Monday, 31 December 2012

BEADS SKIS! Week Five: bruises and snoozes, mostly...

We got the afternoon off on Christmas day, and so it was spent dancing on tables at the Follie Deuce and buying bottles of rose at 40 Euros a pop. Ouchy. Loud DJs, tons of people, Santas everywhere; it was fab. To get into the spirit (/look like a mug) I decorated my helmet in the bows and ribbons from my presents I'd opened earlier. The selotape did a good job (though I wasn't skiing fast enough for them to fall off).
Around 4pm I deteriorated and was very very very drunk all of a sudden. En route to the cable car (ALONE - everyone else was able to ski down, just about) I fell splat on my wrist and was adamant I'd broken it (obvs very dramatic) and my skis clunked on top of me and I whinged a lot to my new French friends I made on the way down.

After a small sleep (not a passing-out) and two types of pasta I felt OK again and we watched the fireworks and the ESF light display down the Face which was ace. My wrist was strapped up into a Lady Gaga/Madonna-esque claw with more black electric tape and we continued the evening.

A strange but awesome Christmas day, and when I woke up on Boxing day I was COVERED in bruises. So mysterious.

The days between Christmas and New Year are always odd, but here it's odder. We have been super ridic busy and have just got on with our early mornings and long shifts. Christmas week passed so quickly with my lovely family, but this week I have another lovely lot to cook and clean for. Yes, my alarm is set for 6.10am but I finish a little earlier which means more time for morning naps as well as afternoon naps!!!? YAY NAPS.

Oh yeah, skiing stuff. Um. Well I went skiing on my own the other day and that was good because I didn't fall over at all and I finished the run on a high with a big grin on my face feeling like a pro. That was the end of skiing for the day though because I wanted to end on a high.

No skiing today because I'm napping and tonight is New Year's Eve so I need a nap. Yep.

My hand is stained black. Not from the electric tape, I'm hoping. where it's cracked and dry something has absorbed itself into my skin and now it won't get out - not even with white spirit. Yes I put white spirit on my cracked dry dying hand skin. GREAT IDEA.


Monday, 24 December 2012

BEADS SKIS! Week Four: I go off piste, I get piste, and try to be adopted. Oh yeah, and apparently it's Christmas?

What day is it?

At some point this week I went out and drank a lot.

At some point this week I had another lesson with Laurent and it was going fine and then I went over some mounds, screamed, then ended up front flipping several times into the powder with both skis lost in neck deep snow. Laurent gave me a Mars bar so I was OK... but yes, that was the end of the lesson and I went back down the mountain in the cable car and in a huff. I hate not being good at stuff. STILL.

I have a new family to cater for this week and they're lovely. Hooray! When I cleaned their apartment before their arrival I got walkie-talkied (yes, I have a walkie-talkie!) about a tree delivery. For a moment I was like WTF a delivery for an indoors tree!? This family must be mega earthy. Then I realised OH YES IT IS CHRISTMAS IN A MINUTE. All the days merge into one and it is weird and there is no Mariah or Noddy Holder playing anywhere. It's Christmas Eve and I just cooked a tuna pasta bake.

About half of the guys who work here have family visiting which is nice because they're all smiley. The other half of us have some expensive wine to drink (left to us as a tip last week), a beautiful massive panetone and some Nutella so YEAH I think we all know who's got the better deal. Ha! My housemate has offered to adopt two of us as family as hers are here, though we're quite content with each others' family-esque company as is. It's not surprising how close you get to the people you spend all of your time (and space) with.

Anyway, happy Christmas and all that. I'll be up at 6.30am tomorrow with a baguette under one arm and a bag of pain au chocolats in the other hand, looking forward to opening my post and presents from friends and fam once I'm finished hoovering the pine needles and toast crumbs from my clients' living space.

I have taped up my split knuckles with black electric tape. Festive.

Joyeux Noel! x

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

BEADS SKIS! Week Three: Hosting, boasting and toasting

Breakfast hosting is my favourite. Bar the initial stress and eeshk of waking up pre 7am and then speed walking to the cash and carry and bakery in a horizontal blasting snow blizzard, it's actually quite good fun. You just have to watch out for the mega snow ploughs and piste bashers as the sun rises and sprint in the opposite direction whilst carrying pastries et une baguette. Luckily all the clients have been lovely though and as long as you poach your eggs right it's easy peasy! I'm currently catering for a little princess who requests princess eggs every morning - luckily they're just the same as boiled.

