The Weekend Coffee Share – or Vin Chaud if you prefer

If we were having coffee it would be small and European (annoyingly so), or you could have a Vin Chaud to warm you to your toes.  It’s been a cold morning traversing the slopes, and a little warmth is required although for some crazy reason we are sat outside drinking it!  The power of the sun is a welcome sight forthose of us emerging from a Scottish winter, pouring over the majestic Frenchand Swiss alps.  The little mountainrestaurant has found the perfect spot away from the wind chill and I take adeep breath, it’s a Monday and it’s not a workday!

The last two days the resort has been on lock down due to wind and snow, so it’s with great relief that we are now able to enjoy ourselves, move away from the lower crowded tree lined slopes and up to the peaks with the fantastic views.

We are staying just off the French village of Avoriaz, part of the Porte de Soleil, a vast network of interconnected ski resorts and we’ve been in and out of Switzerland already today.  Early birds catching the first of the fresh snow and the best day to do the Swiss Wall without concern of breaking something!  At certain points it has a 90% incline, so it’s steep and daunting in equal measure.

The Swiss Wall

The boys are happy with a hot chocolate and frothy cream topping.  Another year older, and stronger we are covering more distance and the reluctance to go over the edge typically rests with me now.  Although I’ve brought them to the wall with no knowledge of my plan, we go over and down like it’s the most natural thing to do in the world.  Out the four of us it was me that was last down….age and the feelings of being the weaker skier start to creep in.  Feels like only yesterday I had these boys between my legs when anything got too tricky, now it’s them who support me with yelps and the odd grunt from the eldest.

I’m writing this at Geneva airport a moment of pause after luggage drop off and boarding, an early start of 4am to get from the mountains to the airport….I’m sat having a coffee in an effort to bring some element of stability to my system and dreaming of being back at the start of the week again.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Coffee and Blue Sky for the Soul

If we were having coffee it would be in the airport lounge, we’d be drinking out of need a shot of some caffeine to aid with the shock to the system of being up so early (A 3am start).  The coffee is rubbish (I’m sorry), it’s what’s on offer and I leave it half way through. Like wine life is too short to drink bad coffee!

It’s ski holiday time, our chosen resort this year is Val Thorens in the French alps, the highest ski resort in Europe.

We’ve not been skiing for two years, the boys are excited and armed with their new Pokémon games that I managed to get them to pay for themselves alongside getting them to wait for the next big journey since its release in November!

I’m excited but apprehensive I hate the airport piece, the stripping down of oneself to walk through an X-ray machine that you hope doesn’t go beep. This time my boots and belt had to come off. If I could persuade my wife to go by train all the way I would…although deep down I know this is the fastest route.

Val Thorens is a purpose built ski resort that’s grown and evolved since the 60’s, part of the Les Trois Vallées. We picked it because of the number of runs, the height, the glacier and the prospect of guaranteed snow. This can have its downside though. We’d been before, 10 years ago and it was brutal…6 days of solid snow!

This time though we arrived to winds and blue sky, chilling to the core, this time though we had our two boys with us and the adventure was out there. Our youngest typically up first, dressed and ready with all the gear. If he could skip breakfast I’m sure he would.

We know many families who put their children into ski school, for us though it’s time to bond as a unit. A break from the norm, no jobs and nothing but snow to occupy our minds. Skiing with children brings another dimension to a father though. One of safety, one of caution at the same time one of letting go. The giving of freedom, speed and the learning of a skill.   My heart is in my mouth as the youngest weaves in and out of the poles, taking jumps without fear. It’s amazing to watch.

For those who don’t Ski, it’s a strange thing to fathom. The strapping of planks to ones feet, pointing them down a hill for enjoyment. I myself whilst sat on a chairlift reflected on the number of ants partaking in this past time and wondered what it is that drives this sport.

For me it’s the colour of the sky against the contrast of the snow. The spectacle and majesty of the land before us, covered in a blanket of white. The fresh air and a feeling of high speed freedom as you forget about everything back home. The worries and the pressure of everyday life don’t exist as you shift the weight from one leg to the other concentrating on the hill, the trees, the ground and become one flowing movement.

We’ve returned in one piece, our muscles a little tired. We’ve had six solid days of fresh air and blue sky. My mind renewed for the next chapter.

With thanks to the part time monster, the weekend coffee share used to be hosted by the Part Time Monster Blog, it’s now moved and hosted by NerdInTheBrain.  Thanks to both as they inspire me to write.