New Year’s is always a pretty weird time. What starts out in our lives as an incredibly exciting opportunity to see what our parents do when they stay up late (tear it up on the dance mat, as I found out one year), transforms gradually and inextricably into just another night.
This year, as often, we Cules went to France to ski in the new year.
I always find these trips good for the soul: whizzing down a mountain; vin chaud; board games - the recipe for relaxation.
However, the village we’ve frequented for the last 15 years or so has seen some, shall we say, changes over that time. The top of one of the mountains is now home to La Folie Douce, a mountaintop rave. It’s awful. You hear the pulsing beats of dreary house music as you climb closer to the top on the chair lift, and then, at the top it’s a mass of salopetted champagne slurping writhing bodies being egged on by a Frenchman in a top hat.
This in itself wouldn’t be so bad, if it kept to the top of the mountain. However, over the last few years it has crept down the mountainsides like a gaudy avalanche, and settled this year on the town square at midnight. Historically, we’ve always enjoyed seeing the new year in with the locals. This year, though, we were greeted by a square you literally could not move in, and a stage, and on that stage... A Frenchman in a top hat, hyping up the crowd to bad house music. We stayed long enough to see it turn midnight, and slumped home, defeated.
All of which made me appreciate that it’s actually not where you are, it truly is who you’re with. Despite the miserable-to-our-sensibilities setting, we still saw in the new year with people we love, and with Jool’s Holland’s Hootnanny. It couldn’t have been better.
Thank you for reading. We are excited to keep bringing you posts; the plan is they will arrive on the site every Monday.
May you have an excellent 2018.