Monthly Archives: October 2021

20211016 – Maillane? It’s in Provence.







Saturday

Luxury of a late departure – 12:00 – so lazy start and pack up. Good job really as it’s just over two hours to our next stay in Provence.

Our home for the next week.

Easy drive, autoroute all the way, so much more relaxing than British Motorways. Roadworks, what are they?

Lounge

Stop off for Wendy’s lunch.

Arrive about 15:00 and were met by our landlady who shows us around. Despite her limited English and my poor French, we get by.

Kitchen

Settle in with a cup of tea on the patio, it’s a gorgeous sunny day. The home and garden are lovely, all situated in a quiet small village, a welcome change from Cannes. Pool’s covered over for the winter, not a problem for me. Lovely patio area for coffee and meals, 3 electric bikes. Then it’s off to the supermarket. We’ve a choice of SuperU or Mosquitos (Intermarche). It’s a long while since we enjoyed the smell of Eau de Sewage from a SuperU, lets keep it that way, so Mosquitos it is. We’ve planned meals well up to Tuesday and trying to wean Wendy off too many supermarket visits.

Our patio.

The store’s massive and there seems little logic in layout, really is time for a worldwide standard on supermarket layout, would save so much time. Checkout seems to think we’re thieves, not CUSTOMERS, as they want to check the insides of our shopping bags. If it hadn’t taken us over an hour I’d have been for walking out and leaving the shopping in the trolley. Disgusting customer service, can you imagine that in England? Can only assume that there are a lot of thieves in France.

There are two checkout exits, so we choose the one nearest to us. Can you believe it, but that exit leads into a different car park, and the only way back to our car park is by a security guarded escort (in case we nick anything) back through the store – only in France.

Back home to get wifi, Apple TV and charging stations set up. Now we’re good to go with bread, wine and cheese for tea.

The wine seems to have it’s usual effect as I nod off with a glass in hand. What a waste, half a glass of wine, oh and broken glass – time to get my travel plastic wine glass out.

 

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Grateful for having survived the traffic in Cannes. I think I’ll have a tee shirt printed – “We survived a week of traffic in Cannes”.

Enjoyed Cannes especially the views from our balcony and the coffees on the beach. They were memorable. But, dreaded driving in Cannes. Weather was great despite the gloom and doom weather forecasts.

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Vikings, a mythology of peace

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Well I thought we’d come across the Guiness Book of Records for longest password in Cannes, with 20 characters. But, no this will definitely end up in the Guiness book of records at 39 characters, consisting of lower case, numeric and special characters. The joke is that a lot of sites would reject this as it does not include any upper case letters. Perhaps they thought by keeping it lower case they were making it easy! Ridiculous. No chance of keying that in without a mistake. Only solution is to type it into Notes then copy and paste.

Thank the FSM for Apples share password feature.


Sunday

 
Lazy start to the day. We’ve decided to have a do-nothing day other than a stroll around Maillane. It’s a gorgeous sunny day again.

Come across a cafe on our stroll so stop off for a beer sat out in the sun. A bizarre cafe with a very limited choice of beer.

Back home for afternoon tea around the pool. Then it’s time for a beer and finish off the last of that coteaux d’aix en Provence. Sadly could only find one bottle in the supermarket.

Then it’s time to do battle with the oven. No where, including the manual and the Internet, can we find what those absurb symbols mean.

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What is it with waiters who can avoid eye contact and ignore you. You’d think it would be in their interest to get the customer committed with an order, even if it’s going to take hours to deliver. Look after the customer for more business. Instead, let’s avoid the customer, he might spend more money, an interesting business model. Our waiter, who must have passed out summa cum laude in the subjects of “eye contact avoidance” and “shoddy service” at the World-renowned Paris School of waiting, was just lazy.

An example from one of the many coffee stops. A waiter acknowledges us with a nod, then comes out 4 times and still can’t be bothered to at least take our order. Hello, customer waiting. Goodbye, customer leaving.


Monday

Wow, another gorgeous sunny day.

Roof down in the Thingimajigger and we’re off on an adventure.

Drive down quiet, if somewhat dilapidated, country roads to L’isle sur la sorgue. We’ve been there before but it’s such a pleasant little town. Charming to walk around, but alas no chance of a sandwich, the French are out in force troughing, only 3 course French lunches available, so we have to settle for a coffee and tea. Whatever happened to sandwiches or even Croque Monsuer?

Bump into a Super U. Wow, after 20 years working and holidaying in France we finally get to visit a Super U supermarket that doesn’t stink of raw sewage. No longer need a gas mask. They must have gotten rid of their Eau de Sewage floor cleaner.

Then it’s off to Fontaine de Vaucluse, again we’ve been before, but still another lovely town to walk around. Wendy settles on an ice cream for lunch, coffee for me. Walk up to the source of the river but cannot see anything gushing out, must be underground.
 

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The Fontaine de Vaucluse is a karst spring in the commune of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, France. It is the largest karst spring in metropolitan France by flow and fifth largest in the world, with annual output of 630,000,000 to 700,000,000 cubic metres (2.2×1010 to 2.5×1010 cu ft) of water. The spring is the prime example in hydrogeology of a “Vaucluse spring”. It is the source of the Sorgue.

The Fontaine de Vaucluse was formed after the Messinian salinity crisis, during the latter part of the Messinian age of the Miocene epoch, from 5.96 to 5.33 Ma (million years ago), which caused the depth of the exsurgence.[2][3]

Above the spring there is a 230-metre (750 ft)-high limestone cliff with innumerable breaks and faults. This acts as a reservoir, a karst aquifer, in which the water circulates along the discontinuities until it meets a barrier of limestone and clay.

The spring, which feeds the River Sorgue, is the only exit point of a 1,100-square-kilometre (420 sq mi) underground basin, which captures waters from Mont Ventoux, the Vaucluse Mountains, the Albion Plateau(fr) and the Lure Mountain(fr).[4] The water of this exsurgence contains an average of 200 milligrams per litre (0.00012 oz/cu in) of calcium carbonate, and has an annual flow of about 700,000,000 cubic metres (2.5×1010 cu ft), so the reservoir loses 50,000 cubic metres (1,800,000 cu ft) of limestone each year.

This karstification phenomenon acting on the surface of the impluvium, removes an annual volume of 45 cubic metres (1,600 cu ft) per square kilometre, which disappears after being dissolved in the water.[5] That figure becomes more meaningful when calculations show that, in 3.5 million years, the Vaucluse Mountains, the Albion Plateau, and the Lure Mountain, will have had their thickness reduced by 1,500 metres (4,900 ft).[6]
 

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What an awesome day out. Two old favourites that will never loose their charm. Pleasant drive with the roof down in glorious sunshine

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How to visit a Super U when they used to clean their floors with Eau de Sewage floor cleaner.

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Some stunning facts on the benefits of Covid vaccination.

As of October 12, 2021, more than 187 million people have been vaccinated. The number of deaths from COVID in vaccinated people sits around 7,000, meaning there’s about a 0.004 percent chance of death by COVID if you’ve been vaccinated. And even within that tiny percent, 85 percent of them are in the older than 65 age range. According to a recent CDC report, vaccinated people were, on average, five times less likely to get infected with COVID-19 and if they did get infected, vaccinated folks were 10 times less likely to be hospitalized or die from the novel virus compared to people who were not vaccinated.

Yet still the SSS – the snowflakes, the Selfish and the Stupid – resist.


Tuesday

Try out the electric bike as I nip round to the bakers for some Croisants and a Cereal Baguette. I’s a bit like driving a tank, very heavy and the electric assist takes a bit of getting used to.

Off to Arles today. Let’s go and see the arena. Don’t think we’ve been there before, but who knows with our aging memory.

Sadly what a dump Arles is. On a par with Beziers and Blackburn. Hard to judge which is the worst.

