Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Yesterday was lovely. Up nice and early 4.45am. Hurried beans on toast and into the car and off to Gatwick airport. I checked in online so straight through security and onto the plane.

The same old flight and routine at Basel. I went to collect my hire car and was told that it was on the other side, that being Switzerland. It seems that my booking agent (Wendy) had made a mistake on the form and I had to cross over the border. This is not as hard as it would seem, it means going up some stairs and through a door. The man at the desk was very helpful apart from telling me that I could not go to France in the car, then when I said ' Do I have to go back and book it there' he said 'Yes'. Then he proceeded to offer me a Golf or Passat. I said that I was going to cancel it and book it in France and he said 'Why?'. 'Because I cannot go to France in it, and I need to' I said. 'Who told you that?' he asked. You did, no I did not he said. My head was hurting at this point, so I can go to France in it?. You can go anywhere you want, so long as you bring it back.

Paperwork complete I got the bus into Basel, and had a coffee and a walk around, I took the little ferry across the Rhine just for a laugh which was nice.

Then back to the airport to collect the car and find my way back into France. Last time Wendy and I tried to do this we ended up in what looked like the meat packing district of Basel,lost. I had the sat nav with me and this made the whole process mush easier. Before I knew it I was at Auchan in Belfort. I had promised to get our French neighbour some tins of Cassoulet as she loves it. Only two tins in stock, so with those onboard I headed off to collect the boys.

We left the house and started on the way back to the airport. We would have to cross the border again, as we were slowing down a border guard waved us down. I put the window down and he started talking in French. I asked Nathan to talk with him and after a while heard Nathan say 'Le Cassoulet' the guards face was a picture as he waved us through. When I looked in the rear view mirror he was shaking his head as he talked with his colleague. I asked Nathan what he had said 'He asked if we had anything apart from clothes onboard, so I told him about the Cassoulet'.

I laughed till I cried, international stew smugglers.

The plane was delayed by forty minutes, Wendy was at Gatwick to collect us. Another 19 hour day logged up. Going back next Wednesday, bring it.

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