An english girl who after six months in the french mountains, has left for Italia, the beautiful country. My thoughts on leaving life as I know it and beyond! Join me as I embark on a life with lots of adventure and a lack of heels!!!!

Monday, 31 January 2011

The family comes to town!

Well yet another week has flown by this time with visitors, but all had a good time. We had Mr’s family out to visit, mum, dad, brother, his wife and our gorgeous 10-month-old nephew.  We had clear blue skies and sunshine for them, which were lovely, but a distinct lack of snow! It was a busy week for us, up relatively early to ski/snowboard (well slide across icey patches!!) with my brother and sis in law, then cuddles and playtime with the little ‘un then après drinks with the parents before dinner then round to theirs or ours or back out again. Bloody knackered! Good job we did’nt have to fit work in as well we would never have managed it!!!

   But it was great to see some familiar faces, have a bit of female company and catch up with our nephew’s new tricks! High five was the order of the day!! So cute! It was also nice to have some company on the slopes too, even though it was with 3 snowboarders and me the only skier!! (There is always rivalry, us skiers blame the boarders for near misses and the like and ditto the boarders for us skiers, I was seriously outnumbered!!). And from a seasonaires point of view we got free wine at their chalet so that was good! Never pass up on an opportunity for free booze eh??

  I’m also racking up the non-ski days, any visitors will be starting to get paranoid, and it was half way through the week again, just like last time! I pulled my back the week before they arrived, nothing serious but very uncomfortable. And I did’nt do it skiing or walking (sliding!) around the ice covered village, I was doing the bloody washing!  One of the down sides to apartment living here is the lack of space so that generally means no washing machines, and judging by the fact that the launderettes charge €7.50 a load (wash only, same again to dry!) I would guess not many people have in house washing facilities. I might open a bloody laundry, become a millionaire! But anyhow I knew all this before we came so I bought a travel twin tub that goes in the bath, absolutely brilliant but weighs a ton so when I picked it up after doing a couple of loads there went my back. Then obviously as we had guest’s it started to get worse resulting in 2 days off the mountain but it did mean we had a chance to watch our nephew sledging which was just lovely, he absolutely loved it! Extreme baby!!! And we took the parents up to the top of the mountains in the cable cars so they enjoyed a day off of being in the village. So not all bad, and I no longer resemble a cripple!!

  I expect I sound like a right hypochondriac, what with the ever lasting cold, the chest infection, always feeling freezing cold and now this bad back!! I am hardly ever ill and never have any complaints, my body normally functions perfectly well on the physical front. You do have to wonder if I am cut out for this mountain living malarkey??  Maybe I should be swathed in fur, be living in a luxury chalet with it’s own masusse and spa, sitting slope side in a fabulous restaurant sipping coffee, just skiing when there’s fresh snow and mild temperatures! Oh and I would need that helicopter on stand by for some impromptu shopping trips, we’ not that far from Milan or Geneva after all.

Oh and I would probably need to win the lottery!!!!

On the top of the world at the glacier.

On the glacier with the boarders!! I'm the one doing a storm trooper impression!!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

My new hobby part 2.

Part 2 of my new hobby.

There are so many dodgy 70’s & 80’s outfits on display it is actually really difficult to capture all of them on film, especially when you are wearing padded mittens and your camera is safely tucked away in a zipped up pocket. Must try harder though as I missed a couple of shockers the other day on the way up to Tignes glacier. 2 Japanese men wearing some of the brightest, most patterned get up you are ever likely to see. I apologise for no pictures, I just could not get my camera out in time.

But here are a couple I did catch,

This is a man!!!!!

Unfortunately I did'nt get a back shot, there was a massive sun on the back!!! I think the tash just sets it off!!!

           The only thing I can think of that keeps these people wearing these things is that they are all really expensive brands!!! They clearly want their moneys worth, bloody hell 30 years later I would say they really have!!! Hope you enjoyed them!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Just the way we roll!

Bonjour from a very sunny and warm Val d’isere!!! I know I was moaning about a month back when I was frozen but yesterday at 2,700 meters high in the mountains it was +12 degrees!!!! From one bloody extreme to the other. Not good.

This is one of the worst starts to a season Val d’isere has ever had and we are in desperate need of snow as we have not had any proper snow since Christmas day. Not good in a SKI resort!!!! You kinda need the white stuff!