Splash out and go into the amphitheater, certainly very impressive, as was the theatre, both World Heritage sites but sadly lacking in imagination and presentation. No displays, videos or interaction. Such a pity as with gladiators and all the rest it could have been awesome, especially for the many school trips visiting. Mind you, when I look back to my school trip to see the Mersey tunnel this place certainly trumps that. They obviously use the arena for some big events, including that barbaric and uncivilised bull torturing, which they call a bull fight.

Wendy has the best Latte so far this trip.

Drive to a Super U supermarket to see if the Sewage smell is truly a thing of the past, and yes it is. It’s a massive, clean, spacious store with no bad smell. Do the rest of the weekly shop. Find 4 different bottles of red Coteaux de Aix en Provence so have to try each one. And they even sell Baked Beans, certainly gone up in my estimation. Buy a big piece of Monkfish, which fortunately she skins for us, but looks like we’ll have to fillet it.

Drive back across the Alpilles nature park. Very impressive.

Luxury tea tonight, Pilchard sandwiches – thanks to Peter and Brenda on our campsite – a very rare delicacy here in France, almost as rare as Baked Beans. All washed down with a strong, unfiltered Jenlain blond beer, all 750 Ml of it. By 19:30 I’m comatose.
 

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Wow, that Amphitheatre would be great for some modern day, Saturday afternoon entertainment for the vaccinated masses. They could feed some of our Donky Politicians and bad web designers to some starving lions.


Wednesday

Out for 10:30. For some bizarre reason I’ve suggested we go to the market at St Remy de Provence, knowing full well that we’ll never buy anything. Wendy’s ultimate shopping trip, looking at it all yet not buying.

Some amazing dried sausage but we pass on the Donkey sausage. But those cheeses are making me drool. Then we discover a cheese shop, peering in through the window, like a child outside a toy shop. Resist going in as I know it would turn out expensive.

Give the Donkey sausage a pass. Wot no horse meat?

Wow, it’s quite a big market in a lovely little town. Can you believe for the first time ever we buy something? Some sugared almonds and while we’re on a roll some fennel. Loads of free samples, but as a pair of wimps we pass.

Then after a relaxing coffee, watching the motorists try to go over a zebra crossing. Pedestrians just have no consideration as a constant dribble across. Cars will be running out of petrol at this rate.

Then we’re off to Les Baux de Provence, a small hilltop fortress town in the middle of the Alpilles nature park. The rock formations are amazing and the small town is lovely, even if a tourist trap. I can’t imagine the hilltop castle was ever captured, what a fortress. As for anyone who says the French don’t wash they’ve obviously never been here, with more soap shops than stones at an islamic stoning.

We spend most of our time arguing as to whether we’ve ever been here before. There are glimpses that make us think we have, but neither of us can believe we would ever forget such awesome rock formations and quaint town. Then over coffee, we discover the pictures from September 2009 that prove we have. Thankfully we discover them on the way out. I think it would have really spoilt the experience if we’d realised when we arrived.

Then it’s back home for afternoon tea.

Wendy has to skin some more of the skin off and fillet the Monkfish we bought, guided by Youtube and sadly using a knife blunter than a child’s wooden toy sword. Then it’s Monkfish (never realised how ugly and messy the Monkfish is, – enough to put you off it for life) and an awesome red Coteaux de Aix en Provence for tea – I think a few of these may find their way into my car boot.

The Monkfish was great, so much bigger than the pieces you typically get in England.

End to another awesome day, cloudy with no sun but it was not cold. Despite the cloud we both feel sunburnt on our faces.

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Another awesome day, despite being cloudy all day it did not spoil both places one jot. Added to which it is just so pleasant driving around these quiet country roads – but always keeping a wary eye out for the dreaded Priorite A Droite.

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At last the sandwich has been resurrected here in Les Baux de Provence


Mighty weapons of war at Les Baux de Provence.

It’s troughing time for the French but not a sandwich to be had anywhere.

What have the French got against the sandwich? When I worked there the CEO always told me “We are not having the sandwich in here. Come on we’re going to lunch.” This roughly translated into a 2 hour, three-course meal, fortunately with wine and for most of them a cigarette between every mouthful, despite it being a no-smoking restaurant.

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Vikings, the arrival

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Yes, we have been here before.

What is it with BBC? Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Disney can all stream TV without any interruptions. BBC streams TV with more interruptions and long pauses than a Christian preachers sermon at Speakers Corner. On top of which they have a web site designed by a 10 year old with social interraction skills of a hermit.


Thursday

The mythical monster.

I know let’s go and explore Tarascon and see if we can spot the Tarasque. Free parking well that’s a good start. Stroll down to the river and look at the pock-marked castle. Across to the church and head into what we think is the old quarter. Turns out to be a muslim ghetto, a bit like Audley Range, Blackburn, AKA The Kyber Pass. We get lost thanks to me relying on my innate sense of direction, which this time let me down. I’m sure it was constantly looking down to avoid the dog turds that got us lost. This place has to be the dog shit capital of France and that’s saying something.

When all the parking slots are full there’s always the 1,001 zebra crossings. Only in France.

Where’s the car. What’s more, will it still be there, complete with 4 wheels? Thank the FSM for Apple Maps and car locate. But watch where you’re stepping.

Drive over the river into Beaucaire, only marginally better, at least it has a pretty river with some boats on.

Oh well, we all make mistakes.

Inside the quarry art show.

Decide to get out of there and head over to the Carrières de Lumières at Les Baux de Provence. That’s if we can ever find our way out of this dump. With sat nav it was a nightmare, without sat nav you’d be condemned to driving around for all eternity.

“The old stone quarries of the Val d’Enfer are today the theatre for a magical show that changes its theme every year and which gave the site its name: “Carrières de Lumières” or “Quarries of Lights”. The masterpieces by great artists are projected onto the floor and 14-metre high walls of this stone cathedral.” Todays show was Cezanne and Kadinsky.

“Spectators standing in the decor itself will be blown away by the musical and artistic staging of this whirl of giant images.” It was expensive for us poor pensioners but worth it. Amazing and the music just complimented it all. What was even more amazing was how my iPhone brought it so much more to light than my eyes.

Then it’s back home, roof down driving through the Alpilles in glorious sunshine. A well-deserved cup of tea on our patio. Oh we Brits sure know how to live – civilised.

Tonight’s tea consists of Baked Beans with pork chops and tartiflette. First baked Beans for over a month. Sadly they were a tad undercooked, probably only 10 minutes, rather than the preferred 20 minutes – to kill all parasites, bacteria and viri – with the all-important knob of butter. If I’m ill tomorrow you’ll know it’s down to eating raw vegetables – yet another attempt on my life failed.
 

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A visit to an art gallery with a difference , Carrie’res de Lumie’res( Quarries of Light ) it was spectacular , an exhibition of art combined with music projected onto the walls of the quarry. Awesome!


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Recently some bright spark came up with an idea on how to limit rising sea levels. Simply get rid of all the boats?

Crazy I know, but I like outside-the-box ideas, so let’s indulge it. Randall Munroe recently tried to figure out how much of a difference it would make on global sea levels if every boat were plucked out of the water.

The answer? A whopping six microns, according to Munroe’s calculations, which is just about the thickness of a single strand of spider silk.

We’re saved!

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You really can’t make this cluster f..k up. Yet again the UK has high Covid rates, the highest in Western Europe. Why? Because the donkeys in power won’t use common sense. Mask, vaccine, passport and limiting major gatherings are such simple effective measures to limit the spread. They are working in the rest of Europe, minimum inconvenience, such a small price to pay and save lives. They’re working here in France.

Instead, we seem hell-bent on cherishing the feelings of the snowflakes, the stupid and the selfish. What about all the unnecessary deaths, hospitalisations and suffering.

Interesting a recent survey show that 76% thought wearing a mask was a good idea. So why are so few wearing mask. Simples, what they really though was that other people wearing a mask was a good idea.


Friday

Our last full day so we’re heading off to Avignon. It seems they have a famous half bridge to nowhere. Only the French could keep such a navigation hazard.

