An english girl who after six months in the french mountains, has left for Italia, the beautiful country. My thoughts on leaving life as I know it and beyond! Join me as I embark on a life with lots of adventure and a lack of heels!!!!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

I am still here!!

hello all,

having a technological nightmare but in a couple of weeks it should be all over!!!

the dongles we bought to get online have corrupted the modem in our laptop which means it is dead!! so we have had to order  new one, not budgeted for!!! but we have a shiny new mac on its way so should have no further problems as long as we stay away from dongles!!!!!!!!!!!

so using internet cafes is a nightmare, since the invention of wi fi there are hardly any actual computers to use anywhere, when they are available they are 9 euro an hour and have a french keyboard so it takes twice as long to type as all the keys are in the wrong  bloody place!!!!! but hey ho could be worse, could be working!!!!!

had a great christmas a la francaise style, christmas dinner cooked on christmas eve by moi, we had smoked salmon canapes and champagne on our balcony, then foie gras and goats cheese brioche with fig jam, then roast duck breast with port sauce, obviously did'nt make cheese course or desert as we were bloody stuffed!!! needless to say i feel like a blimp after eating all this fattening french food and all the copious amounts of wine finding its way down my throat!!!  and no the skiing does not burn it all off, its all a myth!!!! i feel fat!!!

we have friends coming out next week (really looking forward to that, and some female company as i am the only girl my age in resort!!) for the week so more drinking and eating is not going to help this situation, oh and the million course new year dinner in a lovely local restaurant with the obligotory consumption of alchohol, my god i will be rolling down the hill at this rate!!!

talking of rolling down the hill, i had my first major fall which scared the living bejesus out of me and knocked my very fragile (skiing) confidence right out of me, still in one piece though, just a bit of bruised ribs and a pulled stomach muscle, physically repaired now but certainly not mentally!!!! but is all part of it i guess.

so hopefully i will back to blogging with gusto in the new year when we finally get our new laptop, its so weird as we are already living in a strange bubble like existance as living in a mountain resort is already pretty remote and its a permanent holiday resort so its like you're part of the holiday too but without a computer it is even odder as we literally have no idea what is happening in the world.

so feel free to let me know whats going on, it would do me good to have a dose of reality!!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Fashion Advice!

Just a quick one on the subject of snow style advice.

I was dressed very casually (well I thought so), black skinny jeans, fitted denim shirt with puff shoulders and my heeled hiking boots, we were going to have a quick drink last Thursday evening (I swear we are not drinking as much as it sounds!) in the V Spot (cool boarder hang out, of which I am most definitely not it must be said!).

We got there and it was pretty quiet about 8.30ish, (but this is a late place you can literally go out every single night till about 6 in the morning) but anyhow we were sitting having a quiet drink minding our own business when some young chap who works for our landlord turned up. Now I must say he is pleasant enough, bit of a smelly baggy boarder type, long messy curls, permanent woolly hat on, dirty jacket, baggy pants, but that’s fine there are a lot of them knocking about. We have seen him around and always have a quick chat about nothing in particular.

HE decided to give me a bit of style advice on Thursday night!!!! He said “you’re a bit glam you, you need to get in to your baggies and hoodies and be comfy and warm”, I was ever so slightly speechless (I know hard to believe eh?), but I smiled politely and said “I don’t do baggy, this is me casual and comfy”, at which point he laughed and looked at my boots, and laughed again, and told me I needed some trainers on!!!! Since when did boys start caring? Or sharing advice? Or not as the case may be!! There was nothing left to say quite frankly.

Then Friday night we had the cool party thing, what on earth to wear??? Go ultra casual (like everyone else) or be my own glam self, decided on what I consider a casualish grey marl, zippy, fitted dress with thick tights and my wedge ankle boots, perfect. Oh and some dangly chunky earrings, bugger it if I’m not gonna be in the skanky gang then I may as well go all out!! But we got there and It was fine, I was’nt the only one in a dress (I saw probably like 4/5 others out of hundreds!!!) and the hostess was wearing leopard tights and heeled boots!!! Whoopee I am not the only ‘glam’.

But funnily enough on the way out, balancing across the snow path in my ankle boot wedges, another boarder (a clean one but baggy all the same), who we had met once before, stopped me and pointed at my feet and said “Have you got heels on? Bloody hell you’re mad”, Chuckled and went on his way. Have these boys never seen a girl in anything other than bloody trainers????

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Hello again.

