Adventures of Frangipan

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Friday 20th - Thursday 26th July

Friday. Bought myself a pair of proper skiing gloves another thermal top (it was pink and only $10). Then went over to Schnapps for breakfast. Eggs Benedict today. Then I spent the rest of the day sat there, by the fire, reading. Jeff also stoppped by and chatted for a while. Went back to the lodge to shower and change, and back for work at 5pm. Difficult night with me, Steph and Silvana. The kitchen wanted me on orders but I was doing all the running around. Anna came in with the Snow School crowd for drinks. She cleared a load of glasses for us, so I bought her a slice of chocolate cake. She's awesome. We were closed up by midnight. Ray came in for a drink, and joked about me staying til September, and he would pay for my flight home.

Saturday. Phoned Mum and chatted for about an hour. It was good to talk to her. Weather wasn't great, so didn't go up to ski. Got some groceries from the shop and read. Went into Schnapps at 5pm. All Blacks v Wallabies Tri-Nations tonight, so another busy one. I lost Anna to the bar and Amanda wasn't working, so I had Steph and Sarah. Very stressful, and not just for me. Ray asked what it would take to get me to stay. And again offered to pay for my flight. I just told him it was time for me to go. Finished work around 11.45pm after the food stuff was all done. Showered and washed my hair before bed.

Sunday. Worked until around 2pm then had lunch. Went to Taumaranui with Paulina around 4pm. I did tell her that it was quite late and most places would be shut, but apparently she didn't listen or didn't believe me. So we went and found one cafe/restaurant and the supermarket were still open. So we had a coffee and cake and did some shopping. I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail when we got back, then we got ready for the staff party for Schnapps and Basekamp. Paulina has been telling me for ages that my hair looks great curly, so I left it curly for the party. Everyone was very complimentary and asking how I'd done it: only people at the lodge knew my hair was naturally curly! Anyway, I felt ill almost as soon as we got there, so drank water for the first couple of hours while Spud forced vodka shots on everyone else. We were all given awards: mine was "Superstar Material: you don't deserve an award cuz you're leaving us soon". Schnapps also lost quite spectacularly to Basekamp in the tug-of-war. And I spent quite some time trying to get Anna to walk home with me because she was drunk and hurt. It was a fun party, but there's only so much you can take of really drunk people when you're sober!

Monday. Worked until midday, then we went up to the skifield. The weather up there was terrible, but Paulina wanted to stay, so I drove home and said I'd pick her up later. I spent the afternoon trying to make scones and chocolate brownies, neither of which turned out like they should have. Went back to get Paulina: someone either stole or moved her snowboard from outside the cafe. Spent the evening reading, doing puzzles, internet and such like. Finished the third of my Rebus books.

Tuesday. Crappy cold and sore throat. Worked until midday. Had lunch and spent the afternoon reading. There are some kids in the lodge at the moment. The chatty, inquisitive kind. Really bugging me. Went to Schnapps at 5.30pm and got the gossip from Sunday night. It appears Anna fell on the fire and thats' how she got hurt. Amanda drove her to the hospital and it appears she had third degree burns. Sarah went home, put the heater in front of her door, later couldn't get out, and so smashed the window. Ange managed to wedge herself between her bed and wardrobe. And Nick has horrible rope burns from the tug-of-war. Anyway, only six teams in the quiz this week: everyone is tired of the same team winning every week. Had a drink with Ray and Rick after.

Wednesday. Worked until 12.15pm, had lunch, showered and straightened my hair, then watched Chronicles of Narnia. Went to work at 6pm. It was a quiet night so I helped Ange sort through the junk in her office. Finished and home by 12.30pm.

Thursday. Cy gave me the option of working or having the day off. I chose the latter, hoping I might be able to shift my cold. Read, watched Match Point and Monty Python's Life of Brian. Went to work at 6pm, expecting it to be totally dead, but we were busier than last night. Still finished at 11.30pm though. Chef made my dinner tonight and wrote my name on the side of the plate and drew a heart!

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Thursday, 19 July 2007

Friday 13th - Thursday 19th July

Friday. Phoned Dad at 8am and caught him before he was going to the pub. Got the feeling I was being hurried off the phone! Went for breakfast in Schnapps around 11am. Had pancakes with berries. Yum. Had a very pleasant few hours reading and chatting to the staff. Went back at 6pm to work. It was a bad night: slow, bad service. Home by 2am.

