Tales of catastophe, sex and squalor from the Alpine Underbelly...

Belle de Neige

Monday, 31 January 2011

Seasonal Faux-Pas

These usually fall into two categories: Cliché or Total Fuck Up


Cliché: Newbie Mountain Workers Over 29 in Existential Crisis

I have noticed that newbie mountain workers over the age of about 29 seem to fall into a pattern. The pattern is this: Arrive, thinking you have found the ‘thing’ you’ve been searching for all these years. Work way too hard. Exhaust self. Have crisis about how young all the other mountain workers are and how old you are. Lack impetus to ski and therefore spend too much time sitting in shoe-box bunk room flat. Decide you ought to grow up, go home and get a mortgage. Throw toys out of pram because being arseraped by employer. Quit....

.........Immediately start having more fun than you’ve ever had in your grey little life, as now no longer give a shit about job. Enjoy a surprise bluebird powder day and end up dancing until 7am in your ski boots in another ski resort round the corner with your mates. Regret quitting. Realise job was piece of piss and you were just being feeble. Man The Fuck Up. Meekly request job back. Come back again next season.

If you are a newbie mountain worker over the age of about 29, please do not be this predictable. It really is so dull for the rest of us.


Total Fuck Up: Manager’s Nightmare (Part 1) – The Text Message Minefield

Right at the start of the season I was revelling in my own managerial genius. I was on fire! Managing the shit out of everyone and everything in the near vicinity with the efficiency of a BMW Technician on speed.

...And then I got severely drunk on my day off and had to deal with a 7am text message from a client requesting a lift for his young family from their chalet to the piste.

I was experiencing a bastard behind the eyes.

Rolling over in bed, I blearily composed a text message to our driver, who we fondly call the Geordie Ninja, due to him being a Geordie and having a Ninja-like ability to mysteriously disappear and reappear in the blink of an eye.

‘Alright ya Geordie cunt. Guests need bus at 9. Soz luv. Wankstain.’

And then I sent it. To the guest.

It was Tourettes-esque in its irony. I was so hanging out my arse that my brain couldn’t cope with two thoughts at once. So it short circuited and fucked me over.

The thing that astonished me most was that I was actually thinking to myself, as I scrolled through the numbers in my phone to send it, ‘Fuck me, imagine how bad it would be if I mistakenly sent this to the client’.



Total Fuck Up: Manager’s Nightmare (Part 2) Caught in the Act By Minion

This ‘Being a Responsible Manager that People Can Look Up To’ malarkey is a new one on me and it’s taken some adapting to, I can tell you. I have one particular minion of whom I’m rather fond because he reminds me ever-so-slightly of SbH. Mini-SbH always hands his accounts in on time and has a chalet that’s always as neat as a pin. But he’s also a right little tinker and doesn’t let you forget anything. To my detriment he has so far seen me drunk and disorderly in the snow more times than I care to remember and has also seen me dancing in my bra. It’s very hard, also, to maintain a level of dignified managerial authority when one of your minions has also walked in on you being given a naked massage by your other half. The poor boy got the shock of his life. Lesson learned – never tell your minions the code to your flat.


Cliché : Snowboarders vs Skiers – Don’t Mention the War


For God’s sake, don’t bring it up. Everyone out here is so bored of it. We all now live at peace. It’s only the punters that can’t ride in harmony and that’s because they can’t ride worth a fart full stop. Yes. It’s true. Without skiers to tow them on the flat, the slopes would be littered with the frozen over, skeletal corpses of boarders with one foot clipped out, who got stranded and didn’t have enough energy to punt home.

Someone needs to invent some kind of snowboarder’s extendable pole thing that pings out from the sleeve or glove like a Wolverine Claw. But until they do, just shut the fuck up and give the poor bastards a tow.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Chalet Bitch

Although I now languish in the lofty echelons of middle management, and have a team of minions of my very own to torture, let me not forget the very thing that inspired this blog in the first place: I too was once a Chalet Bitch.

