A Postcard from The Alps #1




The annual pilgrimage to the land of ice and snow has come round once again: a week of hurling myself from the top of icy precipices with a couple of planks strapped to my feet and nothing but a fibreglass cannon ball on my head to keep me from heavens gates. Why? I don’t know. Apart from the clean air, the spectacular views and the knowledge that all food for the next seven days is entirely calorie free due to the massive expenditure of energy. Good enough reasons for me.

We had the usual airport chaos, with a family in speedy boarding who got halfway across the Tarmac only to realise that the wheely bag their child was towing wasn’t in fact any of their luggage and the child had in actual fact accidentally acquired it in the departure lounge. Cue chaos of enormous proportions and instant loss of all speedy boarding privileges. I do so miss travelling with children, they can be so entertaining.

SqueezyJet came up trumps with a nice new aircraft for us to christen, complete with extra leg room and clean upholstery, which is always a bonus. I flew without medication – due to the fact that the flight was only an hour and a half I decided to try to stay compus mentus. However, I now realise that the main advantage of diazepam is the fact that you’re entirely oblivious to everyone around you. Including the child behind, who on hearing them de-icing the engines said in not too quiet a voice, ‘Ooh, that doesn’t sound too good does it?’ The self same child then continued to offer a running commentary for the entire flight, noting every bump, judder and squeak, with a lusty, ‘Whats that noise Daddy? Should it be doing that?’ On further investigation the child was also revealed as the kleptomaniac suitcase thief. No surprise there then. It did cross my mind to offer the parents the diazepam.

The flight safety information was an outstanding performance, well worthy of a BAFTA. There was one particular steward on board who looked slightly better suited to working on a building site than serving coffee and bacon butties on a flying bus. Love him, the life jacket got the better of him during his presentation and they had to stop the tape and wait for him to work out which way up it went and how to unknot the straps. In all fairness once he’d mastered it he took the applause and cheering with surprisingly good humour, but I’m just wondering how the rest of us would have managed should the aircraft have gone into a tailspin towards the English Channel with one wing hanging off. I was sorely tempted to have a little practise just in case. Thankfully no such eventuality raised its head.

Anyway, one Citroen Picasso, several hairpin bends and an underground parking space the size of a postage stamp and here we are, safely ensconced in Chateau Rustique. There’s only one slight hitch to our nice quiet top floor room and that’s the 3 flights of stairs to get to it- especially with 40 kilos of luggage and no available Sherpas. Still, it all adds to the fun of the holiday- and to the toning of the thighs. Win win situation really.



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