[From Blog: blackcoffeeetcigarettes.blogspot.com]
So at 10:30pm I arrived at the ferry port, rather nervous, to Lord Stavely, Duke alexander and the wonderful Bethany waving as though I was blind (which I practically am from a long distance away). Father left and Alex assisted me with checking in and changing from pounds to Euros. We pseudo-absconded outside for a cigarette, longing between shivers for the inside smoky cafes of Caen.
After a short period of over-excitement beside a christmas tree and a Japanese boy we boarded the Ferry. However, odd events were about to start… realising I was placed over 100 seats away from them I chose to overlook this detail and enter the same lounge. After long minutes of tramping the boat we re-entered our first cabin and a fellow passenger enlighted us to the fact that the small screw holes in the floor had been our seats, note that as the first odd event. A wonderful women, who got overly confused due to our french and her english, re-booked us into seats together and we ended up in a rather more luxurious lounge than before. We put down our things and decided to, being english (due to schema and cultural upbringing) visit the Ferry Bar:
I ordered a white wine spritzer after an awful non-coping moment where I forgot that I am in fact the legal age to drink on the boat and was not being romotely rebellious in any way. Ysemay would be surprised, she once told me I was the most awful person she knew at toeing the line – oh dear. We were quite merry, smoked a while and I got through a nice number of the embassys I had purchased along with the wine. Beth began to feel ill and so we all went down to the cabin. However, an angry man turned to us and made noises that suggested we were breaking the noise limit and so Alex and I decided to have a cigarette.
After said cigarette and some reciting of poetry (water water everywhere) tiredness had not reached us and we instead explored the boat, running madly up and down stairs collecting sick bags for Beth (oh, we got a wonderfully large amount just in case!) and ended up in a metal bit which creaked and clanked and smelt like fish. Deciding that staying there may result in a reversed Titanic situation (where Alex would tell me “never let go” and then prise my dead frozen fingers from an icy wooden board) we left. After the first wonderful inhale of an embassy we realised we had done this the wrong way and promptly swopped so that I could enjoy the more feminine flavour of a malboro light and he the manly prestige of an embassy.
The cabin was dark and filled with deep breathing and the sort of noises my dog makes when she’s dreaming. I had a single thin blanket, and after informing Lord Stavely where we had been (he grunted and lay back once more) I pulled it over myself. I spent an hour tossing and turning awake and uncomfortable, then Alex told me he too was not coping and was moving onto the floor where Beth was. Second odd event of the adventure was that Lord Stavely proceeded to grab my foot regularly without realising it. Smothering laughter, I waited about 15 minutes and joined those on the floor, as nausea was creeping onto me. It didn’t help. I still tossed and turned. I got into strange positions one should never try, and pulled the blanket over my head, but no luck. I sat up to find LS also sitting in the chair I had previously inhabited, “I’m quite up for the floor”, “I’m quite up for a chair”. We swopped, then somehow, I ended up back in my chair after many more chronic positions, and finally Alex whispered “I want to get up in about 1/2 an hour, are you up for it”. We all got up, cleaned teeth, threw up, I lost my beret and LS found it in his bag – third odd event – and got coffee from a machine using each other’s loose change, after 24 hours straight (day before and journey) we needed that coffee:
After the coffee, we went to the desk to ask about the bus into Caen. The conversation went something like this:
Alex: Excuse me, is there a bus to Caen?
Man at Desk: No, no bus to caen.
Alex: No bus? So can we walk to Caen?
Man at Desk: Caen?
Alex: We can get into Caen from the port can’t we?
Man at desk: No.
We all look confused
Man at Desk: There is a bus.
So that was the fourth odd event and on we went. Sat in the cafe area upstairs and took lots of photos of us, tables, cigarettes and people talking on phones. An announcement came and Beth and I missed it due to discussing how we always miss announcements. Finally we left the Ferry, just about got through the port, disasters with purchases “un billet” for the bus, and went outside. Our bus was leaving, and Alex’s EDS (Embaressing Dad Syndrome) kicked in, he ran about flapping and shouting “OH!” a lot. We stood about laughing.
After missing two stops we found ourself half an hours walk from where we wanted to be, Beth stepped in poo, and we finally found a place for breakfast that served coffee, crossiants and where the public smoking ban was not! So here we are, dishevelled in a French Cafe:
We wandered markets, had coffee about 5 times, stopped for lunch (I had a martini and a malibu and the waiter accused me of never eating) and then we did more wandering of shops whilst Alex felt ill. The fifth odd event occurred while Alex was purchasing alcohol, where a lady behind him started mumbing then shouting at him in french about d’alcool and its wonders and the check-out lady seemed unimpressed with her (she may have been slightly mad). The sixth occurred to us while this happened to him, where a lady bolted through the door and managed to send eye shadow flying everything whilst murdering her foot and burbling to us in french whilst we helped clear up. At some point here we realised Alex lost his scarf. We purchased mal de mer tablets, thought we missed our bus and had fun trying to work out exactly where we were meant to wait (strange old women) and then we were off.
Alex and I had beer while we waited for the boat, and enjoyed our last cigarette on French Land for that trip. Beth felt ill again on the boat, but managed to eat a little. I drank a cocktail called Sex on the Beach and some malibu, some licorice liqueur and then we ended up playing an odd game where we each wrote down a drink, then picked one out each 30 minutes – Beth didnt drink but kept coming and going due to illness – and talked for ages whilst sipping to pass the time. It was a rather fantastic use of LS last few coins. The bus had LS and I doing word associations and then we all went our seperate ways.
Wide awake and wishing to do it all over I again I greeted my ecstatic dog and lovely family who had waited up to see me returning home at midnight like a Cendrillion and I slurred my way into the new day back in the rainy, chilly place that the French call Angleterre and I call Home.over 5 years ago