It's just generally odd, going on holiday with your employers. Awkward in so many ways; not just when they argue, but sleeping in the living room and being the last to get up, being "off work" but unable to refuse to play with the kids, and particularly having to explain that you can't afford to snowboard all week. Fun times in the French Alps with the au pair family!
Valloire, as well as being where my brother's p7 class came on a school trip, is a small resort, favourite among French families and oldies; the only people who look vaguely my age are the staff. Many more skiers than snowboarders, the French being, apparently, traditional in their sporting habits- I was told by a 20something French guy last week, after waiting for him to stop laughing, that snowboarding is "a man thing." Drinking beer and watching the rugby? Yes, them too.
Anyway while the boys had skiing lessons this morning I got myself a 4 hour pass and went off adventuring on my own, only realising on the lift up that I'm terrible with maps (it's hard tell which direction a piste goes in!) and usually rely on Cat, my snow-buddy back home. But I managed, and wasn't too bad for the first day snowboarding in a year, I hardly fell at all until a skier went and tripped me up spectacularly, ouch. The weather's great, sunny and warm, but isn't doing much good to the slopes. Or my big red face: I wore factor 50 suncream, plus green-tinted barrier cream with spf 15; still I look like a tomato.
I won't be snowboarding tomorrow or Tuesday, maybe a bit of sledging with whichever child I'm left with, so hopefully by Wednesday my body will be ready for a full day. In the meantime I'll try to find a bar with wifi and post this, and maybe even talk to someone. By the time we go back to Paris I'll be so starved of normal conversation I'll be babbling!
So only one day left, the week hasn't been too bad at all. We've all relaxed into it a bit, got used to having only cottage cheese and honey for pudding and living in the one apartment together.
I've resorted to smuggling chocolate in my jacket pocket to eat when the kids are in bed. I know it sounds ridiculous but these kids are so healthy, and I'd feel bad starting the inevitable...
Maman, Papa, why can Mairi eat chocolate and not us, it's not fair
(Because Mairi's an adult.)
No she's not.
Yes I am, and I can eat whatever I like.
But chocolate's not good for you it will make holes in your teeth and they'll fall out and you'll have to go to the dentist.
Mmhmm, well never mind eh.
I want some!
Well you can't have any.
Because your mum and dad say so.
Then you can't have any.
No, I don't have to do what they say, but you do.
Because you're 4 and 5.
5 AND ELEVEN-
-Yes 5 and eleven months I know.
But it's not fair!
No it's not fair, tough.
What is 'tough'?
I improvised myself some crash pants today, which worked fairly well considering it was mainly just socks, stuffed into back pockets and inside my leggings! Wish I'd thought of it earlier- my bum is seriously injured, flowery bruises blooming all over, and knees, elbows, shins, somehow even thighs too.
Back in Paris, after a lovely night's sleep in my own bed, (even if I did dream I was in The Wire) I still woke up at 7.30 just as if the boys were shouting in the next room! But happily rolled over and went back to sleep. The joys of living alone!
Over the week I did 17 hours of snowboarding, which cost a bit too much really, but it's such a small resort there was nothing else to do bar sitting in the flat watching films, and that's just a waste of being in the Alps! Didn't venture off the blues and greens because I'm a wimp and get scared when people go too fast, and even more scared when little children skiers try to squeeze through behind me where I can't see them and nearly kill us both. Next time though!
For now it's back to city life, catching up with friends, museums and a bit of painting. xx