Had you asked me a week ago if I had any phobias, I would most likely have scoffed in your face as I inwardly pitied people who flinched at spiders and refused to fly. Now, however, I would respond differently. I have spend the week on a skiing holiday with friends. I have been skiing once before, on a schooll trip to France as a 10 year old. It was a magical week, full of happy memories and, I have since discovered, one repressed memory as well. The week started well, we caught the train to Aviemore and the trains/change overs went swimmingly. The house we rented was immaculate and full of mod cons, not too far from the slopes. Brilliant! We caught the bus up next morning, rented our ski gear and hit the slopes. I had some apprehension about skiing as it had been so long since I last went (a good 20 years or so) but I am happy trying new things and making a fool out of myself trying so we got on the funicular (a new word for me)and made our way to the top of the mountain. It seems themountain we were on hadn't actually seen fresh snow fall for a while so few routes were open, which suited me and down we went. Not far from the top down I went, literally, a position I would find myself in several times before reaching the bottom. Often followed by small children floating majestically across the snow in utmost control as if they had been born there and never left. All this never bothered me, I was having fun. But then I got to the bottom. I joined the queue and edged forwards bit by bit until we rounded the corner and I came face to face with the only thing that has ever really terrified me. The ski lift, to be precise, the button lift. It all came back to me, the sleepless nights, the tears, the dread of skiing down the mountin knowing it would be waiting for me when I got there. All the irrational fears returned in an instant: what if I fell off and the next person ran over me; what if I fell off and got left behind; what if I couldn't get off at the end and got lifted up on it...and so on. I told myself I was just being silly until I reached the second place in the line and bottled it - "I need to wait for my friend" was the bad excuse that came out as I edged back the the end of the line. I watched everyone get on with ease as I returned to the front and decided it really was easy. I am an adult I told myself and slid boldly in position. The button came round and I felt pretty good, until I got hold of it and my legs turned to jelly. In a panic I didn't get the button in position to sit on, yet I kept hold as it dragged my a good 10 feet up the slope before my skis fell off and I had to let go. To compound my ridicule the operator stopped the entire lift until I had crawled off the slope. I did manage to get back to the top of the slope, although each time I went through the same nerves and terror. A couple of times I even fell off mid journey and had to ski only half the slope. However, never again will I mock the wife for not wanting to read the gas meter because spiders live in the box.