Well hello there from here in sunny (!!!) Val d’isere. I am trying desperately not to turn this blog into a French mountain weather report but unfortunately we are rather weather dependant up here!!!

We still have had no more snow since one day last week and I know back in the UK you will be muttering that I am mental but we need snow, and we need cold! Temperatures reached +5 this week, compared with -23 last week that is not good (I know I was cold, I know I know). But bright days mean lovely skiing conditions even if it is getting very icey under foot.

We started work last Wednesday (by start I mean one whole day!!), did a spot of cleaning in a few apartments which was fine, I say a spot of cleaning, we cleaned everything, and I mean everything, from knives and forks to toilets! But being paid for housework is not to be sniffed at, not exactly challenging but it suits us perfectly. So if you happen to end up in an apartment rented through Peak Services here in Val d’isere it will have been yours truly who cleaned your loo!!

But it’s not all about work, our employers very kindly invited us along to a soiree Friday evening thrown by a very cool mountain restaurant (think outdoor DJ’s and champagne on the terrace). Nobody is entirely sure of the purpose of this event as they are already hugely successful and clearly make a fortune as the evening was rumoured to have cost them £30,000,It was invite only (no rif raf in their hi-tops here!!) and it was for local business’. It was held in the local sports centre, but that is an ultra glam location by itself, all moody lighting, stone and chrome, not your typical council run leisure centre!!!! The party was held poolside with a live DJ and singers (including one er.. guy? In stilettos and a wedding hat!!), there was champagne on arrival with canapés then cocktails, wine and beer plus more food all for FREE!!!! Fabulous!! Oh and a fashion show, but that was rubbish, it was all awful ski clothes which was weird as there’s some really nice stuff about. But unfortunately the bar ran dry at just gone 10 but it was fun whilst it lasted!!! So we left and went to a fully stocked bar to buy drinks!!! We found out whilst there that Friday was the French evening and then they were doing it all again Saturday night for the Brits, odd as our employers are British and there were loads of Brits there so we decided that it must be for the unpopular ones on the Saturday and they probably ended up with our leftovers and shit wine!! Bet they did’nt get champagne!!

So you can imagine that Saturday we were not up bright and early skiing, although the hangovers were not bad considering!! But it has been the mens world cup ski championship here this weekend so we got up and watched that which was good, a great atmosphere and free milka chocolate!!

So that’s it for a while, meant to be working tomorrow (Monday) but our employers said they might take us skiing instead!! It is a hard life!!!

E xxxxx

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Right we still have no internet!! We have purchased another dongle and that won’t work either!! AGHHHH. That is all I am going to say on the matter. Copy and pasting from now onwards. Although very frustrating that I cannot read any blogs either as time will not allow when paying by the hour for wi-fi!!

It is weird when you don’t have internet or TV, you get so spoiled in having these things eh? It also makes you realise that you don’t really need them as much as you thought you did, but when you are living in another country the internet is a life line back to your nearest and dearest and in these days of technology gone mad it makes you wonder how we did ever live without it.

We had been going on to everyone before we left to make sure that they are on Skype and now it is virtually impossible for us to use it ourselves, typical.

But enough moaning, we went out Saturday evening, first to a bar opening, Swedish owned and run so more of the beautiful people (I was the only girl in there without long blonde hair!), then on to a party where we met a few more (non-Scandinavian) people. I actually blow dried my hair (a rarity now that my hair is mostly under a helmet!) I put on a skirt and attached some sparkly earrings and looked more like my former self!! It was quite nice to see though that the birthday girl was wearing a dress and I actually saw someone in a pair of silver sandals!! All I am going to say is that she must’ve had a pair of snow boots in her bag or that she was staying in the hotel above the bar, it was freezing and as we have had no new snow the paths and roads around this village are like an ice rink!

There was a band (you know my thoughts on bands, I think I am going to get my fill of them in certain places here!!), It is incredible the singer was about 40, he still had that look of complete arrogance and ‘I’m gonna be discovered, you just wait’ look in his eyes, he had a new bunch of younger lads playing with him and I swear he thought that he was famous already and that he was giving these new guys their big break!! Unbelievable! His wife was really nice, she does the work, runs luxury chalets and apartments (I’m meeting with her tomorrow for a bit more work) whilst he is in a band. There is a common denominator here, the women are the ones running the place whilst the men play in the snow (or believe themselves to be such talented musicians they could not possibly work in real jobs!!!) Who are the stupid ones really???