Driving around Avignon is the usual chaos but we eventually find a handy car park at the Pope’s Palace. Another one of those cavernous underground car parks with red and green lights over each parking slot so you can easily see available spaces – neat. What’s not so neat is how tight the spaces are.

Now here’s a town that’s serious about Covid they even warn the cars about social distancing with “Mesure Covid” printed every 100 yards on the roads.

Wendy has lunch and I have coffee while we sit in the sunshine people watching. Then it’s off on a shopping spree. Wendy wants some gifty shops to look at. Not that she’ll but anything.

We give the Pope’s Palace a miss, already done the tour on a previous visit. Yes, another place we’ve been to before, but at least this time we remember it. Well worth the second visit.

Finally some words of Wisdom from Winston.

The objective for the day is to walk on that famous bridge. It seems like it’s one of the best-kept secrets in Avignon, not a sign to be had telling you how to get to it. Walk up to the garden Rocher Des Doms thinking we’ll be able to get to it from there. Some great views of it but alas can’t walk to it. Finally, find our way to it. An impressive structure and yet another World Heritage site. Objective achieved we finally also find some gifty shops for Wendy to browse. Does she buy anything? Does she heck.

Leisurely drive back home for afternoon tea on the patio followed by The Holy Trinity of the table, wine, cheeses and bread. When we get home we really need to have this once a week.
 

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Another gorgeous sunny day, some relaxing people watching over lunch and a World Heritage site to visit.


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The Saint Bénezet bridge, a major witness of the history of Avignon, is known throughout the world thanks to the famous song. Built from the 12th century, it was washed away several times by the floods of the Rhone, and finally abandoned in the seventeenth century. Classified World Heritage by UNESCO.

According to the legend, the bridge was built in the 12th century by a young shepherd from Ardèche – Bénezet – who heard voices telling him to build a bridge in Avignon. Yet, another schizophrenic in the World of religion. An uneducated shepherd, Bénézet (born c.1165 – died c 1184, feast day April 14, patron saint of bridge builders) claimed that he was divinely commanded in a vision to build the bridge at a point where the force of the Rhône was so great that it had discouraged even Roman engineers in antiquity.

At first, people took him for a madman, but he had heard a voice from heaven telling him : “Bénézet, take your crook and go to Avignon, the capital by the water : you will speak to the inhabitants and you will tell them that a bridge must be built”.

One Sunday holiday, while the bishop of Avignon gave his blessing on the square in front of Notre-Dame, Bénézet called to him : “Lord Bishop, I have been commissioned by the Almighty to build a bridge across the Rhône”…

Mocked by the Avignonnais, the shepherd was challenged by the prelate to take an enormous stone on his shoulders and throw it into the Rhône. Bénézet doesn’t hesitate an instant, and watched by the amazed crowd, picked up the stone block and threw it into the water, helped, they say, by divine intervention, and even by angels bathed in golden light.

The bishop of Avignon, at first skeptical, finally approved the project, and work began in 1177. Bénézet reputedly overcame many obstacles miraculously, and the construction of the bridge was said to have caused 18 miraculous healings. Convinced that the work was ordained by God, wealthy patrons formed the first “Bridge-Building Brotherhood” to fund Bénézet’s endeavour. The bridge was completed in 1185, creating the only place to cross the Rhône between Lyon and the Mediterranean sea. The bridge originally spanned approximately 900 meters and had 22 arches. It was dismantled in 1226, then rebuilt. It was later washed away several times by flood waters and rebuilt until it was abandoned in the 17th century. Today, all that remains are four arches and a chapel dedicated to Saint Nicolas. The bridge is famous the world over due to the lovely children’s song “Sur le pont d’Avignon”.

The Pont d’Avignon was a true feat of engineering, and was continually being worked on and repaired. A source of legends, an emblematic monument of the area, the bridge has been the subject of unprecedented interdisciplinary research since 2010.

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Western Media Aren’t Telling You the Truth About Iran – https://apple.news/ANPxgRmEcR5KauobpA0Jp2Q

And here’s the clock counting down the days to Israels destruction.

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News Flash from the English Coastguard.

The Royal Navy intercepted three boatloads of people off the Kent coast this morning.

This placed the Navy in a rather awkward position, as the boats were not heading to, but rather away from Kent and towards France.

Another surprise was that the boats weren’t loaded with migrants as expected, but with British Pensioners.

Their claim was they were trying to get to Calais so as to be able to return to the UK as migrants and therefore be entitled to substantially more benefits than they currently receive as legitimate British Pensioners.

The Navy it is believed, gave them food, water and extra fuel and assisted them on their journey.

We are in the process of arranging further trips and if you’re interested please fill out the document below.

Thank You.

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What an awesome week in a lovely, comfortable Provencal Bungalow set in it’s own grounds, complete with 3 electric bikes, lawns, patio, swimming pool and an imposing set of iron gates to keep the World at bay.

The area was lovely and after the traffic and noise of city life, it was a pleasure to drive around, so less stressful. Many great little places to visit, even though we’d been to most of them before. I’d always wanted to VRBO around the South of France and this was the South of France at its best.

If ever we can’t make it to America this has to be the second-best choice. We’d come again.

20211009 – Cannes







Saturday

Our new home for the next week.

Out by 09:30 and off on the road to Cannes. Really screwed up on the distance. As the crow flies Annecy to Cannes is about 168 miles, so thought that’s not a bad stretch. Turns out that the quickest route is about 320 miles – 5 hours – fortunately all by autoroute, expensive but so much less stressful than UK motorways. The only downside is French drivers seem to want to see what’s inside my exhaust pipe, or perhaps they’re mesmerised and drawn to my new UK sticker, complete with Union flag. Have they never heard of safe stopping distance? A complete lack of common sense, dangerous.

Balcony view.

Stop off in Provence for Wendy’s lunch. Glorious sunshine, bright blue sky and warmth. Get to Cannes about 16:00.

Our home exchange hosts are there to meet us and show us around the apartment – see pictures. All very comfortable and quality furnished with an amazing balcony and view of Cannes Bay. They’ve left us some essentials like roles, jam, toilet roll and not forgetting wine.

Bedroom.

Have to dash out to the supermarket. A shithole of an Intermarche with a disgusting underground garage, the black mold is taking over the staircase, like some sort of horror movie.

Back to the apartment and soon set up Apple TV, with red wine, brad and cheese for tea. Sleep through yet another episode of Sex Education
 
 
 

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Amazing view over Cannes Bay from the balcony.

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The origins of the quran:

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Supermarket with 4 cash desks, 3 of them swap staff at the same time, so only one in operation. Customers have been in line that long some of them are now eligible for their pension. Then when they finally get to the lone checkout girl they get to witness checkout at the speed of an arthritic tortoise. Send the cashiers to Aldi for some speed training. Why I’ve even got a new phrase – “Slower than a French supermarket checkout”.

An hours free parking at the supermarket. They’ve obviously never shopped with Wendy. Why she needs at least that to get past the tinned goods isle.


Sunday

Kitchen

Really lazy day. Unfortunately we have to find a supermarket to do the weeks shop – looks like it’s another Casino, one of the few supermarkets with some parking. Roads around our apartment have obviously been laid out following the trail of a druken snail, not a straight stretch anywhere.

Then spend the rest of the day just enjoying the apartment and the views, along with a little beer and wine. Weathers a mixture of sun and cloud but at least it’s warm.
 

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What is it with the French and their 22 character passwords. Password for nuclear launch codes would be shorter. Are they that worried about some stolen wifi. Fortunately most of them have, and desperately need, a QR code to scan. Apples share password code feature is a life saver or else I think we’d still be sat there typing passwords.

Then you might wonder how come I’ve a photograph of a French bank vault? Wrong, it’s the steel door to our apartment. Is this a high crime area?


Monday

Bathroom with bizarre shower.

Yeah, glorious sunshine and temperatures around 20 of those damn EU units.

