What do you do in the summer then, people used to ask me, usually when I was quite busy
getting their breakfast or trying to find and bollock some useless pisshead 18 year old. Take it from me, post-adolescent lack of work ethic is in no way confined to the rioting underclasses, though I have to admit that none of my staff ever actually set fire to anything as far as I know. Actually that’s a lie – I recall an alcoholic incident involving late night chicken nuggets and a deep fat fryer, when I come to think about it.
Generally I failed miserably to give any kind of smartarse answer to this gormless question, though I frequently had to be restrained when asked – usually in a particularly snotty tone – when I was going to ‘get a proper job’. What, like hospitality management for a major international tour operator, you twerp? This one guaranteed to be asked by overly self-regarding teachers, people who have have not themselves actually managed to leave school at any point to date.
In revenge for all that, I am now going to throw the what-do-you-do-in-the-summer question at all the alleged ski bloggers out there. Come on, people, where are you all? I’ll put my hand up to having been a tad slack on the blogging front this summer, but really, I’m doing sterling work compared to the rest of you, many of whom seem to have been kidnapped by aliens. How’s the anal probe thing working out for you there anyway?
Potty-mouthed chalet bitch and sometime resort manager Belle de Neige, for example, last heard of discussing rude lady-bits and wondering if she really ought to be working some fancy city job involving power pencil skirts and improbable shoes rather than frittering her life away in boots, hoody and irresponsible poverty, seems to have run away to sea, judging from snippets on Facebook. Though she might as well have been mauled to death by a giant squid for all she’s managed to upload to the blog. Mind you, I suppose connectivity in the middle of the Med might be limited unless you’ve got some kind of iSatPhone gizmo. Poor excuse though.
Swiss-based instructor Dave Burrows has put in a bit more effort with three summer posts so far, all of them actually more or less relevant to skiing. James Cove at Planet Ski has done even better, with a whole string of summer posts, though I can’t help feeling he may at times have sacrificed relevance for quantity. ‘Branson holiday home on fire! (no, not the chalet in Verbier)’ being one of my personal favourites. This particular story got even better when the Daily Telegraph revealed that in his desperation to escape the inferno Sir Richard accidentally ran stark naked into the jaws of a cactus. That’s got to sting a bit.
Rick and Fergus at serrechevalier.org are making valiant efforts to stay more or less on topic with news and gossip from resort, despite straying into US earthquakes via a rather tenuous ‘Serre Che had an earthquake once too you know’ link. Rob Stewart of The Skiing Department was doing well with a series of quality snow-related posts until he descended into a discussion of overpriced underwear earlier this week, presumably because the moths have been at his vest drawer during the interseason and he didn’t fancy forking out £50 for some woolly knickers. Which leads me to wonder whether Steve Jobs might sub me a Macbook Pro if I promise to ‘test it in various climate conditions throughout the year’ and then rabbit on about it to the world at large. I’m thinking probably not, which is disappointing but predictable.
Fans of silly marketing nonsense will appreciate Skipedia, where former Natives high heidjin Iain Martin is still sporadically obsessing about La Plagne’s bobble hat logo. I hate to be the one to break this to you Iain, but you’re probably the only person in the world who gives a rat’s ass about La Plagne’s hat, and if you’re really letting it influence your choice of ski holiday destination it’s time to have yourself measured for a very long-sleeved jacket. Liked the cake thing though, I have to say.
Silly marketing gets a look-in at Illicit Snowboarding as well, though it might wish it hadn’t by the time the author has finished poking fun at it, irreverent behaviour which makes Illicit one of the best snowboard blogs out there.
But apart from these keepers of the flame, the snowblogging contingent seems to have gone to ground in a sort of inverse-marmot fashion. The author of Do A Season took her new PhD and went off into waitressing. Homeboy Ski was last heard of talking about the skiing possibilities offered by Afghanistan, which might explain his prolonged absence, and SNOman likewise disappeared in April following discussion of naturist skiing in China. The mind boggles. The Piste Marker managed two film reviews before dipping out in February, and The Ski Industry Insider (or possibly apologist) seems to have gone outside and stayed there after a similarly short stint. Maybe they’ll all pop back in again come November.
But the award for sheer ski blogging stamina has to go to 2Alpes instructor Charlotte ‘Easiski’ Swift’s Snow Report which does pretty much what it says on the tin – daily condition reports, photographs and general resort ramblings from December to May and again from mid June to September. Prizes for both quantity and relevance, despite a short foray into something about local residents dressing up as Romans and walking about wearing dead wolves. But no-one’s perfect.