Tag Archives: Meribel

Meribel 2019/2020. Part Trois.

Well, it’s over. We’re back home.

It really was a fantastic holiday and once again PIL excelled herself. The chalet we stayed in was fantastic with tons of space, we each had our own bedroom although PIL and CJ shared. The views across the valley to the mountains were superb and the food and drink we had was first class. Our thanks go out to the staff from Purple Ski who looked after us – Althea, Dane and Ryan looked after us extremely well although I have a bone to pick with Dane who cooked up such delicious food.

Ryan, Dane and Althea. Our thanks to all three of you for ensuring we had a great time and taking such good care of us.

During the week we stayed I put on 3 kilos of weight! Bugger me, that’s a shed load of visits to the gym, a place I’ve failed to go to for several years now. I was a bit of a chubby boy before we went and now I’m a right porker! It was worth it though. Ryan fixed up the boys with massages to ease their aches and pains and sorted Eds knee out with some K taping.

CJ had a massage with a young lady whose name I completely forget (Sorry) and had her arm, leg and back sorted out. Althea made sure we wanted for nothing during our stay. She knew where everything was and made sure everything was available and she always had a smile on her face. She organised cake and balloons for Eds birthday which is next week and put champagne, wine, beers and glasses down by the hot tub as she knew the kids went straight there after a full day on the slopes.

Dane took the kids out on the slopes one morning when he was off duty and took them onto some incredible runs so they spent more time skiing and less time figuring out where to go and how to get there. Even he was amazed at the amount of energy those three have! Greg was particularly pleased with himself on this day as the boys have apps on their phones that recorded their speed. Greg achieved just over 59mph on one of the runs Dane took them too. Next time he wants to get to over 62mph as this equates to 100kph. Mad sod!

PIL and I had a productive time in the peace and quiet each day. I have a couple of things to finalise before I get my new project off the ground and I will have them sorted later today if all goes according to plan. If not, by tomorrow. We had a walk most days, just down the village for a poke around the shops and to look in the estate agents windows at all the lovely chalets for sale and to gasp at the prices! We returned home with a lot of catalogues and brochures!

Best of all though was spending time together as a family, eating fine food (and plenty of it!), drinking excellent wines, Althea sorted out a variety of pre dinner cocktails, generally having a great time talking, squabbling, playing Uno (I never did win although PIL is the reigning champion) and other games we discovered in the chalet and playing an app on Eds phone.

It was great time. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely. So much so that it gave us cause to discuss amongst ourselves how we holiday and whether we should change the way we do it. More on that soon.

Time to end this post now as I have stuff to do today, including hanging out the umpteenth load of laundry and putting the next one into our long suffering washing machine.

Have a great day wherever you are.

More Dick soon.


Meribel 2019/2020.

So it’s now the evening of Thursday 2nd January 2020. Greg has control of the music via Sonos. So far we have experienced Swedish Heavy Metal and Mongolian Throat music. I do wonder about that boy sometimes! Eventually, suitable background music was selected. Not sure what it was but I seem to recall thinking it was Sade without Sade. Bear in mind that several glasses of wine had been consumed before we sat down to eat so everything was a bit vague. One of the pleasures of staying in a catered ski chalet is that it comes with staff. A bloke to drive you to the ski lifts who coincidentally was the sports massage therapist and K taping specialist, someone to tidy up after you and assist with serving of wine, beer and food and a chef who prepared breakfast and an evening meal. Our chef, Dane, is from that world renowned centre of culinary excellence – Sunderland. So in amongst the ‘Whey aye man’ and ‘Canny like’ coming from the kitchen area, (Yes I know that’s Geordie, but it’s close enough) Dane cooked up a veritable delight of food for us. Every evening we all ended up completely stuffed and with a fine selection of wines, slightly inebriated as well. On his day off, we made a reservation at one of the many restaurants in the area, Le Cèpe, and had a meal there. Le Cèpe specialises in, but not exclusively, meals with cèpes or porcini mushrooms that they forage for locally. I had a really rather nice scollop risotto with a substantial amount of assorted mushrooms. The rest of the tribe had a variety of mains, some with mushrooms and some without which is fortunate as both CJ and Greg don’t like them. Highlight of the meal however was not the dessert that CJ ordered. Unknown to us, the restaurants chef would appear to be heavily influenced by that Blumenthal bloke and she ended up with a nice dollop of mushroom ice cream! Not well received! I like mushrooms and I thought it was gross. Despite that, we had a very nice if expensive meal. It has to be said though that we all much prefer the grub back at the chalet.

