my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations

New year, new ski season

1 Comment


I never tire of this view of the majestic Dents du Midi – now covered in masses of snow


We have always spent Christmas and New year in Champery since my mother died in 2009. There seemed no need to remain in England after that; and even less so after Louise died in 2011. The three of us come here and try and avoid the madness that overtakes even rational people at Christmas time. The only presents I give are to Ross and Tommy; friends may receive small tokens from our travels, Christmas biscuits from the Basel market or home-made chutneys, if I’ve made any!

2017-12-22 14.41.58

Ross & Tommy enjoy great conditions and lovely light

This year we are lucky in that there has been a huge snowfall and our first few days on the slopes are bathed in sunshine and fresh, good snow. It is also a big moment for me as it’s the first time back on skis with my new hip, less than five months old, and I need to see how my poor calf-less sarcoma leg will support my titanium wonder.

2017-12-22 11.14.47

Here we are, day one!

On Christmas eve we are thrilled to be invited to our Chilean/Scottish cousins for an evening of seafood, empanadas and champagne; this is their annual tradition. On Christmas day we always have lunch in La Cremaillere in Goat Village, Montriond, with old London friends who have a place in Les Gets. The boys exchange silly gifts; Tommy is especially pleased with his map-of-the-region boxers, with the town of Abondance strategically placed over the crotch.

The good news is that I can ski again, when the conditions are kind. I have difficulties when the piste is rock hard (sarcoma leg doesn’t edge so I slide everywhere), or in poor conditions (I get vertigo), or when the slopes are busy (terrified of being run over by other skiers), so when the weather changes after Christmas I sit at home and read my Christmas books!

However, the news is not all good as my sarcoma ankle and ‘calf’ are very sore and crampy after a couple of days. It’s depressing when the body begins to fail you!


The Dents with the New Years Eve supermoon

For New Year we have a grand sit-down for 22; everyone brings a dish. I make a beef Wellington with beef provided by our Les Gets friends (thank you Jane & Trevor).

The bad weather sets in, storm Eleanor from England sweeps in here in early January with such a force of torrential rain and flooding so severe that it makes the Swiss national news. Mud and slurry engulf houses, trees and boulders are swept down the mountains through the village. Order is restored pretty quickly though – this is Switzerland! (Thank you Tim for the photos)

But the excellent base for the season is largely destroyed – the slopes are covered in striations bearing witness to the downpour; there are big slides; the piste is hard as hell and I give up after one morning of slipping all over the place, even though the sun is shining. A good lunch with old friends is just reward for my perseverance.



Meeting up with Martin and Caroline de la Bedoyere from Heinemann days!

So here I am writing this on a sunny day when I should be up there, but common sense is winning out. I will limit my activities to lunch at the top of the cable car with Ross once he has done his Sunday exercise – climbing up the mountains on skins. Definitely not for me…20180106_105530 Happy New Year!


Pickle in Christmas mode…grumpy as ever!





Author: vickyunwin

I am a writer and traveller. Our darling daughter Louise died on 2 March 2011, aged 21 ( and I started writing as therapy. We never know how long we have on this earth, so I live for every November 2013 I was diagnosed and operated on for a malignant soft tissue sarcoma in the calf, followed by 6.5 weeks of radiotherapy, so am embarking on a different kind of journey which you can follow here. I also have another site with my blueprint for health and well-being.

One thought on “New year, new ski season

  1. We used to spend Christmas skiing, but after a couple of years with dire conditions we decided to wait until the snow improved. This year it’s been amazing (Sod’s Law!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s