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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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.

Overpacked and Unlucky…

Today I have come to realise one very important fact: I do not have the luck of the rabbit’s foot when it comes to team games.

Having a family mostly born and raised in East London, and coming from Essex I am an avid (in not knowledgeable) supporter of West Ham United football team (come on you Irons!)…who happen to be shit. I know, I know but come on, seriously?

I have just watched a horrifically ball-breaking World Cup game supporting…you guessed it, England. Also shit. Actually even more shit…I think I just lost at least half a full head of hair and my voice. Really Gerrard, really?

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I was in S house in school (yellow) who didn’t win the school cup for the whole 7 years I was there.

And naturally I was also yellow team at primary school sports day, in which we lost many an egg and spoon and sack race. Not that kind of sack. What’s wrong with you people.

You get my drift.

Also, put me in ANY kind of organised sports team and I will bet on myself that I will lose. 100/1.

I got scratched to pieces at school netball games (I’m serious, all girls grammar school netball players are vicious…and Essex ones at that tend to have particularly long talons), I dislocated my knee playing school hockey, I near drown if i try to swim for too long and don’t even get me started on indoor sports (dodge ball and basketball are terrifying when you’re five foot one).

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So when people like job interviewers ask me, “so, do you enjoy any extracurricular sport?”

“Ooohhh…errr…oooh…well…I like dancing”.

*Hopeful face*

*Crickets*

I suck.

I cannot join any sports societies at uni…I’ve found the hard way that you don’t get medals just for the taking part at this age.

Even when you plead puppy eyes.

No; cowering in the corner and ducking when a rugby ball hurtles towards you at 60 miles an hour is not acceptable…even though its scary. Shouldn’t there be laws against these things?

Ok so it was only going 10 miles an hour. So sue me.

*Petulant face*

Can someone please invent a non competitive, non contact, ball-less sport for me to play please and thank you.

Oh and a good team for me to support that’s none of the following: Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U….actually any of the existing ones.

I need it for my CV.

It’s “character building”, “encourages participation” and “teaches teamwork”.

P.S. On the note of jobs and CV’s I will be moving to the sunny land of the South of France in July to start work at a beautiful little hotel. Look out for mischief, mayhem and disasters. On an Overpacked and Underpaid near you, July 1st, Certificate 12-18…depending on the shenanigans…not those shenanigans…other ones…ones that don’t involve that…okay. *Awkward cough*. See you there!