Saturday, 25 June 2011
We All Have Our Crossing to Bear
There's just something about ferries isn't there. As the holiday madness approaches and ferry tariffs lift off with the last space shuttle, many Brits will be anticipating their journey to France. Ho ho - deep foaming and churning deep joy. According to the French ministry of statistics, 19.3 million (Yes - I've checked it) British landings were made in France in 2009. Sure makes D day look a bit thin. My own highly scientific silly rucksack, odd looking shoes and men with handbag survey reveals that about 19 French people have ever travelled on ferries from France to England. Hence, the whole cross channel experience is BRITISH. Yes - Abba karaoke, pints and pints of lager, shaven headed cyclists in stripey jumpers on charity rides, pink trousered loud voiced posh folk who've lost their yachts and tattooed parents bawling at marauding mohecan headed brats. Even Gilles has given up trying to speak French. "Poisson frites" he says in perfect Parisian "Uh..you you vant zee feesh and zee sheeps yes..? Well, to be honest on Brittany Ferries the crew are generally from Bretagne. Paris is another country. Stick to English - most of the waiters have never met a French traveller. The problem is I need a desk and I have one in England that I could bring over .....but can I bear it?
On the holiday theme, readers will know of my love for cycling. If you haven't planned your hols and perhaps you're a bit poorer than you'd hoped and you really want to do something fantastic, life changing and totally boast-worthy - why don't you cycle to Paris? This was the first thing I ever did with Gilles. Luckily he has a fetish for sweaty moaning women with varicose limbs. This is what you do. You get to Newhaven; cross to Dieppe: follow an old railway line to Forge-Les-Eaux; keep to tiny car free roads until you pick up le canal de L'Ourq AND YOU SLIDE INTO PARIS! We did it second time with three kids. Just one problem. We are talking about France - yes - in Northern France many non-chain hotels close for summer holidays. YES - you did understand that. Shops close noon until 3pm. Hotels close for the summer. There are ways around this and tomorrow I'll tell you of some folks we've stayed with unless something astonishing happens in Charentes. If you want info on the trip of your life just get in touch and I can give a romantic novelists guide to saddle sores, love in lycra and how to smuggle your hair straighteners, manicure set and five changes of costume to Paris on a bike. I want you guys to do this. Just think - a wet night in October - dinner party with the Beatyourazzi who've just come back from their own island with slaves, en suite waxing salon and a money mine......And I don't suppose you did much on holiday?.......Ooh I'm a conniving cynical bitch!
Emma Thinx: Bullshit baffles brains. Sweat dissolves bullshit.