Too much vino resulted in day off the slopes on Sunday, hangovers at altitude are not for the faint hearted, don’t know why they are worse, they just are. But that was fine, had a spot of lunch then just vegged out and made pizza’s for dinner, another healthy food day!!!

So the weather, it has decided to about face and go from -23 last week to raining today, with highs of 5 degrees, not brilliant for snow!! Although at the top of the mountain there should be 30-60cm of new snow due to this rain lower down but the avalanche risk was up to 4 out of 5 today what with the warmer temperatures add in 50mph winds at the top and I don’t think I need to clarify that I am not on the mountain skiing in rain/wind/blizzard today!!! Bloody mad people if they think that’s fun.

So that’s about all for now folks, hope that the UK is thawing out.

E xxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 6 December 2010


Blimey it’s been cold. I know, I know, we are at altitude,1850 meters above sea level to be precise, we are in the mountains, we knew it was gonna be cold, we’ve been here before, we knew what to expect, but bloody hell!

We have had some great days skiing now that the slopes are open, brilliant blue skies, bright white never ending snow and amazing snow conditions as well as empty slopes as there are hardly any tourist’s yet. Although we had one day this week where it started snowing when we woke up but then it got harder and harder and harder and lasted all day and night. Mr had the great idea of getting up to the glacier that day, 3,488 meters above sea level, we made it halfway before we were snow blind, buried and stuck in snow up to our calves before giving it up as a bad job. Added to the fact that we saw no one else after a certain point made us realise that maybe it was not a good idea! Back to the warmth and comfort of our little home.

After a whole days snow fall the last couple of days have been excellent on the mountain, but clear skies mean cold, cold, cold. The warmest it has been has been -8, but averaging on -15/-19, then this morning it was -23!!!!!! F*CKING cold. Today I have frozen. I was wearing 2 sets of thermals, insulating socks plus ski socks, plus 2 extra tops and my ski clothes!! I have battery operated boot heaters (which are not bloody working properly), I have glove liners and I had a headband and hood up under my helmet!!!And my neck warmer was tucked into my goggles to protect my face! I had to keep my gloves on at lunch in the restaurant (a little treat to warm us up) and it was still cold inside the restaurant, they did not have their fires on!! How cold does it have to be before they put the heating on for god’s sake????

Am I a bit feeble or is this normal?? I have been consuming meat and dairy in a bid to ward off the cold and it does not seem to helping, I had so many clothes on today I could not bend over to take my ski boots off!!!!! What else can I do to warm up?? Apart from stay indoors I hear you say!!!!! I am confident that I will acclimatise at some point, I’ve got to haven’t I? When we were living in Australia after 8 months 23 degrees felt chilly!!

But enough of my moaning about the cold, that is the way it is and it will get much colder at some point so I will stop bitching and get on with it!! (Although, I’m not entirely sure Mr would believe me saying that last statement!!!)

We have other developments though, work will begin on Wednesday, got an early start though, bloody 10 am!!! He, He, only kidding, It is a 10 am start though! Back in the summer whilst I was emailing business owners out here in Val I had quite a positive response to getting a bit of work. One contact emailed me this week wanting to meet up and discuss something she had for me. We met up for a drink the other evening to have a chat and go from there, Mr and I met her and her husband, a lovely couple from Woking who have been running an apartment rental company here for the last 5 years. What a great way to have an interview, cosy little wooden bar, a glass of wine and a good old chat. That was it. I start weds! Now would’nt it be nice if everything was done like that?

Tonight we are off to a fortieth birthday in a bar with some people we met last week, ( god I hope they are not the swinging set Mr Robinson!!) the lady who knows everything and everyone invited us to meet up with all the other normal people out here. So should be a good night. I had a lovely comment from my friend K a few days back regarding what to wear to this party. I hate to admit it but I may be changing, for the first time in my life I had’nt really given it a second thought. I knew it was like this but people really do not dress up. I have not seen a single other girl in a skirt or dress apart from me and those of you that know me know that I was always covered in dangling earrings, bundles of bangles and chains of necklaces and rows of pearls but I am sorry to say that they just get in the way when you are layering up with scarves, hats, gloves etc, etc and metal gets sodding cold (and we all know where I am with that at the moment!!) I have barely worn a pair of earrings! I will sort that out at once, I promise I will not turn into one of the boring basics brigade! But I would feel a bit of a pratt turning up in what I may have worn at home, but I am going to stick to my guns and do as I promised and try to add a little glam to the never ending sea of jeans and jumpers. Maybe I’ll mix things up and wear a jumper with a skirt!! That’ll shock ‘em!!

