Jugsters Mcc

HERE IT IS!  THE GRAND IBERIAN TOUR 2015!

A big thanks to Russ for delivering the dirt on the brilliant tour though Spain & Portugal in August 2014. He wrote this from memory and notes in his journal whilst recovering from the loss of his finger after our return. It was a memorable  and hilarious trip with great people, the folks we met along the way, and the warm welcome we recieved. 

Make sandwiches..it's a long one!

 The JUGSTERS Mcc IBERIAN TOUR 05/19 August 2014

Better known as the; “Well, I didn’t see that coming!” Tour

The cast

Name known as; Role

Russ “The twat at the front” usually! Pathfinder, translator and instigator.

Steely The Obergruppenfuhrer Wing man, plotter and holy envoy.

Dinky Twisted Sister Plotter in chief of all things sneaky!

Sharon Twisted Sister Unwitting victim and wing woman

Doug Officer commanding, cruiser wing Fag break monitor

Graham Home boy Barnes Arbiter of all things cool

Jan The water nymph Vodka monitor

Kevin The Butler as per usual, entrusted as ‘Tail gunner’.

Whitty no good, shady, little shit Unknowing accomplice!

Deb Dippy none that we noticed anyway!

Will WILLIAM! Photographer, chauffeur and bee-aich!

Jo-Jo anything pertaining to short! Bridesmaid, accomplice, medic.

Lewis ‘Loom Band Lewis’. If there’s trouble there I’ll be!

Tyler The toilet inspector I’m with him, sort of

Seeing as, yet again, I’m sitting around here with a lot of time, (if not all of my digits, before any of you clever bastards get it in before me,) on my hands, I decided, as a bit of occupational therapy to aid my recovery, to start typing again. It has been a struggle, and has taken some readjustment, but I feel it was ultimately worth it. I had started to write it when we got back from our thoroughly unforgettable adventure. But events, like time and wild horses, have a way of galloping away from you on occasions, and, seeing as things are a little more tranquil for us now, I have find the time to resume my writing. I apologise now for the size of this document, I tried to trim it down, I really did, but this is as small as it gets without losing all continuity. As per usual, I will now, from the immediate offset, point blank refuse to apologise in advance for having a go at anyone, wherever possible! This is how I saw it at the time, and there has been no input from anyone else as, to this day, we haven’t had a chance to sit and reminisce about it as a group. Any errors in the minor facts or details are wholly mine.

Here goes.

We had discussed another continental touring trip quite a few times in the intervening years since that rolling cluster fuck which all the participants of the trip fondly remember as J.A.G.T.W.I.T. 2009, but for some reason or other, had never been able, or in the case of some, willing to get the ball rolling so to speak, so another one of our now infamous forays into Europe, was well overdue.

I also had another, far more personal plan in mind, and the organization of the one would be the most excellent way of hiding the other, but how to go about it was the biggest question? Simple, I would enlist the aid of the two people most likely to be up to a bit of subterfuge and skulduggery on my behalf, for the most personal of reasons.

Whilst we were on a Jugsters club shindig early on in 2013, I approached my most likely willing accomplice, namely Mrs Donna Steele, with the beginnings of a thoroughly sneaky plan to carry out a surprise of the greatest magnitude on my wife of almost 25 years. I wanted on the day of our 25th anniversary, to get remarried, Would Donna be willing to help me organize this? I thought so, for good reason.

A few years before, Steely and Donna had asked us to go on a two week holiday to Egypt with them; to celebrate Donnas birthday, (I will not say which birthday, I value my testicles,) which we had to decline for personal reasons, as our daughter Katie, was in the process of changing schools at this exact time. We told them that there was no possible way we could go for two weeks. Which was of great disappointment to them, but they took it well.

What we didn’t tell them was that we had already booked the holiday, and flights for one week, and we were flying out to join them on the day of Donnas birthday. Needless to say, we met them in the restaurant and I can say without a doubt, made the day for Donna, and the rest of the holiday for them both. They had always said that there was no way they could top that surprise, but here was I giving them the chance of at least getting one over on Donna’s ‘Twisted Sister.’

Her eyes lit up at the prospect, she then smiled that evil grin of hers and said; “leave it with me; I will have a word with his nibs.”

JUGSTERS summer rally April 2013.

I was collared hold of and rammed into a secluded corner by Donna, and fearing I had done something wrong, expected the worst, covered my testicles and closed my eyes. I need not have feared, Donna smiled and told me that the whole idea was on, it was a go! Therefore, a little more subterfuge and ‘flying a false flag,’ was required, for the benefit of Sharon.

Steely and I, with the collusion of several other members, announced that we fancied having a go at yet another one of our Jugsters European tours, and any fool, who was ‘up for it,’ should let us know straight away.

Sharon and Donna were most definitely not up for it, (well, Donna was, but pretended otherwise,) and she did all the speaking, this had already been planned and rehearsed, with everyone bringing up points, then counter points, All the while, not giving Sharon an option nor the chance to speak. We pointed out that we had been good boys, doing the package holidays with the ladies for quite a few years, meaning we hadn’t had a tour for ages, so, eventually Donna ‘agreed’ to it and therefore Shaz, who was basically ‘railroaded’ into agreeing, had no choice but to go along with it too.

A few weeks later, at a club meeting, Donna announced the details and the planned date of the prospective tour, we were going to a place that they had been to before, called Playa de Mira, where, to please the ladies and relieve the strain of a ‘tent up, tent down’ trip, we would have a four day break. We would be going for two weeks and these weeks would fall either side of our 25th wedding anniversary, (what an unfortunate coincidence?) meaning that we would be on our four day break whilst it was our anniversary.

Shaz mentioned this at the time, and all that were gathered there managed to look surprised at this statement! (Oh, well, whatever.) Shaz looked a bit pissed at this, but, as I pointed out that she had said she didn’t want a fuss or a party, so what did it matter, we would have a drink with our friends whilst we were out there. This immediately appealed to the ‘tight arsed Jock’ in her genetic make-up, though she did suggest, out of earshot, and a bit later on, that we would pay for a meal whilst we were out there as a surprise celebration!

(Fuck me rigid, now she was at it! I had skulduggery coming at me from every direction, what chance did I stand!)

Now, to the thorny issue of the guest list? I had decided from the outset that, family wise, this was going to be kept to a bare minimum. Sharon’s side of the family, better known as ‘the Jock Mafia’ already had a wedding set for the same week so they were going to be non-starters, except for Jo-Jo and Will, who hadn’t received an invite to her sister’s wedding when the original plan was formulated and had put herself, Will and the kids down for our trip straight away. Well they are club members, and she was one of our original bridesmaids, so it was only fitting that she was there too!

Neither set of parents were going to be able to make the trip due to ongoing health issues. This left the kids. Katie point blank refused to even entertain the thought of another motorcycling holiday, as did Dan. With friends Reg and Elaine offering to ferry them to the airport in the UK,) I looked into flying them down to Porto, which was the nearest airport to the planned venue, and putting them in a hotel too, but seeing as they get on like electricity and water, putting them both in a confined space such as an aircraft was bound to cause something akin to a terrorist incident, so that was a none starter. Danny was also on shaky ground with his job at that time, so he was dubious about leaving, it also meant that he would have to get himself a passport, the cost of which didn’t appeal at all to the bit of his mothers genetics that he had inherited! We also discussed Katie travelling down with Jo and Will, but she declined that offer too, as she had received a better offer from her Auntie Shirley, Fair enough, we love you both too! Once all were agreed, deposits were asked for, and the ball was rolling.

The only fly in the ointment now was my ‘oh so understanding relationship’ with my employers, and as to whether I could get the time off or not? This was a saga in itself, and warrants its own chapter.

As per company regulations, you cannot apply for any holidays until the 1st of January of that year. So, having given all of my fellow employees a warning of my intentions, and requesting that, if all possible they do not request any time off within this period I quite confidently paid Katie to sit up with my company laptop at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and send my request at one second past twelve, almost certain that I would get the required days.

Wrong!

It was refused, as the time requested exceeded the maximum time allowed, by one day, bollocks! I had to go to the board of directors with a request, which, with a little help of some of my teammates offering to cancel holidays to cover the shortfall, they eventually agreed to it. RESULT! So, with that out of the way, you would think there were likely to be no more bumps in the road?

Wrong again!

Eight weeks before we were due to travel, I slipped a fucking disc! This severely scuppered the plans, and a contingency plan needed to be arranged. Whilst Sharon was at work, during multiple phone calls, several ideas were put forward. One desperate measure was, in the worst case scenario, I would travel with Jo and Will. If things had improved, and I got there on my bike and things then went bad, Steely would ride mine back for me, and Donna would ride his Bandit. You see, all avenues covered, Problems resolved!

Wrong yet again!

With about fourteen days to go before departure, I received a panic phone call from his nibs, The Butlers starter clutch had exploded and they were struggling to get the parts and get it finished in time. My back is just about on the mend and everything else is coming to bits! The Butler’s bike did eventually get repaired, with time to spare, but what fucking else can go wrong?

Oh! I will tell you.

On the Thursday, Five days before we are due to travel, I receive another worried phone call from Nuneaton, this time from Donna, Please could I get over to theirs, fucking pronto Tonto? As Steely’s bike had malfunctioned too! (Give me fucking strength!)

Sharon drove us over there, when we arrived it wasn’t pretty, we were met at the door by Donna, who with a worried look, let us in. Steely was going off on one, his bike was totally dead, He was going nowhere, and he was also going fucking ballistic! When I eventually managed to calm him down, we explored the options.

Option 1, we manage to fix the fucking thing, problem over.

Option 2, if this isn’t possible, we rob the bits off my bandit, and he borrows them for the trip.

Option 3, if option 1 and 2 do not work, he sticks his plates on my bandit and hey ho away we go!

I will not bore you with the details, but the upshot was that I had to, whilst sitting on a kitchen chair in the car park adjacent to their house, partially de-install some and bypass the rest of his alarm and immobilizer, which was burnt out. With that sorted, I ‘supervised’ my mate rebuilding the rest of the bike, (in other words, I took the piss,) we had a brew and then Sharon and I went home again.

Needless to say, I hadn’t had much time to check either of mine or Shaz’s bikes over, I had not long before given mine a full service, And Shaz’s had received a filter and oil, but in the intervening seven weeks that I had been off on the sick, I hadn’t been able to do anything in the garage. I needed to ‘check Sharon’s brakes’ So Steely and Dink came over to ours on the Saturday for him to ‘have a look for me’ which really meant to fill me in on the final details of the trip, Sneaky or what?

The day before we were due to travel, I eventually put in an appearance at work; I spent a day in the workshop at the Tesco Hinckley site, dosed up on pain killers, with my old mate Andy. He was fully aware of all that was afoot, and he refused to let me do anything too strenuous, and I had an easy day of it, bless him. When I got home, all we had to do was refuelling them both, and then put the givi cases on mine in the morning. By the time I got home Sharon had got her trusty Blackbird out, and was ready to go for fuel, so off she went. I got my bike out and something along these lines happened;

Whirr whirr-whirr chug, clack, click, click, click, click, clunk! Bollocks! My battery was flat!

Wank! What else can possibly go wrong now?

With everything else that had been going on, I hadn’t put it on the trickle charger, what a complete and utter bastard! When Sharon got back, I explained the situation, basically, it was going on the charger overnight, and I would have to trust it to fire in the morning. Shaz asked me about my fuel state, and this gave me the opportunity to quote a line used by Robert Shaw from the beginning of the film ‘THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN’ which was; “Never mind, we’ll have to go with what we’ve got!” EPIC!

Tuesday 5th August ‘D’Day-7

Well, we got up, got dressed and had a brew. Whilst Sharon was making final arrangements I grabbed my original wedding tie, stuffed it in my pocket and went out to the garage. I disconnected the trickle charger from my bike and refitted the seat. I pushed both bikes out of the garage, and took Sharon’s down onto the road for her. I left mine at the top of the drive, just in case we needed to bump start it and fitted the luggage. We both saddled up and, with a worried thumb up from Shaz, I gave the starter button a jab. SHE LIVES, YEAY!

Now, all we had to do was get to the services, whereby hopefully, having ridden there all the way in 5th, the battery would be fully capped and I would have enough voltage to start it again. When I checked my fuel state, I had three bars showing so, with no idiocy, I could do the riding in 5th for a wee bit and also, most probably, make it to the Northampton services as well, where we were supposed to turn off the M1 anyway! After discussing this with my ‘wing woman’ (tally ho Ginger what, what? Well, I’ve managed to get ‘THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN’ reference in once, so it would be a shame not to carry it on eh?) We formed up into a ‘two ship formation’ and were ‘wheels up at 05.20hrs’ for the first way point.

The M1 wasn’t too bad for that time of the morning and we made it to the Northampton Services in very good time. We refuelled mine, which was on vapours, and topped Shaz off too. The bike started first time and so we headed out and onto the A43 and got under way once more. There was a fair bit of mist on the A43, but nothing to worry about, and we pulled into the services at the junction to meet the others in no time at all.

When we got there, I could see some bikes, and, as we got closer, all of which I recognized, but where was Steely’s? Maybe it was behind that big pile of luggage? Oh fuck! It WAS that big pile of luggage! We parked up and went across to join them, grabbed a coffee and the piss taking commenced.

They were all there, Steely and Dink, Graham, Jan, Doug, Kevin, Whitty and Deb, With the exception of Jo and Will, who were going via the M25 from where they lived, near Cambridge. We had received a text from them, letting us know that they were well on their way, as Will had been worried about the road works on the M25. So after the usual greetings and handshakes; I was immediately set upon by his nibs due to my mishap with the battery.

Shaz had oh so kindly texted Donna and informed her the previous evening, so I was guaranteed to cop some flak for that one! When he had finished, I simply pointed out that he was now the proud owner of possibly the only bike in history whereby you needed both a heavy goods and a P.S.V. 2(double decker bus,) licence to ride it! Jan was leaping and frolicking like a spring lamb, oh boy was she exited! Doug proudly showed off his new ‘straight through’ exhausts, which I must admit, looked far better than the usual jobbies that are the standard fit on the drag star!

He was dead chuffed with them, and when he started it up, it was rather fruity. When I mentioned this, he rather indignantly pointed to the baffles and stated; “they’re legal, and loud pipes save lives!” (But not eardrums eh buddy?) We all had a bit of a laugh with Kev as he told us all about his starter clutch woes, and then we had a pop once more at Steely about his immobilizer and his luggage. Whitty was also targeted for his load out, and he mentioned the ‘bag on the back seat’ as being the one that was giving him the most problems! (Well all but one of us got the joke.)

As they had already all just refuelled, and we had only done 25 miles since refilling, once everyone was ready, we got straight onto the road again. Now, we had not planned upon intending to stop until fuel made it a necessity to do so, and then only for a ‘splash and dash’ But, seeing as we all agreed that we were making such good time, when we pulled in for fuel we also had a coffee stop, and I was glad we did. It gave us a chance to discuss a few of the incidents that occurred along the way.

Cue the entry of the ‘fuck-up fairy’, stage left

A few miles before we stopped, I had suddenly heard what sounded like gunfire, and this had persistently followed us from there on until we stopped. Butler was bursting to tell us what had happened. Whilst accelerating away from a bit of traffic, one of the sets of baffles from Doug’s brand new, ‘Carlos Fandango’ exhaust system had shot out, bounced on the road, shot up in the air and narrowly missed the Butler as it whizzed past his ear! Kev reckoned that it had hit a car behind him but he hadn’t hung around long enough to find out. We all had a coffee and topped off the tanks ready for the next leg of the trip.

When we pulled back out onto the motorway, we had an issue with a Polish lorry, but after this, the rest of the journey was pretty uneventful, apart from the usual traffic issues; we pulled into the ferry terminal at 10.15, and, amazingly, we had got there well before the required booking in slot even started. According to the paperwork that Donna had received, booking in commenced at 11.00, but as we pulled into a completely deserted terminal, a sense of foreboding washed over me!

Surely, there should have been someone else there and not just we idiots? There must be somebody as stupid as us who would be here early as well? There was no sign of Jo-Jo, Will and the kids either! Shaz phoned Jo, and within 10 minutes, Will’s silver Vauxhall Vectra came into view on the far side of the vast and still deserted car park and then pulled up behind the bikes.

It appears that ‘the fuck-up fairy’ had brought along some reinforcements, who had been travelling with them too! Once the obligatory handshakes and hugs were dispensed with, Will told us about their journey and explained that they had needed to do a bit of unexpected ‘emergency shopping’ and had therefore been standing around in Poole waiting for the shops to open. Their all singing, all dancing, super-dooper extremely expensive SLR digital camera, which they were bringing along to do the wedding photos, was still sitting on the kitchen table.

They realized this when they were on the M25 When Jo had a Homer Simpson ‘DOH!’ moment. They had been and bought another, super-dooper SLR digital camera, this time in purple, which Jo was claiming for keeps when they got back.

Whilst everyone, and especially Shaz, were being distracted by Will and the boys, I attracted Jo-Jo’s attention and got her to walk back to the car, and, whilst Shaz was otherwise occupied with the boys, I managed to pass her my tie, which she later hid with my white shirt that she and Will were smuggling for me.

It was now 11.00 and there was no sign of life in the LD lines kiosks. Donna and I decided to go for a walk and try to find out if the fucking ferry, of which there was no sign of either was sailing from here or not? We wandered over to the port authority building and eventually found the P&O desk, the lady there was very helpful and explained that yes, we were in the right location and that the LD line staff usually arrived right on time, and, to the best of her knowledge, we hadn’t missed the boat. This was a great relief to us, and we thanked her, but still didn’t explain where the damned thing was? It was time for some phone calls to be made then, so we walked over to join the others. We explained things and got busy on the internet and eventually found a contact number. Donna made the call.

“Never, in the field of human communication, has so much pent-up fury, been contained so rigidly, in such a tiny package!”

LD Lines had changed the sailing time and therefore, the booking in time, and had not bothered to let Donna know! Booking in now commenced at 14.00hrs and we did not sail until 16.00. Needless to say, she was not impressed, and she let them know this in her own unique and forthright style! (In other words, she went fucking ‘bat-crap crazy’ at them down the phone!) I am as sure as shit sticks to a blanket that I would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of the tirade of abuse and invective that Donna directed towards the poor unfortunate employee of LD lines who answered that call! Once the phone call was finished, and the facts explained to all assembled, the ladies all went into a collective sulk! The main reason being that there had been no need for the early morning start, they could have spent several more hours in bed! Steely then lightened the mood by explaining to us all that he had found a ‘continental toilet’ round the corner. He also stated that he didn’t fancy using it as it was outside and in plain view of everyone. Oh how everyone laughed as I explained to him that this was a sluice dump where the caravans and campervans could empty their chemical toilets. Not bright, but happy!

Well, there was nothing else for it, seeing as there was no sign of life on the port, and the facilities there showed no signs of opening, we were going in search of a brew and some breakfast and maybe some petrol. Saddle up kiddies, ASDA here we come!

We all remounted and headed back out of the port area, in the direction of the big ASDA we had passed on the way in. We parked up in the underground car park and charged for the cafe. I do not think the ASDA restaurant staff quite knew what hit them! We had arrived at the exact time that they were supposed to change from the breakfast menu to the lunch menu.

I say ‘supposed’ to because when they saw our lot steamrollering through the door and into the serving area like a ravenous pack of wolves, they decided that we didn’t look like we were in the mood for the ‘healthy option’ pasta salad, cod goujons, mung bean and tofu with an avocado dip’ or suchlike, we wanted fourteen, large ‘full English specials’ with tea and an extra egg, toast and a large side portion of no fucking about please!

We got the breakfasts and teas, basically took over the dining area and got outside of them in record time, everyone was ravenous, and especially craving a brew. Doug was having withdrawal symptoms as it had been that long since he last had his ‘tea fix’! Once the plates had stopped spinning, it was outside for a smoke and to discuss now completely ruined plan for the first day in Spain, and also the petrol situation. A council of war was convened.

It had been planned that; as we were originally going to be docking at approximately midday, we would have plenty of time to fill up with cheaper petrol on the other side of the water before seeking a camp site away from the coast. Well obviously, as we were now going to be docking at the very earliest 5pm our time that had upset the whole plan. As we hadn’t seen a petrol station nearby, and ASDA didn’t sell it, we were going to have to ‘wing it’ on the other side, gas up as soon as we could and try to find a campsite sharpish! With that sorted, it was back to the port once more, to await the arrival of the LD Lines staff and the fireworks and floor show that were guaranteed once Donna got hold of them!

When we arrived back at the port, there were a few vehicles there, which had obviously arrived for the crossing. Several more arrived not long after, and then the cafe opened. The woman operating the cafe confirmed the new sailing time, so, at least we were getting onto the big boat today! Not long after that, a lady who was a member of the LD Lines staff arrived and opened the kiosk. Donna, quietly seething in a barely contained rage, stormed over to the kiosk and went on the attack!

The lady listened to Donna’s complaint and was extremely sympathetic to our situation; she recommended that we raise blue murder with the company, possibly to divert Donna’s fury away from herself! The nice lady then gave the info to Donna as to whom she could actually scream blue fuck at, and whom to talk to about a bit of a refund over not being informed of the change to the travel times, she proceeded to process our bookings, which allowed us to move the bikes to the other end of the car park!

When we moved them, the sound of Doug’s exhaust shook the dust out of all the tin roofs on every shed within the harbour area and also pricked up the ears of the harbour constabulary too! Once we had moved the bikes exactly 200 yards, we all trooped back to the cafe area for a bit more standing around with our thumbs up our arses. Oh not soon enough, we started seeing the day-glo jackets which denoted ‘officialdom’ starting to appear down near the gate, so off we trooped again and got ready to move. Another very nice lady noticed that Will, Jo and the kids were in our party and said that she would try and get us loaded together, “but no guarantees” but at least she said she would try. With that, she got a call and said, “off you go then” and we set off for the gate.

Needless to say, the Constabulary were pretty much certain to take a bit of interest in us, so I attempted to head off first to explain things, without Sharon being within earshot. Epic fail! As soon as the bint in the hi-viz gave us the nod, off they all went, like a Le Mans start on LSD! By the time I got to the plod, I had Sharon right behind me, so couldn’t go into the details, but I did explain that this was a holiday with a difference, that we were all going away to celebrate our 25th anniversary and that we were all friends and family.

I managed to explain all of this whilst trying to keep a straight face because Doug, Steely and Dink had been pulled from their bikes and were undergoing an intensive strip search and pat down, Doug looked annoyed, Steely didn’t seem too bothered and Dink appeared to be enjoying it immensely. This was all in plain view, just to one side of the, let’s be honest, none too glorious customs and immigration area come cattle shed.

We were directed to stop at the next gate, which we did, mainly because, yet again, the plod were stood waiting, and the gates were locked. Once they had finished probing Doug, he rejoined us and started on one of his rants about stereotypes and the state of the immigration services. Mind he did raise a valid point, they had said that they were searching for knives, and Doug had pointed out to them that “every caravan and camper that went through had probably got at kitchen block full of the fuckers but no, bikers were the ones they searched.” I possibly didn’t improve his mood by pointing out that it could be down to him looking a right ‘moody fucker’ who was riding which was the two wheeled noise equivalent of a motorhead concert!

All the while this was happening the loading had begun, when we asked why there were some vehicles going on in what seemed a random order, the port official explained that people with a disability/special needs and pets were going first. I argued that in this case, we should be loaded pronto as our lot fitted the bill exactly! With a laugh from both him and the plod, and a “wanker” from Steely, the port staff opened the gate, said; “have a nice trip,” and waved us onto the loading area.

Hey ho, away we go, across the harbour, and up the ramp we went, helmets strapped to the luggage, looking like proper bad-ass bikers, straight into the cavern like hold of the ferry.

Once I had removed the overnight kit, (tank-bag,) and overseen the strapping down of both the bride’s trusty steed and my own, it was onto the escalator and up to book in and find the cabins. Donna, as efficient as ever, had already sorted most of it and we all drew the keys and went to find our beds for the night.

Once we had negotiated the stairs to the correct corridor, (no mean feat in itself as Steely and Dink had elected to bring some of their luggage and both helmets with them,) and we had managed to find the cabin, Donna opened the door and we all charged in, and then came to a rather sudden stop, mainly because Poor Donna was jammed against the far wall!

It was agreed that the accommodation was, how shall we say, ‘snug’ to the point of two people had to sit down whilst the others got sorted. It wasn’t quite bad enough to give the black hole of Calcutta a good name, but, to be honest, it was only somewhere to store your stuff and get your head down so it was more than acceptable.

As the ladies wanted to ‘freshen up’ both myself and my illustrious pard explained to them that, as we considered it our duty to look after their best interests, we had decided to ‘go and familiarize ourselves with the ships amenities’ (well, they saw through that fucker straight away!) “Yeah,” was the reply, “see you downstairs in the bar then.”

I would like to say that we were the first of our lot in there, but I would be lying. Mr Bennett and Doug were waiting for us, and were more than happy as they had a cabin to themselves. We then set about carving ourselves a large enough area to accommodate all of our party, (which was pretty much the whole bar area as, for some reason or another, people were avoiding us.) It wasn’t until Jo and Will arrived with Lewis and Tyler, and plonked themselves down in the middle of our throng that the majority of the rest of the passengers decided that we were not hostile and sat around us.

We were quickly underway, and, after bidding England a fond farewell from the rail, (which was where you could have a smoke,) we set about a bit of serious socializing! Well, some of us did. Kev,(the Butler,) Bennett, having had no sleep the night before due to work commitments, had a couple and then retired early, (and that was the last we saw of him until the following morning!) He had admitted that, on the journey down, the only thing that had kept him awake was the possibility that, at any second, Doug’s exhaust was likely to release another volley of baffles in his direction.

According to Graham, Jan was taking it rather well, bearing in mind that she has never travelled abroad due to being terrified at the thought of an aircraft and that she can get travel sick in a car! He confided to us that the only time she does not suffer is when she is on a bike. Steely, (mister helpful and considerate himself,) suggested that, if the crossing got too rough, and the need arose, we could always ask if we could take her back down to the hold and strap her to their bike.

The boat itself had all that you need for the crossing, LD lines had sold themselves as a ‘no frills crossing’ and to be honest, whilst we hadn’t quite been expecting something along the lines of; “grab your seats, grab the oars, un-muffle the drum and put your backs into it, ‘ramming speed’ for the Spanish coast” we weren’t necessarily expecting luxuries either. The bar/lounge area was spacious and clean, and they were showing all the latest films on a massive TV at one end of it.

The food in the restaurant was of good quality, plentiful, and reasonably priced. In fact, that reasonably priced that ‘the Highland Terror’ agreed to use said facilities and save the sandwiches she had made for us, (to save money,) for the following morning’s breakfast. (That didn’t quite happen though, sorry dear.)

More importantly, the bar was also reasonably priced and also sold snacks, (patisseries, hot sausage rolls, pasties, pies, crisps and peanuts etc) when the restaurant was not open.

There was a shop too, (which was about the size of your old outside shithouse,) which sold the usual ferry shop crap. The strange thing was, at none of these outlets could you use credit or debit cards, if you wished to avail yourselves of these facilities, (and let’s face it, with our lot, the bar was gonna get ‘availed’ to fuck,) it was ‘cash only’ transactions. (hmmm, curious?) We were aware of this before we travelled as friends who drink in my local had just used the ferry a few weeks before and told Shaz and I of this, but he too was unaware of why. It wasn’t until much later on, we ascertained the reason for this, another passenger informed us that the company was in receivership and wasn’t allowed to take credit cards etc and they were closing the route at the end of the season.