Saturday. Stayed in the apartment all day, and don't really remember too much about it. Went into Schnapps at 5pm. Incredibly busy night: All Blacks v South Africa Tri-Nations game. We did about 240 meals in less than three hours. Me and Amanda got the point where we were just calling out numbers when we were carrying food, and hoping someone would answer! Finished around 1.30am.

Sunday. Worked until 2pm, and it went quite quickly. Went up to the ski field with Paulina so she could get her season pass. She managed to lock her keys in the car when we got there. Luckily, a guy in the next car had a key which fitted into the lock of the boot, and I crawled through. Also got a coffee and muffin in the lower mountain cafe, before heading back to the village. We went for a spa, then I did my laundry and showered. Watched some of Chronicles of Narnia and CSI.

Monday. Worked until 1pm. The Dutch girl who was living in the staff room I had in March and April moved out today, so me and Paulina moved our stuff across, and our food to the communal kitchen. It's kinda cramped, but it's only for three weeks. Showered, straightened my hair, had supper, and watched Sahara. Went to Basekamp for cocktail training at 10.30pm. It was good fun: quite a few of us turned up, Ange and Clare gave us a bit of info, and then we all had the chance to make a couple. Me, Ray, Ashleigh and Mike ended up staying there until 3am drinking.

Tuesday. Went on the internet before work. Cameron emailed to say the army have cancelled his leave. Arseholes. Worked until 12.45pm, had some lunch, and then had to re-think the US stuff. Luckily I hadn't started booking stuff. Went into Schnapps at 5.30pm for the quiz. Only 8 teams this week: much easier to look after! Chatted to Spud for a little while afterwards. $700 went missing from his office. Probably staff. Not good.

Wednesday. Worked until 1.15pm. Spent the afternoon in the lodge: not worked many hours there this week, so can't afford to spend much. Went into Schnapps at 6pm. Me, Sarka (Czech) and Silvana (Argentinian). I was given training sheets for both of them, and decided it was easiest to try to do both at the same time, rather than repeat myself. Finished work around 11.15pm.

Thursday. Paulina didn't come home last night. She stayed at Jeff's house (works in Schnapps). Just about everyone knew by the end of the day, which was a source of great amusement, even though it was perfectly innocent! Worked until 1pm, had lunch, went on the internet, and read. Went into Schnapps at 6pm. Loads of staff on because we had a DJ playing later, so I was doling at jobs for everyone. Also trying to show new guy Elliot around. Ange decided I was in charge of tabs, corrections and refunds, and essentially overseeing everything. More responsibility! Wasn't a busy night though. We had fun dancing, and I got to finish around midnight. Roger (works in the kitchen) told me I was the hardest working front of house staff.

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Friday, 13 July 2007

So Where the Hell is National Park Village?!

So National Park Village is in the middle of the north island, on the volcanic plateau. There are basically three volcanoes surrounded by mostly flat land, and a few villages dotted around. National Park has great views of all three volcanoes - Ruapehu, Ngaruhoe and Tongariro - but isn't that close to them. It has a population of around 500, and is basically three streets wide and four streets long. The "perimeter" can be walked in about 30 minutes. Industry basically comes down to tourism and logging. There is loads of accommodation in the village, and most buildings are chalet-style or A-frames. Schnapps, Basekamp, The Station, Eivin's, and National Park Hotel are the drinking/eating options. The only shops are the petrol station/general store, and ski shops. Walking is the big summer activity, with loads of places in town offering transport to and from the Tongariro Crossing. There is also biking, and skiing brings in the crowds in the winter. Whakapapa Village is near Ruapehu, and that is the nearest ski field. Again, accommodations provide transport. And thats about it for the village.

On to Plateau Lodge. It's in a U-shape arrangement, with the motel units on the left as you come up the drive, and the lodge in front and to the right. There are six motel units, one of which Cy and Zeus live in, so is never sold. They are currently being upgraded to two-bedrooms rather than studios. In the lodge, there are seven rooms downstairs and two en-suite rooms upstairs. There is also an open plan dining and living area, a kitchen, and communal bathrooms, with four cubicles each containing a shower and toilet. The reception is to the right of the complex, and the two internet stations, payphone and hot tub are all over that end too. The other side of reception is the flat, where Cy's dad lives. Next to that is the guest laundry, then my room with the cleaning room behind, and then the tool shed. Out front, there is a large lawn for camping, and a car park. Can't think of anything else to tell you about the lodge. But you can check out the website.