But hey ho it is just our luck, wherever Mr and I end up somewhere in the world the weather always ends up doing the opposite of what it normally does. I may have mentioned in one of my first posts about this very subject, when we went travelling we had rain in Fiji, rain in Sydney as we arrived after they had had a 4/5 month drought, infact it rained almost everywhere in Oz, especially Magnetic Island where they advertise that they have ‘360 days of sunshine’ it rained 3/4 days out of our week there, we also had freak weather in Venice, 4 seasons in four days, almost everything but snow!! And massive thunder storms in Istanbul last summer. I won’t bore you as the list goes on and on. But I will add that we don’t always get rained on, the temperatures have been known to soar to unbearable heats in places where it really should’nt. Maybe it’s not global warming, maybe it’s just us two!

But every cloud and all that (and we could really do with some of them snow clouds right now), the sunny conditions and balmy temperatures make for lovely vista’s and they make fabulous pictures plus it is always nice to sit and enjoy a coffee break outside on the deck eh??? There are some very fabulous places to stop for a ski break here too, just think animal skins, sheepskin rugs and rustic wooden furniture, leather beanbags and black rattan couches, add some lounge tunes and the sound of champagne corks popping in the background and it is just does’nt get much better, beats working for a living!

Here’s some sunny pictures,

la montagne

red sky n the morning..........

palm trees and zebra print, just what you expect!

ah blue skies.

Mr being all arty with his photography!

It does'nt look like we need more snow in this one, but it is all an illusion!!

all pics of moi will now have been touched up thanks to Mr Mac, that's what I would look like with botox!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

smelly little shits.

I hope that you are all well and settling into 2011, I am finally recovered from my seasonaires germs!!! It really is amazing how much snot ones body can produce!!!! But enough about my bodily functions. my Vogue arrived yesterday so all is well!!!

Not skiing today as there is a huge cloud covering basically the whole mountain and you can’t see a bloody thing. Also had a bit of a late night last night so taking it easy. Although I can report that I have managed to get away without a hangover which is something as last night was my 1st night drinking after my anti-biotics. Every Wednesday a special night is being held for all us seasonaires in quite a cool bar and they basically let us have slightly cheaper drinks. It is being sponsored and run by Oxygene who is the company that Mr is working for. Let me just say it started at 5oc and by the time we got there at 7 there were very drunk young girls dancing on the tables, drinking pints, downing shots and still wearing their ski clothes, oh and the obligatory Nike hi-tops of course, it was a bit smelly!! Needless to say by about 9.30 they were all heading home in search of food and hopefully a shower!!! With age comes experience eh? We ate and showered before we went out and did’nt need to go home early!!! Did I mention I was having trouble making friends???? There is the reason!!!

No seriously I am missing some female company, as mentioned previously the girls here are either18-20 and completely awful (see above) or they are 40+ and just a bit sad, old groupies following that bloody band around. The men  (actually boys would be more correct) outnumber the girls roughly 6-1 and basically they are all here to shag one another and get wasted every night. Which is fine, your only young once eh? I would say to any parents out there though, do not let your teenage daughter do a ski season, she will never be the same again!!!!!!!! They are here to run wild and run wild they do. If however you happen to be a teenage boy, it is probably heaven!!!! The reason I am privy to such information though is not chatting in the loo’s catching up on the gossip with the Nike hi top gang, there is a free weekly rag, The Mountain Echo (has a website, check it out), which actually has a photos section for bad behaviour caught on film and a whole 2 pages of who is shagging who and what s been going down (or who!). It makes the Sheerness Times of Guardian (or any terrible local newspaper) look like the Observer. Incredible.

I did get chatting to a couple Irish girls last week but they had started the day with champagne for breakfast so by early evening when I spoke to them they were pretty much plastered as you can imagine, I was sober. It was hard work, not worth the effort. 

There are a couple of girls that are really nice that work in one of the bars we frequent (they wear make up and dress properly too!), they are probably about 25 ish so not too young but they work 4.30-2 am everyday so we only see them when they are working, plus they have their own friends so don’t need me tagging along!!! There is one other girl that I have spotted though who is probably about my age, has a fella and is clean, wears make-up and does’nt appear to wear ‘baggies and hi-tops’, she works for the same company as Mr so I shall try to make friends with her, as she really is one of the only people who seems normal!! God I sound like a stalker!!!

