20180515 – France and Ascot


Tuesday

Sadly my consultancy work – it’s a four letter word – has kept me busy and meant a delayed posting of this, with no time for rants, religion or jokes.

Pont de Hoc


Off down to Pont de Hoc. On D-Day 225 American rangers scaled the cliffs to take out a heavily fortified Kraut gun emplacement. Whilst they achieved their objective only 90 survived.

Pointe du Hoc is a promontory with a 100 ft cliff overlooking the English Channel on the coast of Normandy in northern France. During World War II it was the highest point between Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east. The German army fortified the area with concrete casemates and gun pits. On D-Day (6 June 1944) the United States Army Ranger Assault Group assaulted and captured Pointe du Hoc after scaling the cliffs.

Then drove to Marie St Elgise – famous for it’s church with a D-Day paratrooper dangling from it – for lunch.

The town’s main claim to fame is that it played a significant part in the World War II Normandy landings because this village stood right in the middle of route N13, which the Germans would have most likely used on any significant counterattack on the troops landing on Utah and Omaha Beaches. In the early morning of 6 June 1944 mixed units of the U.S. 82nd Airborne and U.S. 101st Airborne Divisions occupied the town in Mission Boston, giving it the claim to be one of the first towns liberated in the invasion.

Gun emplacement

The early landings, at about 0140 directly on the town, resulted in heavy casualties for the paratroopers. Some buildings in town were on fire that night, and they illuminated the sky, making easy targets of the descending men. Some were sucked into the fire. Many hanging from trees and utility poles were shot before they could cut loose.

A well-known incident involved paratrooper John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church, and could only observe the fighting going on below. He hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner.

Then in the evening we went to a local restaurant that the owner had told us was only closed on Sunday evening. He speaks with forked tongue. It was closed. As luck would have it we bump into the owner who now says it is closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In fact it sounds like it’s hardly ever open, just when he can be bothered. Typical arrogant French, with attitude and about as enterprising and as much charm and get up and go as a dyslexic sloth.

Peek a Boo who have we here.

I walk off and throw my arms up in Gaelic disgust. He’s a complete waste of oxygen.

That’s two restaurants in town we’ll not be going to. In fact by the time they’ve seen my Tripadvisor review we’ll probably have a lifetime ban.

Go to Campanelle where we are greeted with a smile and hearty welcome. Great choice of food, both al la carte and formula; awesome food; great silver service with a laugh and a smile. Reasonably priced. Never had Galletes before, they were awesome. We’ll be going back there again.

A small whisky and a small bourbon and I manage to survive an episode of Homeland before drifting off to bed for the best nights sleep for months – a sleep of the just.

Wednesday

Terrible twins!

Excitement bubbles over. It’s market day. The women can hardly wait, so after breakfast we gallop into town. Barry and I leave them to it while Barry has a freshly made sausage baton and then we tootle off for a coffee.

Back to the caravan to discover an ant invasion. Wendy has a complete meltdown. Spray the little bastards but still they keep coming.

Drop the roof down on the car and have a pleasant sunny ride down to Carantan to the big Lclerc. Sadly they don’t sell the Elijah Craig whiskey. Typical arrogance of the French as they must think Wendy may be a thief, as they demand to see inside her shopping bags. Standard practice in French supermarkets. What a disgraceful way to treat your customers. Arrogant and disrespectful.

Dinner of Fajitas for us all round at our ant colony. I think we’re winning the battle. Down a couple of bottles of wine and finish off the Double Rye.

I really do like people who fly the union flag. Flying it in France probably infuriates the locals, so even more reason to do it. After all said and done you’d think they’d be grateful for us saving their arrogant necks in two World Wars, but none of that. Anyway one of the Brits on our site is proudly flying the Union flag and one celebrating our soldiers. Sad new is the Union flags upside down. You would think that anyone who bothers to fly the flag would at least take the trouble to fly it the right way round.

Thursday

Shipwreck.

Drive out to Pontbail, a lovely little fishing village. Have a stroll across the bridge and out to a restaurant on the headland. We were going to have coffee but when we discovered they didn’t know what a Latte was we decided it was best to abandon that plan.

Have a coffee in the town, sat enjoying the sunshine, although it’s a tad cool in the wind.

Interesting little town. So far we’ve never seen a booze shop – aka off-license – in any of the towns and villages. Yet this place has two. One of them has the best selection of whiskies I’ve seen in a ling while, plus a butcher that even sells wine and some whisky.

