MOTHER AWAY FROM MOTHER

Meet the second half of our employers, Eliza.

It isn’t easy to write about Eliza in the same way as it is her husband and illusive business partner Johnny. I shall start at the beginning.

After applying for this job we found on the website Gumtree, in early October last year, a phone interview was conducted with matter of fact details of the position and what we could expect to find here at Chalet Eterlou. We were offered the job the next day and made plans to arrive in Tignes les Brevieres late in November.

Upon arrival we met Johnny and oldest son Alex who quickly informed us that they were in ‘Party’ mode as ‘The Boss’ Eliza would not be in resort for another month. We had come early to the Chalet to do some minor repairs and after surveying we asked Johnny for a few extra supplies, three weeks later we had the required materials but not quiet the completed list.

In these three weeks, as we got acquainted with our new home, we were told stories from all perspectives about our new Boss. Some scary tales from people who had fallen on the wrong side, but most from people full of admiration, not only in running two businesses, but also for putting up with, and looking after husband Johnny. Somehow we had developed this fear and anxiety. Words had been branded around: scary, straight, not one to cross but also respectful, honest, even and fair.

Upon meeting ‘The Boss’ Eliza, all of our fear quickly disappeared. A smile on her face was warm, welcoming and approachable. We talked about a few things still needed to finish some repairs and an hour later we had the shopping list in full. We quickly learned not only who ran the business side of the business, but who ran the whole business.

That  evening I dropped a glass at the diner table and thought my time was over. Shaking in the kitchen after the meal Eliza approached us and thanked us for the meal and our efforts. Something we would hear time and time again as Eliza would often venture down to the chalet to see returning friends and regale tales as if they had seen each other yesterday. Such is the ease of her persona.

Upon entering the chalet ‘The Boss’ would venture straight to the kitchen, her first thought would be to make sure her staff were happy and needed for nothing. If everything was in order, a glass of Apremont would be required and only then would she focus on the paying guests.

Such was her commitment to the staff that Eliza was our tour guide around the area, not only on skis but away from the crowds on snow shoes. These snow shoeing trips were Eliza’s personal time away from everything, alone with Poppy and Bella, two black Labradors, her dogs that she cares for more than anything.

Knowing that Eliza, black labs and staff on their snow shoeing tripEliza would be leaving before the season ended, we all went out for a meal to celebrate surviving our time together. Upon leaving the restaurant Johnny walked towards the bar opposite with a smile on his face. Almost across the road his path was blocked by a car he knew well. The window opened and an instruction calmly spoken: “Get in the car, Johnny.” With this Johnny’s smile grew and he did what he was told. Something he won’t have to do once ‘The Boss’ leaves and ‘Party Time’ starts again.

We will be sad to see Poppy and Bella go, but even sadder when our stand in mother leaves us in Johnny’s care. Safe journey to Scotland Boss.

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One comment on “MOTHER AWAY FROM MOTHER

  1. Giles houston says:

    I don’t believe it. Eliza will not be there for our second visit in 2 years!! I worked for these wonderful characters in 1984/5 season – their first full season together. had some great times then and continue to when we are over. Great that we will be seeing Johnny, but cross that Eliza has deserted us again!! Giles, Jo and the kids

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