Its only 7 weeks before son & heir sets off on his big adventure, spending 10 weeks in Courcheval, training to be a Ski Instructor with New Generation Ski School on their GAP programme. It was time for some serious shopping. Lots of boot & ski reviews had been read, boots had been tried on a snow sport catalogues studied. The ££££ signs were bouncing! Earlier in the week he made a trip to a major snow sports outlet adjacent to an indoor snow slope in Yorkshire. There were no regular boot fitters available (rung in sick?) & he knew that the guy serving him was not up to the mark. Fitting ski boots is a very specialised trade & he will be wearing these boots 7-8 hours day, every day, for 10 weeks! He said that they were not even polite or interested. We were beginning to think that we would have to travel to Manchester or Newcastle but a quick Internet search revealed that Severn Sports in Leeds had just got in stock the skis that he had identified as the ones to have. We made the trip to this little Aladdin's cave of a shop in Armley. From the outside it seemed fairly uninspiring but once inside we realised that we had hit a gold mine. The stock was impressive. They had a great range for all skiers & boarders & the three staff could not have been more helpful & knowledgeable. By the time S&H had his feet in the first pair of ski boots we had all got a mug of tea in our hands. There was no hard sell but we walked out with boots, skis & a very desirable ski jacket. When I said that I would 'blog' about our trip both Mr J & S&H agreed that I should -they normally just smile indulgently! Severn Sports have a bigger 'superstore' in East Leeds & an Internet operation. They advertise themselves as the best in Yorkshire & we can only agree! The piggy bank might be somewhat lighter but we will defiantly return there for other ski related purchases! If someone reads this & buys some gear from them rather than some faceless conglomerate then that's my 'thank you' for the great service we received! If you don't ski or do but don't live in the North of England then just go shop locally & see if there is a difference! My local foodie favorites are Elliot's and Weatherheads butchers in Pateley Bridge. The Tesco van will call 'On the Hill' this afternoon because I don't relish spending my time off in a supermarket but I actually ENJOY shopping in these shops & appreciate their quality produce & service.