Lastly, on to Schnapps. From the outside, it looks like a bit of a shed. Inside though, it's quite nice. There are lots of long wooden tables with chairs, plus a few sofas and coffee tables. There is a pool table, dart board and a couple of arcade games. There is a bar and a food till/coffee area. We also sell wholesale, for people to take back to their accommodation. It's an informal dining set up: peple come to the till to order, we give them a number which they take to their table, and we find the right number at the right time. The kitchen is small and badly designed, but Spud has plans to improve it. Behind the bar is a chiller room though, which makes restocking easy. You just push everything forward and place the new stock behind it - no need to worry about rotation - and the kegs are kept in there too. There is also a back room which we apparently open when it's really busy, but so far it's only been used for meetings and as dDub's green room while I've been working. So that's about it I think.

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Thursday, 12 July 2007

Friday 6th July - Thursday 12th July

Friday. Very tired. Got dressed with my eyes closed. Worked 9am-2.15pm. Had lunch and read, then got ready for work. The adventures of Kurt continue: we're struggling to find anyone who can work with him. So Jo sent him home around 9.30pm, then she left around 10.30pm, and I closed up with Ange around 12.30am. Had a few drinks with Ange, Ray, Spud and Spud's mate. And Speights the dog too, who nutted me four times. And Spud and Ray had great fun throwing ice cubes at me for her to find!

Saturday. Thought I'd have to work today, only to go to reception and Cy to greet me with a confused look and Jodi stood next to him. So instead I spent my day reading and trying to sort out US stuff. Good thing too, cuz I realised I'd have to start booking things! Went into Schnapps at 5pm. We were really busy: 170 meals in four hours. I felt so guilty every time I took an order! They did OK in the kitchen though. Some of the new staff still found time to stand around, which pissed me off. We only do bar snacks after 9pm, which includes chips, wedges and nachos, and I had fun cooking them. Finished around 1.30am, got a hot chocolate and walked home.

Sunday. Three of cleaning today. I was the lucky one who got to start at 10am, and just vacuum, mop and make beds. Finished around 3pm. Paulina went to Auckland almost straight after. I did my laundry and went on the internet. Watched CSI and Hitch, and generally enjoyed having the apartment to myself for the whole evening.

Monday. The length of time between getting out of bed and starting work is getting shorter by the day. Down to about four minutes now. Finished by 2pm. Had some lunch then went on the internet to check my bank balance: $1100 - almost doubled in a week! Went into Schnapps at 6pm, and we were hectic. Too many people wanted feeding and there just weren't enough staff! I closed up around 12.30am, but had a couple of drinks with with Ray and Jeff, so didn't leave until around 2am.

Tuesday. Still at four minutes. No-one had left the motels though, so I came back to the apartment until 9.45am. Very angry day: with the vacuum, the foldaway cot, the cleaning rags, everything. Finished by 2.45pm, had some lunch and read. Almost finished the second Ian Rankin book. Went into Schnapps around 5.30pm to get ready for the quiz. I was hosting this week because Spud wasn't there. Couldn't find the mic, but luckily Cy had one at Plateau so he fetched that for me. I wasn't funny like Spud, but at least people understood me. One guy also called me "The Voice" and made some reference to the local radio station. Walked back around 10.15pm, and sat with Cy and Paulina before going to bed and finishing the second Ian Rankin book.

Wednesday. Walked to reception at 9am, but the bad weather means the ski fields are closed so no-one is in a rush. So we hung out in the apartment until 10am. I did the lodge and got very angry because people were hanging around, and it was filthy. Finished by 3pm. Had lunch, did some puzzles and got ready for work. Went into Schnapps at 6pm. Tonight I was training Amanda. We started on the bar so I put Daisy on food with Sarah, not realising Daisy had never done any waiting on or restaurant work before. It got a bit much for Chef, so I took over on food and left Amanda and Daisy on the bar after sarah had finished. Had a monster of a staff meal because I had all the leftover wedges. Ange signed me off at 11.15pm so I wasn't closing up. Started the third and final Ian Rankin book before bed.

