Woke up early, you do that on ski holidays, they are not places to catch up on any winks lost in preceding times. It’s unlikely you will be in bed early or out of it again late. Today was to be particularly early as some of us had to collect not only our pass but go and be fitted for equipment at the hire shop, a place we broadly understood to be on the main high street somewhere on the way to the main cable car station.
For breakfast was an self service cereal counter – 3 types – with Apple juice. So I started with that, hungry or not it doesn’t do to head out unfed.
My room mate for this trip, the legitimately smoke averse Damon (Also a Barrister) had ski school & also needed to collect equipment in good time so was similarly maneuvering about selecting & collecting some items from this helpfully not so confusing & mindfully focused assortment of offerings.
A lady emerged from what I imagine to be a kitchen or kitchen style area.
Asking about drinks and offering a basket of four rolls along with a mini plate of cheese and cold meats.
Tea’s were duly ordered and in short order something greyish brown and mastering in insipid was returned, continental English tea – a predictable marvel.
It wasn’t a day for luxuriating and indulging but we took some time out to appreciate the assorted spreadable meats & poultry offerings scattered among the jams and butters. It’s the done thing when on foreign climbs, the humorous & moderately self important, scoffing at the apparent peculiarities of local ways.. Chicken pate – no thank you kindly.
We headed out in search of our designated equipment hire store and found it with the ease appropriate to a store on the main high street.
They had some weird app computer thing to replace the standard questions – self service weight, height, type of skiing all that.
I prodded at it for a time before it spat out the details on a receipt like piece of paper, not seen one of these before and I wasn’t convinced it had processed my demands correctly having done something different to what I’d seen it present Damon with. I went through it again, this time finding the missing steps and picked up my new receipt, it was really quite identical to the first one.
Still I took my new receipt and headed round the equipment human conveyor belt to step 1 – shoes .. No boots sorry – these are no shies these be Hateful awful things…very lucky with these last year, quite new and relatively comfy, these are not the finest selection – some may well have appeared as rocket boots in a number of early 90s movies & wore their age on their sleeves.
This was not a good boot selection in short and I was struggling for relatively tolerable levels of discomfort. Muttering at some point something about head – the brand of boots that had served me last year in a way better than many or even all before them.
It was more an untargeted wistful utterance than a conversational piece or demand… But there they emerged heads, the great great great grand uncle of last years offering, so when he returned again with a different size of these a heady mix of head based hopefulness and foot insertion fatigue / desperation saw the trail and error end there.. These boots would do – time for the skis..
Damon stood next to me, on his second ski trip was still battling through the cheap, the old and the painful, as I offered such sage wisdoms as does your heal feel overly mobile in that – well then you might want to try some other ones..
He’d had bad times with his boot experience on his previous and first time skiing – it had scarred him & remained a fresh memory, one he sought not to repeat – they can do that.. The boots – they have a way at times of making themselves known.