Tuesday, 16 February 2010


It has been some time since I wrote something on this blog.  I have had the Winter Blues.  It was so cold in January all I could think about was keeping warm and I was sure no-one wanted to read my disgruntled ramblings.  I then fell victim to the influenza bug that thousands of people have had this year and was completely floored by it.  So it was with some hesitation that I greeted the news from Linda that we were to set forth for France to go to see a friend and do some textile shopping before the Fairs start in earnest.  We sailed out of Poole last wednesday evening - the weather was cold and looked as if it was trying to snow.  We had a cabin and after a cup of tea and one of Britanny Ferries wonderful tarts went to bed to get a good sleep in readiness for the early start Thursday morning.  We disembarked at about 6.30 a.m. - it was still very dark and was trying to snow.  By the time we had been on the road about half an hour it started to snow heavily and we started to get a bit anxious.  We were making our way South towards Mayenne by way of St. Lo and Carentan where we knew good shopping places.  As we were going down the hill towards St. Lo Frieda the Volvo started to skate from side to side, did a half turn and put herself bum first in the ditch.  Before we had fully adjusted to the situation, we were hit by two cars coming down the hill towards us.  There was already another car in the ditch in front of us and eventually several more behind.
Enter the fabulous French Gendarmerie. Within 15 minutes everything was organised - Breakdown Trucks, Farmers with Tractors.
The breakdown truck couldn't manage to get Frieda out because the snow was too slippy and she is a big girl so the local farmer came to the rescue!!
All the time this was going on Linda and I were sat in the Gendarmerie Truck in the warm with the other canualties.  Luckily none of us were hurt.  We were taken  to the nearest Garage to wait for Frieda where the staff were more than helpful.  Next door to the Garage was a Hotel and Restaurant so we went to get something to eat while we were waiting for our friends to drive up to get us.  We hadn't eaten or drunk anything since 6 a.m. and were quite hungry and thirsty.  After we had eaten and Ticky and Nick had arrived we went back to the Garage for the news on Frieda.  All that was wrong was that the front lights were smashed - but they still worked!! - so we were able to carry on with the journey.  Nick drove the Volvo and Linda and I went with Ticky.  As we made our way South again we passed all the lorries that had been on the Ferry with us.  The Police had stopped them all from going on to the Motorway which was closed for a while.  We spent the next four days having a lovely time and did some excellent shopping.
The moral of this story is if you ever go in the ditch in the snow make sure you are in a Volvo and preferably do it in France.!!!!  Linda is thinking of writing to President Szarkosy to tell him how wonderful his traffic police are in Calvados and suggest he gives them a bonus!!