After I’d said yes and managed to regain some composure, we started to make our way down the mountain. All of a loved up dither, I seemed to lose all capacity to ski. As well as feeling hugely distracted by the brilliance of the surprise, I was also challenged by the hazy visibility so I regressed to going at snail’s pace and resorted to my snow plough. Whenever The Husband To Be turned around to check I’d not broken myself, I’d switch to parallel turns, pick up the pace and try to look cool so that he didn’t think he’d just proposed to a complete idiot.
We gently made our way down to Arc 1950, a picturesque little village which you can ski through en route down the mountain. It was from here that we made our first excited phone calls to share the news with the family. The potential for cheese overload here is too much to risk, so suffice to say that it was completely perfect and I hope I never forget it. We took a few lush photos, sent a few texts and then got the piste map out to decide on our route back to Arc 1800 (the resort we were staying in).
On the way back, I continued to neglect my ski technique and let my mind fill with all the wedding ideas I’d tried to supress since we’d been together for about six months. All of a sudden it was legit to peruse wedding blogs – no more would I have to minimise the internet browser window if in danger of getting caught in the act! Not only that, but now the bookmarked page I had of a ring I quite liked didn’t have to be secret, I’d been granted permission to practise the signature I’d use as a mrs AND I’d have an actual excuse for ripping pictures out of friends’ wedding magazines! Hold on – I could buy my own! I could make a scrapbook! I nearly crashed a number of times.
Fortunately, we managed to make it back without any injuries from lack of concentration. On our return to the apartment, we flung open the front door and asked our friends if they fancied coming to a wedding. After a few confused glances, the penny dropped and the waterworks started. We flashed the plastic (he proposed with a temporary fashion ring) and told the story and it was really exciting. After a bit, The Husband To Be got in the shower. I remembered that we could show the guys our photos from the morning and was looking forward to sharing the picture of us sitting on the snow just after he’d proposed in particular. So I fished around in my salopette pockets to locate the camera. But it wasn't there.
I immediately assumed we’d put it in the backpack instead so I didn’t panic. After a quick rummage through, I still couldn’t find it. No matter, it’d be in The Husband To Be’s ski jacket. Except that it wasn’t. Or maybe his ski pants? Nope. Merde. A wave of dread came upon me and a few frantic minutes of double checking each of these places ensued. It soon became apparent that in the excitement of the moment, we’d only gone and left the friggin camera, which had on it the most amazing photo of the most amazing day of the most amazing holiday ever, up the friggin mountain. There was only one thing to be done: someone was going to have to go back up to search for it.
The Husband To Be emerged from the shower smelling fresh and fragrant and completely oblivious to the bombshell I was about to drop. This was going to be the first test of our engagement. He knows I love my photos.
“I can’t find the camera anywhere.”
“No. I need it.”
The Husband To Be, who had already surpassed every expectation I had, pulled his sweaty snowboarding gear straight back on over his clean body. This was true love. He made his way back out into the snow where the visibility was getting worse by the minute. Like a hero, he ascended the mountain and boarded back down, retracing the route we’d taken and searched for the camera. He asked at the tourist information office in Arc 1950, he asked at the chair lift we’d taken after leaving Arc 1950 and stayed out looking for as long as he could whilst I kept my fingers crossed back at the apartment. No luck. It was gone.
I couldn’t help but feel completely gutted at first. But strangely, although I do absolutely LOVE my photos, in this case, for some reason, I wasn’t as distraught as I expected I might be. It was wrong to feel gutted about anything when the best ever thing had just happened. In fact, on reflection, I’ve decided that losing the camera was meant to be…