Call it stupidity, madness or a desire to self-destruct but, notwithstanding degeneration in the knees, a rotar cuff impediment and, of course, that sprained ankle, I have been skiing. Moreover it was only a year ago that I finally disposed of my long loved but rather worn ski boots, after resolving that my skiing days were over.
Getting back to the top of a chairlift in the crisp mountain air is truly invigorating but moving down the slope at speed (even if I was bringing up the rear of our party) was absolutely exhilarating. Two turns and my nervousness had almost dissipated. Four days and my right knee was wobbling along in a brace, screaming with pain and asking to be rested.
Yes, Mister E and I can no longer ski for as long as we used to; we were far more particular about the weather we went out in and the slopes we skied down. Indeed to observe us on the slopes you could quite correctly say that we were going downhill in more ways than one. The great thing though is that whilst we spoilt ourselves with a few days in Zermatt, which for many years has been one of if not our favourite ski resort, we are now equally satisfied by destinations catering primarily for beginners and intermediates. In fact if I can keep this up until I am ninety, I shall no doubt be happy with a tractor tow in the back garden.
Hiring ski-boots was always an horrific experience as a beginner; the pain is sufficient to put many people off ever venturing onto the slopes again. Things haven't improved and if anything spoilt the trip it was the friction burns and blisters caused by a pair of ill-fitting boots on the first day. Common-sense tells me that if I am to return to the Alps every year then it must be on the basis that I first acquire a new pair of boots and this is where the dilemma sets in. My heart happily skips a beat as the thought of the adrenalin surge descending the piste. My head tells me that the risk of serious damage to my knees is high and that it is ridiculous to consider repeating the experience let alone buying my own boots to do so.
So which will win? Head or heart? I guess we'll have to wait until the 2016/17 season to decide that one.