The point of this holiday though is not so much about the food and drink although that does play a part, but in Ed, Greg and CJ disappearing each morning just after 9am when the lifts open, going up whichever mountain or area they have decided on, spend several hours skiing a variety of runs until they stop for a lunch time meal and drink at one of several mountain top bars and restaurants and then spend another few hours skiing down even more mountains before returning to the chalet just before dark and jumping in the hot tub before dinner. After eating we will continue with our leisure activities that I hope leads to a dramatic improvement in my ability to play Uno and maybe even winning a hand or two. Would help if the rules didn’t keep changing

PIL and I have spent our time doing stuff that is difficult to do in the course of our normal day to day activities. I have accomplished a lot towards my personal objectives for the next few years and the fruit of that labour will appear to the world very soon now. Just a couple of things to finish off which I will have completed this week. We have both had the opportunity to recharge our batteries  and to spend time with our three children laughing, playing, arguing and squabbling. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day.

There now follows a shed load of photographs and short movie clips. I hope you enjoy them.


Have a lovely day wherever you may be.

More Dick soon.


Skiing. Meribel 2019/20.

Happy New Year. I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

A short video clip. More to follow some time soon once we’ve sorted all the photos and video clips that Ed, Greg and CJ have on their phones.


Have a lovely day wherever you may be.

More Dick soon.


Oh Crap! We’re Going Skiing Again.

Oh yes! We are off skiing. We are going to Meribel again, part of the Three Valleys (Les Trois Vallées) ski area in the French Alps.

Meribel is the quintessential French ski village. Filled with honey hued log cabins and chalets, hotels, shops selling skis and all the paraphanelia that goes with skiing – the clothes, the hats, the boots and gloves. There are also several Pharmacies selling knee braces, bandages, muscle soothing unctions and pain killers for when you bust yourself up. (I am a frequent visitor to the Pharmacies and have several loyalty cards).

There are bars and restaurants in every road where you can eat the most superb food along with a huge selection of first class wines and beers.

We will be staying in a catered chalet again and if last year is anything to go by, it will be fantastic. Whether there will be a hot tub outside we will discover when we get there.

Ed, Greg and CJ will undoubtedly spend most of each day on the slopes. There are plenty of them. Meribel boasts a total of 76 runs comprising 8 Green; 36 Blue; 23 Red and 9 Black and with 50+ lifts getting up the mountains is easy as is access to the rest of the Three Valleys with over 300 runs covering over 600 kilometres. The scenery, as you would expect is truly magnificent and riding the lifts you are struck by the vistas and also the silence.


About to hit the slopes

Post lunch

PIL, who does not ski and has no interest in it, will spend her time drinking coffee, looking cool and vivacious and probably spend time doing whatever she does on her laptop (looking at French Chateaus is odds on favourite). This year I may well give skiing a miss. I have stuff to do on my laptop that will enable me to start a new venture in 2020 and pursue a couple of interests that I have. More on that soon. It must also be said that when it comes to skiing, I am rubbish.

I belong to an elite group of skiers that receive top class coaching teaching us every aspect of skiing right down to how to put your boots on properly. You get taught how to get on the lift and get off again, start off down the slope, how to turn and most importantly, how to stop. Yet despite all of this expert instruction, we remain utter crap. If there was a league table of the the worst skiers I may not top it but I’d definitely be in with a chance for a Champions League place! I am so bad that I don’t even fall over with any style. The GIFs aren’t of me but they do demonstrate how bloody awful I am:

Day 1

Day 3

Day 5

Day 7

Even a 2 year old crashes with more panache than I do:

Even a two year old crashes with far more style than me

Now I’ve never seen my kids crash while skiing. This is mainly due to only being skilled enough to manage the nursery slopes while they spend most of their time up on the Red and Black slopes. I’m sure though that when they do crash it’s epic:

An epic fail by a proper skier. The way it should be done.

I may just sort a day pass for the slopes and hire skis and the other kit and spend a morning out on the gentle slopes but I’ll make that decision when we’re there. More importantly, I will have time to devote some serious concentration on stuff I want to start next year. Time is something I don’t normally have much of due to work and other commitments so I need to make the most of it. Although Ed, Greg and CJ will be spending most of the daylight hours on the slopes, for PIL and I it will be an opportunity to spend quality time with the three of them, to sit together eating and drinking in the evening, playing cards, Scrabble and squabbling. Can’t wait.

I’ll let you know how it all goes once we get back.

In the meantime, have a great day wherever you may be.

More Dick soon.