Here's a e-postcard I sent from our holiday in the South of France in November 2004. I'm publishing this a reminder to me and a warning to anyone in particular, about the perils of holidaying in France. Lets face facts; they don't like us and we don't like them. Ca la vie. Let's get over it and find somewhere else to moan about.
Bon Jour friends,
We have just returned from France, where we had a very good half term break. Unfortunately I didn't get round to writing any postcards so I'm sending you all an e-mail instead.
As most of you already know the south of France is absolutely beautiful [it suffers from a tremendous amount of dog poo but is nevertheless stunningly beautiful].
We found a very attractive place to stay, which is about half a mile away from where we actually stayed, so please contact me if you want the name of an unpleasant apartment complex for you to recommend to people you don't like.
We had lovely weather apart from the rain. Actually it only rained twice. Once for four days and then for three. I do miss Tommy Cooper. Seriously it only rained on the last day, so Lizzie swam in the sea most days.
I have just remembered the reason she swam in the sea was because the apartment complex swimming pool was out of order & closed. Don't tell your 'friends' this. Let 'em fry in July.
Amyhow back to France and the countryside bit. The coastal scenes are breathtaking and apparently you can enjoy some good vistas on the coastal train to Monte Carlo, Menton & Nice. Unfortunately the French train cleaners have never heard of 'Monsieur Muscle' and the windows were filthy. I'm sure the views were lovely and luckily I have a good imagination.
Once I had got the sightseeing bit out of the way, I concentrated on improving the French economy and bought lots of very useful things that I never knew I wanted including a pair of pink 'Aladdin' stye shoes with litle pearls stuck on them, which at the time of purchase I thought were ultra chic, but now I'm back in grey rainy Windsor I'm not so sure. In fact I'm not sure at all. They might have to go in the cupboard with 'Davy Crocker' hat I bought in West Virginia and my 'pope in a snow storm' that I bought in the Vatican City in July.
Now I've dealt with the views and the shopping what about the people.
As for the people are concerned I can only say that the French aren't cheese eating surrender monkeys at all. No they are far worse.
We stayed in an apartment complex where each of the six receptionists were suffering from advanced sulkiness and major league PMT so they made
ignoring residents requests an art form.
Every request was met with a combo of shrug of the shoulders, petulant pout or fixed stare.
"When will the pool be fixed please?" Response 1 shrug and 2 pouts.
"Our bath has no plug?" Response 1 shrug
"Please can you call us a taxi?" 2 stares and a pout
We did slightly better with our taxi driver on the return leg to the airport - he just didn't bother to turn up. I'm sure if he had of turned up, he would have sulked.
However, Gary, Lizzie and I enjoyed all the walking, fresh air, delicious food and joking apart we truly have a good time and I'm thinking of writing a book about genteel British folk don't like to to use 'hole in the floor toilets' with no lighting. We might even return!
With love from Charlotte.