1976: August 22, Le Brevedent

Had a very sound night’s sleep and woke at 9.0ish – 8.0 our time of course. Ate a large breakfast of bacon etc. and delicious French bread and croissants, and then tidied the tent, wrote up our diaries and generally got organised. Weather was fine and hot and so it was just the day for lazing round the pool.

Table tennis tournament was on in the morning, with lots of fiercely competitive French males in tight little swimsuits, hairy chests and medallions round their necks.

Had a go in the pool – Gareth was persuaded (reluctantly) to try floating, and the show off Frenchman, to beat all the others, did racing dives, handstand dives, leap-frog dives and generally went through all his tricks.

Visited the shop and bought Coke, pepper (which had been forgotten) and some éclairs, then prepared lunch, which was Hornchurch chicken warmed up in a creamy sauce with wine, it tasted very good. We followed it with the éclairs and little green grapes and coffee.

In the afternoon, went and watched the pétanque competition, which was even more fiercely competitive and garrulous than the table tennis. Dozens of very keen French men dressed in shorts, equipped with their own boules and tape measures argued it out all afternoon. Andrew and the others played table tennis, then we all went into the pool. Some diabolical little boys doing running jumps and making great splashes, but otherwise very pleasant.

Had a chat wit the two Madames re the evening meal, and after deciding the gigot had got a bit tatty (“They have no idea about carving” lamented Mme Chabanne la Palice contemplating a ragged collection of bits) we chose veal escalopes à la crème + frites. This was a very nice meal, and afterwards the children played table tennis and we adjourned to the bar for a drink, where we met a nice couple from Hull en route to Brittany.

Certainly it’s very nice here, not too noisy (quite a lot of people leaving this weekend) and very nice atmosphere.


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