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Thursday 11 June 2015

To Hell in a hack

 I am continuously ashamed to read other bloggers' holiday posts: tours of XII-th century churches, discourses on geology, bracing 25-km thrusts over rough terrain, socio-economic analyses of the local neighbourhood, off to bed at 22.00 to read Heinrich Hesse. Whereas we... are so unambitious, so vulgar and ultimately  so debauched.

Last night, for instance, primed with Leffe (Belgian beer) and Desperados (a hideous tequila-adulterated lager), and after seven or eight bottles of rosé and/or white, out came the unexpected bottle of Limoncello (dispatched after one rotation of the Lazy Susan) and then the standby Pessoa (such a pretty pink) before oblivion descended. Sustained by a baby's bath full of paella while it was still light.

And, oh the noise from ungoverned and unenlightened conversation. Veritably our lives lack subtlety.

Two days before we set out to lunch at Capestang but La Galinière there was closed. Things then became tricky. We are seven and thus two cars. But the satnav employed by D, Ysabelle's partner, has turned out to be defective and we must needs travel in convoy as we test narrow roads with grass growing in the middle. Great potential for embarrassment. In peculiarly named Quarante, growing in desperation, we saw a chalk-board saying: Plat du Jour: Foie de Veau. D has picky tastes, but the hell with it. We entered the scruffiest of scruffy French bars, TV playing, drunks roaring at each other.

Followed by a kind of magic. A genial waiter who indulged Zach, an option of bifteck for the liver, comparative conversation about liver in GB and La République. Result: a nugatory sense of achievement.

Previously there'd been karting with D running off the other D (OS's hubbie) at the sweeping right-hander.

Honestly, you'd hate to be with us


  1. "Honestly, you'd hate to be with us"

    Are you kidding? It looks like you're having a great time!

  2. Are you wearing a tee shirt emblazoned with a raunchy message?

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  4. 'Baise-moi vite!' (T-shirt slogan)

    I am in fact quite cheered, in a schadenfreude kind of way, by your descent into lowbrowdom with Desperados and limoncello drinking, the point of which combination can only be to prove how inured you are if you can get to the end of the evening without vomiting. Hay festival where art thou? (Actually, I don't really believe you really drank the aptly named Desperados).

    In fact I'm only jealous that I'm such a saddo with a congenital fun deficiency that I have to spend my holidays wandering round 12th century churches.

  5. Crow: Oh no you wouldn't. Imagine me as a linguistic tube - the receiver and transmitter of all your communications with the natives. You order a steak burned to buggery and you get devilled brains. I tell you it's the restaurant's fault, you can't be sure. You suspect me of indirect domination and you may be right. That's no kind of holiday.

    A far better solution: learn French and travel alone.

    Stella: All my raunchy messages are delivered orally. Every restaurant waiter, emergency dentist, pharmacienne, kart-track manager, etc, etc, becomes a white rat in my experimental laboratory. No one is left in any doubt that they're being practised on.

    Besides tee-shirts show up my scrawny neck.

    Lucy: What I really envied was your coolth. Thus you were not only passionate and articulate about XII-th cent. churches, you made them desirable.

    I did once drink one sip of a Desperado but never again. Limoncello and Pessoa I was too drunk to care. It struck me there was too much boasting and/or over-wrought sentimentality in many holiday posts (not you, my dear, not you) and more Angst seemed necessary.

    Saddo! Sounds like you've caught the disease you accuse me of - self-deprecation. It ill befits you.

  6. I puffed up the photo but couldn't quite see the ales on draught ... although I did notice the PALM sign on the wall. Not my favourite, but there must have been some other tasty ale available?

  7. RW (zS): There are occasions - typically beyond 30 deg C - when you are prepared to settle for beer pure and simple, preferably pression

  8. Ah, thank you for the new beer vocabulary item ... pression. Sounds much nicer than the English - keg beer.

  9. RW (zS): Not quite. In France pression simply means draft beer, as distinct from bottled beer. There is, as far as I know, no distinction there between cask beer (ie, "real" beer, held in the barrel still alive having fermented in that barrel, under no artificial pressure, and pumped up manually to the glass) and keg beer (lager-style beers, held under CO2).

    Try this link to get to the bottom of this complex subject.


  10. Oh, that is grand. Thank you, Robbie!!