Inconsiderately people keep on getting married. I guess this is a good excuse to get home and check in with the fam. This turned into a really exciting trip home, with a short whirlwind tour of London, a brief spell at home in Bournemouth to honour our RSVP, then to top it off with a house sit down in Devon.
It’s a strange feeling booking a return flight to England, becoming a tourist in your own home.
Colin, an Ex-pat that I had done a little labouring for gave us a lift to Carcassonne airport. As a side note, it seems the whole of France are renovating their homes, so there’s always a little cash work if you’re fit and don’t mind wielding a shovel for a few mornings. The best way to find this kind of work is purely by talking to people. Everyone knows everyone in small villages and get in with an Ex-pat community and you will find work.
Wapping in London was quite a nice find. It’s right on the river, with a good mix of Hipster (so you get a good coffee), and clean. We timed our stay to coincide with exceptional weather, which permitted some sightseeing along the Thames. Meeting up with Eyder (the Del boy of Brazil, currently residing in London) who always knows a guy, was a great way to pass an evening. Rocca in south Kensington do a great pizza for around £9, bargain for the location, then a quick stroll around Kensington gardens before checking out the Rapha Nocturne event in St Pauls.
I was excited about the next day, as we had planned a trip to the bike shed in Shoreditch. A biker hangout, with a café racer vibe. I had waited for around 2 years for an opportunity to get here, and boy was I disappointed. It was just another fake money machine, so that people who aren’t remotely interested in bikes can sit in a cool themed café/restaurant and be on trend. Annoyingly people seem to take something genuine, and commercialise the crap out of it until it’s unrecognisable and loses its original charm. In short – selling out.
My mate Dave took us for a walk around Hampstead Heath, giving me time to get over the mornings let down. Drinking beers later on, he invented the Go Pro monocle mount:
Time to smarten myself up and shed my hobo alter ego, with a quick haircut and shave I now resemble a respectable human being and can rightfully parade myself around a Bournemouth wedding. Watching the day’s events unfold in comfort and without responsibility is the best way to be at a wedding, although always one to muck in, I find that I’m put to good use at the rehearsal on the previous evening. I get ordered up some ladders to create a pretty flower archway, with cougars circling below, I’m lucky to escape with my shorts on.
I think it’s fair to say Verity scrubs up far better than myself. (2nd from left)
France has spoilt me for wine, I now find the vinegar we drink in England makes me pull that funny face, when you try to appear like you’re enjoying something, similar to when you first start drinking beer and you’re trying to impress your mates. Nevertheless, I continued on the cheap plonk as at some point I will be expected to get up and dance, and having fewer inhibitions makes this process easier, especially when you dance like a baboon. (Proof)
On to Devon to house sit a small holding that is also ran as a B&B. This was a chance to catch up and chill in a quaint little Devon village.
It was an exhausting day returning to the van. A lift off mum, two trains, some tube stops, a flight, a bus and a taxi and we were back were we had left the van, parked up in a residential village. We were a little concerned about leaving him for security reasons, but he was fine. I’m sure it’s been the hot topic with the local French neighbourhood watch. The French don’t seem to have any problems with just sitting and glaring at you from a bench, as if you’ve offended them to their core, or just slapped them with a wet fish.
Back home in the van, and the journey continues.