I write this post in EuroDisney's Seqoia Lodge, Laptop on lap, beer on table. Ahh, Bliss!
It's been a good holiday so far and I've begun writing this on the first night of our stay in EuroDisney. WiFi is slowly covering the world, so I have been able to write this from the bar on my laptop. 10 for 2 hours is not unreasonable I think, though the man in the shop said "C'est trop cher!" (It's very expensive, though I probably spelt the French words wrong) when I asked how much it cost. The best news - no frightening emails in my in box, no server security alerts, no RAID hard disks failed. It looks like the computers at work are behaving themselves.
I already knew there was nothing major to worry about at work (I had to call in after a week to check my phone was working as no one had called with any questions) so it looks like the business plan is being accomplished ("Aim 1. The business should be able to run day to day without me being there"). Yes, I'm still a key person as the computer set up still isn't perfect, but perfection (think Homer Simpson is to Donuts as Steve is to 5,000+ Uber Server) would cost lots of money and still need someone to handle our suppliers data and manipulate it into our system. For the moment, it is far better for me to run the computer system than outsource/employ someone else to do it.
So, observations on France;
We started in the south of France at a place called Vias Plage, booked with Homair Vacance at a campsite called "Les Flots Bleu". The cost was great, my old French A level was sufficient to handle the fact the site manager spoke only French. Wwe were the only English people there (at least with Homair). Fortunately, there were still the camp site's staff who spoke good English. We had looked at other companies, but Homair were by far the cheapest and I think it is because they handle mainly more local French customers. The site itself had a nice swimming pool and a small private beech but lacked any water sports provision. I had thought that we would be able to walk further along the beech to find windsurfer hire and so on, but the campsite was bordered by a river on one side and a rocky shore to the other. Still, we had fun.
We visited Montpellier and had a wonder round the old town. Also Cap D'Agde. I always remember Cap D'Agde from a wallet some Welsh friends of our bought as a present when I was growing up. They used to go there every year. I didn't realize it was such a new 'resort', built up mainly since 1970 and a mixture of large sandy beaches, mid rise (up to 4 storey) hotels, a large port and an area of private holiday homes. Just 25,000 live there in winter, 200,000 in summer! (amazing the useless facts that stick in my mind). Rhonda took the opportunity to go diving at Cap D'Agde too (just realised, I don't think I told the world that my wife Recently passed her PADI open water divers qualification). If we ever go back I think I'd like to hire a boat for day or too, but alas we ran out of time and had to drive North to EuroDisney.
The first part of the holiday can also be summarised by two observations:
1) The French society have a serious smoking problem. Even teenagers were frequently smoking. It made me realise just how far Britain has come in it's anti smoking campaigns. Even at school I never saw as many teenagers smoking as I did around the camp sites and bars of France.
2) My French isn't so bad, but it's not so good. I can ask for many things automatically, ask for a table at a restaurant, order a WiFi Card even, but if the response is not quite the words I am expecting I am quickly lost. I don't think my accent is that good either (being that a 7 year old girl corrected my pronunciation of "Anglais" from 'onglay' to 'onglaze').
Coming to EuroDisney also changed that 2nd experience. They almost all speak very good English, so although they seem to appreciate my trying to speak in French as soon as their computer shows my name and nationality the immediately revert to a very clear English, allowing my french to get completely mixed up into a type of Franglais in replies of "Oui, yes" and so on.
We almost got caught out on the way down by a lack of petrol stations. For most of the journey there were petrol stations every 50Km or so and as the Modeo says how many Km worth of fuel you have it was easy to know when to stop. Except for one section in the mountains where there were no petrol stations for 120Km or so. When we finally reached the next petrol station the dashboard told us just how close we had been.
The holiday was a lot of fun.