...because instead of seeing skiers looking like this:
Ben and the boys frequently find themselves on the pistes with people still wearing their dad's '80s ski suit like this:
And why not? The thrifty French and Spanish on either side of the mountains can avoid the cost of hotels, chalets, and even (shock horror for the French) restaurents, by doing a daytrip to their nearest ski station, which is normally cheap as it will be lower down in the mountains and decidedly less classy than the ones visiting Brits will go to.A fair number of them will be wearing second or third hand ski stuff, although their skis are normally a bit more up to date. We can buy and sell secondhand skis and boots at our big sports store, Decathlon, in twice-yearly events - do you remember I mentioned our 'Trocathlon' shopping?
You can buy the real vintage skisuits in any local charity shop, and the autumm braderies have a whole selection of more modern secondhand stuff. Presumably a lot of it just stays in the family, though. And I'm not kidding that some of the thrifty French even forgo the normal cheese-based offerings in the restaurents, eating 'les sandwichs' in 'le parking'. It's truly egalitarian skiing, where anyone with a car and some spare time can join in. Love it.
Yesterday Ben and Son 2 (the only healthy members of the family) went skiing at le Mourtis, the nearest and cheapest ski station to Toulouse. They had a wonderful time, and even splashed out on a (cheesy) lunch, as they'd saved by not having Son 1 with them! Ben's 'Good Life' mend on his boots worked perfectly. As you will gather from what I'm saying, skiing is a male sport in our family. I take the photos - the stick figures on the second photo are Ben and Son 2 higher in the Pyrenees last year!