Saturday, 22 June 2013

Bonjour and all that

Hi all, they’ve taken me on nolerdays to France.  All very well you might say, but I hardly saw the light of day for almost a week.  I’ve got some ‘ceeding ‘citing news, but you’ll have to wait until the end of the report to find out what.

First Bearacht, the help and I went on a great big boat, and all we bears saw was the other cars all parked up for the night. Then it was off for a couple of nights in Beargundy (Burgundy or Burgogne – home of fabulous wines!) I might have guessed you’d chime in sooner or later. If I say it’s Beargundy, then it is, so there! (OK keep your hat on.)  Ann and the help had a big blow out at a fantastic restaurant called Le Montrachet, but we stayed in the digs, clearly bears weren’t welcome. (Maybe next time.) Hmph.

Meeting up with Jack.
On Saturday we plied back into the car and set off for our real holiday In Provence near a village called B├ędoin. We arrived in the late afternoon, and guess what Travellin’ Jack appeared about 20 minutes later hauling LT in tow.  

It was great to meet up again and even better when Alan said, ”How about a pair of teeth?”  So we bears thought “What is he on about?  We don’t need teeth!  The help and Ann have teeth so why a pair of them?” Jack and I went outside and hopped onto the table where there was a glass of what they call a “Bonsoir.” Smelt more like pastis to me. Tasted more like it too and Jock and I had a good slurp.  (You’re right it was pastis. We call it a bonsior ‘cos one evening Alan said to Ann, “What would you say to a petit pastis?” Well she said, “Bonsoir petit pastis.” So any pre-dinner pastis is called a Bonsoir.) Well that’s too confuddling for a bear, but it tastes nice anyway.

Then we noticed little cheeses in a tray and well you know, being bears we just had to sample them and very nice they were too.  We’re still waiting for those teeth though his nibbs has had several since. (It’s an aperitif Jock, a drink one has to set oneself up for a meal, and those wee cheeses are called amuses bouche by the French. That means “A little something to amuse your mouth,” more or less.)  Well it sounded more like a pair of teeth to me, though I like the idea of having my mouth amused.  It’s a smiley sort of thing to say.

Drumming our heels
Then nothing; nada; rien; not a damned thing.  We were left to drum our heels – well Beracht and I were – jammy Jack got to go out on Monday and Tuesday but I stayed at home. So, nothing to report – boo hoo! (Sorry!)  I should think so.

Things are looking up
Nothing much happened on Wednesday morning except that Ann had cards and pressies to open, ‘cos it was her bearthday.  Apparently it has a two on the end and a multiple of decades first. I ‘spect it’s two or maybe three before the two. (Flatterer.) Who me? (Yes you.) Moi? (Toi.)  Well, whatever, she’s still only young.

Come the evening the humings all got spruced up and Jack and I were picked up and off we drove to the Mas des Vignes, their favourite eating place in Provence where you can sit out on the terrace in good weather and watch the sun go down as you eat.  Sadly we only sat out for our pair of teeth as I was blowy and looking as if it might rain.  So Alan says we'll just have to go again next week - well you've got to try haven't you?

Jack and I had Champagne cocktail with our first amuse bouche – tee hee – and then we had another amuse bouche – ha ha – with a shiny spear through it.  

Jack and I liked those because we could have pretend jousts afterwards. 
We did get to share some of the dinner, but the best bit was at the end when we got loads of sweeties – marshmallows as big as us and then some round, yummy chocs to follow.  My, my, we slept well.

Vroom, Vroom
Thursday was a red letter day – well YELLOW in my case a RED in Jack’s, but we didn’t know it when we left home.

We went to Vaison la Romaine, a fine town not far from here – indeed a very EXCELLENT TOWN not far from here.  It has three towns in one.  First, and much of it under the modern town, is the Roman town from, oh,  ages ago, before even Alan was bearthed. (Watch it!) It’s ruins and there are some columns still standing.  We looked in but didn’t visit.  Down at the bottom of the town there’s the Roman bridge – still in use all these years later – Alan thinks it’s a bit like the road-sweeper’s broom it never wears out. It’s only had three new arches and four road beds – whatever; the bridge really is old.

On the way we passed some lovely shops and there was one we all liked. LT went in and got herself a wee VW car, and while she was doing it Ann saw some cars on a stand. “Do you think that this was would do for Jack?” she asked.  Alan was a bit dubious but I insisted that we should try it.  














You can image how sad I was when I couldn’t reach the pedals or the steering wheel.  I cried, and Alan said, “Never mind Jock, we’ll keep looking.”  He took out his hanky and wiped my eyes and on we went to the pretty medieval part of the town on the other side of the bridge.

We had a good wander around and a nice galette (savoury pancake to you) for lunch and that restored my spirits a little.  Then we wanted to look at more shops back in the modern town, so we tripped over the bridge and Alan and LT had a little discussion.  I heard things like, “..that shop – other cars Jock’s size? What d’ye think?” and “Hmmm, it’s worth a look, but he might be disappointed.”  “well, nothing ventured and all that…”

So in we went and it was a really mixed up place with lots of things EVERYWHERE.  We looked here – no – and there – NO – and…gulp, there – NOPE – and then suddenly, there on the floor was not one, but a selection of the perfectest (?) ok the bestest vehicles a bear could ask for.  Not only were there three things, they were Jock or Jack size!  We tried them out for size and I decided on a lovely yellow chopper motorbike, while Jack settled for a red scooter.  

We thought we looked really cool, though the lady in the shop actually laughed when she saw me on my mean machine. I didn’t care; I was one of the two luckiest bears in France or anywhere and I was hopping about asking Alan if I could have a go, and he said we’d have to wait until we got back to the gite.  


To ease our tocitement we went and had an ice cream in a lovely shop.  I had guava flavour and Jack got some too and he'll tell you all about his. We got all sticky but it was worth it.






Here's me with my lovely new machine. I think it's just splendid. When Sebastian comes over he can go out in his mini and I can follow him on my motor bike.
When we got back to the give Jack and I parked our steeds neatly beside Alan's car. Can you see them?










ZOOOOOM, ZOOOOOM
Ah, the smell of the open road, the wind in your fur…the great big cars, the even bigger camper vans and the HUGE lorries. “Boff!” as the French would say, it’s so good to get out on my own set of wheels.  








Jack and I had great fun, and he even let me have a ride on the back of his scooter. 











The best bit was zooming up on that Beetle thingy and making it jump. (Now Jock, you really are getting to be a bit naughty – we don’t need roadhogs.) Yeah but he’s so very slow, and jumps at the slightest noise, and we didn’t mean him any harm.








Then we met up with Bearacht. Good old dependable Bearacht. “Well, hello laddies, what’s this then – new wheels?” 
Jack and I chorused “Yes, aren’t they great?”
“Aye they ur, but you’ll have to be careful – you havena any crash hats. Ye ken that you really ought to have them?”
“Ah go on with you big B, we’ll be fine without.”
“Just take care wee bearies. I’m really fond of you, ye ken, and I’d hate for anything to happen to you.”
“Alright Bearcht we’ll take care.”


But once he’d gone, Jack and I fell about with laughter. We’ll be fine won’t we?