Sun, sweat and tears…

For any of you lovely readers that haven’t read my biking post…I am currently living in the middle of bloody nowhere. Like Antarctica sort of no where.

Well maybe not Antarctica…France actually…but house-in-the-middle-of-a-field-with-no-neighbours kind of nowhere.

It’s remote okay.

We woke up one morning and Rachel decided that she’d come down with a severe case of sun stroke (nausea, sickness, dizziness the lot). Our employers wouldn’t drive her and so we had to make a medical pilgrimage to the nearest pharmacy.

Two miles they said.

You’ll be there in no time they said.

It took us two and a half bloody hours to reach the little town.

After the last incident we decided to abandon the bikes and proceed bravely on by foot.

We started off trudging along quite happily with our two maps that joined in the middle.

And then the midday sun hit.

It was so hot.

So hot.

I fashioned my top into a kind of crop top (which some lorry drivers on the main road apparently found extremely amusing…and some old grandmas not so much) and tried not to let my legs fall off in long black leggings.

Why I chose to wear them on a long walk in August is beyond me.

In the heat we made it as far as the main road that lead into the town.

Then the heavens opened.

So there we were…two sad looking, sweat-drenched Brits walking along in a tropical rainstorm with abso-bloody-lutely no clue where we were going.

We arrived at the pharmacy looking like a pair of drowned rats.

Thankfully the pharmacist didn’t bat an eyelid so we could be on our way with the medicine and make the long trek home.

This return trip involved many an expletive and laments about a) the lack of a car b) the lack of someone who can drive a car and c) whether we should have carried on walking to the nearest airport and then on to home (screw the luggage and the fact that the closest airport was an hour by car WE CAN DO IT).

We finally made it home by around 4pm absolutely knackered, and drugged Rachel up.

She was fine by morning, and lived to see another day in France.

Oh Rachel the things I do for you.

Moral of the story: don’t apply for summer jobs in remote locations.

In fact don’t apply for summer jobs abroad at all.

Why oh why can I be a normal teenager spend my summer channel surfing on the sofa?

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Tour de France…

On our Tuesday off we decided we would make like the French and go for a bike ride through the sunflower fields.

We’d have the wind in our hair and and a baguette in our baskets.

A soundtrack of French music would be playing softly in the background.

French boys would wave from their balconies and throw us roses.

Too far?

A girl can dream ok.

Suffice to say, it didn’t quite happen that way.

The first problem being my bike was far too big; the second that we had abso-fucking-lutely no idea where we were going.

Being 5’1″ it’s not always easy finding bikes that fit me comfortably.

This one happened to be at least two whole sizes too big.

I had to jump to get on it, and fall off to get off it. I was doubled over forwards trying to reach the handlebars and the bike seat was wedged WAY too far where the sun don’t shine.

Despite this I tried to suck it up and make do.

Mistake!

I have never been more uncomfortable in my whole life.

This combined with my sorely lacking fitness levels meant I came off feeling like I’d been put through a spin cycle.

EVERYTHING hurt.

And we had a very pronounced case of “the bit”

Oh yes the dreaded “bit”.

Where that very bony part of your undercarriage meets the bike seat…

…and hurts like a MOTHERFUCKER.

I was walking sideways for three days.

And not in a good way…if you know what I mean.

Not only was I performing some kind of advanced yoga move on top of a two wheeled death trap but MY GOD it was hotter than summer in July.

Well it was summer in July….but….you know.

It was fucking hot!

If you happened to be in a remote area in the south of France on Tuesday and saw a small blonde girl horizontal on a blue bike and absolutely drenched with sweat.

That would be me.

I really hoping google maps wasn’t taking pictures that day.

And you think after all this effort we reached our destination?

NOPE.

Having been given no less than THREE sets of different directions we ended up even more in the middle of fucking nowhere when we started.

Who’s idea was this again?

Rachel I’m looking at you.

*Lies down in the recovery position*.

Voyage-ing…

Since we arrived in the land of sunshine and cigarettes we (we being me and Rachel, my parter in crime for the duration of this working holiday) have been on a couple of trips into civilisation.

First came Cognac for the Blues Festival.

Well I say Blues Festival.

We didn’t actually have tickets.

Instead of seeing once-semi-famous-blues-bands “rock out” to some old tunes on stage we saw post middle age men in biker gear drinking beer and having impromptu “jam sessions” in bars.

Basically the same thing right?

Cognac itself was a quiet sleepy little town with not a lot to offer.

Well, except Cognac, but we didn’t drink any of that either.

Just as we were about to give up and sit down to eat our home made French baguettes (more like a soggy school lunch sandwich but you know, when in Rome….or…errr, France), we were surrounded by a marching band and serenaded with WHAM!’s ‘Careless Whisper’.

20 good looking French boys blowing their trumpets for us?

