Easter Holidays 2014

Easter Holidays 2014

Easter Holidays 2014

Easter Holidays 2014

What are WE doing in the Easter Holidays this year?

Ha Ha! If ONLY we were going skiing. Well actually maybe not. I love the idea of us all flying off to the Alps and shwooshing elegantly down snowy pistes in the bright Spring air, then gazing out of a chalet window over a crisp mountain landscape as we cradle a soup bowl sized hot chocolate, and after the kids have gone to bed, an even bigger soup bowl sized mulled wine.

Even now I look at the ski brochures with pictures of attractive families with flowing hair, goggles and brightly coloured outfits, before forgetting how long it takes to wrestle a child out of its boots and many layers to do a poo, and how to stop it eating yellow snow “No, I don’t think it’s Maple Syrup, darling”.

Wind back the film to me aged 9 flying back to the UK with two friends after an expensive version of a dump-the-kids holiday in Switzerland. We all had ‘UNACCOMPANIED MINOR’ notices around our necks. My 11 year old sister wasn’t with us.

On the last day, we had been skiing down a steep, icy Mont Blanc slope (which should have been closed to all but expert skiers), when my sister skidded on the ice and fell. Very badly. Her leg was fractured in three places but I don’t remember her screaming. Or the paramedics’ stretcher they put her on to slip-slide her off the mountain.

I know the brain can sometimes shut down after a trauma, and I have no recollection of the accident itself or getting back to the hostel, but I do have a VERY clear memory of the huge box of Lindt chocolates that were next to her hospital bed the next morning, and wondered how many could I get away with eating.

Having fallen on harder times if not harder surfaces, (not to mention dodgy knees from too much cross-country Canadian skiing in my husband’s case) we don’t go on ski holidays now, but instead have had a great time visiting friends in Scotland over the last week. Some of the other benefits have been:

1. Not being asphyxiated by Saharan air pollution down south

2. Getting to visit the fantastic though oxymoronic 4th International Hawick Film Festival. Even if you go next year and don’t get to see one of the 70 odd films, do visit The Damascus Drum. It’s a cafe/bookshop/restaurant in a little street just behind the Arts Centre where all the action takes place. It’s a real hidden treasure and the lovely staff don’t even mind if you’re English.

3. Gaining in-depth knowledge of nearly every service station on the M6 due to pee stops, snack stops and horrendously long traffic jams. A chance to hear our (my) favourite music for once, though suspect Johnny Cash’s Greatest Hits was repeated once too often, and nearly ended with one of us threatening to get out and walk (not me).

If you can’t stand car journeys though, make an exception for the wonderful Award Winning Tebay Services on both sides of the M6 motorway between J38 and J39. They have delicious meals supplied and made by local organic farmers and an inviting dining space. I wish I did paid reviews because then they might bung us some Thai chicken curries and lamb stews on our next visit!

They also have lots of wildlife including a duck pond overlooking fabulous Cumbrian mountain views. In short, if you ever find yourself pining for a skiing holiday you can’t afford, just nip up the M6 and you’re almost there. And the chances are you won’t be coming home in Plaster of Paris with half a box of chocolates.

Happy Easter!

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    1. Ouch! That must have been sore ! No, I think the likes of you and me are better off Blogging. Only real danger is falling off
      a chair x Happy Easter to you Izzie x

    1. Oh you happy few! Yes I shall live vicariously through yours and put on only vicarious pounds drinking hot chocolate and gorging on cheese fondue *ignores the fact the skiiers stay slim zipping up and down snowy mountains* Have fun and a lovely Easter 🙂

  1. Love it Jo! I think I would have just remembered the chocolate too in your situation, your poor sister! although I broke 4 bones as a kid and definitely remember those!

    P.s never been skiing but we are big Aldi fans 🙂

    1. FOUR bones! OW. I broke one as an adult but was mainly upset it was a Bank Holiday so the Helicopter Rescue Service with the handsome paramedics couldn’t lift me off a Welsh mountain. I must try Aldi next time then, have only been to Lidls. Bring your own shopping bags, but if you want two screwdrivers for £2.50 with an entire side of horse thrown in for free, its a must go to destination. x

  2. LOVE Tebay services always stopped there on my drive from Yorkshire to Glasgow back in the days when I was doing my journalism training.

    I find the checkouts are too fast at Lidl feels like they’ve turned food shopping into an Olympic sport.

    1. Always hated pressure of long queue behind giving me hairy eyeballs if I didn’t bag up fast enough esp. with an annoying baby/toddler throwing your purse on the floor. Glad to be over that hump tho’ suppose you have a few more years ..;{

  3. Well I hope you had an amazing time! We discovered skiing just a few years ago and have so far taken the kids once – the wrestling them into the boots and sweating before we’ve even left the chalet door, is the bit I hate! Sounds like you didn’t have too great an experience – your sister certainly didn’t 🙁 We are off up to Scotland during the summer so thanks for the tip re: M6 motorway services!

    1. We did have a good time in The Borders thanks Suzanne:) The initial skiing disaster didn’t put me off altogether as have been a few times since then and, more importantly, so has my sister and her family. I like the idea of it more than the reality of icy melted snow trickling down my neck from carrying the skis over the shoulder from long walk to lift. It is a fantastic sport for kids so may just have to get over myself ! Enjoy Bonny Scotland and Tebay services – it may be last time you get to go without taking passports!! 🙂

  4. Jo, love that you manage a little dig at so many different types of lives with your wicked wit and clever pen. No doubt most of us can see bits of ourselves in all of them and hopefully have a good laugh at ourselves along the way. Keep writing!

  5. Gosh. Might go on holiday to Tebay services – sounds ruddy marvellous. I can think of nothing worse than a skiing holiday anyway, which is a good job really. Since C&A shut down how do people afford the kit?

    1. Hey, good plan Abby! Tebay would be great for a holiday and at least you’re nice and close to the motorway if you decide to go on a day outing somewhere else. Yeah, good old C&A, miss them. Just looked them up and Primark bought 11 of their stores when they ceased trading in UK, so can’t go there as I boycott them. Apart from the really cheap gloves. And their thermal underwear.

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