A few years ago we managed to go skiing for a few days - or rather we went to a ski resort, spent a shed load of money on equipment and the like and then faffed about trying to pretend we could ski/snowboard. In all honesty the skiing side of the holiday was not great but I loved the holiday in itself - the resort was perfect, we had great weather and it was lovely being able to get away with the children (it doesn't happen often - but that's another story). I remember us all feeling so knackered at the end of the day (which seemed to be around 4.30) but at the same time we all felt the benefit of having been so active. Leo is not a particulalry active chile when we are at home - he enjoys his room, reading, listening to music, doing stuff with his computer, Ipod etc and if it weren't for all the major activity he gets with the Scouts it would be worrying. When we were in Switzerland he really did not enjoy the snowboarding bit - he hates being too hot and, as you can see from the first two photos he is the only one on the mountains in a cotton t-shirt - he had just had a massive hissy fit (which still makes me laugh when I think about it - he went ape - a real stamping his feet, thrashing around sort of tantrum trying desparately to strip off his ski suit (which he did) - and he was 9 - not a little 3 year old who knew no better. I think this idea of over heating on a mountain in Switzerland in Decemeber has stayed with him - his Dad tried to persuade him to go skiing with them last winter and he refused outright - he is a very giving, generous child but there is no way he was going back up a mountain to 'ski' for anyone.
But on that holiday he found one of his favourite activities - he loves ice-skating - he had tried it the year before (in Bromley of all places) and at last had found an activity where he was way better than Thomas - it doesn't happen often, Thomas is a brilliant student, an all-round sportsman and generally a top kid - but he can't skate to say his life - and over the years we have watched as Leo has carved out his own niche areas -areas where he shines - acting, music, the kid at school that absolutely everybody knows and generally being an incredibly easy going, generous spirited person, he has his place - but the first time we really saw his joy at doing something Thomas couldn't, was here on the ice rink in Anzere - he loved it - it was the thing he wanted to do everyday and coming back down the mountain he couldn't wait to get over to the rink and start skating - I love these photos, (there is a video too but I thouhght that would be overkill) - I love seeing how young he still looked, I love the enjoyment and concentration on his face - and it makes me want to go back there all over again.