I arrived in Toulouse to be greeted by a wonderfully cheerful Australian accent, it belonged to Miss Strickland, the Sauveterre Houseparent and she would be driving myself and Mr Lamb back to Sauveterre before setting off to the Spanish Pyrenees the following day. Also joining us at the airport was the very familiar and very excited face of Mr de Ressiguier. It was so lovely to see him again.
We arrived at the Chateau de Sauveterre to the welcome of many. The children were all so excited to see us, however mostly to see Mr de Ressigueir as his presence was a complete surprise to them all!
The following day I was given a tour of the Chateau in glorious 18 degree sunshine. What a fabulous place for our Year 7’s to spend a term. I was also taught the rules but sadly didn’t get to play, the infamous “Mr Woods”. After lunch we packed up the bus and set off to the Pyrenees.
Our week of skiing was amazing and I really do feel I speak for the vast majority when I say it was such an enjoyable and exhilarating week for all. Wide, open slopes, blue sky with no sign of any clouds, picturesque jet streams from various planes and the dark green trees made for a picture postcard surrounding.
It felt fairly quiet, almost like we had some of the slopes to ourselves, if not for the excitable whoops and cheers as one Sauveterrre Beanie group spotted another! On piste, in the fun parks, the snow parks, on chairlifts, button lifts, gondolas- you couldn’t miss us! Groups varied in ski level ability but often crossed paths during the day, a collective “super group” would be formed much to the delight of the children.
Evenings were spent perusing the local town, playing babyfoot (table football) and pool or chilling out in the hotel. We were spoilt for choice when it came to mealtimes, an entire giant middle station solely dedicated to delicious desserts- my kind of hotel!
Wednesday night was a highlight when the children and staff got to dance, jump and floss their energy away to the rocking sounds of “DJ Pujol”, a tutor at Sauveterre with many a hidden dance move talent!
I recall a conversation with a frustrated beginner skier at the start of the week, aching feet and legs, they wondered if they would ever enjoy skiing. Fast forward only 2 days and they were talking about who they could go on ski holidays with in the future. “Skiing is the best thing EVER” they said, “I can’t believe I don’t want to take these boots off now!” The sense of pride in having overcome the difficulty of learning a new skill bought about so many more advantages to such a wonderful week. New friendships have already been forged during the start of their Sauveterre term, but this week bought about so many more opportunities for collective excitement, entertainment, challenges, laughter, support, encouragement, praise and solidarity within the group.
A thoroughly enjoyable experience!
Miss Serbrock, House Mistress.