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

Belle de Neige

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Everybody! Let's get the fuck out!

I am currently swinging like an almighty pendulum between chipperness and despair at an alarming rate. I won't drawl on about it too much on here, for fear of alienating my readers, who, in the main, live in the UK permanently, and therefore have enough of their own bullshit to worry about 24/7. But seriously. This pissy, dribbly, misty, muggy, shitty, rainy weather is really getting me down. Particularly irksome to hear it described as 'cold', having been where I've been for the last couple of months. Minus twenty is cold. This is not cold. This is just shit.

Yes I have lived in the UK for 26 years and it still surprises me how repugnant the weather is. Why do we all stay here? Why do other people come? Everybody, let's get the fuck out! Pronto. As soon as this gammy genou is healed I'm off again.

In light of the above and to keep things buoyant I have been musing over the Many Things to Love back in le Ski Resort. So far I have:

Obviously. It doesn't matter how many mirrors I had to polish, how many turds I found floating gracefully in the loo, or how desperately, hideously hung over I was (which, thanks to the clear mountain air, wasn't actually that often) - walking up that mother of a hill to work at 7.30am every morning, all I had to do was turn around and look at this:

....and suddenly, funnily enough, it didn't seem so bad. In fact nothing could possibly piss me off whatsoever. Particularly when taken in contrast to the view I used to have every morning at 7.30am this time four months ago:

Mountain Spring Water

Yes shoppers. Straight from the tap. Ice cold. Delicious, sweet, clear and pure. No chlorine, or fluoride added by the 'wizards'. I could never understand it when clients requested Evian. You are up a mountain you crapweasle. That's where Evian comes from, supposedly. Get yer chops round the kitchen tap. Or alternatively there's a jug over there.

Everyone knowing you and knowing everyone is posh
Seasonaires are posh kids. If it all goes tits up call Mummy for more moneys. Skater Boy himself actually said this to me once. Even though he looks like a pikey Jesus, the accent gives it away dahling. You are after all in one of the most expensive villages on earth.... approximately. And because it's so tiny, you soon get to know everyone. Which means that on average I'd bump into five friends just walking from my apartment to the coffee shop. So you can just bum about on your own in 100% knowledge that you will bump into a mate, on piste or off. Which is nice.

Hot Chocolate with Baileys
Try it. Trust me. Orgasmic.

Beer drunk straight from the jug
Glasses? Where we're going they don't need glasses!

Hmmm.... just cheese actually. Fuck loads of cheese. Mmmmm.

The Hidden Valley
A beautiful, vaguely mystical and rather dangerous off-piste trail that's a wee bit difficult to find, a cunt to ski and not for the faint hearted. I did it in my first two weeks, scared the crap out of myself and was going to be heading back there with my crash helmet the day after I ballsed up by knee. There's always next year.

Walking up hills, sliding down them
.....don't think I didn't hear the wheeze of a thousand sharp intakes of breath, you cynical dears. Yes, I do in fact like exercise. Particularly, actually, when it involves bouncing up and down on top of a chap, but that's irrelevant for this point. When I had the Dreaded Desk Job I had more aches and pains than Dot Cotton. I'm talking knots in my shoulders, sciatica, the lot. Since the ski resort job - I'm as lithe, ache-free and flexible as an eel. And the reason? The human body is not meant to sit still. You're designed to be carrying logs around, traipsing up hills with bags of food, chasing gnus across the dusky plains, building igloos. That kind of shit. Not tap tap tapping away on a plastic keyboard and staring at a screen, gradually, oh so softly losing the will to live.

An old colleague of mine who still works in the same place as I did put on her facebook update today........... 'Lunch! :D '

Well that says it all, doesn't it. The highlight of her day. Fucking lunch.

With the aid of these hills, I'm also pleased to report you can (or at least I did) lose a stone in weight on a diet of bread, cheese, ham, hot chocolate (WITH whipped cream), pain au chocolat and beer. Now if that's not a result I don't know what is.

Now, a friend of mine recently revealed to me that he was: 'Trying to manoeuvre into some sort of job / business where I don't have to go to the same office every day.'

Ok. When is everyone on earth going to wake up and realise they are all driving at the same purpose? Not having to go into an office and sit at a desk. Because it's inhumane. Why don't we all just go and live on a beach somewhere and farm stuff, sunbathe and make babies and cheese? No more desks ever! Come on!

Well, until that happens I am going to try to keep me pecker up by reading a book by the Dalai Lama and a bloke called Howard C. Cutler called 'The Art of Happiness' - Hopefully by the end of the month I'll be sitting in the middle of the road in an orange cape with a bald head going oooommmmmm and feeling quite chipper.

