Frozen with fear

Frozen with fear
View of French Alps

On the second day of our skiing trip to the French Alps, I lost my nerve.

On the fourth, I had a meltdown, quarrelled with H in public, cried, and stomped back to the hotel by myself.

Looking back, the drama was not unexpected.

I had agreed to go skiing with H last month, but somewhat grudgingly.

We were spending two weeks with his daughter, A, who lives in Wales with her mother and is now nine.

For the past few years, our holidays with A have been leisurely. We would rent a cottage in the country and drive around to catch the sights.

This time, we thought we'd do something different.

Let's go to Paris, I said, visualising lazy days in a big city drifting from restaurant to shop. My idea of a perfect holiday.

Let's go skiing, H said instead. You will both get to try something new, it will be fun and you will love it, he promised.

I doubt it, I said. I've never done it before, I've got weak knees and skiing is hard. I'll probably break a leg and blame you forever for it.

But I gave in.

For one thing, he was looking forward to a memorable time with A.

He also loves skiing.

And, I thought, I really should fulfil my wifely duties and be agreeable to my husband once in a while.

Friends who have skied in France spoke highly of it, so we booked a hotel in Les Deux Alpes there.

We spent the first few days in Wales as A still had school.

On a bright Sunday morning, we drove to Bristol airport and flew to Geneva, where a car took us on the 21/2-hour journey to Les Deux Alpes.

We arrived in the evening, had dinner and went to bed feeling rather excited. Skiing, here we come.

We were told to assemble at 9.30am. What I didn't realise was how long it would take to get ready.

It was tedious putting on layers of clothing (I wore five) as well as the thick sunscreen we had been advised to wear.

Next came the shoes. We headed to the shoe locker room, where I discovered that ski boots are massive things weighing like 5kg that come with a complicated buckling system.

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