Skiing is a funny old thing. You enter a little micro-climate for the duration of your holiday. You make friends and you exist entirely in your own little world. The outside world seems exactly that, outside.
We are skiing this week in Garmisch, a German ski resort. Having been brought up skiing in the French, Austrian and Italian Alps, Germany is a different and quite wonderful proposition. It is clean, ruthlessly efficient and full of polite law abiding citizens. Perfect for someone quite so British as myself. With the exception of the food which is quite frankly disgusting unless you are a 12 year old boy with a passion for Frankfurters. However, as the sun has dutifully shone all week and they have merrily served me beer and alcohol throughout the day I will drop this point.
So who is here? Not Matt, I have left him guarding the vision at home. Ed, the boys and the grandparents. A good ski holiday mix. 3 young boys to routinely scare their mother. Ed, my ski buddy and the grandparents to lesiurely breakfast.
Day 1, the boys were packed off to ski school, the sun put it's hat on and Ed and I found our snow legs again. Beautifully pisted slopes meant a great mornings skiing.
William returned from ski school fit to burst, he had spotted the grandparents on the slopes who had finally emerged from breakfasting. He wasn't quite sure what he had witnessed. "Granny was skiing at like 3mph and Grandpa looked like he was sitting on the toilet, OMG" squeeled William and then collapsed in fits of laughter onto the floor. George returned having face planted that morning and looking like a war hero with blood stained clothing and face. "It'll make a man of him" said Granny. William 1. Granny 1.
That afternoon, we set off as a team of 7 to conquer the mountain, I offered to lead a nervous Granny, only for her to be cut up by a small snowboarder. I held back only to watch the small child fall directly in front of me. Only the fall turned into something more serious, the child was hurt and alone. I jumped out of my skis and assessed the situation as a newly qualified first aider, what more could the child need? On a serious note, the child needed help, so I sat and helplessly spoke English which he didn't understand. However the wonderful world of sign language meant that before too long I had commandeered German skiers to form a ski barrier around us and the blood wagon arrived with the mountain paramedics. The child nestled into me as he was bandaged and prepared for the wagon, language was no longer a barrier and I wiped his tears as he was driven away.
The following morning, Ed and I set off for what looked like another great days skiing. First run down is a super red, I led, I was feeling good. I reached the bottom, turned round, no Ed. Gosh he was slow this morning. A few moments more. Ok really where has he gone? I look up to see the familiar vertical crossed skis. Ed had crashed into the barrier by the chairlift. Eventually he limped down and I took him straight to the first aid station to be bandaged and then feed him a beer. I'm sure that's what the manual said to do.
Granny and Grandpa rolled breakfasting into lunch that day, so I was left in sole charge of 3 overexcited boys while Ed recuperated with his beer. The best solution seemed to be to frighten them on the timed slalom race. I have to admit, I was really scared too. Freddie went first, being the smallest and clearly the least scared, I went last in case I needed to mop up any more casualties, I was getting good at that. It was totally exhilarating, the best fun, I've had in ages. It turns out I'm a bit of a speed junkie. Oh and competitive too. None of the boys could beat me. They even took me down a black run to confirm this.
At the end of the day, we rolled home to our hotel which has a wonderful spa. Just the tonic after our antics on the mountain. Let's have a sauna boys. William was keen so we sloped off. We clearly had forgotten we were in Germany, and as such, they are just not British. Saunas are both mixed and naked. Quite a life experience for William.. Well what goes on tour...