Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Baguette Etiquette

Day One: Arrival

Bonjour Diaree!
Ah France! Land of le baguette, le beret and le hotties. Our group of twelve has settled in nicely at le chalet – all of The Welshman’s friends are wonderful – and we are off to le pub to get pissed. Lady Welshman is helping me with my conversational skills so I will be using “Oo-ay le ‘omo-sexual, per favore” to order the beers. Am linguistic genius.

Day Two

Dear Diaree,
A most unusual night. Sharing a room with The Welshman’s investment banker mate who snores like there’s a shaved gerbil lodged in his trachea. Not a problem for this intrepid traveller! As usual came armed with selection of earplugs and eyemasks so felt very smug. Despite this awoke in wee hours to sound of frozen kittens forced through mincer. Turned out to be The Banker grinding his teeth. The poor bastard, it must be his job stress. I consoled myself with the knowledge he can buy himself new teeth with the money he makes in the time it takes me to take a dump. And as you know I am tres efficiendo.

Up on the slopes I discovered am snowboarding god. No surprise there. Lady Welshman and I wove amongst the little people like an alpine Torvill and Dean, though she refused to buy matching sequinned jackets. Bought two for me instead.

Day Three

Oh Diaree, how you shall laugh at this one, even with your my-father-beat-me-as-a-notepad cynicism.

After our winning day of skiing we all had a celebratory tipple and played Welsh drinking games into the wee hours. A Texan accent, a working knowledge of the numbers 1-21 in eight languages and a very silly hat and you’re away! I expect you would have scoffed and asked for a cup of camomile tea Diaree, but we were all a little bit crazy! Whoopee!

The Banker went home before me, and was happily grinding away in his sleep when I got in. I passed out in my bed, only to be awoken again in the middle of the night. The snoring again? No. The grinding you ask? No. A semi-naked man crawling between the sheets with me? Yes, that’s the one. I leapt out of bed like a steel-springed jackrabbit on speed and demanded a coherent explanation for this behaviour.

Snore. Grind. Contented mumble.

Yes, pity The Banker. The poor fellow can add sleepwalking to his list of nocturnal aptitudes. He must have gone for a midnight piss and felt the subconscious pull of my deep sexual attraction drawing him to me. Completely understandable. He’s just lucky I am not one of those predatory faggoti one reads about in le paper.

Day Four

Tragedy. After three days boarding my body is rejecting the obvious truth of my sporting talents. Awoke to crippling back pain, splitting headache and nasty chin zit. Apparently are related to my technique of falling over at high speeds and landing on a) coccyx, b) head or c) le hotties.

Pah! Pah! I replied to le Bodie. Too long have I indulged your demands for nine hours sleep, wrapping you in feathered doonas and lathering your surprisingly muscular contours in Neutrogena cocktails. Today I am in charge. You hear that Bodie?! Moi is Master! Quiver in le fear!

Back in bed by 3pm. Pain like childbirth in my kidneys. Consider may be birthing internally.

Day Five

Take notes Diaree. This is why mankind has evolved to become the dominant species on the planet; we use tools to solve our problems.

Problem: backpain. Solution: corset.

At the le pharmacie I mimed my way through old-man-escapes-from-nursing-home-at-mach-0.0003-due-to-debilitating-back-pain, and the nice salesgirl directed me in English to the sports bandage section. The discrete “abdominal support device” on the shelf unwrapped to resemble a gortex sarong but my god did it support my back. With my liver and intestinal tract in my chest cavity I was not only able to brave the slopes again but I looked like The Hoff doing so. Something for tonight on the town I think.

Day Six

Dear Diaree,
What a perfect way to end a perfect week! With a few more of The Welshman’s excellent boarding lessons under my (slimmer than usual) belt, Lady Welshman and I successfully navigated a black run! There was a slight hesitation when the run “ran out”, but once we’d realised that in fact the vertical cliff was the run there was no holding us back. I love love love skiing holidays.

One last night of carousing and drinking games followed, with all parties returning to their assigned beds. I’ve always thought there is a lovely symmetry in the number three so I was pleasantly surprised by another nocturnal interruption to my sleep. This one had nothing to do with snoring, grinding or inappropriate bodily contact, and everything to do with the gentle thud of liquid on imitation oak.

Yes, The Banker had gone for another wander and – as we all do from time to time – mistaken the wardrobe for a urinal. It’s perfectly understandable. One is porcelain, is mounted at waist height and has a sanitary drainage system leading to a sewerage treatment facility. The other is wood, has a door and leads to Narnia.

In the 32 seconds it took my brain to catch up with the situation the deed was nearly done. It took another 7 seconds to establish that The Banker was, in fact, sleepwalking and not just very lazy, and another 13 to decide that it was best for all parties if he stayed that way. You hear horror stories of people being woken from sleepwalking and frankly the man was armed. So I left him to shake himself off and calmly return to bed, and did the only adult thing possible; throw his towel on the floor to soak up the mess and run away to breakfast very, very early.

Day Seven: Departure

Ah, back to home sweet home Diaree. My bed, lots of normal cereal and a long hot bath. Still, as lovely as it is to be back I miss the Welsh crew already and suspect I am suffering from holiday withdrawal symptoms; I put on a beret and stuck my head in the freezer but it’s just not the same. I will just have to be strong and stick it out until next year’s season, and maybe ask the flatmate to piss in my wardrobe occasionally to soften the blow.

Au revoir! À l'année prochaine!