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

Belle de Neige

Monday, 22 December 2014

Cunts that ski in jeans

Nothing much doing on the good slopes of the Alps at the moment, if snow reports are to be believed. And if the snow reports are saying no snow, then there really must be fuck all, because usually, they lie through their teeth to stop poor unfortunate souls from canceling their holidays.

Alpe d'huez. Mega Bon.

And as for you...my little over-enthusiastic, bright-eyed, bushy tailed chalet bitches, I'm sure life has been delightful, with your first week guests languishing in a crestfallen heap on your chalet couch whinging at you because there's no snow. Like you can do something about it. Like you're some kind of all-powerful genie that can conjure a blizzard out of your arsehole.

If this season turns out to be a still birth, I'm gonna lose my shit. For a start I just splashed out a whole load of moular on a new ski jacket, and if I don't get to wear it then the full on toddler tantrum is getting whopped out. Toys out of pram. Fucking yard sale.

Ski shopping is the only thing that makes this time of year bearable when you're at home. And it's not like there isn't much choice out there.The sheer quantity of stash means that these days, you really have no excuses heading out looking like a tool.

...Which is why it's not only inexcusable but completely incomprehensible, yet nevertheless a fact, that this season, you will witness some cunt skiing in jeans.

Yeah... you know the look:

It's a sad, sad sight.

"Can I ski in jeans?"

This is a genuine question asked on 'Yahoo Answers'. That strange phenomenon used by people who don't understand about Google. To be honest, if you're asking this question, it's a fair assumption that you don't understand much about anything, and are quite likely some sort of dribbling buffoon, so even if you're not new to skiing, you're quite probably fairly spasticated and will be spending quite a bit of time on your arse whatever happens. So it's a bad idea from the outset.

Can I ski in jeans. Hmmm. Let's examine the evidence shall we?

Here is one of those French or Eastern European dudes you see on an impromptu jaunt on Sunday afternoons....

I mean, I just want to know, what happens here? What is the thought process? You're on the main road from Nice to Paris, you see some mountains and think... fuck it! You pull over, grab the hi vis jacket from the boot of the car, roll up your jeans, tuck your vest into your underpants and away you go, your dignity flapping in the wind. I mean, in one respect I admire the spontaneity...but, dude... your balls!

Jeans are made of denim, which is made of cotton. A super-absorbent, poorly-insulating, heavy, rough material, invented to make tents, or be worn to mine coal and ride horses in the desert. Now let's think about what this material might do to your delicate, bare-naked skin when worn in a wet, sub-zero environment, going at speed. I mean...maybe you like a sub-zero wind-chill breezing past your balls. Maybe you enjoy the aching sensation of frost-bite as it gradually ravages your butt-cheeks half way up the chairlift. Maybe you like having your lettuce flaps chaffed to the point where you're bleeding down your bible gap and your between-the-thigh area looks like you have advanced Ebola. Each to their own.

Would you go jogging in jeans? Would you go rock climbing in jeans? No! They are really fucking restrictive and more importantly you'd look like a complete retard. Personally I prefer something warm, dry and cushion-y soft between my thighs at all times.

Well, not at all times. Y'know. Sometimes I like to straddle something rough and rub my groin against it but that's another story for another day.

So in answer to this most earnest question. Yeah, sure, you can ski in jeans. You can do whatever the fuck you want. You can wear a mink coat to go scuba diving. Or sky dive in a straight jacket. You could try mud wrestling wearing a tin-foil toga or go on an Amazonian trek in a rubber gimp suit. Of course you'll probably fucking die...but hey, it's your funeral! Knock yourself out.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Chalet Bitch Cookbook

Ever invented a culinary short-cut the cleverness and depravity of which left you with the distinct suspicion that you may, in fact, be an evil genius?

Like the time we were seized with mid-service horror, because we had forgotten to prepare anything remotely resembling a vegetarian main-course for our VIP guest's superwife... (She may have looked like a praying mantis but apparently all she would eat was pickled dodo droppings.)

