Tuesday, February 7 2012
When we get snow – or even just the threat of it – we somehow seem to go into panic mode. We stock up on enough milk and bread to see us through the next month and wonder when life will ever be the same again.
I’ve just come back from a week skiing and when it comes to snow, the French (or anyone who lives with the white stuff on the ground for about four months of the year) can definitely teach us a thing or two.
It’s a simple solution. They just shrug their shoulders and get on with it. If they can’t go anywhere, they stay in and crack open a bottle or two.
Take, for instance, the day we were all supposed to be going tobogganing. Not just any old tobogganing but down a 6km run.
We’d been gearing up for it all week, so you can imagine how disappointed we were when the snow arrived and just kept falling. Visibility was down to just a few metres and they cancelled the trip.
“No probleme!” declared the hotel staff. We had been promised tobogganing and that’s what we were going to get. They then spent the next half an hour gathering all the soft furnishings they could lay their hands on to build a giant cushion at the foot of the lobby stairs. They covered the stairs and cushions with a giant tarpaulin and then started shovelling snow from outside.
After much whacking down with a shovel, the run was complete and so we spent the next half an hour watching one person after another shoot down the staircase on a sledge.
Now, if I’m honest, it probably wasn’t the safest thing in the world to do (particularly for the man who tried to come down standing up) and I really wouldn’t recommend that you try it at home, but there were no broken bones, just a few dented egos and plenty of laughs.
So at the very least, I’ve got my own toboggan ready and I’ll be challenging the neighbours to a race down the nearby hill.