Super Mario is propping Asterix up, and that’s Ali G (innit?), and he’s jollying Spongebob Ski Pants, Sully and Bungle along. Suddenly I ski in Val D’Isere.
Mais oui, ápres days are here again.
If it all feels a little surreal then it’s just because that’s how Val D’Isere’s party people roll.
And they have been waiting two long years to dance again on the ceiling, in the world’s highest cabaret, La Folie Douce.
Dancing on the ceiling
The season is drawing to a close in the French Alps when we visit in the spring.
But from the scenes at the 2400m high entertainment complex it looks like they have only just begun.
Super Mario certainly has as he whoops up the excitement among his pals.
Spongeboob Skipants, to be fair, needs the Ali gee-up.
Looking at his wobbly legs I’m surprised that he managed the ski down at all. It beat me!
But then I know my levels and rode the gondola.
Blue for you
My colour of choice on the slopes this week is a challenging blue run, equivalent to a red at most other resorts.
And my shade of vin a grande glass of blanc at lunch and a couple of orange Aperol Spritzes.
All to soak up the ink squid risotto and tiramisu at our Italian-themed al fresco restaurant La Cucùcina.
It wouldn’t do to topple over on my brick ski boots when boogying to the burlesque troupe on the balcony.
And I want to hold something back because I’ve got a feelin’ that tonight’s gonna be a good, good night.
Chalet La France
I might be needed too to help out with the cooking back at the new skiing style of accommodation, our Ski France Contactless Catered Chalet.
Born out of the appetite for social distancing during Covid the tour providers prep breakfast and your food for you.
To cook when you get back from the slopes.
Just Gîtes, if you will.
I let my party at Chalet Davos decide among themselves the rota for who gets to use the jacuzzi and sauna (moi) and who sets le dîner.
And there’s my social media to update (yes, keeping up with the kids) and excellent wifi like this isn’t always a given in the mountains.
Val D’Isere village is more relaxed and less rowdy than some resorts and, in truth, it doesn’t really liven up until later into the evening.
And that gives you plenty of time for a long, lazy dinner and slouch on the sofa in the lounge… or even take in a film in your own private cinema.
If you can drag yourself out then there are delicious dining and drinking options.
And your Contactless Chalet package factors in that you’ll want a night out on the town on one of your evenings.
We dined at the intimate Restaurant 1789 where the specialty is the fromage fondue.
And a little local knowledge here… don’t sit between the table and the wall because you’ll never get out after a trayful of that.
But now you can lift your legs again you’ll want to bust your moves where we’re on the same level, the La Baraque dance floor.
Back to school
Maybe even pop the champagne (you are in France after all) so go ahead, eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow you ski.. it off.
Now if you’ve been off the slopes for a couple of years because of Covid, or longer in my case since Soll with The Scary One.
Then you can always get a refresher course or enrol in a school.
And trust me, my personal instructor Jo helped me save face, and my face, by ensuring I stayed on my feet over two days on Val D’Isere’s slopes.
In fact, and no one was more surprised than me, I was never on my back once.
At least not on the snow, with Val D’Isere specialising in the sort of wacky New Age fashion you might have seen on reality TV, ice floating.
Take a dip
And so we were all marched right up to don Teletubby thermal suits before climbing into an ice pool.
Now bobbing in a fatsuit in a bracing hole in the snow with your new ski party is an ice breaker all right.
Although remember you’ve probably got another couple of days on the slopes or La Folie Douce to live down the new nickname you’ve earned yourself.
As ‘The Seal’ for your kack-handed efforts at getting out.
Winter sports fans looking to extend themselves might like to try out tobogganing (I still have the scars from other slopes) or moonbiking.
The last word
While my tour providers snuck in cross-country skiing and shooting for the morning.
I was leaving on my three-hour minibus lift for my air transfer from Geneva to Edinburgh.
Jo had obviously told them that she’d seen my ski stick work and I couldn’t be trusted with firearms.
Or indeed looking after anything in my possession, and she ensured that the sticks always followed the rest of me onto the gondola.
It wouldn’t do, you see, if a real skier was zig-zagging expertly down the mountain only to be clunked by a descending pole.
For us amateur skiers it’s all we can do to keep it together.
The helmet, hat, goggles, mask (for Covid then when not on the slopes but thankfully not now) and gloves.
Then there are the others who can somehow descend a mountain in a Super Mario or Ali G suit.
I console myself that I am still in one piece after two days skiing in Val D’Isere and I didn’t bungle it.
I unbuckle my boots, ready to boogie. I hear the music beckoning me on one last time.. it’s KT Tunstall.
Suddenly I ski.
At Christmas : £12,219 for 8 people, including the chalet, contactless catered meals and concierge service
And mid-March (18/3) : £9,298 for 8 people.
Mid December (11/12) : £12,999 for 10 people, including the chalet, contactless catered meals and concierge service
And at Easter : £18,998 10.
Jim flew Jet2 and EasyJet Edinburgh to Geneva round-trip.