“You’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”

I swear the older you get, the faster time goes.

Six months just slip by these days dont they. Like those epic nights out where you check your phone and its 5am, and youre all like ‘woah’ when did that happen.

Aw yes, time does fly when youre having fun.

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Aaaaaand when youre shacked up in the Alps with THAT snowboarder running a chalet together. Gloat gloat gloat….

Well, we didnt kill each other, so gloat I shall. Yep, Miss Non-Commitment over here managed to live, work and romancify with a REAL boy for a grand total of (including our previous job) nine months.

And, alarmingly, we’re both keen for more!

It just sorta happened. I like life that way- let it happen. Never fight an adventure!

So it was with this mindset that I began my second ski season last December, and it would be wrong not to briefly share the antics…

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No longer a Chalet Girl, but part of a Chalet Couple

I dont really like titles as a form of validation (which is one reason I prefer not to divulge romantic intricacies with the Facebook masses… but that’s a whole other rant).

But the title ‘chalet couple’ certainly embodies a lot of significant detail. From someone who has hosted both ways, I can tell you- the job as a couple is really quite different from the job on your own.

For one thing, you get a bigger chalet between you, probably about 15 guests.

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Which is a complete game-changer. In a word, bluegh.

Okay, so theres two of you to handle the increased workload, but to me those extra five people (generally a single host runs a chalet of ten) actually seem to TRIPLE the workload.

I think it comes down to probability- the more people you have, the higher the likelihood you will get really annoying things to deal with. Like… people who come up for breakfast a minute before you finish serving, separate transfers arriving, more kids and their annoying kids meals, more BABIES, more dietaries, more difficult guests, more whingeing, more slow eaters (that over time add HOURS to your workload)… in short, more problems!

Sure, theres two of you, but that doesnt really matter, as all these niggly things lengthen the hours for both of you… I mean you cant force someone to eat quicker can you?!

And you can’t change the fact you’ll both have to get up earlier every transfer day, because you ALWAYS have people on the early flight.

The only reward an incredible sunrise.

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Anyway, a small chalet might get this occasionally, but if youve got 15 people to feed, then statistically at LEAST one of them will be a pain EVERY week.

So yes we had our share of difficult guests. And children. Yuck.

Its not that I dont like children, actually some of them are awesome. But the type of kids that are brought on expensive chalet holidays (with their ipads and so-called ‘dairy intolerance’s’) are, on the whole, SPOILED.

How many nights did Harry and I stand there and wonder why we’d bothered coming in early, just to cook little Eugene his chicken nuggets and home-made chips when he’d eaten NONE of it and cried hysterically cos, like, peas are EVIL… Then watch as Mummy feed him eat junk food over the volume of his annoying Ipad games. While she told us he’d probably piss the bed again tonight.

Such scenes are so engraved in my memory now, I am not sure I actually want children anymore. Im serious. Little sh!ts most of them.

Still, ten points to us, cos although we really wanted to drop kick them all off the balcony, or slip something with extreme sedative powers into their bolognese… we never did. We only got as far as physically removing them from the kitchen.

Literally picking them up and carrying them by their armpits across the room, before they ‘ran’ onto a knife or I poured boiling water on their heads. Oops.

While Mummy and Daddy watched and didn’t bat an eyelid, naturally.

“Kids? What kids? I’m on holiday. ”

Yes, we became rather passive aggressive. Lets open the fridge door and mutter angrily about ‘vegetarians’ requesting bacon, they cant see us behind here.

Lets maliciously bake a vagina shaped brownie for our 8 children and 8 parents.

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Okay that one was a mistake. A funny mistake.

The frozen turkey mere hours before Christmas dinner service, was not such a funny mistake. Still laughed though didnt I. The answer to everything.

It took the two of us to ram him into the microwave, Mr Bean style, for some aggressive turbo defrost.

We had to be ninjas about it too- geeeez I despise open plan kitchens for professional use. “No you cannot warm your baby’s bottle in the microwave; we’re cooking your Christmas dinner in it”.

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Stick that in your staff handbook.

BUT, we had fun. Of course. I found all this stuff greatly amusing. People are funny, funny characters. Parents even more so. Upper middle-class parents even EVEN more so.

Harry had me in stitches with his sarcastic remarks and dry humour, his dark confessions of what he thought we should do to our guests, and his witty, cruel assessments of them.

This is why I handled the guests and he handled the food; I can slap on a smile and tell them i’ll look into it- Harry on the other hand, speaks only sarcasm when backed into a stupid-question-corner.

Oh, we had some laughs. Usually when the guests were out.

When we could die freely from last nights excesses.

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And Harry could sweat freely in the oppressive kitchen heat.

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Like, the chalet was obscenely hot. Fancy underfloor heating and enough insulation to sink a battleship. Then the guests would light the fire, ya know, cos youre in a chalet so you might DIE if you dont.

People are morons. I love it.

So, aside from burns, boooo…

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…The two banes of our working life were melting in the sweltering heat, and having our eardrums perforated by screaming children.

And cleaning 8 toilets every day.

But, if were honest, no one does a Ski Season for the job.

Its more… a means to an end.

We tolerate these jobs for two things, and two things only:

Skiing

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And partying:

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Work hard, party hard.

A ski season is a sociable beast.

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Consequently, at some point, beer becomes a way of life. It just sorta happens.

Even if you just have one, you drink everyday.

