Well they’ve gone, leaving a disgusting state in their wake! It hadn’t seemed too bad as the week progressed but their consumption of all leftover spirits on Friday night seemed to result in a transformation into minor hooligans. Our shoes sticking to the floor as we entered the living room gave us a clue as to what else might materialise. The pistachio nut shell fight, which transpired to have extended onto the balcony as the snow started to melt through the course of Saturday, left debris virtually everywhere. I suspect these shells will become equivalent to pine needles, appearing randomly over the coming weeks and months. Once we had managed to get most of the surfaces clean we were able to detect all the dripped wax from resurfacing their skis, despite assurances that they wouldn’t make a mess. As I hadn’t been able to see the bedroom floors they had not received their regular sweeping. No wonder they’d closed the door when doing running repairs, giving me back a clean iron though! It quickly became obvious that they’d used the kitchen for the same task when we weren’t around as more drips were uncovered on both the floor and work surface!
It took us all day to turn the chalet around in time for the new arrivals who didn’t even have the decency to be delayed, despite the heavy snow fall Friday night. This fresh snow did serve to block the 4×4 truck in which 3 of them had travelled over. This was despite my suggestion that it was parked at the bottom of the drive on Friday afternoon. After much digging and Roger slipping and landing on his coccyx whilst the 3rd lad observed from afar! it was still stuck. I had checked, on arrival, that they had snow chains. We watch plenty of vehicles getting stuck, from our vantage point at the kitchen window, stopping in the middle of the road to apply said chains, somewhat belatedly! Yes, we have chains but its a 4×4 so we’ll be fine, came the response. Finally deciding to put them on, it transpired that they didn’t fit! Their ultimate solution was to use hot water, via the hot tub hose, to melt all the snow on the incline. I came back out towards the end of this process and thanked them for leaving us with an ice access slope when it all froze! Oh yeah, didn’t think of that. Fortunately they had left us a wad of notes as a tip otherwise I may have been less restrained.
We felt we had earned that gratuity through the course of the week and the amount of work required on Saturday. Fortunately they’ve been followed by a much more restrained, although only a few more years senior, group who didn’t want to dive into the hot tub immediately. As we finished our morning work on Sunday I suggested to Roger that he should check the hot tub after I’d cleared all the litter and debris from around the sides. The testing strip revealed that the bromide level was zero. This is the chemical which cleans the water, neutralising the microbes. It is released from a natty looking rubber duck with the tablet dispenser in a receptacle underneath, the latter of which was missing! Possibly under the 2 foot of fresh snow outside the hot tub cabin? All that search revealed was a solidly frozen towel and more chocolate wrappers.
There was a delightful rim of scum around the top of the tub and the water was so murky that the bottom couldn’t be explored for the bromide cup. There was no alternative but to start emptying, cleaning and refilling it. No amount of bromide was going to neutralise this swamp. The water level finally dropped enough to reveal not just the aforementioned cup but also a coffee mug, neither of which could be discerned through the gunge! Whilst Roger had set to cleaning the jets as they became exposed in all their grimey glory, I started trying to clean the ice off the sides. We wouldn’t normally bother with that but on this occasion, tobacco and fag ash from roll ups, cigars and a pipe had been sealed into the frozen shelf. Eventually empty and reasonably clean the refilling process began so we had to wait another hour for that to complete. So much for our rest on Sundays to recover from a demanding day on an average Saturday but they weren’t as bad as they could have been! They participated fully in Dress-up Friday and proved that chalet really is ski-out even if it is across rough ground with rocks, boulders and a stream hidden under the soft duvet of fresh snow.