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

Belle de Neige

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Open Season

Ok, sorry, sorry, sorry. I've just been really fucking up to my tits in it, ok? Christ. I had to find a co-bitch, meet a massive freelance copywriting deadline whilst simultaneously trying to rent my house and also sell my house (long story), move out of it, deal with all the associated bullshit plus a small family crisis, then drive to another country with six month's worth of belongings - selecting capsule wardrobe for six months in mountains = biggest ball ache ever. Then once I got here I had to contend with a whole catalogue of nightmares which I won't go into in detail but suffice to say I've been back in the mountains for about two weeks now, and I have already:

1. Been involved in a small car crash
2. Almost sawn my finger off
2. Dropped a dress size
3. Double ejected and drowned face first in thigh deep powder after seriously misjudging the depth of snow on an un-bashed piste (failure to check din settings since lasts season's tentative foray back onto skis = humiliating yard sale just 10 yards into first run of first day of season. Note to self, must buy some beeps.)
4. Lost a set of keys
5, Dealt with a rodent infestation
6. Battled against a tide of puree poo liquid waste rising up through the floor of my bedroom (perennial plumbing issues relating to shoddy French Alpine workmanship)
5. Eaten my body weight in cheese

So, it's been busy.

The other reason I haven't been writing is that I've been in a quandary. You see, I am now faced with the complications of working in a private chalet - ergo one can't mention any specifics, which, for a writer makes life rather difficult. In fact one can't even mention vagueries, or anything remotely resembling a vaguery, for fear of incurring the wrath of one's boss / getting fired. The last word in private chalet-bitchdom is discretion and ski resorts are small. Fucking small. Everyone knows everyone. Their spies are everywhere and I've already been dropped in it enough times to know that when faced with any accusation of being Belle-de-Neige flat out denial is the only option. Especially since, due to more than one or two inebriated, rambling, bollocks conversations in more than one or two of the local late-night establishments my profile around these parts isn't exactly as low as it ought to be. On more than one occasion both SbH and I have been asked if we know who 'she' is by some unsuspecting acquaintance.

"D'you know who this Belle de Neige girl is then?" a friend's mother asked me the other week.
"Belle who? Sorry, never heard of her."

It's got so bad I've had to enlist the services of a mate of mine to act as a decoy and sent her off into the resort boasting loudly that she's Belle to anyone that will listen. She's rather attractive, slightly unhinged and extremely luminous - just the sort of character you'd expect to go around saying outrageous things about herself and everyone else and cleaning toilets with the toothbrushes of people who annoy her. Of course it helps that I'm actually a bit of a wall flower. Not the first girl you might notice in the room, shall we say. Blend easily into the background. Enjoy the odd sojourn on my tod. No one would ever suspect...

Anyway, here we are, back in the mountains and bugger me is there a lot of snow. Getting anything done is an absolute bitch. After almost two weeks now of almost wall to wall neiging we're practically drowning in the stuff. The trees outside the chalet are bowed and sagging with great armfuls of powdery loveliness. Today I ventured tentatively out with the Man of Leisure and his new lady friend The Princess of Norway (no, really...), looking very elegant on telemarks. We got lost in a toneless world of foam coming seemingly from the ground and the heavens simultaneously  You couldn't see for miles. I relished the blind simplicity of it after all the complications of home. A sense of uncertainty over the lay of the land only two feet in front of you has a tremendous focusing effect the mind - you can only meditate on floating across endless fields of formless white dunes up high and picking a safe line between the trees. The expanding foam of whiteness seemed to enter my brain and expand, pushing out the dark thoughts and concerns. For a moment I let the others go on ahead and stood among the trees. My hair had turned to chiming icicles on my shoulders. I put my face up so tiny, perfect flakes settled on my cheeks.


  1. Pretty sure I worked out who you are about 2 years ago... If I'm right it's not hard to do... Don't worry though. Your secret's safe with me!

  2. It's one of the worst kept secrets in the alps, I suspect...


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