Scenic view

“Let’s go skiing, it’ll be fun”

We tried to go skiing at Glenshee today. I had us booked in for an 8:45am lesson because I’m a moron and was thinking it would be packed and we should get there early plus there was nothing else until the afternoon which seemed too late.

The early start combined with my usual anxiety of driving in snow and ice led to a sleep-disturbed night last night. It wasn’t helped by Elizabeth waking me at 12am to complain about Daniel snoring, the cat rampaging at 1am, Daniel shouting at 5am to say Elizabeth had disappeared, and a gale-force wind howling all night making me worry about trees falling onto the roof while we slept or tried to sleep.

Eventually morning came, we all ate breakfast, made lunch, turned ourselves into colourful marshmallow people and headed to the slopes. We got to the ski field carpark and sat in the car while it lurched from side to side with each gust of wind. As we sat in the car thinking of our warm beds we looked outside to witness a lone traffic cone transport itself from one side of the carpark to the other. What on earth were we doing?

As Daniel emerged from the car the wind slammed the car door back onto his head. I wondered how on earth people who have never skied before could possibly stay upright in this gale. It was hard enough to stay upright on a flat surface with walking shoes on let alone on skis on a slope. Did you know Scotland is a world-leader in wind power? Well, it is.

As we skated across the car park I looked at the chairlift which wouldn’t have been out of place in a theme park; you know those rides that spin you round and round and upside-down and generally make you want to vomit but that children enjoy for some inexplicable reason? I made a mental note to avoid the chairlift.

I thought of that scene in Die Hard when Bruce Willis is crammed into a ventilation duct and thinking of his predicament and how it came to be, “Come to the coast, we’ll have a few laughs”. Although our predicament was quite different the promise of fun and laughs was the same, “Let’s go skiing, it’ll be fun”.

We rocked up to the ski school and they said they were waiting to hear if it would open. I think people were expecting, hoping, maybe praying the wind would die down. We had to wait an hour before the decision was eventually made: the ski field would remain closed for the day. We wasted a holiday sleep-in to sit for an hour in a cold and drafty timber structure at Glenshee ski field. In the end I think we were all a bit relieved not to have to ski in what felt like a wind storm. We’ve all got pretty good balance but let’s not make it harder than it needs to be.

In the end we went for a lovely walk in Braemar. The sun came out, the wind died down, and the colours were all very pretty. And none of us fell over. Not once.

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