This immediately raised some minor worries amongst our party as to whether or not we would have a ferry for the return journey? This was settled with the agreed majority view of, “fuck it, if there’s no ferry on the way back, we will just have to ‘wing it’ and ride to Calais!”

After this had been agreed, we sat down with a map and beers, (not exactly the best idea mixing those two items and Steely, but there you go!) to re-plan the following afternoons ride. Seeing as we, (as was previously explained,) would be disembarking considerably later, we had to re-plan a camp site, very close to the port. Well, whilst I had been off on the sick prior to this trip, I had sat with the laptop and located several campsites in Portugal, (and luckily Spain,) courtesy of the Spanish and Portuguese tourist board camping guides and marked them on my map just in case. Having transferred said information onto both Will’s and Doug’s maps also, we decided upon a couple which were in a clutch just to the east of the port on the coast road. With that sorted, we decided to relax with a few beers!!!!!!!!

After one bottle of wine, Jo-Jo remembered the kids and took them off to bed, and reappeared 20 minutes later, in a completely different outfit and proceeded to demolish the bars wine stocks along with her piss-head auntie! Not that they were on their own, Donna was lending a hand along with everyone else with their particular favourite tipple. Once we rounded the Cherbourg peninsula, the sea became a wee bit less stable, and so did Jan! So Graham took her off and tucked her in for the night. Graham valiantly returned about 40 minutes later, grinning like a Cheshire cat, (enough said she obviously wasn’t that ill then, eh mate?)

A short while later, Debs claimed the same disposition and also went bye-byes. This meant that it fell to Donna, Shaz and Jo to sustain the Jugsters ladies honour. Jo lasted for another 3 bottles before she wobbled away and Shaz and Dink were not far behind, as they departed, they left Steely and I with the warning, “don’t be long and be quiet when you come in.” (Yeah, right-ee-ho, sure!) This left Will, Whitty, Doug, Graham, Steely and yours truly with a barman who said he would stay open as long as we wanted. (Silly boy, we love a challenge!)

Through the alcohol induced fog that shrouds that evening, a few memories remain, I recall Whitty, (the old sea dog,) getting trapped in the outside door to the smoke area, and no one was being able to help him due to insane laughter.

I also remember several people attempting to join in and fading away for some reason, I cannot recollect why. Graham decided it would be a damned good idea to buy a round of extremely large Jacks and toast our journey! Needless to say, we all thought that was a ‘spiffing idea’ and some more of the same occurred. Eventually Will could take no more and staggered off to bed too, but the rest of us stayed at it, the reasoning being that if we got tanked, we would stay asleep longer in the morning. Anyway, at sometime in the early hours, the barman admitted defeat and closed the bar, (at the insistence of a senior officer, apparently, there had been complaints from the people who were attempting to sleep in the recliner chairs in the lounge.)

As there was no more alcohol available, we decided to call it a night and headed for our respective beds. Oh how I laughed at Steely, who, after eventually negotiating the stairs, became a human pinball, bouncing down the corridor towards the cabins.

Then, an awful realization dawned upon us. Firstly, we had no key to the room, secondly, we had no key to the room, and therefore we didn’t know which fucking room we were supposed to be in! (Having paid scant attention to the room number in our headlong charge for the fucking bar!)

Aha! Cunning plan time!

Steely suggested, “We can doss in with Butler and Doug.” “Good idea,” says I, “but how the fuck are we supposed to find Doug and Butler’s cabin then Sherlock?” “Oh, Fack!” says the Obergruppenfuhrer and we burst into another fit of the giggles. Eventually, by the method of trying the doors I suspected were most probably likely to be ours, we found an open cabin and luckily, it was the right one. His nibs, with the aid of the ships rolling, promptly fell through the door with all the stealth of a fucking police raid, when Shaz roused and proceeded to bollock us, (Dink had the good sense to feign sleep,) so he folded up the top bunk, with Shaz in it.

After a few minutes he saw good sense and released her. (In other words, Donna thumped him until he released Shaz!) I have never laughed so hard in my life as I sat there watching his nibs trying, (and failing,) to get undressed for bed whilst under the influence of alcohol. Eventually he gave up, so we had a picnic. (Shaz had thoughtfully left the sandwiches in plain sight!) Once supper was finished, we all lay there giggling at Shaz trying to be angry, and eventually drifted off to sleep with a few “good night Jim-Bobs.”

WEDNESDAY 6th August ‘D’ Day-6

Wah! Wah! Wah! --- Wah! Wah! Wah!

“FACKING HELL, we’re fackin’ sinking” Screams the Obergruppenfuhrer, as he goes from an alcohol induced coma to sitting bolt upright in less than a nanosecond, and in the process, smashes his head on the bunk above so hard Donna is nearly lifted out of it. Whilst he is having his panic attack and writhing in agony, the Shaz, Dink and I are unable to do anything but sit there laughing our arses off at the Obergruppenfuhrer and listen to the 07.00hrs announcement over the ships tannoy system that the restaurant is now serving breakfast.

Well seeing as we were, (courtesy of the ships tannoy and his nib’s, comedic antics,) fully awake, it seemed like a good idea to go for a brew and a smoke. Needless to say, Shaz and Donna thought this was a brilliant idea and promptly threw us out with some cash and Steely got a stern warning, “no fucking drinking sunshine!” They decided that a bit more sleep seemed like a good course of action, and, after the previous night’s shenanigans, I can’t say as I blamed them. With that, we were not so politely told to fuck off out and play somewhere else.

When we got down to the bar, Doug, tea in hand, was waiting there for us, (I expected nothing less,) and one by one, the rest of the lads, (with the exception of the Butler,) joined us. The first words from Graham when he joined us were, “for fucks sake, don’t let me go buying rounds like that again!” And from Will; “Ooh, my head hurts.”

His situation wasn’t helped by the fact that both the boys were with him and they were more or less out of their shells now. Nobodies’ mood was improved by the fact that we still had another 8 hours on the boat before docking. One by one, the ladies put in an appearance, and most comically, Donna arrived right behind Steely, and whacked him around the side of his head, stating, “What did I fucking tell you?” Just as he was taking the first sip of his first pint! Jo-Jo was the last but one to appear, narrowly beaten by Jan, who had a greenish tinge to her, but not as green as Jo-Jo. (But then again, three bottles of wine will do that to you, eh sweetie?) The honour of last man up goes to Kevin, who appeared with a grin on his face whilst we were watching the dolphins from the side rail.

None too soon enough, we saw land, and eventually, we could see that we were heading into the port of Gijon. Once we had all cleared our cabins and handed in the keys, we watched the ship dock in what can only described as a run-down, bombed out fishing quay that did not look as if had received any renovations since General Franco’s time! Once the docking manoeuvre was completed, we were once more allowed down to the car deck and got ourselves ready to roll.

Prior to this, as we were pretty much guaranteed to be separated from Jo and Will in the car due to traffic, we agreed to meet at the chosen camp site, or at least the village of Tazones, where it was situated. Once off the boat, and out onto the Spanish roads, as per usual, it all went to rat-shit! The traffic was horrendous. This episode of the holiday was to come to be referred to as ‘The Battle of Gijon’

In a vain attempt to keep us all together, I somehow missed a road sign, (in my defence, no-one else saw one either, Will was using a twat nav, so he had fewer problems,) and we ended up in down-town Gijon during the rush hour! The roads got narrower and narrower, busier and busier; the bikes were getting hotter and hotter, and more importantly emptier. I was still following signs for the coast road, but all the while getting more uneasy. Eventually, the signs just stopped, and there we were, seven bikes, in the middle of a fucking pedestrian zone!

Having nowhere to turn round, as the whole fucking place was one big one way system and every road being just wide enough for one car to get down, we had no choice but to fight our way through. Eventually, after a few close calls, one of which involved the Obergruppenfuhrer, (or rather, his luggage,) and a beer delivery truck, we managed to find the waterfront. From there we found a fucking sign that made sense, and from this, a main road out in the required direction.

Wahey, it was the right road, but everyone was desperate for petrol, and we still had to find Jo and Will, who were hopefully at the nominated campsite! Now, when you are up front, trying to navigate, you have to rely upon others to let you know when the group gets split, well, it didn’t quite happen like that! After a few miles of interesting hairpin corners on the excellent N632, which was the road we wanted, I pulled into a petrol station with Steely and Dink, and no fucker else. (Oops!)

Once we had refuelled, Steely set off back to look for them, no sooner had he gone than they arrived, we had a bit of a discussion, and a fag break, but still no Steely! Once his nibs had reappeared we set of down the N632 once more, which both my pard and I agreed upon was that this was an excellent bikers road, and would have been much better without luggage, seeing as his nibs’s bike was behaving like a shopping trolley due to the sheer amount of stuff he was carrying.

The other thing it could have benefited from would be better road signs, ‘Johnny foreigner’ still hasn’t got the hang of how to correctly signpost anything. (Yeah, in other words, we took a bit of a wrong turn once more!) We eventually got to Tazones, a lively and attractive little village, filled to the brim with bars restaurants and a rather worried looking Will, it had everything we needed except for a camp site! The ‘Fuck-up Fairy’ strikes again!

I had a word with a local, and found out it had closed earlier that year, and, with some directions from him, we set off back the way we had come, ‘winging it’ in search of another campsite. Oh boy, did we land on our feet. Except for the road down to it, which made the Circue du Navacelles look a breeze, (Doug was not a happy bunny,) we landed in ‘surfer dude’ heaven. It was called the Playa de Espania campsite; right on the beach in a secluded cove, and it was a little slice of heaven. Things could not get any better as far as facilities went. We got booked in, and pitched camp, and we did it in record time, in fact, the last bits were done by torchlight as the sun was setting.

Once everyone had finished with the domestic arrangements, we trooped up to the cafe/bar/bistro. Got something to eat, and had a few, (a lot,) of beers. I cannot recommend this campsite highly enough, excellent facilities and cheap to camp, eat and drink. Everyone agreed that they would use the place again. Once everyone was fed and watered, all turned in ready to see what tomorrow had in store for us.

THURSDAY 7th August ‘D’ Day -5

All were up and packed nice and early, and into the campsite cafe for breakfast. Once that was sorted, of we went. Without any noticeable difficulties, we located the A8, and thereby the A66, and for the sake of expediency, we stuck with that. This road was a bit of a necessity to get us south, but the scenery was good, especially as we climbed up through the mountains, rode over bridges, weaved our way through the valleys and dove through the tunnels and twisties which this road supplied in abundance along the way. The tunnels were extra fun and I was able to judge how well we were spaced by counting the seconds until it sounded like a barrage of anti aircraft cannon fire had entered the tunnel! (Oh that’ll be Doug then?)

We stopped at a service station when fuel was required that was, quite conveniently, almost at the very top, for a brew, a fag and a photo opportunity. We continued along this route for the most of the day until we got to the vicinity of Leon where we took the N630 to Benavente.

Unfortunately, as we took the turning for the N630 at Benavente, the traffic was horrendous and we lost Doug and Kev. Now, not wishing to play chicken with the Spanish lorry drivers meant we were unable to stop anywhere safe, and knowing that both we and they were in need of juice, we trundled down the road at a sedate speed until we got to a petrol station/rest area, where we pulled in, juiced up and awaited their arrival, not overly worried as Doug had the identical route on his map, along with the planned stops. By buggery it was hot!

Steely amused Lewis and Tyler by, at Donnas insistence, (as he was about to burst into flames, cos he was too much of ‘a geezer’ to wear the sun block that he so obviously required,) by finding some shade, and promptly sitting on an ants nest.

Jan was also administering said sun block to Graham, who had been fulfilling his easy rider fantasies, riding along in tee shirt and waistcoat and whose arms were a lovely shade of raw pink. (You could almost smell that ‘just done aroma’ of freshly cooked meat.) Not that he was in any way bothered; you could tell he was immensely happy, due to the flies in his teeth! When anyone asked him if he was ok? The only answer you got was; “I’m just lovin’ it man.”

Seeing as we were parked outside the restaurant, and we had messaged the lads where we were, it was dinner time. So it was everyone in and food and coffee/beer ordered. As some were doing so, we heard and saw two bikes off in the distance; Steely stood out in plain sight and waved them down, doing his now world famous, ‘demented gibbon’ impression. Yes, in pulled the ‘Dragstar wing,’ Doug smiling and Kev looking pained. They had decided to enter Benavente for fuel rather than risk it, and unfortunately, Kev, also in a tee shirt and waistcoat, had suffered a hornet in his sleeve, which had proceeded to sting him about seven times before he could get stopped and remove his unwanted and damned unfriendly passenger. Which is why Doug was looking amused. (Well, for while, it took his mind off the near constant headache his exhausts were causing him.)

Once the anti histamine cream had been applied to Kev by way of me subduing him and Nurse Jo-Jo daubing him with it, it was coffee/beer/ice cream/smoke break! Once all were rested and satisfied, we were back on the road and onwards to Zamora for another planned stop. When we got there, the planned camp-site was closed. Forever! Bugger!

Will, who had so far been a bit shy about pushing himself forward, offered to use the twat-nav to locate another, he found one and said that it said that it wasn’t on a major route but anything is better than nothing, so we set off behind him. To say we ended up doing a wee bit of off roading is akin to saying Adolf Hitler was a mild social deviant. It really should have given it away as we rode past a couple of nuns who were laughing hysterically at us, as we bounced, rattled and wobbled past them on this glorified animal trail, but no, being Jugsters, we ploughed onwards for fifteen minutes, down this brick strewn, bomb hole scattered, back road to the very end, only to find ourselves exactly 2 miles from where we started! At a disused and abandoned camp site, which just happened to be the back gate to the disused, abandoned camp site we had been to already. From there, it was 25 yards back to the main road.

(Just as an aside, when we got back to the UK, I found out that this was actually the original pilgrimage trail, that literally thousands of devout Christians throughout history, had used on their way to the Cathedral in Zamora and various other religious sites on their way around the countryside, not that anyone would have given a rats ass at the time we were using it, religious or not, we were all cursing the damned thing and the ‘fuck-up Fairy’ to buggery!)

On the off road section of the magical mystery tour we had a few instances worth a mention. Firstly, as soon as we set off we were engulfed in a cloud of dust from the proceeding vehicle, which meant you could see no more than ten feet. Whitty had nearly dropped the big red behemoth Rocket 3 and pitched all the baggage into a hedge. He said he wasn’t too worried about the bike as in the eventuality of it falling, or any other emergency situation such as a spill, he intended to give it a soft landing by plonking it down on Deb’s arse. Both Shaz and Doug were none too happy about the unplanned diversion either, and Jan was all for pitching her tent in the town square and hitting the vodka there and then!

I must admit, that during this little detour, I was slightly worried about the jarring that my back was receiving, as I was still on the ‘cocodamol and ibuprofen diet’ from my recent back problem. It did make me question as to whether a fully laden Blackbird is necessarily the best bike for the off-road scene, and Jugsters touring holidays in particular! Jo-Jo made will go round us all and apologise for what had happened, I personally found it all highly amusing, though I must admit, and things were not shaping up too well for the rest of the trip if day one, two and three were anything to go by!

Will, by way of penance, and possibly to get away from the wroth of a none too pleased Jo-Jo, shot off in search of another camp site, whilst he was away, we sat and had a drink of water whilst Jan flagged down passing motorists, (of which there weren’t many,) and asking them, in English, if there was a campsite nearby, (all highly amusing,) until she eventually attracted the attention of the local police. In the end I gave in and rescued them, and, by doing so, was informed that there were no campsites anywhere nearby and the only other campsite in the town had closed due to the economic downturn. (Noticing a trend here by any chance?)

They pointed us in the direction of some that were in a national park, by a lake, but they were in totally the wrong direction for us, 57miles back the way we had come. (You will hear more about the lake side site later in this saga.) The only other ones they could tell us about that they were definitely sure to be open, (they checked by radio,) were either near or within the outskirts of Salamanca. Once the helpful policemen had gone, and Steely had finished having a go at all and sundry about what had just occurred, something along the lines of, “this had fackin’ well better not get out about, us asking the fackin’ coppers for help, don’t you know I have a fackin’ reputation to uphold?”

Meanwhile, Will had returned, to tell us, just as the nice policemen had, that the campsite was shut. So, seeing as we were all back together, we had a pow-wow, and agreed that Salamanca was our target destination. As Kev said that he knew where the campsite was in Salamanca, he was leading us there. So, with The Butler up front, we were heading back onto the N630. We filled up with petrol once more and hit the road as we had some serious miles to cover. This was done a fair rate of knots as we were worried about losing the daylight once more. We were able to do this because the roads were practically deserted. Along this stretch of road, we saw where all the money we pay into the E.U. was going; they were building a shiny new motorway roughly parallel the stretch of vacant highway we were using.

This was to be the A66, to replace virtually deserted single carriage road we were on. Eventually we were diverted back onto our old friend, the A66, a shiny new, freshly completed, deserted as fuck, super-dooper bit of road as you could ever need, but at least we were Salamanca bound. Jo-Jo took some fantastic photos of us as we rode along.

We managed to find Salamanca first time of asking.

As we pulled into the outskirts of this rather large city, I saw signs for camping and pointed them out, but Kev was adamant that he knew the location of one brilliant site by a hotel. So onwards we went, right into the middle of the city, during rush hour, (nightmares are made of such things.)

We were just about due another visit from ‘you know who’, and we surely got one!

For 15 minutes we struggled to keep together, all jammed together in a state of self preservation, crazy Spaniards on scooters diving in and out of our midst, and dago drivers trying to force their way into the pack, quite a few wing mirrors were, how shall we say re-adjusted for them (ahem,) during this time, not that I thing they EVER fucking used them, nor will they miss them either! They were far too interested playing with their fucking phones, blasting their hooters and gesticulating in our general direction. But regardless of this rolling orgy of metropolitan traffic chaos, on we trundled, following Kev faithfully, and trusting him implicitly, until we pulled up at a set of lights, where I had one of the most unbelievable conversations with the Butler, EVER!

He stopped, waved his arms in the air, then waved me forward and said;

“Well pard, you’d better take over, cos I can’t find it.”

“What the fuck do you mean, take over?” (Says I,)

“You’re supposed to know the whereabouts of this fucking place we’re supposed to be heading to.”

“All I remember is that it is on the other side of the river my old son.” Says Kev.

After a quick look round at the rest, who were all bunched up behind us, neatly bringing that area of the town into total gridlock, I turned back to Kev and said;

“What fucking river? We’ve been in this hell hole for 25 minutes and we haven’t even seen a fucking river yet!”

“I know, but, well, you see my old son, things have changed since I was last here.” Replied Kevin, rather apologetically, in the direction of both myself and the rest of the group.

“When was that then exactly?” I asked, sort of knowing the answer that was coming.

“15 years ago.” Muttered a rather sheepish Kev, with a sorrowful look in his eye.

“Oh, ok, plenty of time for a fucking river to change course or completely dry up and fuck off then!” says I, with just a drop of exasperation, a shake of my head and a laugh, and so off we trot again, this time in search of either a river or somewhere safe to pull us all in and consult a local or a map!

Fortunately, a very friendly, but completely pissed local pointed us in the right direction, courtesy of Jan again, bless her, whilst we were stood at some lights, she just collared this poor bloke and asked him in English where the hotel/camping was and pointed him to me! Bless him; he supplied us with a name for the place, and rough directions, which took us once more into the heart of the town/city.

After a few laps of a bit of dual carriageway, we eventually got out of the heart of the city and into an industrial/shopping estate area. We pulled in once more, in a car park, so as we could consult the maps once more as the traffic was building up again and, so late in the day, I didn’t want another “squadron scatter’ moment. Whilst we were doing this, Jan went on walkabout looking for water and Will, in his own words “in an effort to redeem himself,” set off with Jo and the kids in search of the place rather than us all fight our way through.

He returned 30 minutes later with a big cheesy grin and explained that they had found the place, to which Sharon snarled; “good lad, fucking well done, is it on a fucking main road this time?” which caused a flood of laughter. We all saddled up once more and followed him to the Regal Hotel. Which was actually on the other side of the river, which was 8 miles away, in a town called Santa Marta de Tormes on the N501 heading for Castaneda airport. Not bad shooting Tex!

Once we were all there, the manager, who spoke excellent English, (thank God, and bollocks to you, Fuck-up Fairy’) told us not to bother arsing about, get pitched, not to worry, get a beer and, seeing as we were not sure for how many nights we were staying not to worry about sorting out the money straight away as we could settle it all in one go before we left. RESULT!

We pitched up with a little difficulty, as the ground was as hard as iron, (time for a lend of the claw hammer from Steely’s armoury then,) and got settled for the night, then went and took up residence on the patio area of the bar, (obviously,) and ordered food, and more importantly, BEER! Whilst this was going on, and Shaz was at the bar, out of earshot, it was agreed that, seeing as we had covered far more distance than planned, everyone was ready for a rest, and this place had absolutely fantastic facilities, we would have the next day off and chill. With that in mind, we all got hammered!

FRIDAY 8TH August ‘D’ Day -4

Pretty much everyone, with the exception of Doug, Jo-Jo and I, had a lie in that morning, when Doug got up, he found Jo-Jo sitting in her sleeping bag, reading, (she had not slept well,) the first words he said were; “do you want a cup of tea bab?” All is well with the world when a cup of tea is in your hand. We were going nowhere, so a leisurely time was had by all. One by one, everyone surfaced, had a brew and a spot of breakfast. Once ‘Team Mather’ was up, fed and ready to face the day, as promised, myself, Will, Jo, Tyler and Lewis went to the hotel swimming pool to annoy Jan, (the water nymph.) Pretty much everyone came to have a look or a swim. Whilst there, Will and I taught the boys to dive and they had a smashing time, as did we. Well, Shaz and I taught their mother to do the same at their age so why not those two little buggers as well?

It was red hot and the pool was lovely and cool, and it saved on bath water too! After about two hours larking about in the water, it was decided to hit the town in search of supplies, lunch and liquid refreshment. We elected to walk down to the town, and off we trotted, the Butler to the fore, shouting “I remember an excellent bar, follow me; the Butler will show you the way.” (Hopefully, he remembered its location better than that of the campsite?)

As we were walking down to the town, Shaz and Jo were walking along side by side and Doug mentioned the famous ‘Robson Legs” and the fact that neither of them were, shall we say able to stop a pig in an entry. Every female in the bride’s family have EXACTLY the same shaped legs, and none of them are what you can call big boned, the whole lot of them are rather petite.

A fact to which both Steely and Donna can attest to, as they were guests at Jo and Wills wedding at which at least four generations of the ladies were present and the similarity is striking. The one difference is that Sharon was blessed the longest of the lot and wee Jo-Jo inherited the shortest pair in the family.

Well a general piss-take ensued, and, during the walk down the road Deb tripped over something, which Shaz mentioned to Deb, and also mentioned that she should; “pick her feet up, you knock kneed cow.” Deb, who was walking behind them with Donna, immediately denied the obvious and declared there was nothing wrong with her legs, and remarked about Sharon’s ‘skinny little bow legs’. Sharon put forth her theory for this, she reckoned they were like this as she has had them wrapped around me for over 25 years and their shape was the consequence. Deb, in response to this stated that; “hers were shaped more like Donna’s.”

Donna turned and remarked back that they were “absolutely in no way fucking similar” and quite indignantly strides off as fast as her little pins could carry her! Meanwhile, Steely, Will, Whitty and I were walking along laughing at the lot of them dicking about.

After about 15 minutes, and after passing three, (yes THREE) bars, Steely plonked his arse down outside the fourth, stated he was going no further, and also threatened to remove the Butlers Jugsters patch for bringing the club into disrepute! With a unanimous chorus of FUCK YES, everyone charged the bar window and got themselves a drink! Kev went further down the road and came back 10 minutes later, looking rather crestfallen. He had been unable to find this wondrous and mythical bar. Immediately the vultures, (Doug and Steely,) pounced and started on about things like; “care in the community” asking who had dressed him this morning having to get him a bath chair, and asking him if he remembered his own name and suchlike.

Kev just sat there, beer in hand and took it all like a man, and laughed along.

After consuming copious amounts of cold, cheap beer, we moved onwards to a Tapas bar/bistro a little further down the road, and set about demolishing his beer stock and menu as well. I had a delightful time explaining what everything was to Deb, explaining all the fishes and meats and sides, for her to finally ask for a fucking cheese cob! The sea food platter for two that they served was to die for, Lewis and Tyler demolished one on their own! Graham and Jan were extremely complimentary about it too. To be honest; everything that they served was worth a mention as it was spot on and remarkably cheap. No one who dined there came away unhappy. Our bill, with two large beers each, and the meal was only 18 Euros. (Which impressed my frugal little darling immensely, she is not known for being flash with the cash, as you know.)

With the feeding and watering taken care of, it was time to purchase supplies, tobacco being one of the main requirements. Some of our party , knowing this trip was on the cards, were looking to purchase cheaper smoke when we got the other side of the water, and had only brought the bare minimum required, so stocking up was a necessity, and deals needed to be found, along with the purchase of the days food and supplies for tomorrow. Once this was sorted we headed back up to the site.

As we set off on our walk, Steely had one more pop at his old mate and shouted; “Oi Butler, you senile twat, that way, back up the hill.”, For which he received a big grin and a good old fashioned Anglo-Saxon hand gesture for his trouble as Kev and the rest of us headed back to towards our base camp. The group was dispersed into smaller packs as they nipped in and out of the various shops, with the elder or slightly more pissed members following on behind. This meant that we arrived back at the site in dribs and drabs rather than a thundering herd.

As Jo-Jo, Lewis and I approached the reception, I saw two familiar looking bikes parked there, and 30 seconds later, the joyful screaming and shouting confirmed my suspicions, purely by chance, Simon and Hazel had pitched up there too! Shaz, Donna and possibly Jan, who were pretty much leading the charge due to needing a pee, had rushed headlong past the bikes, paying them no heed until their ‘bladder crisis’ was sorted. As soon as they came out, they clocked each other and a joyful reunion was going on in the reception area, and that was what all the screaming was about. Once they were booked in and had set up their tent in an adjacent plot, we set about swapping our recent experiences with each other.

Needless to say, a celebratory drink was in order.

It got messy, very messy. The Spanish seemed less than mightily impressed with our singing “Ross he is a wanker, Ross he is a wanker, daa daa da da, daa daa da da!” whilst Hazel was talking to him on the phone. Whitty fell out of his chair; copious pizzas were consumed and, funnily enough, even more beer. We persuaded the proprietor to hang up a Jugsters shirt to annoy the ‘back street heroes’ crew the next time they used the site, as they always do on their organized trip to Faro. When Shaz wasn’t about, Hazel and Si said that they had been hoping to meet up with us and wished us all well with the rest of the trip as they were heading home. Whilst Jo and Will were otherwise engaged, Shaz, trying to be sneaky herself, (bless,) produced an anniversary card for them Simon and Hazel to sign it as well as the rest of the group. When we eventually turned in for the night, (in other words, when they shut the bar and politely told us to fuck off quietly.) I could hear Hazel trying to convince Simon that it was a damned good idea to turn round and go back to Portugal with us.

Saturday 9th August ‘D’ Day -3

Everyone was up early and there were some rather sore heads the next morning, most noticeably, the Obergruppenfuhrer’s, he was in a shocking state! If I recall correctly, he really struggled with the most basic of tasks that morning, (“nothing new there then” was the cry.) and ended up raiding Uncle Russell’s prescription painkiller supplies and sitting there looking rather sorry for himself whilst Dink did the majority of the packing. Once everyone was packed, we all assembled at the bar cafe area for a cooked brekkie before the off. Once everyone was ready, we had one more attempt at trying to coerce Si and Hazel to come with us, to no avail, and then bid them farewell and headed out, away from Salamanca on the ring road and onto the A62/E80 for Portugal. On the previous evening I had been told by both Donna and Steely, in no uncertain terms, that we had to get to our target destination, (Mira,) in one bite, as they needed to sort out some stuff there, on the sly.