We had to come up with a solution. And fast.

As many a chalet bitch among you is, I'm sure, aware, chalet cuisine is a highly skilled art form. By art form, I don't mean in the way Nobu's cuisine is - a subtle and intelligent union of flavours and textures to delight and surprise the senses.

No, I'm talking about genius in the sense of crashing face first into the side of your chalet after four hours of powder and a pint of vodka when you're nothing more than a sweaty, smelly zombie, with legs like lead and the brain capacity of a leech.

...Then staggering inside still in your thermals and staring into the echoey chasm of a fridge which contains only mildew butter and hope, and emerging from the kitchen an hour later with a delicious, nutritious meal for eight.

That, my friends, is a treasure trove of possibilities...

 This is a honed skill. The reserve of only the highly resourceful, the unscrupulous and the lucky.

...Which is why, we, of course, managed to find the the perfect solution to our little problem in the form of a jar of Doritos salsa dip.

Discarded by a 2-month-previous set of guests, and languishing stickily at the back of the fridge, we stared at it in wonder.

Of course, she didn't realise what she was eating, but it turns out there's nothing you can't do with a three inch stack of niftily sliced tomatoes and microwaved courgettes that a good, artistic drizzle of Doritos salsa dip won't improve to the point of Michelin star gastronomy. The 'dish' produced enraptured admiration from the eater and demands to be given the 'secret' recipe which went on for several days. The poor, cretinous, duped fool.

So, in the interests of arming future generations of chalet bitches with the tools they need to achieve culinary excellence whilst still fitting in maximum hours balls deep in pow....and armed with a library of my own culinary fuck ups and strokes of last minute genius, I have decided to compile another book.

 Working Title: "The Chalet Bitch Cookbook"

If you fancy 15 minutes of fame, serve me up some of the most frightening concoctions you've splattered under the noses of your unfortunate guests, and you might just make the shortlist...

Happy cooking, chalet bitches!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Life in the tube queue

In the last 3rd of my 30th year, I have finally paid off my student loan, I own a pair of shoes that cost more than £100 and have no ski-related purpose, I use face cream, brush my hair regularly and cut off split ends. I hold down full time employment, I don't drink during the week and last Monday I booked myself on a yoga retreat ...for new year.

I know.... it's like I swallowed a copy of Lady Magazine. I'm like, shitting Tiffany cufflinks.

...I regularly cycle to work, and I've finally made peace with the idea that if I'm ever going to shed the spare tyre I've carried since the age of 10, I need to eat fewer cakes and move around more. Oh yes, and I've written a book.

Yes, it all looks very impressive doesn't it?

Of, course, we are neatly glossing over a few minor details here. I still, for example, cannot afford a house. There are various banal reasons for this, including the fact that my entire generation is fucked.

I work in London, and they keep building posh, expensive boxes for Chinese people to buy with money they made from the bleeding fingers of toddlers in sweatshops making iPhones, which means the cost of living in a pencil case with no windows is roughly equivalent to everything I've earned in my life.... ever. (Which isn't that much thanks to the fact I spent four years tossing around a ski resort, crippling my once impressive earning potential. I'm currently on the same pay I was in 2009.)

Oh yeah...then there's the latent terror that makes me scuttle to the back of my mental cave any time anyone mentions anything vaguely resembling responsibility.

The key thing to confess is that, at 30, Scruffy but Handsome and I are still living at home, with his Mum.

This set up, while not great for personal morale, has a charm of its own. I don't for example, have to pay rent. And every so often my laundry gets done for me. However, I also don't have a cupboard. All my belongings are hanging on a rail in a moth-infested study. Or stuffed into boxes in dusty corners, where they wait patiently for the day I acquire a mantelpiece, kitchen or bathroom to put them in. The house is large, sprawling and kinda bohemian. It's full of stuff. Sometimes if you listen at night you can hear the joists straining under the load of years and years of accumulated accoutrements and chattels.

