Just our luck to be parked in an area with a poor Wi-Fi signal. The router shows five bars, but it's just too weak most of the time to be of any use. Trying to upload yesterday's blog was a nightmare. The photographs I did manage to share took ages to transfer. In the end I had to give up.
At 02:30 this morning I was out of bed and trying again. The signal was better but it still took ages. So much for a good night's sleep.
The cunning plan today was to amuse ourselves until 15:00 when we would drive to the local campsite who informed us that they would have spaces today.
We didn't need to hurry in getting up as there wasn't anything we needed to be doing. Although we intended to move to the local campsite where we would enjoy nice hot showers and hook-up electricity we didn't want to take it for granted, and so went easy with the water again.
We knew there were three ceremonies down not ON the beach as was suggested on the poster, but near the beach, today being the 78th Anniversary of the D-Day landings on this beach by the Americans and naturally enough the place is crawling with them, and rightly too as on this beach it was they who made such a huge sacrifice to get ashore.
We thought we'd wander down and take a look at some of the 11:00 'Re-inauguration of the Lone Sailor', the statue down near the museum. It looked as if they covered him up with a large sheet, played a bit of music, said a few words, laid a few wreaths and then whipped the cover off for another year whilst shouting 'Peekaboo!'
After a nice walk along the beach as far was the oyster beds we made our way back to relax. When the matter of lunch was raised, The Chef, clearly fancying another day off suggested we go back for another large barbecued sausage in a baguette and fries. I agreed, as I'm happy with anything which makes her life easier.
So off we trudged back to the beach area for a late lunch. Unfortunately the sausages were off, not as in mouldy, but they'd sold them all. Instead we shared a ham and cheese baguette with a portion of fries and I had a cola to wash it down. I think that came to thirteen Euros, which wasn't bad.
Then it was time for the main event. A ceremony attended by military brass and veterans etc. There were guards, and flags and bulls**t. I wasn't really interested and so left The Chef to watch while I had a wander around with the camera.
Soon afterwards I came across a chap with Down's Syndrome who was with his nice and spritely elderly British parents. He couldn't see what was going on due to his height and the fact that they were about five rows back. I suggested to them that they go and stand in the back of the landing craft which forms part of a monument. They weren't sure and so I took them along to it. That was a result, except that the landing craft side was a bit too high for him to see comfortably. So of I went. I was after a plastic chair for him to stand on. Not far away were two high stacks of them, just down the side of the museum.
I thought I'd better get the ok from somebody, especially as there were a number of armed military personnel and gendarmes around. I didn't want to get shot armed with a plastic chair and have the incident go down as a terrorist attack. First I explained to the cop what I wanted and why. He suggested I ask at the museum. So in I went, explained why I wanted a chair, and the guy told me to just take one. So out I scuttled giving the cop the thumbs up so at least one of them wouldn't take a shot at me, and round I went to claim the prize of one plastic chair.
Off I scuttled to the nearby landing craft, where I presented the chair to the family reassuring them that I had been given permission to take the chair. A minute later there was one very pleased chap enjoying the ceremony with a good view. And was my little act of kindness repaid by the big man upstairs? Was it buggery.
This afternoon I had been trying to book a return crossing to Folkestone on Le Shuttle for Saturday afternoon. All went well until it came to pay and I got a message telling me 'Check your 3D secure credit card password'. What the hell did that mean? It was the same card I'd used to book the crossing over here. I tried several times before deciding to ring Le Shuttle's number in the UK. Naturally enough all their call takers were busy and could I hold. This message came up about every thirty seconds. This is Le Shuttle's way of saying 'I'm sorry none of our work-from-home call takers are available at the moment because they've popped down the shop, gone to the gym or are picking their kid up from playgroup'. After twelve minutes I gave up.
Later in the day, probably after all the kids were out of school I got through, and was told that the problem was at their end. They had blocked it as it looked dodgy. Despite the fact that if they'd looked at my transactions they'd have seen that I'd already bought a ticket to get to France, so now I was buying one to get home. Anyhow, I was given fifteen minutes to make the booking again, so starting from scratch with le Shuttle I got stuck in, only to make a one digit error on the security code on the card due to my playing 'beat the clock'. So we're not done yet. Round two will be tomorrow after we move on, and get hopefully, a much better Wi-Fi signal.
We decided in the end not to bother going down the road to the campsite. Firstly we couldn't arrive until after 15:00 and secondly we'd probably get ripped off, with all that's going on here. Instead we'll spend another night here on the car park, and tomorrow we'll set off for Bayeux to maybe look at a bit of wall carpet. the priority will be to get on to a campsite and enjoy some facilities. It's been ages since we were able to enjoy a nice hot shower in a clean campsite bathroom block. I have to say the holiday industry really must up its game, it really isn't good enough to keep taking people's money and giving them little or nothing in return.
Late afternoon loads and loads more people arrived. There was nothing else due that we saw on the poster, but eventually after all the car parks and grass verges were rammed tight with cars and the 'seafront' was full of thousands of people we saw what must be the French Air Force aerobatic team. They made just two passes blowing out the usual red, white and blue smoke and that was that, nothing else. I tell you, if the French can get that enthusiastic about two fly pasts, the they'd positively wet themselves with excitement if they saw the Red Arrows perform.