29 September 2010

Agde Part 2

After lunch, we gently tottered (and believe me on flip flops after 5 miles in the sunshine) around the town. France closes down after lunch, sometimes not opening until 2.30pm or even 4pm. The Tourist information office was extremely helpful and we came away with lots of information on the town.

One of the places to visit was the Glaciere, which is one of the oldest parts of the town apparently built on greek remains (something I never knew) but also on top of an old volcano of which Cap'd'Agde is the basin and makes a lovely harbour.

As well as keeping ice cold, if any inhabitant had a fever, they could also be taken to the Glaciere to bring down their fever.. hmm one ice cube or two?

After a little sightseeign, we the unwise, decided to amble back to Vias Plage via the Canal du Midi (we entered by the road route and I am still not certain how we came to do that only that it was my fault as I saw the sign leading the Agde which pointed away from the Canal : sigh :)

This time, we were slightly better prepared having had a nice meal, and brought some water in the town and much of the canal was shaded with some nice resting spaces and the boat traffic making gentle waves upon the water.

This picture was about half way back and led over to a small vineyard, we were too early for the main festival which was happening about a week after we were due to leave but we had enjoyed plenty of local wines including a Muscat de Frontignan which went down rather well one evening and we managed to get a bottle back as a treat for Christmas time which we are looking forward to.

28 September 2010

Agde Part 1

While in France, SOH and I took a day trip yomp to the local town of Agde. We took a peek at the map and saw it was a nice walk along the canal de Midi to the town which was ancient and we didn't want to take a car so preparing wisely (as the weather was so warm) we wore flip flops and t-shirts.

We  set off at 11am, just in time for the start of the hottest part of the day, and headed off alongside the canal. Now the brightest of sparks among you will have instantly spotted the lack of water, and sensible walking gear and by the time we reached Agde we were well and truly parched, not to mention blistered by the flip flops.

Even the Carmargue horses we passed en-route seemed to be lethargic in the sun; a good indication that we should have had a siesta.

Still, we ended up at a lovely outdoor restaurant in Agde just off of the riverside and enjoyed a steack hache a bouchon with a starter of Melon and Parma ham. While my french is very limited, I do try to speak and love it when I get corrected by the locals. At the end of the meal they ask if you are finished, I responded with Je Suis termine but was corrected and told that I need only say Je termine. It is one of the reasons I would love to live in France, but all the properties that we saw were very much out of our price range.. still there is always the Euromillions draw on Friday.

27 September 2010

Hmmm when is Halal appropriate?

I was disturbed last week by reports that a lot of shops, supermarkets and restaurants are serving Halal meat as it is appropriate for their islamic customers.

Yes I am a meat eater, but I want the animal suffering as little as possible and I don't believe that the process of killing animals the Halal way is appropriate and I find it distateful that the truth of how the meat is processing is being deliberately obscured for most customers. I will be asking the truth about the origins of the meat in shops now to ensure that the meat I eat is obtained as humanely as possible even if it means shopping elsewhere than where I do.

What I find intolerable is the fact that the general consumer is not aware of this change in the meat industry and why has so much importance has been made for pro-islamic practice rather than humane methods?

26 September 2010

Happy 30th Birthday

SOH and I took a trip up to Jamaica Inn on the bikes today, for a 30th Birthday party. Over 80 members of the South West Section of the BMW club turned up to wish the section a happy birthday and Sally Robinson did a stirling job of providing the birthday cake. which was a lovely moist fruit cake under that lovely icing.

Can't say I knew many people there, but then again until I have been a couple of times it is hard to know who the regulars are but it is a lovely ride up onto Bodmin Moor and the parking is level and on solid ground.

25 September 2010

Saturday Satire : Siamese Twins

Siamese twins walk into a pub in Canada and park themselves at the bar.

One of them says to the bartender, " Don 't mind us; we're joined at the hip. I'm John , he's Jim . Two Molson's, draft please."

The bartender, feeling slightly awkward, tries to make polite conversation while pouring the beers."Been on holiday yet, lads?"

"Off to England next month," says John . "We go to England every year, rent a car and drive for miles. Don 't we, Jim ?" Jim agrees.

"Ah, England!" says the bartender. "Wonderful country... the history, the beer, fish 'n chips, the culture..."

"Nah, we don't like that British crap," says John . "Hamburgers and Molson's beer, that's us, eh Jim ? And we can't stand the English - they're so arrogant and rude."

"So why keep going to England?" asks the bartender.

"It's the only chance Jim gets to drive."

20 September 2010

Still no pictures yet :-)

The holiday in the sun started on 3rd September, just as I finished my contract and we had booked it back in May so it had to be honoured even though College was just returning back after the long Summer break.

First of all, a trip to Derby to see friends and a brief catch up then on Sunday an overnight stay at the Russ Hill Hotel just outside of Gatwick which meant we had inclusive parking for the entire time away and free transfers to the airport.

