Having followed our ten steps to skiing off into the white yonder, we are already four weeks in and Christmas and New Year are behind us. What an incredibly busy and ever so slightly chaotic time it has been.
On our arrival we completed the three and a half days’ training prior to the start of our paid contract – no messing, straight off the overnight bus from London! It was fun to meet all our colleagues and to find out more about what was to be expected from us over the course of the season.
We have been ensconced in a fab little bedsit just ten minutes walk from the town centre, a bit worn and tired in decor but perfectly adequate for us and, once we had sorted out the water heating problem, fully equipped with plenty of piping hot water. After a summer on the boat, the space and litres of plentiful hot water were indeed special luxuries.
In the first instance, we were anxious to get into our beautiful and amazing chalet (five bedrooms, five bathrooms, six loos, hot tub and sauna). We wanted to get it up to standard rapidly, as our first guests were due on the 10th December and we had not yet been given any linen or had an opportunity to shop for food.
However, on Friday, the day before their arrival, I got to go down the valley and proceeded to enjoy a ten hour marathon shopping adventure in Bourg St Maurice (in a huge supermarket – you don’t know where anything is or which products are the best to buy and you are about to feed ten people for a week!)
After filling three HUGE trolleys, I was pretty much passed it. I came back to the chalet virtually catatonic with weariness and Ian and I put everything away and staggered back to our little apartment to fall into exhausted sleep.
On the Saturday we had a few hours to finalise the bed making, cleaning, food prep, etc., before our guests arrived. Our first guests were a delight, we enjoyed hosting them and they were very magnanimous in the face of being our Guinea pigs, to all intents and purposes, this week being the first time we had delivered the menu plan in full.
The first few days flew by in a whirl of cooking, cleaning and collapsing into bed knackered. Until Wednesday 14th December when finally, our ski passes were ready and we had a few wonderful hours skiing despite feeling absolutely exhausted.
After a day on the slopes and a little apres ski with Erin, we prepared a slap up chicken dinner and spent the evening preparing ourselves mentally and physically for the next six days’ work.
So far, we have lost weight from the simple expedients of not having time to eat regularly, not feeling like eating when we’ve been cooking all day, and using up incredible levels of energy; a) walking to our chalet in the mornings and evenings b) walking up and down four flights of stairs in the chalet to either collect stores form the ground floor or move between rooms. c) using a Hoover, cleaning showers and baths daily, and sweeping pine needles and or snow from the balconies and outside areas.
Full on calorie burning exercise!
We are definitely getting fitter and stronger. Who needs yoga?
We are enjoying the fresh air and amazing views all around. So far the weather has been clear and bright most days. It is a truly magical place and we are enjoying it despite the physical and organisational challenges presented in these first few weeks.