Thursday. In reception by 9am, only to come straight back, and then for Cy to phone me at 9.45am - from 100 yards away - to ask me start because we had people ready to check in. Finished by 1.15pm, so me and Paulina had some lunch then drove to Ohakune in her car that she picked up in Auckland. Interesting drive considering she has little regard for rules of the road and knows almost zero about driving a manual! I'm amazed she got from Auckland to National Park by herself! So I tried to teach her a bit about changing gears for bends and hills, and not coasting. Once in Ohakune, we went to Utopia cafe for coffee and cake, then to a ski shop with crazy staff. Then to another ski shop where Paulina bought some trousers, then to another cafe. I got to drive home which was ace! I miss driving so much! I thought I would've forgotten loads since January but it all seemed to come quite naturally. Not that I did any parallel parking or anything! And I did misjudge overtaking a big lorry: nothing dangerous, just didn't accelerate as fast as I thought! We had a really nice afternoon out. Once back in the lodge, I went on the internet for an hour and we watched Take the Lead.

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Thursday, 5 July 2007


Struggled out of bed, but got to reception by 9am, and worked until nearly 3pm. Mostly OK but one family were shocking: two went up to the ski field and left the others in the motel. They were supposed to check out at 10am: we kicked them out at 11.15am, and the two arrived back around noon. Then they went back into the motel (after I'd cleaned it) and used the toilet. And they left the place in a state too.

Spent the rest of the afternoon having lunch, reading and getting ready for work.

Horrible weather tonight: I got quite wet on the walk to Schnapps. So it was the dDub gig tonight. They're a Kiwi dub band. They're really good, but National Park is their biggest gig in NZ, even though they play in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown. So we were prepared for it to be really busy, and I was in charge of the shots bar (all named after songs of dDub). From 6.30pm to 9pm I was taking food orders, making coffees and setting up my bar, and after 9pm I was serving shots and Corona. Only most people didn't know I was there so I wasn't that busy. Still got four drinks bought for me, and one guy insisting on dancing with me.

It was quite a good night, and we finished around 2am. Spud demanded our company in the back bar with the band, and I got to make them shots too!

But dDub are apparently cursed whenever they play in Schnapps. Last year, the snow was so bad that half the people with tickets couldn't make it to the gig, and the band almost didn't make it. This year they brought a thunderstorm, and a power failure, and at around 3am, Derek (the lead singer) got a phone call to say his Dad had died. He was ill and they'd visited him on the way down, but still upsetting obviously. So it all went a bit sombre. Then Spud and I stayed in the bar talking until around 4am when I decided it really was time to go home.

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Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Friday 29th June - Wednesday 4th July

Friday. I thought Paulina would work today since I did yesterday, so I left my alarm off. 10.10am Cy comes in because Paulina hasn't got up either. Cy chose me to work. Hmph. So worked 10.15am-3pm. Had lunch/tea. Got ready and went to Schnapps at 6pm. I was on food with new girl Steph, and Terrilee and Sarah were on the bar. Not hugely busy, but enough to keep us occupied. I also taught Sarah how to make coffees. Finished at 2am.

Saturday. Definitely not working today. Managed to stay in bed until 10.30am. Showered and washed my hair. Wanted to go to Schnapps for breakfast, but it was raining so much that I didn't want to leave the apartment. Read for a bit, then went to the shop when it stopped raining. Went to work in Schnapps at 5pm. It was busy but there were loads of us working. A huge crowd walked in at 9.30pm for the rugby. We ran out of handled glasses (what we use for beer), and you could barely move for people. Kicked everyone out and signed off by 2am. I got a pay rise to $13ph at Schnapps today, which was nice.

Sunday. We were supposed to start at 9am today but no-one told me and Paulina slept in, so we started at 9.30am. I was doing the lodge. Most of it was OK, but the kitchen and dining area looked like a pigsty. It shocks me that people can treat a place that way. Finished by 3pm. Laundry. Puzzles. Internet. CSI.

Monday. Had the day off so didn't get out of bed until 11am, and then had a generally lazy day. Tidied, exercised, read, stuff like that. Went to Schnapps at 6pm and worked until 12. Mostly uneventful, but I did have to show Daisy the ropes because it was her first shift. Think it went better than with Kurt. Ray made a comment about me being "so damned efficient", which was kind of a joke, but still nice to hear!

Tuesday. I was ready to start at 9am, but no-one had checked out so we had to wait until 10am. I was on motels, and training the new girl Jodi. Not too sure about all this authority and responsibility! Finished by 2pm, then had lunch, read, and exercised. Went into Schnapps at 6pm to co-host the quiz. Spud was right - it is more fun if you drink at the same time! Unfortunately, after the quiz, I carried on drinking, and don't remember leaving or getting home!