Do battle with the shower, or should I say lack of it. There’s just a shower hose in the bath not even on the wall. How can people live without a proper shower? Another querk of this lovely well-appointed apartment is the lack of cups, just one with a handle and two without – much too hot for folk like me who don’t have asbestos hands.

Cannes old port.

A beautiful sunny blue sky day, time to sit outside and enjoy the peace and quiet, the view and relax …..they only decide to do roadworks outside the apartment. Never mind they’ll pack up by 12:00 for the day.

After our usual lazy start we set off down to the port in the old town. Plenty of expensive outdoor parking. Wow, we get to see the 5th British car this whole trip. The French economy must be really suffering and if that Macron geeezer doesn’t improve his demeanour and attitude to the Brits then hopefully we’ll stay away in droves – mind you they’ll have got shut of him by next year.

Street mural. in Cannes.

Great this lazy start to the day, by the time we hit the shops they’re all closed for a two hour lunch. A bizzare idea, what do they find to do in the two hours – answers on a postcard.

Have a walk along the front and as usual, there’s a big expo on in the conference centre promoting and selling French TV series. Of course the tourist info centre is closed for lunch.

Have a walk around the old town and then along the beach. Gorgeous weather and all very pleasant.

Coffee at a beach cafe, no rush just watching the world and the fully clothed go by. Wot no topless beaches and supermarkets with no baked beans. Like the UK this country is going to the dogs too.

Finally, get to see 20 stone of topless adipose tissue, those nipples are scraping her knees. Enough to put anyone off sex or women for life, should be used in aversion therapy. No need to apply electric shocks just the sight alone would do the job. I was going to post a picture of something similar but feared for my reader’s sanity.

Back home for a leisurely beer and wine.
 

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Driving around Cannes is sheer hell, traffic lights and zebra crossings every 10 feet; narrow streets unfit for even a scooter; twists and bends enough to wear your steering wheel out; pedestrians who don’t know the difference between roads and pavements; drivers with zero patience; carved up twice now by bitches in mercs, of course I’ve given them the Churchill salute; cyclists who ignore all conventions, mind you that’s the same the world over; and if all else fails you have an exhaust bandit trying to drive his extended phallus up my exhaust pipe.

Someone should level the whole place an install an American North / South and East / West grid system – I know we’re a couple of Philistines. As for those American friends who say the UK’s roads are narrow they should come to this hell hole.

I start every day vowing not to loose my temper but within 5 minutes of this hell I’ve lost it.


Tuesday

Cannes beach.

Lazy start and then we take a leisurely drive, much to most drivers dismay, down the awesome corniche to St Raphael. Some stunning views over the sea but not many places to stop off and enjoy them.

Free parking in St R. Wendy lashes out and has a fish burger at MacD’s. Their coffee is great. So we sit by the sea like two old dears. Alas no really pleasant sights on the beach. Not really much to see in the town.

Coffee on the beach.

Then we get back and it’s yet another supermarket. God only knows how Wendy manages to need a daily shop. That’s it now no more supermarkets in Cannes.

Yeah, sat on the balcony with bread, cheese and wine – the Holy Trinity of the table – for tea tonight. Much to Wendy’s annoyance, I could live on this. So what do these items have in common? Never thought of it that way before but they all rely upon yeast.
 

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According to government statistics during 2020 HGV’s travelled 16.4 billion vehicle miles. During that same period 3.07 billion of those miles the HGV’s were empty. That’s 18.7% empty. As well as recruiting more drivers perhaps it is also time to look at working smarter and use IT to reduce that waste.

Meanwhile to the mafflards (A mafflard is a term for someone who is a pure klutz. Words and Phrases From The Past calls a mafflard “a stammering or blundering fool; a term of contempt.”) responsible for these statistics, perhaps it might help if you decided upon one unit of measure, preferably miles, rather than sometimes using miles and others using that Evil Union measure, kilometres.


Wednesday

Relaxing sunset.

Lazy start to a gorgeous sunny day then off down to the other end of Cannes for a very English, complete with panama hat, stroll along the prom. Seems like the French also like their stroll along the prom too.

Beach cafes at this end of Cannes are vey expensive so being cash strapped pensioners we stroll down to other beaches to our previous days watering spot. One cafe allonge lasts a whole hour of people watching on the beach. Wendy tries a Latte and survives it, hope she’s not going to start polluting my coffee machine with all that milk. What’s happened to the french, the women seem to have become a nation of prudes, no eye-candy sights to keep me entertained.

On .he road to St Raphael.

Of course there’s yet another film / TV series festival on, which probably explains the high police presence, baacked up by army patrols armed to the teeth with enough firepower to initiate WW3. Mind you with the number of members of the religion of pieces and permanent offense in this country it’s not surprising.

Well a really good walk today, all of 4.7 miles.

It’s Kurt’s birthday and as usual we’re away for it. Give him a ring to wish him happy birthday and say hello to the kids. Of course its the witching hour before they go to bed, they’re feral. After 5 minutes we’re ready to turn to drink to cope with the nosie and excitement. Within that short chat one of them is banished to the naughty step – I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what her name was. How do Kurt and Fiona cope with them, they both look stressed and in dire need of alcohol. But we still miss the kids.

Shucks, how did those lilly white boobs manage to spoil my photo.

Really can’t understand this awesome appartment. Just one bathroom with no shower other than a hand held shower in the bath. In this day and age how do people cope without a proper shower? Even more bizarre is only one bathroom in a two bedroom apparment and you have to walk through the master bedroom to get to it. You imagine, there you are on one of your finest rumpo moments and in strolls a child or someone from the other bedroom needing a pee – “Oh don’t mind me!”.

When I look at the layout it almost seems like there’s some lost space. Why didn’t they put a door from the hall into the bathroom. Tapping walls looking for priest holes or hidden compartments. But alas nothing. Oh well, they’re french and in a country with Priorite Adroite and no baked beans anything goes.
 

religion header  
islam – the religion of peace

rant header 
What is it with the French and their weird fascination with bathroom sinks? There are thousands of perfectly sensible designs, but it seems that there’s an excess of designers out there who have to come up with new crazy, impractical designs – deep, square, flat – to justify their existence, that the gullible French rush out to buy, like a nerd dashing to buy a new Apple product. And yet they leave kitchen sinks alone, no messing with that common-sense design.


Thursday

Beach at Nice.

A sun and cloud day but nice and warm. Let’s go to Nice and ambulate down the Promenade Des Anglais, it’s a long while since we were there.

It’s only 25 minute drive and I’d already keyed in a car park to make life easy. Find the car park, supposedly with 380 places, this one only had about 30. Oh well it’ll do. And then I see the price.

Wendy buys a sandwich and we sit on the promenade while she eats it and fends off pigeins and aggresive seagulls. The colour of the sea is amazing. If nothing else it was worth it just for that. Have a walk down to the far end of the promonade and back. The beach is all pebbles not a bit like the ones at Cannes. All in all quite disappointing and note to oneself, don’t bother coming again, Cannes is so much nicer.

Yeah, the Union flag is at least 6″ higher than the French one.

Stop off for a coffee on the beach. So all in all it’s costs us e23.90 (parking 7, tolls 7, coffee and water 9.90).

Drive home for afternood tea on the balcony, followed by a beer, some wine, Chicken Faijatas and a good snooze through some mediocre TV. Lovely eating tea out on the balcony in glorious technicolour sunshie and that amazing view.

 
 
 

Wave header 
Two items of delight today. The Azure blue sea at Nice and tea on the balcony overlooking Cannes – how lucky can we be.

rant header 
Fear not said he, all the French fishermen’s sabre rattling will amount to not even a sardine as of course the French authorities will step in and stop their illegal activities. In your dreams.


Friday

 

Promenade de Anglais in Nice.