Like many a naive young sprig before me, I had a pre-season punter-ignorant notion of what life as a Chalet Girl would be... I had visions of my fox fur hat clad self sashaying down a mountain in the sun, sipping champagne in hotel bars with mysterious ski instructor types and being bonked by rich clients in front of log fires in high altitude ski huts. Yes, in fact, somewhere in my brain it looked very like the film Chalet Girl.

In reality I spent several months up to my armpits in soap-suds, left overs and pubic hair. Was barked at by rude, demanding clients, goosed by pervy, middle aged businessmen, chained to the hoover or the kichen sink and bonked on a Tabasco-soaked mattress by several stoned, smelly, skint teenagers in a crack den like one-room apartment. Sadly, there were no mysterious, exotic ski instructor types. All the ski instructors are in-bred locals and / or alcoholics. When not cleaning, my time was not spent sashaying, but careering down a mountain at colossal balls-out speed, usually stoned also, or blind drunk on vin chaud and Mutzig. This, in reality, is what being a Chalet Bitch is all about. Living the dream.

While SbH and I now sit naked in bed together, doing our accounts sheets and making ski passes in between shags, sadly, Skater boy is still trapped in the eternal cycle of cake-baking-bed-making-dish-washing-toilet-scrubbing-hard-drinking-hangover-hell from which we’ve escaped. He has, as is his custom, been consoling himself with not one, not two, but three irksome blonde 19-year-olds this season. All of whom are dizzy and all of whom have been causing him no end of stress. It’s a wonder that boy is still alive, the sheer variety of pussy he dabbles in. He’s been a Chalet Bitch more times than he can even tell you about. The boy should write his own blog really...


Being a chalet Bitch – the rules according to Skater Boy

Do – have you arse and boxers hanging out of your jeans, dirty nails, cigarette-stained fingers and greasy long hair under a mouldy bobble hat that hasn’t been washed since 1992 at all times.

Do – just enough work to avoid (by a hair’s breadth) getting complaints about the cleanliness of your chalet, and therefore somehow always manage to start work last and finish first.

Do – arrive to work pissed as a fart still in your ski gear from last night, but somehow manage to ‘pull it off’ riding solely on your ability to charm and flirt, despite putting salt on your guests’ cornflakes and getting caught wanking in the toilet on changeover day.

Do – ski back to your chalet to do service pissed to the eyeballs in the dark, hoon into a steel tow wire attached to a piste basher coming up the mountain and almost behead yourself.
Do – puke in the street at least once a week.

Do - be in a constant state of crisis due to either smoking too much weed or not having enough weed or rizlas.

Do – always somehow seem to end up with a gaggle of fit young rich birds for clients. Woo said clients into letting you off dinner with your on-ski and après-ski performances.

Don’t – Ever get caught doing something you shouldn’t...



....actually that last one should be the 11th commandment for any newbie Chalet Bitch. You can miss as many services as you like, nick enough chalet wine to drown Bridget Jones, serve dinner cold, shag any number of dirty stop outs in the chalet hot-tub and use the company vehicle to give your mate Simon a lift to the airport while stoned. Just don’t get caught.

Yes. These are the people, or should I say buffoons, making your bed, cooking your food, rifling through your personal belongings and stealing packs of silk cut out of that carton you left in your bedroom. These are the fuckwits trying on your fur coats, giggling at your grey knickers and reading your magazines on the toilet while you’re out skiing. These are the wingnuts finding that used condom in your bin and sniggering about your toilet habits down the pub.

From the moment they climb off the Tour Operator’s staff bus in early December training week, bleary eyed and clueless, some of these kids will stun you with their utter incompetence and inability to deal with life, let alone the concept of doing their jobs properly.

Their naivety can be both endearing and infuriating.