...à bientôt

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Hot Doctors Spotted: A big fat zero
Song for the day: Crowded House: Weather with you

Being incapacitated and back home transforms you instantly back into your 4 year-old self. Clinging onto Daddy in tears because it hurts. Having your shoes put on for you. Being brought your dinner on a tray in front of the TV with a bib because you can't lean forward enough not to streak gravy down your top. Oh the indignity.

I love my Dad. He was ill last year and this strange reversal of care roles leaves me a little ashamed. I don't think I took quite such good care of him. I was too busy having a mid-twenties crisis.

My 4-year-old incarnation of current self is quite stroppy and demanding and possibly getting too used to being brought stuff and having her socks put on for her. She also smokes far too much for an infant and drinks like an alcoholic soldier on leave from Afghanistan.

Luckily my Dad is a juvenile delinquent in the body of a 71 year old and thinks the cure for everything is either a well-iced Gin and Tonic, setting fire to things, or a bacon sandwich. He also drinks, without fail, a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice from his (much beloved) industrial juicer each morning. Having smoked about 70 fags a day for most of his adult life and survived a triple heart bypass whilst still putting away a bottle of vino every night, I have come to the conclusion that he has actually discovered the elixir of life. It's Orange Pressées. So don't say I never tell you anything useful.

He took me to see the surgeon yesterday and to have an ultra-sound scan to check for blood clots - where they put goo on your leg and roller it with this object that looks like an epilator. The dude freaked out slightly because he thought he'd found a clot in my thigh. Then decided it was the way I was sitting. Which added a little spice to the occasion. Anyhoo, Dad and I had to sit in a waiting room the size of a broom cupboard for about 2 hours, dying of boredom. There was a magazine in there which was so dull it made more more bored than if I had simply stared at the wall - which was that horrific pebbledash you only see in hospitals. In the end I got so excruciatingly bored I starting pacing up and down counting my steps like Papillon......

Me: 'One, two, three, four, five, six........ one, two, three, four, five, six'
Dad: ' I spy with my little eye, something beginning with 'c' '
Me: '.........four, five, six......a Cunt? '
Dad: 'Got it.... your turn'

By the time the nurse came to get me I was trying to balance one of my crutches on my forehead and Dad had mischievously removed one of the ceiling tiles with the other one.

With the best intention, no amount of Gin, tonic, burnt stuff, bacon or orange juice can relieve the acute boredom of sitting on your arse. Particularly after being so incredibly active for so long. The extent of my achievements today have been to move from the bed to the couch. This was actually a colossal accomplishment as I appear to be on the most almighty motherfucker of a codeine comedown. My brain feels like it's been pushed through a tea strainer.

I have attempted to amuse myself by sending rude pictures of various parts of my anatomy to SbH. I miss him far more than I should. It's most inconvenient.

They are cutting me open on Thursday to see what's floating around in the mangled detritus of my knee. And then I shall be in a plaster, but apparently able to walk - rather like a peg leg. So that sounds elegant.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Bad Times

If I don't come out of this experience a smidgery more eccentric than I already am it'll be a blooming miracle. That's all I'm saying.

slEasy Jet are a bunch of incompetent bastards. I had to pay for two extra seats to get me home, and stand in a queue for half an hour before they would deign to get me a wheel chair. The french check in desk guy was vile:

He: 'Do you 'ave a plasteur?'
Moi: ' Erm, no it's in a splint'
He: 'Zen can you bend your kneeee?'
Moi: 'No, of course I can't bend my sodding knee. That's why it's in a splint, genius. The very nature of splint renders it unbendable'
He: 'You will have to demonstrate to the cabin crew that you cannot bend your knee. Ozerwize you must buy extra seats. We only give special 'elp to people wiv a plasteur''
Moi: 'I am not a performing circus mule. What do you want me to do? Drop my pants and do a jig? You'll just have to take my word for it, petal.'

Eventually I was wheeled onto the flight, where some utter mug, for want of a better word, opened the overhead locker mid-flight and dropped my own crutches on my bad leg. Attacked with my OWN crutches! Has it come to this?

I howled an expletive at him before bursting into tears, while a tired looking mother in the next row peered over at me in disdain for defiling her snotty child's ears with words I shall leave to your imagination.

Then on the way to baggage reclaim some tit bumped into my extended leg - honestly it was like a carry on movie - inspiring me to yell : 'Oi! Jog on mate! Watch where you're going, does this look like a joy ride?'

Which made me feel better.

