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Champagne skiing

February 22, 2013

The skiing trip to Meribel is reaching a very satisfactory conclusion with yet another day of almost cloudless skies and fantastic skiing conditions. I do however feel I should correct one small misunderstanding; this has not been what Josh Thornton Allan described as  “the men who are scared of their wives” holiday. Terrified is perhaps nearer the mark.

At least today I did not get lost, and although I did get the blame for Sprog 1 deciding that our exact moment of departure as a group to the slopes should be delayed by, as he put it “an urgent dump”, other than that there were no more slapping incidents, no more swearing or throwing of cigar holders into the street, in fact the day was full of sweetness and light, at least until the evening.

Some of that sweetness was engendered by the over enthusiastic ordering of Irish coffee’s, a theme developed at elevensis, again by Sprog 1, with my complete support it should be noted, at least until the bill arrived and I saw that they were 15 euros each (about £13 at today’s Currencies Direct rates).  However they were a snip compared with the prices at Les Folies Douce earlier in the week. I took a picture of their chalked wine list below.

Les folies douce wine list

A magnum of Champagne sir? 12,000 euros please

Last night was the final evening for Mr Clipboard and family as they are heading off this morning early (about 8 am, so in effect late last night) and he was in need of a fondue, a traditional mountain dish that had hitherto eluded us, so we went mob handed to a typical local restaurant which, having been empty every time we had walked by it during the week, was suddenly fully booked. The World Cup Downhill skiing party had obviously arrived.

We ended up at the Barometer bar across the road for, in my case,  excellent satay, far more interesting that any raclette. On the TV was a European cup game between Chelsea, supported since he was a boy by Mr Clipboard and underdogs Sparta Prague. I know that at heart I am a generous soul but I do like a wind up, so it took no time at all to make a wager against the favourites that he supports and so, although I wanted him to win – it is his last day of the holiday, there was a sneaking pleasure at half time when, having backed the underdog, they ran in 1-0 up at half time.  I take no pleasure in taking money off a public schoolboy in a bet unless, of course , it is Mr Clipboard but in the last minute they equalised, much to his relief.

Today is the last day of skiing on this particular jaunt and Mr Clipboard would have left with his tail between his legs and 20 euros poorer had Chelsea not been very lucky and scored in the final minute of the match . Of courses like the cad and a bounder that he is, he was already trying to reinterpret the bet before the lucky late score. He also stole a 10 euro note from me in an ill-advised early celebration of my victory, demonstrated in the traditional way by placing a licked bank-note on ones forehead. I do not like to use the term theft when referring to a friend, but facts are facts. I was going to suggest that, in a public schoolboy manner to  which he will be accustomed, that  I turn off the light and hope that the thief would return the money, but guiltily he did return it and I suppose gleaned some juvenile pleasure from screwing it up into a tiny ball.

Chris France

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