What has been brilliant about our first 5 days in Chatel is that, without any outside interference, we’ve been able to reflect on everything. And, after a season of no snow, they’ve had more snow over the past 5 days than the previous 5 weeks. As a result it’s been ski-walk-walk-walk-walk for us, with every walk being different and worth it. Today, from the back of the apartment, we climbed and climbed to Col de Saix, using snowshoe routes in snow deep enough to lose a bear. Thankfully the route had been used by people with the proper equipment (there were 4 couples heading up the path) so we only sunk in 30 cm, rather than a metre. But the weather was fab: really cold, but v sunny. Exhausted, we returned to the apartment for tea and medals.
I’m half-way through major edit two of The Innocence of Trust. By the time I’ve finished it will have been through 11 sets of eyes, six of them mine. The good news is that all my pals who have read it (all looking at different angles) have all loved it: a proper thriller. So I’m really excited by it, even if I have had my second (2/11) rejection. And a v nice rejection it was too. Still, I’m v positive about the whole thing. And FtF continues to sell in the US, as part of their ‘thriller January’, and also being lent as part of the Prime Lending programme. (I have to say I will be disappointed if Kindle Press come back and say they’re not interested in e-publishing TIOT.) So, again, all’s well there.
Finally, about reflection. Both our girls are getting married in the next 16 months and, God willing, they both intend to have kids. I guess, at that point, we’re going to need to be settled – or at least have a base – somewhere. So the grandkids can come and visit. Brexit notwithstanding, C and I have pretty much made up our minds that we’d like a chalet in the Alps. Nothing too big, but something house-sized – in a resort which has its own ski area, but not one of the big ones. Abondance down the valley here is perfect. It has a small ski area, and a bus to Chatel, and prices are about 75% cheaper than here. This valley is perfect for so many reasons: skiing, summer sports, 20 minute drive to Lake Geneva; an hours drive to the airport, and 10 hours to Calais.
And, let’s face it, wintering in the Alps and then touring/visiting the UK/pals for the rest of the year in Doris, sounds like a plan? Having said that, all four-seasons in the Alps are pretty wonderful (spring flowers, summer meadows …).
Between now and then (I reckon five years max) we need to do the west coast of South America in a 4×4 with a folding tent on top (3/4 months in 2018/9?), and I need to write another 4 books. Is it affordable? Well a decent sized 3 bed chalet in Abondance is cheaper than a 4 bed-detached property in Bristol. And we have one of those.
As is always the case, it’s about being reminded that you’re only on this planet once, and the man with the scythe has a habit of creeping up on you when you’re least expecting him. So, we’ve made ourselves a bit of a plan. Many would say we’ve done that before, but I’ve never felt so committed to something – a place, before. Remind me when we change our minds!