It snowed here last night,and this morning there is four centimeters of light snow on the last of the summer roses.
This is when we definitely know Autumn has gone and it is time for the thoughts of the Swiss in a certain age bracket to be centred on one thing, Winter Sport.
This love of snow starts at an early age. Babies who can barely sit in a push chair are parcelled on to a “Davoser”and to their usual delight pulled through the snow masses . Later they get to slide down the next hills on them .
Midday meals will be late or burnt at the weekend because Mum and Dad have to watch the televised ski races,at least until all the top placed Austrians are down.
Children will be given skis for Christmas with the idea if they can walk they can ski.
Newspapers will be full of pictures and articles on the Ski Stars, and answers to why our neighbours won again.
At weekends roads to the mountains will have traffic jams miles long,and in January the mass exodus will begin with the two week school sports holiday,which depending on where you live goes on till March.
Mountain sport is an expensive business,especially with growing children. Nothing fits from one season to another,and skis and boots have to be continually exchanged.
In large families the” hand-me-down ” principle works. Most areas organise Sport Banks where you can bring unwanted clothes and equipment and usually find bargains for the coming winter.
Schools organise Ski Camps in the mountains for children who can’t for some reason have winter holidays with their parents. There is hardly a Swiss child that cannot ski,or at least snow board.
In the south of England we hardly had snow in Winter,and if we did there was total chaos everywhere so I grew up with the idea it was just nice to have at Christmas.
Then I settled down in Switzerland.
My attitude to snow had to change, and I soon saw that you can’t beat them so you had better join them.
I will keep you posted on how I suffered .