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Published: December 7th 2006
Hello there everyone.
Sorry for the lack of communication recently but we've been really busy. We got jobs fairly easily in a ski resort here in Austria which is called St. Anton. The company is a small upmarket one with a few chalets. I got a job as a nanny for some weeks, when a family who have booked one come to stay, and a chalet host (general skivvy) at other times. Simon is a resort rep and driver. There was not much need to stay in Innsbruck any longer and we felt at a loose end in the caravan. There was talk of my Dad coming to visit at some point so we started to research flights. Before you know it, we had found some cheap ones from Innsbruck to Gatwick and booked them for ourselves. It was a lovely feeling to be coming home for a visit and I annoyed Simon by counting down the days until the flight and getting ridiculously excited. We had a fantastic stay and managed to see lots of friends and family. There was some shocking news to deal with (Take That getting back together) but otherwise not much seemed to have changed. The other good part was that we were able to pick up our winter clothes and ski gear - as we had departed in August the thin clothing we had brought weren't cutting it in the chilly November Alps.
The week flew by in a sociable haze and before you know it, we were sat on our return flight back to Innsbruck. Simon had an atrocious hangover as a result of spending a night out with his university friends in Guildford and both of us feeling pretty grim after a night napping on a bench in Gatwick Airport, trying to ignore loudspeaker announcements and make sure no-one nicked our bags. We had a few things to retrieve in Innsbruck, bikes and the infamous accordion mainly, and then we caught a train here to St. Anton. The resort is pretty high up in a valley between Innsbruck and Switzerland. It is renowned for excellent skiing and a hectic nightlife. We were met and shown around the gorgeous chalet. The staff quarters are in a little section at the bottom. There isn't a green baize door to divide us from the guests' area, but there might as well be!
The last week has been spent getting the chalet ready (I don't think I've ever done so much cleaning in my life) and training. The company have employed a top cordon bleu chef and a royal butler to train us. Both are really friendly, down to earth people who have been teaching us the tricks of the trade. Our fellow workers are mostly a bit younger than us and must have much more tolerant livers judging by the amount of alcohol that they put away on a regular basis. Simon and I often lamely creep back home for an early night. They range from recent graduates to young chefs. The most amusing of the bunch are three Aussie blokes. They are all lovely guys who would do anything for anyone, and their names are Mickle, Adsie, and Matty. In the UK we would probably just call them Michael, Adam and Matthew, but there you go. They work as surfing instructors in the summer and on ski resorts in the winter months and are complete beach bums. They remind me of cute enthusiastic puppies. The other night Mickle had to serve us alongside the butler as part of his training and it was one of the most funny things I have ever seen. Mickle cheerily plonked down the plates unceremoniously as the butler looked on in horror. It's not a combination of two people that you would find working together very often.
Anyway, we are getting on well with everyone and enjoying ourselves. Simon is particularly well suited to his work around the chalet as a jack of all trades. He'll be assembling furniture one minute, fixing something the next and popping out to collect things a bit later... no time for boredom. It will be hard work though when the guests start to arrive, but as we're treated well we don't mind. The only blot on the landscape is that the weather is too warm, and the occasional few snowflakes that do appear melt away immediately. All of those who have worked here before wisely tell us that it will fall soon "and when it does it will fall hard" but at the moment we just have our fingers crossed that we will be out on the slopes before long. We'll keep you posted on that one!
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