Holidays are great aren’t they.
I’m quite happy to spend my annual leave at home, having a break, and probably several kitkats. But I do like a break from the day-to-day surroundings as well.
As a child, we spent our family summer holidays in sunny Weston Super Mare. They were brilliant, with a capital B.
The car would be packed to the brim. My mum would make my sister and I goodie bags for the car journey and we would listen to All Aboard for most the journey. When my parents could take it no more, they would switch it to Fleetwood mac.
We would have two weeks of fun, whatever the weather.
Holidays as an adult are great too but I do find it a bit stressful choosing where to go.
The world is big place and there are a lot of hotels, cottages and B&B’s in it.
My husband loves snow boarding so a couple of years ago we took a holiday with some chums to conquer a mountain.
Usually when I go on holiday, I’ll pack several times at least two weeks before we leave. With this holiday, there was no need to think about what one would wear everyday as it’s decided -thermals, ski trousers and a warm ski coat.
On our first morning, a little group of us swooshed off to our first snow boarding lesson.
I say swooshed off, as that’s the sort of noise that the clothes make.
You’re all padded out like the Michelin man and if the effort of walking around with a snow board slung over your shoulder isn’t hard enough (they are heavy!) you are also ten times fatter than normal due to the padding.
Everything seems to take a lot more effort.
Did you know the cable cars go right up to the top of the mountain?
Which might just make you feel a tiny little bit sick as it sways from side to side and sometimes stops en route so you are hanging there like some hanging thing just waiting to be hoisted along by a piece of thin wire.
Once at the top it’s all systems go, you have to move so fast to get out of the pod or the people running the cable cars shout at you in a language you don’t understand or even worse, laugh while you drag the heavy snow board behind you, along with your rucksack of compulsory snacks.
I was not told about these things before I started to make my journey to the top of the mountain. Thank the good Lord you don’t have to climb a ladder to the top as I’d have never agreed.
Once on the mountain, it was breathtaking. I felt like singing Climb Every Mountain.
But we weren’t here to look at the view or sing about it.
We were here to learn how to snowboard.
To say I was nervous was an understatement.
But why you wonder, when I am an athlete – jokes!
Our instructor, I don’t remember his name, but I shall refer to him only as ‘Be Cool’ as that is the only word he said to us for our entire lesson, over and over.
I tell no lies.
You fall down = “Be Cool” he says.
You can’t get up as you have a board strapped to both feet = “Be Cool”
It was not cool. One of my poor friends BROKE her fingers while ‘being cool’
At least there were crepes.
Somehow, the following year, I agreed to go again.
This time I opted for skiing.
Things started off much better – there was a train to the top of the mountain so no hanging in mid-air. There was still a mass rush at the end with everyone scrambling off the train with all their stuff.
And you do have to carry a lot.
Skis, poles, helmet, googles, rucksack of compulsory snacks – including a thermos flask – very excited about that – not to mention the ski boots which are heavy to walk in especially given that you are also wearing your sumo suit.
Going to the toilet before the class was an expedition in itself – all those things to carry while trying to take off your ski gloves!
The ski instructor did not say “Be cool”
He was patient when all the girls in the learner class took it in turns to cry.
I think I cried everyday of the holiday out of sheer fear. I wanted to be like the children learning to ski.
They weren’t crying.
They had no fear of sliding down a mountains edge on two pieces of plastic.
I wanted to be like them so bad.
But, by the end of the week….I skied.
I didn’t break any bones, I drank hot chocolate and saw cows with cow bells around their necks.
I survived and may well survive a third time.
Holidays are great aren’t they.