I have written about it before: I love skiing. Unfortunately, the coming winter will be the third since I last breathed in fresh, clean alpine air and last glided on snow. To say I have itchy ski feet would be an understatement.
If at this point you choose to picture me on skis, you would be wrong to visualise me as some sort of ‘Mile Muncher’ who gets up at dawn to be the first one to hit the slopes, then goes down a black piste at 80 miles per hour (is that even possible?), eating a sandwich for lunch on a ski-lift and going home after dark, skis still attached. No, no, no, that is most definitely not me!
OK, I did almost miss the last lift once or twice, but that was because we had started skiing mid-afternoon, not because I was desperate to be the last one on the slopes. Twice, I really thought we would end up not getting the lift home. That was scary! The first time was with Cé in 2004. We were amongst the last people on the longest piste in l’Alpe d’Huez and we had a mere 35 minutes to get to the lift before it closed. “No problem,” I hear you say… True, aside from the fact it was the longest ski run in the Alps (19 kilometres). It was a scary descent. Cé was terrified (it was a black slope) and injured her knee.
Piste Princess, moi?
Nope. I have no style when I am skiing. Do you need proof?
- I did not own ski trousers or a jacket until I was 20, although I was going skiing once a year. Before that, I used to ski with jeans on (not great when you fall) and two or three big jumpers (Michelin Man, anyone?).
- Everyone keeps telling me I lean backwards too much and my posture is awful when I ski. Skiing gives me a feeling of complete and utter freedom. I do it because I love it, not to show off an impeccable technique. I could not care less what people think!
- I own my own skis. They were ex-rental skis I bought for £29 in 2005. They are not in a pretty state, but I am not remotely scared of damaging them, and once again, skiing is just a bit of fun, not an exercise in showing off for me.
All of the above does not mean I would not enjoy a stay in a 5* hotel, a catered chalet with or a spa retreat by the slopes! Ah, if money was no object, the things I would get up to…
I was never what you would call an ‘Après Animal’ either, partying all night long. After skiing, I love nothing more than a hot chocolate (I know, I am wild!) and a quick swim to relax my muscles. After that, I might go crazy and have a raclette or cheese fondue with a glass of white wine with friends. By 9 p.m., I will probably be asleep on the sofa, mouth wide open and dribbling on a cushion.
‘Gadget Guru’? Anyone who knows me will be aware that gadgets are not safe under my roof. I am the kind of person who leaves their shiny new iPhone in a taxi (thanks, Find My iPhone and Julie!), drops their phone down the toilet (happened twice), breaks their camera (had to buy a new lens a few months after dropping it) or mops vomit off their computer keyboards (the kids’, not mine!). I do like a gadget or two, but I cannot be trusted with them!
Just before they went to bed, I asked the kids whether they would fancy going skiing.
Beanie: “No, I don’t know how to do it.”
Crevette: “I looooove skiing. I’ll teach you!”
Beanie: “Oh wait, I know how to do it. I watched it on Peppa Pig!”
Me (in my head): “Oh, if you’ve seen Peppa Pig skiing, I’m sure you’ll be fine then!”
I think my little ones sum us up beautifully. We are a category of our own. We are ‘The Unstoppables’. If we were to go skiing, our days would go like this:
6 a.m. The children are all up, watching kids’ TV, with one of us (adults) keeping a sleepy eye on them (by that, read “falling asleep on the sofa next to the kids”).
8 a.m. After emerging from our deep slumber, Hubby and I are putting some breakfast together for all of us. Porridge, anyone?
10 a.m. After a quick shower, we are thinking of leaving the chalet. Due to unforeseen circumstances (tantrum, Hubby’s sunglasses missing, toddler running away with boots as I am trying to keep her still and strap them on, meltdown, code brown for baby, 5-year-old needing a wee: you get the gist), we are not out before 12 p.m., by which time everyone is hungry. Back in! Lunch for all!
1 p.m. We are finally out, woop woop! Short sledging session, snow angels and off we drop the kids to ski school.
2 p.m. Hubby is back at the chalet enjoying a bit of ‘me time’ and watching TV or reading, and I am skiing on my own, checking on the children between two slopes (OK, spying on them and taking hundreds of photos).
4 p.m. Hubby picks us all up from the bottom of the slopes. We are all cold, grumpy and hungry. We go home, moaning about all the equipment we have to carry and the ski shoes that are more like paint cans than boots.
5 p.m. We are all back at the chalet, slumped on the sofa and drinking hot chocolate, munching on any snacks we can get our hands on.
6 p.m. We have a quick swim, a snowball fight or short walk (with normal boots on this time round!).
7 p.m. Dinner: something with cheese, potatoes and cured meat.
8 p.m. Exhaustion got the best of the kids. They are all asleep. I have a bath, Hubby has a beer… and relax!
This is my entry to become a Crystal #SkiExplorer.