Monday 8 April 2024

2024 Weeknote 14

So, as it turned out, writing a personal blog post was not something I had time to do last weekend and it has been a busy week indeed. Ski trip number 14 was not beset with the same extreme delays as number 13 - far from it, we got an earlier crossing in both directions - but it had its own issues. We were one staff member down as one of us fell really sick the day before we were due to leave. On Monday, it rained heavily for the whole day and we had to cut our skiing short and go bowling instead, or risk a mutiny from the students. I came down with a horrible cough/throat thing and had to avoid skiing for a day and cut the next day short so I could go back to the hotel to sleep. Our instructors were quite old and struggled to keep up with the students, and refused to take us to the glacier to ski. I was woken up near midnight two nights in a row, first by one of the drivers (drunk) bringing women into the hotel and giggling with them in the corridor; then by a woman coming to knock on the rep's door at nearly midnight, and then going inside to have some noisy sex with him. Cue me lying awake until well past 2am, panicking about how she got into the hotel and who else might therefore be able to get in. I penned a stiff email to the tour operator and the next day, the woman (it turned out she was on the hotel staff) was fired, the rep was forced to switch rooms with one of the drivers and the hotelier had a permanent scowl. He made a point of coming to chat with me about how angry he was with the rep. 

The rep asked me to ask the hotelier to give the woman her job back. She wasn't a professional, he insisted, as the hotelier had suggested. She was a single mother of two. This was a small valley and she would struggle to find another job. She was young and a bit stupid. As the rep was neither young nor stupid, I had to bite back my instant reply which was, 'I'm very much over men making awful choices and women suffering the lion's share of the consequences, why don't you clean up your own mess by inviting her to live with you in Vienna, if you feel that bad?'

I did plan to have a word but the hotelier was notably absent for the rest of the trip. A shame indeed. Not that I think I could have made a difference. My main issue was strangers in the hotel so the fact that she worked there mitigated that. But once I'd complained there was no going back.


There were some really good bits too. Beating my top time down the mountain and finally breaking 80kph, after years of trying - Rachael said that she was stood near two people on the side of the piste when I did this and they broke their conversation to marvel at my speed. I bought new goggles and then the driver took them back for me to get the magnetic tag removed, what a nice thing to do. Kaiserschmarrn and those Austrian ski wafers. Sipping coffee in a Guess-sponsored mountain hotel whilst watching a hardcore Austrian walk up the mountain in front of us. Fun with the drivers who were Irish and generally lovely although very fond of a beer (not before driving, obvs). They took us to the wrong hotel to start with, two hours away from ours, and then we got stuck in a traffic jam getting back to the main road, but even that was fun. 

The students decided this was how we wore our hair for the slopes. I didn't hate it. 

I finished the book I was reading, The Ottoman Secret. It improved as it went on. I felt like it was a bit of a moral defence of western democracy which, given the current state of western democracy, did not thrill me, but it was a good yarn. I've started a new one, Lone Women by Victor LaValle. It is a horror set in homesteading Montana at the start of the 20th century. It's making me want to reread Annie Proulx's short stories. 

Naturally not much else happened in terms of leisure. I did finish knitting the front panels for my nephew's Presto Chango and managed to adequately reproduce the Notts Forest logo, as that is Sib's team.  

It's a bit pointier than I'd like but tough to do a big rounded tree over such a small number of stitches. 

Off to London tomorrow for some museums and a play. Very exciting. 

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