You pick up the most extraordinary things if you keep your ears open. We were sitting in the lift, gazing desolately at the incredibly bare ground underneath, not long after we arrived. Little Lisa had evidently dropped a ski pole, and daddy was inching his way down a narrow rock-strewn ice streak to retrieve it. It was actually quite steep, and he seemed to realise that him managing to get back up would be a Herculean task indeed. Incredulously, he seemed to think that sending little Lisa, 7, down the neighbouring icy streak would be a better idea:
- You can get down that, darling, and then we only need to scramble over those rocks to get back on the piste below.
Little Lisa tentatively, but bravely, tries to make one plucky snow plough down the 40-degree ice, and promptly falls on her front, proceeding to slide the length of the streak, head first, rapidly picking up speed, shrieking. Needless to say, daddy on the neighbouring streak is to far away to be anything but an apprehensive observer.
Hysterical wife, from the top:
- IAN DOOOOO SOMETHING!
Luckily, Lisa stands up, dusting herself down, unhurt at the bottom of the streak. By the time they started to try to get back on piste, we'd passed. Guess you had to be there, really.
Another day, in the lift queue, we were treated to the following exchange. Livid, middle-aged British woman:
- The stupid bloody woman, skiing right over my bloody skis, and then she just stood there, on my skis, and I just couldn't bloody move, and she didn't even apologise!
The young son, about 7:
- But what do you expect, mum, she was French.
Priceless. Indoctrinate them young to get the old traditional prejudices to stick.
A recent morning, Sarah critically examining her legs:
- I have a lot of scars on my legs from climbing, you know. I'll never make a model now.