This is probably all pretty good preparation for our summer travels, god know’s what little arseholes we’ll be encountering then????????? When we went travelling 8 years ago we were always among the oldest ones (23 and 25 we were!!) and certainly almost always the only couple, so should be fun! At least we’ll know what to expect I suppose.  Smelly little shits!

Saturday, 15 January 2011


As mentioned in my last post my Vogue has finally arrived. A little bit of a treat for me once a month (when they send it to the right address that is!!) but a little reminder of what I am missing.

The subject of fashion was always going to be a difficult one for me from the moment I decided to make this huge, life changing move. I love fashion, I love clothes, I love shopping, I spent almost all of my disposable income on clothes/shoes/bags/accessories, over the years I dread to think how much money this would have added up to.  I spent a huge proportion of my spare time shopping in the real world and online, reading fashion magazines, fashion blogs, talking about fashion and recent purchases and coveting the latest things. I have collected 6 years worth of Vogue magazines, lovingly packed carefully away and I have continued my subscription as mentioned above although the nearest shopping town is about 3 hours drive away, and despite the fact that I am no longer earning enough money to buy new clothes! And I think the reason I love Sex and the City so much is the wardrobe of Carrie and Co, I still love everything every time I re-watch the episodes and the film’s (well I know I will when I finally get my mitts on the 2nd film).

So how does a shopaholic, fashion addict cope with the knowledge that life in that respect may never be the same again? I know that there are much more important things going on in the world and in life in general but a girls got to have a little outlet eh?

Well, firstly once removed from the world of mass consumerism, limited internet access and a lack of funding plus the lack of temptation lurking around every corner, it is surprisingly easy to not obsess over material things. I am not confessing to being completely over it nor do I think given the opportunity I would go and splurge immediately but it is not that bad when you are not confronted with the opportunity to do so.

Especially when you are living in such a place as this. Day to day whilst skiing I am wearing ski clothes, 3 jackets, 3 pairs of pants, all intermixable colours. All hideous really when compared to real clothes, in no other walk of life would I wear a pair of turquoise bottoms with a chartreuse jacket?? Nor would I be seen dead in the shapeless styles and horrible fabrics that this outerwear is made of. They are a necessary evil. There is no other choice. I don’t really believe there is ‘nice’ ski/board wear, some is just a whole lot better than others. I have the best options of a bad lot. I wear these more than anything else in my wardrobe.  Strange that, the things I love sit in a drawer, or packed away in a box or a suitcase. But I also spend a whole lot less time thinking about it all.

Well, a lot less time than I used to anyway. My winter wardrobe that I have bought with me is what I would call incredibly casual, I am currently wearing skinny indigo jeans, black vest and grey cardigan. This would be considered rather dressy. This is not what I consider rather dressy. Last night I went out to a ‘party’ of sorts at a really cool bar, I wore khaki peg trousers, a nude ruffle shoulder jumper and brown lace up high heeled hiker boots, I would never have gone out in the evening wearing something so casual, I was probably one of the most dressed up in the place!!! Hmmm….

So although I am wearing less clothes (not in the naked sense I will have you know), because of the skiing factor, I have worn almost everything I bought with me. You will probably not be the least bit surprised when I now admit that I am BORED with almost everything.  This then leads me to getting creative with what I’ve got. Having got a splash of bleach on a pale grey baggy vest whilst doing the housework the other day, rather than bin it like I would normally have done, I sprayed the whole thing with bleach and I now have a new top, pale grey baggy vest with nude splodges all over it! I then (getting in the mood for it) chopped the neck off of an oversized jumper, which has improved the shape enormously. I then stopped before I took the scissors to my whole wardrobe. I could see it ending rather worse than it started so I thought I had better quit whilst I was ahead. Just call me Versace!

Friday, 14 January 2011

My new hobby!!!

I have a new hobby. It is not always easy to do but I will try my hardest to make sure that you can take as much enjoyment from this new pleasure of mine as I do.

Yes this photo was taken in 2010!!!

