Marie, who is helping us out in the kitchen, is actually the sheep farmer of Pourchery. In a big barn, just around the corner, she keeps 300 sheep, of which 200 are pregnant at this moment! Since about three weeks, things have been very busy: each day six to ten little lambs are born. And there is something special this year; there are a lot of twins. Most of them with one classic white lamb and one brown, white-headed lamb. But sometimes it does not work out and the mother abandons the little ones or does not have enough milk. Together with Inèz, our intern, Therese has now “adopted” three little lambs. They are raised with a bottle of milk, and we keep them happily together in the shed. We are giving them a bottle of milk four times a day. At first, they did not get the hang of it, but now it seems that the bottled milk tastes good and the three are bleating when we enter the shed. Meanwhile, we have given them names and they see us as their mother. As soon as we open the door, they come running towards us and follow us like little puppies. The bottles are empty in no time, followed by some hopping around and sniffing the hay. Next week they will be released into the meadow! We are excited to see them running around in the field. And we know for sure that they will rush over when we call them: “Moquette, Brownie and Flocon!” Aren’t they sweet?
Hurray! It is snowing. It has been snowing the whole day!! Large snowflakes, small snowflakes, and large ones again. Within a single hour the whole world turned white, within two hours you can only see the ‘pillows’ in the garden, where the shrubs used to stand. It is cosy in the big salon, the bonfire is lit, apéro is on the table, and delicious smells rise from the kitchen…
A novice innkeeper in the Alps might think: fine, that’s allright, just let it snow. But the next morning the amount of snow if so high, that shovelling snow is going to be a difficult job. You get up early and see that there is a meter of snow, grab the shovel and get to work. Oops! After half an hour, it seems that your snow management did not work out. You shovelled the snow to a spot that needs to be cleared later. Pfff. And after another 30 minutes you start to feel your shoulder. The left one. And the right one. And your elbows, both. And your back… and the day hasn’t even started yet! A week later it appears you have a tennis elbow, and a dislocated shoulder. The snow that wasn’t cleared in time became thick and dense. A big layer of snow became ice. Grrrr. And the winter season is only halfway.
No, how about the experienced innkeeper. The first thing they do is listening. Ah… there is the snowplowing machine. Let’s have a chat with the guys. If they could clear the parking for us. Yes, the private parking. Yes, and how about a cup of coffee or something stronger later? Fine, merci! And should it snow for another hour, leaving another 30 cm of snow, you ask your guests: “Guys, take a look! What a beautiful amount of snow! Who likes to help me with some snow shovelling? I have got four shovels here…”