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About “Cold Preserves”

November 6, 2009

knifeMy friend Silvio and I had a very good time setting up this photoshoot, and an even better time eating the model afterwards. Most photoshoots don’t let you do this.

Organized chalet parties are a very British thing. A company rents a chalet for the season and employs a chalet girl to live in it and clean and cook and look after the guests. Occasionally they want you to book the whole chalet for a week or two weeks, but more often they’ll accept parties of any size and you can find yourself sharing the chalet, or even a bedroom, with perfect strangers. I remember a particularly happy fortnight spent with a party of drunk Scots doctors in Les Arcs who sang Sloop John B. every night…

The chalet girls are heroines. They all have Chelsea names and I’m sure they mostly end up marrying Chelsea bankers, but meanwhile they cook us breakfast and tea and dinner every day, and like good hostesses they try to keep everyone getting on well with everyone else. Somehow they manage to combine this with skiing, flirting with the ski bums (or waiting for their boyfriend to come and visit), and getting a really good tan.

Above all, though, they love their guests and try to give them the time of their life. To them I dedicate this story. Its heroine is the ideal to which every chalet girl aspires.

(Model courtesy of Wild Beef at Borough Market).

Read the story when it appears on this blog next Monday. The book comes out the week after next, but you can pre-order it now.

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