‘Maybe a rich Russian will fall in love with me and take me out for a posh dinner’ one of my minions said to me. I couldn’t help but give a fond little chuckle at this - I remember thinking the exact same thing. I arrived with three little black dresses in my bag and a fur coat, thinking perhaps some Oligarch might whisk me off my feet. I never put any of these dresses on once. I wore leggings, a massive baggy jumper and clumpy boots at all times. I soon realised I was more likely to be whisked off at gun point and conscripted into a prostitution ring than whisked off for dinner - and that if I wore fur I would be socially excluded and mocked as the worst of all things – a punter. Shortly thereafter I went out and bought myself some steezed out, multi coloured gear and by season end was never caught dead without my bobble hat.

All in all, as it turns out, I am quite fond of my minions. Rather like a proud mother hen. I have managed to disarm the little urchins into doing my bidding by being fun and reasonable, and disappointed rather than angry when they fuck up. I’m more big sis that cross school ma’am. They are all fairly efficient, co-operative and professional individuals, and good friends.

Other managers are not always so lucky. You literally would not believe the array of vacant, lazy, limp, socially and mentally inept public school fuckups some of my colleagues have ended up having to deal with. ...Spoons....Youngsters for whom the word ‘initiative’ has absolutely no meaning whatsoever and who think a hard day’s work is something Daddy does when they want more ponies/Abercrombie and Fitch jumpers / ski equipment. I mean, what are the repercussions to losing your job, when you know Daddy will just rent you an apartment and a buy you a season pass anyway, to cheer you up after the trauma of being sacked? Silly job.

A colleague of mine has been having a particular struggle with one, quite young member of staff. This individual has no more than three quarters of an inch of brain. They asked my colleague, last week, in absolute seriousness, after two months of living in this ski resort, whether we were in France or Switzerland.

They also asked if you spell ‘chalet’ with an ‘S’.
Despite having recently been put through a 5K cooking course by Mummy they did not know that you need to store pastry in the fridge, wondered whether shallots should be put into a stew whole...unpeeled, (and actually before that mistook said bag of shallots for prunes). They threw away an entire bag of fresh beef after mistakenly thinking the butcher had delivered a bag of ‘guts’ and lastly wanted to know whether potatoes were dairy or vegetable.
Yes, as I said. These are the fuckbuckets cooking your food.

When asked why they were wearing a tracksuit to work, this individual replied that their guests always ate dinner in pyjamas so they thought it must be ok. ‘Really?’ replied my colleague, ‘Your guests can eat dinner dressed in full leather gimp suits as far as I’m concerned. Now go and put your fucking uniform on’

My colleague has taken to calling this member of their staff ‘The BdP’ (Brain Damaged Pig), because if someone took a retarded swine and taught it to stand upright and bake yoghurt cakes, you would probably end up with a more co-operative and effective employee...

In some ways, I miss being a Chalet Bitch. The camaraderie, the lack of culpability, the diet of raw frankfurters, croissants and vodka.

I don't miss the skid marks....

Maybe some day I'll go back. But for now, I will put this message out there:

Chalet Bitch-dom is no Cinderella story. It's about sex, drugs, toilet cleaning and skiing. And if you can't even get that right in life, then you're a fucking moron.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Activities for cripples

SbH has broken his back, thereby completing the cycle of you-couldn’t-make-it-up adversity that has characterised this season so far. Having snapped the dorsal off five vertebrae the French doctors tell us he must wear a back brace and cannot sit down for 3 months. ‘Non! You may either lie down, or stand up!’... This is what happens when you launch yourself into the air with your feet tied together and no wings, so think on. It has led to some quite amusing dinners out with friends, and SbH standing in the corner like a manikin, eating his dinner at arms length.

I reckon French doctors like to take the piss out of injured British skiers by making stupid recommendations like this. Not sit down for 3 months? That’s just French. And, while we’re at it, have you ever tried shagging someone who is encased in plastic? It’s pretty interesting. I spend most evenings repeatedly bashing my forehead against what he has proudly taken to calling his ‘shell’. It’s like snuggling up to iron-man's crap cousin Bernard.

