I’ve had a day off!!!
Well I say a day off. I was up at seven because John, the head of logistics lad that he is, rang me asking if I want a lift. Fuck off… I’m in bed mate – and have you got the menus from the office. “What menu’s” he says: oh here we go.
I need to get the menus – that I was up until 2am o completing – filled in by guests before they ski, otherwise I can’t go shopping this afternoon, which all ends up with them not being fed. As I’ve found out already that’s just not on. I tell him I’ll be one minute, I throw some jeans on, a jacket and I’m falling out the door whilst simultaneously trying to put on my shoes. No snow last night then. I run / wavily jog and stumble the twenty yards down to the office, grab the stack of 18 menus and turn to find John pulling up outside. I jump in and we screech off. I’ve seen John in better moods.
One of the drivers who was supposed to do the bread run this morning didn’t. A moment or so passes. “Partly my fault”, says John, “got him fucking battered didn’t !”. We both eventually find this hilarious – me probably still drunk and most definitely half asleep – before I explain that we’re not like him and his ‘army mates’. We can’t all go and get utterly noshed, have two hours sleep, and then be on “drill” straight away. He understands. It won’t stop him getting the shots in though!
John drops me off and I go upstairs to the dining room / kitchen to find a bit of a shitstorm. I’m sure the guests will be understanding – we have a member of staff who is not normally there and no chef. This service should be forgiven for its mistakes. Becky’s juggling still getting used to the chalet, setting up the table and getting hot drinks ready to go to the guest’s bedside tables (vip service – what’d you expect?!).
I find Tom at the stove – he’s pushing into the role and seems to know what he’s doing. “Watch the gas oven”, I tell him, “It’s the bane of my life”. I can feel him willing to piss off and leave him alone so I go back into the dining area and start clearing up the remnants of last nights glassware. I’m doing this whilst expressing the importance of guests filling in the menus before they leave. Either that on they’re not eating because I can’t shop. “Yes yes yes fuck off” I can feel her thinking – she’d never say it she’s a lovely girl.
I head back into the kitchen and straight to the stove… It’s my kitchen and I can’t help myself. I open it. “Bacon” I say as I calmly walk away, leaving the oven door wide open. Tom turns: “shit” he grabs it out and saves what he can. In fairness to him that oven is ruthless. I probably burn 2 or 3 things a day in it. It’s either luke warm or core-of-the-earth-hot. No middle ground. If you put something expensive in it then you sit on the floor and open the door every minute.
On the burning of the bacon I think that it’s unfair that I’m here, watching over them and them feeling I’m judging: which I am. I leave. Back down to catch an hour in bed. I get up, put some washing on, hoover my floor and clean the bathroom (me Becky and Rose share it – they share a room) which has just had a new shower put in – utter result – but is looking more than grim. Becky arrives back with the menu’s and I head out to shop.
The ‘Super U’ is about twenty-five minutes down the mountain – I borrow the keys to one of the vans and head off. I still find is a bit dodgy driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. I fill my trolley up so high that it’s dangerous. I drop an eight-pack of yoghurts, which splatter all over, and decide I need to get a second trolley: I wish I’d taken a photo but I forgot and was stressed. I promised myself I’d be in and out in an hour but two hours later and everyone is staring at me at the checkout as I dart from loading things onto the moving platform to packing into bags at the other end. Stupide Anglaise.
I finish and get the hell out of there. Five hundred and four euros. That’s just for three days. I’m way over budget – my first shop was over seven, then I had a top-up shop of one hundred and sixty and I need to add on the things that come from stores. Thats about 1400 plus stores which with a 1200 threshold is dangerous. “Well maybe you shouldn’t buy free-range eggs then!”: fuck off!
And so I get back, unpack, and head to the office again to sort out next weeks menu. I’m doing pretty much the same but of course no Christmas Day so I needed to replace that entirely. I’m thinking of doing a roast of Bresse Chicken on Sundays (Generally seen as the best chicken in the world)
I’ve got a phone call to make tomorrow to next week’s guests. Hopefully they’ll get some snow and enjoy the food. Thats what I care about.
I’ve had a day off. Kind of. Nart.