Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thrifty Skiing

I don't want you to think that I've discovered a way to go on a genuinely cheap skiing holiday - those have never been within our budget! This is more an observation on how skiing is a genuinely egalitarian, and often fairly thrifty, sport if you happen to have the joy of living near to mountains like this: We live 90 minutes + from the ski stations of the Pyrenees, and suddenly a holiday we would never have dreamed of becomes an affordable daytrip. We're not the only people who treat it like that, and you can tell...
...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.
j
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!

16 comments:

Michela said...

Hi Floss! Lots of people do daytrip to our ski stations here, as they are very closer..but Italians could be very racist if you don't wear expensive ski stuff..
Hope your health will improve soon, take care!

Angela said...

I wholeheartedly approve of your thrift - but personally the idea of going downhill at speed in the snow appeals to me not one little bit! I am sure I would slip and break an ankle on the first slope!
blessings - hope you are ALL fit and well soon x

TheMadHouse said...

I would love to indtroduce the mini mads to skiing, but it is way out of our budget too. One day maybe. I hope you feel better soon

Serenata said...

I went skiing a few times in my late teens/early twenties in NZ - certainly didn't hae all the 'posh' gear that people seem to have nowadays!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I have never been skiing and don't want to go. I am to chicken! :)

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Me again. Thanks for stopping by. The plants were only in that one small section. Not enough light in the rest of the store.

Andi's English Attic said...

I went skiing once, back in the 80's. I'm afraid I just assumed that what I wore then was still being worn today. Silly me for not realising fashion would affect the slopes just as much as everything else. xx

Elizabethd said...

Only ski ed once in Switzerland, and once was enough!
Hope so much that you are feeling better and the virus will soon be gone.

BusyLizzie said...

Hi Floss. I love skiing, so was very jealous to hear how you can go for a day! I have a 2nd hand ski outfit I bought at a Somerset Boot sale almost 10 years ago, but did splash out to buy my own boots (new) as the ones you hire are disgusting! Lizzie x

Juanita Tortilla said...

Hmm. It's a shame that I dislike the idea of skiing. With a passion. And I am living quite in the "heart" of a skiier's paradise, am I not. Hmm.
It is such an expensive hobby, and a cumbersome one as well. Hope you and Son 2 had a good time staying warm at home.

sew obsessed said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying Hi, so pleased you did as now I've found your blog. I'm off to have a wander round your site, with a cup of tea what a lovely way to spend my Monday morning!
Jenny

Lululiz said...

Hurling yourself down a steep hill at god knows how many miles an hour is not my idea of fun. Langlaufen, hmm, I would probably give that a go, seems a lot less dangerous and could be fun.
I am really thrilled that the repair on the ski boot has done the trick. It did look really good when you showed us the photo a while ago.

Catherine said...

my hubby would be so jealous of this! He loves skiing. I tried it last summer in Glasgow (!), "enjoyed" it but wouldn't really rush to do it again! Cx

Josie-Mary said...

I've never been skiing before, I don't I'd be any good as I have no balance!
How lucky to live so close :) x

Rebecca S. said...

I love your post on skiing as the egalitarian sport of locals. We also love to ski - mainly cross-country (nordic) and find lots of people wearing old clothing and older skis and bindings - in fact, it is hard to find second-hand nordic equipment because people hold onto it for ever.
My friend's son is a hard-core snowboarder and his new clothing looks like 80's clothing!

Olga said...

You are sooo lucky with this..! Am planning a ski trip at the moment - it's too much fuss, far away and quite expensive...
Love the outfits - I'm so much into the 80s these days!