So, SbH has broken his back. My knee continues to be too gammy to ski. And yet here we remain. Why do we stay in the mountains? Well, when something is so magnificent and huge and beautiful you don’t know which bit to look at first it’s hard to leave it behind. And even if I can’t ski, surely this is a pleasant view to have from one’s office window of an evening:




Once again, however, I am faced with the burning question: What do you do in a ski resort when you can’t ski? So far I’ve got, sex, drinking and....

Knitting
Well, SbH’s idea actually. I know I know. He is not the man I knew. To be fair to him, I think it’s all part of some hare-brained scheme to get-rich-quick by knitting piles and piles of oddly coloured beanies and scarves and flogging them to wannabe seasonaires for 20 Euros a pop. He wants to start what he calls ‘Stitch and Bitch’ sessions where the injured of the Alps (of which, let me tell you, there are an alarming number this year thanks to shit snow and too much ice) sit around crocheting and swearing about people who can ski. 50 quid says the whole thing turns into a complete fiasco; he gets bored and goes back down the pub.

Snow shoeing
Once you get over the feeling that you look like a total dick head it’s actually quite fun. Although slightly disheartening when you find yourself marching down what you feel is a very steep incline in a hidden wooded valley, legs akimbo and some ancient crone comes hobbling cheerfully up the hill towards you in trainers and gives you a jovial ‘Bonjour’ before casting a slightly amused glance at your feet. One can’t help think ‘Why the fuck am I wearing these stupid things any way?’ It’s also a bit lonely. If one wants company one’s only real option is to venture out with one of the local groups – no doubt full of creaky septuagenarians – as although many of my friends, including the Man of Leisure, have cheerfully offered to join me on a jaunt (after one too many Mutzigs) so far, no one has pulled their thumb out their arse and actually joined me.

Eat Raclette
You start off enthusiastically tucking into that first scrape of delicious melty goo. Mmmmm it’s so morish.... so...so cheesy!

..................Ten minutes later you’ve lost the will to live. Cheese sweats. The fear. A horrible sense of self loathing starts to creep in. What have i done? I hate myself! Then you make the mistake of drinking a cold glass of water, causing the cheese to solidify in your stomach and sit there for the next three days like a rock, mocking you and your greed. I actually passed out from cheese once. I mean, it could also have been linked to the red wine and anticoagulant injections I was having, but I reckon it was definitely the cheese.

Do your job
Which, for managers Alpwide, basically entails turning up at various chalets with a clip board, wearing a company jacket and sauntering about looking, cross, harassed and important. Criticizing everything your staff do down to the last speck of dust, complaining to all and sundry about how much harder your job is than theirs and yapping aggressively into a mobile phone. One must also be incredibly two faced and good at saying things like ‘Yes sir, I understand the snow ploughs are waking you up too early in the morning, I’ll have a word with the mayor’, while thinking things like ‘Yes, you demanding, finickity, wanker, would you like me to stuff this snowboard up your arse before I drive the snow plough over your testicles or after?’

Insult people who can ski
Dear punters who are shit at skiing and snowboarding. Please fuck off. You do not deserve to be on those beautiful planks, while I languish on the sidelines watching you in jealous agony. Furthermore, why are you wearing racing gear when you clearly learnt to ski yesterday and are flailing your poles around like a terrified Daddy Longlegs? You look a cunt. Get off the piste. And, while we’re at it, YOU are going at speed. Therefore if you see me struggling, nay, limping across the piste with an enormous bag of laundry it falls on you, pas moi, to get out the fricking way! I am neither impressed nor amused by your poorly executed emergency stop, nor the slushy shit that you spray up my legs. Nor your lack of apology. Nor your rubbish, hideous jacket. Oh, and please learn to carry your skiis without beheading me. Oh yes. And please fuck off.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Russians

Despite a catalogue of disasters, injuries, swine flu, limp-wristed chalet girls and lack of snow, life ticks on in this strange, wintery place.

