The recipe for Christmas Day on the slopes: five hours sleep, non-optional Christmas cold, G & T before 08:00 and a series of toilets to clean. All the before pulling on boarding clothes, stretching reindeer head over my helmet and standing outside the pub, on the edge of the piste in waning visibility and with equally trailing enthusiasm.
I had trudged through the morning to be there, my lethargy and the fact that I needed to grab for the ‘elephant roll’ every two minutes to catch my howling sneezes or the torrent coming from my nose, preventing any efficiency or initiative. In case you were wondering – as I was – elephant roll is NOT so called because it is the equivalent size to that which an elephant might use to wipe its bottom. Disappointing. I suggested the name might have been given for this very reason on my first week in Reberty, with a smile tickling my lips. I was told no, it was to do with the way it is dispensed if put in a cage on the wall. Also disappointing.
I was furthermore disappointed that I had forgotten to pack even a little bit for the slopes.
As it was I didn’t need it. The thigh burning sensation and the thoughts of being completely unable to do this stupid planky, slidey sport took over. The mind is an amazing thing; ask the Buddha. Then any snot-like moisture was completely obliterated from around my face after a spectacular sliding face plant – brought about by being too close to an edge that I then pictured myself being launched over – which must have looked more like Rudolf coming in for a poor landing because my trusty helmet cover didn’t shift as my face hit the ground and spray showered upwards.
When we got to the bottom, I was glad. I could straighten my legs, which after two weeks must be entirely powered by cake and boxed vin rouge (the folly of a chalet girl), and flop onto the lift.
But the Buddha (app) says ‘your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself too it’, so when we got to the top I did not slide off home, defeated. Instead, on to Les Menuires to give my face, once again, to the slope and my heart to a Baileys coffee.
‘Mooooooooo!’ – is that the noise a moose makes? – ‘Have a nasty sic* Christmas!’
* Giving myself to my world involves embracing its language. Nasty sic is the best. Sic without the nastiness is simply moderately good. See the snowboarding dictionary where all is explained.