A midnight revelation. I get up in the middle of the night to turn the heating down and notice a light shining from the wardrobe in the 2nd bedroom. Go to open the doors and turn it off and revealed in all it’s glory is an en-suite bathroom in the 2nd bedroom. Not just any old en-suite but one with a PROPER SHOWER. For 5 days now we’ve just thought the doors to this haven to cleanliness was a wardrobe. The doors looked like a wardrobe and our hosts never showed us this feature. That explains the lost space. Proper showers from now on.

Pink carpet at TV series festival. No stars.

Our last full day in Cannes so after a lazy start and Wendy’s lunch we head off down to the old Port.

Have a saunter around the old town. Wendy sees a dress we both like, that’s rare, but sadly the shop is closed for lunch. We call in on the way back. “One size fits all.” says the shop assistant “put a belt around”. Never mind that it still hangs off her shoulders like supermans cloak. Ridiculous. It’s a wonder she didn’t tell us it would shrink to a perfect fit with wear.

Stroll down onto the beach for a coffee and a last relax by the sea.
 

Wave header 
I’ve just started to apprecaite the layers of Cannes:

  • Firstly you have the sea, in the bay of Cannes, and it’s awesome blue colour. With the occaisonal luxury yacht anchored in the bay.
  • Then there’s the lovely sandy beach with it’s restaurants and cafes where you can relax for an hour over a welcome stretched coffee.
  • Next, you have the promenade with plenty of free seating, blue chairs.
  • Forgetting the road the next is the expensive hotels and apartments with awesome sea views.
  • Sadly we then come onto the “Morlock’s” layer. Full of parked cars, windy streets unfit for a single bike lane never mind cars, scooters and electric scooters weaving in and out. Not forgetting those French with miniscule dicks who seem to need to be astride a powerful, ear-shattering motorbike as a phallus to compensate for their tiny penis and shrivelled brains.
  • Finally, you get to Super Cannes. Unique, distinctive, expensive houses and prestigous appartment blocks, with balconies and awesome views, all built on the hillside. With narrow, but quiete, roads snaking around them. A haven of quiet (well would be quiet if they weren’t digging up our road) sophisticated luxury. This is where our appartment is.
  • religion header  

    I’m not usually one to bang on about human rights but for Iran I’ll make an exception. Every thing you need to know about human right in Iran.
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/middle-east-and-north-africa/iran/report-iran/

    rant header 
    Occaisonally one of the Morlocks escapes on their noisy, two wheeled phalus, and disturbs my quiet relaxation on the balcony up in Super Cannes. If only I had a snipers rifle. Mind you I do have some empty glass Fischer beer bottles.

    20211002 – Versailles, Beaune and Annecy







    Saturday

    Oh the joys of packing up your caravan in the pouring rain. Anyone want to buy a caravan? I really do start to wonder why we’re still doing this caravanning lark. Must be mad. When you think about it, with the awning, we spend a day setting up and a day packing up. Only really viable for a 3 or more week stay. Reminds me yet again that I don’t want to be towing.

    Drive down to Versailles is pretty uneventful The French roads and toll roads a a pleasure to drive on.

    Arrive at our Novotel in Versailles after a three hour drive.

    Hotel’s very smart. Have a stroll down the town, trying to avoid the rain.

    Evening meal in the hotel is good but very limited menu.
     

    joke header 

     

     
    ISIS has nothing to do with islam

    rant header 
    I know the Americans have some difficult understanding the concept of a roundabout, but at least I thought the Europeans were comfortable with it. Alas, not so. In Versailles they have roundabouts with Priorite a Droite (Priority to traffic coming from the right) on all the roads joining the alleged roundabout. How chaotic is that?

    I thought priority a droite had been abandoned all over France, but it seems it’s still clinging on, especially in rural areas. Ox carts and horse and carts are very rare in France these days but still this craziness persist. Bonkers. That along with a hole in the ground toilets and a national spate of toilet seat thefts should be enough to have them expelled from the EU.


    Sunday

    After a good breakfast we’re off in the rain to the Palace of Versailles. Fortunately only a 20 minute walk from the hotel.

    Well, it seems that somehow the French Secret Service – DGSI: Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure – have somehow been spying on me at breakfast and detected my desecration of a croissant. Yes, I confess I put jam on them. When I present my French pass sanitaire to get in the palace of Versailles it is rejected – am I now on a watch list? Funny how it’s accepted everywhere else and Wendy’s is accepted. My English one works – don’t mess with the British.

    How the gardens should have been in the sun.

    Then I try to go through the scanner. No luck. Take everything off, still no luck. Next, it’ll be the sound of a rubber glove and down to underwear. It must be the DGSI or again my titanium implant in my femur – strange how my bionic leg has never caused a problem before. In typical French fashion, they give up and decide it’s best to let me through.

    I wonder whether it was my leather cowboy hat that made them think I’m a American so let’s give him a hard time.

    It’s very impressive, the palace that is. It’s massive, they reckon you need a whole day to see the inside properly. Us philistines are not that cultured and really just like to get an overview and sense of the place without examining everything. A guided tour would be the death of us. There are that many paintings there’s just no need for wallpaper. So it’s a whistle-stop tour. They really need a fast lane to avoid the dawdlers. We must set a new world record in just 70 minutes, mind you the Gallery of great battles is closed – I bet there’s nothing in there for Agincourt, WW1 or WW2!

    Still pouring with rain so we give the awesome looking gardens a miss. Most of my pictures have been acquired from the Internet rather than photos with bald heads and selfie sticks intruding.

    Expensive but glad we’ve seen it. Wendy – xenophobe – much preferred Windsor Castle but nowhere near as big.

    Set off down to Beaune, wine capital, for our next stop. Once we escape the hell of Paris suburbs were on our way down South. Toll roads most of the way but no hold-ups and light traffic. Why if it wasn’t for the rain it could even be enjoyable.

    And the bit we were swizzled out of.

    Arrive at our Ibis hotel in Beaune. Well we all make mistakes. Our rooms been designed by someone from Lilliput. The door won’t even open fully because it bangs into the bed. As for the shower, only thin people wash. No blobbies would ever get in the rooms.

    Another bit of bad news is they don’t do evening meals so we have to venture out into yet more rain to find a restaurant. Wot, you want to eat on a Sunday evening, it’s our day of rest, one of many. Finally, find a restaurant open. Limited menu until 18:00 so it’s French onion soup followed by Beef Bourgeoning. Good French fare.

    Back to the rabbit hutch in the rain and finish off my bottle of wine to help me cope with the claustraphobia.
     

    joke header 

    rant header 
    Well we’ve solved the illegal immigrant problem for Priti Useless. Just visited this big – it’s very big – empty council house in Versailles. Get the French to spend some of the 54 million on moving the illegals in Calais to this empty place. There’s room for them all. Simples. Problem solved.


    Monday

    And if your husband didn’t buy you a washing machine then you can always pop along here to do the weekly wash – I know sexist.

    Breakfast is very mediocre and small portions, no doubt to save money. Mind you if you had a big hearty breakfast you’d risk not being able to slither into the room.

    We see a real blobby arrive, who as we guessed is one of the cleaners. I’d be amazed, being that fat, that she could even get into the rooms.

    You lives and you learns and today’s lesson is avoid Ibis hotels – we’ve stayed in some tolerable ones in the past, especially Ibis Styles.

    Have a stroll around Beaune and a coffee before setting off for our VRBO in Lake Annecy. We pass on visiting the Hospital with the awesome roof again.

    Just watched the guy set up this umbrella on the right. What does he think will happen when it rains. That man don’t have the brains God graced a bale of hay.

    It’s motorway for all but the last three miles. The drive through the mountains is impressive, would be more so if it wasn’t rain and cloud.

    As we get into Annecy we see a mega Carrefour supermarket. As we’re early we go in to do our shop and save us coming out again. Sadly it’s just too big with prize winning slow checkout girls.

    Get to the road where the car park for our apartment is. Drive up and down it three times looking for the car park. What we don’t realise is that there’s another half of the road across the major road and of course we’re on the wrong side of the major road. Finally, find it and negotiate all the secret codes, locks and doors, to arrive at our very pleasant apartment, it’s lovely and well kitted out.

