What I’ve learnt from the snow…

We're walking in the aaaaaiiir...

Before The Big Freeze, as the media has so overexcitedly named the current weather pattern, me and DH were thinking that next ski season – ie 2011 – would be the first year we’d go on a family skiing holiday.

We’ve been quite a few times:  I’m a cruise-the-blues sort of girl who just likes being in the mountains and skidding rather ineptly to the next vin chaud, while DH is more of a helmet-on-and point-straight-down-the-black-run chap. The first time he did the infamous Face in Val d’Isere, he actually had the theme from Ski Sunday on his iPod. Saddo.

What with childbearing, skiing has been off the agenda for a few years, for me at least, but next season DD will be four and a half and DS will be two and a half. I was thinking DD would be old enough for ski school and DS would just have fun sliding about with other little ones in the morning while the Grown Ups skiied, and then we could do family stuff in the afternoons.

Until last week. The hassle of getting four of us togged up in sufficient layers and keeping essentials like hats and mittens a) on bocos and puddies [heads and hands, sorry] and b) in a state of Not Being Lost has been a real eye opener. There’s no way we can take them skiing for years yet. I struggle with my own ski gear, boots, gloves etc, let alone trying to get two wrigglers assembled and snow-ready.

We did make a snowman and several other snow structures in the garden and the park, plus numerous snow angels, but while DD is a total snow bunny, DS is still a little unsteady on his feet, esp in wellies, and frankly hates the white stuff as much as the poor cat.

I suppose if we win the lottery we could do a Mark Warner-style holiday with a nanny or something to help out, but at the moment I’m thinking 2011 will be a great season for me to return to the slopes and the Magic Vin Chaud Pot, while leaving the nippers in the capable hands of their grandparents back in Blighty.

We’ve also got a Winter 2010/2011 strategy sorted well in advance after the experiences of the past week:

  1. The minute kids’ ski gear hits the shelves of John Lewis after the summer, we will be investing in slightly-too-large salopettes, gloves etc for them both.
  2. We will buy a sledge in October.
  3. We will buy a tonne of salty grit in October so we can actually leave the house via car at some point next time it snows.
  4. I will put a new bag in the loft containing a hat, old scarf, and misc crap suitable for a snowman’s eyes and buttons so we don’t have to get ice burn scrabbling around for pebbles. Actually, that might be a bit too anal and non-spontaneous. I don’t want to take the ‘joy’ [ha!] out of next winter’s first snows, after all.

So we’ve learnt a few lessons from the Big Freeze. Please share yours!



  1. Very good. We’re thinking about doing Mark Warner next year as our babe will be about six months old (all being well) and it will be my eldest’s 3rd time. Do agree with the idea of buying ski stuff in October or thought I might try and get some at the end of this season, if there’s anything left that is!!!

  2. I’ve learned that I can drive in snow perfectly well – after about three weeks I just had to get out more.

    We’re lucky in that my parents go skiing with us, and my mother doesn’t ski, so we have a free babysitter and help with the whole child management nightmare.

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