16b Worst week (cont.)

The first day was complete. The next evening we surveyed an empty chalet at 6.50pm. Dinner is served at 7pm. We had anticipated a request to move it earlier due to the four young children but this hadn’t been forthcoming. We weren’t complaining, 7pm suits us best. Clattering from the boot room announced their return and, to give them their due, most of them took their seats at the table without showering. They’d gone to a bar for apres and run back down the road to ensure they weren’t late. The footpath I used to take each morning from the bread shop is not an option this year, it is impassable. We use the van in the mornings now so I haven’t cut a path through the 4-5 feet deep snow. I couldn’t have even if I wanted to. All the snow from the road above has been pushed down the footpath. Now it really isn’t possible to negotiate without crampons but would make an excellent ice wall climbing challenge.

The following morning I was discretely accosted by one of the mums. Could the meal be put back as they’d had to cut short their drinking the previous night. If it was at 7.30 then they could catch the bus which arrives at 7.20. We could manage half an hour but I am always wary that those who would be late for 7pm will be late for 7.30 and so our evening seeps away. So much for the concern about young children’s bedtime!

During the evening meal the conversation turned to their meal out on Wednesday night. If the children had a baby sitter then they could stay out afterwards, were we interested, at all? I kept the sarcasm out of my voice and refrained from pointing out that the ONLY reason they were going to a restaurant was because we had our ONE DAY OFF. Why would we want to babysit their kids on our only night off? They aren’t the first to make that enquiry.

We had gone into one of the restaurants to book their meal in person on Sunday. I was less than impressed when at 3pm on the Wednesday we received a text from them asking us to cancel the booking as they’d found somewhere else to go. NO! we wouldn’t. Is it fair to any establishment to cancel a booking for 18 people just 4 hours before? We had booked what they’d requested and they had all the details so could damn well cancel it themselves and it was OUR DAY OFF!

We were heading to Apres at Undies which would take us past this restaurant. What if the guests hadn’t bothered to cancel and just didn’t show up? I thought that we could just pop in to ensure that they had. The restaurant may be able to pick up some impromptu trade, Wednesday is a busy night. What if the guests had decided not to cancel it and go as arranged, but then we’d cancelled the table, unknown to them? What to do for the best? Roger decided that it wasn’t fair on the restaurant and if the guests did decide to go but had lost their table, it was their own fault, so we did. They had found a much better steak house in a remote part of town that we don’t consider convenient for our guests, but they enjoyed it.

Food was a bit of an issue this week. Three needed a wheat-free diet, not gluten-free. They had been told that the bread, pastries and afternoon tea cakes wouldn’t be suitable and an alternative would ‘t be available – great! We did try to accommodate them up to a point. One, the party organiser, was quite strict with herself but the other two were very selective. One even made a point of announcing that she was ‘selective’ as she stuffed a pain au chocolate into her mouth. That was the end of any concession to the latter two apart from the bruschettas and goats cheese and pesto tarts which we served to all three on dry crispbread type crackers. Ha!

Thursday morning we rolled up at the chalet, unsure of what we would find. What we didn’t expect was for the additional visitors car to have moved out of the only remaining space for us to park and left on our neighbour’s drive, completely blocking it. To make matters worse he is the doctor and his wife is very diligent about ensuring that nothing blocks their drive for more than 30 seconds. I was amazed that she hadn’t been round already but told the ‘main man’ that the car had to be moved. “But its not in your way.” No it wasn’t, but blocking the neighbour’s entrance wasn’t really a suitable alternative.

The visitors moved it soon after and, although staying for a free breakfast, turned out to be quite nice and ordinary. We wished we could swap them for our actual guests. The conversation at the table that evening revealed that no-one else in the party even knew them, only the difficult guy, which explains why they were so different in every way imaginable.


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