The jacket, the prank and the wardrobe

(A modern day morality tale)

[apologies for the delay in posting this, and also more photos… wasn’t easy getting access to wifi in Méribel. This one from DC again]

The pranks in Meribel continue unabated, and to rebound on their perpetrator with uncanny regularity. Wednesday was our hosts’ day off, and so we had to repair to a local restaurant. It seemed that during our meal the French version of Pickfords (le Pickfords) had paid us a visit. Somehow, the wardrobes in the guys’ bedrooms had managed to turn themselves around, so that the doors were facing the wall, rendering their use somewhat difficult.

There were the usual denials and protestations of innocence. However, the track record of the occupants of the chalet meant that identification of the guilty party(ies) did not require us to call out the local gendarmes.

Shortly later, Nasty Jen decided it was time to go out and hit the local nitespots, as I believe the word is currently (mis)spelt. Jen was hopeful of bumping into her ski instructor, who apparently was not only French, but also “hot”. As looking trendy is of prime importance in Meribel, the pink jacket was obviously the item of attire of choice. Jen was most distressed to be unable to find said jacket. However, it was suggested to her that turning one of the wardrobes back round and opening the door might yield up the jacket, which had managed to find its way there during an unguarded moment.

We attempted to explain to Jen the concept of putting right the wrongs that one had perpetrated, but it fell on deaf ears.

Jen looked forlorn and protested that lack of strength would preclude her from executing this operation. And her partners in crime seemed reluctant to pitch in again in the furniture shifting operation. One moving of wardrobes was obviously all that had been included in the original agreement.

So Jen had to hit Meribel in her white ski jacket. She returned later in the evening bemoaning the fact that, on arriving on the dance floor, she had “lit up” as she put it when the disco lights did their stuff and illuminated the white ski jacket. Apparently this was not the desired look and had reduced her standing in the coolness stakes. Perhaps it was just as well that she didn’t bump into her ski instructor.

Such embarrassment on the fashion front could have been wholly avoided had the original crime been put right, but Jen chose not to. A lesson, for us all I feel.

Today, we had planned the mother of all ski expeditions to take us to Val Thorens, the highest ski location in Europe. However, the blizzard conditions which developed during the morning meant that this was likely to be as successful as one of Jen’s pranks. So we opted for skiing and intermittent snow shenanigans.

This yielded several highlights. While waiting to get on a chairlift, Mandy decided it would be a good idea to try to rugby tackle Andrew. Her first attempt nearly resulted in taking out an unsuspecting skier, who did not find this amusing. To digress briefly, it seems that we are the only people in the village who actually have a laugh while skiing. We are obviously not taking it seriously enough.

Mandy’s second attempt was no more successful. Despite being on skis, Andrew was able to sidestep Mandy’s dive in a manner of which David Campese would have approved. This resulted in Mandy’s going headfirst into the snow, much to everyone’s amusement. It also meant that Andrew had the unusual experience of having women throwing themselves at his feet. Any port in a storm, as he has been known to say.

At the end of the day, there was a mass snowball fight. This is possibly not the most accurate term, as the main conflict involved the girls trying to shove snow in the guys’ faces. This mismatch again rebounded on the ladies, and saw most of them being subjected to snow down the back of their necks. There are several incriminating photographs of this, which Andrew may well post on the blog at some point.

The final say goes to Morag eliciting the “s” word from Andrew, that word being “sorry”. Andrew was convinced that he could reduce the number of lifts we would have had to take on the planned mammoth ski trip. After much deliberation and calculation, Andrew had to concede that he was wrong and Morag had been right. This was the source of much amusement for Morag and deep contrition for Andrew. If Jen had shown a similar level of contrition the evening before then Meribel’s discos might have been able to experience the full glory of the pink jacket.

These boots aren’t made for walking

Ok folks, here it is, DC’s debut 🙂

It’s the second full day of Meribel 2007 and again the sun has split the skies and temperatures have reached an unseasonable level of warmth. Our ski instructor this morning told us that it was a whole lot more difficult for tall people to successfully complete a parallel turn, due to our higher centre of gravity. This was quite reassuring, as thus far I had assumed my difficulties were down to incompetence. However, it seems that small people have come up with something else at which it pays to be shorter in stature (other examples being buying clothes and travelling on aeroplanes). Perhaps it’s their revenge for basketball.

Trying to go anywhere in ski boots, unless you also have skis attached, is somewhat difficult. Even with the skis attached success is not guaranteed. A number of us have discovered this to our cost. Andrew’s friend Tim decided to take us down part of a black run, which then led into reds and blues. He had built up to this in his thought for the day this morning. His main point seemed to be that choosing to attempt a black run rather than a blue was akin to Israel crossing the Jordan, whereas to make the reverse choice was on a par with Jonah fleeing from the Lord when called to preach to Nineveh. With these words of encouragement ringing in our ears, we duly embarked on the black run. Now on the basis that what happens on holiday stays on holiday, names will be omitted to protect reputations. But suffice it to say that one member of the party took a most spectacular tumble, went down on their back with one leg in the air and came to a halt about 20 yards further down the mountain. This provoked shrieks of laughter from Mandy and the aforementioned Tim. How to react to another’s misfortune will presumably be covered in a thought for the day later in the week.

Mention must be made of our superb hosts, Paul & Emily. Each evening they have provided us with a magnificent 3 course dinner, and then they return 12 hours later to provide further nourishment to sustain us for a day on the slopes. Judging by the quantity provided, they must think that we haven’t seen food for weeks. And they obviously don’t realise that we actually spend half the day in cafes engaged in further eating, drinking and general frivolity. Rather than working on our thighs and calves for the past couple of months, we should have spent the time developing our jaws and digestive systems. They have certainly been required to gird their loins and earn their crust over the past 3 days, and I get the feeling this has just been the warm up.

For anyone who is actually interested in the skiing conditions the snow has been pretty good, although getting a bit slushy further down and the usual ice later in the afternoon. There is some snow forecast for overnight into tomorrow, and this will be most welcome, as it will give us something softer to fall into. I sustained a bit of a bruise on the old right hip on the last run of the day, falling on to some none too receptive ice. It’s at times like these that one’s lack of adequate padding in these regions is most noticeable. Perhaps that’s the real reason why Paul & Emily have been feeding us so well all week.

It’s time to turn in, so I will conclude my first entry as guest blogger. The DVD of “War of the worlds” is playing and this seems to have had the effect of dispersing everyone to their beds or another part of the chalet. As far as I can make out, it’s about Tom Cruise battling to save civilisation (or at least the US version) from invading aliens. My gut reaction is that he will succeed but I don’t have the stamina or inclination to find out. Tomorrow is another day on the slopes, and I really need all my energy and concentration for that. So I bid you good night, in whatever part of the world you might be reading.