SbH's Mum is a lover of objects, to which she's capable of ascribing all sorts of abstract values and meanings. In other words she is a bit of a hoarder. There are (at the last count) 17 tables, about fifty chairs, four million boxes of mysterious papers, 25 years' worth of abandoned sports equipment, flotsam and jetsam from various fads, school text books and art projects. Ancient videos, abandoned computer screens, broken lamps, knickknacks, trinkets, baffling historical artefacts she found whilst wandering the sands at Greenwich, drawers crammed with broken jewellery and crockery, paper clips, scraps of jottings, postcards...worn out shoes...And then there's the pottery.

SbH's Mum likes to make pots.

Lots and lots of pots.

And heads.

In fact, just this morning, while making my pint of tea I totted up 42 items of home-made earthenware in the kitchen alone.

And the numbers are growing.

The house is also full of something else. People. Eccentric individuals SbH's Mum has curated into a collection in much the same way as the chairs and tables.

...An obese, out of work, kaftan-wearing thespian, whom SbH has eloquently nicknamed 'The Fat Man.' A man so devoutly committed to the religion of consumption that he is unable to do anything whatsoever in moderation. From running a bath (fill bath to brim with boiling water, wait for it to cool), to brewing coffee (brew an entire pot full, strong enough to rouse Tutankhamun from the dank, shadowy depths of his tomb, drink one cupful, discard pot by sink to get cold). Want a bowl of pasta? Why have a bowl when you could make an entire kitchen sink's worth?

...A teenaged, bone-white, carrot-red, six foot, Northern Irish, straight, male ballerina, with a name I won't attempt to pronounce that contains seven consonants and no vowels and doesn't know how to feed himself properly. He lives off chicken nuggets, and likes to stretch, extravagantly, in front of the telly in the evenings while moaning about how tired he is, how amazingly good at ballet he is (DON'T make the mistake of asking him how is day was. You'll be treated to a live enacting of the latest Pas de Deux he's learning, complete with singing)  and whine on about his romantic entangling with an insane, anorexic, egotistical trainwreck named Anna, who's a complete bitch to both him and herself.

...A builder with congenital verbal diarrhoea and FOMO named Gareth, who spends his time repeatedly impregnating every woman he fucks, and then running for the hills (on this occasion, our house).

So really, whilst it might appear on the outside that I am living the smooth, glossy life of a success, the real truth is that I am still living in much the same circumstances as I was in the ski resort. That is, crammed into an over-stuffed space with a bunch of crack pots. Except there's no snow.

As I stand in the exit line from Brixton railway station on one of many hundred occasions this year, shuffling forwards through the narrow doorway that creates a frustrating bottle neck every single day, I'm often reminded of the queue for a chair lift. I feel a pang for ski resort life.  Then my thoughts settled on the shower surround in the chalet. An expanse of gloss black mosaic and glass, uplit by bulbs, embedded into the tiles in all four corners which showed up every last smear and blemish rendering it necessary to polish the walls, the ceiling, and the glass panels, every single day.

In total I polished that shower surround approximately three hundred times over the course of the season. And every time, I died a little bit inside. Just as I’m dying a little bit standing in this queue.

It strikes me then that no matter what you do you cannot escape the inevitable repetitiveness of some aspect of life. You get up, you clean your teeth, you have a shit.

Life goes on.

So, if you're doing the sensible thing, and heading out on another ski season this year, at least have the decency to send me a postcard.

AFTERGLOW - Lightsuit Segment from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Why don't bitches ride no more?

Excuse me, but what the fuck is this?

Oh. I know. It's Vogue magazine peddling drivel on the subject of skiing. As if they have even a rhesus monkey's inkling in Higgs Bosun of what they're talking about.

Allow me to speak for an entire section of snow-borne society in saying this to you Vogue:


Yes Vogue you bunch of prancing tossers. I'm talking to you. Peddling this kind of bullshit in our territory, is not welcome. You don't belong here. How dare you write an article on 'ski chic', when you don't ski? If Seth Morrison turned up on the Paris catwalk and started lecturing Kate Sodding Moss about Manolo Blahniks what sort of expression do you think would creep over her alabaster features? It would be one of pure fury, disdain and bile-soaked ire... So may I enquire why you feel entitled to print such a load of drivel and sell it to the unsuspecting, paying public?