Bread, cheese and wine for tea – aka dinner for any southern softies brave enough to read this non-PC monologue.

A quiet evening in watching Homeland.

Friday

Barfleur.

Off up to Cherbourg for a weekly shop at Leclerc. Manage to get a bottle of Elijah Craig.

Call in at Barfleur after Cherbourg. Allegedly one of the prettiest villages in France. Well it was quite quaint but if that’s one of the prettiest then the rest must be somewhat dire.

Have a stroll around the harbour and stop for coffee and chips – a famous English food combination. Amazing, despite repeating our order they manage to screw up 2 out 5 items. What can you expect it’s France and our waiter was so busy mincing around with the gay meter turned up full throttle, he probably couldn’t even remember where he’d left his gold lama posing pouch.

As her indoors has no idea what’s for tea – see above for Southern softie translation – I end up having bread, cheese and wine again. Oh how I have to suffer.

Saturday

The economy in France must be on the up, there’s fewer stolen toilet seats these days. Only need a blow up toilet once – what a cracking idea for Dragons Den that would be, they’d sell like hot croissants in France.

When we booked our caravan pitch we never bothered to specify a “No smoking pitch”, but now we have a human chimney on the pitch next to us. His Misses obviously doesn’t smoke and forces him outside, so we get the benefit when the winds in the wrong direction.

Wendy and I take a cobweb destroying, open top, drive down to Carentan. Visit E.Leclerc, oh the excitement, I’m orgasmic.

Give it a kiss it may turn into a Prince.

Afternoon we drive down to Baupte for a walk. Park looks very nice but the walk’s about as enjoyable as a stroll around Khyber Pass in downtown Blackburn.

Evening is curry and bread and butter pudding round at Barry’s, all washed down with wine and some Elijah Craig – it goes down well.

Sunday

Stroll into town with Wendy. Have coffee at the cafe with all the Holy gamblers – after an hour on their knees in the cold damp church, with a missing spire, they all troop in here to gamble and drink. Oh and gorge themselves on the free bread and sausage.

Then in the afternoon we go for a walk around the Plan d’Eau – a lake – not a very long walk I might add. And as for the cafe, well it was that scruffy that even the cockroaches had left for fear of food poisoning.

Evening finally finish off Homeland – improved towards the end.

Monday

Lazy morning. Dot and Wendy drive off in search of new exciting supermarkets, so Barry and I have a saunter into town. Not really sure why, other than to spread confusion and discord. Well we knew it was Monday and expected most of the lazy beggars to be shut but everywhere is shut, including our favourite cafe. So no Whiskey crawl for us. Even the flower shops, lawn mower shops and hairdressers are shut.

Preaching.

Somethings up, must a contagious national outbreak of “idolitus couldn’t give a damess”. Turns out it’s yet another bank holiday.

Finally find that Hotel Commerce is open. Is it worth suffering the rude, chauvinistic arrogance and surliness of the harridan waitress that lurks in there? Our thirst gets the better of us. No chance of a whiskey though all they sell is wine and the usual urine coloured drink that they try and pass off as beer.

Saunter back to find Wendy and Dot have struggled to find an open supermarket, even E.Leclerc were closed. It’s just like England in the 1960, except that you can’t understand a word they’re saying.

Dinner around at ours. Corned beef hash with some wine and eventually some Elijah Craig Bourbon – very quaffable – and nicer than Jack Daniel Select barrel. Alas the Elijsh Craig has all evaporated.

Tuesday

We finally get to Lego Land!

Drive out to Saint Vaast La Hougue with Dot and Barry for lunch. A pretty little fishing village. Prettier than Barfleur.

Have a very pleasant lunch. Their fish tartiflet was awesome.

Lazy evening in catching up on Designated Survivor. Don’t you just love how many times he says “the American people”.

Wednesday

Time to pack up.

Barry enjoying his Moules Frittes. Mind you he didn’t enjoy the aftermath of them.

Saunter down to the market for a final coffee whilst the sun dries off the awning. Then in the afternoon it’s take the awning down – takes about 2 hours, with coffee break – followed by clean the caravan. Pack up most things ready for tomorrow.

In the evening we’re all off out to the Pom Cannelle for dinner. Well would be if the idles, feckless French souls could be bothered to open on a Wednesday evening. A pity, really looking forward to one of their Gallettes – really good food and service.

Have to compromise and go to the Fish restaurant, whose proprietor seems to open when he feels like it. Service was good and food was ok, but the menu was not inspiring. Spent most of his time grimacing and telling us what choice was off the menu today. Along with other diners, spent half the meal searching for the salt and pepper, which were carefully camouflaged to look like a couple of shiny flat pebbles. Can’t believe what pervert made or bought those!

