I'm back from France, with a slightly fatter, redder face and a huge mystery bite on my arm that is evolving into something like a giant squishy cow-pox blister as I speak. I'd take a photo but it is too disgusting.
If you have ever seen the Ren and Stimpy episode where Stimpy has a horrible tropical parasite on the back of his head...it's like that. I am wondering if it might eventually hatch into some sort of giant French arm-worm, or maybe just tunnel all the way up into my brain like those slithery things on Star Trek. You know the ones....someone will let me know the name I'm sure.
The trip was most welcome, given that we have had about the worst six months of our lives so far this year. Mother-in-law WithaY was delighted to see us, and went to a lot of trouble to try and keep us amused and occupied while we were there.
The weather was an interesting mixture of Unbelievably Hot, and Terrifying Thunderstorms. Oh, and an afternoon of Gale Force Winds. With bugs. Ahhh, foreign parts. Marvellous.
As ever, I took pictures.
We were in an area very close to the edge of the Pyrenees.
So, I took many pictures of misty mountains.
We visited the Dali museum at Figueres, just across the Spanish border. The man was bonkers.
I rest my case.
We went up into a ravine, which, given our track record, was brave of us.
It was very long, very dark, and a bit like travelling through the mines of Moria*.
They made us wear hard hats, which added to the sense of adventure. See how manfully Mr WithaY is striding into danger and gloom as a result of having the correct protective headwear.
We met several amusing dogs. One evening we went up to a teeny chalet in the mountains for an aperitif (how French!) where there were two puppies scampering around. They were adorable, following the large full-grown dog (no relation) as it greeted the guests and played in the garden.
The puppies were too frisky to actually sit still and have their picture taken together. I daresay if you are interested enough you could Photoshop a composite one of them**.
We never did establish what the mystery wet patch was. My feet got a good licking, though, which is always an unexpected treat when you are out for an aperitif.
One afternoon we were in the local supermarket, when there was a bit of a commotion. A huge Rottweiler came trotting through the shop, heading purposefully for the wet fish counter, a skinny young man in close pursuit. I have no idea if the man was the dog's owner, or a zealous shop employee, but either way, had I been in his shoes I don't think I'd have been trying to grab the dog by the little stumpy tail.
Also, some scenic pictures of the town. Please note the elderly French lady, who I think has to be included in street scene photographs by law.
I know it's incredibly dull to bang on about the Food when you are Abroad, so I will say only this: 2kg of big fat crevettes for 13 Euros. Nom nom nom.
The only slight downside to this short break was the fact that we flew with Ryanair.
Nothing to say about the planes, the staff, even the luggage restrictions, as we were happy to accept that with travel, as with so much in life, you get what you pay for, and frankly, it's more like a bus service than anything else.
But oh lordy. The People. My dears! In the departure lounge*** there was a large group from (as we ascertained from their bellowed drunken conversation) Andover, heading off to the Costas for a hollerday.
They were drunk before they even got on the plane (and I thought airlines weren't supposed to let people on flights if they were drunk?) and continued drinking, shouting and annoying the in-flight staff throughout the trip. At one point I overheard one of the elegant Spanish staff whisper to her colleague "They are like animals!"
So, a proud day for Britain there.
At least we got to leave them in the queue for a stinky chav bus as we fled to our lovely air-conditioned hire car and skedaddled across the border to la belle France. Fuckwits.
So. There you have it. What I Did On My Holidays. Hardly cutting-edge blog fodder but I had a nice time. Which, frankly, I needed.
And it's nice to be back.
*in my head