Photo via Audrey Hepburn Library
We have five ski resorts, all within an hours drive, so why did it take six years, to get off our backsides and go skiing.
Probably because I was never really keen on the idea of skiing having had a couple of brushes with it in the past, my father took me to a dry ski slope when I was a wee child and I remember standing at the top, too terrified to ski down, the next episode was going with a friend a few years ago, the said friend made out she could not ski very well so we both had a beginner lesson with Ski de France, I could not understand a word the instructor said, I did enjoy it but could not get the hang of stopping, luckily we were only on the nursery slope, I also had on a very unbecoming white ski outfit, which made feel like Bibendum, whilst I was struggling, the said friend was gliding elegantly by, turned out she was a really good skier who could ski down black runs, I think she was probably trying to encourage me but I just felt really useless and it put me off.
MG can ski but had not been for years, he also has knee problems so he thought his skiing days were over.
Then last year, our friends S & F decided we should all go skiing and have a lesson, S can ski so he went off whilst MG, F and myself all had a lesson, F and I were complete beginners and MG wanted to refresh and build his confidence.
After the first lesson there was no stopping us, overcoming each hurdle was quite amusing, it took me ages to get the hang of the button lifts at first I was clinging on for dear life and when you fall off the button lift it's very embarrassing, flailing around trying to get out of the way and desperately trying to get upright again without sliding down backwards. The next step for me was the chair lifts, I had a fear of getting on and off, the first time I got off the lift I fell over and again was desperately scrabbling about trying to get up. When faced with a steep slope, the fear gripped me and I clenched my feet in the ski boots thinking this would help me cling onto the slope.
By the end of last season I was skiing down blue runs reasonably OK, It all started to come together, the skiing lark, it is very exhilarating, standing at the top of a mountain looking at breathtaking scenery, being able to ski down, stopping off at bars and restaurants en route, to meet friends, for lunch, a glass of vin chaud or a steaming cup of coffee.
MG and I went skiing for the first time this season, on Sunday, we were determined to get out of the house. Conditions were not ideal, the forecast for the chosen ski resort was cloudy with snow showers, we both woke up not feeling particularly brilliant, but decided to go for it. We both now possess all our own equipment and we were eager to try out our new skis, I must admit I was a little apprehensive, thinking that I had forgotten everything I learnt last year.
We started off on the nursery slope, just to get our ski legs back, I was amazed to find that I still remembered most things although I am very snow ploughy and go far too slowly, MG on the other hand was looking very stylish and parallel skiing with confidence. Unfortunately the weather closed in on us and it was a white out, so we were only up there for an hour.
We will now aim to go at least once a week, I am going to have a couple more lessons to help me get out of the snow plough habit and build up my confidence. Who knows by the end of this season I might even be able to ski with a modicum of style and go down red runs.