‘Tis a land populated by a bizarre conglomeration of cultures and weirdos. The Russians, of course, are a spectacle to be marvelled at. An entire nation of Katie Prices, tottering around on sheet ice in stilettos with their David Guest lookalike Mafioso husbands (well, employers, more like) bringing up the rear, complete with giant cigar, plastic flasher mac and narky-looking, diamante-collared Rotweiler . Or to put it another way, chavs with zip taste, who have suddenly won the lottery and think if it’s shiny or made of a dead animal it’s worth having.

Nowhere else will you find such a pile of hideously expensive hideous crap. Shops pedal things like red and white rhinestone-encrusted headphones and white skiis inlayed with diamonds that cost hundreds of thousands of Euros. They say this is one of the only places on earth the rich can actually make a dent in their wallets. And considering a small, forlorn and puny hotdog, with a dribble of ketchup in a stale baguette costs 15 Euros out here, it's hardly a surprise. In fact, everything is lined with either white fluff or diamonds. There are women who quite literally look as if Liza Minnelli threw up on them, carrying Chihuahuas in pink earmuffs (yes, that's the dog in the earmuffs) and wearing enormous fur coats made from the corpses of a thousand squirrels. Most of them don't ski...they are the worst kind of snowbunnies.

Why do rich people look so fucking miserable? I’ve lost count of the number of stricken-faced coat-racks I’ve seen wondering around this place in the last month with their lower lips on their foreheads, towing a Romanian nanny and three small, evil, children also dressed in fur. Usually pink. Those pelts must weigh heavy on those knobbly little shoulders.

Russians. They have a reputation all of their own out here. There’s practically a chapter in every tour operator’s manual on ‘what to do in case of Russians’. Or if there isn’t there should be. Because they are not like any other people on earth... they are bizarre.

The culture clash between Brits and Russians is quite something. The politest wouldn’t-say-boo-to-a-goose nation is shocked and appalled by the sheer front of them. ‘I mean, don’t they have words like please, thank you and sorry in their language?’ is a question I hear asked frequently.

It’s an irony to watch these ‘ghastly new moneyed peasants’ (not my words, I’m paraphrasing) being waited on hand and foot by the cream of the British upper-middle class and aristocracy’s children. This whole place functions on the slave labour of unsuspecting British teenagers and (typically) it’s the French who get the last laugh. Although one can’t help snigger with them. Ripped from Daddy’s arms. Tearful and missing their ponies. Stolen away from the womb of King’s School Canterbury and Cheltenham Lady’s College and dumped in a chalet to give them some life experience before university. Up to the armpits in the cum-stains, poo, pubic hairs and vodka-vomit of some erstwhile serfs who’ve struck gold.

A recent set of Russian guests marched straight past the outstretched, welcoming palm of their mortified young chalet host (a lovely, polite, hard-working young woman), dumped their luggage at her feet and barked at her to make them tea immediately before ransacking the place, puking on the sofa cushions and leaving them next to the radiator over night to crisp over. They then ordered her to clean the mess up. ‘Well that’s your job, isn’t it?’ they muttered. It would be nice to think that the revenge taken by the chalet girl in question (charging them triple the dry cleaning bill and pocketing the difference) made a dent in their enormous wallets. But of course, it didn’t. Afterall, these are the people who can afford to have an entire bubble lift turned off for a week because it ‘sounded too noisy next to their chalet’.

...But remember that little trick next time a chalet girl asks you for the dry cleaning bill....

My mind is cast back to the wad of food-budget cash ‘stolen’ from a chalet along with a Rolex watch and various other bits and pieces, last season. The pit-bull faced owner of the watch in question tried to put the finger on the chalet host but seemed oddly unwilling to talk to the police and disappeared from resort in a cloud of mystery shortly thereafter. A lot goes missing from both chalets and staff accommodation during Russian New Year.

