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

Belle de Neige

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Raindrops keep falling on my head



Not to state the obvious but, it’s still raining. Sluicing down the road and up your trouser leg. Bullets on tin. Sloppy brown water washing ever closer to your back door. My yard keeps flooding. The drain is full of flotsam and jetsam and cat shit and squirrel droppings. I’m taking to it with the ostrich approach. Yesterday, still nauseous from the weekend and hungry for nothing in the kitchen I ventured out to buy a loaf of bread from the high-in-saturates bakery at the end of my road wearing oilskins. I peeked out from under the hood at the sea; last week a sapphire, sparkling blue, now a hoary, angry beast. A giant tongue threatening to eat up the city. I returned with wet knees and a black pudding and egg Danish pastry that merely compounded my displeasure with self-loathing. Fucking rain.

           The summer has been a nightmare of unpaid bills, unofficial overdrafts and bank demands. This is what happens when you get fully saddled by your ex lover with a mortgage you can’t afford and should never have taken out in the first place. I had to sell Scruffy-but-Handsome into slavery in order to feed us and he’s borne it very cheerfully. Last week he even came home in a fit of confusion, saying he was (and I quote) “enjoying” his new job.
Hmmm.
“Well, I mean. You don’t have to do another ski season,” I said.
The company he’s working for is a big hitter in the world of Google. He’s been seduced with a shiny new laptop and a bit of novelty into climbing the slippery pole and now seems to know everything there is to know about Google's algorithm. His boss seems to think the sun shines out of his arse because, unlike the rest of the staff, he has more than four brain cells to rub together and one or two original ideas.
“It’s just that I’m quite good at it,” he said as he folded his clothes and put them in the cupboard, “And they’re moving me along quite quickly, giving me more responsibility and they’ve said I could go quite far in the company.”
Oh yes. That old chestnut. They pounce on you with this speech during the first three enthusiastic months. The time when you’re doing actual, real work; months before you start losing the will to live and just staring blankly at your screen for an hour every morning, then going for an extra long shit or a wank in the toilets.
“Well, you’ve got youth on your side, I suppose,” I said, trying to be encouraging. I was sitting on the floor with my back to the wall, not a little shocked by this u-turn. “…if you feel like you’d be passing up a great opportunity.”
That was last week when the sun was still shining. Since then every morning has been a little colder, a little darker. The duvet has been a smidge more difficult to extricate oneself from. We’ll see whether his mood changes when the rains come, I thought.
            About ten days ago I went and met my new boss. I have, you see, managed to land myself the golden fleece of season jobs. The private gig. A recommendation from a friend, E who had the position last winter. It felt odd dressing smartly for a chalet bitch interview. Should I go for smart, prim and professional? I wondered, Or buxom serving wench bending over you with the cheese board of an evening? In the end I cut a line right down the middle; smart grey dress, just ever so slightly too low cut, with a blue and red check suit jacket and low, brown heels. After the first few questions (why did I want the job, could I ski, could I cook?) he eyed me apprehensively from behind his desk. I got the impression he was out of his comfort zone and wondering if there was anything else left to say. Impetuous, these rich types. If they like the look of you, the cut of your jib, etc, in the first five minutes you’ve usually got the job regardless of whether you can cook, or even handle a bottle of bleach.
“I’ve brought a list of questions,” I said. “I spoke to E about what you like to eat and I’ve made a menu plan,”
“Oh thank God,” he said, looking relieved and swiping it from my hand. “Good. Ask me questions. This is great,” he waved it at me. “How very organised of E to draw this up, isn’t she great?”
I bristled and bit back the urge to tell him it was me, actually. Mustn’t seem petulant or pushy, at least not at this stage.
            The search is now on for a chalet co-bitch. Being a tip-top cook with bags of experience SbH could, of course, take the job. However, in my experience, working in a chalet 24/7 with your lover is about as good for your relationship as tattooing each others' names and the first night you shagged to your foreheads. You’re guaranteed to part company shortly thereafter and have to live with the regret for the rest of your days. Anyway, you’d think, being that the job entails living in a luxury ski-in-ski-out chalet that’s going to be empty for seven weeks of the season, eating like a king, and driving a brand new Porche Cayenne, that most people would sell their arses for it, but finding someone to work with has been murder. So just in case anyone out there is interested:

Required. 1 x skiing / snowboarding male (I loathe working with girls). Must be very good in kitchen, over 23, neat, tidy, non-stinky ski-bum type, able to drive and preferably nice to look at, please, if you can be at all. Sense of humour essential.

If you know of anyone who fits the description point them my way…

And I leave you with news the Skater Boy (you’re not going to believe this) has realised his lifelong dream and bought his own chalet.  It’s most alarming to think that you, yes you, could be booking a ski holiday at this very establishment, as we speak. Take your own sanitizer and hide your toothbrush and your prescription medication, that’s my advice. More alarming still is the fact that he’s given up the weed and started going to the gym; suddenly become all motivated and responsible, or is at least doing a great impression of it. Even better, being on the receiving end of CV applications from hopeful seasonnaires keen to enter his employ has been giving us a really good guffaw or two...

“I shouldn’t laugh,” he said to me on Skype, “But this job application came in to me today: 

I HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN A CHALET JOB FOR A WHILE, AND I THINK I WOULD BE SUITABLE FOR THE JOB BECAUSE I HAVE EXCELANT CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLLS AND ENJOY PUTTING A SMILE ON CUSOMTER FACE.”

“That’s special,” I replied.
“She works for ASDA and has 4 GCSE’s.”
“Defo take her on...a dream employee.”
“It's quite sweet really.... I feel bad.”
“Me too.”
“She's probably some poor, spotty oik of a checkout girl who's seen the film ‘Chalet Girl’ and is dreaming of a better life.”
At that moment, SbH suddenly came in from work, grumbling loudly.  He commutes by bicycle along the seafront and the wind had blown his hair into a vertical shock. He was drenched.
“What was I thinking?” he bellowed, shaking water off like a dog climbing out of a pond. “It’s too warm, too flat and too wet.”
 “I concur,” I said brightly, giving him a towel and a kiss. I never doubted him for a second of course.