The lifts are all open (but not all the runs) and more snow is forecast today hence the beautiful sunrise colours. Nearly ready for our first guests tomorrow, final adjustments to the hot tub and making a batch of after dinner chocolate truffles.
We are second chalet on the right in this photo.
Its great to read your comments and know that we are still in touch with you all. Please keep saying hello, we appreciate all your contacts xx
At last, a day off, well not exactly. We were supposedly off from lunchtime yesterday to lunchtime today. The main reason being that an evening function had been organised for all the staff and there was an expectation that everyone would be hungover this morning and totally unproductive – can’t think why that was thought. It could have something to do with a few of our young colleagues who are managing to party until 3-4 am and then turn up at 7.30 am. Meanwhile we are too exhausted to even nip round the corner for a quick pint before collapsing into bed.
It’s not quite as bad as that every night though as we did manage to visit Sphere bar whose staff had graced our table previously and we’re able to offer them an enormous white chocolate cake which had been made and iced by Roger’s fair hand and of which he was justifiably proud (but not so good at checking that the lense isn’t steamed up when photographing it!)
We made it to what was inaccurately described as a jumble sale yesterday at another local bar and having entertained their staff the previous night – 3 hungry lads – we gave them a bag of cold cooked sausages which was a bit strange but they were delighted and their veg was impressed with our roast red pepper and mushroom Wellington as well!
We had had a very busy cooking day as it was our turn to deliver a full breakfast to all 18 staff, then it was a practice Christmas lunch with guests followed by a mere starter and main course for the evening visitors, all whilst trying to get the chalet deep cleaned.
After our lunch yesterday we were told to go and put away that day’so delivery and then we were free for the rest of the day. Unfortunately 2 of our 6 trays of eggs were semi trashed en route so I had to try to salvage what we could from that and wash all the rest of the eggs. That was closely followed by the fridge door shelf coming away and spreading the contents of a large tin of chickpeas (which had been decanted into tupperware of course) all across out beautifully cleaned tiled kitchen floor. We finally got the the sale at 3.45 thinking it finished at 4 to find that it had finished at 3pm but fortunately there was still some items there which were actually last year’s stock going at 20% of the previous price – some jumble sale! We were quite restrained and just picked up a couple of helmets at €10 each, a pair of goggles and some under gloves so we’re all prepared bar the actual skis!
This is the piste which runs past the chalet (the building on the left) and as you can see we are now fully ‘ski-in/ski-out yippee! Just hope this glorious sunshine doesn’t melt it all before our very important guests on Sunday!!
Had our hot tub training today and are now fully qualified to prevent Legionnaires disease and pseudomonas infections – another string to our bow!!!
Wow, this training has been full on. We’re up at 6.45 and in the training chalet for 7.30 to practice breakfasts! and working through til 9.30-10 cleaning and preparing our own chalet. In amongst this we are learning our menus and will be cooking a 3 course meal and 2 canapes plus veggie option for some local hotel staff tonight and various other guests between now and opening next Sun. The snow has arrived (again!) so hopefully will stay this time. We had to walk across the snow covered run to get to our chalet this morning which seemed rather exciting but we are so not ready to start trying to fit in skiing as well yet.
Don’t think this washing will dry before Spring!
First day of training and we were taken up above the snowline to 2 000m. We had to turn out in full uniform as an inspection was included, despite spending the day sat in a lecture theatre. This meant digging out our navy trousers and black shoes from the bottom of the carefully and tightly packed cases where they had been secreted in order to keep in a good state until required for our first guests. Enquires had been made about the need for outdoor footwear and clothing but we were informed that it wasn’t necessary – haha! The morning temperature must have been subzero and the heavy ground frost was showing no signs of melting even as the sun started to hit it at 9am. Ski jackets would have been a significant improvement on our light shell tops as we wandered from building to building trying to locate the training centre in an errily deserted ski resort which will be heaving in the not too distant future. Fortunately by midday the air temperature was succumbing to the sun’s rays and we were able to enjoy our packed lunch basking and squinting in the absence of sunglasses. However this did mean that by the time we departed at 5pm despite the temperature dropping to just above zero, all the frozen ‘mud’ we had traversed in the morning was now a squelchy orange quagmire coating our pristine trousers and supposedly smart clean indoor shoes.
