July’s holiday

Well I'm back to work, I sort of had a good time, but also had a bad time too, strange holiday, started of really well, went to the Puy-Du-Fou evening show, which was great but also quite upsetting, as it was the day before Mums death anniversary, and I know she would of loved it so much, so basically throughout the 2 hour show I was thinking about her. But the show was amazing, and what I didn't know was that it was the 1000th show, plus on Bastille day too!

It was great to meet up with friends over in France and the first 10 days the weather was fabulous, then our friend sharon joined us for the last week. Now in future, I'm never taking or inviting friends to stay, 2 nights maximum is what I can handle, I don't like entertaining, seriously I am crap at it, she was fine, there was no problems, easy going, but I felt I couldn't do what I want with friends staying, I like having my afternoon naps, and she's a veggie, so it didn't help with the food and places we could eat.

Kev organised a surprised party for me for my birthday, I hate surprise parties, always have done, it was nice that he done it though and it was a good night, but I hate being centre of attention, I want to hide in the corner, I'm not a big crowd of people type of person, then I wanted to change what I was wearing to the burlesque night, I felt uncomfortable in what I was wearing as a lot of people said they weren't dressing up, this didn't go down well, and to be honest the last 4 days of the holiday I felt that I couldn't do anything right what's so ever, I'm. It sure if it's that I'm another year older that I'm down in the dumps, but seriously not happy at the moment. Just feel as though I'm in the way all the time or being ignored.

Anyway, need to get back to work

Another holiday coming up 

Started to get things organised, Kev has slightly been driving me mad as he’s in charge of decorating the pub for the moulin rouge party, and there is only so many times you can say “that’s nice” to the same thing. But he’s doing an amazing job, will take photos, 

Do people expect photos on here, as in a blog site? Does it make it more interesting or does it take the blog away so to speak. Views and opinions are welcomed or just tell me to bugger off. 

So, we have quite a bit to take over, Kev had a budget of £200 for decorations, and we came in at £198. So not bad going really. 

Got 2 friends that are interested in buying a mobile home on our site, been invited out to dinner to our friend Kim who has recently taken early retirement from the police force, so she bought a motorcycle and a motor home van thingy to explore Europe and was thinking of a base over there, I’m so jealous, wish I could do something like that, 

Anyway, best go and sort my shit out. 

The Nags Head

Some of you may know that the TV series “only fools and horses” the pub was called the Nags Head, it is also the name of the on site bar at the site in France, yes I know, sounds so French doesn’t it?? 

The owner who is french but lives in Florida, loved the TV show, so that’s why she called it that. I think it’s awful, this is one of the things I hate about the site, it’s a little England, I don’t like the UK anyway, so to go on holiday to France and stay at mini England is the worst thing for me. But it was cheap, 

The thing is, it’s treated like an English bar, they do snacks there, burger and chips, hot dog, steak, Cornish Pastries, you know typical French fair. Seriously there is not one item of french food on there, not even a crossiant for breakfast, not even a flaming baggette. 

They can’t serve spirits as it would of cost them an extra few grand on top of their license, so it’s wine, beer and cider. 

As the owners are from Cornwall, hence the Cornish pastries, they been doing Cornish real ale and beer. I don’t drink beer, maybe the odd half a larger ifthe weather is nice, and then only one as it’s too gassy and I can’t burp. (Tis true, I am unable to burp) 

I did have chicken and chips there once, it’s one of my favourite meals, normally you get a quarter or a half a chicken, I got a drumstick! And because everything is deep fried, basically it was a chicken bone with chips. My friend ordered steak once, the peas came 40 minutes later as they forgot, my friend never had peas for pudding before. 

They have certain nights there, bingo, quiz night, music, no karaoke as they think it’s common, butvto be honest, I don’t tend to go there anymore, the drink is shit, white wine doesn’t agree with me anyway, so never drink that, i can’t drink the rose or red as it literally taste crap. It’s a shame as it’s so handy. I wish they would do a Moule’s frites night or paella night. It’s cheap and easy to do. But it’s too foreign for them I think. 

I’m going to see what it’s like in July, as it should be up to maximum capacity then, so hopefully it may have some life there. If it doesn’t, I think they should pull the plug and let it die, or just get new managers in. 

