If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Well, here we are ...

... on a campsite in Morbihan, near to the Southern Brittany coast. So
far, brilliant sunshine interspersed with sharp showers and the odd
clap of thunder. Last time we were here in 2007 we had gales and heavy
rain for two solid weeks, so already it's an improvement on that.

The journey down was 'interesting'. Within 20 miles of leaving home,
one of the rear wheel bearings on the car had started to howl. I
babied it along and we got here without incident but I think I will be
visiting a garage for repairs before we head back. It only does it
with the caravan attached, but I don't want to risk a catastrophe on
some foreign motorway, thanks. Looks like I will be negotiating with
a French mechanic before too long. That should be fun.

We crossed the Channel overnight and were up by 5.30 am ready to
disembark when a loudspeaker announcement said that as a result of a
strike of the dock workers we would not be disembarking at all. We all
sat down to wait, and were horrified to find that we were stuck in a
room with about 50 American schoolkids. Contrary to my prejudice, they
were as nice as pie, and we all had a good laugh as one of their
supervisors tried to teach the crowd some basic French. He was
Australian and made no effort even to try the correct pronunciation.
The result was side-splitting. The 'French' was so bad I couldn't work
out what it was meant to be, even with a translation. 'Ill essed noof
hoors' meant time for breakfast and 'oofs' were part of an omelette,
that's all I know.

Today's great news is that Anna has ridden her bike. Only for a couple
of hundred yards, but ridden it nonetheless. She loves riding her
bike, especially on holiday, and it grieved her that she was forbidden
to do so by her surgeon. Her bike has been waiting in the greenhouse
for a year now for her to be fit enough. It seemed like a symbol of
her condition, standing mutely in view of the front door, leaning over
more and rusting more every week that went by. The medics still
forbid it, but she has decided to ignore them. Just riding 100 yards
made her so happy. Perhaps this is the start of a return to some kind
of normality.

One glitch is that my laptop won't work here. It finds the wi-fi
network but can't connect. Same problem as at home when Anna upgraded
the router. I am old technology these days. Any posting will therefore
be by iPhone. Any complaints of errors or poor posting quality should
be directed at Steve Jobs.

Update: now Tuesday. Weather settling down as expected. Rain
yesterday, windy and cold today. Thanks to all commenters for the good
wishes. I am touched :)

Till the next one.

Via mobile.


  1. Surgeons focus on body bits and I suspect sometimes (often?) forget that the spirit bits may need repairing as well. Bike riding sounds like good spirit boosting stuff. I hope the weather behaves. And don't forget Speedos are back in fashion - blokes in Speedos on bikes are spirit super-boosters.

    Have a good one.


  2. Cheeky monkey :)

    I agree about the medics: they can be guilty of treating the body like a machine and fixing the mechanics, but leaving the 'soul' bit alone. Frequently, repairing the soul bit is the important change.

    Strangely, I have brought a pair of Speedos, but only because the more flattering swimming shorts are generally forbidden in France. I will wear them if I decide to swim (but since Anna has not brought her 'bathers' it's unlikely), and I will wear them on the bike for a whiz round the campsite if it is necessary to give her a laugh. But if I do, I don't expect to be invited back.

    Anna had been very nervous of riding the bike (waiting until everyone else was out of sight, for example), but once she had done a few turns of the pedals and realised she was OK, her face lit up, and she was happy all evening. Psychologically, it was very important.


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