Sunday, 26 June 2011
Friends, Romans, Countrymen - Lend me a Boudin.
It's hot! Only the English would be that interested. I mean it's hot - shrug. Gilles and I cycled down to Saintes which about 12kilometres. Essentially you follow the valley of the river Charente. Now Saintes is a very historique and beautiful city which is twinned with the Wiltshire town of Salisbury in the UK. Both have magnificent cathedrals, a river running through and buskers who can't sing. The Euro to pound exchange rate means that the French performers are far more expensive. Whilst Salisbury is quite near to Stonhenge (Oh why oh why can't someone reveal that it is fake?), Saintes has the most fantastic Roman amphitheatre. Being France, it's kinda in the middle of a housing estate with a shed at the entrance. Cars can pull up half on the kerb or on a gravel pavement. Visitors to Stonehenge may walk around the hallowed stones via the heritage centre, through a roped off path and see the stones from some untouchable distance. At the Saintes amphitheatre you can stand in the middle, practice your "Friends, Francais, Countrymen" or simply run out from the dark sinister cavern where the "performers" waited into the blinding light and roar of 28,000 baying, blood lusting Simon Cowells.....if your imagination can stretch to that. Look- just believe that you are Wayne Rooney trotting out to meet a few thousand tabloid readers. Bref - come to Saintes and help me earn my commission from the ministry of tourism! Are you reading this Sarko?
Yesterday I said I was gonna say a few words about travelling on a bike in France. Now, there are many places you can stay called "chambres d'hôte" Really this means Bed and Breakfast in someone's house. A curious aspect of this can be the hovering host. On one occasion travelling with the kids we were served a meal of mashed potato and boudin blanc sausage. Now, this is a dish of some character made from bloodless pork meat and often milk. I think the gourmet term would be "sloshy". The kids, weaned on Jamie Oliver's cheeky chiploatas, slithered dripping pale slosh into their gobs. The host ,in full chefs hat and apron, paced up and down the room beaming and nodding "Oh - delicieux n'est-ce pas?" he repeated. The kids swallowed and nodded. "Tomorrow Big Mac." I promised, smiling and swallowing. No one died. It's called character building. I think the Duke of Edinburgh may be adopting it as a challenge.
Emma thinx: If I had a sausage dog I'd call it solo.