Back to Barries for a final bourbon nightcap. End to a perfect holiday, even though it was in France.

Thursday

Bretts flat.

Pack up the caravan in the morning then it’s a pretty lazy afternoon so we have an exciting trip to Carentan E.Leclerc and Lidl to while away the afternoon. Then it’s afternoon tea with the Gaudens and we set off to Caen.

Pleasant drive to Caen apart from when we get to the port. There’s a large illegal immigrant presence and a corresponding large armed police presence. Suddenly we’ve a giant lorry up our exhaust pipe, honking away on his horn at us. Really dangerous as we’re going round a bend. I can see why as the immigrants are trying to board his lorry like a hoard of pirates trying to board a ship. I’m furious at the danger and am so tempted to stop and walk over to the police and complain. Pull into the car park.

Wendy meets her Prince Charming.

There’s illegal immigrants marauding everywhere and the police are constantly moving them on. Why the hell they don’t just arrest and deport them. Weak and wishy governments yet again.

Have dinner at the port watching the marauding immigrants.

Then it’s a long , boring wait to board as the ferries late.

Friday

Off the boat fairly quickly and then it’s a MacDonalds breakfast before our short drive up to Brett’s.

Lovely flat.

Shower and settle and in the afternoon we go a long walk around Cowarth Park. Call in for an afternoon beer. My god you can tell we’re in the rich South, don’t think I’ve ever paid as much for a round of drinks nearly fell off me perch and my credit card had a catatonic relapse.

Eton College.

Brett really loves Waitrose, what with a free coffee and a free newspaper can’t say as I blame him. Awesome choice of foods. But alas not something they have in Blackburn, I wonder why?

Brett made dinner in the evening. Yet another one of my sons who cooks. Must be in their genes but obviously by passed me along with the gardening gene.

Saturday

Changing the drab guards.

Go into Windsor. Just happen upon a changing of the guard ceremony but they’re boring black uniforms, not blood red – always handy in battle to hide and blood on the uniform.

Pop down to Eton college but the grounds aren’t open. Toddle off for lunch in Sunningdale.

In the evening Brett coooks again.

Sunday

Sunday polo.

Have a stroll around Virginia waters then watch the polo. It’s quite entertaining and best of all it’s free.

Then the long, road work ridden, traffic jammed drive home.

End to an awesome holiday.



Wave header

 
In honour of the 6 French people we have met over the years, who were pleasant – most of them on this camp site. I’ve decided to revise my view of France. No longer will it be known as “A lovely country spoilt by the French” but henceforth I will be fair and state “A lovely country spoilt by the vast majority of the French”.

20180508 – France

Tuesday

Can you believe anyone buys these razors?

Nightmare journey down the M6 as usual. What prat thinks that a 20+ mile roadworks is a good idea. They should be shot.

Arrive in plenty of time so have a wander around Gunnery Wharf and a drink, to pass the time away. Alas no slitted black bin liners to keep us amused as they attempt to eat spaghetti, under their nib.

Usual wait to board. How dare they keep us geriatrics waiting. Don’t they realise that as we’re so old we don’t have that long to live and time is more valuable than for the young. In future perhaps they might consider queuing based on eldest at the front.

Only 30 minutes out Wendy remembers that French have no sense of humour as she encounters the first surly, humourless French sales assistant.

Well stocked duty free, but a tad disappointing for Bourbons.
joke header

 
1- How do the French kill themselves?
They shoot 15 centimeters above their heads, right in their superiority complex

2- What do you call someone who speaks 3 languages?
-trilingual

What do you call someone who speaks 2 languages?
-bilingual

What do you call someone who speaks 1 language?
-French

3- Why did Disneyland Paris experience some difficulties at the beginning?
Because every night, after the fireworks, the French would surrender

4- Why do the French say “to go to the toilets” whereas the Belgian (the French speaking ones) say “to go to the toilet”?
Because in France, you need to try 4 or 5 to find a clean one

5- After God created France, he thought it was the most beautiful country in the world. People were going to get jealous, so, to make things fair, he decided to create the French.

religion header

 

rant header

 

Wednesday

Our full awning.

Off the ferry by 08:00 and then it’s a 80 minute drive to our caravan, along good, empty roads. Almost makes driving pleasurable.