Hope you are all keeping well and not too fed up with the snow back in the UK!

E xxxx

Friday, 3 December 2010

Copying and pasting again!!!!

Well once again I am sat here at the table looking out to a vision of white, the snow has been falling all day and we cannot even see the mountains it is so thick. So copying and pasting a post again, and it will be a scheduled post due to me already having one other copy and paster lined up from Monday!!!!. We were online in our apartment as of last Thursday, and then it all went wrong.

We had purchased a dongle so that we had internet access in our apartment. There are a couple of wi-fi spots but its either 5 euro an hour at the tourist office or spend 10 euro on two drinks for an hour’s surfing in the cafe, that makes it hard to have enough time for the both of us to reply to emails, check our bank and update blogs etc etc and you cannot really Skype then either. So either way, annoyingly expensive and not particularly practical. We had always intended on getting a dongle as we knew that we did’nt have a phone line here in the apartment, although neither of us had used one before, everyone said they were great. Hmmmm.......

We went into a mobile phone shop in Bourg St Maurice last Thursday, my French certainly does not lend itself to that sort of conversation but one of the sales assistants spoke pretty good English so between us we managed to buy one.

We got home, it was surprisingly easy to install (well thats what Mr said, I, Ms non-technology, left it to him). So we were happily Skyping and surfing the web until Sunday when it said we needed to recharge. Ok, just click on the recharge link on the website and buy some more time we had been assured.

It is now Wednesday and the f*cking thing will not work! The website will not load properly, it asks us to register, which we do, then the f*cking thing will not let us submit the information!!!!!!! We took it back to the shop (30 mins drive away) on Tuesday where they told us, “you just need to click here and register and then pay”, Oh you don’t think that we have tried that?????????? It will not work. The only way to recharge is on their website and it is not working!!!! There is no telephone number to contact the TELECOM (I may add) company. We have de-fragged etc, etc on our laptop and the f*cking thing still will not work.

Mr removed our security earlier and the website actually loaded, but there was a message in French saying that the website was unavailable at this time. AGHHHHHHH.........................

When technology is good it is really good but when it is bad it is just sooo bad!!

It is a bit frustrating as the snow is falling like mad and when we ventured up the mountain earlier to ski the visibility was non-existent, a complete white out ( no difference between sky and floor, just white all around, you lose all sense of where you are), very scary. And we only saw about 8 other people so we decided we had better head back to the village as it was getting worse.

So we are stuck indoors and I hear that lots of you in the UK are also stuck indoors due to snow too, so it would be brilliant to get online and have a chat!!! But oh no, we have no bloody internet. You do not realise how much you use it until you cannot.

But I have caught up on some washing, cleaned the apartment and have just baked a tray of chocolate nut brownies. These things are what you do when you have no internet or TV. Well I say no TV, we do have one but we only get a few French channels and you have to retune them every time you switch it on and we have been told it really is not worth the effort. Luckily we have got a load of DVD’s with us so that is how we have been spending our evenings in.

I am aware that parts of England have come to a standstill due the white stuff but you will be pleased to know that an hour or so’s drive from us had 60cm of snow Monday night/ Tuesday morning and their roads are all closed too, it is also apparently complete chaos there. We had’nt had any till today and they reckon that big dump they had down the valley from us is on its way, so we shall see. Could be stuck in with no internet for a while!!!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Boiled eggs on the bar!

Well where to start. Been an interesting few days, we have skied, we have drank, we have discovered where to go out and where to avoid, and we have met some normal people.

We decided to check out a couple of bars that had just opened, we had already frequented a cool boarder bar called the V Spot, ran by a friendly Aussie, great lounge music, stylish surroundings and lots of ‘Scandies’, the beautiful people from those northern Scandinavian climes, how do they produce such people???? It’s a good spot to meet other seasonaires that are generally over 25, and who are not completely awful!! Most of the girls in here actually manage not to wear the obligatory Nike’s either. And now that we have been in a couple of times, we’ve even had a few free drinks, one advantage of being a seasonaire.

