Fond memories of getting battered and bruised on the ski slopes...

Geoffrey Shryhane recalls a press trip that left him cold but in a good way!
Geoffrey Shryhane recalls a press trip that left him cold but in a good way!

Our top columnist Geoffrey Shryhane looks back at a time of excitement and adventure in glorious surroundings.

It’s a long time ago that a holiday company invited me to spend a week learning to ski in the top resort of northern Italy in the shadow of Mt Blanc.

It was, to say the least, a great experience. And no, after seven days, I still couldn’t get my legs round the most elementary ski run (reserved for children). But I could have written an extensive pamphlet on how to get one little body so cruelly extensively bruised.

I was black and blue – but have never regretted the one-off experience. It seemed to me that sitting at the cafes on the mountain was akin to being in what some of us think of heaven’s waiting room. Unforgettably glorious.

Enough of that. Last week I found myself in another “ski resort.” Alas no deep blue skies or beautiful mountains. Time to admit I was at a pre-Christmas press conference at the Chill Factore (correct) next door to the Trafford Centre near Manchester.

The Lowry was launching its festive show Grinch which, in a nutshell, is a zany character who quite literally stole Christmas.

Anyway, let me ask if you’ve ever been to this artificial ski resort. In a word it’s “mesmerising”,

Outside, the sun was doing its autumnal best but through a big door onto the slopes, it was five degrees belong freezing.

From one of the many viewing areas, it was amazing to see experienced skiers whizzing down and others falling all over the place.

There was only one thing to do – buy a hot chocolate and watch the action. A good idea, but without thick clothing, it wasn’t possible to stay for more than five or six minutes. Still it was a wonderful experience, taking me back to the magic days in Italy all those years ago.