Well we’ve made it into 2015, not quite with a bang but with a bit of a celebration with some of our guests at Underground. Once the evening meal was out the way and breakfast set up (as best we could as some of them were very comfortably ensconced around the table) We took 8 of the younger ones plus a lady of more mature years – my age – who was the mother of 2 of the lads and also happened to be a physio (PLUs as I mentioned) to the bar, extolling it’s virtues as buzzing and with live music. We arrived to a fairly sedate affair and recognised no-one, presumably just some other guests who had stumbled upon it. After 15 mins or so we were starting to feel a little embarrassed and just as I was texting Meg enquire as to where the action was going to be she stumbled in the door with Kat and Emily closely followed by the rest of the crew. What a relief. From then in the place became livelier and livelier with the musicians playing continually. We left about 3 hours later and Gareth and his fellow troubadours didn’t stop in all that time. Their repertoire was amazing, they appeared to be able to play anything from the past 40 years accompanied only by 2 guitars and a tomtom drum. I think our credibility rose when our younger guests realised that we were still there at 1.30 – it was so busy by then you couldn’t see across the room. They didn’t seem to mind that the ‘spit n sawdust’ floor had been replaced by fluid (melted snow and spilt drinks) and broken glass but fortunately everyone was in heavy boots.
We were fortunate enough to have new years day off after a run of 8 so wound our weary way back up to our apartment where Roger fell down the stairs and impailed his hand on the door key. A nice neat puncture wound which decided to drip blood very dramatically down the stairwell. Whilst he tried to stem the flow in the bathroom I attempted to remove the remnants of a chain saw massacre in the hall and stairs so as not to scare the kiddies when they got up the following morning. We tumbled into bed exhausted (again) and slept through until nearly midday.
There had been a loose arrangement with our colleagues to meet them at Folly Douce, a mountain bar, at 3pm but we were aware that it took us nearly an hour and half from leaving our accommodation to getting to our chalet to try to Skype family etc, pick up the skis and then going down the hill to come back up in the yoghurt pots (from where the photo was taken) just to get to the main centre. We were in reasonable time and as it was lunchtime the queues were a little less than the previous time so we managed a couple of runs as we wended our way across the hillside to the rendezvous. It didn’t take us long to conclude that this really wasn’t our sort of place and as we were unable to spot anyone we chose to leave and return to our favourite haunt at the top of Signal. 2 chocolate chauds and a portion of fries between us in the afternoon sun and we were very content. We even managed to find a more direct route down to the far end of a long flat section which is normally very hard work but which then takes us straight back to the chalet. The place was a bit of a tip but that’s what happens when you let guests fend for themselves, even nice ones. At least we knew what we’d be met with the following morning. We ambled back to the apartment, as we had no time imperative, admiring the orangey hues of the setting sun on the snow covered hillside with the moon rising above. (Photo approaching our apartment block).
Back in the flat we have little alternative but to sit on the bed. There are 2 uncomfortable upright chairs and a low saggy bed settee so we tend to sit on the bed and fall asleep. Waking again at 7.30 we made ourselves get up, have some tea and even played cards to keep awake. One game of cribbage later and we were tucked up for the night, party animals that we are!
Our 6.15 alarm called and we made our way back to the chalet to find that it was tidied up, dishwasher emptied and all the washing up done. Last week I wanted to be able assess guests to blacklist undesirable visitors, this week it is lovely to be able to emphasise the reciprocity of this type of system to applaud some of our lovely guests who thought the kitchen/living area was too messy for us to return to so took the tasks upon themselves (and repeated the job again last night). I would also need to mention another couple whose bedroom is so neat and tidy that there is little for me to do, I’m not even certain they sleep in their beds! Our only slight blip was to find a prostrate form completely covered by a duvet on the sofa (not the first time we’ve found this to be an alternative nightime abode). Isn’t it always the case that when one tries to be quiet you end up making even more noise i.e. knocking all the beautifully washed up dishes off the drainer. Our occupant didn’t seem too perturbed and when she emerged over half an hour later she said it was still preferable to the snoring she’d endured in the bedroom.
We’re not skiing this afternoon and have managed to stay awake! Only 5 days until the next day off. The snow is nearly a week old, icey in places and the weather is closing in, only 5cms forecast for this transfer day though but a 5.10am bus for our first guests in the aftermath of last week’s chaos so a 4am start for us! Well be sorry to see this group go as they’ve been such a relief after the previous week. Next week we have a honeymoon party with 2 people in their 70s, 2 in their 60s, 4 under 12s and a seventeenth occupant of a baby. OMG, this is going to be hell or fine, but at least they aren’t due to arrive until 5.45pm so we can crash in the middle of the afternoon, or that’s the theory.