Monday, September 27, 2004

struck by lightning

to Nice this weekend then, which is nice. Sans children, not done for years. A couple of great friends getting married at Fayence, you see, at the beautiful 12th century Chapelle de Notre-Dame des Cyprès. We only had the local wine straight from the vineyard across the dusty road after service didn't we? On a tressle. Sweet. Mind you, the goings on the night before were right mental, mate, I tell yer...

Straight into Nice Côte d'Azur airport on Friday night, on that there easyJet. Only cost us 17p. After reclaim de baggage we headed straight for the Europcar rental desk to begin our perfect weekend. Cross the arrivals lounge and through the car park in the balmy French evening air and everything is nifty. All smiles. All signing. But what's that? Felt a touch of rain there. Ah, well, I just love getting caught in a warm summer shower. It's so Frrrench. 20 paces later. What the..? Bleedin heavens open right up don't they, and we're lashing across to the poxy tent affair they have set up outside the desk. So I head in to the desk and natch, there's about 20 other limp email printouts in front of me, tapping their Marlboro lights on the counter and threatening to lamp the guy behind the desk who's saying "but we 'ave non keeeys pour you".

Anyway, cut a long one short, we got free upgrade to a Passat and headed into Nice to locate the Novotel. Neil, our mate, he's got a booking at 'Le Cheapo' by the train station, so we have to drop him first. Simple right? Well. 2 hours later, we've been driving the wrong way round Nice in the maddest thunderstorm ever, aquaplaning across 3 lines of traffic on the autoroute, and we're not really getting any closer. We've got a multimap printout of 1 square kilometer, and we've never been on it. So, we're just pulling out from between a derelict garage and a block of flats right, when THWACK, the loudest, most intense cracking noise you've ever heard, comes from the roof, and I'm thinking breezeblock launched from the 17th floor. By a bazooka. We look up for the house-shaped dent, but nothing. Oh well. We crack on. We'll have a look in a minute. 30 seconds later, I'm driving the wrong way up some train tracks or something when I get a moment of clarity. "We just got struck by lightning". All quiet. Then freakouts in the Passat and we're swerving all over the Promenade des Anglais trying to jump out and stuff. Weirdness, I tell yer. We stopped after a bit and Neil pops out to take a shifty. "No dents mate, not a scratch. You know though, we've got a pretty big aerial".

So that was that. We got struck by lightning and my teeth went a bit funny. Of course, being in a Volkswagen Faraday Cage meant it was ok, but, you know, at the time...

The wedding itself was perfect, and the weather Saturday & Sunday was spot on. On the Sunday, we headed to the seafront, to see the Nice Triathlon. I tried very hard to spot some Sun sponsorship, but it was mostly French television and carbon fibre, with a few ladies in swimsuits, which was nice.

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