Now, as the crow flies, it was approximately 170 miles to the campsite where, ‘the magic was gonna happen.’ Needless to say, we were not crows, we are Jugsters, and are directionally challenged at the best of times. The road wasn’t exactly a perfectly straight run either, so this could be fun.

There was only one viable route into Portugal, the A62/E80 for the border, and then a stretch of peage E80, before a run through the mountains on the N17 in the direction of Coimbra. After one fag break/fuel stop, we got to the border and with a celebratory punch in the air from all of the survivors, (especially Doug,) of the 2009 abortive J.A.G.T.W.I.T. we got into Portugal at last. It took us five years, but we did it!

After a brief pull in to ensure all were ready, we hit the E80 and got stuck in, only to be stopped at a peage point, to be told we were now on an electric pay road! And guess what, today was its first day going live. Oh boy, did we really fuck up the staff at this place! The operators and staff were in a complete quandary as to how the fuck they were going to sort this one out!

We had to fill in forms, and give debit/credit card details to allow them to electrically bill you for using the toll roads in Portugal. Whitty totally threw a spanner in their works, as he had no credit or debit cards with him! That totally fucked up their game of cricket. In the end The Butler gave them his details for himself and Whitty too!

Once we had finished with all that, we had wasted a full hour of travel time. (So much for making it easier?) Mind you, as you were riding along, the matrix road signs on the gantries above the roads told you exactly how much it was costing you, very helpful. (Well it gave Shaz something to do and seethe about as we were hurtling along a nice new, boring but scenic motorway.)

The funny thing is, after all that fucking about, Will and Jo, were the only ones who got billed. All of us that were on bikes have not to this day, (to the best of my knowledge,) ever been billed a single penny for any of the toll roads we used whilst we were in Portugal, so much for their ‘fool proof’ system, it certainly is not JUGSTER proof!

We used this bit of road for approximately 30 miles before turning off at Celorico de Biera, onto the N17, and this is where the day’s fun began. This road climbed into the mountains and weaved around them through beautiful scenery. We then took a detour onto the E801 as we wanted to avoid Coimbra as much as possible.

It was an absolutely brilliant road, and the surface was pretty good too, so much so that I didn’t want to stop. I did mention this to his nibs when we finally stopped, and stated that I wished that I could have rigged the panniers as ‘drop tanks’ and jettisoned them for the fun bits, but somehow I do not think the bride would have approved of me ditching all the kit just so as I could ride like a twat for a while! To which he commented “and you think you’ve got fackin handling problems?”

I had to agree with him and his predicament, and I can confidently state that you too would have to admit the same, when you see the photos of his poor Bandit, dressed like a fully laden, badly abused Spanish donkey! Unfortunately, fuel/food/coffee/nicotine was required, so a suitable rest point was located and we dived in there for a break. We all dived for the benches, dumped our gear and grabbed a brew. Bugger me, you could tell we were now in Portugal, It had been reasonably cheap in Spain, but once we had crossed the border, the prices took a nose dive. Once again, my tight-arsed little darling was beaming with joy! All went well there, except for some dozy local bint attempting to ram Shaz out of the way at the pumps, trapping her leg and bruising it.

We all thought, after the initial shock of the incident that she was going to rip the dozy bints head off! Once the highland terror had unruffled her feathers, and given the “oily, whoory, dozy wee bint” as Shaz so eloquently put it ‘a piece of her mind’ we headed back out again. From there on, as the corners got more interesting, the road surface deteriorated considerably. It was here that we had an extraordinary bit of luck. All of a sudden, we came to a roundabout and a bit of dual carriageway that didn’t appear on my map.

Well, the map was published in 2007, so, with all the money the wops have had out of the E.U. for road building, it is understandable that it has magically appeared since then. After a five minute discussion, we decided to ‘wing it’ as it was signposted as taking us in the right direction. Where we pulled on was where it started/ended, so we had our own private race track for 20 miles. Of course, the ‘fuck up fairy’ wasn’t going to let us have it all our own way, and, as we hit the outskirts of the north of Coimbra, on the IP3 it all went to pieces! It didn’t help that I misread a sign in the road works at 130kph and we ended up heading for a place called MIRO!

This road led us into a right fucking snarl up of diversions and road works and contra flows that were so confusingly bad, I had to pull off to get my bearings, and resort to the map, several times, until we found the right road. Poor old William must have been shaking his head in dismay at some of the shit we took him through. We eventually got onto the IC2 and found Mealhada, where, after getting scribbled directions from a helpful petrol station attendant, which diverted us around the road works,(cheers Will,) we turned off onto the N234 for Mira, and fuck me; we eventually saw a signpost for it too! It was at this point that I handed the baton of leadership to my trusted wing man, Obergruppenfuhrer Steele, as he knew where the camp site was exactly. He declined the offer stating “nah pard, carry on, you can’t miss it now.”

Wrong!

It definitely wasn’t in the town of Mira, or the next place we inspected thoroughly, Lagoda, and then I finally coerced his nibs into taking over command. It definitely wasn’t in the car park of the Intermarche superstore that we next pulled into either. But it was at the next town along, a place called Vila Caia, slap bang on the main road, the N234, on a roundabout. To be fair, the debacle we had on the last leg of the journey was down to nothing other than the road works. But we weren’t gonna let that get in the way of a good piss take were we? I spotted the sign immediately, as did the others who had been there before, and stuck on the indicators. But just to make sure, Donna took the extreme measure of thumping him on the back of the head and pointing it out to him to make sure we didn’t miss it. Success, the dipshits have landed, we had arrived!

Albeit by way of his nibs leading us into the entrance, the wrong way, in the face of oncoming traffic, across a busy junction and a dual carriageway! As soon as all were accounted for, and we were all parked up in the reception area. The booking in ritual ensued, I got Shaz and I booked in sharpish and dragged her off out of the way as soon as I could to allow Steely and Dink to get stuck in trying to do the ‘secret squirrels’ bits with the campsite management and staff!

Once the admin was sorted, we rode slowly onto the site, Debs elected to walk, and we rode right round, searching for the ideal spot to set up camp. Having done a full lap of the facilities, we decided that right by the entry gate was probably the most suitable and completed the lap to get back there.

Fifteen minutes later Dippy turned up! She had walked the whole way round rather than cut through the middle, (not bright, but happy!) Oh how we laughed, Whitty most of all. We selected a spot conveniently situated in the area of the toilet block, cooking/barbeque/ food preparation and laundry areas, and, using a tree stump as the centre piece, Doug immediately claimed this as the tea making station and got christened the Gnome! We all got busy making our home for the week.

As soon as their tent was up, Steely and Dink shot off to sort stuff out whilst everyone else made sure Shaz was occupied and didn’t notice them leaving until it was too late.

Once everyone else had decided where they were erecting their respective tents, we got busy with the setting up of our little corner of the camp site. Once the tents were up, and the air beds inflated, we removed the bikes and parked them all in a line near the perimeter road, ooh it looked ever so professional.

Then we erected the two awning/fly sheets stringing them with the strings and bike bungees secured them together, we then adjusted and fine tuned this so as it covered the communal area between the tents admirably. We were sorted.

Our site looked quite organized, bikes all parked up neatly, a washing line strung between two trees, tents in a circle, all facing into the communal area which was shaded by the awnings, with all the chairs and stools surrounding the tree stump come table and Jo and Wills fold up camping table. By comparison to some of the other set ups, we looked professional. Our nearest neighbours had several old bits of lorry tarpaulins and plastic sheet strung between trees and a couple of knackered old cars; it looked like a pikey campsite. Mind you, they didn’t look too impressed by their new neighbours either. Time for a beer then methinks.

Doug was suffering with a bit of the old ‘Delhi belly, and possibly a bit of dehydration, so he had something to eat, bollocked a gallon of tea inside himself and declared he was going nowhere else for the day, he stayed there for the rest of the evening and eventually went to bed early. Once Steely and Dink had reappeared we went on a shopping run. William offered to drive us to the shop to save hassle so, Will, Dinky, Whitty, Jan and I went to do a communal shop/booze run whilst everyone else got sorted out. Whilst we were away, steely did a bit of self harming, (he managed to pull a scab off a minor injury from work and bled all over the place, and someone patched him up with some electricians tape and a bit of plaid blanket.

Once we got back, Jan inspected the Tepee and declared that Graham’s handy work and house work were adequate so we got stuck into the beers we had purchased. Whilst doing so, we presented Jo-Jo and Will with their anniversary card, signed by us all, and it wasn’t long before Whitty was snoring his arse off too. We all agreed that we had picked a fantastic spot.

SUNDAY 10th August ‘D’ Day -2

When we got up, we noticed that lots of people had packed up and left, including the neighbours. Was it something we said?

Doug was obviously feeling much better, as the moment Kevin produced his shiny new gadget, a toaster to fit on a gas cooker, he set about taking the piss! Shame it worked admirably and everyone ended up using it, even Doug, to go with his experimental ALDI egg poaching sachets. (They work excellently too.) We all had a bit of a dig a Jan as she had bought cigars instead of cigarettes, but she couldn’t remember where from. Graham was unable to explain it either, as, in his words; “every now and then she just says “Graham, gimme some dollar” and disappears for a bit, to return with a bottle of vodka and smokes.”

Once all were fed and watered, Steely led a small party consisting of himself. Donna, Will, Tyler, Whitty and Dippy, Graham and Jan down the road to Playa De Mira, (the seaside bit,) for a visit/recce. Meanwhile, the rest of us just chilled out around the camp. Needless to say, he managed to get them all lost on the way there, and Will decided to take them all off roading again. The place was also jam packed with tourists and it was also market day, so they ended up jamming the car and bikes on a traffic island and going for beer and eats anyway, where Tyler managed to eat two dinners.

There were a lot of ‘secret squirrels’ for the big surprise on discussion at this dinner, which is why Shaz and I, (at my insistence,) did not go and stayed on site. Whilst they were there it rained, so they ‘had to take shelter in a bar,’ (yeah, right ee ho, pull the other fucker, it has bells on it!) and after this, with the exception of Graham and Jan, (who wanted to go for a paddle), they made their way back, and yet again, thanks to Steely, managed to come back into site the wrong way again. Whilst they were away, myself and Shaz, Jo-Jo and Lewis, Doug, Butler, just chilled out. Doug’s kindle got a soaking in the rain as it was on top of his tent. Kevin took a mooch to the bar and stayed there, on a mission. We ended up doing a running redesign to the awnings as the wind had risen considerably and we were in danger of losing them.

Kev was still in the bar.

We elected to take a walk up for a dinner time beer, Kev was still in the bar.

When the ‘Playa de Mira raiding party’ got back, they also joined us for a dinner time drink. We then all wandered off back to the tents to sort something for an evening meal. Kev stayed in the bar. When we got back, we found the site to be fucking alive with ants, cue the ladies headlong charge to buy up the campsites stock of ant powder. This was also the beginning of the ant dance! In an effort to discourage the little fuckers, we had a mass tidy up, during which, Steely dumped his and Donnas’ rubbish in mine and Shaz’s laundry bag, (cheers for that, you twat!) It was then discovered that they had made it into the tents proper, this sent Donna into overdrive with the ant spray, so much so that Steely asked if he could move in with Doug, who surprisingly said yes, as long as there was no hanky panky!

Graham constructed an ant trap out of bodge tape, and it worked, so well in fact that the in joke was that we would get up in the morning and find Jan stuck to it! Jan also produced one of her purchases, a natty little dustpan and brush, which, after the initial hilarity it caused, was agreed to be very useful, as the dust on site was forever finding its way into the porch area of everyone’s tents. The biggest shock of the lot was that Debs got off her arse and cleaned the tent.

Kevin was still in the bar.

Whilst all the ‘domestic shit’ was going on I played around with the settings on my camera whilst I took some photos of the bikes. The results were quite impressive. We also received news that the UK had been hit by a hurricane and was suffering all kinds of horrible weather HA HA HA! The kids amused themselves and the rest of us by making everyone loom bands. And most shocking of all, Steely went for a shower. We then all set about having an evening meal prior to going for a drink.

It was all terribly civilized, tables and chairs, cups plates and cutlery, the full Monty. Then we had a laugh at debs as the ants had been at the cakes she had bought and not secured away. Deb sulked; Whitty went and bought her more cakes. Two hours after eating the lot, she still had he caster sugar on her nose.

Kevin was still in the bar.

Whilst we were sitting around after eating, and the boys were safely out of earshot at the swimming pool with Will, Steely blabbed about a rather interesting, private, back-hand commission I had carried out whilst working at ASDA for Crown lift trucks. I had been approached by an ASDA employee to manufacture a shagging machine, utilizing an industrial catering dough maker. Well this soon had a certain person’s full attention and I was immediately given the ninth degree by that person, namely Donna.

So, fearing that I was about to become the recipient of my own personal ‘Spanish Inquisition’ whereby, if I didn’t tell her the whole truth of the matter, she would start jamming bits of burning bamboo under my nails and getting all Gestapo on my ass, I decided to spill the beans. With an ‘under the breath’ mutter of “you big mouthed twat,” to big, blonde and stupid, I had to explain the situation and what it entailed to his beloved wife, who was now extremely interested, to the point of foaming at the mouth.

Of course, when it was completed, it worked admirably. (Would you expect anything less?) It had a range of fully adjustable features such as speed, choice of fittings and depth of stroke. It was quite impressive really, if you are into that that sort of thing, if a bit on the noisy side, YANG, YANG, YANG, YANG! (We even got to see a demonstration video of it in action, but I digress.)

Well, this sent Dink into a right huff! “Some mate you are,” she pouted, “why the fuck, may I ask, have you not made me one?” She immediately placed an order for a ‘weapons grade’ version, and demanded I set about a rapid construction programme as soon as she had ordered the required parts off EBAY when we got home! Why me?

Graham also explained to us why, at certain times, he kept asking for the location and phone number of the nearest airport. It turned out that this was a running joke between him and Jan. Prior to the holiday he had warned her that if the situation arose on the trip where she gave him what he jokingly referred to as ‘backchat,’ he would, in his words, “put her on the first plane home!” Another thing came to light as to why Jan was buying cigars she had thought they were called ‘fumars’, not realizing she was reading the health warning!

Kevin was still in the bar.

Well, I have to say that our Jan is one of the most endearing and amusing people I have ever met when she is stone cold sober but get her on the wine and/or the vodka, and she is positively fucking hilarious. It may seem like I am picking on them but that afternoon, they really were holding court, Graham came out with a classic line after returning from the site shop. “A packet of fags and a bottle of wine for four quid, you can’t go wrong!” they had us rolling with laughter for the whole fucking day.

Whilst this was being discussed, Will brought the boys back, and explained that when the little buggers got into the water, they had caused a scum slick around the edge! Whilst he was getting changed, Jan, now pleasantly tipsy, asked to see Will’s ‘bits’ whilst he was getting changed, and then requesting some Viagra tablets from Donna, cue Graham rolling his eyes and stating “can you not just sit on my face for fifteen minutes instead?”

By now, we were getting the occasional flash of thunder and lightning out over the sea, with this and the alcohol, Jan was claiming to be “tripping out man.” She then also requested that either Graham or I get busy making her a ‘Yang-Yang machine too! Shaz went to fetch more wine, and guess what? Yup, Kevin was still in the bar. He explained to her through bleary eyes, that he was, “still holding the fort for us.”

This was when the, “You didn’t see that coming, did you?” gag, that had persisted for the whole holiday, went into overdrive.

Of course, it happened to be the Obergruppenfuhrer who started it all, in the car park back in Poole and, if I recall correctly, (someone may correct me,) it was Will who received the first one, a gentle, light hearted whack to the back of the head, to which he had responded by Jabbing his nibs in the kidneys, with the response, “You didn’t see that coming either, did ya?” The crowning moment was when Tyler wandered up and whacked Steely a corker, right on his left lug, and stood there grinning after shouting the catch phrase! Steely, as well as everybody else pissed themselves, (yes; you could definitely say that this trip had brought the kids out of their shells.)

Kevin was still in the bar.

This is also the time when ‘Steely’s BDSM butt plug’ appeared on the scene. This was in fact a massive pine cone, about the size of a pint pot, which the boys had found on their walk back from the pool, I do not know for certain who suggested it, but Dinks eyes lit up and his nibs had a look of terror on his face at the very thought. He also shouted, “You’re coming nowhere near me with that!” You see, as always the conversation eventually degenerates to sex and shit, in this case a mixture of both. I tell you, the night rolled on like that and eventually, when we all went to bed, I laughed myself to sleep.

Kevin returned from the bar, as drunk as a fucking monkey, and collapsed into his tent.

Monday 11th August ‘D’ Day -1

During the night, we had a wee bit of rain, and, due to this, the dust in the porch door area of the tent turned to mud. A communal breakfast was sorted, and Doug’s poached egg pouches and Kevin’s toaster were all agreed to be a resounding success. Graham appeared from his tent, in what can only be described as a rather natty set of ‘skater/surfer dude shorts’ his white Jugsters shirt, waistcoat and red bandanna, all he needed was the surf board.

This immediately led to him being referred to as; “home boy Barnes” for the rest of the trip. It was during this general discussion that the kids received their nick names, ‘loom band Lewis’ and ‘toilet inspector Tyler.’

Whilst we were all tucking in to our respective morning meals, it was noted that, during the night, several people had become the favoured buffet for the local mosquito population. The only three people so far untouched were, Doug, Steely and I. My theory for this was that if you project an aura of pure hate towards them and cover yourself with the repellent, you can’t go far wrong. Doug reckoned that they stayed away from him because he hadn’t washed his feet, and the Obergruppenfuhrer reckoned that they left him alone because he lies in his doss bag giving the Nazi salute all night!

Once everyone was ready to roll, we saddled up and took a ride down to the beach resort of Playa de Mira. Yet again, there was a struggle to park, but we got all the bikes up onto a traffic island, in full view of the local police, who smiled, waved and drove on by. This immediately put Steely in a bad mood, with him grumbling, “What’s the facking point of breaking the law if the police just ignore it?” once he had got that out of his system, and Will had generously offered to store all of the helmets etc in the car, we went for a look around the town in search of a bar and provisions. Well, eventually the bar won.

We took control of the patio area of the chosen drinking establishment and started consuming beer, ripping the shit out of each other, watching the world go by, as well as watching the platefuls of big fat chips and succulent looking steaks that were flying out to the other customers/diners.

Whilst we were walking around prior to hitting the bar, we had stumbled into a food hall, full of fresh fish, lovely meats and locally produced breads, cheeses, sausages and blood puddings. This was being discussed when Jan announced she would love to try fresh grilled sardines. AHA! Cunning plan! Right next to where we were pitched, was a barbeque/cooking area, so let’s have a barbeque. With everyone in agreement, we went into the food hall, decided what we needed, split up and bought;

30 large sardines, 30 cobs/batches/rolls/barms/buns (feel free to argue the corner for your chosen name for a small bit of bread you put food in, I couldn’t particularly give a fuck!) 5 chicken halves, 5 monster steaks, ready-made kebabs, 50 sausages, a selection of local black puddings, cheeses, salad stuff, enough wine to drown a small child in, butter, the charcoals and the grills to cook it on for the grand total of 40 Euros! Oh and not forgetting the pudding, a FUCK OFF huge watermelon! The people in the hall loved it and were very helpful, double bagging the meat, triple bagging the sardines, and, in halting English, wishing us a good feast! We loaded this little lot onto the bikes and into the car and set off back to the site.

As soon as the engines stopped, my oh so delicate darling, leapt off the back of my bike, (she had left her bike on site because the ‘Jock genetics’ had kicked in and she obviously felt like saving herself 50p worth of fuel,) took command of the food preparation. Her attitude in the kitchen is so dictatorial it would make Gordon Ramsay look and sound like a shy and retiring nun. She went into a positive frenzy! William made the mistake of standing around and catching her eye, he then expanded upon this error by asking Sharon how she prepared fish? (Big fuck-up sunshine.) This meant he was immediately drafted in as her ‘sous chef come beee-aich’, and with Sharon watching him like a hawk.

He did admit to a moment of terror when Sharon chopped a wasp that had been annoying them both, clean in half, first swipe, with a cry of, “get tae fuck yer wee annoying bastarrtt that ye are!” Jo-Jo tried to rescue him and was promptly press ganged into salad and bread prep duties. Jan, bless, her came over to offer help but was stopped from making this life threatening error at the last moment by Donna, who has seen her ‘Twisted Sister’ in this sort of mood before, and knew that the best thing to do was stay totally the fuck out of the blast zone and enjoy the fact that they were not cooking today.

As I Knew the danger signs better than everyone, I stayed on the other side of the wall, and cleaned and prepped the grills. Whilst I was doing this, I sent Lewis and Tyler off to collect some pine cones for me, mainly to keep them at a safe distance, but also as the pine cones make excellent tinder. It caused a hell of a laugh when Lewis went and asked Steely for his butt plug! When they got back with a good carrier bag full, I set the grills off and got them ready for cooking. Kevin came over and removed the waste bag containing all the fish heads and guts, claiming a use for them and, with Lewis and Tyler in tow, He and Doug went to feed the freshwater crayfish, which fascinated the lads as, apparently, the crayfish went into a feeding frenzy, with hundreds of these dark red, evil looking buggers appearing from nowhere as if someone had rung the fucking dinner bell! They spent a good half hour chucking all the fish heads and entrails in there.

It didn’t help in any way to improve the smell of the lake to any degree though.

These crayfish were all of a size that led to them having a discussion about catching a couple and chucking them on the grill too! The boys were all for this idea, and Kev was inclined to have a go, but Doug saw the good sense in not approaching Shaz with that proposal so they left them alone.

Pretty soon, all the food was cooked, and everyone who had been a party to this meal was stuffed to the gills. (Whitty isn’t a fan of barbequed food in general, so he fended for himself, buying his own meal and cooking it outside his tent, a safe distance from the ‘highland hurricane’ and her minions.) There was even a fair amount of cooked stuff, (sausages and kebabs left over for nibbles a bit later on.) Sharon’s cooking brigade were then banished from the area by Donna, Jan and Graham, who cleaned up what looked like the remains of a Napoleonic battlefield hospital over in the cook and preparation area, Steely was put on pot washing duties by Donna, Kev and Doug got rid of the rubbish around where we had been eating, and then Doug got the brews going for all.

I think I can speak for everyone who partook of this meal that it was a great success; the only thing that didn’t get touched was the watermelon, as no one had any room for it. With the meal done, and all of the evidence/remains disposed of, we went for a walk to the bar and had a few sherbets to wash dinner down, Steely and Dink slipped away from the party for a short while once more, to organize the Suckling pig dinner, which Shaz thought was the root of all the sneaking around. I have to admit at this point that Shaz was getting a little bit suspicious of her best mate and her hubby’s little disappearing acts. So a double bluff was pulled on her. When she asked me what was going on, I told her that I had the suspicion that the sneaky buggers were turning the pre planned meal into a bit of a treat for our wedding anniversary.

To which Shaz took the bait and stated, “we will be paying for the meal, no one else will, this will be our treat to the rest of them for coming with us on our anniversary run.”

So, with her thinking she had cottoned onto the whole surprise, and was going to have the upper hand and last laugh and thereby her suspicions allayed, we could relax a bit. Donna’s grin when I informed her of this was positively malicious! As it was starting to get towards the evening, we returned once more to our little campsite for a bit of a chill by the tents.

Donna, who had disappeared into the tent, came out looking rather worried, and, after requesting some paper from my note book, pulled out her phone and walked off, with said pen and paper. She was gone for about 10 minutes and, when she returned, she had an altogether happier look on her face, positively relieved in fact. I asked her if everything was ok and she just smiled a knowing smile and said nothing.

Once everyone was settled, and the beer and wine had started to flow, we ended up playing ‘the alphabet game’, in which you pick a subject, such as band names, so starting with the letter ‘A’ and going round in a circle, you have to give a band name beginning with the next letter or you are out. This amused the Lewis and Tyler and, to be honest, the rest of us, for hours, the lads demolished us all on the subject of Disney type films. We were not even put off when we had a mild spot of rain, everyone just moved totally under the awnings and we just carried on. It was pretty late and pretty messy when we finished, Donna went to bed and summoned Steely with the cry of; “Oi, Sunshine, get in here, there are four blue pills in the side pocket, I want a bit and you’re having it!”

The look on his face was priceless and had us rolling around in stitches. Doug then turned in as he was still feeling a bit rough and had one hell of a chesty cough. One of our missions when we had been shopping that day was to find something for this, and we had found a chemist who, with a wee bit of help from a kindly local who spoke far better English than any of our Portuguese, explained it to the chemist, who had sorted him some tablets and cough linctus. The evening was finally brought to a close with Graham giving us an impromptu ‘pole dance’ as a grand finale! He had been to the toilet, and had tripped on a guy rope on the way back in, you had to be there, it was hilarious.

‘D DAY’ TUESDAY 12TH AUGUST 2014

I was woken in the early ours just before dawn by Doug coughing and went out to join him after a visit to the traps, he explained that he had been up for hours, due to his cough, but he reckoned that the medicine was working as he felt a lot better, he certainly looked a lot better. I had a brew with him and after a cuppa and a short quiet chat, I went back to join Shaz in the tent, to try and get a bit more sleep. When we then both woke up at about 08.00 I looked over at her to give her a kiss, and nearly had a heart attack!

My darling wife looked as if she had taken a blow to the face with a cricket bat!

During the night, a Mosquito had bitten her on the cheek and her left eye was swollen shut. I remained calm on the surface, when she presented me with an anniversary card she had smuggled all the way down and to surprise me on our 25th wedding anniversary!!!! (W.T.F? I thought, I had the ‘sneaky’ bit sewn up, whereas she has the monopoly on erratic? Now she’s being sneaky too, I’m getting confused!) When she produced the card, I demurred a bit, putting on an Oscar winning performance, and convincing her that I was surprised and also sorry, as I hadn’t got her anything, (mwu, hur, hur!)

Then, trying not to give Shaz any cause to be suspicious, I shot out of the tent making frantic gestures to Donna, Jan and Jo-Jo who, when Shaz climbed out of the tent also all nearly went into collective hysterics! Looking back at it now, it was hilarious, it was like something from a Fawlty Towers sketch, but, at the time, it was no laughing matter, I thought Donna was going to cry. When Shaz went to the showers/toilets, Donna slumped dejectedly into her chair, put her hands on her face and nearly broke, stating “eight months of planning down the shit pan because of a fucking mozzie!”

When my darling wife returned to the tents, the girls went into overdrive, putting antihistamine cream on it, rolling cold bottles over it, anything to try and get the swelling down. Whilst they were, on the outside, not making a fuss to her face and behind her back going fucking bat-crap crazy!

Of course, Sharon was oblivious to all this and said that she couldn’t understand what the fuck all the fuss was about, after all it was only, in her words, “a wee bite!” The looks on the rest of the ladies faces behind her back were shocked. But as soon as she turned towards any of them, they were serene and calm; it put me in mind of several swans on a lake, calm and tranquil on the surface, but thrashing about like crazy under the surface. Once all were breakfasted, we saddled up and rode to a nearby town called Figuera de Foz, mainly in search of cheap tobacco and a bank for Dinky and Pard. Whitty was feeling the effects of what he claimed was sun stroke but what I suspect to have been a monster hang over so he and Deb stayed on site.

We took the coastal road, The A109, and had a bit of fun en route. We had one occurrence whereby a local in a lorry, jumped a set of lights and nearly skittled through the lot of us, and we got split up by the lights in one small town, which caused us to have to pull over to wait for Jo and Will. Apart from these little incidents, we had a nice easy ride, admiring the scenery, and all the abandoned caravans, cars and camper vans.

