Arrived safely on foreign shores. All family members intact and reasonably cheerful. Was hoping to pass self off as glamorous French woman – or perhaps Italian – but cover blown immediately by nearest and dearest. Children’s table manners and general behaviour so bad as to give the game away at one glance (not to mention the highly nationally identifiable Pink Trouser and Cricket Hat combo that is the favoured holiday wardrobe of His Grumpiness). By day 3 the novelty of the 30 minute walk from the Gite to the village to collect fresh bread and croissants had rather palled so the Children were all thrilled by my brilliant idea of visiting an enormous water park with flumes, fountains and other such excitements.
I had, however, totally forgotten about the extraordinary French preoccupation with skimpy swimming trunks – All males in the family thought it very funny until it was made apparent that “Shorts Sont Interdit”. There was a brief but undignified skirmish (in the Best Benny Hill tradition) that saw my Refusnik Husband, who was pseudo-nonchalantly attempting to ignore the signs and feign ignorance, being pursued and finally out-paced by a lithe female swimming attendant roaring “pas de Bermudas”. It was made very clear that in order to use the pool they too needed to don the ‘Budgie Smugglers’. These were helpfully sold for extortionate amounts by handy vending machines in Child and Adult sizes – One size fits all supposedly – Children and Adults in this family are clearly the wrong sizes! The Silly Brothers looked very funny rushing around holding onto their voluminous pants and the Poor Oppressed Husband was barely able to move in his teeny tinies (nor for some days afterwards due to chafing!)