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.

Props and frocks…

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m the worst person ever to take to a formal social event.

Stuffy balls and formal pow wows seem to bring out my naughty side.

The euphemisms are real with this one.

Oi stop snickering behind your screens. This is a serious blog with serious…oh who am I kidding?

Our university summer ball, however, was an outdoor garden event with live music, dance tents and zorbs. Perfect for this country bumpkin.

What could go wrong?

Rain.

Much rain.

Exeter city centre became a witch hunt for reasonably priced and outfit coordinating wellie boots, and I’m afraid to say I was no Matthew Hopkins.

You know the famous Essex witch hunter?

No?

Ahhhh I’m such a history geek.

I returned home sans-Wellington boots and decided to wear my lovely new faith heels I bought for the occasion.

Well they did match my dress that I’d painstakingly searched for over the course of the summer term (no it had absolutely nothing to do with exam procrastination, how very dare you, it’s completely normal to buy and return six dresses and two pairs of shoes before a big event).

I almost got away with it.

Turns out being 5’1″ you can fit your entire body into a zorb, and so when someone runs into you and pushes you over, though you may be stuck legs akimbo for ten minutes waiting for professional help, you stay fairly mud free.

Bloody fantastic.

Add that to my CV…”doesn’t get wet in zorbs”.

Hey it’s 2014, I need all the help I can get.

In the end it was the mud pit that was once the silent disco tent and the slide (yes slide) into the dance tent that had me caked like Percy the pig.

I didn’t much care. Turns out overpriced jaëger and energy drinks both protect you from the bitter cold and reduce the general number of fucks given about anything.

That was until it was time to go home.

The Ball organisers decided it would be a wonderful idea to try to transport a thousand students back to campus on two fifty-seated coaches.

Cue a sea of very annoyed and sobering students and a general air of rioting.

I decided it was better to sit at the back and watch the drama unfold, of which there was plenty.

Turns out my jaëgerbomb coat came in very handy.

Luckily, by the early hours of the morning, we got dropped home right outside our accommodation as quite happy, if not very broke and muddy, campers.

Every cloud has a silver bus.

P.S. It rained so hard at one point that we got stuck inside the music tent with some very drunk rah’s smoking cigars. Can you get any posher? I of course added even more class to the proceedings by very attractively wolfing down a hotdog.

P.P.S. Even though I lost my shoes (well ok I managed to scrub them up but they did almost go to shoe heaven), I did not meet Prince Charming at the ball. I’ll keep you updated on that one, it’s a work in progress.

Don’t tell FIBs…

I missed it.

It being FIB, Festival Internacional de Benicassim.

I was originally told by the family that we’d be going to Laredo for a week “sometime in July” but this turned into two weeks smack bang over festival time (it’s very true that the Spanish, famed for the phrase “mañana, mañana”, have a lax sense of time, this two weeks soon bled into three…).

I hadn’t exactly planned to go, I didn’t have a ticket, but a small part of me was hoping that I’d have one glamorous little thing about my trip that I could go back and tell people about.

Today, however, almost made up for it (EDIT: not today, did you read the post: Hello Internet…?). In a haze of post Gastroenteritis I-need-to-get-out-of-this-house-and-into-the-fresh-air,I went for a walk into the town (yes it did hurt my stomach a bit but sacrifices, eh?) and stumbled upon a mini rock festival.

Well not really a festival, but there was a stage set up in the town square for the main act, a smaller gazebo for the warm up, and, of course, a San Miguel tent.

It was great, and something a bit different to break up the weeks looking after the kids, reading and writing.

The first act was a group of local family and friends that had a jam session to some well known rock songs. The second was a electro rock duo that arrived topless wearing bright red skinny jeans and blue ray bans. One, long haired and skinny had “KILL ALL HUMANS” painted on his chest in red paint, and played the keyboard and synthesiser. The other, resembling Zach Galifianakis’s character Alan Garner in the Hangover, wore a tie and a muffin top, and played the drums. Together they made up THEFREETANGAS.

The rain held, the music was great and I had a chance to get some pretty holiday snaps when the sun popped out to say hello.

It would have been weird to go to a festival on my own any way wouldn’t it…

…and it saved me £90.