Steely has had this plan to buy a mobile home/camper van, as a sort of retirement prezzie to himself and Donna, and, when we stopped at a junction, there was one thoroughly wrecked and half burnt out specimen just sitting there in a field. So, feeling like a bit of piss taking was in order, so I shouted; “there you go mate, it’s a bit of a fixer-upper, but right up your street, get the mop on that and you’ll be well away!” This had all within earshot pissing their selves laughing and got me a resounding “Fuck off” from the Obergruppenfuhrer!

As we were riding along, we kept spotting loads of the fucking things, all in a shocking state, abandoned at the side of the road, in lay-bys and in the fields and gardens. Every time I saw one, I kept pointing to them and giving him the thumbs up! He kept trying to kick me off. Donna was laughing at all this. The other thing that we saw in abundance were some of the remarkably interesting local fauna that you just don’t get in England, namely the different varieties of gaily dressed and highly visible prostitutes, which seemed to frequent every lay by on the outskirts of any major town/village we passed through, they were everywhere, stood in the shade wearing virtually nothing or what they were wearing was tight enough to show the goods on offer.

To be honest, some of them were damned attractive, so I amused myself by blasting the horn whenever we approached one of these ‘ladies of financially negotiable affection’ and waving and blowing them kisses, just to see if I could get a reaction from them.

This had Steely pissing himself laughing and, Oh yes; it got a reaction all right. Most of them laughed, blew kisses or waved back, though the biggest reaction I got was the thump in the ribs from the bride for dicking about teasing the whores. Yes, she was on the back of me, again, more money saving or pure laziness, I couldn’t tell. Maybe she was just being affectionate due to it being our wedding anniversary. This was all working in my favour though; it was distracting her from the possibility of what was going to happen later on.

We all parked up in a car park on the waterfront in the most attractive part of the town and went for a look around. Jan immediately disappeared off into the distance after robbing Graham of ‘some dollar’ to have a bit of a shopping frenzy! We failed miserably in the attempt to find a bank that would let Dink withdraw funds, so we went in search a bar/bistro for lunch.

On the way there, we found one of the Jugsters favourite playthings, a water fountain. It immediately caused several of our party to leap in and out of its jets and sprays. We seem to be drawn to them.

Mind you, it was a welcome relief from the heat; it was roasting hot that day. Whilst we were sitting there we had front seats to a car crash not more than 10 feet from where we were sitting and also the comical aftermath, where we saw the legendary Latin temperament in its full glory! Loads of hand waving, shouting and gesticulating for 5 minutes, then they swapped details and went their separate ways!

Doug had a pop at Steely, claiming it was his entire fault in any case, as he just attracts trouble wherever he goes. No one stood up in his defence. Once Jan had returned, as Graham stated; “her shopping fix sorted.” We set off through the town in search of petrol, and stumbled across a tobacco wholesaler, conveniently located across the road.

This caused what can only be described as akin to a ‘feeding frenzy,’ as all who were in desperate need of stock charged in there and bought up all that they needed. This also meant that Sharon and I got back all of my stock that I had lent out to all who were in desperate need. Once all were refuelled and loaded up, we headed off back towards Mira, Well, almost. I took a wrong turn, and we ended up on the road to Lisbon, and crossing the massive harbour bridge, once on the other side we did a quick loop at a roundabout, and re-crossing it again. (Ooops, my bad!!)

We then ended up on the A17 toll road, (yup, another ‘Ooops moment,’) for a few miles before we could get back off onto the A109 again, but no one really complained or seemed to mind and Jo-Jo got some brilliant pictures from this little detour. Even with all the fucking about, we were back on site well before the 15.30 deadline that had been specified by Steely and Dink before we set out.

Once we had unloaded and parked the bikes up, most of the lads, (including Doug, who had decided to get rid of his foot based, malodorous mosquito repellent,) went for a shower and, more surprisingly, a shave. We then went for a well earned beer in the bar/restaurant. Whilst we were there, and Shaz was at the bar, I took this opportunity to finally let the cat out of the bag to the friends and families back in the UK.

I did this by sending messages to my parents and Sharon’s sister Shirley, for her to pass onto Sharon’s Dad, and the rest of her side, And to my Mum also, explaining to them as to what was about to happen, and making sure that no one put anything about it up on social media until after 7 pm. Donna was now getting worried as to how we were gonna get the ball rolling. A little more subterfuge required methinks.

I offered a toast to all that were there for our anniversary, and we got a bit of a cheer. Then Doug, bless him, turned to Shaz and said; “I will bet you, that on your wedding day, you never thought you’d be doing this on your 25th anniversary?” So that led to a discussion about what we had done in those preceding 25 years.

At a suitable moment, I asked Sharon, “well honey, would you do it all again?” At which point Donna shouted; “stop, I need to pee!” and leapt out of the chair and dashed to the toilet.

This left Shaz looking rather bemused and the conversation milled around until Donna came back and asked, “Well then, would you?” Fortunately, Sharon responded; “yes” so I said, “Are you sure?” once more she responded with another; “yes, of course.” So I got down on one knee and proposed to her once more with the words, “Sharon Williamson, would you do me the honour of being married to me once more?” And once again, I got a “yes of course I would.” (Phew!) At this, I said to her, “I’m so glad about that, as we are getting married again in 1hr 50 minutes, the whole thing is set.” With that said, and with the love of my life pretty much speechless, I gave her a kiss. Well that was that, loads of girlie crying and hugging ensued, and Sharon went and had a ‘moment to herself’ in the ladies room. The lads and I had another beer, bugger me; I had 1hr and 45 minutes to get a stag do wedged into!

We finished our drinks and headed back to the tents to get ready. The gentlemen headed in the direction of the tents and got changed, and the girls set off en mass to the main shower block. Once they were gone I was now, (courtesy of my delightful niece Jo,) suitably attired in a white shirt and the tie that I had originally got married in 25 years before, that they had smuggled all the way down for me. As we sat there, I had a request to make of my buddy Steely.

Obviously, I was going to need a best man, and, seeing as he is my best bud, and Donna were a party to this whole scheme, I was obviously going to ask him to stand by my side.

The answer I received was a bit of a shock!

“No pard, not a chance, to be honest whenever I’ve been best man it has been a catastrophe, and I reckon I’ve done enough getting it all this fucking lot sorted for you, so no way!”

I must admit, that knocked the wind out of my sails a wee bit! So, I asked him if he would do me the honour in that case of giving Sharon away instead.

Shock number two!

“I’m not doing that either, I’ve done that twice too, and both times it has ended up in a divorce, I aint having the chance that I fackin jinx your wedding on my conscience, so no.”

All the way through this exchange, he refused to look me in the eye, and once that was over, he got up, still refusing to look me in the face, said “sorry pard,” and stomped off with a rather worried looking Whitty in tow. For a good 30 seconds after he had gone, there was a stunned silence, eventually broken by a pithy comment from Doug. All he said was; “the bastard!”

All of the lads were dazed by this outright rebuttal, (none more so than I!) Looking rather shocked at what had just happened, Graham stated; “I would have never expected him to refuse you of all people anything, especially this.” But, knowing him as well as I do, having made a career out of figuring out some of my friends warped logic, it was me who ended up defending him with Doug in agreement, both of us stating; “once the twat has his mind is made up on a subject, he will never change it so leave it be!”

It wasn’t as if I was short of volunteers for the jobs required, as everyone of the remaining lads offered to stand for the tasks required, and seeing as I was going to offend someone by declining their offer, I explained that I had took the decision to ask those whom I had been friends with for the longest to step up.

I therefore asked Doug to stand by my side, to which he generously agreed, stating; “of course I will mate, it will be my honour,” whilst still silently angered at Steely’s reaction. I then requested from Kev that he walk Sharon down the aisle, to which he readily agreed, saying that he would also be more than happy to carry out the task. With this issue sorted we trooped off over to the lake bar known as Popeye’s, following in the disturbing wake left by his nibs and Whitty.

When we got over there, the Obergruppenfuhrer and Whitty came charging out and said we couldn’t go into this bar and led us off without a word or a backward glance towards the restaurant bar at a rapid rate of knots. With confused glances shared between the rest of us, we followed. When we got there, we plonked ourselves on the patio area and Will produced a bottle of Jameson’s Whiskey that he had procured for this moment which immediately started doing the rounds.

Steely and Whitty came out from the bar and sat slightly off to one side. Not really joining in, and, even more surprisingly, Steely only taking one small slug from the bottle, and still not looking me in the eye. After about 15 minutes he nudged Whitty and stated that he had ‘stuff to sort out’ and off they trooped back to the other bar where the service was going to be held.

Whilst all this was happening, the ladies were having loads of fun. They all got washed, applied the war paint, and put on the posh stuff they had brought with them. Meanwhile, Shaz was still sitting there in her cut off shorts and vest. Jo opened a bottle of wine for them and then she and Donna Set about Shaz, ‘girlyficating’ her for the ceremony, make up was applied, in an attempt to hide the swelling that still lingered from the mosquito bite, her hair was plaited into a side braid and she was eventually bundled into Jan’s Tepee, (as it was the only place she could stand up,) to be introduced to her wedding gown. Donna had excelled herself!

She had bought a dress, and it was a DRESS! Sharon describes it thusly; “it was an off white, sequin adorned, very backless, thing of beauty that fitted like a glove. It could have been made for me.”

One major panic did ensue, when they realized that none of Shaz’s ‘big’ pants were suitable, so Jo donated a brand new thong as the ‘something new!’ Donna applied the finishing touches and sprayed her all over with Chanel No5 as in her words and with a dirty cackle, “you never know, you might get lucky girl!” (That’ll be the something blue then!)

As they were getting her into said dress, AND high heels, (all smuggled down in Donna and Steely’s luggage by the way,) they were taking the opportunity to wind her up mercilessly! They kept going on about how the harness was going to fit, and as to whether Jo had got the ‘D’ rings. Sharon admitted later on they had her ¾ convinced she was doing a bungee or parachute jump or something along those lines. When they started on about a hot air balloon, she nearly had a fit.

They also told her that we were getting picked up in a truck, when the waste collection wagon turned up; it sent her into a blind panic. Once the wine had been consumed, and they were all ready The Butler appeared, and the ladies left Sharon with him, and made their way over to the lake bar.

Meanwhile the gentlemen, minus the Obergruppenfuhrer and Herr Whitt, were still ensconced in the restaurant bar and the hot topic was still something along the lines of what the fuck had just happened back at the tents.

We had about 15 minutes until kick off when Whitty came walking down to tell us that all was ready for us up at the lake bar and to get our arses up there. So off we trotted, a rather puzzled group, heading on up to Popeye’s.

Now it was time for shock number three, and oh boy, this was a fucking belter!

I have to admit, the fact that Whitty was a bit ‘wet about the eyes’ never occurred to me at the time, I was, to be totally frank, still a bit ‘off balance’ from what had happened back at the tents. What I realized later on was that the little bastard was doing his best not to piss himself, he knew what was coming! As we walked into the bar, it was all lit with candles and decorated for the occasion, there was a 25 formed on the bar from rose petals, but what was standing behind the bar was the most unexpected and unbelievable sight in the world. To be honest, it didn’t register for the first minute; but there stood Herr Steele, in black jeans, a shirt, and his usual waistcoat, bedecked with the Nazi regalia and a vicar’s collar and bib!

All that was needed was the ‘old spice music’ ("O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, for those who are interested, educational and amusing eh?) from the omen, and a couple of slavering Rottweiler’s and the picture would have been complete! Yes, there the big blond bastard stood, leaning on the counter, with the most amused and smug look on his face, (talk about a cat that had got the cream, the bastard looked like he’d got the fucking dairy!) The bastard had done me, ME! Hold fucking on there, this was not in the script! This was just supposed to be a surprise for Sharon, instigated by me, with their help, but he and Donna had trumped my call! I had been outsmarted by that pair of devious fuckers! Will got an excellent photo of the moment, I was totally and utterly gobsmacked and I wasn’t the only one!

As I walked towards him, he grabbed hold of my hand and with the other, the back of my head, pulled me in close and said; “Refusing you back there pard was the hardest thing I have EVER had to do, but now you know why.” I turned to look at everyone else in the room they were all looking like bomb blast victims, even Doug, who is hardly ever ruffled; was looking as shocked as I felt!

Whitty, who was now freed from the constraints placed upon him by Steely, who had drawn him in at the final moment as he had needed his assistance in getting into his clerical robes, was doubled up in the door, now fully pissing himself and I mean pissing himself, tears were running down his face and he was doubled up. When I turned back to his nibs, he just grinned and stated; “Payback for Egypt pard, payback for Egypt, bit of a bastard eh?” Then, with a flourish, he also produced his legal credentials, which I examined very closely, (they are totally kosher, before you ask.) With that, I just burst out laughing as did everyone assembled, (yet again, Will has the photo’s,) and I grabbed for the Jameson’s, I fucking needed it after that shock!

He then introduced me and the other lads to the Portuguese proprietor, Popeye, (so named for his large forearms and anchor tattoo,) and his charming wife, who had been a party to this whole set up and had done all the decorating etc. Well, we had a drink or two, and awaited the arrival of the ladies. Sure enough, they started their approach, yet again, Will captured the moment, and the moment of panic when the locals and other campsite guests mistook Donna to be the bride and someone started throwing the rose petals. “Fucking hell no, it’s not me!” was her shout.

(A phrase not necessarily guaranteed to assist in the upkeep of the world’s oldest treaty of allegiance between two peoples, but quite apt for the moment, as they got the message and somebody quickly swept the petals up.)

I am not sure as to whether the rest of the ladies were surprised or not at the revelation of the Right Reverend David Steele, (as he is now officially entitled to be referred to, Donna insists that she is having it on his passport next time it is renewed.) for I could only look at Donna at that moment. As she walked towards us across the bridge, the look in her eyes was a mixture of pure devilment and supreme triumph! Oh yes, the cunning cow was going to revel in this moment. She came into my arms, gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, grinned, giggled that dirty giggle and said; “Got ya, Payback for Egypt!”

It was bad enough with ‘his ass-holiness’ grinning like a loon and looking smug, but two of the buggers gloating away was just too much. I was gonna have to seriously let his balloon down, but Donna I could not, she deserved the glory. Whitty notified us at that moment that Shaz and Kev were on their way, nervous? Me? Nah, what now, could possibly go wrong?

“Fucking bollocks! Oh fucking bollocks, the camera just died!” screamed Will, who then spun on his heels and headed out of the door, at a great rate of knots and in the direction of the tents, more importantly, his spare batteries! (So obviously the ‘fuck-up fairy’ had received an invite too then?) Whitty, who had, up until that moment, been still stood there grinning, turned and signalled the Butler to put the brakes on. Unfortunately this meant that Shaz and he were left standing in the middle of the bridge.

A few short moments later, all you could hear was the sound of a tent and a car being ransacked by Will in a frantic search for the spare batteries. We could tell his search had been successful by the resounding “YESSS” and the slamming of all the car doors!

Whilst he had been away, we had been amused by the Butler, who was gesticulating madly, trying to find out what the fuck up was. Doug observed this and said, “What the fuck does he think he is? He’s supposed to be standing in for the father of the bride, not pretending to be a fucking ‘tic-tac man’ at Kempton Park!” yet more laughter, well, it gave us something to do whilst we were waiting for Will who was ransacking the car.

A few moments later, a now breathless Will reappeared and said; “sorry for that!” and stood there looking bemused as to what the general hilarity was all about. Once he had loaded the camera, the signal was given and things could recommence.

Now, don’t ask me what music was playing as Sharon approached, I took no heed, I just had eyes for the woman I love, she looked resplendent, demure and radiant. Kevin, bless him, also had a tear in his eye. He had admitted to Sharon whilst they were delayed on the bridge that he was so happy as, seeing as he only had sons, he never thought he would have the opportunity to walk a girl down the aisle. The locals there assembled scattered rose petals before her, (again,) as she approached with a beaming smile which, (little did she know, was gonna be wiped of her face in an instant!)

As she came in, I turned fully to face her, kissed her, shared a private joke with her from our original wedding ceremony, 25 years before, and then, with my hands on her face, to block her view of what was behind me, I whispered in her ear; “if you think the events so far have been mind blowing honey, hold on, as the next bit is gonna cause your brain to dribble out of your ears.” With that, I took her hand, stepped backwards and to the right, unmasking the view of ‘His Holiness’ to my bride. When she saw him stood there, and she finally processed the information her eyes were giving her, her mouth dropped open, and yet again, Steely produced his credentials for the scrutiny of Sharon, who has always professed to; “not trusting that blondey headed fucker as far as I could kick him!”

Once she had verified the facts, she just leant forward and kissed him, and burst into a big assed cheesy grin that she didn’t lose for the rest of the ceremony, at one point Steely even told her off for laughing, and, yet again, Will captured the moment perfectly. I was wrong about it stopping her smiling; Sharon admitted that, in all honesty, nothing else was going to surprise her for the rest of the day.

YOU THINK?

Once things had calmed down a bit, and everyone had got over the initial shock, The Reverend Steele called us to order, and commenced the ceremony with the following statement.

“There are only two people in the whole world I would have done this for, and they are standing in front of me now. This is the first time, and this will be the last time, are you ready?”

“Dearly Beloved,”

The vows that he read out for us had been written and created by both he and Donna, and were both poignant and personal, and that is how they will stay. Once he declared us man and wife once more, he stated, “You may now kiss your bride.”

So I did!

To this day, I cannot say who was the more nervous during the ceremony, but I, Sharon and everyone else who was present, most certainly know who the most serious person was. It was my friend in the Clerical garb. He was determined to make sure he made no errors, he took his role in this so to heart, all I can say, on behalf of Sharon and I, and from the heart, Thank you, my friend.

It was now time for the photos and to celebrate. As I led my bride and the rest of the wedding party out, we were greeted with cheers by what seemed like the whole campsite, most of who were snapping away with their cameras and phones.

Sharon was still in a daze, as was I.

To his credit Steely allowed the official photographs to be taken, with him in his clerical garb, and then, with Donnas assistance, removed ‘the dog collar and bib’, (as he referred to it,) stating that this was the only time, and the last time, he was ever wearing it. Once that was done, he grabbed a beer, as did the rest of the party. Whilst the assembled guests started drinking, we, the happy couple, had to do the photo calls. Will took some beautiful shots of all and sundry, and some brilliant ones of Sharon and I on the bridge over the lake.

Once the photos were finished we all settled down to relax. To be quite frank, most of the next couple of hours were a blur, as both Sharon and I were in a state of shock, but we did get our first dance out of the way. Whilst we were sitting there, the reason for Steely getting ordained was explained. They had explored all possible avenues in their effort to get the ‘real deal’ to do the job but Portuguese law had confounded them. The only way round or through this legal and spiritual minefield was to take a priest with them. Eventually, one evening many months before, Donna had given up hope, and having only one viable solution, she had turned to Steely, and announced, “Well sunshine, there’s nothing for it, you’re gonna have to get ordained, it’s got to be you, cos I cannot be, their laws won’t allow it!”

Apparently, his reaction to this statement had been hysterical, she reckoned that he shot out of his seat and went off on one, big style, claiming that fonts would boil, skies would darken, and the consequences of him doing this would make the 10 plagues of Egypt look like a kiddie’s tea party!

(Oh boy, I wish I’d been a fly on the wall on that night!) Eventually though, Donna made him see the fun and devilment side of it, as, if they could keep it from me too, they could get one over on the pair of us at the same time. So, with a sigh of resignation, his nibs had done the necessary, and eventually got himself ordained. She also explained why she had needed the pen and paper previously. As soon as we had got to Mira, she had realized that she had forgotten to bring the wedding vows that they had written for us. So she had to resort to ringing Casey, back home in the UK and get her to dictate them to her whilst she scribbled them down hurriedly on the pages from my notepad.

After what felt like a very short time, but wasn’t, Donna called time on this part of the reception, as there was every likelihood that it would have just ended up as a beer drinking contest right there, and insisted that we moved over to the restaurant for the rest of the reception.

We thanked Popeye and his wife for their hospitality and all they had done and asked them to join us for the evening, (which they sadly declined, as they had the bar to run, but both did individually pop down for a bit.)

We then removed ourselves to the restaurant, where we were greeted with a round of applause from the locals, staff and guests. We were handed drinks and after quick check with the management, we were ushered straight in and to the table that had been reserved and set for us, in a slightly separated area of the room. Once everyone was seated, the wine and beer started arriving, closely followed by one hell of a traditional Portuguese delicacy which was our wedding feast. The first thing to arrive consisted of salad and fruit, closely followed by the miniature pies and pasties as the kids described them, and boy, did the food keep coming!

Before anyone was allowed to eat, I insisted that ‘the PARDre’, as he is now to be known, should carry out a blessing for the meal and the wine. Well that got me an evil glare, (but I personally think I was entitled to that one, I needed to claw something back, he was still looking far too smug.)

Eventually, three or four massive platters of meat were delivered, yup; the roast suckling pig had arrived. Afterwards, Steely expressed his disappointment that they had not brought it to the table whole like they had done on the previous occasion they had had it there. But, to be honest, the way it was being devoured, I don’t think anyone else was overly bothered. It was simply delicious, delicately seasoned, and flavoured with more than a little hint of garlic.

Whilst we were getting stuck into the meal, it started to rain, and I mean rain! It was coming down in stair rods! We were catching the tail end of the hurricane that had hit the U.K. When this happened, all of the locals burst into a massive cheer, and shitloads of wine started appearing at the table. When I explained that we hadn’t ordered any more wine, the owner explained that, in Portugal, a little rain on your wedding day was considered a blessing, a fucking torrential downpour like we were getting was, by their standards, a full on miracle at this time of year and therefore extremely lucky for all. That is why all the locals where buying us wine as a gift.

Result!

There was that much food that there was no way we were going to finish it all, so I asked the proprietor if it was the ‘done thing’ or would offer offence if we invited the rest of the hall and the staff to have a crack at the rest of it as well?

He was overjoyed and explained that it was considered an honour so he passed the word. Once anyone who fancied a bit of a feed had finished there was still a load of meat left so Will bagged it up, determined not to waste anything intending to save the remnants for all of our dinners the following day.

Whilst he was seeing to this, Lewis threw a bit of a tantrum, to be fair, the lads had been well behaved for the whole day, but the little bugger had really blown it in his mother’s eyes. Jo-Jo was not a happy mummy, she grabbed hold of him, lifted him bodily out of the chair, and with the statement of; “today, of all days, you are not ruining things young man” she grabbed him by the arm and bounced Lewis away and back to their tent, with a look of extreme anger in her eye. It was agreed that if she wasn’t back within 15 minutes, Donna would go back and help her bury the body.

Jo returned within the fifteen minutes, apologising for what had happened she said that she had marched him back to the tent, and had then explained things to him, and he had seen the error of his ways, but all that he would seeing for the rest of the night was the inside of the tent which he and Tyler were sharing.

With this sorted, and with everyone’s appetite fully sated food wise, I then requested everyone’s attention and announced that by way of thanks, Sharon and I were going to pay for that evening’s festivities, only to be cut off at the knees once more by ‘the PARDre’, who took great pleasure in informing us that we would be doing nothing of the sort!

The wedding party had paid for the lot between them, as a gift to us! What a bunch of utter twats! It seems that on that day, it was open season on getting one up on the Williamsons.

Our friends, we thank you.

Then, seeing as the gits had stolen my last hope of salvaging a win, we retired to the patio area, and on the way received all manner of congratulations from the locals, staff and fellow guests. We then sat around and had what I can only describe as a serious drink, and the obligatory group photo, (without the now banished Lewis though,) with true friends, once more, on behalf of myself and Sharon, I thank you all.

Several large drinkie-poos and photos later, Sharon and I decided to leave the party to, how you say, consummate the wedding, (laa la la la laaa laaaa!) So we bid the rest of the party and retired to the tent. Funnily enough, the exercise we were planning was not the first bit of exercise we got! When we got to the tents, we found the awning had given way under the sheer weight of the rain and had dumped the whole lot in our porch. It was under a good two inches of water.

With no other options available, I had to take off my shirt and use it to mop out what could only be described as watery mud with it. It took a good 15 minutes to do so, but there was no way it was going to be a perfect job as it was still drizzling as well. This wasn’t how I exactly planned us to get down and dirty on the wedding night! Sharon point blank refused to ruin the dress by crawling through that mess, and so, she had me unfasten her and she stripped off under the communal awning, to just the thong and high heels to retire to bed.

I managed to get in the line of the day though, as she was doing the strip, I gently said to her, “wow, from blushing bride to saucy stripper in 6 hours, does it get any better than this?”) From that point on, the evening’s exertions were the fun sort as opposed to what had gone before. Let’s face it, not many couples get to carry out a consummation after a scrub out, a strip show and then get a comedy performance too.

As we lay there later, listening to the rest of the party return, t was all we could do not to laugh out loud at some of their shenanigans! Graham and Jan returned, and obviously, forgetting that there were others around, Jan demanded sex with menaces! She shouted over to Donna, “Dink, can you lend Graham another blue pill please? Graham, get in here, I’m gagging for it!” Graham, laughing all the way, fell into the tent once more, shouting; “Can you not just sit on my face for fifteen minutes?”

Donna was busy working her charms on the ‘PARDre’ she too was obviously feeling the need, and convinced him to have a go at ‘the Immaculate Conception’ to which he responded; “go easy dear; I’m a man of the cloth now you know?” Honestly, we laughed ourselves to sleep.

Unfortunately, I didn’t spend as much of the night in the tent as was planned, Doug’s ‘Delhi Belly’ had found a new victim. A total of four ‘bomb runs’ later, I think I had possibly turned myself inside out! On the bright side, Doug’s cough seemed to be nigh on cured as we hardly heard him all night.

Wednesday 13th August. ‘D’ Day +1

Rather surprisingly, considering the copious amounts of free wine plus all spirits and wine that everyone consumed, every one of the men folk were up early the next morning. As we sat discussing the previous day and evenings events, someone noticed my shirt, or rather the state of what remained of it, (it was quite obviously ruined.) Doug asked; “What happened pard, couldn’t you wait until you got back and into the tent?” This caused a laugh. When he saw the rips and gashes in it, he remarked something along the lines of; “I think your Sharon needs to trim her nails a bit.”

When I explained what had actually happened, they found this hilarious, and were falling of their chairs with laughter. Oh yes, this was highly amusing. We then had to repeat it once more for the ladies when they had all arisen too, much to Jo-Jo’s disapproval,(laa-laa-laa-la-laaaaa!) We then changed targets and the conversation was directed towards ‘His Holiness.’

Whilst he was off away on his constitutional, everyone present agreed that his performance as the sanctioned official performing the ceremony the day before was the only time he had played anything so straight and serious in his whole life. Doug stated the only time he had seen him anywhere near as serious was when he was threatening to cut someone’s throat.

We had to dismantle the tarps and poles as they had taken a serious battering in the previous night’s storms. The wind had really been ferocious during the evening and the whole awning had taken a battering. We managed to make up one full set from the remains of both sets. Running repairs to the other set consisted of making splints for the broken sections with heavy duty tent pegs and Grahams Duct tape. Once these were completed we re-erected it again. It was never going to be perfect, but it would do for the trip and I would attempt to source replacements when we got home.

During breakfast, which we commenced once the ladies had arisen, the general discussion was what the next step was for Steely, when Will suggested canonization, he was not impressed, Stating; “You aint firing me out of no facking cannon!” We agreed that Deification was the next logical step, which he thought was a posh way of saying ‘having a shit.’