    Soon get set up after wearing out a keyboard inputting a 20 character, yes 20 characters mixed numbers and letters, enough to protect the nuclear missile launch code. The world has gone mad.

    Finally all working, Apple TV up and running for Netflix etc. Home from home.
     

    joke header 

    rant header 
    British tourist deported from France for desecration of a croissant. As he’s put into a rubber dinghy and pushed off the Calais beach in the direction of Dover he shouts, “Nothing like Apricot jam on your first croissant of the visit. Wot no butter!”.


    Tuesday

    Weather dictates our day. Sun and cloud in the morning followed by yet more rain in the afternoon, so we’re off out early. Well 10:00 is very early for us.

    Have a stroll down to the lake with plans of a relaxing coffee by the lake. “There’ll be loads of cafes overlooking the lake” I say. Alas wrong again, not a one.

    But, there’s a trade union gearing up for a protest no doubt. Must be France. Wot no yellow jackets.

    It’s very pleasant though walking by the lake and eventually we find a cafe by a river in the old town.

    Then stroll back with Wendy carping on about how far it is. But then she spies a Casino supermarket to brighten her day. Can you believe that to get out of the store you have to scan the barcode on your receipt? Technology gone mad. What happens if you don’t buy anything?

    First impressions of Annecy are good.

    Afternoon lazing around, it’s what we do best.
     

    joke header 

    religion header  

    rant header 
    We have a press that can cause fuel chaos with their calamitous reporting yet can’t be bothered to challenge the donkeys in power.

    The latest from Preti Useless is sending illegals to Albania, vociferously denied by the Albanian government. Whatever happened to sending them to a shithole, like Rwanda, for processing? How many have been turned back at sea as a result of the training given? Both seem like great ideas. Why aren’t the press on the case with these two issues instead of sensationalist headlines that are exaggerating and causing chaos?

    If France was serious about solving the problem and earning their £54M then it’s simple, why don’t they just let us send them back to France. It wouldn’t be long before the illegals got the message. But let’s face it they want to be shut of them.

    Time for ACTION THIS DAY as Churchill would have said. Such a pity Boris can’t emulate his hero.


    Wednesday

    Yet again plan our day around the weather forecast.

    Off for a drive around Lake Annecy. I’d expected it to be a goodly distance but it turns out to be only 25 miles. Not really that much to see other than views of the lake, including a spectacular one from a mountain top – see photos. But overall a pleasant drive.

    Halfway round and the heavens open up yet again. Good to know that the French weather forecasts are as random as ours.

    Back in time for afternoon tea.

    Tackle a Beaune wine, it’s ok but not one I’d queue up to buy.
     

     

     
    Red pilled Euro whore

    rant header 
    After 14 years of retirement it’s time for a 1st amendment to my laws of retirement. It’s very simple.

    11th Law – Avoid shopping in a super market with Wendy.


    Thursday

    Our apartment in Annecy. Lovely.

    Very lazy start to the day. Catch up on blog and try and reconcile my Siesta Key booking. The joys of an amateur travel agent.

    After Wendy’s lunch, we take a stroll into the town. Learn that restaurants and brasseries insist on you having food. If you want just a coffee or even a just a beer then you must go to a cafe or bar.

    Have a coffee by the river and then explore the city centre, well at least what we think is the city centre. We’re saving exploration of the old town until tomorrow, market day.

    Back home for afternoon tea.

    Extra hot Stag chilli, supplemented with plenty of mince meat, for my tea. Quality food.
     

    religion header  

    rant header 
    Another example of lack of common senese in design. Wendy is about 5 foot 1″ tall and the average female in Europe is 5 foot 3″ tall, yet no way can Wendy reach to close this cupboard, even on tiptoes and even after all that traction treatment. How to spoill a lovely kitchen.


    Friday

    Up and ready early to go to the market in the old town Wendy’s orgasmic. Have to be there before 12:00 or else they’ll have all packed up early and shot off home to gobble up their frogs legs and snails.

    I don’t know why we ever bother going to a French market, we never buy anything. Although I have to admit they do have some awesome-looking cheese, bread and meats, plus a wide selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. Really quite entertaining and colourful.

    Stop off for a beer but it’s quite cold so I settle for a coffee allonge.

    Call in at a Subway for tonight’s tea. Their consistency all over the world is amazing, yes you can always guarantee they’ve run out of something. Today it’s tomatoes. Probably one of their most popular items. I suggest they pop around to the market and buy some before they close. That went down like a lead balloon and all of a sudden they no longer understood English.

    Back home for lunch. It’s still grey and cool and not a glimpse of the forecast sun.

    14:00 French time and the Apple watch can be ordered in the UK. Order an apple watch 7 in aluminium. Would have liked to get the stainless steel but instead of £399 they’re £699 because they come with lavish watch straps. I’ve still got my Milanese Loop, it’s smart and still in good fettle. Yes, I know I’m the nerd who would be dashing to buy a cardboard box if Apple sold one, but in fairness, my current watch is a series 4 and 4 years old.

    Wendy gets packed ready for an early start and a 5 hour drive to Cannes. A major navigation screw up there, on the map as the crow flies it only looked about 200 miles. Turns out it was even less at 168 but there are mountains in the way so you have to travel about 320 miles.

    Well it seems that Wendy’s been washing the pots with rinse aid. No wonder we need to scrape the detritus off the plates!
     

    religion header  

    rant header 
    I see the press are now trying to create more shortages with their latest contributions to chaos:

  • “Why soaring gas prices could leave toilet paper in short supply”.
  • “Fears of Quality Street shortage over Christmas as Nestle hit by HGV driver crisis”.
  • “Almost a third of petrol stations in London and southeast England are either dry or have just one grade of fuel”.
  •  
    Perhaps it’s time for some retaliation with two new press releases:

  • “Fears that newspaper ink could cause cancer”.
  • “Fears that reading press scare stories of gloom and doom could cause senile dementia”.
  •  
    …could….” that all-important word used by the press to achieve their dubious ends. Is our press infested with 5th columnists, enemies of the state and anarchists?

    20210925 – Relaxing In France







    Saturday

    Thunder, lightning and rain overnight so sure enough in keeping with French tradition WIFI does not work in the morning. Why? It’s like one of those immutable laws of nature. Have they not heard of waterproofing or lightning protection.

    Lazy start, battling with non-existent Internet, then off to Cherbourg.

    Buy some new handles from the local Bricolage (DIY) to replace the broken plastic ones. These are metals that should see us out. Typical though, we wanted 4 but they only had 3.

    Free parking on the Cherbourg quayside, how neat is that.

    Finally track down the SFR shop, would have been easier if Wendy had said Rue DES portes and not De or du.

    With my awful French and the assistant’s basic English I finally get a SIM, which allegedly will support being a hotspot (that’s another story), then can you believe I have to go to a Tabac to buy a 5Gb pre-pay to load onto the SIM. That’s easy to do as you just send an SMS with the code on your receipt from the Tabac.

    SIM works fine in Wendy’s phone just got to battle my way through hot spot set up. Web site is no use, now there’s a surprise. Looks like I’ll have to gird my loins for a call with SFR call centre. Quite proud so far of my French comprehension, still speak it like a Spanish cow.

    Then it’s pleasant coffee sat around the square, listening to a live band playing. Bizarre that the cafe lets you bring your own sandwiches to eat.

    Another gorgeous sunny day, despite the weather forecast.

    Bread, cheese and wine for tea again.
     

    Wave header 
    Well we’ve been here a week now and hardly found any time to do my blog, read or go for a bike ride. Yet, we’ve hardly gone out for day trips. It just so relaxing. One of the ironies of living in this Lillipudlian rabbit hutch is we’ve spent ages agonising over the picture of which VRBO rentals to go to in Florida.

    joke header 

    I speak French like a Spanish cow.

    religion header  
    Join Islam


    Sunday

    Lazy day.

