September – schools back, the nights are getting shorter, and while there is still some beautiful summer weather it is definitely cooler. It’s normally about now that I start looking for skiing holidays. We generally go at half term ( along with the rest of Surrey) and try a different resort every year. We book self catering, drive across and squeeze 7 days actually skiing in.
My parents, both keen skiers, have also come every year. It has been low key, they stay in the same resort, same week, but often different apartment blocks to give each family a bit of space from the other!
I love looking for skiing holidays, I research the resorts and compare one against the other for snow history, altitude, ambiance and number of runs. Then the fun of looking for an apartment, somewhere close to the lift and shops. Finally I book it and we all start getting excited. The thought of it gets us through the winter and for me the holiday starts when I start googling. In February, just when it feels like winter is never going to end, we escape to the Alps, to the bright blue skies and frosty air, and when we return the days are noticeably longer.
This year, however, we have a problem. I am still not recovered from the last skiing holiday. Amongst other things I still can’t touch the top of my head, take off a jacket easily or reach the shelves in Sainsburys.
This poses somewhat of a dilemma. Max and Lucy are keen to go skiing, they seem unfazed by the accident I had. As Max has started lower sixth it may not be that many years that he still wants to ski with us. My parents, whilst not old, are not getting any younger and every year my Dad says ‘ Well, we don’t know if we will be able to ski next year’.
So with these two ticking time bombs, one either end of the spectrum, I feel an enormous emotional pull to go on what I am sure will be another wonderful holiday. Yet, physically and psychologically I don’t know if I can do it. It is one of the FAQ’s ( Frequently Asked Questions) that I still get when people ask about my shoulder. ‘ Do you think you will ski again?’ To begin with, I was certain, yes, definitely, why wouldn’t I? After all, both my mother and my brother continued to ski after serious injuries. But as time has marched on and my progress has been so slow, with the pain and the limited movement I still have I have become less and less confident.
This weekend I broached the subject with George. ‘ Do you want to go skiing next year?’
Without hesitation he answered, ‘No, do you?’. I replied, ‘No’.
So that’s settled then.