Aren't your tits a bit cold, luv?

For those of you without the stomach to read it, let me summarise this lacklustre piece of pseudo-fashion journalism for you. The general gist is as follows:

"How to be ski chic? Don't ski. As every on-trend fashionista knows, skiing is a non essential part of a ski holiday. The real point is to get selfies and be 'seen' poncing around in Lacroix with a fruit bowl on your head, looking like a cunt."

I don't know where to begin with this article. I feel deeply in my soul that it's the root of everything that's wrong with ski resorts and the 'upper echelons' of the clientelle that visit them. Particularly people like Sadie Fucking Frost. And Nick Knob Grimshaw.

A few of my choice turds from this article:

Wear monochrome

Up a mountain? Oh yeah. I'm so cool I'm dressed like a rock.

Moon Boots are still in


Er....I beg to differ. What in the name of Zeus' left testicle are you talking about?

Anything goes...even Pandas on your trousers.

Say what?

Yes. That's true, if you're seven years old and your parents are blind people from China.

...I think more than anything it's the haughty, conceited, know-it-all tone of this article that offends me most. It oozes arrogance -that familiar hallmark of the ignoramus - like a suppurating boil. It's meant to be tongue in cheek. But no. It's just shit.

Nick Grimshaw and Sadie Frost took meditation classes instead of skiing, did they? Well hopefully the narcissistic, agave syrup guzzling half-wits spent the time meditating on what a pair of cunts they are, wasting money in an otherwise hostile environment. 

Meditation clearly working wonders there Sade...

You turn up in your over-egged four by four, demanding heated driveways, so you don't slip over in your stupid, overpriced shoes and your canine canape's feet don't freeze, raising the temperatures in the resort and fucking the environment while you're at it. Then you proceed to not ride because you have no joy in your soul.

If you have come to a resort to 'see' and 'be seen' one has to ask, why? Aren't there a million other less extreme environments in which you can satisfy your nebular ego? You have totally missed the point of what the mountains have to offer. You can prance around in a fur lined Moncler anorak anywhere. Go to Siberia and die. I certainly don't want to look at you. Especially if you're that much of a hag that over exposure to clean mountain air makes your skin chafe and flake off. Maybe you should lay off the cocaine and botox if that's the case! Or eat some meat (because you're no doubt vegan or some shit like a 'Cloudarian'). 

This kind of crap is exactly why bitches don't ski no more!

Ladies of the Alps, I say to you that people like this should be pole whacked in the Montcler tits. Don't be a Sadie, or an Arizona or a Tamara. Be an Aimee or a Jenny.Get out there and live, and ride and get messy and scare yourself. Say yes to everything. Jig around topless with a pint of Mutzig in each hand. Crowd surf. Then be on the mountain at 8.45 choking back the sick, but RIDING GOD DAMN IT. Girls that ride are awesome. I've met some of the most, interesting, capable women of my life on ski seasons. The type who, like Aimee, will go upside down just to get the crowd going.They have bigger balls than most guys you'll meet. They're the type of women you aspire to be friends with.

Both these ladies, I might add, started their ski careers scrubbing poo off u-bends in chalets, so none of you lot out there have any excuse.

What is more troubling though, about this fact, is it actually indicates that there is a modicum of believability behind the story line of 'Chalet Girl' the movie...

So in conclusion, if you want ski fashion tips don't take them from Vogue. Take them from this lady:

I hope you'll unite with me in saying "Vogue! Take your cashmere-cunt readership, piss off back to your air conditioned Notting Hill conversions and stop throwing  cigarettes all over the mountain and pushing up the prices."

Here's the reality. If you go to a ski resort and you don't ski, you are not chic. You're just  a dick, in the mountains.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Threesomes, foursomes and much much moresomes - NSFW!

