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To ski or not to ski? That is the question!

I will start by saying that skiing is definitely not for me.

I have tried each and every one of these different types of skiing and have failed miserably. I mean honestly why go to the top of a mountain and ski to the bottom? Or do cross country skiing? I did try water skiing which at least was warmer than any of the others and provided lots of laughter to all those lying on their sun beds on the beach!

The first time I went snow skiing my boyfriend at that time said we must go and that I could try it to see whether I liked it or not. I must mention that he was a brilliant skier and showing a beginner how to do it appealed to him.

After 30 frustrating minutes in the beginners class my boyfriend said he would hire me a ski instructor. I looked forward to having the fittest, tanned and tall instructor looking after me Oh no….a very small man turned up the next morning looking like a gnome.

We started by him teaching me how to stop. Always a useful thing to know. My stopping was a bit of a mess, as I failed to remember what I had been shown. Small children would whizz past, laughing at me.

The gnome was undaunted and after a few days he said I was ready to go up to a gentle sort of a slope. I should have run away then and there but the boots were too heavy. So off we set to find a ski lift. It was a bit of a strange one, you sat astride a rather large button, clung onto the pole and hey presto off you go. Not me – I started feeling wobbly and said to the gnome that I was going to fall off. He said that was impossible. It wasn’t and I did.

The gnome told me not to move, to say there while he came back. It seemed to take forever to get me down to the nearest bar – not the skiing one but the boozy one. After my second Brandy I thought that skiing might perhaps suit me if I tried a bit harder.

After the third lesson the Gnome quit saying that I was too tall for the sport, which is ridiculous. As he was about 3ft tall this didn’t endear me to him and spent the rest of the holiday up in the bar on the mountain sipping wine.

The second time I was asked to go skiing was with a gang of people who had hired a chalet. We all crammed into a cable car and went to the top of a mountain. Oh alright it wasn’t that high but enough for me to want to weep at the thought of descending and arriving with all limbs intact.

Actually all my limbs were intact but not my shoulder. A poor chap called Henry was told to look after me, and the luckless man did try. We got into a routine where he went ahead ready to catch me as I fell each time I attempted to turn. We decided on a picking up plan – he would ski first and wait for me as I crashed into the snow whereupon he would pick me up and we would continue until we got to the bottom of the slope. Unfortunately the first time

I managed to turn properly and promptly knocked Henry flying. Only this time it was not funny because I tore all the ligaments in one shoulder. It was quite painful but at least it let me off trying such a ridiculous sport.

So on to more skiing – this time in St Lucia. My daughter took to water skiing immediately and was such a whizz that she ended up mono skiing (both legs on one ski in case you didn’t know).

I was happy enough lying back on the sand basking in the sunshine. On the second day of her constant pleading I decided I would try – after all most people seemed to be doing extremely well. So it couldn’t be that difficult, could it? Wrong.

I fell off the water skis frontwards, backwards and sideways. I nearly swatted my daughter who kept shouting “come on Mum” which drew even more attention to my feeble efforts.

As a last resort I hired a huge chap who held me from behind while the speedboat started. Once he deemed the boat was going at the right speed he let me go.

Yup, once again I was falling every which way while my bikini tried its best to make me ski naked. Trying to hold up a bikini top while negotiating the waves most certainly made it a lot harder and just added to the amusement for all and sundry.

Finally he realised that I was obviously not cut out for this particular sport. We parted amicably – him on to help the next hapless tourist and me straight to the bar. After a rum punch or two made me wish good luck to all your skiers out there.

Just don’t ask me to join you!

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Jane Buckle

My Grandfather was called Bertie Buckle. He was a journalist in Fleet Street then went to live in India and founded the Bombay Gazette. I am not certain this was true but that was what my father told me! I always wanted to be a journalist but ended up doing Public Relations and Advertising, both of which meant that I was writing Press Releases, brochures and articles about clients. I formed my own little business specialising in P.R and Advertising. Unfortunately my clients drifted away one by one. They thought young and enthusiastic girls were preferable to an old lady of 55! I then moved to France where I lived for six blissful years. I renovated and sold houses and finally I realised my dream and wrote for three magazines there. I even had my own column in one of them. On my return to England I pitched for freelance work with all sorts of magazines and papers. I did write some pieces but I was over the moon when Silversurfers accepted an article. I like to think Bertie would be proud of his granddaughter.

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