Once we had explained that it was not what he thought and it was a promotion of sorts, he announced that he wasn’t taking confessions, and was most definitely not doing anything remotely similar ever again, but was more than willing to bless the boat home by throwing a can of lager at it before we boarded! He also considered staying there, in Portugal, as it was so nice; I suggested that we look for a diocese for him in the local vicinity; After all, we were quite certain that the Portuguese locals would be crying out for a half German, maniacal, alcoholic, certifiably homicidal, Nazi sympathizer priest to move into a local parish.

Jan was on form as soon as she climbed out of the tent, she had us in stitches straight away by doing impressions of Russian soldiers by putting her handbag on her head.

Will was extremely disappointed to find that the ants had got into the bag containing the suckling pig, which he thought he had rendered unassailable by suspending it from one of the awning poles. Tyler and Lewis discovered a crayfish walking down the road, and were trying to herd it back towards the water with a stick. Kev picked it up and chucked it back into the lake. Doug and Whitty said he was a spoilsport as it had probably been going for a shag, and was probably sitting sulking now thinking; “bastards, it took me 6 hours to get to there.” Whilst they were going at it, Sharon amazed all by ‘saving Tyler’ from a snake, she did so by almost wrenching the poor little buggers head off when she pulled him away from the perceived danger. (It turned out to be a small lizard,) but by buggery, the Butler was highly amused. Once breakfast was finished, and as promised, Sharon and I went up to the pool to see Jo, Will and the lads. Jan, the water nymph, was up there also, and to be honest, I was glad of the dip, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was once more absolutely roasting hot.

Steely and Donna had, with the help of the camp staff, finally located a bank that would change their money, so they set off down there with Doug and the Butler going along for the ride to act as security for the opening of the purse.

Once we had enjoyed an hour or two with the kids, we went back to the tents and commenced a ‘partial pack’ ready for the next day. Whilst we were doing this, the bank trip participants returned so off we all went to join the others who were now firmly planted in the bar. It had been decided that today was going to be our last day on the site; it was going to have to be a day on the piss. Popeye’s bar was the designated location and oblivion was deemed to be the chosen destination.

Well, once again, it got messy.

Once the beer had been flowing for a while, Donna and Sharon, the usual suspects, espied a very small child’s inflatable dingy, which they ‘just happened to find’ unattended, along with a couple of other small craft, tied to the jetty on the lake, and tried to paddle it around. Donna had even tried to convince the other ladies to join in, but no one else fancied their chances, she stated later that she knew her ‘best bud’ was the only one guaranteed to be daft enough to try it.

Neither of them are what you could call ‘robust ladies’ but, there was no way that this boat was manufactured with either of these two in mind. Throw a bit of baby oil in there and a bit of a ‘boom-chic-a-wow wow” soundtrack and it could have been a porn film. For well over half an hour, they had us in stitches.

The first ten minutes were taken up just trying to figure out how to get into the damned thing, and the next ten figuring out how to get it moving in the general direction they wanted to go in. Once they had got that semi-sorted, they headed in our general direction, which I’m certain was down to the prevailing breeze and in no way due to their efforts.

They spent more time trying to ensure they didn’t capsize and pissing themselves laughing than actually paddling. Every time one of the pair moved, the other panicked and shouted “ooh ya fucker” and then they would burst out laughing again.

Needless to say, their antics drew a large crowd of onlookers, all of whom laughing away at their slapstick performance. As they got closer, I had images of them impaling the dingy upon the water features, namely a couple of topless mermaid fountains, which squirted water from their unfeasibly pert tits. And the dingy farting its way back into the middle of the lake before they disappeared under the surface to be another snack for the crayfish.

A scene from the titanic, this was not destined to be. They somehow got themselves into the vicinity of the bridge to the bar, more by luck than judgement or any skill, where steely threw a load of icy water over them; Jo captured the look that Dink gave him in a photograph, priceless!

Eventually, they headed back for the jetty, and, for two of the lasses who did a sublimely erotic performance in the now famous Jugsters burlesque show, it has to be said that their exit from the boat was the least elegant, but probably the most comedic that we have ever witnessed.

It took them over ten minutes, and then another five to untangle from each other and stop laughing long enough to stand up on the jetty. Once they stood up, they received a round of applause from the gathered crowd and then rejoined us.

Once the Jugsters freestyle rowing team had finished their performance, and a few more beers had been consumed, we headed back to the tents, well, some did. Some headed back to the other bar.

Most of our party did some of their packing ready for the next morning and then we had our evening meal, and discussed the route we were going to take as we headed back north, before we lost the light, and the capability of reasoned thinking due to us drinking our remaining stocks of wine and beer. We ended up having a pleasant evening of conversation and the usual piss taking and got ready for turning in for the night. No one was up late.

Thursday 14th August ‘D’ Day +2

The morning dawned and the day looked promising. We were all packed and ready to roll after having a brew. Once we were all loaded and ready to roll, we made our way over to the cafe for breakfast for those who wished to partake and make final arrangements and plans before we buggered off for the next leg of our magical mystery tour.

It had been agreed the night before that there was no way in hell that we were taking the pack anywhere near another major city unless we abso-fucking-loutely had to! So a route had been planned accordingly. We were aiming for the general vicinity of Braganca as there were rumoured to be shitloads of campsites in the national parks all around that location. We were looking at about 180 miles as the crow flies, but, yet again, we are not crows, we are Jugsters, so you could safely double that figure!

It was also agreed that we didn’t want to re use the roads we had been on unless we absolutely had to, or use toll roads or motorways unless absolutely necessary. We also factored in petrol stops, rest breaks and the occasional spot where Steely could put his front wheel down. With these factors in mind, we said our goodbyes offered our thanks once more and headed off on the journey north.

We got back onto the N234, straight through Mealhada and onwards to Santa Comba Dao, where we joined the E801 (IP3) heading for Viseu, bypassing there using the N2 we ended up using a bit of the A24 before dropping off and getting back onto the N2 at Chaves. Seeing as we were there, we decided to visit, and whilst there, Graham gave Sharon the scare of her life when he ‘rear ended her’ in traffic! Shaz shot to the fore and pulled us over just to make sure everything was ok with her trusty Blackbird, as in her words, it was; “a fucking good thump.”

Graham was off his bike in a flash, the gentleman that he is, apologising to her, explaining that he had been watching traffic and hadn’t seen her stop. Shaz told him it was not an issue and shit happens, but she just wanted reassurance from me that the bike was ok. (All I could find was a tyre mark on the exhaust, no biggie.) I had a laugh with Graham to lighten the mood by requesting that next time he wishes to ‘bang my missus up the ass,’ he would at least have the common decency to ask first. Once we had had a rest,(and in doing so, partially blocked what turned out to be one of the main roads out of the town,) we set off onto the N103-5 until we reached the old border crossing/customs point at Feces de Abaixo, where everyone jumped off for the last call for duty free tobacco.

The road thereby became the N532 heading for Verin. We turned off before there onto the A52 and headed north east on that road, occasionally flicking between this road and the A525 that ran parallel to it. The scenery was lovely, the roads were good, and all was well with the world, right up until we reached the town of Puebla de Sanabria, where it went a bit awry. We pulled off the A52 and into this town as it was getting late and there were loads of advertisements for camping.

Yeah, loads of camping, if you had a caravan or a mobile home, all the advertised sites were hard standing only. One helpful chap whom I spoke to directed us to the towns’ municipal camp site, one which I had located on Google earth so we headed down into there.

We pulled in and I tried to get us booked in, only to be told by the spotty, greasy little Dago oik behind the counter, who denied any knowledge of the Queens English, that they were full. I then asked him if where were all the other camping areas that we had been told about? He also denied all knowledge of said camp sites, and just put up the site full sign, then stuck his face back into the magazine he and his chubby little female friend were reading.

I went out to break the news to the lads and we set about trying to locate likely spots for camp sites. Whilst we were doing this, a Spanish car and caravan combo pulled in, and, whilst we were deep in discussion, Jo-Jo watched the driver walk in, talk to the oik on the desk, pay him and drive onto the site. She told Shaz, Shaz told me; the red mist descended and I stormed in there, and dragged the little shit over the counter for a little chat!

All of a sudden, his grasp of the English language remarkably improved! In fact, he immediately became ‘Manuel from Fawlty Towers’ fluent! He also suddenly remembered that, if we tuned out of the camp and got onto the ZA104, not more than ten kilometres away was the Sanabria Lake, in the middle of a National park, which is positively surrounded by campsites camping areas and all the required amenities. (This was the one that the policemen had tried to direct us to, on the way down.) I put him down and we saddled up and set off for the lakeside. We rode along the ZA104 until we got to a Tourist information cabin, by which time I had calmed down a bit.

The lady there was extremely helpful, she spoke next to no English, but we conversed in French and I received all the required information. So we set off in search of one of the camp sites. She had directed us to stay on the ZA104 through the town of Puente, and follow the signs for Ribaldego. Before we got there, we had to turn to the left onto the ZA122 and head for San Martin. She informed us that the ideal camp site for was just along there. She was not wrong. Camping Folgoso was about 2 miles up the road, on the left. As we rode down into the camp site you had an epic view of the lake, it was a beautiful location.

We pulled in and Shaz and I went to set about booking us all in. In the reception it was pure chaos! There were some French and Spanish, trying to book in and more of the same trying to book out. All of them where camper van types so I payed them no heed and awaited my turn. Eventually, a rather pleasant young lady attended to us though she looked dubious about letting us onto the site, stating that it was a family site. I explained that we were all family, basically ‘winging it with the truth’ and lying through my teeth.

Jo-Jo got the boys to call me Granddad, (Shaz was not impressed at the sudden promotion to Grandma.) Donna and Shaz were explained as sisters, Doug and Butler were uncles, were Graham and Whitty, along with auntie’s Jan and Deb. Steely was told to stay out of the way, as some things just cannot be explained!

The nice young lady swallowed that load of old shite, began to explain the prices, then requested registrations and passports. Shaz went off to ‘form the animals up two by two’ and have the necessary info ready. Then chaos! There was a panic from over where the bikes were parked. My immediate thought was; “oh god, they have caught sight of his nibs”, but no, it was serious.

Steely’s bike was attempting to park on him!

Due to the lay of the car park, Once Donna had got off and when ‘the PARDre’ had dismounted, the bike, as overloaded as it was, began to move of its own accord on the gravel and topple off its stand. He grabbed hold and shouted out, and everyone nearby rushed to help. Unfortunately, the damage was done, ‘his holiness’ strained something in his efforts to catch and hold it.

I was nowhere near at the time, I was trapped in the reception amid all the chaos and the noise being made by the other people and trying to find out what was going off outside, whilst all the while going through the usual rigmarole of working out the prices that everyone would be paying, not a pleasant task working out how much of everyone else’s money you were gonna be spending, and not without a modicum of stress and responsibility towards the other members of the party and their best interests.

Unfortunately my patience snapped when Deb came into the reception office and began to undo everything I had arranged with the nice lady on the desk, by not waiting her turn and letting me deal with it. It was the final straw for me that day and I lost it with her.

I gave her the biggest mouthful and told her to stop meddling and basically fuck off out of it until a ‘grown up’ requested her presence, with that, she stomped off! Once Shaz and Dinky had worked out all the maths and what was needed to be paid, we rolled everyone through there and I could go and have a look at my Pard.

When I got to him, he was as white as a sheet, and even though he was trying hard not to show it, (cos he’s a geezer,) I could see he was in considerable pain. Once we had made certain that he had just strained something and I wasn’t going to have to get the meccano set and the welding tackle out due to a structural failure in the metalwork in his legs, we let him move about. Luckily, the only thing damaged was his pride and a few pulled muscles his back.

With my fears and concerns for my friend’s health allayed, I located Deb, explained the situation and apologised for my un-gentlemanly outburst. With this sorted, and his bike luggage re distributed to allow a safe descent into the site, (it was a wee bit steep,) we set off down into the site, Donna on the back of my bike to give his nibs a little bit less to worry about as he negotiated the steep and undulating track.

Once we eventually found somewhere to pitch that we could all get reasonably close by to each other we set about setting up camp for the evening.

Seeing as we were only stopping for the one night we only needed to unpack the tents and sleeping kit. The site was very shaded, very mossy, and very, very secluded. The whole site was sort of terraced due to the terrain and had a great number of trees, meaning you could hardly see the neighbours.

Once we had all the tents up and ready, Steely having been ordered to sit tight and rest after bollocking a load of my painkillers down his neck. We made ‘his eminence’, despite his protestations still fucking still and give the pills a chance to work, whilst Shaz, Donna and I put up both of our tents and set up for the both of us. We then stashed the bikes and headed for the bar/restaurant. By the time we were finished, and we had all had a brew, the sun was setting and it was actually getting cool.

This was bang on, with a full and varied menu, full of local delicacies, and, considering the ‘up-market’ nature of the site, reasonably priced too. Pretty much everybody ordered either steaks or burgers, and the meal was plentiful enough for everyone. Once we had finished, we had a few more beers and headed back to the tents, banged a few more pills into his holiness and all went to bed. Well, we tried too. But it was extremely difficult as at somewhere around 11pm all hell broke loose! There was a rave going on at the other end of the lake, some two miles distant, but the sound travelled wonderfully across the water. Then, at sometime around five in the morning, about an hour after the music had ceased, a couple of drunken ‘euro-ravers’ returned to their tent and decided to continue the party. They had the error of their ways explained to them, quite forcefully, and they decided to go to bed.

Friday 15th August ‘D’ Day+3

It had turned quite chilly during the night, and, in the morning, Jan was almost in tears. Both she and Graham had slept hardly a wink as she had been wide awake all night, shivering away under just a sheet fully clothed. Unfortunately, they had taken the advice of Pit and Barko and hadn’t bothered with sleeping bags. Mind you, if you stay on the lowland plains or near the coast, that will probably do you, but, as we were in the mountains, a sheet was not gonna pass muster.

Jan begged me, almost in tears, to make sure we went to a camping shop first thing; as she couldn’t take another night like the one she had endured night before, she would have sold her soul for her duvet at that point. I assured her that our next stop was going to be, with all the best intentions, and just as long as we had no major fuck-ups going to be on the northern coast of Spain, at a place called Laredo, so she shouldn’t be too worried about the temperature issue again. Graham was calling Barko from a pig to a dog whilst he sat there shivering and cuddling a steaming hot cup of coffee.

We had decided the night before that we were not arsing about this morning and were going to get breakfast when we stopped for petrol. So we packed up and got ready to roll. His holiness was feeling much better, and declined the offer with thanks, of Dink riding behind me if it would make things easier for them. Once he was fully medicated, we headed back down and out of the National park, got back onto the N525 for the first bit and then onto the A52 until the time was reached for a combined breakfast and petrol stop.

We saw a sign for services in a place called Mombuey, so we peeled off the main road and back onto the N525, and, three miles later, and on the other side of the town, we hit the services. Doug referred to it as the longest slip road in history!

Once everyone was fully fuelled, (some more so than others, eh Whitty? The dipshit overfilled his bike and when he parked up; it overflowed and caused a major fire risk.) We also found what can only be described as the scariest roadhouse in history. It was complete anarchy in there, the staff was screaming at the clientele, and they were screaming and shouting back! Once we eventually got served, we all retreated to the relative tranquillity of the veranda, where we all felt safer eating breakfast and drinking our coffees next to the lion in the cage.

THE LION IN A FUCKING CAGE!!!

Yes, A FUCKING GREAT BIG, WELL PISSED OFF, HAIRY ARSED LION, in a cage, on the back of a pick-up truck. Now, saying that this thing was just a little bit annoyed with its present state of affairs is a bit of an understatement. He was doing his level best to maul the driver; who seemed more than a little worried, whilst he was refuelling the truck. Lewis and Tyler were obviously fascinated; (boys will be boys after all,) so Doug took them over for a look, from a very respectable distance I might add.

Once we were all ready, we set off back onto the A52, as we had some serious miles to do today. Approximately ‘180 as the crow flies’ so call that ‘280 as the Jugsters bimble.’ whilst we were back on the A52, Sharon and I had a ‘loony 15 minutes on our own personal race track’, (Team Blackbird, Awaaaayy!) We had found a section of new road that was totally free of traffic as far as the eye could see, and beautifully smooth so we let the ponies out to play! (We kept it down to below 120 kph, officer, honest!)

Soon enough ‘play time’ had to end so we pulled in to wait for the others at some services, where we had another ‘water break’, Shaz could hardly get her lid off due to the cheesy grin. As soon as Doug pulled in, his first words were; “I had wondered how long it would be before that happened.” To which I said; “well, if they keep leaving all this temptation lying around, it would have been rude not to.” To which he laughed and said, “cannot blame you, you’ve been good all holiday, for a change!”

We kept on with it until we reached the area of Benavente again, where we then took the N610 heading for Palencia. In the process of negotiating this town, the traffic was its usual chaotic state and due to this, we managed to lose Whitty and Debs, fuck knows how, it’s not exactly hard to miss that fucking great big red Triumph, but we did! Too late to do anything about it, we just had to try to locate somewhere safe to pull in and wait for them.

Butler and Doug eventually rejoined us where we pulled in, I had pulled us over on the outskirts of town, in a hotel car park to make sure all was ok. Butler walked over as soon as he was parked and said that they had been carved up in the traffic and Whitty had taken a wrong turn.

We tried his mobile but got no response, so we left him a message telling him the road we were on and the location of where we were waiting, and, being unable to do any more and sat and waited. And slowly began to poach, as it was getting bloody hot again. He turned up a short while later, looking rather relieved, but he had stopped for petrol too as he was on fumes!

Once everyone was ready, we got the show on the road again, eventually finding the required road and getting the fuck out of there! We turned off along that road and after using some minor roads for a bit, it was time for a fuelling stop once more, and a break, as we had cranked on a hundred miles in a few hours, had a couple of interesting occurrences and ridden down some interesting roads. We pulled in some small assed little town and fuelled up at a service station and had about an hour’s break. This is where we discovered the shrine of St Crappo Maggiore, the patron saint of travellers in desperate need of a shit! (Not really, but that is what we decided to call it.) The shrine was quite nice but behind it people had been using it as an ‘al fresco’ latrine.

Parked out front of the shrine was a monster tractor which amused the boys for quite a while. Once everyone was ready, we hit the road again once more, and joined the A231 heading towards Burgos. From there it was a short run along this road until we hit the main road north, namely the A67. Before we had got too far, the Butler came charging to the front again and pulled us over for an emergency stop, Doug was in danger of losing his luggage!

Will was unable to stop, but, having watched this impending catastrophe unfolding, he was aware of what was happening and what we would have to do. So, as this little drama unfolded, he sailed on by and kept to a minimum speed until he got to a rest area where they pulled over and watched and waited for us to re pass them. It has to be said, Doug’s luggage was in a desperate state. He carried out a re-pack and secured it once more.

We caught up with Will a few miles on and everything was well again. Not long after we hit the junction where the A231 and the A67 met, there was another service area, so we pulled in again to check all was ok. By buggery it had got damned hot again! As we had ridden across and through the mountains and hills it had been quite cool, but where we were now was like a cauldron. We used the A67, which was nigh on deserted, for a bit then dipped off onto the old mountain road, N611, (really good fun.) Once we had got the twisties out of our systems for a bit, we got back onto the A67 and headed on up at a reasonable pace until we started to get some ominous clouds overhead, so it was into a lay by and on with the waterproofs.

Well, it was for most of us!

Somewhere in Portugal, during our tour, ‘His Holiness’ had lost the leggings of his set from under his bungees. He claimed that it didn’t matter as he “had God on his side.” As soon as we set off, and started climbing once more, the ‘wet shit’ started. At first, it was just that horrible misty crap, and then it was that drizzly crap, which then turned into full blown, horrible wet crap! With a side wind too, just to add to the fun when you are flitting between bridges and tunnels.

(The Spanish surely do love a good tunnel, at any opportunity, they spend some euros and they stick a bugger in there! Lewis and Tyler loved them, especially as, whenever they entered one; there was always a ‘firework display’ from ‘Uncle Doug dudes’ exhausts! Not exactly ‘easy on the ears’ for anyone who was near him though, I could hear the noisy bugger the instant he entered any tunnel, sometimes from half a mile distant!)

Luckily, the rain had stopped when we got to Torralavega, which was where we had planned to turn off the motorway and head along the less major roads to avoid Santander to get to our final destination Laredo.

Once we were in the outskirts of the town, Steely brought his front wheel in for a landing and we pulled over for a map session. We decided that seeing as most still had about half a tank and it was only about another 30 or so miles to go, we wouldn’t bother refuelling, (doh!) We would use the main road and wing it! As we set off once more, I took the wrong junction and we ended up going the wrong way, on the A67, heading away from Santander, in the rush hour, this led to a world class cluster fuck! Whilst trying to navigate on the move, both Steely and I had a close call with a dick-head in a Mercedes and we ended up duelling with him for a bit. Eventually calling time on these fun and games, we had to pull off and turn around.

Several of the group had pulled in at a service area to gas up, as they were getting seriously low on fuel. Will said he had enough to go, as did Sharon, so he said that seeing as he had the location set in his twat-nav, and the traffic was horrendous he thought he ought to keep on moving, so I agreed and told him to get off and get there. Shaz, who still had half a tank went with him as it as getting late and, if needed, she would book us all in on the site and suchlike. After they had departed, Steely, Donna and I waited for the rest on the slip road.

Once we were all back together, we turned around and set off back down the A67, (in the right direction this time!) we then went through multiple road changes, whereby we used the S30, which turned into the A8 and the S10, then back to the A8, (you’ve got to love the road identification systems!) I had given up of following the numbers by then and was just following the fucking signs for Bilbao, and hoping to see a signpost for Laredo!

By the time we got past the snarl of Santander, Steely was getting really desperate for fuel, so we dropped back of the main road into the town of Solares for another fuel stop. As soon as we got off the bikes, we seemed to attract the attention of the local constabulary, three cars turned up. A couple of them came and had a mooch around us but soon lost interest and started blocking off a road, as there was a carnival procession coming.

The fuck-up Fairy was having a real go at us today!

Seeing as we didn’t want any more delays, and we were a bit of a carnival in our own right, we got out of there sharpish. We got back onto the A whateverthefuckitwas, and within ten minutes were turning off for Laredo. We navigated our way through the town to the location of the camp sites pulled over and tried to contact Shaz, Will and Jo-Jo.

I eventually got an answer from Jo, who sounded none too happy, (anyone who is in a relationship with a ‘Robson woman’, will appreciate what I mean?) and she explained that both they and Sharon were stuck in road works, and still some miles distant, having just hit the outskirts of Laredo, as Wills ‘twat-nav’ had took them down ‘b’ roads and cart tracks in their efforts to get to the site avoiding all the traffic, before going into a sulk and shutting down! I gave them directions through the town and Jo said; “see you hopefully in a few minutes.”

Upon hearing this, Donna and I decided that best course of action would be that she and the rest would go and book us all in, whilst I waited for Shaz, Jo, Will and the kids to show them the way. Within ten minutes of their departure, I saw the familiar figure of Shaz on her Blue Blackbird along with Will’s car coming towards me, so I jumped back on and led them off to the campsite.

When we pulled in, Donna had done most of the necessary so all we had to do was the passport bit and they then the camp staff guided us round to the spots on site that we had been allocated! The site was rammed full, and the family who were our ‘new neighbours’ didn’t seem too impressed when we turned up, as our allocated camping area was what they had claimed for their tennis court!

The area we had been allocated wasn’t exactly ideal, seeing as it was longer than it was broader so it didn’t allow us to set up in our normal, ‘circle the tents’ fashion. But beggars cannot be choosers so, once we had safely stashed the bikes under some trees on the corner of the plot, and the car around the back of the neighbour’s caravan, we set to it. Seeing as we are seasoned professionals at this ‘making camp’ malarkey, (ahem, well, most of us were,) we soon figured out that the only way this was going to work was that we were all going to have to set up in a straight line along the edge, this would at least leave us a clear, if long and narrow area to sit around in. So we set to it.

Once Shaz, and I were finished putting up the tent, Shaz started on the internal arrangements whilst Donna and Jo-Jo were doing the same. I assisted Will with Tyler and Lewis’s tent, and then Will, Steely and I set up the tarpaulins which yet again, once more gave us an excellently shaded communal area. All around you could see the signs of motorcyclists in need of refreshment. The accommodation was flying up.

Both Butler and Doug were first finished in a dead heat and soon had the kettles on. Graham and Jan had their own, unique tent erection method, whereby graham would assemble it, and then Jan would stand in the middle holding it all in place and giving orders which Graham would totally ignore whilst he then ran round jamming the pegs in.

Dippy Deb did her usual trick of watching Whitty, and just stood there with her arms crossed. Sometimes if shouted at for long enough, she would reluctantly get involved and occasionally offer Whitty the odd tent peg or two!

We were done in no time, making use of our allocated space. We then set off in a thundering herd towards the on-site supermarket in search of the necessities, namely booze, (obviously,) and provisions for our evening meals.

Once we had virtually raped the shop, it was back to the tents and everyone set about preparing their evening meals. Once the cooking and eating was completed, it was time to hit the shower blocks, get a drink and have a chill. The evening was quiet by our usual standards, as I think everyone was knackered after this day’s trials and tribulations. Though in all truthfulness, I did get a load of shit for our unplanned foray in the wrong direction.

Saturday 16th August ‘D’ Day +4

The next morning, all had a bit of a lie in by their usual standards, even Doug, whose cough was now virtually nonexistent. Everyone set about their respective breakfasts, and whilst we were doing this, a tractor turned up with a couple of massive picnic trestle benches for us, which were extremely welcome, as it meant we could all sit together instead of being spread out in a line in separate groups. Once we were ready, and had dragged Steely away from the monster truck mobile home that he kept drooling over, we all trooped down towards the main gate and out along the entrance road to organize the ladies ‘treat for the day’.

From the very outset of the trip, Donna and Shaz had wanted to end up in Laredo, and especially on this campsite, as you could go horse riding there, along the beaches and dunes. There was a full equestrian set up just outside camp site, with horses of all shapes and sizes; (Apparently, Doug had caused mayhem when they arrived, they must have thought the ‘Knacker-man had come a calling, with a machine gun!)

Donna and Shaz stormed straight in there and collared hold of one of the operators of this rather large business venture; (this wasn’t so much the donkeys on Skegness beach and more along the lines of The High Chaparral.) There were hundreds of the fucking things, in all colours, shapes and sizes, Ranging from Shire horse to Shetland pony.

Once the ‘head honcho’ had finally broken and agreed to let them have the premium horses and not the broken down ‘ex-pit’ variety, and also the price and time of their choosing for their little excursion, the girls released him and rejoined us. Whilst Donna and Shaz were ‘strong arming’ this poor Spanish business man, we had spotted some miniature, Shetland type ponies.

I suggested to both Lewis and Tyler that the Shetland Pony sized variety would be “excellent for mummy as she is so small” in a flash, and giggling their little arses off, they took great delight in trotting over to mummy, and telling her by starting the sentence; “ Mum, Uncle Russell says.....” The look I got was priceless, and very familiar.

I also got some severe shit from Donna for referring to the livestock on show as varying between “prime steaks on the hoof to glue factory or pedigree chum specials!” possibly the funniest part of the deal was those two, along with Jan and Jo-Jo also ‘strong arming’ Deb into having a go, as she had never been on a horse before.

Once this was all arranged, we set off down the drive, straight across the road and headed for the beach. On the way, we stumbled across a bar called HARLEY EVER, which was purporting to be a biker’s bar, with a Harley moteee-cyckkle on the roof. Upon closer inspection, (for all you anorak’s out there,) it was actually a Suzuki, painted and dressed to look the part.

Having given this an inspection and declaring it worth a visit, we continued onwards, at the insistence of the ladies, to the beach. (Well, it was only 10.30, who would want a drink at 10.30 in the morning when you’re on holiday anyway?) Yeah, us!