Bar du Chateau 

We didn’t really use this last summer, and I have no idea, I think we weee in such a rut and stayed in site. But when we went back in October we started to use it, Mark and Becky are the owners, they are Welsh, but can’t hold that against them as I’m half Welsh, 

Our friend on site kept on about Mark and Becky and with the problems at the on site bar they have been using the pub more often. The food was classed as snacks, but delicious, hot dog, burgers, paninis, chicken, fish and croque Monsieur. And a full selection of drink, they also put nibbles like peanuts on the side as well, which the on site bar would never do. They made you feel very welcome,  

Becky and mark used to be in a band, and they used to run the on site bar, apparently these were the good old years. They had live bands plus karaoke, Kev loves singing, so does Becky, so I was often propped up at the bar with mark. We had numerous lock ins. 

When we went over for Christmas and new year last year, we mainly spent that time at the pub, the locals go there too, so it’s great, you get to mix with the locals. About 3 times we went to the pub for a quick drink and got home at 5am, New Year’s Eve was fancy dress, Mark and Becky put on a full Buffett, the onsite bar on the other hand, did a little Buffett, but you had to confirm because of numbers, and they shut at 12.30, being in France they do 2 New Year’s Eve, first one was the proper one then an hour later they did it again for the uk due to the time difference. 

There is no comparison to the pub and the bar,  as I said before it be interesting to see what the bar is like this year. I shall keep people informed. 

Home from Home

So it’s been about 18 months now since we bought our little van, it’s not really a holiday anymore, it’s like another life in a different country, the first year we had the place we didn’t really go anywhere, just the local town for shopping but mainly staying on site. 

Due to the face that the bar was on site too, it was easy to get into a rut and just go there for the evenings, the bar did food, I would say snack stuff, or stuff that your mum made, if your mum was a very good cook and shopped in icelands. Everything was deep fried from frozen. Sometimes it was ok, other times not, and if you had a burger the rolls were sometimes quite hard due to not either being defrosted properly or just very crap rolls. The new managers are from Cornwall, so they started importing Cornish pastys. Frozen. And doing Cornish beer and cider. The drinking laws are funny in France, so the bar could only sell beer, cider and wine, you could have a spirit but only if you had it with your meal, this got boring for me, as sometimes the end of the night you fancy a spirit. I don’t drink beer or cider, the rose wine gave me ingestion and the red wine was down through a pump so it came out cold. 

The good bit about the bar was the social aspect of it, it was good to see the other residents (sounds like a care home) and just to people watch. So there was always someone to talk to. 

The new managers were not helping themselves at all, shutting at 11pm every night, clearing glasses and cleaning tables at 10.30 making you feel unwelcome, barring people from the bar. If they didn’t like you, you knew about it, they also banned kids from under 14 to enter the bar. 

The bar was next door to the winning pools, but they wouldn’t open the doors to that side, and didn’t do anything by the pool, to me if I had that place, I would make sure I would offer drinks etc to the people by the pool. They only really make their money in the summer months, 

Our neighbours in the site come down for about 4 months over the summer, and their family fly out at regular intervals. They used to spend about £250 a week at the bar, one evening their grandson who was riding his bike poked his head in the bar door to ask his grandparents to get him a drink, Linda the landlady, screamed at him to get out of her fucking bar, naturally grandparents weren’t happy with this and have not been in since, basically taking £4K with them. 

It’s strange talking to the neighbours, it’s not really a done thing in the UK anymore, people are very friendly, of course there are some you don’t like, or wind you up. But it’s strange, you go on holiday, get a text from someone saying can you come round and dye my hair for me Kev, or to take our friend to visit her husband in hospital, pick someone up from the airport, take someone shopping, 

I’m looking forward to this year, as won’t be going to the bar so much and apparently quite a lot has happened on there, so waiting to hear the gossip. 

Meeting the neighbours 

For some bizarre reason Kev and I had managed to get Easter off from both our works, so with the extra bank holidays we thought this would be a great time to go over to France, open up the van and have our first proper holiday in our new home, we weren’t expecting great weather as it was march and it’s not like it was in the south of France or anything, 

We got there and it rained, rained every fucking day to be honest with you, the garden was a few inches under water for the duration as well, and we later found out the part of the site we are on floods quite often, thanks for telling us, Pete and Joan had put the heating on for us before we got there and gave it a clean, plus we had new people running the onsite bar, Gary and Linda from Cornwall, they had totally cleaned up the bar, removed all clutter, done a new menu, looked very promising. 

Kev gave the whole place a total spring clean, when he gets into it, he can be quite anal with cleaning, I tend to do what you can see, but he done the whole lot, it was frustrating for him not being able to do the garden. 

