A walk

Recovering from an injury is a slow business when you live in the mountains. This is like giving up chocolate for Lent, only to be taken to Cadbury’s World as a treat. I make my daily excursion to the boulangerie, but today I decided to venture a little further afield and get some photos for Mom while I was at it.

So, here we go, a little wander round Les Houches.

At the foot of our driveway, a genuine pizza hut. I haven’t tried their offerings yet but it has smelled sensational every time I’ve gone past in the evening.

The boulangerie. Note how the warm orange glow in the windows beckons you in… if you could zoom in far enough, you would see not just perfectly crisp baguette but rows of delicate croissants, pain au chocolats, pain aux raisins, macarons, mignardises… it is an act of great discipline to go in every day and walk out only with bread.

Another boulangerie, along with your other necessities: la creperie, la fromagerie et la presse. Don’t you love the name of the creperie? (If it’s too small to read in the picture, that would be the creposaure)

A snowy river. Many summers ago, descending Mt Blanc, we got bored of walking downhill and decided to climb down a waterfall instead. I wonder if this was where we came out…

That was only my second time in the Chamonix valley and I didn’t know it very well back then. What I do remember very clearly from that day was how relieved we were to eventually find Les Houches train station, and how blissful it felt to spread out on the hot concrete of the platform, to dig out broken muesli bars from the bottom of our backpacks and vaguely plan our next adventure.

Downtown Les Houches. A world away from Tower Hamlets. I love the way that, wherever you go in this town, the peaks are always beckoning you.

A very bad photo of the town hall and church. The reason I took this was because of the tree (if you look closely, you will see that it is full of presents). One of my favourite things about living in a ski resort is that the Christmas decorations stay up until the spring. January and February were always the hardest months in London; the streets no longer sparkling with fairy lights but dreary with the damp, and the sight of the crocuses and daffodils seeming so far off. Here, these are two of the liveliest months of the year.

A sad note to finish on but, finally, some wooded slopes showing the effect of the warm winter.

Now, there are times when I feel glad and proud to be English. These times are predominantly spent in the Cotswolds; times like the Southrop Village Fete:

However, I must admit that walking round town today was not one of those times. If you see someone in a mountain town who can’t walk properly in their ski boots, or balance their skis effortlessly on the edge of their shoulder, or is moaning about how much their boots hurt, or is wearing too many or too few clothes (and if the latter, then griping about how cold it is), then you can be sure that they are English. I wonder how many years I will have to live here before I am no longer guilty of these things…

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