We reached the beach and spent about an hour of playing silly buggers, mainly just killing time until the ladies went to play. We had the obligatory comic pictures taken of the big, hard, ‘rufty-tufty’ bikers with their trousers rolled up, paddling.

(All that was needed were a couple of deck chairs and some knotted hankies and we were away!) Then we headed back, in the general direction of the bar, (What a strange coincidence?) where a wee drink was deemed to be in order. With instructions to “try not to do anything daft”, (?) “Don’t get pissed”, (??) “Remember to feed the kids.”(???) The ladies trooped off for their afternoons entertainment and left us to our own devices.

It got messy.Very messy.

We immediately claimed two of the benches out front and some ‘turbo-drinking’ commenced. The more beer we ordered, the more ‘tapas’ they kept sending out, so that was us, and the kids fed too in one fell swoop! The chilli sauce that they supplied became a bit of a dare! It was bloody good! The owner was a really good sport, and turned the music up, LOUD! We were also gathering a crowd of spectators too!

Will had to wobble off to find a cash point as he had drunk all the cash he had.

This bar is decorated with old photographs, mementos and artefacts all pertaining to Harleys and board track racing. The bar was also adorned with very attractive waitresses, who wouldn’t smile to save their lives, mind you, after half an hour of our lot; they soon softened in their demeanour. Soon enough they were laughing and smiling at our antics! It was also free Wi-Fi and had the Moto GP playing on the TV.

Tyler, who had been suffering with a wobbly tooth all holiday, finally succumbed and had it pulled by Will, mainly because Steely told him about me pulling his and we reckoned that he thought Will doing it rather than me was the lesser of the two evils! Bless him, it must have hurt, and he was almost at the point of tears, until Will came back with two bowls of free ice cream from the owner!

Whilst he was in the bar trying to buy the ice cream, which the owner gave him for free when he found out why, Whitty and Doug started playing about with their dentures to amuse the kids. What made it even more amusing was Steely putting Doug’s teeth in his mouth. The photo of which is one to definitely put on the mantelpiece to keep the kids away from the fire! We then kept ourselves and especially William entertained by reminiscing on previous trips and rallies, so much so that he announced; “fuck it, I’m definitely having a bike for the next trip.”

Needless to say, by the time the ladies returned, we were well on the way! Well, as the old saying goes; “when in Rome, do as the Romans do!” so they had no choice but to join in the fun. Once they too had got a beer in front of them, they started telling us about their horseback excursion and all that had happened. Through the laughter and giggles, they explained all about their experience, and there was a bit to tell as they had been gone for what turned out to be hours.

The first bit of fun was apparently, the fun and games they had trying to get Debs up on the horse. Donna, through fits of giggles, explained that Debs had ridden the whole excursion as if she was using a different type of stirrups, birthing stirrups!

Debs was sat there complaining that her legs and hips were sore, and her calves were chaffed, due to how she had been sitting. To which Donna responded by pointing at Sharon and me and shouting;

“You think you’ve got it bad, perhaps now you know how that poor cow feels with him.” (Ha ha, very funny!)

Shaz was also suffering from a sore arse, as were all of them, but was more upset that on their trip round, she had lost her favourite sunglasses whilst she was galloping along. Then they gleefully informed us about how possibly the prudish woman in the world, (Jo-Jo,) just happened to have a horse that was a bit of a pervert, it decided to bugger off on its own, despite all of her efforts to stop it and trot up and find a naked man sunbathing on the beach.

Apparently the girls all nearly fell off laughing at how she almost burst into flames she was so red with embarrassment. Donna was just pissed off and complained bitterly that her horse had failed to do the same and wouldn’t turn round for her to go and have a look too! Jan agreed that this ride had been one of the highlights of her trip too. Much to the annoyance of Graham who thought it ought to have been him!

Eventually we had to call time and head back onto site as we had to get ready for ‘the last supper’ so we said goodbye to the owner and headed off back to site, oh boy, it was so funny on the walk back, Drunken Jugsters, some with a severe stagger, being responsibly led home by Lewis and Tyler! It was a shame that Kev, The Butler, Bennett unthinkingly ruined one potential moment of hilarity. He went and stopped a ‘slightly the worse for wear’ Steely walking into the ladies shower block instead of the men’s toilets.

The previous day, we had booked a table for all of us, in the restaurant on site, for a bit of a last night celebratory meal, so when we got back, it was a wash, brush up and for some a sober up session to get ready for the evening! This is also where and when the ‘Steely’s last supper’ photographs were taken. Whilst ‘his holiness’ was absent that morning, (blessing the porcelain.)

We had decided that the whole lot of us where going to stage a group photograph, re-depicting the famous painting of the last supper by Leonardo de Vinci. (You see, still informative, even this late on in this tome!) Will set the camera up and took a photograph of us in which we had convinced his nibs to place himself slap bang in the middle and strike the pose as Jesus was depicted in this famous masterpiece. We laid out the Jugsters flag in the foreground, and ensured all the necessities from this trip were on show, namely, bread; wine, the map, beer bottles, cigarettes and the duct tape were all on show.

What he didn’t realize was that we had rigged up a ‘halo’ for him utilizing spare tent poles, a bit of duct tape and a circular tent light that Whitty had brought along. At the very last second, as we all positioned ourselves, the ‘halo’ was produced, switched on and held up behind his head! The photo is priceless.

Once we had finished arsing about, some of us did a bit of pre-packing ready for the following morning and then we set about getting ready for the evening’s entertainment. A soon as everyone was ready; we headed off to the restaurant, grabbed even more beer and took our seats at the table. Whitty, who was, and he will admit it, still as pissed as his Grandma’s mattress from the afternoon’s entertainments, sat and ordered his meal, ate some bread and then, before his meal had even appeared, wandered off and didn’t return. Deb ended up taking his dinner back to him in a doggie-bag after she had finished hers.

Now, on the previous evening, Sharon and I had hatched a plan of partial revenge/gratitude, so, whilst everyone was sitting eating, I excused myself from the table and went and had a quiet word with the manager.

Without anyone knowing, I settled the bill for the whole meal, for everyone, on behalf of Sharon and me, and then we quietly excused ourselves and went outside to await the others with a beer in hand.

Well, they didn’t see that one coming did they?

One by one our friends finished their meals, attempted to pay their respective bills and had the situation explained to them by the manager and staff. When they came out to join us, we were called all kinds of nasty things. Once all were there, I offered them a toast to a brilliant trip and thanked them all for their silence and complicity during the organization and planning before we came. As per usual, the last sarcastic comment came from Doug, which was, “Well, it’s got fuck all to do with you, we like our Shaz.”

Once we had completed a few more beers we headed off back to the tents to lighten the loads for tomorrow by consuming all the remaining of our remaining alcohol stocks. Jan was finally proven to be a ‘Vodka animal’ by way of Sharon scratching around Graham and Jan’s tent, collecting up all of her supposedly empty bottles and managing to dredge up just under half a litre by persevering and putting them all in one bottle! This only went on to enforce the tight arse jock stereotype, but Shaz didn’t mind as she and Jan were sharing the vodka!

Eventually, the camp police, (and no, that is not a dig at the local constabulary and their tight trousers, I refer to the on-site security,) came over and requested that we moderate the noise. Well, seeing as we had drunk all the booze, we all turned in for the night. Not without one final laugh though, Jan went begging to Donna for more pills as she was once more “gagging for it and needed some more dollar!”

Sunday 17th August ‘D’ Day +5

The morning began in a very relaxed and quiet fashion, mainly due to the alcohol consumption the night before! We all gathered around the tables and set about getting rid of the remaining food by having another communal breakfast. In doing so, Will and Jo finally got a chance to chop up and distribute that fucking great big watermelon, which they had been lugging with them since the barbeque at Mira. Once everyone had breakfasted, and had been force fed some, Will took great delight in binning the remains. Most of everyone else did the same too, getting rid of worn out or broken kit rather than carry it all the way home.

I took the opportunity to bin our camping stools, which had seen better days as well as our air bed, which, to be honest, hadn’t stayed fully inflated the whole night since the hammering it took on the wedding night in Mira, (tee hee hee!) Butler ditched his final bag of soiled and knackered clothing. He does this every time we go anywhere; he only takes his oldest rattiest stuff and bins it along the way. He goes home with the clothes he’s standing up in. Doug did the opposite and did his usual trick, and went digging in the bin for anything salvageable!

It was now time to pack up ready for the journey home. We had decided the previous evening, before we all got wrecked, that we would go back down to the Harley bar for a coffee before we left Laredo, as we had absolutely ages to kill before we had to be in the port of Santander. We rode off the camp site and caused complete chaos as we wound our way through the one way system until we got all of the bikes, and the car, on the road outside the bar. We had also discussed leaving a little souvenir behind for the extremely friendly and welcoming owner too.

Graham had decided to further the Jugsters diplomatic relations once more by ‘donating’ one of his tee shirts, well used and slightly grubby white ‘I got bladdered at the Jugsters rally’ tee shirt to be precise. So with me acting as interpreter, and a little bit of sign language, we presented it to him to hang up on the wall. The owner was overjoyed, and immediately stomped off to fetch a frame and a hammer and nails. When he returned, he presented Graham with one of his bar shirts with the ‘Harley Ever 88 bar’ logo emblazoned across the front. So both he and Graham were happy with the arrangement.

Once we had all finished our brews, we said our goodbyes and saddled up for the trip home. Whilst we were getting ready, the restaurant opposite tried to tempt us in for dinner, by means of the chef appearing with some raw monster steaks on a plate, we all agreed we had definitely missed a treat there. Before we left, the owner insisted that we all did a rev-up and burn as we left. As we took turns to start them up, he stood there, miming the throttle and shouting “Si, Si,” so we individually obliged him. (He soon regretted that fucking silly idea when Douggie whacked his throttle wide open, it sent people running for cover as when he shut the throttle on that fucking noisy contraption, it backfired like a machine gun going off! They must have thought the Basque separatists were playing silly buggers again!)

Once the locals had recovered their composure, we waved and then pulled away into the traffic for our final ride in Spain. We headed out of town and back once more onto the A8, and followed the signs for the port, firstly, due to very poor signage, finding the cargo area as opposed to the passenger terminal. (Oops!) We set off once more and this time found the correct dock after some minor dicing with the city traffic. We arrived on port massively early; the kiosks where you booked in were closed with no staff anywhere in view. We had a whole day to spend on the port area as our ferry wasn’t leaving until 10pm. But what choice did we have?

Actually, we had quite a lot; I could feel the need for a beer coming on!

We parked the bikes up by the side of the harbour police offices and, went for a coffee. When questioned, the manager of the on port facilities explained that; once the kiosks opened, (in about an hour,) and we had booked in, he would give us a pass so as we could leave the secure port area, and thereby our bikes and luggage in total safety and go or a wander around in Santander. Result! While we were waiting for this to occur, an English couple turned up, who had just missed the Brittany Ferries boat that had just departed as we arrived.

They had suffered a puncture and traffic issues which had caused them to miss their crossing. They were holding on to the vain hope that they could slip onto this boat. Failing that, they were facing one hell of a slog back up through Spain and France, as they needed to be home the following day. Unfortunately, they were turned away as the boat was full, but it sure made us glad that we were on time, if ridiculously early for our boat home! As we all agreed, and as Doug stated so eloquently; “better to be massively early than a minute late for something as important as the ferry.”

Once the kiosks opened Donna went and explained the situation and booked us all in, then proceeded to the other end of the car parking area and into ‘the secure zone.’ Once we were all safe and sound, we took a wander out of the secure access gate with the pass card supplied so generously by the cafe/shop manager and went for a look around.

We found a duty free tobacco shop that was far cheaper than anywhere else we had found in Spain, so quite a few people took the opportunity to stock up once more. Once this was accomplished, we shot over the road and into a conveniently sited tapas bar, and did what we do best.

We did see some interesting sights. Possibly the funniest was the strangely perfumed gentleman in the grey silk suit and the flowery shirt, who had the most ornate coiffure along the lines of a ‘Jackie Charlton special’ that you have ever seen.

He was just sitting in the corner reading the paper. “So what?” you may say, “you’re in Spain, not necessarily fully up to speed on the local fashions and customs, and none of you lot are necessarily the most impeccably attired examples of modern man, so who amongst you has the right to say that this get up was weird?”

Well, I will tell you.

He was most definitely not necessarily the full ticket; he was wearing nail varnish, and peeping out from beneath his trousers were high heels and fishnet stockings!

After seeing this, we finished our food and beers and we headed back to the safety of the port bikes and the cafe area. When we got there, we returned the pass to the manager with our thanks and returned to our long wait for the ship. As we were sitting there bored shitless, we were treated some light entertainment it was akin to a ‘keystone cops’ moment whereby a van, which was booking onto the same ferry as we, suddenly tried to make a break for it.

When it was stopped, it burst open and about half a dozen what we can only assume where prospective illegal immigrants, burst out of the back and began running here, there, and everywhere in an attempt to evade the police, it was fucking hilarious, a proper ‘Ealing comedy moment!’ But at least it shows that the Spanish authorities were on their toes. Eventually, they rounded them all up slapped tie wrap cuffs on them and herded them off to the secure compound at the top. A job well done and it gave us something to laugh about too!

As the afternoon, turned to evening, more bikes arrived, one of whom was riding a Triumph Speed Triple 1050, which is the same model as Donna’s, but his had a full set of luggage fitted.

After striking up a conversation with the owner, he very obligingly allowed me to study the luggage mountings to see if we could reproduce something similar for Donna’s bike, though albeit at a much more reasonable cost.

Not long after that, off in the distance, the ferry came into view. After what seemed like an eternity, the ship docked, and, soon enough the new arrivals to Spain started to be disgorged out of its bowels. When this started happening, all the other cars, vans and passengers began scurrying back to their respective vehicles, and we started to get ready too. Not soon enough, we were waved forwards and, after presenting our passports once more, we were waved forward into what was the most pointless exercise I have ever been a party to, and after 14 years in H.M. Forces, that is saying something!

We were sent by some bloke in a day-glo jacket, all the way off into the far distance, in the direction of another little man in a day-glo jacket, who sent us straight back down to the previous bloke once more, but this time, just to the left of a fucking white line. We then formed up in another queue once more.

As we sat there, with the engines boiling up, annoying the other passengers, we had a bit of a laugh with the dock staff, which then waved us up onto the deck. This time, the deck was wet, and a few people had a bit of a moment as they did a three point turn into the required positions.

We then had a repeat procedure of the booking in and finding the cabins that we had to endure on the way to Spain. When we had, bundled all our stuff into the cabin once more, which was and outside cabin this time, so we had a window, (ooh, get us, posh as fuck,) we decided it was time that we headed for the bar. Before we got there, we bumped into Will and Jo, who we hadn’t seen since the dockside, and Will and Jo really had a story to tell.

He and the family had been separated from us down on the last section of the pier, and he had been directed up onto the top deck, up a nigh on 45 degree ramp, only to find that when half way up, the car in front either stalled or its driver was a total fucking prawn! Will had to stop, but this other idiot, (who, by the sounds of it, got his licence off the back of a corn flakes packet as he had as much of a concept of clutch control as would an arthritic baboon,) couldn’t get going again. He just kept bouncing and lurching forwards and more worryingly, backwards towards them.

After a frantic five minutes, that will reckoned felt like an hour, this Muppet finally regained control and they eventually got onto the parking deck. After the Mather’s had told us about their loading nightmare, they then gave us a guided tour of their suite, spawny bastards! They had really dropped on lucky, loads of space and what looked like bigger beds too; this really made us feel like we were in a fucking sardine can.

Now, Jugster logic and lore dictates that; if a bar is open, hammer the fuck out of it if you can! So, seeing as we were stuck on this tub until at least 10.pm the following evening, we might as well get smashed and have a lie in the next morning. That meant that there was no doubt that the bar was going to get a damned good thrashing. As soon as the good ship S.S. Limpalong got moving, we could tell it wasn’t going to be such a pleasant crossing on the way back across the Bay of Biscay. As soon as the ship cleared the harbour it started to roll and sway, which soon had Jan doing the same, she quickly retired to her bed.

Deb claimed to be suffering from the same ailment, but for someone who was supposedly feeling seasick, she did a bloody good job of getting outside of a lamb shank, roast and mashed potatoes and two different vegetable choices. Everyone else seemed to cope with it tremendously well and stuck with the Alcohol diet. The rest of the evening we caroused in the bar, until all were full, and we headed our separate ways back to beddy-byes.

Monday 18th August ‘D’ Day+6

The next day seemed to drag on for an eternity! We almost had a déjà vu moment from ‘his holiness’ when the tannoy announced that breakfast was being served. Which put paid to my having a lie in? Seeing as there is no sleep for the wicked, I went and joined the Mather’s for breakfast. We were bored shitless, as the time seemed to drag. Doug was especially grumpy about the whole situation. He led a general discussion about this which ended with everyone agreeing that if this was the only way to get to Spain and Portugal on a bike, it just wasn’t worth it.

Two complete days wasted! The general consensus of opinion amongst the lads was that we would ride it if we came again, the ladies, and especially Shaz were not so keen.

Then there was an announcement that informed us that, due to the inclement weather, we would be even later reaching the port. Oh this just sent Doug into a fucking spin!

After a couple of pints I went and tried to get my head down for a bit, and just about managed a fitful doze, cuddled up on the bottom bunk with the bride. It was not what you would call a good nights sleep, but it was better than nothing, as I had a feeling that I would need my wits about me when we got home. We eventually gave in and rejoined our travelling companions at about 5pm.

It was about 7.p.m. when we eventually got the first welcome sight of the still distant shores of this, our most beautiful homeland, and this gave us all something to look forward to as we all wanted off that boat! It still took us another four fucking hours before we were tied up to the quay and they allowed us down to the bikes though! It was at this point we all had to say our goodbyes to Jo-Jo, William, Lewis and Tyler. There was no way we were going to be able to meet up with them on the harbour, and they were going totally a different way to us, so having made them promise to TXT us when they got home, and us agreeing to do the same. We went our different ways.

The rest of the passengers must also have been keen to get away as well. There was an almighty rugby scrum at the approach to the corridor and the escalator at the end. I started doing sheep impressions, then in a blind panic, realized that I hadn’t got my helmet, fortunately, Shaz had. We got down onto the vehicle deck and got ourselves ready to roll.

We eventually got off the ship at 11.15pm and it took us yet another 30 minutes to clear passport and immigration control. Complete fucking chaos, with no chance to keep us bunched together, unfortunately, for a short while, it was every man, (and woman,) for themselves. Once we were all through, we regrouped at the agreed meeting point.

By fuck it was cold!

Once everyone had got through, they pulled over and started pulling on the extra layers, with the exception of Doug, who had none, and Dippy Deb, who, for some inexplicable reason had binned her leathers somewhere in Portugal or Spain because she couldn’t be bothered packing them?? She was just wearing leggings. Once all were happy enough and ready to move off, we set off in search of petrol and then onwards for the journey home.

Due to differences in tank size, Shaz and I had needed to fill up when we were in Santander, for the others hadn’t been such a necessity. So, neither Shaz nor I had the need to bother when the others refuelled. This would balance out at the next stop at about the 100mile mark though, seeing as if you do not ride like a complete tit, a blackbird is good for 150+miles on a tank at anywhere near legal motorway speeds. When we next filled up, which would be more than enough, if needs must, to get us the rest of the way home with fuel to spare, as it was only about 200 miles from the harbour to our front door.

As we left Poole the weather was horrible, it was cold and misty, and there had been a fair bit of rain too! It was absolute chaos as we left the port, cars, cars with wobble boxes, and mobile homes, all jostling to get away, I was just glad to get us onto the road we needed in one group, (I was going to say cohesive there, but that would have been just too much!) I had taken us out of Poole on the A350 to get to the A31, which is slightly in the wrong way, but it meant that we were not fighting with all the duelling Wobble boxes and all that shit and the local ‘drunk’ traffic too.

When we pulled in at the chosen petrol station, it was starting to give out that fine misty shit that gets straight into your bones. On the way down and on the ferry on the way back, we had discussed different options with travelling home. We had considered using a camp site near Poole, but the late arrival back into the UK had thrown that one in the shit hole, especially seeing as Shaz and I, along with quite a few of the others had now binned their air beds.

We also discussed stopping in a Premier inn, or suchlike, but the costs where exorbitant. The only way you can get their advertised deal of £15 a night is if you go to a certain hotel, probably in Dundee, on a specific night, for one night only! (Read the fucking small print!) So our only option was going to be to ‘ride through it.’

As we pulled back out onto the road, heading for the A31, I noticed another problem which, seeing as we had done no night riding at all over the last couple of weeks, this issue hadn’t become apparent. I had fuck all vision to the rear and was unable to use my mirrors. Sitting in my ‘wing man’ position was a blazing incandescent ball, a super nova of light, so bright, at the merest glance, it was enough to induce semi permanent retinal scarring!

Due to the way they were loaded, when his holiness had his lights in the normal ‘dipped position’; his headlight was doing a damned good impression of main beam! If he hit main beam, all of a sudden we could see cows in the fields five miles off, and the clouds in the sky! Just behind him, and to his left, so therefore in my other mirror, was my darling bride, Shaz. Now, I know from ownership of one of these ballistic rocket ships myself, that the Honda Blackbird lights are fucking excellent for night riding, but, having never had one right up my chuff, in the dark and rain, ever.

I didn’t realize just how fucking powerful and disconcerting the lights could be for the bloke in front. Mind you, I didn’t need my mirrors, and why the fuck should I bother with ‘lifesavers’ either? (To be honest, I possibly could have done away with my lights and rode with theirs, silhouetted like some mystical phenomenon, to oncoming drivers, but didn’t feel like fucking about!) I had Gods emissary on my right shoulder, and my avenging angel to my left, so why should I need rearward vision, what could possibly go wrong?

LOTS!

Before we got onto the A31, the roads had dried and we were making good pace, though we were strung out a bit, and the temperature had dropped even further. As soon as we got onto the M27, we realized that things were not all well with our group, Whitty came charging up to tell me we had lost two of the party, Doug and Kevin. We slowed to a crawl, and Kev pulled alongside and shouted; “Doug’s in trouble!” We hit the first stop available to see what was up.

Tuesday 19th August ‘D’ Day+7

We were all feeling the effects of the cold, but Doug was frozen! Once we got him off his bike he explained that his hands were so cold, he had lost all sensation in them, so much so that he had no feel for the throttle and couldn’t work the clutch.

We all dived into the Service area and started off by sticking a coffee in his hand. Everyone was considering their riding apparel, and I was extremely glad I was wearing long johns under my combats and a full face helmet, let alone for the luxuries of a fairing, a screen and the heated grips.

Once she had drank her coffee, Jan shot off in the direction of the toilets, when she reappeared, it looked as if she was wearing every item of clothing she had with her. Butler reckoned his hands and knees were suffering a bit, but nothing akin to Doug’s problems. Whitty said he was ok, mind you; he had that bloody great screen, and an engine and radiator that gave off heat like the Chernobyl nuclear reactor blowing back onto him.

I asked Shaz and Donna how they were doing, and, apart from her hands, knees and her nose, she assured me she was fine. Mind you, she had been tucked in so tight behind the screen and fairing; it looked as if the bike was piloting itself. Donna, the person who professes; “I don’t do cold.” but, for a woman who would normally wear a couple of sweaters on the surface of the sun, she reckoned it was just her knees and a general chilliness as she was tucked in behind his holiness, I said that it was probably something to do with the ‘holy aura’ he now emitted like the ‘ready-brek kid’ which raised a few laughs, and got me a “Fack off” in response.

I didn’t ask, but I think a certain someone was regretting binning those leather trousers though?

Once he was sure his old mate was not going to die on him, Steely had disappeared outside, when he returned; he handed round a load of disposable gloves that he had ‘liberated’ from the service station forecourt. Doug had pulled some more layers from his bag, and had also resorted to the ‘old school’ ways and had rammed his jacket full of McDonald’s napkins and a discarded newspaper. From there on, the ‘100 miles and stop’ plan was discarded, and a new one was adopted, this was a case of ‘stop when you fucking need to!’

When we reluctantly left the warmth of the services and started to saddle up, Jan gave us a right laugh when she came out. She was unable to immediately identify where her hubby was as all the bikes were facing her so all she could see were the headlights. It looked as if she was doing the hokey-kokey on a stage, due to being so well illuminated, as she tried to decide which one of us to go too! Once Jan had finished her little dance, we got under way once more.

We managed to get to the vicinity of Newbury before both fuel and our concerns for Doug caused us to stop once more. Unfortunately, Doug and Kev had pulled over about 5 miles before us as Doug could take no more. I hadn’t seen them pull off because of Steely’s ‘death ray’ headlight rendering my mirrors about as much use as a chocolate tea pot.

We spoke to Kev, who assured us that they were both ok, and not to wait, as they were going to have an hour or so off, and fully warm up before they went any further. With our concerns for them allayed, we filled up and had a smoke break.

It was at this point we had to say our goodbyes to one another, as when we got onto the M40, Shaz and I would only use it for one junction and then would be retracing our journey back along the A34 to the M1, whilst the rest would continue along the M40 in the direction of home.

Once these were completed, along with assurances that we would let each other know we were safely home, we set off again. When we got to the next junction, which was the point at which we would go our separate ways, Sharon and I slowed to let them do a ‘fly-by’ and wave them off.

Steely pulled alongside, we shook hands and gave the thumbs up, and they pulled away, as Graham and Whitty passed us, they did the same. After two glorious weeks, and all we had been through, it was a sad moment to see them ride onwards whilst we peeled off for our last leg of the journey.

And then there were two!

Shaz and I headed off The M40, and hit the A43 once more, where we agreed we would ‘turn up the wick’, and get our heads down and arses up! We did so and were making great time and progress until, in Shaz’s words; “You suddenly disappeared, so I came off the gas, not knowing what to expect next!” (Clever girl, quick and sensible reasoning, quite glad she did really, as I was having a “come in Brown, you’re through” moment, when I suddenly had an Articulated lorry pull out of a lay-by and into my path!) She didn’t know what to expect next, bleeding hell matey, trust me neither did I, I was flying fucking blind!

The conditions had deteriorated so suddenly and unexpectedly that the visibility had dropped from ‘as far as the lights would shine’ to no more than 20 feet, instantly, as the lorry pulling out had proved, it was like suddenly riding through a curtain. Once the lorry incident had been avoided, I took a moment to un-pucker and extract the seat fabric from my arse; I took a deep breath and waited for Shaz, who had disappeared from view, to catch me up.

As the fog/mist cleared, she steadily she did so, and we then proceeded onwards through the unpredictable fog banks at a more cautious pace until it cleared and we got some more light drizzle around Brackley. I remember at the time thinking to myself; “I hope the rest of them don’t have this shit to contend with on the way home, as with Steely leading, with his lighting issues, it would be chaos!”

Mercifully, this cleared before we got to the Junction for the M1, and we rode home from there at a much better pace, even with the unexpected traffic levels we encountered heading north. It was even getting a bit warmer. At Junction 21, we had some lunatic on a mobile phone shoot straight out from the slip road and almost into the outside lane, where we were, which gave both us and that fucktard a brake test, other than that, we were fine.

When we finally turned off the M1 for our last leg, which is a blast down the back roads from the M1 to our house, we got a few spots of rain, but by then, it was nothing to worry about. As I was sticking the bikes in the garage, it started to give a light shower. Perfect timing!

When we got in and checked the phones, Jo had sent a text saying that they were home safe and sound too. We sent a txt to Donna and Doug, to inform them that both we and the Mather’s were home, we then had a warm–up brew, and then dived into the welcoming embrace of our bed.

