Bonjour Dear Constant Reader! I have returned to you from a marvellous holiday in Brittany. I am most sad to be back here in Britain, should of just stayed and got internet access in France. Much better than here! So here is the obligatory holiday diary. Pictures will follow shortly...
29th July 2007
Even though we weren't due to leave the country until the 30th we did our fair share of travelling! Jim and I headed to Hemel Hempstead and picked up Ian (via a McDonalds breakfast... mmm). Then we headed down to Kent and the town of my birth, Snodland, to pick up my Nan. We transported her to Maidstone to the Maison De La Debbie Debs and were soon joined by Leigh and her husband. Jim, Ian and I moved on from there to Folkestone and bought travel guides and phrase books for the trip.
We wandered back to the car park full of the joys of holidaying when the worst thing possible happened... the car wouldn't start. The day before we were due to drive through France and the car breaks down! AH!
Not twenty minutes later a nice fellow from the RAC arrived and we found out the battery installed in the car was not the battery Jim had installed about a year ago. We think it might have been accidentally swapped at it's last MOT. AH! So we managed to get the car started and on a Sunday found a garage open (Cheriton Road Kwik Fit, merci beaucoup!). Thankfully less than an hour after breaking down we were on our way again with a very happy car (and my not so happy credit card).
We headed to Lympne and my family's home. Whilst my brother played his new drum kit with our cousin Louis and Ian, my sister made Jim and I go to Sellindge (another former home town) to see her latest horse, Chalky. Joy...
Upon our return to Lympne we found, randomly, my auntie Martine, uncle Nick and cousins Rhys and Fran had turned up. Thus an evening of family chat and curry eating ensured in front of my family's giant television... talk about a home cinema... moi? Jealous? As if!
30th July 2007
Early the next morning we made the short trip from Lympne to the Port of Dover and checked in for the ferry. As we went through the British Frontier Control we were pulled over and after the guy there discovered that not only were Jim and I partners but Jim was also Ian's father we were taken away to Shed Number 3 for further investigation.
We were met there by a far too cheerful female Immigration officer who cheerfully asked us if were carrying anything illegal before rummaging through our bags. She then disappeared to be replaced by a Kent Police Officer who questioned Jim over whether we were attempting to kidnap Ian. After also questioning Ian (which scared him quite unnecessarily) and talking to Ian's mum we were begrudgingly let go with a half hearted apology for troubling us. I hope when Ian's mum takes him to France in a few weeks Jim gets a similar call or I shall be writing a strongly worded letter about sexism and homophobia at the Port of Dover.
Anyway Jim and Ian didn't seem that bothered about it and Jim kind of reminded me not to let it spoil our holiday so I settled in for a peaceful ferry journey on the Norfolk Line to Dunkerque. Peaceful except for the hole in Jim's wallet for paying 25 quid for breakfast for three people! RIP OFF!
We drove down from Dunkerque to the small village of Moncontour in Brittany. The trip was amazingly quick and the French roads are a bloody amazing thing to behold. Fast, clear and road work free. The Pont de Normandie (the Normandy Bridge) was awe inspiring.
The gite (French holiday home) was huge! It had a large garden with a wonderful stone balcony. The front room was huge and the kitchen bigger than our front room in Greenwich. We loved it.
We went out to explore but discovered France is closed on a Monday. The village was deathly quiet with no one anywhere to be seen and the area around the Hotel De Ville (town hall) closing for the evening. We managed to get a meal in Le Cauldron Magique, a medieval themed restaurant. No not like a crass Americanised place, it just served medieval style food with some bunting as decoration. I had an awesome melon salad as a starter, with organic roasted chicken and vegetables for my main and a tart de chocolat for dessert. All delicious.
We headed back to the gite for a much needed sleep.
31st July 2007
Jim and Ian headed down to the local patisserie early in the morning and we had a huge breakfast out on the balcony. There was melon (I had gotten a taste for it!), croissants, pain au chocolat, ham, cheese and some classy Lion Bar cereal (very good!). YUM!
We headed out to St Malo a town to the north east of Moncontour and on the coast. What a beautiful place the old town was. Completely walled in with wonderful small meandering streets everywhere and beautiful beach. We wandered the ramparts, had some drinks in the Cafe L'Adambir, had a horrible lunch (mine was an egg and ham galette [the local form of savoury crepe]) in some touristy restaurant and ate chocorange ice creams as we wandered the streets.
Jim and I both bought paintings off of some local artists. I love them both.
We headed back to the gite where I attempted to read outside but was promptly soaked by Ian's water gun. Ian was promptly soaked by Jim and a washing up bowl. Mwhahahaha...
Had a meal in a local restaurant... escargot (snails) to start, faux filet (steak) for main and a chocolate mousse for dessert. The faux filet was rare so I loved it but Jim and Ian didn't and they quickly looked up the French for "well done" when we got back (bien cuit for those interested). The mousse was judged nicest dessert ever tasted.
1st August 2007
This is getting very long. I'll do the rest tomorrow!