The sun is forecast to shine for the next fortnight. Temperatures are already on the rise and even reaching double figures at 1000 metres. I hope this is just an interlude and not an early spring because it is far too soon. Despite our back-to-back changeover days we thought we’d better get out on the slopes on Monday, before the snow starts to disappear. However, the owners of one of the chalets are out for this half-term week and we are their slaves for the day, every day. Even the company has said that anything they ask, say yes, and if we can’t do it they will sort something out which somewhat engenders the attitude.
On their arrival they had us clearing a season’s worth of snow from the terrace on the north side of the building as they would want to sit out there. The fact that not a drop of snow had melted probably endorsed my surprised comment that the sun isn’t high enough in the sky to reach this area. But no, they still wanted it cleared for what? To sit in the shade in sub-zero temperatures?
Our suspicions were aroused when we received a message 15 minutes before they were due at the door, instructing us to change both sets of sofa covers and their 12 cushions. We had just finished the dusting and hoovering so a cloud of fluff and feathers coated all the pristine surfaces. In our haste I had omitted to notice that the base cushion had a right and wrong side; they looked the same at a glance. So we had to come back in from chiselling the snow off the terrace to swap the cover over but heyho, at least it was a pleasant temperature outside, even shoveling in the shade, and a reprieve from inside.
We had been warned that they wanted 3 hours ‘house-keeping’ a day, which we were prepared to oblige and wondered how we could fill that time. Opening the door at 9am this morning demonstrated why, although it was difficult to see how such a mess could be made by a relatively straight forward breakfast. Cleaning and resetting the fire, which had been specifically requested, was going to prove difficult without asbestos gloves if they were going to re-kindle it in the morning. But they do say ‘good morning’ and ‘good-bye’ each day and know our names.
A quick check of the work phone later in the day revealed that we had been texted 4 times before 9am asking the location of their tea-lights and Nespresso pods (of which there were 10 in the drawer). I think it is quite fortunate that we were in the bathroom initially – without the phone! – and that the very noisy kettle must have been boiling at another time, but we can genuinely say that neither of us heard the text bleeps.
A call later in the morning went unanswered when one of the big kids didn’t have a ski pass and Roger was requested to down tools and trot up to the bottom of the slopes with it. The phone was in my coat pocket hanging on the peg at the other chalet, where I was doing their daily clean. I can’t put it in my trouser pocket as I have lost sufficient weight for them to fall down quite easily now, and that’s without an extra load. An absence of belt loops don’t help. (A tiny bit of deja vu!)
By the time we finished, three and a half hours later (I’d helped before and after doing my chalet so they’d actually received 4 hours of cleaning but had only been in situ for less than 20 hours) we were too tired to go skiing. The weather was beautiful and we’d not really had a chance to enjoy it so took our books to our private garden via our personal lift, just out the back of the building. Someone has been kind enough to place 3 seldom-used picnic tables at the top of the gondola over-looking the valley and barely 5 minutes from our room. The sun is now high enough to shed glowing rays onto these benches for several hours in the afternoon. Just the perfect setting to read books and complain about demanding guests/owners.