Back to now. In the feature 'We've only just begun', each of us write on the subject of 'new.' My piece is about me quitting my job in a London advertising agency to become a chalet girl. And how it was during those months in the mountains that I realised what I really wanted to do. I've said elsewhere on the pages of this blog that I owe a debt of gratitude to the high peaks of the Portes du Soleil, for that is where I gently found my way with words. I never tire of celebrating what those months meant to me. There, I wrote a little poetry, the kind that only ever stays between the pages of a notebook and is quite happy doing so, and I began to plan a novel. After six months of chalet work, the time I write about in ELLE, my boyfriend and I decided to go back for another winter. We rented a tiny one-room appartment, with a balcony that just had room for a table and chair. That was the notoriously mild winter of 06/07, where the lower ski slopes were streaked with mud and peppered with pebbles, and the days were long and sun-filled. As winter ebbed to spring and snowboarders turned their last tricks in the park, or rolled down off the mountain and into the town's bars, I sat on our balcony and wrote.
'A new view' is the title of my ELLE piece. And while I took that literally, decamping to a part of France where there were inspiring vistas at every turn, I do believe that we can change the view from our window at any moment. Watch the clouds clear. Spot a ray of light. For the mind is by far our nimblest mode of travel. We just need to work out where we want to go.