Well if your neighbor [sp] got injured then of course, best give it a miss. What's all this neighbor b*llocks about anyway? I thought you were British. It's not that bad, if you plan appropriately. Buy yourself a good jacket (SL will obviously assist), salopettes (not expensive) and obvious essential peripherals like socks, gloves, thermals etc. None of that is expensive (jacket apart). Loads of decent stuff available on eBay and in ski shops at this time of year. First time you go, hire skis. poles, boots and a helmet. Depends where you go but that'll be maybe EUR 100-150 for a week. Price of a ski pass varies, can be EUR50/day in the more expensive resorts I guess. And you need to get lessons. The inexpensive way to do it is to get hold of all the gear that you need to buy between now and thue end of the year - then go on a short-ish break (cuts down the rental costs and the cost of the ski pass) and see if you like it. If you go somewhere for 3-4 days skiing and you hate it, you won't have shelled out a load of cash that you can't get back (sell you gear in eBay early/mid season and you'll get the majority of your outlay back). And you'll know in 3-4 days if you hate it or not. Boarding is cool, but it's for younger men than you, with all due respect. The real expense comes if you are shelling out for a whole bloody family to go (for the first time). Javea and Gandia.