Have spent the subsequent afternoon sitting in front of the fire at my Dad's smoking prolifically and cackling with my Aunty, who, owing to her fondness for dirty jokes, Marlboro Lights, swearing, whiskey and diamonds, I am increasingly concerned I am turning into.

Leg is now a purplish colour, with hideous swollen knee and mottled effect. It's actually quite beautiful in good light. Let the drinking tea and scoffing chocolate biscuits in my underpants commence! God I'm sexy right now.

A demain


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Cunting Fuck!

Oh goddy god. It seems Cinderella will not go to the ball after all. Alarming how life, the universe and everything can change in a split second.

One moment there I was, floating up the chairlift through the cloudbank into a pale blue sunlit sky, snowflakes like luminscent plankton powdering my face as I travelled through the air listening to Coldplay, 'Slowly breaking through the daylight....slowly breaking through the daylight' and thinking how for the first time in a very long while, I felt truly content and that life was just goddamn peachy.

Then bang! The next moment I'm laid out spread eagled on the underside of that second fateful roller, skiis, goggles and dignity scattered to the wind, screaming blue murder ....'Somebody loosen my motherfucking boooooot!!!!!'

I've ripped my knee ligaments to shreds....as the moustachio'd and ostentatiously French Dr Pepin explained to me (if you call explaining flailing your arms around and hopping up and down while shrugging a lot in an 'I honestly couldn't give a monkey's left testical stop wasting my time' kind of way). They strapped me into the blood waggon. All I could see was a slit of blue sky, fairy dust still dancing around me and L's concerned face peering in at me while I hyperventilated so much my entire body gave way to pins and needles.

So that's it. Game over. Just in time for my Uncle and cousins to arrive on holiday expecting to ski the arse off it with me. Cinderella has turned into a pumpkin a little earlier than expected.

F-the-Chef, L and SbH picked me up from the hospital. Strapped up in a splint and shivering outside in my socks on crutches. Sucking brutally on a cigarette, I demanded immediately to be taken to the pub where, on top of the unidentified liquid painkillers they'd given me, I consumed several neat whiskeys and a couple of pints before being escorted down to Marks & Sparks' chalet to pass out. It's all like a strange unquantifiable dream. How many best laid schemes have now gang agley! There's so many bases I haven't covered.

And to add insult to SERIOUS injury, today is Valentines Day. Oh for God's sake. Every other bastard in site is off on a 'LoveSki'. There are red heart shaped balloons floating around all over the resort and people drooling over each other everywhere. SbH, bless him, brought me breakfast from his chalet this morning before sloping off looking forlorn because there was literally no-one to ski with as everyone has coupled off for the day. It's a bluebird day. Perfect conditions for an off-piste shag. Oh woe is me. That bastard fate shits on me again. The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the DEVIL'S OWN SATANIC HERD!!

So, what to do now? As I said to my boss, who paused for a moment and then gently nodded, with a look of slight embarrassment 'I am now about as much use as a chocolate teapot, aren't I?'

Hobbling round a ski resort on crutches is no joke, let me tell you. I have considered putting one of SbH's invention's into fruition by rigging myself up with a sled pulled by 100 Chihuahuas, so I can cruise around the resort tucked up in a fur coat and diamonds, smoking and swearing loudly at people on skis. But sadly I feel I may have to face the lonely road home instead for an operation, lest I remain a lame duck for the rest of my days. I'm like road kill.

My heart again is broken. And there are so many things it will break me to leave I'm not sure which is causing the most pain. The leg is excruciating but nothing on the heart.

A demain.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Chalet Hands

For your delectation and delight, here is the best example of 'fooked' chalet hands I have seen thus far...

The result of weeks of slaving over a hot stove, picking things up out of hot oil, scrubbing toilets with bleach, exposure to hot and cold extremes and general goip.

Note the manky cracks, splits, general swollen-ness and dried out nails.

Fancy a bit of lemon juice on those luv?


There is absolutely no glamour in this job. Mark my words.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

In response to your question...

I'm afraid the identity of SbH must remain a closely guarded secret... lest I put our mutually satisfactory agreement of the exchange of sexual favours and cuddles for baked beans and cigarettes at risk... I will not oust the boy here.

And as for pictures of the pretty snow .... they are coming...

a demain

On a lighter note..... two iconic images from le chalet....

A thing of beauty. But in truth the only product you will ever truly need in this melange of shite, is the windowlene. Shines the shit out of everything that stuff...

The Cupboard of DESPAAAAAAIR

(only one place more depressing, and that's Auschwitz)

Man.The Fuck. Up.

