32. Ups and downs

The weather doesn’t seem to know what’s going on. One hour the snow teems down, obscuring the other side of the valley or sometimes even the bottom of the high street. The next time I gaze out the window the sun is shinning through the sheet of melted snow cascading off the roof.

We have even had rain at this altitude which leaves unusual rivulet patterns on the surface of the deep snow slopes and strange indentations on the flat roof of the car park below our window which is sporting the impromptu freezer again. We gained a lot of foodstuff from our messy group this weekend, hence the ice cream dangling outside. 4 half drunk bottles of spirits, 2 cases of kronenberg and 2 unopened bottles of wine were accompanied by a variety of unhealthy but much appreciated food. They didn’t leave a cash tip but did buy me a genepi shot when they found me, much to their surprise, in Bubble Bar on Saturday evening. This did make me miss Scotland’s 5th try in the epic second-half comeback in the 6 Nations against England. One of the biggest treats from watching this series is having a comfortable seat for a few hours if we can nab the sofa.
The clear up of this group’s visit took us 10 hours on Sunday, instead of the 6 expected, facilitated by the evening arrival of the incoming guests, the owner and his celebrity friends. There was minimal damage to the fabric of the building but 8 sacks of rubbish and recycling, a jumble sale bag of discarded clothing, our 3 bags of goodies, a disgusting hot tub and severely depleted stock of wine glasses reflected the devastation they left behind.

I refused to change the sofa covers again at 5.30 (we’d started at 8am) because one cushion had been in the firing line of a red wine splurge which at least wiped off the walls reasonably easily. This was the first time I’d had to wipe and polish the outside of the wood burning stove to get rid of the beer splashes from the glass and mug rings from the granite top.

We haven’t been able to go on our snow-mobile prize trip yet as one of our team members has injured his shoulder snow-boarding so will need to wait until he has the strength to handle these heavy bikes, but it might suit to wait for more settled weather.
I have between 4-6 blokes in Loft this week, none of whom seem to know how to clear up but hey, that’s what I’m there for. The first morning revealed a Sotherby’s catalogue amongst the cereals and pastries. I’m not sure whether they are buyers or sellers but I don’t think the main man, another Roger, is anything to do with his namesake in Pink Floyd, despite being grey and wrinkly. I hope I have impressed him with my prowess with the heating system and air-conditioning in the hot tub room. However, he has guests coming and going this week so I have to keep changing rooms from twins to doubles and back again as well as changing bedding and washing towels and gowns thus keeping me busy.

I was rushing a bit this morning as I straightened his bed, which was not strewn with personal possessions as is often the case, but I froze when I heard a metallic thud. A hidden watch landed heavily on the wooden floor. Inspection revealed that it was no longer going, oops. Salient lesson, don’t leave valuables secreted within bedding when enjoying house-keeping services. And this wasn’t retaliation for the talc covered floor in the bathroom which had been trodden through to the bedroom.

We did manage to have a super morning on the slopes last week. The clouds were breaking up from the overnight snow as I opened the curtains just after 7 o’clock. Early enough to catch the first lifts. We headed down to the boot room at 8.45 and exited through the back door 10 minutes later into snowfall. By the time we reached the first main lift the cloud had descended and visibility was down to 20-30yards. After all the preparation we decided to carry on and hope that this was just a patch.

After a few super runs down our back-yard reds, following the three people who got there before us, we headed across to the edge of 18,50 where we found a pocket of sunshine on reasonably unskied piste at the back of the resort. After a couple of runs down there the surface became rather churned up and clouds gathered over us again so we headed for home. In the murk of the final stretch a Frenchman on his outward journey asked whether the lifts were open. I was genuinely able to answer yes and that there were patches of sunshine higher up. Snow fell from low cloud for the rest of the day as we peered out the window from the warmth of our room.

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