Riffing on the theme of a recent article I wrote for Whitelines magazine on the subject of 'sex in the snow', I thought it would be appropriate to expand on a topic that's close to my heart:

The Private Chalet Shag

Particularly since, during some idle hours of 'research' this afternoon, I stumbled across this little gem:

NSFW...but extremely funny...

How, I have been wondering, has this classic moment in film history, the original 'Chalet Girl' slipped through my net? Its colossal naff-ness makes my little cup of joy just overflow. And gives SbH a semi.
Also, one of the girls, looks alarmingly like one of my ex-season-staff. Which is both amusing and terrifying.

Anyway, returning to topic, as I said before, if you are one of the fortunate few who happen to have a private chalet job this season, listen up! It is your responsibility...nay....your duty to have sex in that chalet as much as possible. With lots of people. Preferably at the same time. If you've rocked up in the Alps in a leather-interior four-by-four bought and paid for by a boss with more money than sense and are planning to spend your time (during your five weeks off) quaffing his wine cellar and playing video games in the cinema room, then fine. But if you fail to seduce one or two of your fellow seasonnaires into getting their jiggly bits out and frolicking in the hot tub, then you're doing it wrong.

Is that....?

Watching your boss drinking tea in his underpants with his feet up on the ottoman you got reamed over not four days ago, is an experience I heartily recommend.

If you are of the depraved, fire-starting persuasion, but your fellow seasonnaires are a little bit backwards in coming forwards, here are some possible suggestions for catalyzing naughty play time en chalet:

News travels fast
Engineer a rumour around the resort that you're into threesomes - you'll be surprised how many unexpected dark horses crawl out of the woodwork and ask for a cheeky invite round to dinner when they get a sniff of this.

Strip poker, truth or dare, spin the bottle 
Remember that people tend to do things in ski resorts that they would never do elsewhere. Carpe Diem. The time is ripe to entice your mates out of their undergarments and strip poker is the logical way forward.

Group bath time
Get everyone drunk and suggest a bubble bath. Worth a punt.

Jump right in
This is easier if you're a couple / regular shag pals already. Get everyone in the hot tub and, after a few suggestive comments, just start making out with each other in front of everyone. It'll go one of two ways. Either everyone will be scandalised, make their excuses and leave, in which case you can just have a nice shag in private. Or you'll make them all horny and they'll join in.

Unless you want to be sneezing gravy and Catherine-wheeling into the china goddess for a good 48 hours post coitus, I wouldn't advise the purchase of oysters in the mountains. However, you can buy chocolate, almonds, avocados, figs, garlic and honey in abundance, which are all, apparently, aphrodisiacs. So cook everyone dinner and slip a few of those into the mix and you never know...

Group stretching
After a hard day's skiing there's nothing sexier than watching someone get down into their sweaty thermals and stretch out those groin muscles.... or is it just me?

Well... I hope this all helps you in your mission to broaden those Alpine sexual horizons this winter.

Don't forget to clean in all the crevices, people.


Monday, 6 January 2014

Turning 30 in the Alps

Well gang, in the not too distant future, I shall be 30. Yes.

I can no longer perpetuate the myth of magically remaining somewhere in my mid-twenties, like a character from the Simpsons or Family Guy. It's been three years since I wrote this and I can confirm; in two days I am 30 and I no longer give a fuck. As stated, I have been calling a cunt, 'a cunt' for several years now, and I can confirm, it feels good. It's why I have no guilt about not skiing today and sitting around in my underwear.

Besides, I did a full three-rotating tomahawk yesterday, in some lovely fluffy powder resulting in severe whiplash. Which makes me and everything I do and say from now on in life totally legitimate.

We'll gloss over the fact my mate just sat there laughing and eating a sandwich while I had to climb up a hill in knee deep powder to retrieve my poles.

