Yet again we were incredibly spoilt by the inlaws who treated us to a ski trip in Tignes. Not quite the Healthy Heidi Hits the Hills experience I was hoping for…

The Relentless Schedule of Sickness and Disaster

Day before ski-trip: Daughter Elder has extremely high temperature  – puts herself to bed. Parents worried.

Morning of ski-trip: Daughter Elder seems recovered. Phew. Join in-laws in cab wherein it transpires that Mother in Law (MIL) is gravely sick and in danger of coughing up a lung approximately once every 3.5 minutes…

At station: Husband is physically removed from queue at WH Smith by Father in Law (FIL) and prevented from buying newspapers or magazines for journey lest we be late for boarding the Eurostar. We board the train 30 mins prior to departure.

During train journey: MIL assumes waxy sheen, glazed eyes and continues to cough vigorously approximately once every 2.5 minutes. We are joined by some Jolly blonde women (JBW) who have booked 2 of the six seats in our train section. MIL coughs relentlessly. JBW excuse themselves to Champagne drinking session at the bar. JBW return. FIL remarks loudly that Daughter elder may still be out of sorts due to the FEVER she had the night before. JBW exchange grimaces. MIL coughs. Daughter Younger becomes clingy and difficult. Daughter younger sits on mother’s knee and farts, following through with diarrhoea. Mother cannot look at JBW. Father rummages change of clothes from buried suitcase at other end of carriage. Mother changes crying child in miniscule toilet cubicle, cracking head on sink and trying to ignore the faint damp patch on her own knee. JBW head to Champagne bar again.

On arrival: Daughter Elder develops painful stomach cramps and doesn’t want to sit in very back of cab. Mother sits in very back of cab instead only to discover that her head touches the ceiling, she cannot move her legs in such a confined space and she can smell the poo juice on her knee. Mother feels extremely sick and breathes deeply with eyes closed for the half hour journey up the mountain to avoid overwhelming sense of claustrophobia and panic.

At apartment: MIL has a dizzy spell, shakes and lies down on sofa covered in blanket. It transpires that mother, father and children are sleeping in a room allocated with two bunk beds. Children take against top bunks and point blank refuse to climb the ladders. Mother and Father are forced to take the top bunks. At this point they don’t care where they sleep.

Day one: Skis Hired, Ski School booked for Daughter Younger – diarrhoea seems to have cleared, gentle skiing for all apart from MIL.

Night: Children wake several times in night. Times climbed down ladder: 3

Day two: Daughter Younger is taken to Ski school by Father. She cries. A lot. She pleads with mother not to make her go again. Husband thinks she’ll be fine tomorrow. Mother wracked with guilt. 

NIght: Daughter Younger throws up in the night. Times climbed down ladder: 4

Day three: Sheets are scrubbed free of vomit and hung up to dry. Daughter younger now seems fine but cannot, of course, go to ski school. 

NIght: Daughter younger has a nightmare, Daughter elder has terrible stomach cramps again. Times climbed down ladder: 6

Day Four: Father cannot face battle of sending daughter younger to ski school. A trouble free day of skiing. MIL attempts to ski which she says nearly kills her but she continues anyway. Daughter Elder goes swimming in the evening with father and grandfather.

NIght: Daughter Elder has sore ‘bits’ that cause her excruciating pain so that she cries relentlessly for an hour inspite of cold compresses, application of sudocrem and fanning of parts. Calpol is administered as a last resort. It seems to work eventually or was it simply sheer exhaustion? Times climbed down ladder: 8

Day FIve: Nice morning of skiing. Daughter elder then develops terrible earache that makes her cry. Mother returns to apartment with children for the afternoon. Calpol administered, earache gone. Eat dinner out at restaurant where MIL coughs and clutches FIL in terror as she feels herself blacking out. She stays with us. 

NIght: More tummy ache and bad dreams. Both daughters are developing chesty coughs.Trips down the ladder: 5

Day Six: Mother feels glands up and head throbbing. Takes to bed and shivers and sweats for five hours. MIL skis again. 

NIght: Girls cough. Trips down the ladder:2

Day 7: Family head home. Cab crashes into car in front. Train journey is bearable. MIL only coughs every five minutes and there is no diarrhoea. 

Get Home: Everyone gets into parental bed and hugs each other joyfully.


Lovely things about the trip:

1) The Mountains were beautiful

2) There was loads of lovely snow

3) Watching Bea ski was amazing

4) Watching Tilly ski between dad’s legs was so sweet

5) We had a delicious fondue 

6)I realised how much I LOVE my own bed

7)We read Gangsta Granny ( as downloaded on her iPad by our own very modern granny) by David Walliams on the way home and laughed and cried our socks off.

8)French people can spell my name.

9) The girls had Hello Kitty skis

10)No one died (apart from Margaret Thatcher)


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