Hello from my holidays. The weather is nice. Except when it is freezing fog and visibility is reduced to approximately twenty centimetres. This usually happens when I am teetering on the edge of a cliff, I find. The children are swathed in ninety three layers of fleece and nylon, so I can only hear them complaining intermittently, which makes a pleasant change. They look much less like epileptic dogs when skiing than I do which is also welcome. Their training at the gulag has prepared them well for the Ecole de Ski Française and its 'sink or swim' approach to learning.
As promised, Mamie has kindly taken responsibility for all the cooking. We have enjoyed a delicious selection of treats from the gaping mouth of the cocotte minute and the cosy appartment is filled with the mouthwatering smell of cabbage boiled to the point of disintegration. Since Mamie believes me to be vegetarian (well, French vegetarian, ie. ham and fish do not count), I have had the same boil in the bag fish three nights running. I am not particularly singled out, however, as the spawn have had steak haché three nights running too. They, however, are allowed to cry about this. I must smile. I have promised to be on my best behaviour this week. It is a little unfortunate that I have forgotten my antidepressants and am having to eke out 4 tablets over 7 days, interspersed with temazepam. And vin chaud. And wine in a box. I am religiously following Kate's advice to get quietly, unobtrusively drunk each evening and it is proving most effective.
The skiing is bracing. Crazed Dutch teenagers lurk round every corner waiting to trip me up as I flail past them. There is plenty of opportunity to practise my already superlative British queueing skills. I have showcased The Tut, The Sigh, The Pained Look, The Pointed Remark, with their usual lack of success. I have moved up to the superior level of muttering "Wanker" under my breath which brings a little relief. The CFO pushes effortlessly past everyone leaving me politely allowing over sixties and under tens to take my place. We are repeatedly separated in this fashion, but over the years I have grown used to looking out for his grey and white coat many miles ahead of me. Sometimes I feel like I have spent most of my holiday, or indeed most of my life, following the grey and white coat.
The CFO and I are being extremely nice to each other. Careful, thoughtful and kind. This is because we are in the midsts of the kinds of discussion one does not showcase on the internet before actually concluding them one way or another and talking to, you know, flesh and blood type relations. Suffice to say it makes the whole thing, the tiny appartment, the following each other down ridiculously steep hills, the slavery to the cocotte minute, quite surreal. It also makes forgetting all my pharmaceuticals particularly unfortunate. Since the discussion has been thrashing itself backwards and forwards since well before we left, neither of us has managed to remember to bring any clothes either. We look like survivors of a natural disaster where fleece was mysteriously spared.
Wish you were here, if this is your kind of thing. Otherwise, not. Obviously. Please send drugs. And wisdom and stuff. And the weepette.
Missing you more than is appropriate, or sane.