It also feels good to be a punter, for once. I know. It's blasphemy to say so. But I've been out here in the mountains for about ten days now with a small, but precious crew of fellow ex-seasonnaires and it's just so nice being able to do whatever the fuck we want. The temptation to 'pop in' and take a ganders at last years' chalet is almost too much to ignore. Suffice to say, whoever's running it, while you've been picking up the owner's wife's grundies off the floor and taking their screaming brats to the bowling alley, we've been having over-priced lunches in piste-side restaurants and regular showers and everything.

Posh pit-stop

This trip is also, obviously, a humanitarian mission to bring my words of wisdom in the form of Belle de Neige the book, to the unsuspecting, ignorant youth of the mountains. According to a friend, A, the Ski Resort is crawling with Irksome Blonde 19 Year Olds, this year, ripe for milking like the over-enthusiastic cash cows they are.

A case in point, the leggy blonde working in the chalet I stayed in last week could do with a few stern words. Love, if you're reading, you seriously have one of the cushiest jobs on the mountain I've ever heard of. All you have to do is some accounts and hoovering! Christ! With a job like that I'd have ripped France a new arsehole!

In fact...I have some questions for you:

Why aren't you skiing more? Did you come here for some other obscure reason?
Why don't you loosen up a bit? You're on a season. It's supposed to be fun.
Why are you wearing high heeled boots in a ski resort?
Why are you here if you're supposed to be happily engaged to the love of your life?
On that theme, why did you deny shagging that blonde, Skandi sex god we all nicknamed 'Thor' - he was fit. You should have fucking claimed that one.
Why don't you stop whinging and get involved? Life's too short. You're young. Your twenties are only a dress rehearsal, you really don't have to make any commitments / get it right.

Watching this poor mite dragging her heels around the chalet every morning looking miserable and failing to 'fit in' with the rest of her rambunctious and enthusiastic co-workers made me think. Not to get too philosophical, but, whatever her major malfunction, I just wished she could see what she'd gain if only, please, for the love of God, she'd stop taking herself so seriously.

I lost my Mum and my best friend during my twenties. It completely threw me. I made a lot of mistakes after that and I didn't take the usual twenties career path. But being in a place where I could make mistakes without hurting anyone I loved, or just simply vent my emotions by stretching out my arms and screaming down a hill, got me through a very difficult time- a time when a lot of other people in their twenties were struggling to get jobs and feeling dispossessed.

Who, or what, I have to wonder, would I have turned into if I hadn't had that ski season brain belch on the tube back in 2009? If Shazzer hadn't urged me to do it, in her inimitable way. What kind of a 30 year old would I have been? Would I have written a book?

I doubt it. Despite all the detractors when I made my decision to be a serial snow-bum, I firmly believe ski seasons were the making of me.

Here are just a few pearls of great wisdom I would never have learned, but for ski seasons:

30-minute roast lamb (shove in baking tray, set oven to 'self clean')
How to ski in the dark, pissed or stoned.
The key to success in life is not getting an easy ride.
People despise weaklings and quitters.
There's no sadness fresh air, blue skies and adrenaline cannot mend.
If you 'can't do it' because you're too lazy / feeble, there are ten other people queuing to take your place.
You can make a positive out of all negatives.
Never drink a glass of cold water after eating Raclette.
In all probability you are cleverer, more capable, more attractive and tougher than you think.
Genepi tastes like toilet duck
Every ending is a new beginning
Most people in positions of power are there because they excel at talking out of their arses.
Don't put up with any shit. From anyone.
If you've never conquered the back flip, don't start trying at 25
Some people are friends by proximity, others because they define you.
DIN settings are v important
Everyone has some major malfunction or other.
Never mistake the love of your life for a student-layabout-shag-pal

...Right, that's enough philosophizing for one idle afternoon. I've made myself feel slightly sick. Do feel free to take everything I say above with a generous pique of salt. I fully intend to spend the next two days partying, taking uppers and downers and skiing shitfaced, like any self-respecting seasonnaire current or otherwise.

If you fancy joining me, do. I'll see you at The Folie. We'll be the ones with eyes like saucepan lids and skis like canoes.