I was thirteen years old when I went on my first skiing trip. It was great, but it caused me to seriously question my mum’s cooking skills and from then on I have been very wary of spaghetti Bolognese (can’t even write those two words without gipping).
My mum, sister and step-dad all took a trip to Val d’Isere in the French alps. Before the trip my sister and I had taken only one skiing lesson where we learnt the basics. As soon as we arrived at the cabin we bought our rentals and swished onto the lift which would take us to the top of the mountain.
Now for this story to have any impact I’ll have to explain the slope difficulty key:
- green- easy
- blue- moderate
- red- difficult
- black- expert
- off piste- uber brilliant, break you leg if you don’t know what you’re doing, slope
All four of us made our way to starting point and without knowing, my sister and I had been taken onto the blue slope. This might not seem like an issue, but imagine looking down to see a plain white vertical drop of death which we were told to battle our way down with hardly any skills to contend it with.. terrifying, right?
My mum and stepdad (skilled skiers) raced down and looked at us, daring us to make our move. We began; swerving and using snow-plough basically all the way down. By half-way I had managed to manoeuvre without much help but I noticed my sister was far behind. This moment, (I will never forget and even typing it down makes me laugh so much my stomach hurts) was the moment I can never let my sister forget and will always be my favourite anecdote. I couldn’t see my sister, but I could hear a far off whine which eventually became closer. As I listened, I suddenly saw a blur which raced past me and flew all the way to the bottom of the slope. When I realised it was my sister who had lost control, I was concerned.. for all of two seconds.. before thinking this was her finest moment. Don’t worry, she was fine, when she reached the bottom several fences caught her and there were no (major) injuries. When I reached her she was flustered and began to blame mum for not helping her much, but you have to admit the best parenting is by throwing you into the deep end. (Needless to say, my sister never came on another skiing holiday).
After two days, my sister and I had managed to find our extended feet (skis) and even began to embrace the challenge of a red run. By the third night in, we decided (as a family) to eat in and had spaghetti bolognese- delicious- and the right fuel for another long day on the slopes. The fourth night in (oh that fateful night) left us in the cabin again. Leftover spag bol was on the menu, and whilst mum and Damian wanted it with chillies in, me and my sister decided to have it plain. Heating our version in the microwave and cooking theirs in a pan meant two different cooking methods (the key to where this all went wrong). Filled with a decent dinner we headed to bed. A few hours later, something didn’t feel right… I managed to aim it in the toilet but my sister decided to make things a little more dramatic by creating a flowing waterfall down the stairs. Out of this I did manage to bagsie the double bed to ‘make me feel better’, meaning my mum and stepdad were banished to the single beds on the top floor (healthy people made me sick).
The next morning it was clear that me and my sister would not be joining in with the activities of the fifth day, and unbeknown to us we could only join in on the last (7th) day of the holiday. Those two days left me and my sister searching for anything to entertain us whilst our guardians were doing as the Romans do on our ‘family’ ski holiday. Looking through the dvd selection the cabin owners had left, my sister picked out Donnie Darko, a supposedly terrifying film about a rabbit ( I think). As a thirteen year old I didn’t really understand it but I knew when to act scared in front of my sister, as the music cued me in. After my sister was thouroughly scared ( I wasn’t ’cause I’m hard like that), she raced to the window as there was a cloud passing by. She immediately stuck her hand out and copying my sister, as I always did, I stuck mine out too. There was something great about that moment, even though I can’t pin down exactly what was so great about it. It was like me and my sister had gone through an ordeal together (yes I know sickness isn’t so bad, shut up), and out of it came a moment that was simple yet unique on our holiday.
The last day left us weak but I was determined not to waste my allotted time left at the resort. My sister branched off with my mum, leaving me and Damian, who told me about a great spot he’d found whilst me and Becky were up at the cabin. After a little hard work on a red route we veered to the right of the path and found ourselves surrounded by fir trees towering above us. The route was flat so all we could do was appreciate the scenery. Skiing on, we found a small waterfall which we jumped over, but when I tried to show off I lost control and fell which, apparently, was hilarious. After we had travelled halfway down the mountain we stopped off for some hot chocolate (for me) and gluvein (for the rents) and not forgetting Becky who probably had a cold drink (on a ski holiday? The weirdo).
It can be said that the holiday had its ups and downs (mainly down the stairs), but at least I now know to endlessly ask the mother ‘is it ok’ when she presents me with food- because that is the safest option.