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Action man just piste off

It seems wrong to bemoan a week's holiday, but February half-term somehow lacks the sense of occasion and favourable weather of its counterparts.

There is, however, a pleasant alternative to overdue DIY and lists of chores. If you want adventure, and if you can find some snow, a skiing trip is the obvious way to turn winter into something fun.

Lovely scenery, cheese fondue and just a little vin chaud - old friends that I can hang out with once a year. The downside is that I have to share these mountain treats with millions of other half-term skiers.

Suddenly the Alps feel a bit like morning break in the junior school playground. I'm half expecting a deflated football to thwack me on the chin.

With skis dangling 30ft from the ground, my ski sister and I start chatting to the chap sharing the chairlift with us. He is Rob from Bristol. On holiday? Kind of - he has been here since December, just skiing and having fun.

Only works in the summer. What kind of job allows him to do that? Runs his own outdoor pursuits centre - good money.

Sister and I glance at each other - this man could provide us with entire ski seasons, never mind one week of half-term crowds. Our very own action man.

And then he tells us his background is in teaching. "So is mine!" I shriek, in the hopes he will be charmed by our shared interest. Perhaps he would like to chat education.

Maybe I could tell him all about behaviour management while he guides us down some red runs. "Sorry girls, I only ski off-piste" and in a flurry of carved snow he vanishes, leaving us to bungle our way down a blue run. Ah well, what's a skiing lifestyle when you have got Sats?

Louisa Leaman is a London teacher

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