There is shortly a revolting looking film coming out called ‘Chalet Girl’, which from first glimpse of the trailer is basically Cinderella on skiis. Yeuch! I shall reserve comment until I’ve seen it (2.5 hours of my life I shall no doubt regret sacrificing) but I’ve noticed several totally implausible plot themes already. I mean, a chalet girl would never shack up with a punter, for a start. But anyhoodle, I digress....

....Because of this film, some Sunday Times journalists were sniffing around the resort last week doing an expose on Russian bad-behaviour in Alp-wide ski resorts, and a friend pointed them in my direction as a source of illicit gossip. What could I tell him about? The drunken routs? Piles of cocaine? The bar girl last season who had the fortune to witness an inebriated thug eating a glass until his mouth bled? (He actually crunched through the shards and swallowed them, presumably to show off to his friends.) The mysterious, bottle-blondes who drift from hotel to hotel from hour to hour, ‘visiting friends’? The gruff, lascivious old men who won’t allow ski technicians to touch their ‘wife’s’ feet, but have no problem complaining loudly when the silly tart’s toes start hurting? (It’s a bit difficult to fit someone’s boots when you can’t touch their feet, surely? )

The upshot, of course, of this mixture is the strange sort of inverted snobbery which has developed among the seasonaires. They look down their noses at us, because we mooch around in baggy ski pants, sorrels and beanies, or mud-soaked fake Ugg boots from Primark, with chalet hands and we all stink of onions.

We look down our noses at them because they look fucking ridiculous, leave skid marks in the toilet and behave like football hooligans.

...But then they tip us a big $100 note at the end of the week, tell us to keep quiet about the wife swapping and the gun in the bedside drawer and are gone in a whiff of overpowering perfume....until the next bunch of wankers arrive....

...you know, working in a ski resort would be fantastic if it wasn't for the punters...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Woes of the Manager

‘Manager– isssssssk!’

....and I quote from an email from Shazzer dated October 2009 which I stumbled across today. We had been discussing the possible ski-related job roles that one could conceivably apply for post apocalyptic break-up. Is she speaking to me from beyond the grave?

‘Mate. I know the word ‘manager’ is rather beguiling, but seriously - imagine the worst organised place you have ever worked – times it by 1000 and then insert the phrase 'piss-up in brewery' and you are not even close to how these skin-flints will be trying to, with laughable organisation, bum-fuck their staff for blood, sweat and tears and con their clients into a budget holiday dressed up as luxury. Plus your staff will be wanting to come to work every day off their heads / skive work (as they are getting paid 50c a day - see reference to bum-fucking earlier)and have only come here to ski not clean toilets for 9hrs a day and if you are the person in charge of telling them to go to work you end up pretty isolated. Our hotel in Les Arc ended up pretty much Lord of the Flies style. I would recommend steering clear of all managerial roles – the money is not there to justify it. Could be fine. Could be disaster’

Hmn.... Could be fine. Could be a disaster....

What a pithy and concise précis of the life of the Manager. Particularly the bit about bum-fucking. We are the great unloved. Shat on by clients, shovelled up by Head Office and beset from all angles by staff – or minions as I like to call them – who seem to think that their manager is either a maid, mother, school teacher, psychiatrist or personal assistant. Who seem to think ‘I was skiing’ is an acceptable excuse for not handing their accounts in on time, and that it’s ok to leave a rotting mound of poultry next to a birthday cake in the fridge or skid-marks on the underside of all the toilet seats in their chalet.

‘Gosh – you’re popular’ said a minion to SbH the other day, when his mobile phone rang sixteen times during a ten minute meeting.

Yes. Popular. We are both very popular. If by popular you mean in the same way a wildebeest is popular with a ravenous pride of lions.

