This week's "What kind of idiot do you think I am? Oh, that kind" Award has got to go to the folks at a company that makes little transponders that are sewn into ski gear. It's called "Recco Avalanche Rescue System" and it is supposed to allow the rescue team to find you and dig you out more quickly using high tech gear. And I'm sure it works better than just poking around sadly in the snow with a long stick and hoping for the best.
Well, when you buy a ski jacket that contains one of these things, it comes with a big black tag hanging off it that helpfully informs you in no less than SEVEN different languages (including Japanese) that: "The Recco avalanche system does not prevent avalanches".
Doesn't act as a magical charm that prevents avalanches?! An outrage! I should take this fancy coat right back to the store! But then again, Valentine is highly unlikely to be wearing it to do hazardous off-piste skiing in avalanche-prone areas. I'm the first to admit that my kids come from a long line of complete non thrill seekers. My dull ways are well known to the readers of this blog. And JP's idea of daring is brushing his teeth for 2.5 minutes intead of the full three recommended by the American Dental Association.
So, no dangerous skiing for Val.
But it happens that these jackets are really in style among the teenagers here in France and it's the end of the annual January sales. All this in mind, I thought it wouldn't hurt to look around.
And there was a bit of guilt involved as well. I actually bought a lot of my kids' school clothes at the Emmaus thrift shop. But as there's only one in the region, sometimes I do worry that some kid at their school will recognise something that his family gave away. Don't get me wrong- I'm proud to be thrifty and planet-saving, but I know how awfully mean kids can be to each other.
So, I took Valentine on a big shopping expedition yesterday (five different places). Amazingly, we managed to find a gorgeous coat at a huge discount. Which was the only way she was ever going to get one, as these things cost 200 euros and up. Yes, that's euros, folks, not dollars!