The flight with easyjet, surprisingly easy, though it really can't call itself a ticketless airline anymore and selling extras like priority boarding will set you back another 3.50 per leg of your trip but ensures you get the best seats.. We didn't bother with that, got good seats at the back of the plane (my preferred 'safer' option) and sat back to enjoy the flight to Marseille.

We picked up the hire car, the staff were very helpful at Europcar, but it seemed very traumatic before we finally got our hands on the keys and with a 125 mile journey to our final destination it was gone 7pm local time before we finally could relax in the heat of the Languedoc region.

The parc is a Yelloh owned site with Keycamp/Eurocamp vans based on it and as such it was excellent though I think the Yelloh accommodation was superior to that of the other two companies and I quite fancied going with Yelloh next time. We had a meal in the clubhouse, and two beers for nearly 10 Euros meant we re-thought our options on catering and the following day visited a Hypermarket to top up with cheaper forms of food and drink. Not to mention, I love seeing all the different products and we had some excellent meals over the time we stayed in France mostly cooked either by me or SOH on the BBQ.

The only downside was getting stung by something in the sea on Day 2 and within minutes my foot was red, swollen and burning. The reps (Not Yelloh) were useless and I only got relief when it was put in hot water back at the caravan. Apparently you can get weever fish in the Mediterranean Sea and for the rest of the holiday I went in only when I had my rubber boots on to not get done twice.

The weather was stunning,with blue skies and sunshine daily. We only had rain on the last day, and overnight with cracking thunderstorms on the first night otherwise it was hot and beautiful for swimming and reading of which I did a lot of.

18 September 2010

Je Suis Fatigue

We arrived back home, late last night, after a marathon journey back from the Languedoc region of France. Up early we had to drive to Marseille and return the hire car then we found the plane was delayed by Air Traffic Control France which meant we landed at Gatwick an hour later than we had envisaged. Not only late, but also at the wrong end as the plane was required at the North Terminal, but we were due to have landed at the South so onto buses with our luggage following us we headed back across the airport.

Finally, we picked up the car at the hotel which we had used to overnight and park at (reasonably priced too). We asked the satnav to find the way out of London Gatwick towards home, and by now it was nearly 6pm so Aggie (the satnav) told us we wouldn't reach home until midnight.. Little did she know how much we wanted to get home and by 11pm we were here. Jaded, fatigued and a little sad to see the end of a great holiday but home we are and we were greeted ecstatically this morning when we collected Murphy from his holiday home at Newquay though he got more excited when we pulled back into Redruth and he recognised where he was...

Today is a slow day, for necessity. We have lots to do but time to spare to do it in and time is precious. We had a great holiday with temperatures not less than 25oC (though it got up to 30+ during our stay) all the time we were there until Friday when it was a little cloudier and cooler.

Pictures and story to follow later

Saturday Satire : Paddy's Farm

Mick is walking past Paddy's farm one evening when he hears seductive music coming from the barn. he looks through the window to see Paddy dancing and stripping off his clothes.

"Jaysus Paddy, what are you doing ?" says Mick.

"Its not what you think" says Paddy "me and the wife have been drifting apart lately so I went to see one of those counsellors and he said I should do something sexy to a tractor".

11 September 2010

Saturday Satire : The Parrot

A woman goes to her rabbi with a serious problem.

Her two female parrots have picked up a bad habit. Any time she has visitors, the two parrots embarrass her by saying, in unison, "Hi ! We're prostitutes. Want to have some fun?"

To her surprise, the rabbi breaks into a smile, explaining that he has two male parrots which he has trained to pray and who've become very observant, spending much of the day praying in their cage.

He's confident that if the woman brings her two parrots over to his house, his two parrots will exert such a positive influence that her birds will turn into model parrots.

The next day the woman drives over to the rabbi's house and brings her two parrots into his home. As she looks around, she notices a large cage with two parrots, each wearing a little kippah and tiny tallis and each holding a miniature siddur, while they rock back and forth in prayer.

Sure enough, as soon as she places her female parrots in the cage, they shout out to their male counterparts: "Hi! We're prostitutes. Want to have some fun ?"

One of the rabbi's parrots immediately turns to the other, squawking: "Moishe, put the ****ing book down. Our prayers have been answered!"

04 September 2010

Saturday Satire : Price Check

A lady picks up several items at a supermarket.

When she got up to the checkout, she learned that one of her items did not have a price tag on it.

Imagine her embarrassment when the checkout girl got on the intercom and boomed out for all the shop to hear, "Price check in lane three for Tampax Supersize."

That was bad enough, but somebody at the back of the store apparantly misunderstood the word Tampax for Thumbtacks.

In a business-like tone, a voice boomed back over the intercom,

"The kind you push in with your thumb or the kind you pound in with a hammer?"