As the coach weaves us out of Val d’Isère I suffer a pang and tears threaten. I don’t think it has anything to do with my aching legs or the grey clouds that have appeared – as if to mark the occasion. No, this strange homesick feeling is more about the end of a beginning. For this was not just a holiday, not merely a week of hanging out with the family, away from the chores of laundry, the routines of school, and the demands of work. This was a first in my children’s lives – a whole raft of incredible firsts, and it was my privilege to be there for such discoveries.