18. The End is in Sight…

…but we’re not there yet. Last week we said goodbye to Buster, one of the long-term staff at Undies, for the remains of the season. He has to return home early each spring to open his surf hire business in Cornwall for the Easter weekend. Not a bad combination for the year. His departure denotes that the rest of us will be finishing in the not-too-distant future.

We’ve had yet more snow, spring snow this time, as opposed to all the winter snow, between which there is no discernible difference. There will be no opportunity for the early flowers to raise their heads until 2 metres of cover melts from above them. The days are longer and the sun is warmer though. We had a super session on a new layer last week and went off-piste proper, for the first time.

Roger’s tracks

We were converted to gliding through inches of pristine powder, no other tracks ahead of us. It became slightly less negotiable when the trees started to pop up in front. They’d been planted as part of the avalanche control system so were in lines across the hillside which only allowed for small gaps between them to descend so we did a lot of traversing but got down intact. Hopefully we’ll do it again after another dump but we’re enjoying some consecutive days of sunshine at present, for the first time this season in our Ile au Soleil!

These dwarf signs should be 6-8 feet high

We need to finish soon as we’ve completed our watching programme for the season. This year it has been 7 series of The West Wing which has absorbed us night after night, 2 episodes an evening, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It reflected the social and international situation of the 1990s, when it was first shown, but is equally as fascinating to watch it 20+ years later with hindsight and developments from those plot lines. Breaking Bad marked our first season’s viewing followed by Game of Thrones the next year then a huge compilation of films and finally West Wing. I’m not sure what we would have done without these epics.

We’ve benefited from 2 light weeks of guests, 7 last week and 6 this week before we fill again for the final 3 weeks. Last week’s group weren’t a bad bunch and even accepted the van breaking down after their first day, with resignation. Even the vehicles get end-of-season grumps. They can’t walk out of the job but have a very effective way of refusing to work. We’d had a couple of warning messages on the dashboard about injection and emissions but when the red light started flashing ‘STOP’ we thought we’d better pay attention. We have spent more hours trying to find someone to look at it and taking it back and forth to the garage than we would have worked had it been running properly.

The view from the door as I set off on my morning commute

It is expected to be fixed tomorrow but in the meantime we have enjoyed the walk to and from work, particularly in the morning. I have to walk all the way back round from the bread shop because the footpath is completely blocked with the snow which has been pushed off the upper drive and I haven’t been cutting a path through every morning so it is impassable.

Last week’s guests were quite complimentary about us on their feedback forms but a couple did add that they would have liked some help carrying cases of beer down from the supermarket. This had not been mentioned to us directly at all. Did they expect us to carry their beer instead of carrying it themselves? Did they think we should have done that because the van was out of action? Did they think that we would have done trips to the supermarket if it had been running? Did they think it was ok to use up our petrol when they are opting to buy their own beer instead of purchasing the same beer from us at €1 a bottle? Who knows, but perhaps they did know the answers to these questions which is why they didn’t ask for help. Heyho!

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2 Responses to 18. The End is in Sight…

  1. Jill Harrison says:

    What a coincidence we have also recently watched the full series of the west wing and really enjoyed it and also remarked on some of the story lines from then being so relevant today. Sounds like you will be happy to see the end if this season and too much snow. Looking forward to seeing you on your return.

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