- When it's cold and wet in London, it's 30 degrees and sunny in the French Alps.
- Even if your language skills are limited (like mine), it's always worth arming yourself with useful phrases such as "Gardez vos mains a vous-meme que mon mari est un policier", which (according to Babelfish) translates roughly as "Keep your hands as you-same that my husband is a police officer?"
- When climbing a mountain, always opt for the near vertical, muddy and slippery goat trail rather than the wide gravel path with the easy gradient and clear signage. It feels so much more rewarding when you get past the tree line and realise you're nowhere near the peak and, in fact, nowhere near where you were aiming for. Just remember, if it's good enough for the goats, it's good enough for you. And the views will be spectacular, no matter what part of the mountain you're on.
- Even when the sky is clear and sunny and there are no birds in sight, you can still get hit with bird shit. My baby-blue t-shirt is never going to be the same ...
- Sometimes life presents you with an impossible choice. For instance, what would you do if presented with the following options: (1) hiking for an hour and a half up a mountain in searing heat to join the frenzied masses at the top of the pass to cheer on a bunch of riders in intense physical pain, only managing to stay on their bikes because of the adrenaline surge they get from seeing you jumping up and down and shouting for them; or (2) reclining in the sun on your balcony drinking champagne and eating cheese while watching a stream of cyclists hurtle down the mountain and terror-inducing speed. It's a hard choice, but there's no wrong answer.
- There are few nicer places in the world than a chalet in the French Alps with a view looking out to the mountains and a fridge full of wine, beer, cheese and cold meat.
- Even after a weekend full of raclette, hard cheese, soft cheese, blue cheese and more cheese, there is always still room for a quattro fromages pizza by the banks of Lake Geneva.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Too much cheese is barely enough
This is just one of many life lessons I learned on what was an amazingly wonderful weekend away in France to celebrate Joyce's birthday. The other lessons I learned are as follows: