1. My brother, me and his two sons. We sat at one end of the long dining table, partly to keep the kids away from everyone else I think. We tried to consider our fellow holiday goers, especially as we knew we'd paid half as much as them!
2. The other group of 8 guys was labelled the "drunk ones" by my nephew. They were 30something lads who felt it was important to shout at each other all of the time. They managed to miss most meals as they were drunk in a bar somewhere and rarely went out skiing in the morning due to hangovers.
One night they came home at 4am and slammed doors and shouted for an hour and a half. As a bad sleeper and someone who has experienced bad neighbours, I really needed that. It's a bit sad to see grown men acting like children and does remind me of a posting I did on kidults. Their aim in life appears to be getting as drunk as possible and paying no regard to anyone around them.
3. The final group was from Essex - three guys and three girls in their late 20's who were quite well spoken (two couples within the group). They were witty and polite but a couple of things made me question how genuine they might really be. They were snowboarders and there does seem to be a silly divide between skiers and boarders - we all strap wood to our feet and let gravity slide us down snowy slopes.
The leader of the group had a normal name but decided to be called by his "boarder name". I think he made it up himself to appear "cool" - but it didn't work, it just came across as someone who was trying a bit too hard to be cool. This group of everyday Essex folk also used "boarder speak" whenever they talked about the sport - people became "dudes" and they spoke about rails, pipes, air dogs, eggbeaters and ollies. It all came across as very false as they reverted to Essex type when speaking about any other topic.
One very weird thing that happened is that we were talking about Family Guy and one of the girlfriends said of her boyfriend sitting next to her, "I don't let him watch Family Guy". She was not being witty, she really meant it - she actually controlled his viewing habits and he accepted it! How sad is that!? What else does she control in their relationship? You can imagine the sex - "no do it this way, you may touch this, no you cant do that there, you may finish now".
A couple of comments wound me up. They were talking about a poor reality TV programme called Dancing On Ice (I have never seen it) and one of the guys just said in passing "that gay boy Ray Quinn will probably win it". The throw away line of "gay boy" really annoyed me - especially as there was no hint of humour in his voice and it was clearly part of his vocabulary as an insult. Kids will get the impression that it's OK to use the word "gay" as an insult when it clearly is not. Later in the week, at dinner they were discussing stars and decided that George Clooney was clearly a "gayer" and one of the girls went on about this as if he was evil. As being gay becomes more accepted, maybe they feel threatened in some way? I don't understand at all.