We did manage an opportunity at the end of the day to acquaint ourselves with our close colleagues as we were instructed to compile a video as an introduction to our chalets and resort – nieither of which we have seen yet. As this was the first opportunity we’d had to introduce ourselves little was produced and there appeared to be a distinct lack of enthusiasm for thespianism in our group. This idea had been triggered by the session on ‘social media’ which a few of us, more mature seasonaires, assumed would relate to the pitfalls of the same when photographed or videod in less than complementary or professional poses and actions in our uniforms. But no, the session was all about using social media to promote the company and out-do the competiton which I’d have to confess was a bit of a blur.
View from our window
We’ve arrived at our first destination which you can see from the pictures is lacking a fairly significant factor – snow!! We’re assured it’s on its way. The journey was uneventful as we left Huddersfield in glorious sunshine to catch the train to Birmingham initially. Whilst changing platforms at New Street I spied a couple of people dressed as incongruously as us; snow boots, ski jacket and toting an enormouse suitcase. When they alighted the Reading train I felt convinced that they must be on our journey. We’ve met up with one who transpires to be an OT from Ilkley, I’m sure we’ll find quite a lot in common as we work together as chalet hosts in the same resort.
We’re staying 2 nights in a staff hotel in Les Alpso and are in for a full day’so training tomorrow before setting off to Alpe d’Huez on Weds where the venture will start in earnest (& hopefully better Internet connection)
We’re off!! So exciting which is great at this time in our lives. Roger likens it to the feeling of excruciating anticipation felt in the run up to Christmas as a child. Plenty of snow has fallen in the Alps but our sunny resort has inevitably had some melt at the lower levels. I guess snow and sun are not terribly compatible but we’re aiming for the best of both worlds by the time we arrive as another dump is forecast.
Provided Ben’s car can cope with the luggage (just relieved its not being weighed!) and 3 people, possibly the most it has ever carried, we are heading off to Wakefield station on our first leg of the journey and hope to be in Les Arcs for our first week of training by tomorrow evening. Can’t wait to get to Alpe d’Huez the following week and explore our new home for the next 5 months – not that we actually know where we will reside as we don’t live in. We will then be able to eagerly anticipate our first guests on the 14th who are going to include, or may exclusively be, my lovely niece and her super new husband.
The rest of our lives starts here!
Things are pretty hectic as we try to ensure we have completed everything. The departure day is approaching rapidly – 3 days left to finish getting organised! We are making progress though, Roger’s car has gone back, mine goes on Saturday after which we will be ‘wheeless’ for the first time since our late teens- feels very strange to lose that independence. His house has been completely emptied, decorated, cleaned and occupied by the first tenants. Mine has been stripped of all my lovely geegaws, the liking for which Ben doesn’t share, so they’ve been packed up into the loft along with some of my more valued items for safe-keeping. We are hopefully doing our last charity shop drop-off today, along with the final wash and ironing. Packing will start in earnest now that I have a little space in the spare room to spread out. The wills and powers of attorney are also to be completed when we’ve found somewhere to print out the 50 pages of documents as the printers have departed.
Still managing to squeeze in some final goodbyes as well. Roger left Birmingham on Monday after celebrating James’ birthday along with Joe which was quite a wrench; kids are meant to flee the nest, not the parents. I’m looking forward to a final farewell tonight where I’m meeting up with an old friend in Holmfirth and her new ‘beau’. The only problem is that she might not recognise me with new glasses sporting quite different frames and I acquired my cold climate functional haircut yesterday – short, very short! I should have sold off the shed tresses for hair extensions as the floor was carpeted with them.
It doesn’t get any easier to say goodbye. Despite the fact that we are running out of time, only 10 days before our own little Le Grand Depart, we are arranging further farewells with those we had already met with for this purpose. This does help to defer the inevitable wrench but also makes our diary incredibly full, but we will be a long time without our old friends so are trying to cram in as much time with them as possible.
Since our previous post I have abandoned my T’ai chi group of 6 years and was treated to a shorter session and little fuddle on my final evening. I would like to think that I will continue to maintain this very beneficial exercise regime but have a sneaking suspicion that it may fall by the wayside much to my physical detriment. I have also attended my ex-colleagues premature Christmas dinner which they kindly brought forward and allowed partners to join. This has been a festive period ritual for more years than I care to remember. I think I would have struggled to have known that they were meeting without me at that time of the year. Au revoir mon amis.