I will start by saying that skiing is definitely not for me. I have tried each and every one of these different types of skiing and have failed miserably. I mean honestly why go to the top of a mountain and ski to the bottom? Or do cross country skiing?
I did try water skiing which was at least was warmer than any of the others and provided lots of laughter to all those lying on their sunbeds on the beach!
The first time I went snow skiing my boyfriend at that time said we must go and that I could try it to see whether I liked it or not. I must mention that he was a brilliant skier and showing a beginner how to do it appealed to him.
At the resort I was duly taken to hire skis and boots. The boots felt as if weighed a ton and would suit Frankenstein beautifully. Not me- I could hardly walk in them.
The skis were in another department and much measuring was taken and we left the shop kitted out with boots, skis and poles. Actually not quite kitted out because I needed some ski outfits. We set off to the shops where the boyfriend picked out a suit which quite frankly made me look like the Michelin Man.
After 30 frustrating minutes in the beginners class my boyfriend said he would hire me a ski instructor. I looked forward to having the fittest, tanned and tall instructor looking after me Oh no….a very small man turned up the next morning. Goodbye Jacques and hello gnome.
We started by him teaching me how to stop. Always a useful thing to know. My stopping was a bit of a mess, as I failed to remember what I had been shown. Small children would whizz past, laughing at me.
The gnome was undaunted and after a few days he said I was ready to go up to a gentle sort of a slope. I should have run away then and there but the boots were too heavy.
So off we set to find a ski lift. It was a bit of a strange one, you sat astride a rather large button, clung onto the pole and hey presto off you go. Not me – I started feeling wobbly and said to the gnome that I was going to fall off. He said that was impossible. It wasn’t and I did.
The gnome told me not to move, to say there while he came back. It seemed to take forever to get me down to the nearest bar – not the skiing one, but the boozy one. After my second brandy I thought that skiing might perhaps suit me if I tried a bit harder.
After the third lesson the gnome quit saying that I was too tall for the sport, which is ridiculous.
As he was about 3ft tall this didn’t endear me to him and spent the rest of the holiday up in the bar on the mountain sipping wine and watching as other foolish people tried the sport.
The boyfriend was amazed I didn’t like skiing so I am sorry to say that after his attempts to make up for his foolish notions I gave him the boot – obviously not a ski one.
The second time I was asked to go skiing was with a gang of people who had hired a chalet. The evening we arrived was a very jolly one judging by the hangover I had the next day.
We all crammed into a cable car and went to the top of a mountain. Oh all right it wasn’t that high, but enough for me to want to weep at the thought of descending and arriving with all limbs intact.
Actually all my limbs were intact bar my shoulder. A poor chap called Rupert was told to look after me, and the luckless man did try. We got into a routine where he went ahead ready to catch me as I fell each time I attempted to turn.
We decided on a picking up plan – he would ski first and wait for me as I crashed into the snow whereupon he would pick me up and we would continue until we got to the bottom of the slope.
Unfortunately the first time I managed to turn properly I promptly knocked Rupert flying and I was floored again. Only this time it was not funny because I tore all the ligaments in one shoulder. It was quite painful, but at least it let me off trying such a ridiculous sport.
Then along came another boyfriend who loved of a different type of skiing. Cross country skiing to be exact. This is a completely different game and kit. I was measured and given the correct skis which had no fastenings and accompanied with two poles.
Trying to attempt this method of skiing made me so frustrated that the swear words I uttered would make a builder blush. Although there were no big slopes to navigate it was definitely on the list of things I was not going to try again.
So on to more skiing – this time in Barbados. My daughter took to water skiing immediately and was such a whizz that she ended up mono skiing (both legs on one ski in case you didn’t know).
I was happy enough lying back on the sand basking in the sunshine. On the second day of her constant pleading I decided I would try – after all most people seemed to be doing extremely well. So it couldn’t be that difficult, could it? Wrong.
I fell off the water skis frontwards, backwards and sideways. I nearly swatted my daughter who kept shouting “come on Mum” which drew even more attention to my feeble efforts.
I am sure that everyone watching would return home with stories about the strange antics of a middle aged woman trying to please her daughter. As a last resort I hired a huge chap who held me from behind while the speedboat started. Once he deemed the boat was going at the right speed he let me go.
Yup, once again I was falling every which way while my bikini tried its best to make me ski naked. Trying to hold up a bikini top while negotiating the waves most certainly made it a lot harder, and just added to the amusement for all and sundry.
Finally he too realised that I was obviously not cut out for this particular sport. We parted amicably – him on to help the next hapless tourist and me straight to the bar.
So happy skiing everyone, you can’t be any worse than me!
by Jane Buckle