In January 2007 we went on a skiing trip to Meribel. It was probably the last time we went skiing, in fact, and I was the only one among us who actually got out on the piste. Ami was only two-and-a-half, so probably not really up to it. Kas was pregnant with Izzy, so that was her out of the game too. Dennis and Linda came with us too but neither decided to give it a go, even though Dennis is perfectly capable.

One outstanding feature of this skiing holiday was that we went in the car. So, despite all the evidence from the trip to La Rochelle six months earlier being to the contrary, we somehow thought that having five of us in one car driving through the night through France would be a good idea. It wasn’t, to be honest. All of us were trying to get to sleep apart from Ami, who was resolutely resisting. On one of the stops we made in the middle of the night she barfed on the floor of the restaurant at the services. Can’t remember which services it was, but I suspect they’ve forgotten us by now.

Dennis did a driving shift between about 3 and 5 in the morning, or at least he was supposed to, but he was only half awake and eventually I got him to pull over so we could have a quick stretch and I took over again.

We eventually arrived in Meribel at lunchtime on Saturday, having been on the road since the previous evening. Overall, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

The skiing was good although the snow wasn’t great. I joined ski school, not really because I needed to learn, but because I wanted some company. I was in quite an advanced group (I’d have hoped so) and we were getting around quite a lot.

Kas, Ami, Dennis and Linda were spending their days mooching about in Meribel and meeting me at the tops of mountains most days.

We stayed in Meribel Village at the Pierre et Vacances apartment complex. We’d booked quite a large apartment so that we could all get into the same one, rather than having two, and I think it had four proper bedrooms and sleeping space in the lounge, which meant it could sleep about 15 students, but for us it meant two proper double rooms, one of the twins that Ami had to herself, and the other filled with luggage. It also had about 3 khazis, a couple of shower rooms, a fairly decent kitchen and a big open plan living and eating area. It was pretty good really. January is early season, so the resort was fairly quiet and as a result the price for our palatial apartment was still fairly reasonable. It also had an indoor swimming pool (where the girls spent a chunk of their time) and an underground car park (where our car spent all of its time apart from the trips in and out). While we were in Meribel, we went everywhere on the free shuttle buses.