Merry Belles

After holidays like last week’s, the return to real life joins wrinkles, alarm clocks and hangovers in the realm of the violently unwelcome inevitables.

Skiing has always been one of my absolute favourite things to do, and after working two ski seasons (one Courchevel, the other St Anton), it’s become even more of an important part of my life. Because how can anyone feel sad when they’re hurtling down a powdery run under a bluebird sky – with hot wine and carbs waiting  like a loyal friend at every stop.

Because we went away knowing only a couple of a group of 20, one of the best parts of the trip was getting to know awesome people from all over the place, making solid new mates from Johannesburg to Texas, London to Wellington. There’s something life confirming about beginning a week with strangers and ending it as friends.

I can honestly say that my life has been enhanced by some of the characters I met on that trip. Yes, it’s a holiday bonus, but what’s more it’s a smile on my face – and you can never have too many of those.

There are a few factors which can put people off booking a ski holiday – notably price or fear (as separate entities or indeed influenced by the former) – but I’d always advise people to go for it. When booked as an all inclusive trip and paid for in bits, it can be really cost effective. We had breakfast and dinner included every day, unlimited chalet wine (dangerous), a three valleys’ pass, flights and transfers to and from Grenoble airport. Buses in resort are free, and if you take lunch up the mountain with you all you need is beer money -a cost no sane person can refute.

My goggle tan and aching thighs return to Edinburgh fulfilled but, as ever, hungry for the next adventure. Thanks again, Meribel and bring it on, wuuuurld!

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