We have been beavering away this week but it has been a holiday compared to last year! Having a relaxed day on Monday set us up for 3 days of 9 until 5, as was Sara’s plan, but extended until 6 or 7pm which was not a problem. When one’s boss suggests we sit down to go through the staff handbook and daily routines at 5pm but accompanied by a bottle of fizz, who are we to complain? That was followed by the meal out which included a gin and tonic/beer apperetif about an hour later and 2 litre carafes of wine before rolling back down the hill just after midnight; we may actually struggle with this pace!! We had a lovely and lively alcohol induced tongue-loosening chat over delicious homemade burgers and were able to extend and expand our working partnership, as that is what they want it to be, which suits us.
Yesterday (Thursday) we went to Bourge en Osians, the town at the bottom of the hill. Despite going through it each time we came in or out of resort we had never stopped there (apart from at the out-of-town Mcdonalds as demanded by our colleagues on departure last year, but I don’t count that). We headed for a little cafe to meet Howard, our local contact and resource man. He will be delivering our clean laundry and food each week, provided we order it, and taking away the dirty sheets and towels. We have also been using his address for postage as we didn’t know ours and on arrival, didn’t have a key for the box in the foyer. We now have one (and for our ski locker) but need to find out the actual address.
Our next stop was for a large supermarket shop. 6 trolleys later we loaded up the van and admired the car park scenery, got to be one of the best, before heading back up the 21 hairpin bends. All the shopping was unloaded into the entrance/boot room/sauna and was eventually put away into the 2 main storecupboards and few, still vacant kitchen cupboards, despite an initial horror that we would never be able to find enough space. Sara had brought out a full season’s worth of some items she knew to be elusive or expensive here so the storage was already partially occupied. Finally everything found a home and hopefully is still reasonably accessible. I continued to clean and sort out the kitchen whilst Roger started making up the beds. Once the decks were cleared and the rooms completed with cushions, towels and complementary buffs, the place really started to look (almost) ready. We have delayed putting out the chocolates until the last minute for obvious reasons, no, not because I will eat them but because it is very warm indoors and they will melt!
Sara then took us to get our equipment as she has given us another day off and insists that we ski today (Friday). Yesterday evening we took the opportunity to sort out the items she has kindly bought us to make our flat more comfortable; a non-plastic mattress cover, toaster, coffee machine, mugs and replacement cutlery. Roger tried to set up our new TV but the absence of batteries for the remote control proved problematical. We togged up, the nighttime temperature is pretty low even through daytimes are warm, and went to the nearby newsagents. On the return route I suggested we pop into a couple of the restaurants we passed to pick up menus, particularly as we were still in our branded clothes so looked more authentic. Alaska, a French traditional plus pizza and burger place, were happy to give us their full menu. A few doors down we went in to La Cremelier, a very nice traditional little French restaurant we had eaten in at the beginning of last season with lovely family guests. Monsieur le Proprieter was mopping the floor but happy to give us a menu. Just as we were about to turn to leave he invited us to come in one evening for a complementary tasting meal so we have booked in for next Tuesday, another excellent result!