Most of that holiday the evenings were spent in the bar, there was a quiz night, bingo night, and a Chinese raffle, bar had new hours and shut at 11pm each night, we were hoping they open a bit longer in the summer, they didn’t, it got worse, 

Anyway, the residents and holiday home owners were very nice and pleasent, however I’m one of those people that when I first meet someone I either like them or don’t, and there was a couple I didn’t like, most of them tried to get all information possible from us, we met some great people, and the famous 5, 5 single people in their 60’s who hung around each other all the time, it was the club, no one could join their club, you could be friends but would never be accepted in, they were the ones that would spread the latest gossip around the place, of they didn’t like you, the rest of the site would know it, 

We were polite to them, and still are, one has been kicked out of the group, we got to know Pete and Joan better and met Gill, her husband Dave was in hospital after suffering a major heart attack in the summer before, so we didn’t get to meet Dave until later, most of the people on site are 50+ semi retired types. Was looking forward to the summer when hopefully a few younger people would be there, 

Apart from the weather, it was a good break, but we wouldn’t see any sun until the July, 

Buying a mobile home

So, back to France, we arrange with the Carol the rep from the UK company that sold mobile home abroad, Carol along with her hair, (I’m not sure if it was a hairdo or a statement of purpose) anyway, she showed us 7 vans on the site, we got to know each other quite well after I slagged of the first van, so she knew what we were like, she didn’t show us one as she said she knew we would hate it, one had just come on for sale, residential spec, shed, full decking and a bashe (which is like an awning) one owner, fully fitted including Nespresso machine, plasma TV and satalite dish, and double the amount we wanted to pay, we told her we would put 50% down cash now and the rest of 2 years, she was very septical, and said she would get back to us. 

The next day we were by the coast, just had a very nice lunch and was wandering around the old town when my phone went, it was Carol, all agreed apart from 2 years interest free, we had 18 months instead! 

We done so much that week, as we never been to the area before, so saw all the local towns, shops, what was available there and prices too, the beaches (all 150 miles of them) we knew there was a big gay scene in Nantes which is only about 40 miles away, and beaches to suit all, normal, gay, nude, gay nude, everything seems 20 minutes away, the towns, the beaches etc. 

While we were on the site we went to the on site bar a couple of times, but back then it was still ran by the French bloke, 

We could only stay on site for 7 days, the last night we decided to book into a spa hotel on the coast, so it was either to celebrate buying a home or ending a crap holiday, we made plans to return in October 2015 to sign the contracts and get the keys. 

Viewing the site

We went over in September 2015, the area seemed very nice, flat, but nice, been given the key code to the gate before hand and all we have to do was to meet Joan and Pete on site as they looked after the van we were staying in, got lost finding their van but Joan and Pete gave us a great welcome, residents on site for 4 years, moved from Manchester, very northern, salt of the earth types, 

The van we stayed in was for sale, above our budget but was very negotiable, great plot, but it needed work, everything was a shade of purple, toilet roll, air freshener, washing up liquid, everything fucking purple, still it was nice to stay in one to see what it be like having one, 

The site is classed as a holiday site, just mobile homes, no tents, no caravans, it had 2 pools, library, laundry room, and a bar, called the nags head, seriously we thought we were in the to show Benidorm, we had a drink in the bar, served by the first French man we saw, once he decided to serve us that was, it wasn’t busy, he was pissed, we sat outside and got to meet the residents, 

Apparently the whole site knew that a gay couple were coming over to view and maybe buy a van, everyone gave us their opinion on the site, the vans, the people, the bar intact everything, very nice people, but we were starting to hate the place, 

The next morning we went into the local village which was only a mile away, typically French, all built around a 15th century chateau, couple of restaurants and a pub, a proper French pub, we went over for a drink, as we got closer we noticed that everyone sat outside were from the site, and the owners of the pub were Welsh, 

I was thankful for Kev’s chronic indigestion, so we had to drive to a nearest town, Challans about 7 mile away, and fell in love with the town, it was proper France, proper cafes, market going on etc, it was great 

Holiday Home

So we been going to France on holidays a couple of times a year for about 7 years, mainly to the Midi Pyrenees, and we always wanted to buy somewhere, In July 2015 my mum passed away with bone cancer, not going into too much detail here as it’s still a very sore subject, anyho, she left me a little bit of money, and we decided to have a look in Vendee France about a mobile home to buy, to us it was plan C, as we thought it be a good idea and wouldn’t lose too much money if it all went tits up, holiday homes on the site started at just under £3k and went up to £150k, everything on paper was great, but we had never been to the area before, so we booked a weeks Holiday there that including viewing the available homes for sale. 

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