Thursday, 17 March 2011

It feels like the end of season..

We’ve almost got Chatel back to ourselves now as the bulk of school holiday tourists are long gone.

An agent of exploitation

There are only a few French school groups left in town, inexplicably traipsing back through town from the gondola to their hotel, presumably to have lunch, before tramping all the way back to the gondola again to go skiing. I don’t understand why they do this as they must lose about 3 hours of skiing time just walking about and having lunch. They are French I suppose and being in a hurry is not a concept here.

The great tourist getaway means that takings for the local bars are starting to drop off as the French, Dutch and English who pay with actual real money are replaced by seasonaires who were hibernating for February, running up tabs that they can’t really afford on the £100 a week that a chalet girl earns.

It’s still hot here and there is some serious snow-melt going on. A lot of the businesses here are thinking that this is pretty much it for the winter season and I’m hearing of people having their contracts terminated early at the end of March instead of April.

The main topic in town now is the eternal question of ‘what are you going to do in the summer?’. I’m pleased to say that both the missus and myself have managed to line up summer work already, with the missus carrying on her glamorous work as a waitress and me taking the first steps towards a new summer career coaching football.

Many people who have seen me play before will be horrified at the thought that I’m teaching kids football, especially when most of my career was spent shirt pulling and kicking lumps out of centre forwards and then passing the ball to someone who could actually play.

There is still some ski teaching work going on in the slush though and this week we’ve got a really pleasant group of kids over from a school in Hornchurch on a ski holiday dressed up as a ‘French trip’. They are all typical cockey North London kids and considering my group hadn’t skied on snow before, they are doing really well.

I thought it was going to be a long week when all 8 of them fell at the same time like bowling pins the first time we did something difficult but as each hour passes, they are getting more confident. It’s the first all boy group I’ve had this season and they are being typical boys, crashing into each other, fighting and generally not listening. It’s nice to hear some London accents again though as everyone in Chatel seems to be a northern monkey for some reason.

As a last harrah this season before all the work dries and I teach young kids the finer arts of how to defend like an Italian number 5, I’ve booked myself onto an Alpine Development coach BASI course which will be the first of eight modules that I take on my way to my BASI level 3. I’m planning on ticking off all of the other straightforward ones before the level 3 technical skiing exam because I’m still crap in a lot of areas and need to improve before I do that one.

This blog might sound a little odd given that it’s only mid-March but there is a real end of season feeling about Chatel at the moment, perhaps because the season started so early in December. Perhaps this will change if we get more snow. The clouds have rolled in tonight so perhaps we might get lucky.

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