    Then took a short drive out to Saint Saveur le Vicomte to explore the castle we’ve constantly said we’ll go and look at. Finally, explore it. Looks like there was a rebellion there way back when, now there’s a shock for France. A coffee or even a beer sat in the sun would have been nice but alas, it’s France, it’s Sunday, and of course everywhere is closed. I suppose they’re all wearing holes in the knees of their Sunday best trouser as they spend the day on their knees in prayer and religious devotion!

    Another gorgeous day.

    Back home for tea, beer and wine.
     

    religion header  

    rant header 
    Now I know I’m always having a rant about bad web pages, poor Human-Computer Interfaces, and bad design in general but I think I have found 2021 bad design award winner – see photo. What’s wrong with that you may say. Well, the silver button does nothing, it’s a motion-activated hand dryer, activated by placing your hands underneath it. It’s a wonder there isn’t a pile of human skeletons of the people who have died waiting for the silver button to work. Who are these zounderkites (bring back old insults -this is a Victorian word meaning “idiot.” An appropriate example with a contemporary angle (spoken with some irritation while driving on the highway): “That zounderkite just cut me off!”) who claim and are paid to be designers, yet produce such utter crap.


    Monday

    Woken by the sound of rain and wind. Dash out in the pouring rain to install the storm straps, that’s when I’ve found them. Of course if I’d installed them when we set up our “divorce proof, easy blow up awning”, I wouldn’t be out there in the wind and rain. Then to aggrevate me more as soon as they’re installed the rain stops and the wind dies down.

    The last caravan leaves today so we’re the only caravan on the site. Have it all to ourselves, no noisy, nosey neighbours. Still some English in the statics and cabins at the top of the site.

    Find some St George flag pendants so I put them up to remind the ducks that were English – remember Agincourt.

    My UK stickers arrive for the car. Yes apparently from the 29/9/21 you have to have a UK sticker on your car. Some numbskull in government has decided that we are UK and not GB. He or she is a snowflake who wants to be inclusive and make a point that Northern Ireland is British – let no country be left behind.

    A trip to mosquitos was the highlight of the day.

    Spent most of the day identifying possibilities for Florida – we’ve 3 out of 4 stays sorted – and then most of the evening trying to select the best with a simple scoring system.

    Despite the early morning rain it turns out yet another sunny day.
     

    joke header 

    I hear French like an English tortoise.

    rant header 

    A couple of French export entrepreneurs are ready to step up and solve our self inflicted petrol crisis.


    Tuesday

    Leisurely morning as usual.

    Teatime we head up to Brenda and Pete’s for drinks. Another opportunity to put the world to rights. Very enjoyable company.

    Weather wise an OK’ish sort of day.
     

    joke header 
    The French Revolution Oversimplified – shame about the adverts but very informative.

    rant header 
    Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster were not in the UK to witness first hand the chaos, bad enough we have to read about it. What is wrong with my country. I fully support the right to demonstrate and protest as long as it does not hinder others or break the law.

    A simple solution to all this Insulate protest. Give them 2 minutes to move their hands off the pavement, if not then rip their hands off. That will soon stop a repeat of that nonsense.

    No fines or prison sentences at our expense, instead let the punishment fit the crime. Chained to the side of the motorway for a week with their protest sign over their heads for all to see. Yes, I know the snowflakes and libtards will be up in arms about it, cruel, health and safety, and no doubt infringes their human rights. Boo hoo.

    I bet it would solve the problem.


    Wednesday


    Leisurely start.

    The forecast is pretty good so we have a drive up to Barfleur, allegedly one of the prettiest villages in France. There really is no accounting for taste. If that’s one of the prettiest then let’s avoid the rest. Have a stroll around but nowhere to stop for a sandwich for lunch. As usual, all the French are munching away on their full three-course meals. Given their obsession with food and wine it really is a mystery why this country is not infested with an excess of adipose tissue ambling around on two legs.

    Drive down to Saint-Vaast-la-Houge, a busy fishing port, probably getting ready to blockade the ports and cause mayhem over Brexit fishing rules. They soon forget how the EU decimated our fishing industry. But it’s France, any excuse for a good strike, march, blockaid or civil unrest – long live the revolution.
     

    joke header 

    rant header 
    Well we’ve finally sorted our Florida trip. It’s a salutary lesson in how stupid people are when you look at the photos posted on a VRBO site for a property whose sole purpose is to market their property. Some of the many examples of stupidity never cease to amaze me:

  • Settees and chairs with disgusting crumpled blankets covering them – an instant no, no.
  • Pictures sideways, upside down or so dark only suitable for registered blind persons – an instant no, no.
  • 10+ pictures, not one of them showing the key features of lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Prime example would be 20 pictures of outside, local tourist attractions and just one inside picture showing the U bend under the sink or the doormat in the hallway – an instant no, no.
  • TV located behind the main seating so only an owl with 360 degree head rotation can se the TV – an instant no, no.
  • No comfortable seating to watch TV – an instant no, no.
  • Sleeps 6 or more and yet only seating in the lounge and around the table for 2 or 4. Meals or TV in shifts.
  • Too lazy to tidy up before taking photos.
  • No bedside tables or lights.
  • Barren, looks like a prison cell with nothing on the walls.
  •  

    Who are these people? It’s not rocket science. A lot of the time it’s just rampant stupidity but can also be hiding something they’d rather you not see.


    Thursday

    Last forecasted sunny day of our stay so time to be brave and take down the awning. A couple of hours cursing and a half hour interruption as Bat and Ball stroll by and engage us in conversation. Did you know that aircraft carriers are leaking around their propeller shafts? How fascinating is that.

    It’s finally down and rolled up and still fits in the bag.

    Rest of the day lounging around.
     

    joke header 

    rant header 

    The Biscuit Factory. More bottles of Whisky and Bourbon than muslims at a stoning. Just 4 bottles of brandy hidden away on a top shelf.


    Friday

    Rain forecast for all day, so hunker down in the caravan. Thankfully, as usual, the forecast is wrong and by lunch time it’s stopped.

    Brenda and Pete pop round for a farewell brew.
     

    joke header 

    rant header 
    The Difference Between a Democracy and a Republic

    https://www.prageru.com/video/the-difference-between-a-democracy-and-a-republic?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_2963051

    20210918 – To The Thingamajigger, Off On An Adventure to France







    Saturday

    To the Thingimajigger, off on an adventure, this time 6 weeks in France because that Biden geezer won’t let us back into the USA. Any more of it and we’ll cancel their independence.

    Off down to Brett’s, a 4.5 hour journey that ends up taking 6 hours. Why Am I surprised. a 44 minute delay on the M6 near Stoke, now there’s a surprise. Emergency repairs to about 10 feet of barrier, not that any of the barrier intruded onto the carriageway. So let’s close off two lanes, cause mayhem while we look at it. I suppose it could easily be left as is with minimal risk or even fixed overnight with minimum hold ups. But no that would be way too sensible and not half as much fun watching the mayhem. Then for some bizarre reason our satnav has decided that going around the M25 is a good idea. That’s the problem when you trust software, you really have to remember most of this shit has been written by a 10 year old with zero common sense, no social skills and still needs his Mummy to tie his shoelaces.

    Finally get to Brett and Karine’s for a very warm welcome and a superb barbecue of South African sausage, black puddings, pork ribs and mackerel. Plenty of meat, oh and a few veggies skewers, and my favourite corn on the cob. Am I turning into a veggie? Also not to forget a couple of Jever’s and a bottle of Carmenra. Sleep the sleep of the righteous that night.
     

    Wave header 
    Jever, the best beer in the world. Brewed with the Tetnang Hop according to the Rheinheits Gebot by Germans who know a bit about beer. Such a gorgeous dry beer.


