Growing up with two terminally ill siblings Francesca Eyre, chef and co-owner of Chilly Powder holidays in the Alps, learned independence and adventure at a young age. After losing her sister aged 16 and mother aged 21 a chance encounter when chasing her mother’s lost pearls led her to the mountains. As a part-time endurance athlete a terrifying accident led to memory loss and a challenging recovery but together with her husband Paul she’s now opening a second Chilly Powder in a beautiful village in Provence. She sees participating in incredible endurance events as a means to, as she says, "breathe for those who no longer can". On this episode we cover: Holmlands Stories; Searching for Pearls (video clip) Losing her mother to cancer age 21 The lost pearls that lead to her new life in the Alps Growing up with two terminally ill siblings Naively moving to Paris age 16 Being too sensible out on the museums, bars and concert Going to cooking school in Dublin Lisa moving from Spain to England age 16 The death of Francesca’s sister when she was only 16 Coming from a family with Cystic Fibrosis Growing up always knowing her two siblings will die at a young age Half of the siblings not having Cystic Fibrosis 1 in 20 people being carriers of the CF gene Deciding not to have the CF tests when having her own children The decisions her children can make about tests when they’re older Being in Paris when her sister was dying The grandmother in Paris who noticed her talent for cooking Moving to Dublin to train as a chef Dubliners being passionate, gorgeous and generous Cooking in beautiful Irish stately homes with chef Mary O’Sullivan The trauma of a boiling a kicking lobster whilst crying Her mum’s diagnosis of cancer Giving up worth to look after her mum Moving to London Feeling her mother’s cancer was down to the stress of having two terminally ill children Considering the food, nutrition and health connection as a chef Being hyperthyroid (and Lisa being hypo thyroid) Taking her brother with Cystic Fibrosis to the Alps to help his lungs Falling in love with Morzine Knowing her date, Paul, would be the one Setting up Chilly Powder a ski company together Raising money to build a chalet for their hotel How the Alps are most beautiful in the summer Lisa finding skiing rather scary, but loving the après ski Francesca singing going down the mountain The joys of afternoon tea The busyness of living on site in your own hotel Becoming an endurance runner and cyclist Taking on a 300km cycle race over two days Tackling big races like the L’Etape du Tour De France The accident that wiped her memory Fracturing her spine, damaging her shoulder and her face The severe concussion causing unexpected mental health issues; fear and suicidal thoughts Taking nine months to recover But still finding it hard to memorise things How the loss of her siblings and her mother helped shape her adventurous spirit The accident being on her mother’s birthday Opening the Chilly Powder B&B in Provence Finding full time motherhood the hardest job The rare half Protestant half Catholic village Tears and music at her brother Nick’s funeral
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