Meanwhile, things were not going so well with the Nuneaton wing!

The Fuck-up fairy had elected to stay with them!

We found out the next day that Doug and Kev, who had decided on a prolonged stop earlier, had made it safely home well in advance of Steely, Donna, Graham, Jan, Whitty and Dippy. Whitty had broken down; his immobilizer had kicked in and refused to let him start after another fuel/coffee/nicotine stop. The rest stayed with him until he had exhausted all his available options and called for assistance, they eventually got home well after the sun was high in the sky!

So here endeth the saga of the Portugal trip, now forever known as the; “Well I didn’t see that coming tour!” this is to the best of my recollection and no doubt, I may have a few details wrong, and no doubt the people who were involved will take great satisfaction in correcting me and ripping me to shit for the errors contained herein. I can honestly say it was memorable for both Sharon and I and hopefully for the other members of the party that were on this journey.

I also offer a special note of gratitude to all those of you who came or not, that knew all about what was afoot and kept quiet about what was going to happen, you have my most sincere thanks. I hope you enjoy reading about it as we did doing it.

A final, special acknowledgement goes to two of the most duplicitous bastards, who just so happen to be the best friends a person could wish for, who went above and beyond the call to organize my surprise for Sharon, and then went even further, all of which was done in the name of ‘payback!’

The words ‘thank you both’ will never be enough.

P.S. watch your backs! 


J.A.G.T.W.I.T. 2009

(Jugsters And Guests Two Wheeled Iberian Tour)

(Also known as; “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.”)


This account of our attempted journey to Portugal in 2009 was actually begun just after we arrived back in the U.K. But, due to the tragic event that befell two of the members of this trip, (Bob & Mo) on the Friday afternoon of the OGRI rally not long after we got back, I sort of lost heart in the writing of it, as it seemed disrespectful to write about someone who was so loved and respected by so many, in my usual manner, (i.e. mercilessly taking the piss, out of everyone, wherever possible!)

But, after speaking to Bob, in person, at our rally in April 2010, he requested that I please write it, in full, as it was intended to be, in memory of Mo, and also to try to help him remember some of the good times that they shared with us.

I therefore dedicate this to the memory of Little Mo, a wonderful woman who touched so many people, and hope that you, the reader, do not notice where the gap between the two halves of this tale is.

R.W.


Cast list


Name       Known as;                   Role    Riding style


Russ   “Keeper of ye olde mappe” Navigator A  man with no plan

Katie   “Boo” ‘Funny business’ monitor fidgeting pillion

Steely   “the Obergruppenfuhrer” Jugsters diplomatic attaché wing man

Dinky   “Twisted Sister” The noisy bitch on my ‘six’ wing woman

Shaz   “Twisted Sister” “Pack mule with Tourettes” more right wing

Doug    “Officer commanding cruiser wing” fag break monitor “I mean it, NO twisties!”

Tim    “Tapeworm” Gastronome extraordinaire Too cool to corner

Wiggy    “Mr happy” Little ray of sunshine (again) two wheeled yorkie muncher

Max    “The Black Pearl” the chorus line bandit maniac(ess)

Claude      “not boyfriend material” none due to his ‘Bad Back’ travelling light!

Bob    “Sir Bobalot” keeper of the phrase book harleyesque

Mo    “Mo” film crew pillion queen of darkness

Stuey    “Spewey” Del-Boys ‘Bitch’ “dear god, stay on four”

Del boy    “Papa smurf” “The Gnome on the roam” camel jockey

Kev    “The Butler” tail end Charlie keeps them dogeys rollin’”


You wouldn’t believe it possible would you? After our last little jaunt abroad, you would think people would run a mile, stark bollock naked, through a field of nettles, rather than hook up with the diverse band of idiots, maniacs & sociopath alcoholics known as the Jugsters, on yet another foray into Europe! 

But no, when we first suggested that this time, for a bit more of a laugh, we were actually setting ourselves a target! We were going to ride to Portugal, to the rally at Chaves, via France & then Spain, people still showed an interest.

In the beginning, this silly fucking scheme came to fruition in the usual way, (sitting around a table, at a rally somewhere, ¾ pissed! Steely had a brainwave; you could tell cos there was water sloshing out of his ears!)

 “letsh ride to Porteu, Poorteu, Protua, fuck it, Chaves via Franshe nexsht year, hic!” That soundsh like a cunning plan” says I, and the rest of the idiots chorused up with “yeah let’s do it!” (And they reckon that he’s unhinged!!!)


Once we realized what we had gotten ourselves into, (i.e. when we were sober(ish), and at work, the following Monday morning) we set about the ‘planning stage’. 

This involved us laying out the 2006 France map, which we had used in 2007 (it was out of date then!) on the workshop floor, and then, much to the amusement of Jasper, (another one of the ASDA posse,) attempting to show the approximate distances involved to “the Obergruppenfuhrer” by drawing the ‘Spic bit’ onto the rest of the floor with a bit of chalk! 


He stood there, one hand on his hip, rubbing his chin, lips pursed, (just like his dad, Adolph!) and stated, “Well, I think its do-able, what do you reckon pard?” Well, I’m always up for a laugh, me! So I said “yeah, let’s go for it, it aint as if we’re trying to reach Moscow!” (That got a scowl!)


At the next Jugsters meeting, when we announced this crackpot scheme, there were people who had gotten wind of this, the 2nd attempt by the Jugsters to master Europe, forming an orderly queue, shouting “I’m in, I’m in!” (Crazy twats!) In the beginning, we had 28 people put their names down on the list. Of course, as soon as we mentioned the dreaded ‘D’ word, (deposit) the numbers went down quicker than the fucking General Belgrano. It eventually settled down to about 22 people who threw their money in and took their chances. 


Unfortunately, (and, as much as I’d like to, I’m afraid we cannot blame Steely for this one!) the smart-arses in charge of the international banking system took the reins and galloped off west with the most attractive bit of the plan (2ish euros to the pound,) and also kicked quite a few people in the bollocks, job wise at the same time!

This meant that quite a few of the boys were unable to afford this trip and had to drop out, leaving just the hardcore idiots willing to have a crack at it! 

Even this number was whittled down to 12 in the end, and that’s the way it would have stayed, except for Bob, having a momentary lapse of reason and telling Mo to ring up and see if they could get on board and Kev Bennet not even telling his long suffering wife Mary that he was going until he was on the ferry!


Day 1 Friday


Well, the morning of departure arrived, and, seeing as my super-dooper new workshop is now constructed, I didn’t have to get up at god knows what time and pack the bikes. That task had been completed the night before, and the only seriously difficult task that I thought that I had to cope with was getting the ladies out of their pits. 

WRONG! At 04.00, I was awoken by the gentle sound of that psychopathically deranged bitch, (no, not the wife, Manson, her seriously loopy Staffordshire Bull terrier,) literally attempting to rip the steel gate off the dog pen with its teeth, trying to get out! 

Well, this is the sort of behaviour you come to expect from a dog named by my daughter after that oh so balanced and stable American musician, Marylyn Manson, (now there’s a role model for you eh?) and only partially trained by a red headed Scottish lunatic! They say that dogs take after their owners don’t they?


1

So, there am I, at 04.30 in the drizzling rain, in a tee shirt slippers & shorts, shivering my bollocks off, trying to quietly repair the bottom of the gate with a hammer and nails and the top grate off the old barbeque, faster that ‘old looney tunes’ can tear it to bits! (I was seriously tempted to use the fucking hammer on that dog, I can tell you!) Once the gate had been adequately repaired, (or so I thought!) I went to get the ladies up.


After being told to “get tae fuck” by one, and to “bog off” by the other, they were given three warnings each, I then set about them both with a cold, wet sponge, (that got a reaction I can tell you, well if I’m dripping wet so are they,) and then ran for my life! After a bit, I was summoned upstairs to deal with a ‘wardrobe malfunction.’ Boo was refusing to get dressed as there was a fookin’ huge spider in her room. 


That dealt with I was in the good books again, both were easily mollified by tea & toast whilst they were getting dressed and into their waterproofs, and whilst they were stomping about upstairs arguing over hair bands and suchlike, 

I took the time to write a final note to the boy, who couldn’t be arsed with anything so trivial as getting up to wish us or his sister a ‘Bon Voyage’ he was far too busy lying there, inspecting the inside of his eyelids, snoring and farting away! 

It was just a few little things to remember to do whilst we were away, and the odd useful tip;


1. NO PARTIES. 

2. RING YOUR GRAN, SHE WORRIES, and she will feed you, IF YOU VISIT!

3. CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES OCCASIONALLY, YOU SCRUFFY LITTLE SHIT! 

4. THE WASHING MACHINE IS NOT GOING TO BITE YOU, FUCKING USE IT!

5. NEITHER IS THE HOOVER, IT IS ALSO FRIENDLY, KEEP THE FUCKING HOUSE TIDY!

6. REMEMBER TO FEED THE FUCKING FISH. 

7. LOOK AFTER THE DOGS and keep an eye on the pen door; THE LOONEY HAS BEEN AT IT AGAIN!

8. NO FUCKING PARTIES. 

9. NO SYPHONING YOUR MAM’S PETROL FOR YOUR FUCKING MINI-MOTO. 

10. STAY OUT OF THE WORKSHOP. 

11. NO MORE ATTEMPTS AT PETROL BOMBS EITHER!

12. LEAVE MY WHISKEY ALONE!

13. IF YOU FUCK UP THE COMPUTER WITH PORN AGAIN, I WILL SERIOUSLY FUCK YOU UP!

14. NO MORE PLAYING FUCKING ‘SNIPER’ WITH THE AIR RIFLE!

15, ABSO-FUCKING-LOUTELEY NO FUCKING PARTIES!


Once the Ladies were ready, it was out the door, post the key back in and we were on our way! Needless to say, it hadn’t stopped raining, in fact, it was getting worse! As we were heading over the forest get onto the M1 at Jn 22 at about 06.45 I could only just make out the brides headlight through the drizzly foggy crap that we were riding through!


It was just as bad as we got onto the motorway and headed down to meet the rest of the daft buggers, dodging our way through the dumb assed drivers doing the commuter run. 

Suddenly, whilst just going past Leicester Forest east, I was hit on the top of the head by a chunk of tyre from a flat-bed transit which was having a blow out. (Talk about “come in Brown, you’re through!”) 


As we drew closer to Watford Gap services, the rain stopped, allowing us to clear the visors in time to hit the slip road. There to meet us were nearly all of the rest, with the exception of Max & Claude. As soon as the engines stopped, Boo & the bride were off like heat seeking missiles, into the services and re-emerged about ten minutes later, after a pee-break, Shaz carrying two coffee’s and swearing like one of Max’s crew, (you’ll get that gag in a bit) and Boo poking out from behind a large Danish pastry that she had conned out of her mum!

The minutes ticked by and, there was still no sign of the last two of the cast who were meeting there. Stuey, who lives down Dorset way, was going to meet us in Dover


To be honest, none of us were quite sure whether they were going to be there or not, as Max had phoned Dink in the week, explaining that Claude had said he wasn’t sure if he was coming or not, due to his ‘back problem’ and due to this Max was having second thoughts. 

When she mentioned her predicament, Dink, as per usual, absolutely overflowing with her legendary lack of sympathy had said, “Well leave the little fucker at home then and come on your own, he would do it to you!”

So, when we heard the sound of a couple of bikes pulling in, we all turned, as one, to have a look.


The spectacle that came charging up the slip road before us was so awe inspiring as to beggar belief! It turned out to be our Max, wearing some form of cape. (A horse riding cape, which has some disadvantages when it comes to riding a motorcycle. Seeing as it appeared to be designed to engulf the horse as well!) She was followed at a distance by Claude grinning like a loon!

 She charged up the car park with this monstrous black cape billowing out behind her, (seeing as the gold lame belt, which just finished of this ensemble perfectly, had failed miserably to secure the excess material) looking like a cross between Batman and that fucking great galleon out of the film “The Pirates of the Caribbean!” 

The looks on everyone’s faces was a sight to see, as Steely, fag in mouth, stood there, his jaw dropped open and his fag dropped off his lip and shouted, “Fack me, it’s the caped crusader.” 



2

Max ‘heaved to’ and executed a perfect gliding stop. (Which made a change from that fookin’ Kwak and its decidedly iffy brakes that she used on our last little foray onto the continent!) ‘Came ashore’ and, with her usual knack for understating things, grabbed at the rather fetching (but totally ineffective) belt and casually remarked; “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!” which set everyone off laughing.

The thing that finally sealed it was down to me, asking her if this was some form of ‘cunning plan’ to save fuel by getting to Dover by wind power, and whether she wanted a hand ‘hauling in the mainsail?’ which led to her, for this trip, being christened ‘The Black pearl.’


Tim, having quickly regained his composure, and managed to finish his breakfast chocolate bar, sidled over to Claude and asked him, “why were you so far behind, is she leaving you & the Buell behind, now that she has ’Bandit Power’?” 

Claude, whilst gingerly dismounting ‘the rampant rabbit’ rummaging in his pockets and coming out with his now sodden fags, casually stated; “No, I had to hang back cos of the turbulence from that cape!”  (That caused another round of laughter!)


Whilst we were stood there, waiting around, chuckling away to ourselves, Max, mindful of the last time we were there at Watford Gap, did a quick luggage security check.  Shaz, in another show of female solidarity, sidled over to Wiggy and casually asked; “I don’t know what you’re laughing at, have you remembered your poles this time?” This caused another round of the giggles when Wiggy responded with the usual, “Fuck orf.”

 

Whilst all this was going off, you could see Bob, Mo & Del Boy, three of our four guests for this little run, were trading looks with each other, as if to say “what the fuck have we got ourselves into?” 

Eventually, we were all ready for the off, so we all saddled up, with the exception of Max, who cast off lines and drew up the gang plank, and headed off for a quick top up and away. It had been agreed by all, that we would stop every 100miles (ish) for a fag break and to allow for the limited range of some of the bikes. 


This would also to allow the bride to get some feeling back into her arse. As yet again, her Scottish ancestry had prevailed and she still hadn’t shelled out the cash for a gel seat conversion for ‘the pan-galactic ditch pump’ (SV650) 

As we pulled out of the petrol station and mindful of our last trip to France, I took the chance to remind Steely & Doug that we were heading south, and then headed off onto the M1.

Seeing as, for this trip, I had been nominated as ‘navigator’ and due to the limited rearward view I had, the journey south to our next stop at the last services before the Dartford crossing, was, as far as I was concerned, pretty uneventful. The weather started to clear and the road improved as we got past the rush hour congestion.

Every time I needed to move out for an overtake, either the Obergruppenfuhrer, or Dinky-Doo were there, making sure that I could see them, and therefore knowing that it was safe for me to pull out, allowing me to concentrate on the road ahead.

As we pulled into the services, the ‘fuck-up fairy’ made her presence known and half went for petrol, and the others led by Tim, charged into the Burger king! When the bride pulled up, she was laughing her arse off so hard at Steely she nearly dropped her bike, All he could say was, “Fack off, Olive, it aint fackin’ funny,” and carried on fiddling with his tank bag, muttering something about “fackin sarky jock bints!”


The bride explained to everyone what had happened. When we were riding along, she had been next to his nibs when he had seen fit to play silly-buggers again. She had seen his tank bag cover fly off and wrap itself round his head like the scene from the Alien film, at about 85m.p.h. (her first thought was, “how cool, a tank bag with a built in air bag!”) 

Then, she watched him struggling to claw it from around his head, two handed, like some Mr. Bean sketch, and proceed to stuff it into his crotch whilst weaving around like he was buggering about on a shopping trolley! Meanwhile, the bride was thinking to herself, “Oooh, how useful, a tank bag that doubles as a colostomy bag as well.” (Yet again, her words, not mine pard!) 

Of course, whilst he was doing all of this, he took his hands off the bars, causing him to shoot backwards, causing the pack to scatter like stabbed rats!


The other thing that was mentioned about the first part of the journey was that Max’s cape had left a lasting impression on all the motorists we had passed. So much so that, at one point, one driver was staring so hard, (in disbelief probably,) at this thing billowing out behind her like a satanic wind sock, he had left the road and ended up on the hard shoulder!


Once we had all had a coffee and Tim had had breakfast number three, the remainder refuelled and we were off again, ready for our first crack at a toll section at the Dartford Bridge. The traffic was heavy, and things didn’t get any better when the ladies decided to ‘speed filter’ through the lot! Once the ‘black pearl’ had broken her duck with the bridge and didn’t hold everyone up this year we set off once again, at a slower speed to allow time for re-grouping prior to the turn off for the M20. 


As soon as I could see the butler at the back, thereby knowing that we were all together, we picked up the pace and were heading into Dover in no time at all.

Once at Dover, we headed to the café that we usually use and, sitting outside in the sun was Stuey. It turns out that he had arrived there abut ten minutes before and had just grabbed himself a coffee. Tim decided that it was time for breakfast number four, and everyone else grabbed something to eat and a brew, before he ate the lot, well, except for the bride that is. 

3

She had seen the ships swaying and lurching on our way down into Dover. (No, not Max, the ferries,) in conditions that could be described as ‘a little bit on the choppy side’ and, not having the best of sea legs, (she was already green around the gills just thinking about the crossing) decided to forgo breakfast. Tim didn’t help matters when he plonked himself down in front of her with a great big fuck-off, full fry up!

A discussion ensued as to just how far we were going to ride before stopping when we got into, according to Steely, ‘enemy territory’. So, it was time to consult ‘ye olde mappe.’ In all honesty, to say that it was a little bit on the tired and dog eared side is like saying Steelys dad (Adolph) had a bit of a naughty streak. It is held together with sellotape and, in some places electricians tape too! 


I had considered buying a replacement, but, seeing as it was purely for reference purposes and not being used as a definitive guide to France, I decided that having an accurate and up to date map would spoil the fun. So off I trotted to the bikes and started rooting around in the tank-bag, wondering what the fuck had happened to it, seeing as it seemed to be rammed full of loads of crap that I didn’t remember packing, it wasn’t until Butler pointed out that my bike was parked next to it that I realized that I was raiding Steelys and not mine! 


Seeing as it had warmed up no end, though it was still hellishly windy, prior to moving off, everyone removed the waterproofs, and we headed off to the ferry terminal. Doug took the lead, seeing as he had all of the paperwork, weaving his way through all the foreign Lorries that were all playing ‘Mad Max’ and jostling for position; with us lot buggering around behind him.

After a bit of a queue we ‘played follow the leader’ showing passports etc, (this time, Wiggy didn’t manage to slip through!)  and then headed into the terminal proper. For the first time ever, we were all diverted into a customs shed on the outbound journey, and Doug was questioned by the staff, having to show all the paperwork again! 

Needless to say, with 13 bikes sitting in this glorified tin garage, the noise was skull shattering, especially with Donna, the noisy bint with the straight-through pipes, gunning the engine just for the annoyance factor! This bloke was obviously not impressed with having had us lot sent in there. He started off all official like, asking “where are you going?” when he got the answer, “Portugal, hopefully” he looked a little bemused, but carried on regardless. 


He asked who was in the party, well, seeing as no-one was expecting the tenth degree, and only Doug had the documentation we were fucked, seeing as we refer to each other by first names only.  

He then started asking about the luggage, looking at Del boy’s bike, specially kitted out as it was, with what looked like enough kit for two years, let alone two weeks! 

Panniers bags, tent, more bags, and nattily finished off with about thirty bungees, solar panels & a fridge for his insulin! He asked; “did you pack your luggage yourselves?” Del replied with something along the lines of, “yeah, why, does it look like a professional job then?”


You could see this bloke, as he moved down the line, getting more and more frustrated with the sarky answers and all the laughter, when he asked “do you have any knives?” some bright spark shouted from the back,”why, are we gonna need em, I thought the Froggies were friendly?” causing us all to crack up, he finally lost the plot, laughed and shouted, “oh, go on, fuck off, the lot of you!” 

With that, the bikes all fired up as one and we were out of there, needless to say, with us being Jugsters, it was a ‘squadron scatter’ moment, and we had bikes heading for all points of the compass!


Eventually, the rest of ‘Fuckwits ‘R’ Us’ found where they were supposed to be, quite simply by looking for the only lane, in the middle of fucking nowhere, with bikes at the front and Steely leaping around & waving his arms like some demented gibbon, and parked up in the lane behind us, it was around about this time that the fuck-up fairy came a calling again! 

Surprise, surprise, it was Wiggy, having managed to lose his paperwork before even getting on the ferry, this has to be a record, even by his ‘slap-dash, yam-yam’ standards!


Soon enough, it was time to board, and the lane marshal came waddling towards us, causing a scene from the wacky races as everyone dashed back to their respective bikes and cranked them up, except for Max of course, as she needed someone to disarm her alarm whilst she was sitting on the bike. So, with everyone else ready to roll, Claude could be seen rummaging around underneath her luggage, jabbing her key fob around the back light. 


Once those pair had finished buggering about, we were off up the ramp and into the bowels of the ferry. 

As soon as we were guided to the correct spot, as per usual, chaos abounded, with everyone trying to get their bikes lashed down so as they could go and get lashed! You could easily spot the ferry travel ‘newbie’s’, as they were the ones staring blankly at the ratchet straps that the ferry crew had handed them! 

For some, this is understandable, especially the likes of Del, who probably knew once, but is rapidly slipping into his dotage! (We reckoned that that is why he conned Stuey into coming on this trip, just to remind him about the odd thing or two, such as putting his pants on before his trousers!) But for others, it is downright inexcusable! Especially the likes of Tim, who, having worked in a food distribution warehouse for 15 years, is still unable to figure one out, and he loads trailers for a fucking living! 


It was quite comical really, watching the new ‘hinge & bracket’ (Stuey and Del) applying a bit of the old ‘mental judo’ to the problem, whilst Tim wandered around like little boy lost appealing for help! Needles to say, it fell to ‘muggins ‘ere’, to sort the senile old twat out!

4

Of course, by the time I had finished sorting him out, there wasn’t another Jugster to be seen, (but it didn’t take fucking Einstein to figure out where they would be!) Yup, you guessed it, the fucking bar!

There they were, the whole bastard lot of them, like a leather clad rugby scrum,  charging up and down the whole length of the bar, money in hand, chasing the ‘none too hetero’ Chinese steward, trying to catch his eye,  with one of them haranguing him to “open the fackin bar, open the fackin’ bar, now!” (Can you guess who?)

Eventually, this nautical and oriental version of Julian Clary gave in and started serving. The next thing you heard was; “HOW FACKIN’ MUCH????????”

When he left the scrummage and sat down with his and Dinky’s pints, he turned to me and said; “I’ll tell you what pard, I’ll be glad when we get over there for some cheap booze!” (Oh how wrong can you possibly fucking be eh?)


You could tell as soon as the boat was moving, by the colour of Shaz’s face, (pale green) and the fact that Doug quickly finished his drink & headed upstairs for a puff, (no, not the barman, a roll up!) As soon as we left the quayside, the ferry began to lurch and roll, as did the bride’s stomach. 

Her condition was not helped by Boo, (the little darling) rocking and rolling about, laughing hysterically at her none too happy mother, doing ‘throwing up’ impressions! 

Once we had passed the outer harbour walls, the waves really went for it, and Shaz went for Boo! Threatening to, “kill ye, ya wee bastart!” As she was now theatrically lurching from side to side in the doorway, laughing her little blonde arse off, shouting helpful things like; 

“Is this gonna be like the Titanic? Mmmmm, greasy bacon sarnies anyone? Ere, do you want to chuck up yet Mum? Woo, nice shade of green, Dad where’s the camera?” 


So, without much ado, I grabbed the little darling by the ponytail and took her upstairs to the smoke deck, out of harms way to see Uncle Douggie!  I ended up keeping her up there out of ‘mummy’s way’ along with most of the others, who didn’t fancy being with in range, until we had docked. 

When, we headed back down to the car deck, most of the posse had found the correct one and were rapidly un-strapping and getting ready to roll, well, except for Dink! In her haste to get after her none too trustworthy (where bars or alcohol are concerned) husband, she had managed to jam the ratchet strap! 

Steely, ever the practical man, was calmly a thinking the problem through in his own special way, Kicking the fuck out of the latch with his mouldy green rally boots, shouting “come off you caant!” 

Dink, with withering look, turned to him and said, “There’s nowt for it honey, we are going to have to cut it, get your knife out!” 


With that statement, both Doug and I looked at each other in horror, expecting at any moment to see his nibs wielding that fucking great, evil looking (but entirely useless, compass wise,) ‘Rambo special’ from the last trip, but no, this time he had only brought an  8” stiletto with him! 

So, with us stood around, screening him from view, he set about hacking the offending strap to bits. With a hardly subtle ‘clang’ (which resounded through the car deck like a chime from Big Ben,) the strap parted and the metal bit hit the deck! Donna, all casual like, bundled the two halves together and threw them in the corner behind some pipe work, and we were all off down the ramp, Portugal here we come!


Ten minutes later, there we were, ten of us, in a layby on the way out, casually waiting for the rest of them, as without any surprise, the twats had got lost, or so we thought. They had taken a different route and were waiting on the other side of a big green shed! Whilst we were waiting, I dug out ‘ye olde Mappe’, found the relevant bit and stuck it in the top pocket of the tank bag, ready to deal with the French auto route system once more! 

As soon as we were ten kilometres out of Calais, the heavens opened and the wind picked up once more, (oh joy!) giving us all a light soaking, (no one had bothered putting the waterproofs back on in the port!) after a quick stop at the start of the peage to allow us to reapply the goons suits, except for Doug, who had lost his on the first bit of dual carriageway, (and Max to unfurl her mainsail) we were heading in the general direction of Rouen. 


Well, things were going swimmingly, with swimmingly being the operative word as it was still honking it down, until we reached the turn off for Abbeville, where we were stopping for the night. 

Yet again, the ‘fuck-up fairy paid us a visit, well, to be honest, (I think she was riding pillion with Steely,) as the next fuck up was down to ‘his nibs’ again! Silly bollocks went and joined the wrong queue at the exit, fed in his now soggy ticket, and then wondered why the machine wouldn’t let him through, (credit card only.) of course, none of us were in a position to help him, even if we had a mind to, as it was so much fun, standing there watching him kicking shit out of the machine, Bob, phrase book in hand, went over to have a look, leaving Mo with us, laughing our arses off!

In the end, with the queue of French cars & lorries backing up to Calais, not because they were stuck mind, just so as they could have a giggle at “Ze crayzeee Engleeesh” a Frenchman got out and paid with his card, just to get the silly twat out of the way.

Once this little issue was resolved, and Max had handed the ‘Peage Pauline’ crown to ‘Peage Paul’ (Steely,) we all headed into Abbeville, in search of the ‘Formula 1’ hotel that we were planning to use that night. 

Yet again we ended up playing ‘here we go round the mulberry bush, Jugsters style’ as we could see the fucking place but not get to it due to; 

A, the rush hour traffic, and 

B, the roadwork’s that were being carrying out! 


5

Once we eventually got into the car park, the real chaos ensued! Seeing as I had two bike loads of luggage to unload, I set about it pronto, only to be dragged away by Donna who, after letting rip with one of her ear splitting whistles to get my attention, shouted ; “get your arse up here, we’re having trouble booking in.”

Once I had fought my way into the foyer, I found the best hotel reception sketch since ‘Faulty Towers’ was last aired. The (and I use this term loosely) ‘receptionist’ looked like the bastard child brought about by a chance mating between that deliverance kid and Waynetta Slob! 

Now, I know that my French isn’t perfect, but fuck me; she took stupid to another bleeding level! In the end, Max and I eventually got through to her that;

A, no, she was not going to get raped. (She could wish! mind, Wiggy might have had a crack at it!)

