As I write this post it is already almost a week since M and I got back from our fabulous trip to Asia. This trip, as you know, came hot on the heels of a long planned family ski holiday and resulted in us spending most of February abroad although we managed to return just in time for the snowy British chaos that the beginning of March brought with it. The days and weeks have passed in a blur and I’m grateful to have some photographic evidence on which to anchor my memory! If you follow along on Facebook or Instagram you will have seen one or two posts along the way, but I actually made a conscious effort to disengage from technology a little and really enjoy every experience, but I hope perhaps you’ll enjoy a glimpse of my exciting month!

Having been rather less organised than my sister we missed the opportunity to book flights to Geneva at anything approaching a reasonable price, so we chose to drive down to the Alps over a couple of days. As a family, the four of us have spent many, many hours in the car on long journeys and we mostly enjoy our time together in this way (notwithstanding the arguments over stops for the loo!). We spent a night in both Reims in the Champagne region and the lovely Roman town of Nyon on the shore of Lake Geneva on our way down, enjoying the changing scenery along the way.

Nyon

Nyon Marina

We arrived in a fabulously snowy Châtel on the Saturday lunchtime where my sister and family joined us at the beautiful Chalet Aurore run by Nine & Tenne in which we stayed.

Alpine chalet in snow and blue skies

Photo credit www.nine-tenne.com

Alpine 'bluebird' day of blue skies and sunshine in February

A ‘Bluebird’ day in the Alps

Over the week we had a real variety of weather, but were blessed with excellent snow at the beginning of the week and several days of blue skies and sunshine. The genuine ‘bluebird’ days are few and far between but we were lucky and it truly elevates the pleasure of the skiing experience. Not having skied for several years the girls and I were relieved to discover that we were able to make our way down the slopes safely and happily if not always with great style! There are inevitably ‘moments’ on a family ski holiday though. Anxiety, discomfort, hunger and fatigue don’t always induce patience and kindness towards one another, but it’s getting through these moments and laughing afterwards that glues us together as a family isn’t it?

Teenage girls playing in the snow

Sisterly Love

We have skied in the Porte du Soleil before, but not in this particular area and I must say that I wouldn’t hesitate to return. Châtel has retained much of its traditional charm whilst offering a nice variety of restaurants, shops and non skiing activities.

Truly delicious saucisson

We did in fact have one day of rain and decided to have a go a snow shoeing, actually if I’m to be honest I have always wanted to try and pleaded with M and the girls to come with me! I think I may have enjoyed the actual snow shoeing more than the others, but the truly amazing cheese fondue we shared for lunch will go down in family history!

February in the snowy Alps

At the end of the week in which we were looked after so fabulously by the chalet staff we left feeling refreshed and invigorated by the fresh mountain air, reconnected with each other and ever so slightly full of cheese. A rather long drive back to Calais, 48 hours of catching up on laundry, a visit to the chickens and preparing the girls for our absence then saw M and I embarking upon the trip of a lifetime. But, given the length of this post already I think I will elaborate on this adventure in a separate blog next week.

It has been a noteworthy month and it seems disingenuous to admit that I have spent the last few days feeling rather deflated and questioning my worth. I genuinely take great pleasure in writing these posts and capturing the accompanying images, but I agonise over what to share and whether I shouldn’t be doing something more ‘important’ with my life. I feel guilt in sharing the details of our wonderful adventures, but I suspect this is in large part because I haven’t paid for them with an income of my own. I am striving to build a blog and business that will in due course enable me to do so, but for now have to content myself that good things come to those who wait.

My best friend and I share the feeling that our generation has based its worth so greatly on financial ‘success’ that to accept that our contribution to life in myriad other ways is valuable seems difficult to appreciate, but then perhaps it has felt this way to women over the centuries? As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th let us hope that the future sees us not only enjoying gender parity, but being able to accept that our achievements, modest as they may be, most definitely count.

If you’d like to keep in touch and hear more about life at the barn (and the next instalment of my travels)  you could add your details to my monthly mailing list – no spam I promise. x

 

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Alpine barn in misty snow