We also checked out a little bar called the Blue Note, have been told by all and sundry that this is a great place, hmmmm..... maybe it’s just because it was full of the kids from the holiday companies but anywhere they are I want to avoid. Then it was on to a Danish bar, Le Petite Danois, I will warn you now I do not have anything positive to say about this place apart from it has an exit! It was full of the little buggers we thought we had left behind in the Blue Note but they were out in force in here, firstly it stank, mouldy, damp and pet shop sprang to mind, add plates of smelly (going off) meat’s on the bar plus bowls of boiled eggs and you can just imagine (all of which were being eaten to save money on dinners, I swear I heard someone say that!!). Although I have it good authority that this boiled egg thing is a Danish normality, But I imagine in Denmark they are probably freshly cooked, not sure the same could be said for here, salmonella anyone?? Anyways I ordered a glass of red wine, I cannot describe how awful it tasted, it had a froth around the edge, looked like it was still fermenting, and it smelt so bad that I held my breath to take a mouthful, we left and so too was the wine. Ughh. I can safely say that is the one and only time we will be going in there, they sell food too, can you imagine?? Oh and obviously I stood out like a sore thumb as I had boots on my feet, not Nike Hi-Tops!!!!

The other places that have now opened that we will not be going anywhere near are, one bar, Saloon, that we are told the youngsters get soo shit faced they just throw up on the floor!! Nice. And there is a club, Dicks T bar, we have been told just don’t. I will try not too!!

We did discover a couple more nice places, in fact we had been in them before when here on holiday, proper French (I know in France!) bars. Not a pair a Nike’s in sight, drinkable wine, great atmosphere and clean and pleasant surroundings . What you expect to find, woodeny and cosy, this is an alpine village after all. And there are lots of lovely restaurants .

As the ski area was opening on Saturday we decided to pop out Friday night too as there were more openings going on. One place, Pub Morris, even had ‘The Coral’ playing live and as Mr is a fan he really wanted to check this out. I on the other hand do not really care for live music, gets on my nerves all that strumming and pouting, poor tortured artists!! Sorry, anyway Pub Morris is also on the skanky side, we went there earlier in the year and it was filthy and there was an boy( well, a few actually) about 18 working behind the bar, checking himself out in the mirrors wearing a t shirt that said ‘Ibiza loves me’. Enough said.

We stopped by the V Spot on the way, it was freezing about -15/-20. Kept having one more, shall we go up to Pub Morris or shall we stay here?? Well luckily for me Mr decided he could’nt be bothered so I got out of that one. We heard yesterday it was a complete shambles, they apparently only played one song as they were not happy with sound and then the crowd started chanting at them so they left. Such a shame to have missed that one, hmmm... Oh and by the way, over the knee suede boots (pair no.5 now worn) Perfect in cold, cold weather, adds another layer over your legs and reaches your coat bottom, no chilly drafts!!! See who wants flat ankle boots???

So, and to the skiing. After one too many Friday night we were not up bright eyed and bushy tailed for the first runs of the day but we did make it on to the mountain by lunchtime. Bloody hell it was freezing with a capital F!! -10/-20 with really strong winds, 30mph, so add that wind chill and it was COLD! But I had many a layer on and my new down filled Burton jacket, (toasty!) plus most of my face covered and it was bearable. But after a couple of runs along the slopes the clouds were drawing in and you could not see a bloody thing, add the wind blowing the snow everywhere and the run back to resort being icy and lumpy and well, it was all a bit hard work, especially with a bit of a thick head!! So not a very long ski, back home and into a hot bath!

Yesterday though was much more pleasant, we even had some sunshine for a bit, and the snow conditions were great, empty slopes, wide smooth runs and it was lovely, especially as we could see where we were going!!! Always helps!! Oh and a bit less windy and warmer too, only -7/-12. Only she says!! We stayed on the mountain till just gone 4oc and it was starting get a bit dark as the sun had gone down, so down on the gondola, no more icy lumps for me, and into a lovely little chalet style bar with an open fire for a little après ski drink.

In that very bar we bumped into a guy that we had met the other evening who is just a little older than us and he is a normal person, really nice and helpful, and he introduced us to his friend who knows everyone and everything in Val and she seems to be an invaluable contact, after 5 minutes she was on the phone to her friend to get us some more work. She has also invited us to her friend’s 40th birthday next Saturday night so that we can meet some more people. So we have something in our diary, our first social outing! We’ve all swapped numbers too, and we’re going to out for dinner one night with the guy, who also seems to be glad of some company of those over 30.

So it seems that we officially fall into the older crowd, and that is no bad thing. As you can gather by my many mentions of all these youngsters, that is just not my bag anymore. Although I cannot promise that there will not be drunken behaviour, I can promise it will not result in my throwing up on the floor next to where I am conducting my drunken behaviour!!

E xxxx