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Sunday, 17 August 2014

One Tour Rate - Jour 1, Amour Numéro Un...


Now, that is what I call a gloomy ferry port.

It rained intermittently most of the way from Manchester to Dover. Thank Goodness we weren't walking (although I suppose if we were, the rain would have been the least of our problems!) because we would have been soaked and would probably have been told to swim the channel rather than drip onto the ferry!

The journey was about 8 hours, with a stop about halfway there to get lunch and another short stop to collect our choral director, Richard. 

Our lunch stop was fairly normal, and I had a pretty good brie-and-grape sandwich with a bottle of rhubarb-and-strawberry fizz (the best drink ever) while my friends sat around me drinking coke and eating McDonald's. 

Now, here comes the part which will probably stop anyone reading my blog, ever.

I collect teddy bears from Build-A-Bear Workshop (formerly The Bear Factory). They are those teddy bears that you choose from a selection and then stuff. Once you have done this, you get given a fabric heart which you have to kiss, dance with and make your BABW Promise over before shoving it rather unceremoniously into your new bear's stuffing. The bear gets stitched up, you choose some clothes, make a birth certificate, actually pay for the bear (after all that, you have to remember the formalities and, of course, the legal obligations) and take it home.

I have about eight of them now. My first bear harks back to the times of The Bear Factory and I have had him since I was two, back when it was actually socially acceptable to call a teddy bear 'Growler' (it was perfectly good at the time, seeing as he had a box in him which made a growling noise if you pressed it) and he went with me to Cornwall in 2011, Belgium in 2012 and my first BBC Proms Concert in 2012, amongst other things. He was well received, and the only reason I didn't take him last year was because I couldn't find him, so I took my lion, Frecks, instead (come on, I was only 6). Of course, they stayed in the accommodation during the day, but they were there for the journeys and for the nights.

This year, however, I started to worry (completely unfoundedly) that I was going to look babyish and stupid taking a fully-clothed teddy bear to Paris, so I left Growler at home.

Of course, being the kid-at-heart that I am, I started to miss him. So when I saw this little £8 gem at the service station, I couldn't resist. I just had to buy him!



(Come on, admit it, he's cute.)

On the ferry, I changed into my brand-new pyjamas, dosed up on seasickness tabs, put on my SeaBands and grabbed myself some dinner with everyone else before going down to the shop in the hope of finding some Calypo shots (you know, those little balls of flavoured ice in the twist-and-tip containers?). Unfortunately, it would seem that ice creams and ice lollies are obsolete on ferries.

However, it didn't take me long to find this.


This, if you can't tell, is a giant Tic Tac box. And it is full of…
MINI BOXES OF TIC TACS.



I regularly consume Tic Tacs and they are great for sharing round, especially at choir. Our choral director loves them, most people at choir love at least one of the four flavours in the box, and I love them too. Plus, most people like mini things or oversized things (I reject crude jokes in this department!) because they are cute or cool or whatever. So as you can guess, finding this was pretty exciting!

The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful. People started to get tired pretty quickly and soon many people were asleep.

When we got to the hotel, we found our rooms, chucked our stuff down and slept.

***

The rest of the updates will come tomorrow, but for now I'm going to leave you with this seagull who is, quite frankly, an idiot:



Goodnight all x