Val is now packed full of noisy lairy students and so when you suggest going out for 'a quiet one' it never quite goes to plan. They all think seasonnaires are dead cool - and of course you lap it up - if only they knew how long I'd scrubbed a loo for that morning. I think I'm finally adjusting to alcohol at altitude though. Bonus.

My diet now includes a variety of stale bread - toasted, plus 2x yoghurts a day. This has become the norm for all residents of our apartment. We're all addicted. Since I've got over my bug I have been filling every spare minute with eating which is fun.

Breakthrough: for the first time in my life I am able to nap! I believe this is because I'm always knackered from work, not because I'm becoming lazy. A mid-afternoon nap is now a necessity in order to survive the late shift.

I have been skiing. Thankfully I have another lesson on Thursday with Laurent who is the best. He has told me to meditate down the mountain: repeating 'aum', breathing deeply and trusting my skis. Righto.

The snow keeps falling and it's been a whiteout the past few days - obvs can't ski when it's like that as my goggles are for sunshine ONLY… (defo can't borrow anyone elses…) I tried a couple of runs and it was like skiing in a cloud of constant white terribleness. I (will) LOVE SKIING. Promise.

It is our staff Christmas dinner this evening which should be good fun. I will be dressing up as festively as possible, using all the decorations we have in our room because I LOVE CHRISTMAS.


Stop press: it's the day after the night before! Our Christmas meal was delish - such a treat to have a sit down three course meal. Naturally we are all horrendously hungover today having followed the evening through to 6am but a few hours skiing has helped our heads and cleared the fuzziness. Such gorgeous weather today - not too cold and blissful sunshine. I love days off. I feel great.

I had 200g Milka for breakfast.
I have a glass splinter in my finger.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

BEADS SKIS! Week two: Multiple near-death/feeling-like-death experiences not related to avalanches

Note: I'm writing this whilst really ill and PISSED OFF.

No, we haven't had a day off yet.

Yes, I've spent a fortune on food (Milka) and drink (vodka). My diet is basically Milka, cheese, bread, vodka and different varieties of Milka.

I've experienced my first hangover at altitude which is basically quadruple the non-fun and I look like death on a stick.

Our first day of skiing was so beautiful but then I fell down and remembered I'm scared of skiing so I'm having a lesson with Laurent tomorrow. Cool.

All knuckles are split open and bleeding and when I rub my fingers together I make my own skin-textured musical sandpaper instrument.
A dude gave me a high five because my jacket is sick. So that was good.
My average poll age is 20, though given the past few days I reckon it's increased tenfold. Yep, I look 200 years old. *Reaches for Milka.....*

BEADS SKIS! Week One: I live in a box and I might die

'Here's your accommodation - it's cosy!'
Cosy is a word I use for when I'm on the sofa curled up in a ball reading some trashy magazine about some trashy celeb I know nothing about whilst the fire's blazing and I have a blanket and a fat cushion. Cosy is not a teeny one room apartment that combines the kitchen/diner/bedroom adjoined with a shoebox double-bunk room attached to a bathroom that is potentially bigger than bunk room.
There are 4 of us sharing and I am lucky enough to have the bottom bunk in the shoebox room. As I laid down for the first time I stared into the eyes of a young Scandinavian-looking boy as his passport photo stared back at me - a previous seasonnaire had stuck it upon the bed panels last season. Fitty! He's our lucky mascot.

Our apartment is located across one of the main pistes which means sprinting down an indluating hill to get to work - though this also means trying to get up it after you've gone out for a few beers. Difficult.

Our induction consisted of being warned that we may die, mostly. Not whilst hosting- when skiing. We are now very avalanche aware.

Cleaning is hard work. By the third day of cleaning I think that I will die from inhaling polish or Anti-Cal - the 50% bleach cleaner. Plus there's so much wooden furtniture that we are practically doing lines of polish. EeeeEEeee!

The drinks are extortionate and food is too.

We have been practicing our cooking for the past couple of days and that has been a lovely break from dust and grime and duvets. I baked a batch of flapjacks and a carrot cake - at altitude - which basically means you disregard the recipe and add hell loads of oil and butter and stuff and stir until the consistency seems OK, whack it in the oven and pray for the best. Doing this, by the way, alone and in an empty chalet, against the clock. Praying works! Oh, but carrying it a mile back to the office through a -19 blizzards with it wrapped in a tea towel is quite hard. My mascapone topping was squished and slimy but the cake beneath was delish. SO PROUD OF MASELF.

My nails and knuckles are split and I have a splinter.
Danish boys are creepy and whisper creepy Danish stuff in your ear when you're trying to enjoy a Baileys.