Song for the day: Missing - Everything but the Girl

The orphans have been screaming my dears. It's been a few weeks since I came back and a few days ago I realised I hadn't cried, not once, since I was in England. Belle has been struggling. Dappy is not the word. One half of my brain full of the lack of Shazzer in my life, the other half of my brain concentrating mainly on pleasure-seeking to fill the void and cancel out the pain. Skiing. SbH. Drinking. More drinking.

Consequently I have, in the last 3 weeks, crashed a minibus into a chalet, lost my work phone, arrived late to take someone to the airport, forgotten to do countless chores, broken about a thousand glasses and just generally been distracted, useless and dippy.

On top of that, L went home for a bit because her skin was basically peeling from her body thanks to all the chemicals in the cleaning products. H got to the end of her tether and nearly left too, because F-the-Chef went home with Septicemia. Well. It's been a depressing few weeks.

But the orphans stopped screaming today. A good cry over the cafetiere, some hugs from F-the-Chef (who is now back from home), a boil in the jacuzzi in Marks & Sparks' chalet and a ski in the sun set me to rights.

Loss is a funny thing. It bites you in the arse when you're least expecting it. There have been so many jokes and escapades we would have laughed about together in the last few weeks. That sense of emptiness when you snigger to yourself about something only she would appreciate and reach for the phone, only to recollect there's no one at the other end - that sense never goes away.

And the thing is I've lost the two most pivotal women in my life now.

One of our clients wears Safari perfume. That is what my mother used to wear. Yesterday I spritzed a little on my wrist and was transported back to a moment in time. It's a fragrant summer day and my Mum is drying her hair in front of her dressing table mirror, makeup spread out on the glass surface, the window open a little, the curtain floating in the breeze. The shape of her hands, the tilt of her head. Her eyes rise up to mine in the mirror as I enter the room in a towel and her voice chimes a greeting. I want to borrow some jewelery - that little brooch she has with the bird on it and the ruby eye. Safari perfume hangs faintly in the air in the room.

We have to content ourselves with these moments now. They are locked away in little boxes in our minds. And we only stumble across the keys to them at random. But when one is opened, it's a treat to bask in the sun of a little memory, until it fades again, and the loved one is gone, like sand through our fingers.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Yes boys, I have a vagina. And I can drive.

I find it vastly amusing when aged, flabby round the edges, unattractive men, try to embarrass me into coquettish horror with the word 'cunt.'

My dears, as you may or may not have gathered, cunt is one of my favourite words. To the extent that I'm considering getting myself a pair of custom skis, with 'cunting' and 'fuck' written on the undersides as a representation of my general appreciation for les mots.

This week I drove a minibus full of driveling mid-fifties cockney types to the resort. There were 7 of them. A vile misogynistic conglomeration of, well... cunts, actually.

I collected them, laminated sign in hand, from arrivals and was greeted with an assortment of anguished faces. Immediately they clocked me, in my skinny jeans and fluffy snow boots, bad language usage and chatter about which positions they most enjoyed banging their wives and each other's female relations in, went up fifty fold. Yawn. Gosh you are dirty boys, aren't you? I'm so dreadfully embarrassed.

When it dawned on them they were being driven in a minibus by someone with a vagina they seemed torn between fear and glee. In the front, a portly Irish chappy, evidently the MD of whichever corporate monstrosity gave birth to them, proceeded to guzzle southern comfort like a baddun and spent the entire journey gawping at my breasts and trying to send me rouge by asking me whether I enjoy fucking skiers or snowboarders more. I answered concisely: So far in my experience snowboarders have, on average, got larger cocks and more athletic tongues, but I haven't fucked enough candidates yet to give a balanced assessment ...could he please get back to me nearer the end of the season?

They: 'Oh dear... we must tone down the language boys, we're making her blush.'
Moi: 'Darlings it's quite alright. I challenge any of you to shock me'

Perhaps I shouldn't have said that. I was treated to a catalog of vile, racist, sexist, incest-related, scatological and pornographic jokes all aimed at wrong-footing the naive young bud of a girl at the wheel. I chuckled away with the dirtiest laugh I could muster - and I have to admit some did tickle me. Although it tickled me more that the old git reading them out muffed up several of the punchlines because he was reading them from a sheet and didn't have his spectacles on.

However, only one is worth relaying here, if only for its heinous relevance to my own experiences previously relayed:

"My wife gets very annoyed with the amount of hair that I leave in the bathroom. Last week she kicked up such a fuss I had to do something about it. So I cleaned out the plughole....

... It was like fingering Susan Boyle.'