4. Jun, 2016


SATURDAY 04-06-16

A bit of a nothing day really due mainly to the weather. BBC Weather was forecasting a dry morning and a wet afternoon, showers after 14:00. With this in mind, and the fact that we would be on the move Monday morning The Chef cleaned and rolled up the large groundsheet mat we peg down outside the vehicle to avoid picking up rubbish from the pitch and traipsing it in.

That done she did some hand washing in the hope it would dry before the rains came. A considerable number of chores done, we ventured out to do a bit of shopping down at the supermarket. I did say that I would rather like to treat myself to an English paper from the local newsagents-cum-coffee shop down the road, so we made for there first and bought a Daily Telegraph for a staggering €5 (about £4). In to the supermarket we went armed with our shopping list. Tonight The Chef had decided we would have a stir fry, the first of the trip, and tomorrow, a Spaghetti Bolognese. To embrace local cuisine we chose a jar of French Bolognese sauce and for tonight, a jar of mixed vegetables for the stir fry plus some noodles. This would be enhanced by some cut up chicken breast. This eating foreign cuisine ain't so bad after all.

Upon our return to base camp we carried on with a few chores, our theory being that we had to be ready to leave the campsite Monday morning, so any chores we get done today will leave us more time to enjoy our last day here in, what is forecast to be, better weather tomorrow, although of course they have been known to be wrong.

The good old BBC, forecast rain showers at 14:00, and they were twenty minutes out. Later we had thunderstorms, but not too much rain.

Stuck indoors my mind drifted to a road name we had seen regularly over here including down the road in Cagnes-sur-Mer. 'Avenue Charles De Gaulle'. At the outbreak of WW11 General De Gaulle fell out with the President of France who wanted to capitulate to the Nazi's, which he did creating the Vichy line, where north of it they'd fight the Nazi's and south of it they'd agree to be occupied, make the most of it and sit out the war.

De Gaulle wanted to resist the Nazis but without an army (they'd put their hands in the air pretending to be Italians) he 'relocated' to England, where he lead the 'Free France' resistance movement. Not from a bunker I might add, but from a country mansion in southern England. His family would have been expected to live there with him but elected to live in London instead. Now given a choice of surviving the London Blitz or seeing the war out in a country mansion in southern England, most would have considered the latter, but no, The Blitz it was. That must have been some happy marriage.

Charles De Gaulle's codename during his period of résistance was, I understand 'Le Beak'. Anglo French relations were not helped by the local Officers Mess  who continually treated him to bags of pistachio nuts and asking 'Who's a pretty boy?' To his family though, he was just known affectionately as 'Polly'.

The downside of all of this was when things started going well for Britain and her Allies, and as France was being progessively liberated, the Yanks refused to let 'Le Beak' head the Victory Parade through Paris. He never forgave the Yanks, or us for this, kicking American NATO troops out of France years later. For us he made life difficult, nay impossible, to join the EU in its formative years. That's revenge for you from a Frog who enjoyed safety in Blighty during the war in the comfort of a Sussex country mansion.

The only good thing to come out of all of this was that he did in fact inspire the design of the front end of Concorde, for which we should all be grateful since we beat the Yanks hands down on supersonic passenger flights.

...............Well I had to write something.

Tomorrow is forcast to be cloudy in the morning and wet all afternoon and so we are going to try and get the rest of ours chores and washing done first thing in the morning and then go down to the beach one last time as we are on the move tomorrow.