Cabaret with String Quartet

One size fits all

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Evening at a cabaret. Four gentlemen, Grupa Mozarta, entertained us with classic snippets, classic renditions of rock/pop classics. They were funny, self-deprecating and obviously accomplished musicians with a cheeky sense of humour. Even the rain couldn’t dull the evening. Bravo, encore!28579443133_67500f834c_o

Web of Intrigue

My next post was going to be on Cassis, Nice Cannes and fun, fun Verdon Gorge Well truth to tell, other things take my beady little eyes. For instance, sitting at home and watching the local Air Show on Sunday. Just how do you show air? Anyway, as I sat with book in hand, and viewing the Air Show, I turned to my right, and there next to me was a spiders web.

Do you know, of course you do, that a spiders web can withstand a hurricane! The complexity of the structure means that if one cord gets broken, the web itself grows stronger. Nifty. Well, sitting in the middle was an evil looking arachnid. And he had a guest. Mr Fly had come for dinner, or rather to be dinner. Do I watch the Air Show, or the spider and fly act? Goodbye Air show. I talked about this with a student on Monday and they told me that spiders melt the flies, and suck them up. Like a McDonald’s slushy. Students love telling me such things, yuck! Anyway the fly slowly disappeared and I left the spider for his cracker and cheese course.

The day was hot, and the door to the living room left open. Later that day I decided to watch a documentary about Zanzibar. A place we might visit next year. Anyway down we sat in front of laptop all cosy and cuddly. A little while later I felt something on my face, and in the dark simply batted it away. Then my wife went into hyperdrive. Screaming, shrieking at levels that shattered our crystal vase, she leaped like a whirlin’ Dervish into the air and across the room. A wonderful combination of legs performing an Irish Riverdance, and arms something like Saturday Night Fever played out before my eyes. ZShe really can move well! A spider had descended onto her in the dark and was making her its new home. Pulling spiders web from her shoulders and hair she continued to scream.

The perpetrator? A small rolled up spider fell t the floor. Making quietening noises I manfully approached the spider. Just as I got to it, the arachnid unfolded itself and, well, it looked quite big. Really. It was the same spider. Manfully I took a step backwards, collected a dustpan and brush. This way I would not hurt it, and more importantly not get too close. With the screaming finished a wonderful nervous laughter entered the room. Did it wish to melt my wife? I shall never know.

Hopefully tonight we can finish Zanzibar without our spidery friend.

 

 

I just got home to find four Police Officers in my house looking

…I just got home to find four Police Officers in my house looking for something, acting like lunatics!!!!! Even searching through my garage. They checked through the air-conditioner and inside my bed, tearing the mattress apart!!

When I asked if they had a search warrant, they answered completely hysterically:

“Where did you hide it?? We know it’s here somewhere!!”

Then I watched one of the Police officers look at his mobile phone and shouted.

” Stop it! We are in the wrong house!!!! The Pokémon is next door!!!”

Further Southwards into France

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Went into Avignon by bus which was cheap, clean and let me have a good gander as I was not driving. I did ask, but the driver said, ”Non”. Avignon was home to the pope between 1309 – 1377. Well he had one advantage then, the walls kept people out. They are still an impressive sight. However Avignon was beset by hoardes of tourists, they swept all before them. Really it was too much. Souvenir shops for instance. A few tacky shops are okay, however Avignon had its fair share. Nice bridge too, but when will it be finished?

Took in Aix-En-Provence which was a combination of the beautiful and the slighty grubby gracefulness. Prices for food were bad. Basically what we will pay in Polish Zlotych cost the same in Euro’s. The best way to negotiate this thorny problem was to stop and buy fresh fruit and vegetables at the roadside stalls. Great food from under the provence sun, and far better prices. Even managed to get service with  smile.

Headin’ down we drove through the Camargue. This is one beautiful place, truly. Low lying and flat, none of those pesky mountain passes with inches to spare! Driving past rice fields and then the most beautiful white horses. There are plenty of places to stop take in this area. We alighted in Cassis. Cassis in the sun is great. A long sweeping esplanade with a great beach and a free pissoir in the car park. What more can you want! Although there were tacky shops the place had a wonderful feel to it. Just walking along the roads one could see it was well looked after, with splashes of colour from beautiful flowers thrown in for measure.

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Pottered around and went to the most unhelpful information lady in history. Her Gallic indifference and shoulder shrugs were superb and her English, well, bazik. Anyway we discovered that safaris into the Camargue cost around 120 Euro for the four of us. So no thanks. Eventually we plumped for the cruise which was about 12 Euro for an adult and discounted for the children. The ferry trip went up the mouth of the (Lesser/smaller?) Rhone and although we draw close to some beautiful views, it was all a bit distant. The chop on the sea as we took in the swell of the sea on the return trip was pretty cool for me. Onwards and along the coast…

 

Road Trip Do’s and Dont’s

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In no particular order of priority.

Do -Do get off the motorways and take the quieter routes. They are toll free and give you the chance to pull over and stop in interesting place, off the beaten track.Independence is paramount.

Don’t – Don’t forget to take that spare key for the car, you know, the one you’re never going to need. So easy to lose when moving and constantly repacking from place to place. But so hard to replace when AWOL.

Do – Do take a fold up map. Useful for directions, even better as temporary sunshade on the beach.

Do – Do liberally sprinkle your tour with water parks and amusement parks for the children. Something for them to cling on to and continually ask about whilst sightseeing and travelling.

Don’t – Don’t leave earplugs or earphones in the boot, at the bottom under everything when on the move, especially when the children want to watch a particularly interesting kids film!

Do – Do down load all the maps and towns onto your mobile phone of the towns and countries on your itinerary, before leaving home. This way they can be used without connecting to the costly roaming services when abroad.

Don’t – Don’t eat heavy breakfasts when you’re going to sit in the car for hours, or later you may be sitting for hours! And make that a maximum 7-8 hour drive.

Don’t – Don’t rely on the GPS as if it is infallible. Crossing fields means the GPS may well be a little awry. Balance the GPS data with the best computer in the world, the brain between your ears!

Do – Do remember that many Southern European countries like a little snooze in the afternoon. So plan accordingly with fuel, shops and restaurants. There is nothing more desolate than a child’s face when you explain that the pizza restaurant, they are already sitting at the outside table,  is closed until later that day. Pizza DENIED!

Don’t – Don’t allow anyone, repeat anyone to remove socks in the car.

Do- Do pack a sense of humour and a smile.

Don’t – Don’t drink scalding hot coffee over your crotch as you drive.

Do- Do remind the navigator to have the map correctly orientated.

Do – Do go to the dentist before travelling for that niggly pain. Trying to sort out a dentist, and any other minor medical needs, is a nightmare, expensive and stressful.

Don’t – Don’t forget to remind the ladies to buy, pack, all of the hair clips, hair bands, hair pins and their favourite shampoos and conditioners.

Do- Do pack extra toilet roll, you have been warned!

Do – Do pack a torch, change and renew the batteries and take spare batteries as well.

Don’t – Don’t plan to travel to a country experiencing fuel strikes, rioting for assorted reasons and, oops, too late!

Do – Do learn the rudiments of polite etiquette and hello, thank you and goodbye in the language of your intended host countries.

Do – Do pack a smile as it is an international and friendly language:-)