Thank fuck for tea.

If everything else has well and truly gone up the shitter – or to put it another way – tits up - in true . British form, one can always sit down and have a nice cuppa, can’t one?

Never fuck with tea. This is a personal slogan of BB2.1 and a truism I hold dear. Never rape tea with other substances, such as booze – or as I once tried at 7am after a 36 hour bender – Ketamine. Bad idea. Drink K-T when you already can’t tell your arse from your elbow and you know you’ve reached the final and most remote outpost of Spangladesh, and now have no compass to get you home.

The minute you fuck with tea. Everything is fucked.

So it’s a good thing Wiley Miss G brought me a nice pack of Yorkshire tea bags when she came to visit a few weeks ago. Because the Lipton Yellow Leaf crap the Frogs try to palm off on you is like drinking stewed gnat’s piss and out here packet of Tetley’s finest Cigarette Ash Bags costs the princely sum of an arm, a leg and a quicky up the bum round the back of Sherpa.
Man, I have needed tea in the last few weeks. Being Manager in a ski resort is like spinning 50 plates while writing Shakespeare in calligraphy on a blackboard with a quill held between your butt-cheeks. Really quite difficult. And if you stop concentrating for more than about 0.5 seconds, the whole shebang comes crashing down around your ears.

And woe-betide you if you contract Gastric Flu, as I also did last week. I spent five days catherine wheeling, spewing gunk from every orifice, and sweating like a paedophile in a crèche while being squawked at down the phone by various disgruntled clientele, angry because their limp-wristed arse-hanging –out-of-jeans chalet host cannot perform the simplest most menial of tasks without fucking it up beyond recognition.

‘Can you absolutely guarantee it will snow this week?’ one client had the stupidity to ask me.‘Well, I don’t know. I ‘ll have a chat with God, he’s generally quite clued up on these matters’, I said.

These people are supposed to be on holiday. But you wouldn’t know it, they’re all so fucking miserable.

Incidents worth mentioning have included the crazed Chihuahua that managed to escape from its fur-bedecked, maniacal owner for a few precious minutes and was so beside itself with joy that it crapped all over the next door neighbour’s chalet.

Then there was the well-known circus troupe that rocked up in town to perform at a well-publicised event with 4 pallettes of industrial sewing machines and used one of chalets as a factory production line to make their costumes. They blew all the electrical circuits and then complained the Jacuzzi didn’t work. They then left a week later spiriting away mysteriously with them two of our stand alone heaters, a set of towels, two mops, the remains of SbH’s sanity and a hoover.

There were the Russian guests who repeatedly called us at 6am complaining that the toilets in their chalet are too small and are therefore were ‘bruising their (no doubt emaciated, scrawny, anorexic) elbows’ .

Oh yes, and the neurotic housewife who threw a wobbly when I refused to send a bus boy round to the restaurant she was dining in with a high chair for her child. ‘I am not accustomed to this poor level of service’, she complained. ‘Really? Well I’m not accustomed to shoving high chairs up people’s arses, but I’m quite up for trying it to be honest.’

But all of this pales into insignificance against the backdrop of the near apocalyptic catastrophe that befell me last week. However, since apparently the previous TO I worked for has now put a clause in its employment contract banning employees from writing bare-all blogs, I shall go no further with the details than to say it involved a naked, steaming drunk Eastern European, a small child, an unlocked door and some very outraged parents, who won’t be holidaying with us again.

I could round this all off by saying that working through Chistmas week and New Year with Gastric Flu would have been impossible without the love and support of dearly beloved SbH, but if you call dancing around the room waving his ‘love pole’ at me and asking for blow jobs every five minutes love and support, you need your head checking, you honestly do...Okay, fine so maybe he pretty much did my job for me, took shit from various clients on my behalf and showered me with sympathy all week, but I think you'll agree blow jobs are out of the question when your nose is blocked and you need the toilet every thirty seconds...