A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

The kids went over the Mountain

ski trip There I am, on top of a mountain in the company of 15 teenagers. It is a very long way down. Understatement.

One by one vertigo hits us, BAM! From up here it looks like the only way down is to fall down the mountain. Yet the instructor, who looks a lot like Heidi and swishes across the slopes like she was born with skis attached, is full of smiles.

Gingerly my platoon start to ski. Slowly we start to take it in turns to fall down, me first. I pick myself up and am thankful for my sunglasses so the kids can’t see my embarrassment. We Zig Zag, then there is a Crunch, the sound of another child falling over, I catch up and swiftly pick them up. But it is too late, I turn back and see fear is snowballing through the group.

And so we make our slow progress down the slope. Zig crunch scoop, zag crunch scoop, zig crunch scoop, zag crunch scoop. All the way down for at least an hour, me picking up a child at every turn.

The instructor is smiling but I can see she is thinking how on earth did I get this group? But I have been with these kids all year, we’ve shared a classroom, a coach from Sussex, a ferry, a chalet that looks like it came straight out of Heidi. We are living the ski dream on a school trip.

While their friends who can already ski have swished off to the real slopes with the PE teachers, these non skiers got lumbered with me the Drama teacher, and the nursery slope. It has gone beyond duty of care. It is call of duty. Fear is the enemy and I will take it out. I WILL get these kids to ski down a real mountain. 

ski trip1

Thankfully after this first run we pick up and by the end of that day the whole group is happily skiing down without incident. Zig zag whoooooosh!

We came a long, long way together, me and those kids. And that was just the daytime. By night there was amazing food to eat, fondu, hot soup, hot chocolate. There was all the fun of the apres ski, 70s disco parties, games and competitions.

Then there was getting the kids to go to bed, surprisingly painless given they were physically and mentally exhausted. Just time for a nightcap and teacher’s debrief, and then 6 hours sleep, and we were up and at them again. That’s me in the blue wig.

ski trip2

I might have ached, but I didn’t feel tired. No, I felt more exhilarated than ever, and completely alive. I read an article about surfing this week, where the writer said surfing was a spiritual thing, like playing with nature, being part of the world. Skiing is like that. That is the closest I can come to explaining the feeling.

I vowed I would go back sometime, perhaps just with Mr A. We would make the most of the apres ski. We never quite managed it.  But since I read that surf article I started to think I want to do this with my own kids. I want them to be able to play with the world. A mountain full of snow is an amazing playground. Plus two children has got to be a whole lot easier than 15 right, especially if there is a kids club?

So Mark Warner if you will have us, we’d like to give a ski holiday a try. We’re a whole lotta fun on holiday and we’re not camera shy plus we like to take people right inside the experience with us. We’ve played in some pretty cool places this year:

Up a volcano in Sicily…

In the shade of the Acropolis…

Along the canals in Venice…

In the trees at Go Ape…

At festivals…

In the backstreets of Bologna (and yes, Grandad is available if you need a third generation perspective, especially on the foodie aspects)…

And up more snowy peaks…

So lend us a snowy peak Mark Warner, and let us give it the Alexander Residence treatment.

If you haven’t guessed already, we’d like to be a Mark Warner ambassador!

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