Stag Don't

You're supposed to go Praguewards in matching shirts with nicknames on the back and spill yourselves into disaster. All that can fuck off. We nine opted for Peterborough ale festival, which from Leicester is a longer train ride than you'd think. We are not ale geeks, but it's safe to say we enjoy several drinks, and several drinks were enjoyed, local and less local. Hats were seen. Beards and burgers reviewed. A baffling amount of children, many of them not lost, bounced up and down on trampolines inbetween the bumper cars and the toilets.
We quaffed around and lost and found and lost each other. Some of the ale tasted like chocolate socks. Some of it was served by a sullen man in a glittering pink cowboy hat like he was doing you a massive favour. Volunteer bar staff. The two ale halls were massive, and before we'd got through the three hundred and fifty varieties on offer it was time to get the last train home and continue things elsewhere, which did happen, after the required Embarrasing Thing That Happens To The Groom On The Stag Do happened, on the train, and is easily explainable but unfit for family ears, so maybe the Best Man's speech will only hint at it, I haven't decided, because I'm writing it, because I'm Best Man.
One by one the group whooped more and numbered less, and there was music and a satisfying couch and a long walk home.

Dinard Boredom Avoidance

Opera in the empty airport Irish Bar. Strange soundtrack for a view of a runway and a new windsock and six small propeller planes being watched by a flourescent man in a perspex box.
A yellow plane lands and five couples emerge. Balding men and cake-faced wives, laughing, maybe about the size of the plane or its resemblance to a banana. It is tiny. They could probably drive it along the road. The flourescent man strides out of his box waving a black hoop on a stick. The plane trundles away into a shed-for-planes. Hangar is not the word.
The bar gets easier on the ears and worse up the nose. In the toilet someone's been making brown thunder and someone else has tried hard to cover it up with chemicals. A bad combination to smell on an empty stomach gradually filling with six-Euro Heineken nearly-pints because it's not yet sandwich selling time, though the ingredients are surely there in the kitchen and the barmaid is surely sat there doing nothing but getting lost in the tumbling-wriggling piano-violin music and maybe wistfully recalling the events of the day someone left a bag unattended or flourescent man was late for work and in the absence of a hoop on a stick being wafted at them all the little planes got confused and scared and ended up at the McDonald's drive-thru begging for something familiar.

Whoosh or something

Head office possibly exaggerates the wonders of power-kiting whilst on the phone selling the activities to schools. Most of the kids talk about it as if they're going to be strapped into a wheeled vehicle and yanked to Spain and back by a nylon Pteradactyl.
In reality, our Power Kiting is just Flying A Kite and eight times out of ten the wind is too strong or not strong enough. They should call it Beach Disappointment.
If the wind is right though, and the kites go in the air, you have to spend half your time making sure the kids don't slam the kite into Gerard Depardieu's collarbones and the other half untwisting the kite lines [never "strings"] after failed attempts to do so. Meanwhile the tide creeps up and the beach gets busy and the group gets restless because there's only two kites for usually about twenty kids.
Once, during no wind, we had a Beach Art Competition, and some of them drew a twenty-foot tall transgender robot called Roberta, and made the least tall kid sit in the middle where the genitals weren't and pose for photos. They won.

Mobile Fun Order Acknowledgment

An outbreak of twisting at the beach bar. At about midnight. It was then we realised there must be another bank holiday. The French seem to have about three a week. This one was in aid of some Jesus bollocks, I think.The twisters didn't seem holy though. All four of them. The DJ was outside with two racks of equipment for, as far as I could make out, a CD player and a microphone. Between tunes he suavely boomed towards the sea. Imagine Michael Winner was Sean Connery, but French. The twisting happened around the tables and in the street and continued all song long. When the song stopped everyone sat down and the DJ did My Way his way, in English then in French, and as soon as he stopped the entire audience left.
The next day we drove a long way to little sunny dead Rennes. The most happening thing in the city was a flatscreen in a kebab house showing Chelsea vs. Hull. The kebab house guy supported Chelsea, somehow, and the first half was watched. We drove on to an oyster town and discovered what everyone does with all the mandatory free time: they look at temporary, medium-sized statues of The Virgin Mary. With designated viewing areas marked by metal fences. Four more identical ones were placed around the town. Some were more popular than others. We ate some excellent sandwiches.

Today The Sea Will Not Cover This Car Park

Thanks, Europe, for your age discrimination at popular tourist attractions. I agree that EU citizens over the age of twenty five should by now've had enough time to save a spare eight euros and fifty cents for excursions. What I don't understand, however, is why we don't take the idea a bit further: those over fifty should surely have to pay seventeen euros. Those aged seventy five or over should be charged twenty five fifty and made to sweep up at the end. It's only fair. Especially in a place such as Mont St. Michel, which has a lot of stonework and attracts dust, and was built by people who are so old they're dead. It's nothing to do with those of us born yesterday, thanks. Let the clog-poppers take care of it.

The Main Event

The Rockin' Sausages came to town. They didn't give us sufficient warning. They headlined the fete. It was on The Other Grass Triangle down the road, for one night only and cheesecake was available. New York cheesecake, from the English couple. With cherry vanilla sauce on top. And an unexpected sponge base.
Does a proper cheesecake always have a biscuit base?
What makes it a New York cheesecake?
Was the rectangular shape of the portion a subtle echo of Manhattan's grid layout?
I didn't ask but I want to know. It was two Euros and worth it and eaten while making the rounds of the eight stalls, set in a semi-circle around the performance area, in which a boy stood with a black cloth bag on his head while a hairy man in medieval dress repeatedly threw an apple at him. This was apparently a magic trick. The boy was supposed to catch it. Sixty people watched and waited. He didn't catch it. The hairy man dismissed him and started doing tricks with sticks instead.
Opposite the semi-circle of stalls was a stage with a banner at the back. "Les Rockin Saucisses!" I think it declared, quite boldly, and maybe there was a picture of a sausage in the middle and the writing went round it like in the Arm & Hammer logo. The stage was empty and the time was nearly ten so we assumed we'd missed them and went to the beach down the road to see if the clouds would leave the sun alone for once. No. In the darkness we went back up the road. The bit between our campsite and The Two Grass Triangles is streetlightless and lined with large trees, possibly oak, so it's dark at night, unless someone is camping on the triangles. They are actually designated camping / picnic spots, for people who like to remain very close to roads. This time it was not dark, there was a thumping and a hubbub and a weak yellow light. We went to our tents and re-filled our drinking bags and went up and there they were, the sausages, rockin, slightly disappointingly not dressed in giant sausage outfits, four of them, a singer / bass drum player, a double bassist, an acoustic guitarist and a percussionist, doing that one from Pulp Fiction, I think it's called Misirlou, Dick Dale and The Somethings, at top speed, and the guitarist had his guitar behind his head and the percussionist was doing the lead guitar part through a kazoo and it abruptly ended halfway through. A bit of applause leaked out from the crowd and we did our best to whoop. They probably won't be back.