West, up the valley from the dining room window
It struck me yesterday on the lifts and again this morning that I haven’t written for ages. It feels like weeks and weeks, but is only 10 days. I can’t recall precisely what I have been doing all the time, there have been some incredibly busy days here when the chalet has been full of guests and others when nothing of note has happened all day.
There is a quietness that descends here at times, when there is no traffic and no wind, no people about and clattering of ski boots on the road, no chattering of voices or work being done and everything is still. The valley seems to be suspended in a sort of trance. Nothing changes in the landscape, the snow on the trees, the empty car park, the hills in the distance stay motionless for hours on end, longer sometimes, for whole days. The immediate view is in the shade, so not even the shadows of the sun move to break the stillness of the day.
On clear days there are wonderful views, snowcapped peaks beyond the brasserie next door, rising up out of the shade into glorious, dazzling sunshine, a hint of activity, just a hint, on the mountainside if one studies the tiny line of the lifts, the movement is just about visible and the odd, miniscule dot of a skier, partially obscured, heading down some slope or other.
In the other direction, a very different view but similarly still and unchanging. An empty carpark, Le Sapiniere, the neighbouring hotel, clinging to the mountainside next to the winding road, a whole bank of fir trees silent and still, weighed down under the weight of snow, on the opposite side of the valley. The possibility of an occasional car taking the route up to Pla d’Adet and in the distance, snow covered hills and mountain peaks of the southern Pyrenees.
Nothing of interest happens outside, nothing of note moves, probably the biggest change to the scene would be the contrail from a tiny plane passing high overhead.
Indoors, all is quiet too, once the chores are done, we read books in front of the fire, maybe watch a movie, there is no television here, play games, Risk is popular at the moment, chat and drink endless cups of tea. The peace and tranquility is beautiful and when it all becomes a bit much we go SKIING.
(If you have any spare DVD's of films/documentaries/drama series etc that you no longer want, you could send them here for our enjoyment and entertainment, they would be very much appreciated. Thanks)
Chalet Lou Rider Espiaube Saint Lary Soulain 65170 France