Monday, November 03, 2003

Why hello there. I've been in France, on my first holiday in aaaages. The days before I flew out went something like this:

Thursday: Usual mad last day at work before a holiday, making sure you leave everything perfect so your desk won't be a nightmare when you get back. Ran home to meet bf at train station so we could pick up a car rental to move my stuff from the old flat. Leave Piccadilly Station at about 5:30 and realise we have no idea where easyCar actually is. 20 minutes later we are still wandering around and I'm starting to a) feel guilty for making the bf tramp around in the dark after work and b) panic. Eventually we discover it's vaguely at the address we had, as in it's actually on the 5th floor of an NCP car park and barely signposted. The guy at the counter looked like Chris Cooper's character from Adaptation, too. Get in car, get somewhat carsick from the constant left turns to get out of the car park and pull out, only to realise there's basically no petrol in the tank, and no petrol station nearby either - such is Manchester city centre. Although you'd think they'd remind you of this when you pick up the car, and maybe suggest the nearest places... but no. (Later, I find out that it's easyCar's policy to provide your rental with no petrol. Never rent from them. Ever. Please.) Make a mad dash for the nearest petrol station I can think of - we're knackered already and haven't moved so much as a box. But three car trips and one thank-you meal later, it was all done.

Friday: Spend day trying to make my stuff somehow disappear into the new flat, with a suprising amount of success. Rush off for one of those 60 second spray tans. I'm instructed to strip, layer loads of barrier cream on my nails and wear a hairnet. And did you know you have to stand like John Wayne with your arms bent, a bit like the zombie dance in Thriller? Not for the claustrophobic, either - the booth is very small and it did take my breath away when the room suddenly filled with spray. (It does work though... )

Get home and make us a celebratory post-move pre-holiday meal. Start to drink nice bottles of chardonnay. Get fairly merry. Decide to break open the tequila. Uh oh. Bleurgh. I can't remember the last time that happened!

Saturday: rush to airport, hungover and fragile. So much so that I have a Burger King chicken burger before we board, forgetting that it's 10:30 am. Never mind!

And then it was off to Nice, to take in the sights of Antibes, Juan Les Pins, Cannes and Monaco for a week. Highlights: the mad wealth of Monaco, where we walked around gaping at the gorgeous houses and yachts, and had a go at the roulette table at Monte Carlo; seeing some cheesy German popstar making a cheap video in the pedestrian market in Cannes (for Eurovision next year, perhaps?); and of course, a lazy day spent enjoying the sun on the balcony of our apartment, which overlooked the sea and had a fine view of the coast. Bliss.

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