Caravans on pitch and within an hour we’re all set up. Then we decide to risk divorce and attempt to put up our full sized awning, that we’ve bought with us. Better use it after it’s taken up the whole of the back seats of the car. We’re amazed how quick one cripple and a short arse got the awning up, it is as taught as fat tarts G-String to boot, and just takes an hour. Mind you it’s another 30 minutes stapling it down. But good news is not a single swear word and no divorce lawyers are needed.

Weather lovely and sunny and not too hot.

Dot and Barry arrive mid-afternoon. They’re on the pitch opposite so we can share wifi.

Decide we’ll all go out for dinner to save on the cooking. So it’s off to the Commerce. Had a good meal here last time and service was pretty good. This time the food, on the limited menu, is as good as always. If you want to visit somewhere in France to confirm their worldwide reputation for bad service, bad manners and chauvinistic arrogance then this has to be top of the list. Our waitress had obviously studied at the world renowned Parisian school for rude waiters, where she came top of her classes, summa cum laude, in each of the three main disciplines of bad manners, insolence and surly disposition. I’ve seen a better smile on a Tasmanian Devil with a raging toothache.
joke header

 
An American man is having his coffee, croissants, bread, butter and jam at the breakfast table when a Frenchman sits down next to him. The American ignores the Frenchman who, nevertheless, starts a conversation.

“You American folk eat the whole bread?” asks the Frenchman with a large piece of chewing gum in his mouth. “Of course!”, said the American. The Frenchman blows a bubble with his chewing gum, then remarks, “We don’t. In France, we only eat what’s inside. We collect the crusts in containers, recycle them, then transform them into croutons, and sell them to the United States.” The Frenchman has a smirk on is face. All the while, the American listens in silence.

“Do ya eat jelly with the bread?” asks the Frenchman. “Of course!”, says the American. The Frenchman cracks his gum between his teeth and chuckles, “We don’t. In France, we eat fresh fruit for breakfast and put all peel, seeds and leftovers in containers, recycle them, then transform them into jam, and sell it to the U.S.”

“And, what do you Frenchmen do with condoms once you’ve used them?” asks the American. “We throw them away, of course,” replies the Frenchman, with a dumbfounded look. The American explains, “WE don’t. In the U.S., we put them in a container, recycle them, then melt them down into chewing gum and sell it to France.

Thursday

Good nights sleep and we’re not up until about 09:00.

A lazy day with the excitement of a walk into town. And that’s about all I can remember.
joke header

 
Jacques Chirac telephones George Bush with a frantic plea for help…

”Mr. President, we have been informed by our scientists that a giant meteor is headed straight for French, and unless something is done, it will strike France in 8 hours and completely destroy our country! Please help us by aiming all of your ballistic missiles at it to help us eliminate this threat before it’s too late!!”

You are President Bush, what do you do?

A) Stay up late and watch it happen on TV.
B) Tape it and watch it in the morning.

religion header

 

rant header

 
Who is the the West’s real rogue elephant?

What should the West do when a powerful hegemonic country, through its actions, breaks its promises and leaves its allies in the lurch? Can there be any kind of relationship with such a country, let alone a special one? This is not, it should be said, a reference to President Donald Trump who delivered on his campaign pledge to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. The miscreant in this case is much closer to home.

A few days ago it emerged that Angela Merkel’s Germany, having signed up to the Nato commitment to raise defence spending to 2% of GDP, has no intention of doing anything of the sort. Its latest plans involve temporarily increasing defence spending to 1.3% of GDP next year, but then it will fall back in later years, thus moving away from the commitment. As a result Germany will continue to take advantage of the military spending undertaken by others, including Britain but also, of course, America.

Germany is frustrating its partners, including President Emmanuel Macron of France and his efforts to reform the European Union. It is exasperating its allies with its freeloading on defence. It has ridden roughshod over its EU allies on migration too, to say nothing of it flaunting EU fiscal guidelines, at the expense of Southern EU countries. Hardly a reliable partner.

Friday

Barry delivers!

Lazy start and then we’re off with Dot and Barry up to Cherbourg.

Get a call from an ex-colleague who wants to know if I’d do some consultancy for them on their ARC. Sounds interesting.

Call in at Decathalon where Wendy gets treated to a cooking stand for the awning – spoilt.

Weathers very pleasant so we start off with a coffee around the Place de something or other. Very pleasant people watching and they even employ a waitress with a personality.

Then it’s the highlight of the week for the ladies as they get to go to a giant L’elclrec – not it’s not an electric goods store – it’s a supermarket. Barry and I explore the wines and whiskies then it’s off for the 2nd Espresso of the day, whilst the ladies do a trolley crawl.