Don’t mind if we do.

Next came La Rochelle, a gorgeous port town where we behaved like sensible adults, dining in a French bistro, spending all of our weeks wages on clothes and jewellery (Rachel) and riding on a Ferris wheel.

Even though it tipped it down with rain when we decided to have a sit down by the river, we never wanted to leave.

Finally we had a trip to Saintes to celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th of July.

I treated myself to a candy floss bigger than the size of my whole upper body #health, and was banned by Rachel from going on the French themed merry-go-round because I was too old and it would be too embarrasing.

*Sulk*

I was very disappointed I didn’t get a ride on a giant cock.

Cock as in cockerel you filthy people.

The animal, not the….

My god.

*Tuts*.

Just before the fireworks started, we heeded warnings about the idiots with deck chairs who found themselves nice comfy spots an hour before the display only to find that their view was obstructed by trees.

We sat down all smug a few minutes early on a comfy little grass verge with beautiful views over the river and a clear view of the sky.

Well, so we thought.

Guess which twats couldn’t see the fireworks.

These ones.

Yes, we had to get up and run, and ended up in a giant crowd on tip toes trying to peer over some very tall persons shoulders.

Such fun.

Oops I did it again…

A week ago I (very literally) crash landed into La Rochelle airport (thanks Ryanair) to begin my working holiday in the South of France.

Yes, I really did do it again.

Whoops.

#I’mABloggerGetMeOutOfHere.

The baby poo and sleepless nights of Spain apparently just weren’t enough to deter this…err…serial…working-holiday-ist? from another summer in the sun.

Yes well done Laura excellent use of your English degree to create concise and grammatically correct sentences.

*Slow clap*

Not only have I decided to spend yet another summer hundreds of miles away from family and friends and the comforts of home, but once again I’ve managed to wind up in the middle of nowhere.

Did I miss the memo about the existence of cities?

I’m starting to think that dropping geography in year nine was a bit of a mistake.

The warning signs were early….first of all we weren’t allowed to disembark the plane because the airport was too small for two aircrafts. Then as we were driven along the long winding roads past open fields and countryside the familiarity with rural essex, the land of horse-related train delays and escapee cows, became all too obvious.

It’s so peaceful you can hear a pin drop.

I am currently ensconced in a little shared annex with a fellow student from Leeds university for the next nine weeks.

My job? A mix of cleaning work, general grounds maintenance, the odd bit of cooking, playing with the kids, and….err more cleaning work.

My foreseeable Saturdays involve deep cleaning seven houses before the new guests arrive at 4pm.

Manual labour for the win!

On the flip side the hosts are lovely, the grounds are beautiful and we have a little kitchenette to make cups of tea to wile away the time….lots of cups of tea…so much tea…

In fact I think I have to go for my 47th wee of the day.

Toodaloo!

P.S. Breaking news! I’ve just today decided to switch to Earl Grey after a dire shortage of PG tips and a brief and not-so-tasty fling with Ceylon tea (which I’m told is from Sri Lanka). Yes this is the most breaking of all the news this week. #CountryLiving.

I got it from my mamma…

So they say…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

And in my family, that’s a whole bunch of crazy apples.

To celebrate my mums official welcome into Wombledom, aka her 50th birthday; we planned on throwing her a big surprise 80s fancy dress party.

I decided to go for a bleached shorts, crop top, blue eyeshadow, orange lipstick look

Those totally aren’t my normal clothes….definitely had to go out and buy them specifically *cough* *cough*.

The venue, the food, the drinks had all been prepared in advance and we were all raring to go until the day before…

…when she decided to try and cancel her own party.

*Facepalm*

We’d tried to pull the wool over her eyes and pretend it was a small family meal.

That backfired.

She decided that she wanted her “meal” on another day.

After much convincing and cajoling, we convinced her to save the date.

That was, until the day of the party…

…when she turned round and said to me “thank god I don’t have a huge party planned, I’d be mortified”.

*Facepalm*

Moral of the story: don’t organise mums big surprise parties.

We ignored her and soldiered on through, luckily everything turned out perfectly in the end and our deception genuinely worked…well…once cushioned with a few glasses *cough* bottles *cough* of cava.

And if there’s one thing to say for sure about my family, they do know how to party.

Who needs Ibiza when you’ve got my aunts kitchen and some homemade B52’s?

Everyone from the oldies to the…well…oldies…were breaking it down in a dance battle.

In fact the dancing was so vigorous my aunt went flying arse over tits into the TV console, two of my mums best friends had to go and “have a lie down”…and a rendezvous with the toilet bowl, and and I managed to dislocate my knee.

It was definitely the dancing….

….most definitely nothing to do with the alcohol.

I spent the rest of the evening lying down with an ice pack.

What student union?

P.S. No elderly family members were harmed during the making of this party.