I now have a bank account, arranged from a tiny branch in the village which opens for two mornings a week. The bank are in the process of ‘improving’ their service by incorporating a secure foyer for customers, probably so that all banking can be done automatically, so the facilities were even more reduced than normal. I now have to wait until my cashpoint card arrives through the post before I can invest any money in the account, the part time staff do not even have counter cash facilities during the renovation so I have to make another appointment to be shown how to use my cash card. Exciting.
On the house front, after the flurry of activity last week I sent off all my details, followed by my new account details for the notaire, all has gone quiet. I heard back yesterday, from a colleague, that my estate agent is off sick and will be out of action for at least two weeks. They did not tell me whether anyone else would be covering the transaction or that I would have to wait. I have sent wishes for a speedy recovery via the office and a request that someone else continues the process.
Here at the chalet all is quiet. There are eleven guests, an overspill from the hostel down the road that is filled to capacity with over ninety school children. Ours only sleep here, they leave before breakfast and return to change at the end of the day before heading off, down the road to eat with everyone else. They are quiet and well behaved and we have the place to ourselves for most of the week again. Unfortunately we are still waiting on some new snow. About two inches has fallen since my arrival before Christmas and the hillside is becoming more and more green.
Yesterday I spotted a flock of sheep way up on the hillside above the chalet, an area usually blanketed in snow for the whole season. Incredibly, most guests have been in good spirits and content with the amount of skiing that have been able to do. Conditions are getting rather icy in places and thin in others, although the resort manages to produce an impressive quantity of artificial snow and the majority of pistes remain open and enjoyably skiable. Temperatures are dropping and the forecast is for cloud, rain and snow over the coming weekend so we have our fingers crossed and will be ready for some early morning starts should the snow ploughs be out in force before daybreak in the next few days.
I have promised Moira, a dear friend of mine, that I will do a red run for her. I keep trying them out, but think that new snowfall is needed before I can give it sufficient energy and emotion to do it justice. Waiting patiently for the moment......