Tea is bread, cheese and wine around at ours. I could live on this every day. Then to finish off another awesome day Barry and I manage a night cap that makes a serious dent in a bottle of “Double Rye” – may be the cheapest of the High West Bourbons but it goes down like nectar.

I sleep very well.
joke header

 

Our caravan.

The only seat available on the train was directly adjacent to a well dressed middle aged French woman and the seat was being used by her dog. The weary traveler asked, “Ma’am, please move your dog. I need that seat.”

The French woman looked down her nose at the American, sniffed and said, You Americans. You are such a rude class of people. Can’t you see my little FiFi is using that seat?”

The American walked away, determined to find a place to rest, but after another trip down to the end of the train, found himself again facing the woman with the dog. Again he asked, “Please, lady. May I sit there?”. I’m very tired.” The French woman wrinkled her nose and snorted “You Americans! Not only are you rude, you are also arrogant….Imagine!”

The American didn’t say anything else. He leaned over, picked up the dog, tossed it out the window of the train and sat down in the empty seat. The woman shrieked and railed, and demanded that someone defend her honor and chastise the American.

An English man sitting across the aisle spoke up indignantly “You know, sir, you Americans do seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You eat holding the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your autos on the wrong side of the road. And now, Sir, you’ve thrown the wrong bitch out the window.”

Saturday

Relaxing.

Lazy morning, by the time we’re ready for a stroll into town, all the shops are closed – apart from florists, hairdressers and lawn mower shops – for their 3 hour lunch. Smart move on our part.

Stop for an obligatory coffee. Explore the fish restaurant in town and confuse the hell out of the proprietor with my English renditions of French. Probably very frustrating for him as he can speak English and it would have been better than having a Roast Beef crucify his language. Mind you if he had the wit to display his opening times – fairly fundamental piece of information you’d think – we’d have saved ourselves 5 minutes of utter confusion.

Afternoon tea after our 4 mile saunter. Draft terms of reference for my proposed consultancy project. Could be interesting, just up my street and similar to previous consultancy projects. Then in the evening we catch up with more of the Americans from Amazon Prime.
joke header

 

rant header

 
Can you believe that anyone would be stupid enough to trust Iran? Their avowed aim is the destruction of Isreal; they openly chant death to America; they sponsor terrorism throughout the World; and to top it all they want World domination via their religion of pieces and permanent offence.

Sunday

Coffee in the Place some unknown hero in Cherbourg!

Lazy morning. Fix the toilet pump without a single swear word or curse.

Have to say having a full awning up is great. Gets nice and warm even though the temperature outside is a tad cool, and gives us so much more space. Wendy can now cook in the awning which frees up more space inside.

Will have to consider one of those blow up awnings. We can sell this full awning.

Another walk into town, is the highlight of the day.

Dinner at Dot and Barrie’s along with some wine and a very pleasant and soft Glen Grant single malt whisky. Manage to stagger back across the road to our caravan. Try watching Homeland but sleep gets the better of me – I wonder why?

Slept like a log.
Wave header

 
Thank the FSM I wasn’t born French.

joke header

 
Just about sums up my spoken French:

rant header

 

Monday

Stroll round the lake.

Glorious sunny day, just the right temperature.

Lazy morning, again. Then walked into town, along the cycle path, just after lunch. Surprise, surprise nowhere is open.

What an exciting life we lead. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Wine, Brandy and Whiskey.
religion header

 

Is Islam the religion of peace?

rant header

 
Macron, Merkel Call for ‘Full Force’ EU Integration, Vow Brussels Won’t Tolerate Resistance to Migrant Quotas,”

Emmanuel Macron has demanded closer and faster EU integration towards a superstate, in a speech where he vowed to “yield nothing” to conservative eastern members which believe in a Europe of strong nations.

Speaking in Aachen, where he received this year’s pro-EU Charlemagne prize “in recognition of his vision of a new Europe” and his “decisive stance” against nationalism, the French president urged Brussels to move full speed ahead on monetary union and creating a single foreign policy and defence strategy for the whole bloc.

Condemning the “music of nationalism [that] is resounding everywhere in Europe”, Macron called on Europhiles who want to see more power concentrated in Brussels to “move forward with full force and as quickly as possible” with plans for integration so as to drown out the “clear [voices] of nationalists and demagogues”.

THANK THE FSM WE’RE LEAVING. I HOPE!