|Exploring a national park on skis|
Let me sum up the fortnight before we went.
1. First, the Doctor and I came down with awful colds. Well, possibly worse than a cold -- I was unable to do much for about three whole days, except blow my nose, take paracetamol and sweat profusely. I haven't felt so rough in years, and there WAS swine flu doing the rounds of the local schools, so I think that may have been it....
2. We had a terrible night during which we were both extremely hot and sweaty. During the course of said night, the Doctor managed to scratch an insect bite (I know - in March, in England?) and somehow infect it. Within two days, his entire leg was red and swollen around a horrible pussy mess. I drove him to A&E, who diagnosed an abscess and put him on intravenous antibiotics (luckily he didn't have to stay in).
3. The leg did not clear up quickly - it got worse, and he ended up having to have it drained. He had to have an MRI to check it hadn't penetrated the bone (luckily, not) and missed an entire week of work -- something I've never known him do, even when he had Lyme disease a few years ago. One doctor told him ominously that there was no way he would be able to ski - this was about a week before we were due to leave. Two days later, although it wasn't much better, another doctor thought ski-ing would be fine. However, this guy, naturally, was himself a keen skier, so we had to take that with a pinch of salt. I was left facing the possibility that I would have to drive all the way to the Alps myself, and ski with the boys on my own for two weeks - or, that we would have to cancel.
4. We decided to go anyway, and thought we would only ski for a week, then maybe to to Paris. Things were looking slightly more positive. Then, the day before we left, I was just getting the boys ready for school when, standing in our kitchen, I felt a drip on my head. There was water dripping through our ceiling from the floor above!
5. The Doctor managed to isolate the leak, but that meant we had no water in our bathroom - and the plumber couldn't come before we left for France.
6. Around the same time, we decided that one of our front car tyres was looking decidedly dodgy. On the morning we left, The Doctor took it to the garage to get it checked. Lucky he did, because apparently both front tyres had completely had it. Not ideal before a thousand-mile drive.
At this point, I was actually thinking it would be a miracle if we ever made it to France and we might as well abandon the whole trip.
However, we didn't. And, when we finally made it, it was a wonderful break, one of the best ski holidays we've had as a family. The snow was excellent, the weather beautiful. The Doctor found he WAS able to ski, despite the still oozing leg. The boys improved immeasurably, and were soon outpacing me. They could follow us everywhere, which meant we were able to make trips to other resorts en famille. One day we met friends, another we explored a national park on skis. We ate and drank far too well.
After 10 days skiing (which was plenty for everyone), we spent a couple of nights in Avignon, Provence (I'll write about that one separately.) Then we came home via a night in Champagne. Everything went smoothly - even passing through Eurotunnel on a busy weekend.
Who can say if the hellish fortnight preceeding the holiday made the fortnight away even better by way of relief. But, anyway, thank goodness for getting away.