I did actually venture outside last Wednesday evening to see if I could see the fireworks. They are at a different time each week as the evenings lengthen. Roger was in the bath when they started so we had no serious intention of going up to the piste but I donned my over shirt and went to the front door where there is a covered corridor to see if I could see them from there but was unable. I ventured a little further and ended up standing on the snow in the car park in my pyjama trousers and slippers and could just make out a few over the top of adjacent buildings pretending to ignore the befuddled looks of those walking past in coats, hats, scarves and boots – wooses! Anyway, we plan to go properly this week -haha.
Last week’s guests were quite a challenge and take the prize for the most rubbish left behind. They seemed to take great pleasure in feeling the they were the hardest drinkers but they were only amongst the heavier end. However, other bingeing groups didn’t create such a mess or trail of destruction. I also hadn’t fully appreciated the little helpful things that guests do to make life a little easier. It takes a group who do nothing to realise this. Breakfasts were never actually late but we had such a mess to clear up each morning that it took half our preparation time. More glasses were broken; I couldn’t hoover rooms as you could barely see the floor; the hot tub had to be closed repeatedly as the water levels dropped below that of the heater. Ironically we had a spot hot tub inspection the morning after a binge night i.e. having gone back into it after returning from post-dinner bar visit. Roger found plastic cups (at least they observed that) floating in the murky water at 7.15am but priority was breakfast, afternoon tea cake and evening preping so the tub had to wait. Except that our inspector was not impressed and seemed to think that it should have priority, never going to happen. If it wasn’t hot enough for use that evening that was the guests’ responsibility.
We weren’t too sorry to see them leave and fortunately quite early. They did leave a reasonable tip on the coffee table but were the only group not to give it to us personally with a little word of thanks but those had been a little in short supply this week as well. Considering the salaries of some of the group, barristers, stock brokers, consultants (one who got his FRCS whilst with us) you’d have though they might have been a little more generous but having read their feedback we understood what they thought of us. If they wanted a 5 star hotel and Michelin starred restaurant meals why did they stay in a bog standard chalet? Hey ho, can’t win them all.
Our new arrivals brought the British weather with them. As I was cleaning one of the bathrooms with a velux window, which are habitually covered in snow, I was aware of a strange noise. It was vaguely familiar but I couldn’t quite place it for a few minutes until I realised it was the sound of rain!! I hadn’t heard that for over 3 months but as it didn’t stop for 24 hours am fully re-engaged with the sound but hopefully not again for another 2 months. It must have been very disappointing for our new guests but they didn’t show it, they’re far too nice and polite. I’m remembering now what it is like to receive appreciative comments for our efforts and to have people clear up after themselves, unpack their suitcases into the wardrobe, not just leave everything on the floor, hang up towels, put lids back on toothpaste etc. I’ll have to hoover this week as you can definately see the floor and I’m sure the hot tub will not display the disgusting rim of scum Roger had to clean off this past weekend
It was one of the rep’s birthdays on Sunday so she invited us all to Underground on Monday night from 11pm (oh no, past our bedtime!) We thought we should show willing and decided to go. We tend to be finished by 10pm so were aware that we’d have to wait for the rest to arrive (and try to keep awake) but knew that there was a recommended Bob Marley tribute band on from 10.30 so that would help. What Roger neglected to tell me until shortly before we’d finished clearing up the evening meal was that it was fancy dress, vicars and nuns! I conceded that our presence was enough of an effort at that time until our guests got hold of the plan. By the time they’d finished with us we were in black bin liners, Roger had a collar made from a folded piece of grease proof paper; my dog collar was a white paper napkin with a slightly gender-bending novice’s wimpole (or whatever it is called) from a pillow case.
Off we set to the bar and on arrival noticed a distinct lack of clergy. A couple of the bar staff had managed white collars on black shirts so we revealed our outfits as we sat quietly in the corner looking decidedly out of place amongst the the young, hip and trendy. 11pm came and went. We were becoming extremely hot despite splitting the bin liners up the back. The band came on and played their first set, which was as good as their reputation. At the interval Roger decided he was far too hot and ripped his ‘costume’ off in one go. As he looked around for somewhere to place the rubbish the bar door opened and in walked 6 fully dressed up nuns followed by a trouserless vicar and a bishop (looking more like something from the Klu Klux Klan!) They looked great but I’m not sure how much work, unrelated to costume develpment, had been achieved that day. Our colleagues came in later with a distinct lack of effort or creativity apart from one but they didn’t have the advantage of our guests.
We decided to have a little ski on Tuesday as the forecast for Weds wasn’t good (yippee, a lazy day), the rain had turned to snow Monday evening and the morning had dawned beautifully enabling our guests to see the fabulous vistas for the first time. We cracked on and left the chalet shortly after 12 deciding our route whilst traversing the town on the chair lift to Bergers. In a continued effort to keep removing our skis to an absolute minimum we chose a run we’d only done once before as I’d said never again due to its iceyness as it’s north facing so gets minimal sun. I thought that the rain may have made it a bit more forgiving and it did connect us to our most preferred run, Alpette. We ventured over the edge onto a reasonably fluffy aspect but the further down we travelled the icier it became until we joined Alpette with much relief only to find that our beautiful favourite was a road of churned up slush. We tried it one more time before conceding defeat and went to bask in the sunshine at our cafe on Signal, actually sitting outside for the first time since December.
Due to the forecast we decided to take our skis in for the mid-season service. Altitude sports shop just happens to be located opposite O bar which was due to open shortly so without trying to look too desperate – we actually needed to use their wifi – we sat outside. Soon we were joined by a couple of chaps who appeared to expect it to be open by then and actually phoned the owner to find that they were celebating the chef’s birthday and, at 4pm, were still having lunch! Reluctantly, we made our way to Underground to where we’d been summoned for our mid-season appraisal at 5pm by our surrogate daughter/boss. All’s well that ends well.