Barrie and Mikey will join us as long as it’s “posh” (not pizza or
pasta) as they can eat dinner for “nothing” at their hotel. (Mikey’s
dinners there seem to consist of the standard dinner, minus meat, plus
We decide to try Le Caveau, which looks expensive but fits Barrie’s
requirements, and has fondue on the menu. And you can’t have an alpine
skiing holiday without fondue, can you?
I order vegetable soup and a fondue a la tomate, with potatoes. An
odd but surprisingly tasty combination. Think boiled potatoes with a
melted cheese/tomato sauce and a hefty price tag. It’s excellent,
anyway. Lots of bread, decent wine.
Barrie out-Chefs Chef in the loud drunk stakes. There’s a long
discussion about democracy, the EU, Bush, etc; I hear Chris betting
when religion would be mentioned, but he’s out by approximately ten
The bill comes to about £45 a head. I don’t think we’ll be visiting
again this holiday…
Mikey, Barrie, Chef and Andy return to Big Ben for more pool; Chris,
Melanie and I head back to the apartment.
Abandoning the Wonderbar we walk up the hill to the Big Ben bar.
Barrie’s now sporting his expensive just-bought jacket. We play table
football until a pool table becomes free.
I team up with Mikey, and we defeat all-comers until the very last
of about half a dozen games, when Barrie (plus Andy) defeats us on the
final black. Bah. Time for dinner.
Barrie and Mikey arrive for a beer (Chris found a local brew that
works out at 35p a bottle). Barrie shows off his new power adapter; he
seems a little too proud of it, we think he may have a fetish
for them. After an hour or so we decide to visit the Wonderbar to play
pool (it’s just spitting outside now). The pool tables are full, so we
drink more beer instead.
It’s still raining. Chef returns and tells us that it’s snowing up
the hills but it’s rotten to ski in: sticky, wet snow. I think we made
the right decision.
I’m now reading Babel-17 by Samuel R Delaney.
Out of the window, it’s miserable. Pouring with rain, rivers
flowing down the road. Mountains lost in cloud. Chef’s up and
about though, and he leaves for the slopes half-expecting to be back
without skiing much.
Chris appears, takes one look and says “No”. I agree, and he goes
back to bed. I put on the Televerbier channel, which shows few runs
open, but it’s still early. The man on the radio recommends his
listeners to get another hour under the duvet. I do, and finish Spike’s
Andy feels miserable. I don’t think us slackers will be skiing at
I wake up, feeling an odd twinge of very mild sciatica. Nothing
worrying, but it might be a sign. More likely to be caused by an odd
sleeping position. Andy’s sniffing and groaning in the bed next to
mine – sounds like he’s got Chef’s or Melanie’s cold.