    Sunday

    Brett and I are off kayaking down the coast to Climping for a coffee. It’s a grey day and sure enough as we get to the beach it decides to rain. Not to deter intrepid kayakers, we go for it. It rains all the way there and when we stop for coffee the heavens open up for about 20 minutes. Finally slackens off so we set off back. Now Bretts been very good at looking after his Father and helping with the launch into the sea at high tide. It’s really quite flat out there but he manages to push me off into a freak tsunami wave. The damn waves 3 foot tall and my kayak dives into it only to be ripped to one side and eject me. Must be the first time I’ve ever fell out of a kayak – damn open top kayaks – but I live to tell the tale of how my son tried to kill me off.

    It rains all the way back. But despite the rain and the attempt to drown me we had a great morning. Surviving an attempted drowning and freak tsunami made it all the more memorable.

    After lunch Wendy, Brett and I drive down to Little Hampton for a pleasant stroll along the seafront. Needless to say it’s ceased raining by now. What a pleasant little seaside resort it is. Poor Karine having work on a bid so can’t join us.

    Back for roast lamb for tea – well I suppose we’ll have to say for dinner as we’re “Down South”.

    Then it’s off to Portsmouth for the overnight ferry to Cherbourg. Check in is just chaos because as well as passports you have to have your statement of honour that you don’t have covid symptoms and a printout of your covid proof of vaccination. Of course there are plenty of numpties in the queue, especially geriatrics, who have neither or have them hidden away safely in the far reaches of their boot. Common sense nil, chaos 10. Who are these lunes. Just proves that we really can’t rely on common sense to help contain covid. We’re doomed.

    Finally get on board and it’s straight to our cabin as Noddy’s way past Big Ears so time for bed.
     


    Monday

    Arrive in Cherbourg on time at 08:00 as promised. We’re lucky to be one of the first 10 off and French immigration can’t be bothered to see our covid documents, they just want passports.-.hallelua But you can tell times are hard when they only have one date stamp between two of them. Quickly immigrated and 40 minutes later we’re on our camp site ready to set up the caravan.

    Oh the joys of setting up our caravan! Takes about 40 minutes to get it fully operational, but then we have the awning.

    Go shopping for wine, brandy, cheese, bread and a few other vitals while the grass dries. Drive down to Leclerc at Carantan.

    Never mind we have a divorce proof blow up awning, it’ll be a doddle. 50 minutes and a lot of swearing later it’s blown up just needs me on me hands and knees to peg it out. Whose idea was it to take the windows out. Spent 30 minutes getting them back in.

    Finally sit down in the sun for a beer followed by my first French wine in over a year. It’s a St Emillion, won a silver medal, and tastes like liquid soil. Wouldn’t even use it to clean drains with. For the first time ever I bin a full bottle of wine. Get me a Carmenera or Zinfandell. Move onto 2nd bottle, pretty good.

    Wendy tastes the liquid soil.


    Tea is bread, cheeses and wine. Now I know we’re in France.

    Nice sunny day.

    Wave header 
    Filling the 40 Litre water barrel for the caravan is always a lesson in patience and a reminder of how fortunate we are to have water on tap, even if it does take at least 5 minutes to fill it.

    rant header 
    Now the scientifically inclined amongst you are probably aware of Pqrkinsons Law of Maximum Perversity, commonly referred to as sods Law, which succinctly stated is “If you push a slice of toast with jam and butter on it off a table it will more frequently land jams die down.”. Now if we assume the buggeration factor is at least 60% of them will land jam side down. Then my addition to the law states that “… the buggeration factor is directly proportional to the age of the person involved.”.

    In other words the older you get the more Parkinsons of maximum perversity will screw you over in every way possible. It’s just one of the immutable laws of the universe similar to the laws of gravity.


    Tuesday

    Lazy start.

    Have a stroll into town.

    At last agree escape to Park city April, May, July, August and September with Isaac. Same rate a last year. A very obliging chap.

    Book virgin flights to Florida for Mid January to endow February (premium ) and April and May (upper class – decide to splash out as it’s two flights).

    Another sunny day, temperature just right.
     

    rant header 
    Ok, question for everyone, what are the most famous alcoholic beverages produced in France. I’m sure everyone will say wine, probably closely followed by brandy and then even calvados. So why is it that if you go to the drinks isle in any supermarket there’s isle upon isle of wine, at least an isle of whisky, rum and calvados and yet merely one bottle of brandy – usually Armagnac. Obviously the French drink hardly any brandy. What do they know that we don’t?


    Wednesday

    Usual lazy start.

    Town hall. Why are they always so lavish?

    Drive into town for more vitals. What no Aldi. Wow a brand new one right next door to the Mosquitos (Intermarche).

    Pete and Brenda come round for drinks at teatime. For me it’s beer, wine then an Armagnac. Pleasant evening in the sun putting the world to rights. We’re all agreed the countries gone to the dogs. We need someone to get grip of the snowflakes, wakes and libtards. Sort the illegal immigrants; sort the protestors, no problem with peaceful protest that doesn’t infringe others right; introduce covid vaccine passport to encourage the SS (Stupid and Selfish) to have the vaccination, bring back indoor masks and ban mass events, you don’t need to be a professor of virology to see that these are just sensible measures.

    Rabbit stew for tea followed by a snooze while Wendy watches that tripe “Sex Education” – all that talk about sex but not even a glimpse of a naked body. What a swizz.
     

    Thursday

    Lazy start then off for a drive down to Lessay and then round to the Castle de Pirou – see Trivia below. Paid e7 to get in. Argued with the receptionist that I was unemployed and therefore entitled to the discount. Didn’t win. Typical French it closes for lunch – it’s oh so difficult when you at least 3 staff to arrange lunch time cover.

    Interesting old castle with a moat.

    Start searching for VRBO’s in Florida. I should have been a travel agent, it’s a full time job. Floridas very full and very expensive 18/1/22 to 1/3/22.


    trivia header

     
    The castle was initially built of wood, then of stone in the 12th century and belonged to the lords of Pirou. It was constructed near the shore of the English Channel, and used to watch upon the west coast of the Cotentin, to protect the town of Coutances and a strategic shallow-water harbour. As the coastline receded, the castle lost its strategic significance, and thus was not militarily upgraded as well as being spared the systematic destruction of fortifications (as seats of power and resistance to central governance) during the French Revolution and its aftermath.

    The castle was transformed into Lord Adnan’s penthouse during the 18th century, and then began to deteriorate.

    In 1968 the castle was listed in the Inventaire supplémentaire des Monuments historiques by the French Ministry of Culture. Restoration was begun on the initiative of the abbot Marcel Lelégard (1925-1994).

    The castle now lies in the middle of an artificial pond. The drawbridge has been replaced by a stone bridge. The curtain walls from the 12th century enclose two residential houses from two different periods (16th and 18th centuries). A barn on the premises houses a locally-made tapestry,[1] in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, depicting historical events during a very lively period, from the Viking landings in the Cotentin to Norman conquest of southern Italy.

    Wave header 
    Great to see that the French take Coivd seriously. No vaccination = no passport = no access. Yes, discrimination it’s a consequence of the choice not to be vaccinated. Masks must be worn indoors. All enforced rigorously. Such a small price to pay to help contain Covid, protect one another, and protect the health service from overload. How many are dying unnecessarily because of our lax approach to covid?

    No wonder their vaccination rate is now higher than ours and their case rate is lower.

    joke header 


    Friday

    Tapestry at the castle. Not quite the Bayou.

    Usual lazy start to the day. Stroll into town to the SFR shop for a SIM. Aghh, they’re not SFR anymore but too damn lazy to take the sign down. Nearest one is in Cherbourg.

    Never mind have an afternoon coffee, sat outside the cafe in the sun.

    It’s an alcohol free night. Sad.

    Finalise most of Florida. Expensive Airbnb house, with pool, bikes and kayaks, on a lake in Hudson 19/1 to 29/1; VRBO house on Siesta key, with bikes and kayaks, 29/1 to 5/2; VRBO house in Punta Gorda 15/2 to 1/3. Yes, there’s a gap left to fill, more work.