Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 18, Tuesday - trek back starts here

We got nearly everything packed away so in the morning we only had the tent and beds packed by 8am. The Dutch got out of bed to send us off. The girls were really good in the car and we got just south of Clermont Ferrand by 4pm. Very big campsite, a holiday centre in its own right, has a bar, restaurant, tennis, fishing, canoeing. We were put by the swimming pool and it was very noisy but the girls enjoyed it.

The diary stops here, ran out of pages and time after this, but the road back was certainly easier than the road down. Stayed in Le Mans the next night and the weather had changed, cold and wet. When we eventually got back to Formby, Mum was there to meet us, very brown, had wonderful weather all the time we'd been away. Did make me wonder why we endured the hardships to race south ...

Expenses Francs
Bread 1.25
Tea, coffee 9.00
Petrol 54.00
Bread and sausage roll 3.20
Petrol 40.80
Campsite 16.00
milk and vin 5.60

Day 17, Monday - bargain day

Off to the market and bought Mum a casserole, and us a mincer and a couple of cups and saucers. Not very exciting after the originals painted on silk we saw last week. Great bargains this morning - hundreds of biscuits for 10F, but the voice of reason, (aka David) said 'What do we need all them for?' Then we found a tray of peaches for 10F weighing 5 kilos, but yet again the disembodied voice at my shoulder said 'No good buying them, they'll go off.' So that was that.

Another fine day and the kids even played at the water's edge and although the sea temperature has remained at 16 or 17.5 degrees, Joanna came in with me and we couldn't get her out. Louise was having none of it. I could float in that sea, very salty, couldn't move back or forward though, would love to be able to swim.

At night we went to the bar to make our farewells and discovered that the bar serves tea. The boring Dutch people we met gave the girls sweets and biscuits for the journey so we felt obliged to invite them to the bar for a drink. Shock, horror - they drank whisky at 9F a tot, that's over a pound.

Expenses Francs.
Casserole 22.00
Mincer 19.00
cups and saucers 25.00
saucisson 9.50
bread, milk, vin 6.65
more bread 1.75
coffees 11.00
pepsi 3.50
fruit 4.60
campsite 24.60
gas 21.00

Day 16, Sunday - call the NSPCC

Sunny day but the wind was back - all immaterial to me as I was sooo definitely 34 degrees under if not more. did drag myself round town and tried to entertain the troops or at least keep them out of harm's way but the effort was almost too much. Felt so yuk ...

Too windy for the beach so we stayed around the campsite after town, which was great because I could just collapse in a heap. Bought chicken for the meal from the patron, was too ill to enjoy but the others tucked in. Managed the beach later in the afternoon and bar in the evening. Not my finest hour. Probably banned out of the Responsible Mother's Smug Club after this.

Expenses Francs
Bread 1.25
Fruit and veg 6.50
chicken 18.00
Beer 1.75
Bar 17.00
Coffees 11.00

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day 15, Saturday - A day trip

Still raining but the washing's mounting up and we were in danger for having nowt to wear, so I did it anywhere. It didn't look as though it would brighten up any time soon, so rather than sit amongst wet washing, so we set off for Narbonne. (Strangely, I went to Narbonne last year for what I thought for the first time and had no recollection of it at all, although I can recognise it from my 30 year old description, it hasn't changed).

We passed through very quaint towns and villages, big wine producing region. Narbonne itself was very pretty with a canal running through the centre and flowers everywhere. Tiny cramped streets packed with exclusive, expensive shops difficult to negotiate with the double buggy. Plenty of historical interest but not for us - a cathedral - locked, and an old church - shut because it was being excavated for Roman remains. We moved on to a very crowded market and the double buggy was more than a handicap.Had crepes and coffee, very good.

It brightened up after and when we arrived back at the site the washing dried and prospects looked better for our last 2 days. How sad to be so preoccupied with the laundry ... We had our meal early because les enfants were tired and then went to the bar. To our delighted astonishment and to my later regret, we were invited for drinks with the patron - whisky or pastis and kebabs. Allegedly I disgraced myself by falling about and insisting on taking over a boules match and messing it up. I hate pastis and can't take whisky so should have had more sense.
Big D was disgusted and went to bed.

Expenses Francs
Bread and Milk 2.40
More berad 1.75
patisserie 12.00
petrol 13.00
ciggies 4.00
Drink 30.00
supermarche 21.00
veg 7.60
campsite 24.60
crepes and coffee 15.00

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 14, Friday - Where's Roselle?

It was pouring with rain when we woke up and then it stopped so we went into town and it was market day again. Went for our coffee and it tipped down so we got soaked coming back.

We pottered in the afternoon while Jo slept but the rain didn't stop so after the meal in a confined space, we took up our usual position in the bar, drank too much and waited for Roselle to ring - but she didn't. It's a mystery

Expenses Francs
Bread and Milk 3.25
Fruit 3.50
veg 4.80
Chicken 13.00
Wool ? What? 7.50
coffees and orangina 11.00
cheese 3.00
Bread and Vin 4.25
campsite 24.60
Bar bill 18.00

Day 13, Thursday - hot, hot, hot!

This was the hottest day.Went to the beach about 10.30 and watched fishermen haul in a huge net. It took 6 men all their strength and at the end of it all there were 10 fish! Then they all put out to sea again. Hardly seemed worth the effort - we were exhausted just watching.

Went for a coffee at a different place and they had smaller cups, so we wouldn't be going there again ...

Had to cut these episodes short on account of this being a very small notebook bought from Safeway for 13p and I needed to keep the pages in case something momentous happened - (that didn't concern the loo habits of toddlers)

There's an entry in the expenses that reads Suppositories! F5.55 but can't for the life of me think who or why, so we'll gloss over that.

Mostly that day we were on the beach where the temp was 24 and the sea 17 degrees.

Expenses Francs
Bread and Milk 3.25
Liver 10.45
Cheese 17.60
veg 11.00
2 coffee & orangina 11.00
bread 1.75
campsite 24.60
icecreams 10.00
drinks 16.00

Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 12, Wednesday, a loo related day

Joanna didn't wake until 8am - ah bless (and bliss for the rest of us - it was fine and sunny and the wind had died down a little overnight. I felt brave enough to do some washing a assume a) it would dry and b) it wouldn't get blown away. Louise was in disgrace (and I've no intention of embarrassing her by telling you why, I can only say I understand how primitive cave painting was invented!). Mid morning Jo was tired so she went to bed and we were left sitting outside the tent again.

We went for lunch to the Hotel Mirimar - nice but not exceptional, don't think they try hard enough in resorts, captive audience. We started with pate and salad, then David had some sort of fish, no idea what, the names don't necessarily correspond to English, I somehow thought that fish would have universal names because they're fished for in international waters, but les anglais haven't got a fish called Colin, don't think there's even one called Nigel either ... The girls and I had pork chops and pommes frites and strawberries to follow. Jo loved strawberries but Louise wasn't not so sure.

Went to the beach in the afternoon, temperature was 24 degrees but the sea temp only 16.5, took my breath away. The troops whinged most of the afternoon so we put them in the double buggy and wheeled them back. Louise fell asleep immediately which is dire - if she only slept for a few minutes during the day, we wouldn't be able to get her to bed before 11pm.

Joanna had the runs, and exhausted went to sleep, but woke up at 8pm so then we couldn't get either of them to sleep - this was turning into a marathon holiday and I wondered when we could decently pack up and go home.

Expenses francs
Bread and milk 3.25
lunch 14.00
drinks 12.00
loaf and beer 3.00
campsite 24.00