where we’ve been and be thankful for those who’ve helped us along the way.

Hakuba Tree Shapshot 2

I hope wherever you are and however you spend this time of year, it is filled with light, hope, peace and joy. Thank you for reading this blog and for all your support over the past year. 2014 is just around the corner and I hope you find it be a year full of creativity, adventure and fulfilment.

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  • Toni - 4th January 2014

    Glad you had a good time – I’d love to see Japan in the snow, having seen films of life in Japan in that season when I was a child.

    • Fernando Gros - 18th January 2014

      Toni – thanks. It was a fun trip. I’d love to know what you saw on those films. There’s a surprising amount of Japan that still feels old and to use a troublesome word, traditional.

  • John Flynne - 18th January 2014

    It seems very self orientated , your wife? your daughter? how do they relate to this ?I am somewhat disappointed in the orientation it seems unbelievably selfish

    • Fernando Gros - 18th January 2014

      John – I’d like to put your comment within the context of why this blog exists. This site is not a “postcard from a family.” It’s a slice of my life, a thick slice to be sure, but a slice nonetheless.

      I believe in allowing people their own digital destiny. This is why I don’t speak on behalf of my wife or my daughter. My wife has her own approach to being online and they way she handles that, including the platforms she chooses, reflects her style and beliefs. My daughter, as she grows up, is making her own digital choices and I am loathe as a parent to clog the internet with my opinions about her life before she has had a chance to find her own voice online. I do not feel either them needs to be in my shadow.

      This is an issue I do not take lightly. It has weighed on my conscience many times, since we are a small and very close household and moving so often has made us rely on each other for support and encouragement. But, I feel writing the way I do allows me to be authentic and share deeply with my readers while giving those I love the space and freedom to be themselves. And, I’m sure most readers understand this.

  • Nikki - 18th January 2014

    That top image is beautiful! Not sure mr fly nne quite understands the point of your blog but a strange man asking for undisclosed information on a young child and another mans wife is odd, to say the least

    • Fernando Gros - 18th January 2014

      Nikki – thank you. I kind of regret not taking a “big” camera along for this trip. And, I think when most people want more “details” they just ask. That seems normal to me.

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In his Tokyo studio Fernando combines his life-long passions for art and technology. On the road, he is always looking to take the next wrong turn, just to see what kind of images and stories might unfold. A photographer & writer, with a background in music, Fernando has lived in Chile, Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Read More.


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