Skiing holidays are very clever. You get to all enjoy all the sinful pleasures of being on holiday (I’m talking food and drink here) without feeling guilty because you’re burning it all off on the slopes the next day! And if you stay in a chalet, as I always do, you won’t want to leave the chalet in the evening because of the lure of unlimited wine. And it’s a struggle to move, anyway, after the three-course meal which you eat even before you’ve properly digested afternoon tea which always comprises a different home-made cake everyday. Although it is true that afternoon tea can cause dissension amongst the troops whilst out skiing, as there are always those die-hard skiers who want to bash the mountain until the lifts have stopped, who put to shame those who like their creature comforts (or afternoon tea, anyway) and can’t stop fantasising about being warm and dry whilst necking tea and scoffing cake from about 3.30pm onwards.
But anyway, I digress. The skiing was a welcome break from the dramas back in the UK. I treated myself to a private lesson halfway through the week and learnt from the instructor where to buy hollow ski poles that you can fill with alcohol. I also learnt, on a separate occasion, that if you fall whilst off-piste and your ski becomes detached from your boot a long time before you come to a standstill (or a sitstill, if that word exists), and you lie in the snow, sobbing, for long enough, a man will help you, eventually. It was all going just fine and dandy until my son appeared from nowhere, having sidestepped all the way back to me, without my noticing (I was too busy fake-sobbing into the snow) and exposed my tears as crocodile tears. Which was fair enough, really, because they were and I could have climbed back up to get my ski, probably in half the time it took him to make his way back up to me. And he’s a fast skier, so he’d sidestepped for quite some time before reaching me. In my defence, it had been a long day and I was a little preoccupied with thoughts of French apple cake.
So, back to the Tinder updates . . . I found myself having Tinder conversations with 3 potentials whilst in the Alps. One was actually Wimbledon Man, wanting to put the whole scene from The Birds behind us and start over. Another was one that my friends had drunkenly chosen on my behalf, the night before departure, declaring he looked ‘like a bit of a dude’ and the last was a tall, stunning Italian. I kept ‘play-time’ on Tinder to a minimum whilst away and decided I would arrange a date or 3 on my return . . .
The week gathered momentum around Day 3 and it was all wrapped up far too quickly. Chalet holidays are bitter-sweet; I can’t really think of any other experience that is similar. You become so close to your fellow chalet-dwellers that they become like family to you. You see each other first thing in the morning, bleary-eyed, half-dressed in salopettes with the braces dangling, padding around in ridiculously bright ski socks . . . after a day’s skiing when you’re dripping with sweat and slush and full of tall stories . . . then finally at dinner, when you actually get to know each other and everyone smells nice once again. Then the week is over and you say goodbye, with promises of staying in touch but the reality is that you probably won’t see each other again.