Wednesday. Woke up and found that Dad had sent me a text yesterday, so replied to him. Started work at 9am, and finished by 2.30pm. Motels again. Had lunch and listened to music before getting ready for work. Which was crap. Me, Daisy and Kurt. He may as well not have been there. And he actually tried telling me what to do. He really does my head in. Ashleigh asked me if it honestly was good to be back. I told her that, although I miss home a lot, I was happy to back at Schnapps, and it made being away from home easier.


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Sunday, 1 July 2007

Tuesday 19th - Thursday 28th

Tuesday 19th. Day off. Went grocery shopping. Went on the internet. Exercised. Watched TV. Did some puzzles. Showered and washed my hair. Cy came in and asked if we wanted to go to the pub quiz at Schnapps. I put my clothes on over my PJs and off we went. We came third which I was quite happy with. Got back to the lodge and I watched House and Boston Legal. Then Cy asked if we wanted to go to a spa party at Rick's house. This time I had to get out of my PJs completely, and change into my bikini under my clothes. Got back around 2am.

Wednesday 20th. Day off. Went to Taupo with Cy and Paulina. He had stuff to do, so me and Paulina wandered around town. I bought a pair of slippers and three more Ian Rankin books. Cy bought us lunch. Back at the lodge by 7pm. Watched CSI and ER.

Thursday 21st. Day off cuz there's no-one here! Spent the morning trying to remember my Welsh: we want to have a three-way conversation with Cy speaking French, Paulina speaking Spanish and me speaking Welsh, but all of us understanding one another! Started reading one of my new books, then we made pancakes for lunch. Spent the afternoon watching Amelie, then exercised for a while. We went for a spa around 8pm, which made the outside temperature bearable: we could probably have walked back to the room just in our bikinis!

Friday 22nd. Still no-one here, so no work again. Ange came by while I was lounging around: she needs me to work tomorrow night. Exercised and chatted to Paulina. Sorted through financial stuff. Not sure if I'll be able to afford to ski: got to earn about $400 per week for the next 7 weeks. Spent the evening reading and listening to music.

Saturday 23rd. Worked 10am-2.15pm. Had some lunch, straightened my hair, and read until it was time for work. Worked from 5pm to 3am. I did almost as many hours today as I did in the whole of last week! My legs were tired but otherwise I was OK. Read a bit before going to bed: too many coffees in work!

Sunday 24th. Paulina had already finished cleaning by the time I got out of bed at noon. Had a late breakfast and watched some TV - One Tree Hill. Did a few puzzles, made another batch of pancakes, and watched some more TV.

Monday 25th. Day off, again. Cy took a photo of me while I was still in bed! Watched the UK news on Sky News - Gordon Brown's speech. Went to the shop for groceries. Spent the afternoon making bread, reading, doing crosswords, and watching some TV. The bread turned out well for my first ever attempt. Went to Schnapps at 6pm, and finished at 9.30pm.

Tuesday 26th. Worked 10am-2.30pm. Then Terrilee (in Schnapps) called: she was ill and could I come in and cover her shift from 3pm to 6pm. So I changed and off I went. It was quite a novelty being there in the afternoon! I had my staff meal at 6pm and was ready to finish and join my quiz team, when hoards of people walked in. We ended up with about 16 teams, plus other drinkers and diners, and I had to just run over to my team whenever I knew an answer. I finished around 10.30pm, but honestly I'm just glad to be getting the work.

Wednesday 27th. Day off again, and in the interest of saving money, I stayed in. Made more bread, but didn't allow enough time for it to rise, so it turned out really stodgy. Finished the first of my Ian Rankin books, which made me a little late for Schnapps. I had the misfortune of "training" Kurt. Unfortunately he only seemed to appear when I was busy doing something else, which stressed me out. I think I also misunderstood how little he knew before I arrived. I think he started to pick stuff up once we had time to talk and go through stuff, but he still spent a fair while leaning on the bar and doing Spud's head in. I signed him off at 10.30pm and I stayed until midnight. Kyla came in too - first time I've seen her since I got back.

Thursday 28th. Worked 10am-1.30pm. Not much to do but I gave the bathrooms a really good clean. Went on the internet for an hour - emails from Mum, Nain and Freddy, but didn't have time to reply. Joined Cy, Stacy (his girlfriend), and Brett (his dad) for Brett's 53rd birthday celebrations.

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