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This (okay, plus bread and cheese) is the reason I always put on weight in the Alps, despite an obscenely active lifestyle. Basically, you can ski all you want, but if there’s a beer in your hand while you do it… yeaaaahhhhh you’ll still get a Chalet Girl Ass.

And Apres ski is just far too tempting, right?

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Now clearly this season I was part of a couple, complete with epic little lovenest (very rare to get your own place on a season!), and I did feel somewhat old at times (I sometimes wonder whats left of my liver).

HOWEVER, there were some wicked nights out which I definitely got fully involved with:

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Its true, the best nights always involved fancy dress!

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I tend to get a little overexcited when a costume is involved, who doesnt!

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A particular favourite of mine was a crab outfit Harry made, pure genius:

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Yeah, the season’s partying was good times. Naturally, the photos dont show the half of it…

We had a wicked team in La Plagne too, so always SOMEONE fun trying to get you out for a beer…

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Or a ski AND a beer:

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Catches up with me way more these days though, wow.

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Getting old or what.

Ski it off

But, just like last year, you party, you ski.

And in terms of skiing, there was LOTS. A huge amount more than last year, helped of course by the fact that I started the season this year as a competent skier, woho!

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I wasted no time getting my own skies too, which made an incredible difference. I love them!

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It was worth it.

The season began with an obscene amount of snow, as early as training week.

We all crawled through waist deep snow to get to our sessions everyday, quite the welcome to the Alps.

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After training we then moved into our resorts and chalets- effectively locked away in them for a week to clean and prepare for guests.

Or in Harry’s case, sneak out the back to build a kicker in that incredible early season snow:

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Once the season was in full swing, the amazing powder continued:

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Some of my favourite days were spent mucking about in POW, blue bird skies, favourite tunes in my ears… very little compares.

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Ahhhh, we love it.

Good days on the mountain remind you why youre there!

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And so does the ski silliness too:

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I had a special onesie for days off, my retro Wednesday onesie, yes!

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And naturally, a special oneise for Christmas Day… YESS!

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Harry and I got INVOLVED where the Christmas outfit was concerned.

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It was sickeningly lovely to spend Christmas day together too, awwwwww, Christmas ski date!

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A few months later, and to top all the ski fun off, the sun even made an appearance.

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Enough to drive half an hour down the mountain for a lake-side bbq… lush.

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Whatever tan I may or may not have picked up, nothing compares to this:

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Antics, antics and more antics

Of course, it wasnt JUST work, party,ski (though yeah, it was mainly that).

Naaaaah we mixed it up too, with some…

Skidooing, now that was uber uber fun:

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Sledging, another one that had me howling…

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Picnic-ing, not quite so extreme, except for the impressive views…

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And, would I let you down? A healthy dose of NUDITY!

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Love the above pic, happy days!

Though if you look closely youll see im wearing a wrist guard.

Yeaahhhhhh, only went an skied off a lil cliff and broke my wrist, nice one.


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A few days of concussion (that SUCKED) and 180 euros later, I accept that my brand new skies will just gather dust for four weeks.

This is when I really felt the so-called mid season blues. They’re sneaky lil devils; will easily get the better of you if you let them. I certainly did for a while.

I was bored bored bored and only had one arm.

You cant ski and you cant do your bra up, DEPRESSION.

Everyone else is off out all day skiing, and you just mope about and consider going home.

Wah wah wah.

In the end, I just went hiking.

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Actually, it was pretty cool. Saw some awesome views that I would have otherwise missed.

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Even convinced the girls to accompany me a couple of times, bless them

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And by March, I was back on skies.

Awwww, it felt so good!!

Then , before we knew it…. it was end times.

Like I said… life goes fast. That season just flew right by, unbelievably fast.

Time for one last extravagance, a slushy group sledge!

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This was the second week of April, and the ground is pretty MOIST by now, so we all got tres wet.

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Harry was not amused by his damp booty.

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But fondue makes up for many things, right?

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Yeaaaaah! I got very involved. Made a little mess.

We fondued, and we drank, and we said our goodbyes.

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Harry and I still made a good team, I like to think.

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand… then the coach took them all home.

BOOM. Just like it.

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Sad times.

Till we (we being about 6 of us that stayed behind to help close resort) jumped in cars and drove to Barcelona for a post ski-season adventure.

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Phew!

And THAT was my last six months…. Immense.

Lessons learned?

– You can live and work with someone and not kill each other (however all the other couples that started the season with us did not make it, so perhaps we are just lucky…)

-Big turkeys take more than 3 days to defrost in the fridge.

– Im probably done with hosting now, new challenge please!

-The mid season blues got me because I was bored, just confirming how much variety is the spice of life for me! I like to move around a lot and try new things, meet new people and experience new places… this is how I thrive.

Whats next?

Hmmm… Lets cross something off the bucket list… Lets drive across the States.

Why not? I have all those lovely wages saved up because, yes, my employer just payed my rent for six months… (I am so in love with this lifestyle).

Aaaaaaaand… drumroll please for our ironic yet somehow always relevant saying of the season…

Y  O  L  O  !

That one was totes for you, Rosie babes.

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  1. Face-planting paradise: 5 ways to NOT suck at life (and kiting) - If you wanna go, just go - November 18, 2014

    […] hysteria gave way to gritty determination, and I ended up not just smashing it, but going back for another ski season the following year. Now, I freaking adore it. But it really was six long weeks of daily tears and tantrums and […]

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