A Month To View

PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:02 20 February 2013

A Month To View

A Month To View

Not so much a diary this month from Judi Spiers, more a travelogue...

Not so much a diary this month from Judi Spiers, more a travelogue...

I have recently returned from a skiing trip to Verbier, one of the swishest Swiss resorts, staying with old friends who have just bought a home there. I shall do my best to avoid any on the piste gags because at Swiss prices that particular avenue of pleasure was well and truly shut, I can tell you!

After a blissfully easy flight from Exeter to Geneva, the train to Martigny, where we were being picked up, was a treat. Clean, efficient, on time, we werent penalised for not having bought a ticket prior to getting on the train and the conductor was tri-lingual!
My feeling of warmth and cuddliness towards the Swiss evaporated at lunch on the first day 15 for a bowl of soup! Ow much? Granted it had a whole goats cheese in it but to be honest at that price I expected the goat as well.


Reeling from the shock of lunch, husband and I went off to hire our equipment fully expecting to have to cancel our planned new kitchen in order to pay for it! Well, to be honest it was better value than the soup. The next morning we set off for the slopes, up a not inconsiderable hill, everyone else in their own personal boots, which they assured me were as comfortable as an old pair of slippers, whilst I looked like I was about to audition for the role of Herman Munster.
Puffing and panting in the thin mountain air, struggling to lift the surgical appliances on the end of my legs, my husband, in his own boots, smugly trotted out a remembered Ray Mears fact:"A pound in weight on the feet is the equivalent of five on the back!

If Id had any breath, rest assured Id have said a fair bit under it. Amazing isnt it?"Weve got stealth bombers, we can clone a sheep and replace a human face, but ski boots still weigh 5 kilos a pair (thats over 10lbs in old money, and heaven knows what in Swiss francs).
I didnt have much more luck with my skis. As everyone else tossed their carbonfibre beauties over their shoulders, looking like models in a Cond Naste advert, I struggled with an oak pair resembling Eric Sykes in The Plank reeling uncontrollably and totally spatially unaware. So much for looking the part.


We took in a local panto whilst there, put on by an impossibly beautiful bunch of Indias, Tristrams and Persephones who were either slumming it as chalet maids or here for the season with mummy and daddy. It was in the local cinema so not a lot of stage. I only realised what it was halfway through when seven of them came on on their knees singing Hey ho! Up until then I was waiting for the beanstalk to appear. Anyway it was very silly, very rude (with far too much audience participation) and the music a definite contender for Britains Got Talent. In other words, great fun due in no small part to the fact that you were allowed to take bottles of wine in.


I always like to bring something back from my holidays, and with the prices I thought I was going to have to make do with a miniature St Bernard complete with a barrel round his neck on a keyring... until I saw the second-hand shop! Get all ideas of Sue Ryder right out of your minds. A handbag in the window caught my eye and steeling myself to go in, I was greeted by Meryl Streep from The Devil Wears Prada! Dredging up the word for handbag from some long-ago French class, Meryl lifted it in gloved hands and told me the price. Made the soup look cheap 3,600 CHF (approximately 2,370!) If I hadnt had my ski boots on I would have fallen flat on my face. The St Bernard, Im told, is small but very realistic.


Good to be back home, even better when Id made my first vat of thick veg soup. If only I had made it in Verbier, I could have afforded the handbag!

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