Can you believe people still own such outfits?? Let alone actually step out of the house wearing them, least of all somewhere like this???? Hats off to them, these are some truly awful ski outfits, would have fitted in perfectly at my leaving do with the girls.

I cannot imagine that these have any waterproofing or breathability left in them, but maybe the glare off of the fabric keeps them warm and dry?? Whatever it is, they brighten my days and make me think of my girls.
I know, how awful!!!!!

I will continue to take sneaky photo’s when I can and where possible, and keep you all amused with such fashion crimes!!!!!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Some photo's.

our view christmas eve morning.

christmas eve afternoon in the village center

crazy french fairies on stilts!!

christmas carols

scary black slope

christmas day on the mountain.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Russians have landed.

Once again I am sitting at the table looking out at the mountains. I am still unable to go out and ski as I am not fully recovered from being poorly, only tomorrow left on the anti-biotics so Thursday I should be able to get out on the slopes, hopefully I can remember how to ski after 8 days off!!!!!

Today there is meant to be snow, there looks like there might be some at the top of the mountains but down here in the village there are a pathetic couple of snow flakes drifting about in the air. We haven’t had a decent amount of snow since Christmas day and it has also been far too warm, the coldest it’s been for the last 2 weeks is about -8, which is not cold enough really, well not for maintaining all this snow anyway. Cold enough for me!!!! The resort is full of slush which melts all day then turns to ice at night when all the melted stuff freezes over making the village a complete death trap by morning. They don’t salt any roads or paths here due to environmental reason’s, the salt apparently pollutes the river Isere that runs through the village. They seemed to have forgotten the same river runs all the way down the valley where they salt all the roads, lazy buggers, they just can’t be bothered, they would much rather us all break our bones and skid about the roads and paths. As if the skiing was’nt dangerous enough!!!!!

So what do you do in a ski resort when you can’t ski???  Not a lot really, luckily Val d’isere has lots of shops for a ski resort and quite a few little café’s but when one is on a budget shopping is out of the question, plus the fact there is only so much ski clothing you can look at and need, and it is not nearly as fun or interesting as proper shopping. The café’s here are lovely but again there is only so much coffee/tea/hot choc you can consume, and at 3-4 euro a pop there’s only so much you can afford to drink. Obviously the other thing is to have a few proper drinks, but no good when you are on anti-biotics plus most bars don’t open until 3 or 4 pm, which really is probably rather sensible or everyone would be plastered 24 hrs a day (as apposed to 16-20 hrs!!!!). There are many places to eat, there are many places doing great lunchtime deals but if I do not stop eating I will end up the size of a house, I am on the obligatory January detox, so rules that one out too. There is a cinema but it’s only open in the evenings, and up till now has only shown “The Tourist” in English so we haven’t been. (I know it may be considered sad but Mr & I have been desperate to watch the latest Harry Potter instalment but alas it is not to be!!!) It is snowing much heavier now, must’ve been offended by my calling it pathetic!!!! Oh and I have been (surprise, surprise) watching my Sex and The City collection, desperate for SATC 2!!!!!!!!

On the subject of money, (not just our lack of it) there is an obscene amount of it being spent here. Val d’isere has always been known as a high end resort but Christ some of the things we have been hearing are just crazy (I am sooo jealous!!!).  Mr has, as per usual, fallen onto his cat like feet once again. Whilst I have had my hands down loo’s and been up to my eyes in filth (and get splattered by slush as a coach went past me on the way to one of my apartments!!), he has managed to get himself a rather cushy little number working for one of the ski schools here, (no not instructing, he is good but not that good!!!!! although I think he thinks he is now practically an instructor by association!!!!) but doing private ski and boot hire fittings at all the luxury multi million euro chalets, these poor rich people could’nt possibly be expected to go out into the cold and stand in line at the hire shop like everyone else eh??? They have the highest quality equipment money can buy, they have it fitted, then dropped off to them at their amazing abodes!!! Lucky bloody bastards!!! These chalets are normally able to sleep around 12 people very comfortably but the most people to be living in them so far has been 2 adults and 4 children!! They are mostly American, British, Australians and the Russians. They have bought their own chefs, nannies and general lackies. It is another world. They also name their children, Dash (yes out of the incredibles!), Italy, Tilly, Ned…….

