The return from Val d’Isère

“Everything hurts,” moaned Wiseman early one morning. “Perhaps we should take up colouring-in, or something.”

We, the walking wounded, hobbled and limped back into Edinburgh yesterday after a 5 hour delay in Chambéry.

Ladies and gentlemen, a message for those flying to Edinburgh on flight BA1961. Unfortunately your aircraft has landed at Lyon.


Please expect a delay to your flight.

No kidding.

Lynne managed to use the time wisely, lying down in the medical room after refusing to go to hospital with 3 firemen in their fire engine. When will she get another chance like that? Perhaps she’d had her fill of men in uniform for a while, after being attended to on the slopes by men in red and yellow ski suits.

Myself, DC and Kirsty had skied over a crest yesterday afternoon to discover Lynne sprawled unconscious on the snow. She came to after a couple of minutes and before long was being stretchered down into Val d’Isere. It was all very exciting, albeit slightly worrying, and I daresay she would rather not repeat the experience.

Filipideedoodaa had her own adventures the day before, cartwheeling down a red run and injuring her ankle badly enough to rule her out of skiing/boarding for the rest of the holiday.

Aside from that, we sustained a few twisted knees and one or two bruises. Val’s twisted knee was much worse than mine, but I complained more. Wiseman is currently walking like John Wayne, and now that we’re back I have been perfecting my dual limp (both legs hurt so I can’t favour one over the other). With four physiotherapists on the trip, sympathy and compassion were in desperately short supply, so there was no point in looking for any before now.

Managed to conquer my T-bar demons, on Thursday. Neither run was without incident, however. When on a T-bar with someone they should ideally be of a similar height. The first time up was with Mandy, who only avoids being officially registered as a dwarf by a couple of inches. I am over six feet. We began with the bar at a comfortable height for her, and finished at the top with her skis barely touching the snow. On the second run I was sharing the bar with the Haxtonmeister, who is of a more similar stature (although somewhat more rounded), but somehow managed to cause him to wipe out at the top regardless.

Much hilarity has been had overall. Siobhan’s name proved too tricky for her French ski instructor, who insisted on calling her “Cheval” (translation = “horse”) throughout the week. Our instructor, on the other hand, spent several minutes calling out “leeean, LEEEAN” to us as we were cruising down the piste during a lesson. We were doing a leaning exercise at the time, so we duly tried to lean even more. We were virtually falling over before we realised that he was trying to get Lynne’s attention.

The same instructor, who demonstrated an admirable ability to not only smoke on a wind-blasted chairlift but actually roll his own, was exhorting us to “caress the snow” and “embrace the gravity”. He explained that we needed to be more “fairy-like”. I felt the need to point out that behaving like a fairy was not a good thing for a British bloke to be doing.

The pranking shenanigans continued through the week – when Wiseman and I arrived back in the chalet on Monday night after posting the last blog entry, we discovered our room had been divested of its beds. I asked Mark if they had been put out on the balcony.

“Nope, I’ve checked.”

Turns out he had stuck his head out briefly (“it was cold”) and decided they weren’t there. We then proceeded to search the entire chalet, or at least the bits we could access, before returning to find them … on the balcony.

On another day Ken went to relieve himself, and lifted the toilet seat, which promptly exploded. Jen’s bed started laughing when she lay down on it, her famous red coat went missing for days, and several people’s toothbrushes also disappeared. The latter thief remains unidentified despite Ken training his video camera on the bathroom door to try to catch the culprit.

Mental Mo and Nasty Jen organised a ceilidh on the final night, attendance at which was more or less compulsory. Mysteriously, Ken found it took him several hours to pack for the journey home, despite having a rucksack only marginally larger than Jen’s handbag. Even the chalet staff – Osh, Tom and Liam – were invited. One really can’t blame them for running away and hiding downstairs for the entire evening.

The presence of most of these reprobates made the airport wait that bit more enjoyable, and when we finally got on the flight, Broon fell asleep, which allowed me to steal her meal. You snooze, you lose.

And so, a great holiday is over. I will miss so much about it over the next few days. Like the early morning routine with Wiseman.

“Mark, are you awake?”


“Good Morning.”


The formalities completed, I pulled the duvet over my head for extra sound insulation, in preparation for The Clearing of the Nasal Passages.

Actually, I might not miss that. But I will miss the skiing. Not going to be taking up colouring-in just yet, bruises or not…

4 thoughts on “The return from Val d’Isère”

  1. I look forward to your next holiday, Andrew.

    A lot.

    Thank you for filling us in on the silence.

    I’m terrifically glad you had such an enjoyable time.

  2. Great article! Thanks again for organising a great holiday!

    Did Nasty Jen pay you for not telling about the time she locked Emily out of the chalet? She forgot to pay me …

    Photos coming soon.

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