When I arrived in Chatel, the village was fairly quiet, with only the local (mainly English) barflies hanging out at the Avalanche Bar waiting for the season to start.
Over the weekend though, there was a noticeable influx of cars with British number plates and new and different people. I guess I am one of them but because I was here two weeks ago, I am counting myself as a local.
I was having a beer the other night with my new best friend ‘Pi** Head Paul’ and although we are delighted that the punters are coming, it means that we don’t have the bar to ourselves anymore, at least not until May.
It’s snowed again and is apparently going to for the rest of the week. Speaking to my Ski School director Earnst earlier on today, it looks like the Morgins lifts might be open for some skiing this weekend.
I’ve spend most of the last week helping varnish the wood for the new deck at the Morgins Ski and Snowboard School. A new bar and terrace is going into their new building and we’ve still got a lot to do to finish everything off before the season starts.
My wife arrived in Chatel on Saturday after working her notice period at her job in the UK and is just looking to finalise some work out here for the winter. Perhaps we will be able to take some of the stress out of job searching by doing some skiing at the weekend.
It’s been an interesting last month or two since I got back from Saas-Fee in mid-September and I seem to have spent the last two months preparing for this winter, catching up with people and tying up loose ends.
So on Monday morning at 5.10am it all finally came to a head and eased myself into a very full Smart car and headed to the Eurotunnel. I was taking a combination of myself and the Mrs B’s stuff but it was still interesting to reflect that the majority of the stuff that I cared about was contained in a ski bag, a boot bag, a Tesco bag for life and an archive box.
The hound was lording it having been given the special privilege of sitting in the passenger seat for this one journey and looking very pleased with his progress from his usual spot in the boot.
Because I had to do the inventory and formal handover for our apartment in Chatel in the daytime and would have arrived at night, I stayed over overnight in Dijon and met my friend Katie L for dinner. I met Katie in a French class that I took to prepare for this winter and she has taken it one step further and actually moved to France to take a University course in Dijon to get better at French. It wouldn’t be right to blog what we discussed but it sounds like she is having a great time and getting properly involved in the lifestyle albeit with a few cultural ‘issues’..
Another early start sees me hacking along the motorway to Geneva with only Autoroute FM for company. I think I’ve been in the car for a total of 10 hours and the single best song played was Huey Lewis and the News – The Power of Love (as in the ‘Back to the Future’ movies). They may actually have played other decent songs but this one stood out as it was as I got my first look at snow-capped mountains which caused an involuntary stupid grin to spread across my face.
I’m now moved into my apartment and a pleasant surprise is that it’s much bigger and nicer than expected. I’ve moved a few bits of furniture around and changed a few things to make it better and the hound is pacing about trying to settle in and find somewhere decent to sleep after his big walk to the Avalanche Bar and a bit more friend-making in the village (having a friendly sheepdog is very useful for meeting people)
I’ll be having a crack at my massive to-do list tomorrow and getting the remainder of the things that I need for the apartment, as well as going to see my new boss at the ski school in Morgins. Chatel looks beautiful surrounded by snow-capped mountains but it’s still very quiet with not much going on. There is a stack load of cardboard boxes that used to be full of ski boots and other stuff outside many of the ski shops so I guess everyone is building gradually up to the season.