Last week some Russians hired out one of the most exclusive residences, The Eagles Nest, sleeps 12, just 3 of them were staying there!!! The prices start at £30,000 a week in low season for this place!!!!!! One Russian a couple of weeks ago had a helicopter on constant standby just in case he needed anything, it was 40 euro a minute!!!!!!! Then he flew his wife to Paris for her birthday to go shopping, they were closing the shops for her!!!!!  Then last week a Swedish guy had an 18,000 euro bill for a helicopter dinner trip to Lyon for him and his wife.  It is just unbelievable. Ahhh one day…………..

Yeah right!!!!!

This week staring tomorrow there is a polo (on the snow) championship, there will be all sorts going on, starting with a parade and equestrian show tonight and the games start tomorrow evening for 3 nights so that should create a good atmosphere and there are normally a few freebies being given out at these things!!!

Right, now snowing so much I can only see the next building!! Great, just what we need, I will continue to call it pathetic!!!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Well hello there, happy new year!!  I am finally back online, well that is to say I have a new laptop so I can access the world of web once again!!! But still no internet connection in my apartment, I think this may actually be impossible. I have asked my neighbour if we could pay her to use her internet connection, she was going to look into it but I have’nt heard back so that is looking unlikely. But anyhoo.

We had a great new years eve, went to a lovely little French bar with a great restaurant above it, so it was aperitifs in the bar then upstairs for a lovely meal, where I ate snails for my starter. Not as gross as you would think, surprisingly nice, firm in texture and with a delicate sea salty aftertaste, although they were in garlic butter which generally makes everything taste nice eh?? So after dinner it was back to the bar where obviously more alcohol than was necessary was consumed and I would love to tell you how the evening ended but I can’t remember a bloody thing so I presume we left, went home and passed out in bed probably around the wee hours about 4 ish. Another great start to another year!!!!

New years day was not a good day, soooo hungover I could barely move, this altitude kills you I swear, nothing to do with the alcohol!!!! But I managed to pull myself together as our friends were arriving that evening and I was meant to be cooking them a welcome dinner, which surprisingly I managed to pull together a 3 course affair just in time for their arrival, was feeling much better after concentrating on something other than myself feeling wretched.

We have had a lovely week with them but I have been a bit unfortunate. As you can probably imagine the cold temperatures here coupled with hot cafes, bars etc plus confined, crowded living spaces equals a lot of germs being passed around. About 3 and a half weeks ago Mr and I both developed colds and coughs, they kept coming and going but last week mine just got worse and worse. We bought out tons of cold and flu remedy from the UK, as it is hideously expensive here (sellers market eh??) but have managed to take the whole lot!!!  When our friends arrived at the weekend mine seemed to have hit its peak, along with the hangover I was really starting to feel awful, the cough was excrutiating and my chest was getting really tight, plus my eye s were all bloodshot from all the coughing bursting my veins, I looked like some dodgy drug addict, so Wednesday I went to the doctor as the night before I actually could not breath as my chest was so tight, soooo scary. I went to see Dr Al, the British doctor in resort, when I first got in there he took my temperature, now normal people would have a high temperature at this stage no? See I had been having hot flushes indoors but outside I was still freezing as ever, although it’s actually been warmer. You can tell where this is going right? He took my temp, looked at me and said “you’re very cold, you’ve been in the waiting room for about 40 minutes right?” which I had, he then took it again and said it was the same with a confused look on his face. He finally said after giving me a thorough checking over that I was very infected and prescribed anti-biotics, really strong cough medicine and gave me a list of instructions of what I should and should’nt do, including NO skiing till I was completely better!!!  Said I am not allowed to get cold!! Bit difficult for someone turning cold blooded by all accounts!!!  So now I have a bonafide excuse for being cold, I’m simply not as warm as everyone else. Worringly I have dry, scaly skin in this cold too, maybe I’m turning into a reptile????

A complete bugger not being able to ski either, my poor friend has now been stuck with the crazy boys on their snowboards whilst I am stuck indoors keeping warm!!  But yesterday she decided to have a day off as the visibility was terrible and we had a lovely morning wondering around the gorgeous shops and salivating in the pattiserie so not all is bad.

Our friends go home tomorrow so its back to normal for us, although I have 5 more days of till I can ski so I can at last catch up with everyone and do all that stuff that just needs doing!!