Crack of dawn this morning, we’re on holiday so that means 7.30am, arrrgh, the alarm went off as big, medium and I had to be on the beach by 8.15 to get togged out in wetsuits ready for our first surf lesson of the holiday. Oh boy, this was bad, severe punishment for wanting to be cool surf chicks. I know I can’t get up properly on a surf board, I’m totally brilliant at falling off and have got the art of falling off bottom first looking really stupid down to a fine art, but something in me still wants to be part of the surf culture. That elusive, trendy club, the ones when the the weather is really, really awful that are the only ones on the beach, albeit huddled in the surf shack trying to keep warm as it’s way too dangerous to actually get near the waves. The ones that everyone looks up to when you’re coming off the beach when everyone else is making their way down there, they know, they envy, they want to be part of the surf crowd that you know you are, even if you can’t actually surf standing up. Sad, at my age, that I still want to be part of that club.
At 8.30 this morning the beach was empty, the sea deep sea green with pretty damned big breakers, why isn’t it millpond like, I have some hope of standing up if it’ s like a millpond, I don’t actually want surf as that will make me look even more stupid. However the beach was amazing and I was part of the exclusive ‘surf’ club. So myself, medium and big girl (small boy had totally wussed out refusing even to get out of bed) don wetsuits, grab surf boards and head to the beach. This is about as good at it gets, the whole running down to the beach with the surf boards is when I look particularly cool, it’s when I actually get to the damned sea that it starts to go radically pear shaped. The running with the surf board is fine, can I just walk up and down the beach with the board all day cos that way I’ll look good and not make a total idiot of myself? No! Damn!
Into the sea to get wet, this I can do really well, it’s the getting out and trying to get up onto the surf board that causes me the problems. Alex, our lovely instructor has a sense of humour, he’s also got a Mum who’s probably around my age and who knows Hawaii Five -O so when I jump onto the surfboard (on the beach you understand, can’t do standing up on anything wet) and start doing the whole pretend surf thing, he immediately starts singing the theme tune, yes! I’m in heaven, the girls are disgusted, a. because he knows what the heck I was doing and b. because I do this at home on a Sunday evening when the theme tune is actually on Sky 1 and they think it’s very sad then, never mind on the beach in the south of France when they’re trying to be cool surf chicks and disown their Mum.
So 90 minutes later there is no surprise when I still can only make it to kneeling on the board, however, the girls can only get to the same stage so that makes me feel a little better, back to the caravan for hot showers before hitting the pool and my Eurotrash dance at 12.30pm, oooooh I love it, again, all children scarper quickly in case they get dragged into the pool to do this with me, heh heh heh love it.
Totally exhausted with 90 minutes falling off a surf board plus Eurotrash dancing and feel I have to collapse onto a sunlounger for a bit before getting act together to ‘cherchez le supermarche’ aka get my E.Leclerc fix. Oooh, now I really am on holiday, cuttlefish for 6 euros, huge slab of swordfish for 7 euros and sardines for tomorrow at 3 euros, this is what I call self catering in France. The cuttlefish were marinated in lime juice, chillies, olive oil and dried chillies, the sword fish cooked over the bbq in it’s own juices and served with bbq’d bread drizzled with olive oil, smeared with garlic and fresh tomatoes and squeaky beans. Yum. Mustn’t forget shedloads of red wine to wash it down. The communal bbqs are coming into their own, the couple next to us were cooking a huge slab of beef, probably ‘bleu’, wine was shared, crisps and olives were passed round. This what camping if France is all about.
You know the best thing about camping in France, apart from the food, the heat (28 degrees today), the fabulous beaches on the Atlantic coast and the fact that I’m now a surf chick, it’s that you can live in a bikini 24/7, just putting a sweatshirt on at night, flipflops, no make up whatsoever and no one cares, no one recognises me cos they’re mostly French so I can look a wreck and really not care. I was recognised twice in Camp Bestival, and that really was grunge camping, here we have hot showers and loos but it’s brilliant, we’ve not even made it down to the bar yet for ‘animations’ at all, small boy has just fallen asleep on the sofa, the girls are washing up, I’m about to get challenged to a game of backgammon, the sun has gone down, the stars are out and it’s tempting to go back to the beach to say goodnight to the sea. Just beware the squirrels throwing pine cones.