South of France Summer – 5

The cost of avoiding a three-point-turn, I found out today, is not a cost worth paying. The boys and I went to the bottle bank, and from there intended to go onto the lagoon. After dropping off crates of ‘lad beer’ and a good slug of rose bottles into the recycling bins, rather than attempt to manoeuvre the 35-year-old Land Rover Defender on a blind corner, I decided to drive on and find a more suitable place to turn around.

This suitable place didn’t arise and before long we found ourselves winding up the hills of St Cezaire on a road that would give Bolivia’s most dangerous a run for its money. One-car-width-wide but not one-way, with a vertical cliff face, begging to be plummeted off, resting to the right (most of the time), it was not a relaxing journey. If the natural elements weren’t enough to contend with, we also had the French. I know they say generalisations should be avoided, but in this case, and after two weeks of similar experiences, I feel can make an unbiased and informed judgment, which is – French driving is appalling.

They zoom around corners without any consideration for what, or who, might be on the other side. They tailgate shamelessly, they speed constantly and their road rage is on a par with Dick Dastardly on a bad day. I stuck to my guns though, and despite a few undertakes from our European neighbours and brakes for oncoming mentalists (which had the male contingent of the party firmly out of their comfort zone), we had a smooth and safe hour detour .

Needless to say, once we had arrived at our planned destination, I wasn’t the most relaxed that I’ve been on the holiday. Quite the opposite. I was a quivering, sweaty and stressed wreck. Fortunately, however, a dunk in a cool lagoon combined with a look over the photos from last night, proved to be the perfect medicine and soon I had regained my levels of holiday cheer.

And I’m sure, once you’ve seen the photos you’ll see why. Outnumbered, typically, with testosterone, Annie and I decided that the boys should be girls for the evening. Hesitant at first, once the first smock was on, they couldn’t get enough of it. Tom C felt ‘liberated,’ Simon N felt ‘guilty pleasure’, Tom H ‘gained a sense of empowerment’ that he’d ‘never felt before, like a harlot in the night’, and Pete S sadly felt ‘restricted’.

– And Annie and I, surrounded by fellow females, well the nearest we could get to, felt very, very happy indeed.



IMG_3385IMG_3410IMG_3421assessIf you decide to host a similar soiree, which I highly recommend, then here is an idea for a playlist…courtesy of Simon N, I give you: Ladies’ Night

01 Too Little, Too Late 03:39
02 Southside 04:38
03 How Do I Breathe 03:37
04 Keep on Movin’ 03:17
05 Dreams 03:43
06 Happiness 04:03
07 Fergalicious 04:52
08 U Make Me Wanna – Radio Edit 03:42
09 Genie In A Bottle 03:37
10 Lady Marmalade – Moulin Rouge/Soundtrack Version 04:25
11 Survivor 04:14
12 Say My Name 04:31
13 Bootylicious 03:28
14 Independent Women Part I 03:41
15 Bye Bye Bye 03:19
16 Tearin’ Up My Heart – Original Radio Edit 03:29
17 Girlfriend 04:14
18 I Want It That Way 03:33
19 Larger Than Life 03:53
20 Can’t Fight The Moonlight 03:36
21 Man! I Feel Like A Woman! 03:53
22 Truly Madly Deeply 04:37
23 If You Ever – Smoove Mix 7″ 04:15
24 The Blackbird 03:13
25 Bring It All Back 03:33
26 Reach – Original Version 04:05
27 Back Here 03:38
28 Thinking It Over 04:05
29 No Worries 03:29
Mysterious Girl 03:36


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