B, no, we didn’t want one room for all of us, but, in fact, seven separate ones.

C, no, each room would be paid for separately.


With this diplomatic hurdle out of the way, we all went into the rooms to get into something dry, and then we were off in search of proper, authentic French cuisine.


20 minutes later, after being turned away by at least one restaurant, two supermarkets and a petrol station, there we were, all fifteen of us, covered in mud after one of Doug’s ‘short cuts’ stomping into an authentic, French, ‘Buffalo Grill, Diner Americano’ (Well, it was either that or that other famous chain of French restaurants, ‘Le Pizza ut’) and, trust me, they didn’t look too fuckin’ pleased to see us either!

Once we had finally got ourselves a table for fifteen, the now infamous ‘battle of the menu’ began. Max and I had decided to ‘take a back seat’ for his one, just saw to our respective dinners and sat back to watch the antics ensue. Oh boy, was it a scream. Most of the crew were just pointing at the menu and waving money, Whilst Bob and Mo had a crack at ordering in the native language with his natty little phrase book. 


Needless to say, neither method worked perfectly. Eventually, I gave in and assisted Bob, as the waitress hadn’t got a Scooby-Doo what he was attempting to order, Leaving Mo to whisper laughingly in Bob’s ear, “You know when you bought that fucking phrase book; I think they saw you coming!”

One of the highlights of the evening, much later on, after the wine & beer had started flowing, was Mo threatening to stab Steely with her fork if he asked her to ‘chew his meat’ for him one more time! 

(He still swears to this day that she misunderstood him, cos he was going on about his lack of dental furnishings!)

One thing that was noticed was the price of the beer; it was nut screwingly expensive, so most decided to hit the house plonk! 

This is where one of the biggest laughs of the holiday began. Kev ’the butler’ Bennet announced that he was only going to drink the wine as he was, as he stated, “a bit of a connoisseur, where wine was concerned.” Out came the note pad & pen and he started to note down the name of the cheapo house-red that he had been guzzling down.


Soon enough, the meal was over, and the serious drinking was about to commence, but the restaurant staff wanted us out, so a different watering hole was required. Yet again, we were turned away from the restaurants on the way back to the hotel, so we had to try our luck at the Ibis Hotel next door, after some ‘negotiations’ we got into the bar and ordered drinks, FOURTEEN FOOOKIN’ EUROS FAE TWO PINTS!!! (Yup, the wife wasn’t in the least bit impressed, but a drink is a drink, and I needed one after the day we’d had!)

 After ONE pint, it was time for beddy-byes, especially as our Boo was on her chinstrap. So we headed off back, next door to the Formula one, turned all of the semi-dry gear on the radiators over and turned in. five minutes after getting into bed, I’m up again, cos of a commotion in the corridor right outside our door.


Del-Boy & Stuey cannot get into their room, due to the fact that the senile dyslexic old, pint sized twat was punching in the number, incorrectly. I advised him that if there was any more noise from him that night, I would be punching something, and I would get it right first time!

Went back to bed.

Fifteen minutes later, there was an almighty crash from next door and loads of hysterical dirty cackling from the shorter of the Twisted Sisterz. We found out the next morning that Donna had nearly brained herself on the overhead bunk whilst ‘rough riding’ Steely. Just as we were settling down, (for the 3rd time) and I was getting a goodnight kiss, our Boo’s head appeared from the bunk above and shouted, “Oi, you two, no funny business!” so we ended up laughing ourselves to sleep. 

All this, and only 300miles done!


Day 2 Saturday


All were up, dressed, packed and ‘ready to rock for 8 o’clock! (Well, except for Del-Boy) so we were on the road for 08.30, to another French gastronomic marvel, ‘Le McDonalds’ so as diabetic Derek could fill up and Tim could have his 2nd breakfast. Once this was done, and Stuey‘s bike was running on all four, (damp problems,) we got onto the ‘ROAD TO ROUEN’ (Da-Da-Daaaaaa!)

Now, if you have read about our previous trip, you’ll know that we Jugsters have a cross between a problem and an affinity for that place; we can never seem to pass by without al least one full lap of this industrial shithole! So, bearing in mind that we were trying to avoid trouble, we’re heading straight for it again! 



6

After quick message back to Doug, telling him to ‘Bungee’ the Butler to his bumper so as we don’t lose him this time, and to the rest to ‘bunch the fuck up’, I set about navigating us through!

Bugger me! With only one separation at one set of lights, and one minor detour, (ahem, oops, my bad,) we made it through, first time, AND got onto the correct road (the A28) heading for Alencon.


Now, if you haven’t been on this road, you will NEVER, EVER, appreciate boring! It is a Peage, so you are paying, and it does what it is supposed to do, which is get you away from Rouen, FAST! But by fuck, it is tedious, and by fuck it is ex-bleedingly-spensive! 

But, with the roads drying, and Stuey’s bike now almost always running on all four cylinders, we were making good time, and really crunching the miles! Apart from stopping for fuel and a brew, we hammered along, under the now clear skies and bright sunshine, waving to Le Mans as we buggered off past! 

Due to the cost of the fuel on the toll roads, and the fact that Del was ‘sleep-riding’ we had decided to get off for the next fuel stop, and look for camping. So, at the next exit, we jumped off.


Whilst Steely was arguing with the automated barrier again, the rest of us held a ‘council of war’ around ‘Ye Olde Mappe’ and, using the tried and tested formula, picked out three likely villages/towns in the immediate vicinity, where we would possibly find Municipal camping areas. As soon as Obergruppenfuhrer Dick von Turpin had finished demanding his change with menaces, and had a fag to cool down, off we set, heading towards the first likely target.


Bingo! He shoots, he scores! The village we hit first was a place called Le Grand Luce, and the camp site is called ‘Marigne Laille’. The site was easily located. Though as we pulled in, things took on a decidedly ‘Deliverance/hillbilly’ flavour! There were about 8 locals, spit roasting pigs, (noooo! Not like that, as in cooking them, over open fires) and they eyed our rag tag bunch rather suspiciously. 

So, after turning the bike round & leaving it running, in case it was needed for a quick get-away, muggins ‘ere went and politely asked for the site superintendent, what shops/facilities/boozers there were in the area and also enquired what the fuck was going off?


As soon as they realized we were ‘Anglais en vacace’ and not from the next valley, come to steal their wimmin-folk & rape their food” they became very helpful. They explained that everywhere was shutting by 7.30pm as it was their summer festival, and a wedding combined, so get set up round the corner and get what we need quick, and they would sort the rest later when the site manager turned up!


Once the tents were up, me and the Obergruppenfuhrer set off on a scouting mission into the heart of the village to buy the essentials; BOOZE, bread, butter, milk, a treat for Boo, something for dinner & breakfast next day, and find a cheeky quick pint whilst the ladies set the tents up. (This equal opportunities/women’s lib rocks!)

Well, we succeeded on all counts, including getting a drink, (even though the locals were eyeing up Herr Steele’s SS insignia in a none too friendly way) which we drank in exactly 10 minutes as he was shutting up shop at 5.30pm to go to ’Le Festival’/wedding himself.

Oh how we laughed as he shut the doors, just as the rest pulled into the village, and oh how we laughed even more as our lot charged mob handed between the bakery and the village store like a mob of locusts!


Once we had all eaten, and Boo was tucked up for the night (7.pm) the booze started to flow, and, lo and behold, the heavens opened again! With a background accompaniment of what sounded like the intro music to ‘Allo, Allo’ and Max, ‘strutting her funky stuff’ in that fuckin’ poncho, looking like some satanic Morris dancer, we all headed to the trees for a bit of cover. 

These were nigh on useless, on the rainproof front, and Donna asked Claude, “Why didn’t you bring ‘The Vicarage’ this time, we could have used it as a rave tent?” 

It was decided that we would ‘borrow’ the front porch of an unoccupied ‘gite’ (holiday cabin) for the evening as, it was agreed, another ‘council of war’ was required. So, it was out with the maps, weighed down with beer cans and it was decision time.

Everyone was of the same mind that there were some serious flaws in the plan, namely;

1. It was exceedingly expensive petrol & peage wise, for us to keep cranking it south to Portugal.

2. It was going to kill either Del-Boy or Stuey’s bike doing 300+ miles per day we needed to do from now on. 


So, it was agreed that, seeing as we were not going to abandon anybody, the holiday itinerary would have to change. It was decided to abandon the Iberian bit and just hit the south coast, without using the Peage wherever possible, trying to hit as many interesting sites as possible.


With that sorted, the brand new map of Spain and Portugal was stuffed back into the luggage, and we were back to relying on ‘old faithful’ again. With the rain still dropping, and with us being so close to the, as Claude, the resident diplomat put it, ‘Froggy rave’; we had our own party on the front porch we had requisitioned.

This went on for about another hour or so, as the owners of the ‘gite’ turned up, boy did they get a shock when they came round the corner! The first sight to greet them was a witch’s coven, Shaz, Donna, Max & Mo, fuelled with lager & white wine, the next sight was ‘Mien Fuhrer’ with his Waffen SS collar tabs glistening in the evening sunlight, chugging back on a 5ltr plastic barrel of the cheap stuff! Yorping at Tim, (who was leaning up against a tree, smoking) “Oi fack-wit, what are you trying to do, look hard to impress some old Froggie tarts?”


7

Seeing as they were lugging all of their gear in, and the rain had somewhat abated, we all bimbled off back to the trees, where Stuey and Del were introduced to the delights of cheap French plonk. After about an hour of that, we all headed away from the music, which Wiggy, our nominated cultural attaché had described as ‘music for the clinically dead’ and meandered back to where we were camped and had a party under the trees there.


This is where we spotted a slight flaw with where the Obergruppenfuhrer had decided to place our camp-site whilst I was in negotiations with the superintendent. Having not learnt his lesson from our last trip, silly bollocks had plonked us under what appeared to be the French equivalent of the Wembley floodlight towers! It was like broad fucking daylight! 

There was nothing for it; we had to find another clump of trees! With Stuey getting a bit of a taste for the vin rouge, it was going well, especially when hi saved himself from a comic prat-fall and ended up hugging a tree to stay upright. At about four in the morning the bride and I called it a night and the rest made to follow suit.

Well, except for Claude & Wiggy, Claude was seen heading off in the direction of the BBQ, saying; “I’m gonna try to scrounge some Froggy food.” and Wiggy was seen to be mesmerized by a ‘grande madame’ with ‘une grande cleavage’ who he had encountered by the bogs!


Total mileage for day 2 was 260mls.

 

Day 3 Sunday


My, oh my. There were some sorry sites to be seen in the morning. You could tell that things weren’t going to go to plan when Doug blew his snazzy, super sexy new petrol stove to bits when trying to light it, and Butler found that he had broke his kettle.

The plan after brekkie was to get off on the road, but find a tobacconists A.S.A.F.P. as both Steely and I were about out of stock. Whilst Donna was rummaging around trying to sort food, pard nipped off, bog roll in hand, for his constitutional. 

When his nibs returned he shouted to his long suffering wife, “Dinky, Dinky, stop cooking, we’re gonna rob the remains of the pig roast, the carcass, head and all, is still on the spit!” 

Whilst Donna controlled her retching, from the depths of his tent, Del-Boy chimed up with; “Nick it’s head, it will look great on the front of your bandit!” then, from what sounded like Tim’s tent, (mainly cos it was Tim who said it) came; “why not, he keeps a fucker inside his helmet all the time!”


Just as we had all stopped laughing and Donna had just about regained control of her stomach, Stuey surfaced in a natty outfit of green, black & purple? Green was his complexion, black was his leathers, and the purple was all the red wine he had vomited back up, all over himself during the night, whilst shit-faced, and slept in! Yup, Donna’s stomach took another walk round to sort itself out.

Whilst we were waiting for Del’s bitch to clean himself up and begin packing both his and His master’s kit, we were roping the rest of ours on and Shaz was trying to prevent Boo looking like she had been dragged through a hedge backwards, the campsite talk turned a bit maudlin, we got onto the subject of wills and suchlike. God alone knows how, normally, whenever we have a conversation, it ends up with either sex or shit, and usually both!

In the midst of this, Steely announced; “tell you something, I intend to go out of this world as I came into it.” Quick as a flash, his usual bubble bursters and statement assassins were onto that one! 

Firstly Tim; “covered in shit?” 

Next, it was my turn; “what, all bad attitude and squawking nonsense?” 

But the last one, the one that sealed the deal, was from his oldest mate, Doug, who thoughtfully, over his mug of tea, muttered; “no fuckin’ teeth!”


Once Stuey had himself sorted and had packed for his ‘bwana’, he had to un-pack the fucking lot again, as Del’s battery was flat. The fridge for his insulin had run it totally flat during the night! Luckily, we had some mini jump leads so that wasn’t a major problem. 

Whilst this was going off, our ‘target for today’ was re-discussed. Upon Claude’s suggestion, (oh shit! We’re not listening to him again, are we? They all didst cry!) We were heading for the ‘ROUTE 66’ biker Hotel, which was, according to Claude, “I was told it was just off the D910, not too far from St Junien, where we had stayed two years ago, we can’t miss it.” (Remember, in comparison to Claude, Steely is as reliable as the atomic clock, so I treated this little nugget of information with a teensy-weensy bit of scepticism!)


The plan was to take the back lanes & chill out, well, until we got to Tours at any rate, where I then had to try to get us through the town and out of the other side in one group. Then, once on the other side of Tours, we would look for this ‘Route 66’, if good old ‘fuckwit-in-a-box’ Fox, couldn’t/didn’t find it, we would just shoot through to St Junien anyway.

 So, away we went, following the D938 for Tours, a reasonable route, an equivalent to say, a good a road in the U.K. nice scenery, not too bendy for those who dislike the twisties, but not exactly straight either. There were no problems with the Sunday opening hours either. Neither did we have a problem with negotiating Tours either.

Well, just one minor hiccup, which had us, playing ‘silly buggers’ going up and down between a couple of mini-roundabouts’ for a bit, and this was purely down to dodgey French signposting! (Well, that’s my version, and I’m sticking to it!) 

Eventually, I located the correct exit and we headed off, out of town on the D910, in the general direction of Poitiers. Once out of town, we stopped at a lovely little bistro for dinner and a bit of ‘liquid refreshment’. By buggery, the management didn’t know what had hit them. 

8

The food was reasonably priced and the beer was cheap. Needless to say, everyone had their fill, OF TOMATOES! Big, massive fuckers, they were served with everything, prompting Doug to suggest the owner had shares in a tomato farm!


Once everyone was ready, off we went again, still on the D910, heading for Poitiers, where we would hit the ring road and head off south, on the N147, well, that was the plan. Unfortunately, Shaz decided to liven up the days activities, (she has a low tolerance threshold at the best of times) and took a right, and headed straight into Poitiers, leading her own little gaggle into the middle of town! After about 30 minutes of us sitting by the side of the road, she and the rest of the idiots reappeared and pulled in behind us, after their little ‘magical mystery tour’. 

When she removed her lid, a sheepish grin appeared, and all she said was “oops!” Steely, not wanting to miss a chance to get one over on the love of my life, who he refers to as “the ginger Olive Oil” immediately, asked her; “What happened there then Olive, did we fancy a bit of shopping?” Cue more guffaws from the rest and a grin and an ethnic response from the bride, which was; “get tae fack, ye baastarrrt!”


After the ‘happy shoppers’ had partaken of a smoke break, we set about the N147again. This section was soon to be referred to as ‘the battle of the D910’ as some of us were desperately short of tobacco by now, which meant that we ended up stopping in every ville and café, looking for somewhere that sold it! 

 As it was now after dinner time on the Sunday, 4.p.m, the H.G.V’s were allowed back on the roads. This meant that we invariably overtook the same Lorries over and over again, such fun, for us! The road was a mixture of really interesting twisty bits, with zero chance of overtaking, (unless you fancied yourself as a bit of a kamikaze.) 


In these sections the wagons went really slow, and were nose to tail, which really fucked us off no end, and then you get dead straight, roman style bits, where we could hurtle past them, three and four abreast, just in time for us to all to slam on the brakes, (or, in the case of ‘The Black Pearl’, throw out the sea anchor and pile into a café or ville in a cloud of dust and smoking tyres, sometimes ours, usually the wagons, if Max had anything to do with it!)

Some of these lorry drivers were so impressed they kept waving and shouting at us, well, at least I think they were, but, come to think about it, none of them were smiling!

Whilst carrying out these little sorties, we noticed that we lost Wiggy. After yet another unscheduled break, giving numerous Lorries chance to overtake us once more, the dozy fuckin’ Yam-Yam reappeared, grinning from ear to ear. After a little bit of intense questioning, it turned out that whilst we were having a rip roaring time going down a twisty hill, silly-bollocks had knocked his kill switch, and had stood at the side of the road for ten minutes scratching his arse before he noticed!


Eventually, having re-overtaken the wagons again, for the umpteenth time, and still having seen no sign of the fucking place we were looking for, from Claude’s less than helpful instructions; I called a halt and pulled in at a big layby, just on the outskirts of Saint-Bonnet-Du-Bellac. 

After a brief discussion, in which the useless little fucker admitted he didn’t actually know where the fucking place was, we decided to wait where we were, and Claude was ‘persuaded’ to go back a way and re-check, as I was certain we had passed where he had said we were supposed to be heading for. 

Whilst he was gone we all sought shade from the now roasting sun, except for Bob, who promptly lay down in the middle of the lay-by/car park and went to sleep. 


Whilst we were passing round the drinks, and Tim was having his 3rd lunch of the day, Wiggy went for a piss and fell in a ditch where everyone else had already been, and Steely amused himself by writing his name in the dust instead of using the ditch. In the midst of this schoolboy hilarity, things were getting desperate, we were all pooling our resources, tobacco wise, as Doug was beginning to go ‘cold turkey’ on us!


When Claude reappeared, he announced that we had overshot, by ten kilometres, and yes, there was no signpost. So, everyone back on their bikes. Horror! Some of the party fancied themselves as pranksters, namely Bob and Steely; they had nicked the keys out of the ignitions of those who had left them in. Not mine though!

Once the keys were redistributed, away we went.

Soon enough, we were there, ‘ROUTE 66’  is situated on the D942 about half way between the two little villages of Bel-Air and Bussiere Poitevine, and is a very cool and laid back place. 

An English guy by the name of Harry runs it, and, as soon as we pulled in, he was extremely helpful and very welcoming, couldn’t do enough for us, even offering to store Del’s insulin in his fridge for the night. He apologised for not having a chef on as he wasn’t expecting his next guests until the Tuesday, and immediately did the best thing possible, opened the bar!


Now the advertisement and recommendation bit, ROUTE 66 is a proper hotel, www.route66hotel.com  (contact Harry by e-mail at information@route66hotel.com ) not just aimed at the touring motorcyclist (BMW, HARLEY, and GOLDWING) types, who like the nicer things in life, such as proper beds, baths & showers and not pissing in pint glasses, so it should appeal to the ladies, but also caters for the likes of us scum-bags with tents, as there are ample camping facilities that are behind the bar/garage area, in the orchard.


The hotel is large, airy and clean, with very well appointed rooms and facilities, and comes with a 5 star Jugsters M.c.c. approval rating! Bar, massive garages, bar, secure parking, bar, proper bogs, and just in case I didn’t mention it, a fucking massive bar! He absolutely welcomes you drinking like silly fuckers, so we slotted right in!


9

Once we were in the bar, he proceeded to sort all of our requirements, beer mainly, and explained and directed us to the tabac/bar, so as we could resuscitate Doug, and also told us about the pizza van that would be in the middle of the Bussiere Poitevine town square that evening. (Well, that was dinner sorted then!) Once the tents were up, I took Boo, and Shaz’s bike, ‘The Pan-Galactic-Ditch-Pump’, (Mwu-hur-hur, thrash time! Well, she was still un-packing mine,) down to the ville and got her some chips, and me a beer, (well, it would have been rude not to.) whilst we waited for the pizza van. 


After about ten minutes or so, a rather dodgey looking van turned up, and set about cranking his oven up whilst a score of locals formed a queue, taking this as a good sign, the rest of us went over to have a gander.

After fifteen minutes of translating the toppings menu, whilst queuing, to the rest of the Muppets, we all got ordered and sat down to wait for the required 30 to 40 minutes that were required.


Seeing as I was on her bike, I had promised the bride I would only have two or three small beers whilst waiting, and I did keep my word, (unfortunately, they stuck were underneath two or three other ‘small beers’ that were sitting on top of them in big glass, so I had to drink that bit first.) We also solved the ‘lack of tobacco situation, by buying nigh on all of the stock, thereby reviving Doug, who was, by this time, saving nub ends, and looking for somewhere to buy tweezers.

Whilst I was negotiating my way through the ‘too much beer in the glass’ problem, the usual game of ‘ripping the shit out of each other’ began.  


Whilst we had been playing silly buggers at the Pizza van, Bob and Mo had ridden down from the site, parked up and managed to grab themselves a table outside the bar/bistro, and were having a civilized, romantic, meal for two. Not for long though! Unfortunately, for ‘Mr & Mrs Romance,’’ the rest all joined them for a beer, and, soon enough, their table was ‘swamped’. 

One by one, the locals were edged out, mainly by the noise I think, until we had the seating area to ourselves. We seemed to have an uncanny knack for gathering a crowd of locals.

Just as the silly antics were about to get into full swing, the pizza bloke signalled that they were ready, which immediately caused a stampede, and then a massive, Le Mans style stagger to the bikes, a typical Jugsters style fuck-up trying to ram all the purchased goodies, (tobacco, wine, and pizza) into Wiggy’s top box and then be first away and back off up to the hotel. 


Upon pulling into the courtyard, I found the wife; bless her, sitting there with two beers, smiling, (which immediately got me worried!) Asking her what was up, I got the reply, “feck all, this is fae you” and was handed one of the beers, before I could even voice the next question she said, “I heard all you twats starting your engines, so I thought I’d nip in first for you, now put my bike away, and dinnae touch the bastarrt again, I heard how hard you revved the poor wee thing on the way back. So, after a quick swig, I went and parked ‘The pan-galactic-ditch-pump’ next to the tent, and wandered back with the pizzas


When the bride opened the pizza boxes, she looked less than happy, Mind, you it did look a bit of a mess, but, as soon as she started eating it, she agreed with everyone else, it was the best pizza ANY of us had ever tried! It was sensational. Harry, the hotel proprietor, sat there with an ‘I told you so’ smile on his face as we all attacked these pizzas, even Steely was quiet, mind you, with only one, semi serviceable tooth in his head, he was concentrating hard! 

Truth be told, the remains of that pizza, as no-one, (except for Tim, obviously,) finished a whole one, went with us the next morning for a mid day snack!


Once everyone was well and truly stuffed with pizza, we all retired to the bar, and a guided tour. Harry has a rather unique collection of machinery, including a fully restored vintage American car, well worth a look. Once we were in the bar, and the chicken had been evicted, (Donna doesn’t like ‘flappers.’)  We proceeded to get “merde-visaged” which, roughly translated means shit-faced! And added our tags to the wall, and also removed what was originally Claude’s ‘JUGSTERS’ sweat shirt, which Mo had claimed, then swapped with Shaz, from her and nailed it to the ceiling. Don’t worry, Harry provided the pens for the graffiti and the hammer and nails for us to hang the sweat shirt, (as I said, top bloke!)

Somewhere around three in the morning, with the butler fast asleep in the corner of the courtyard, we all drifted off to bed, well, except for Stuey, who staggered off a bit earlier, carrying Del!


Total mileage for Day 3 was 128 miles.


Day 4 Monday


Once all the snoring, farting, belching, breakfasting and washing (for some) was completed, and we had managed, at last, to drag Boo from her sleeping bag, and butler from under the shit he was sleeping under, another ‘council of war’ was conducted. (There is a photo of this, possibly the funniest photograph in the world!) Where it was decided that we would go to St Junien, where we had stayed before, for two days rest, mainly because Mo & Bob had heard so much about the place, and wanted to go there. And from there, we would aim to hit the med! 

Mind you, with our track record for ‘hitting target destinations’ on this trip, no-one was holding their fucking breath!

Once everyone was ready, we set off on what was arguably one of the most scenic, and comical, rides of the whole trip. The road was wonderful, the scenery was amazing, and the ambulance driver it looked like we were chasing, by the look of his face in his rear view mirror, was truly terrified! 

10

When we got to St Junien, we pulled into the camp site and were immediately recognized by the manageress, who, after agreeing to us staying there once more, (probably against her better judgement,) promptly demanded Steely’s passport, as security. Again! This immediately started him off! “Why is it fackin me, all the fackin’ time? I behaved last time, didn’t I? ” (cue a lot of people either giggling, or looking around at the sky, or their feet, trying not to meet his glare!)Doug sealed the moment by, whilst rolling a smoke, muttering, “I bet THEY didn’t kick up this much fuss when his dad’s lot demanded THEIR fuckin’ papers, when they were last here?” (Cue everyone laughing out loud!)


Once his nibs had stopped spluttering and handed over his papers, and after Max and I had arranged for the manageress to keep Del’s insulin in her fridge for him, collected all of the money from our lot in the usual manner and paid up front for the two nights, we were directed to the furthest edge of the camp site, (see, I told you that they remembered at least some of us!) 

By now, the sun was beginning to blaze down on us, so, setting the tents up was a priority. We all pitched under the trees, in the shade, and, after reminding the Obergruppenfuhrer once more, away from the fucking great big street lamps! 


The ground was so hard though, we all had to take turns with what few mallets we had between us, in the end, I gave up, after breaking one, and ended up raiding ‘Steely’s armoury’, and borrowing his fucking great rusty claw hammer!

Once all was sorted on the site, it was all off to the ‘LeCLERC’ (the supermarket) for provisions!  We all rode down there together, but, once inside, it was every fucker for their selves! All you could see was helmet carrying idiots charging up and down aisles like a pack of rabid dogs! 


Guess where they all ended up first, yup, the booze section! Once there, and everyone had realized that they couldn’t carry the amount of booze they were intending to buy, they all dropped the booze on the floor and charged back to the entrance, and began fighting over any baskets and trolleys that were available, then they all charged back, this time causing even more carnage, they are bad enough on bikes, with a shopping trolley, they are just lethal! 

You should have been there, once they were loaded up, (to the gunnels, to use a nautical phrase, in honour of ‘The Black Pearl’) they scattered again, all you could here, from all over the stall, was various English, mainly midlands accents, shouting friendly statements, such as; 


“Oi, what do the fuckin’ froggies call baked beans?” 

“Where’s the fucking eggs? 

“Anyone saw any fackin’ bacon or sausages?” 

“Why can’t they make proper fuckin bread?” 

“Why don’t they sell HP sauce?” 

“Shazza, don’t buy shandy this time” 

“get tae fuck, ye bunch of bastarrts!” 

“Oooh mum, can I have those cream cakes” 

“Yes Boo, now shut up and put down that glass vase” CRASH 

“Ooops” 

“What have you bought oranges for, are you on a health kick?” 

“BRIE! Camembert! Why can’t they sell ‘red Leicester’ cheese?”

“Mum, look how high they stack those cans.” CRRRAAAAAASSSSSHHHHH!

 “Ooops!” 

“You wee twat!” Whack! 

“Ouch, I’m telling Dad!” 

“What’s fuckin’ ‘lardons’ when they’re at home?” 

“Chunks of bacon, you twat!” 

“Why not just call them that then, they ought to learn proper English, like wot I speaks“


Now, this is what I laughingly refer to as a typical ‘when in France, Jugsters shopping basket;’

 1. Beer, 48 bottles (minimum) per person. (Not fuckin’ shandy, like Shaz bought last time!)

 2. Wine, 5 litres (minimum) per person. (The nasty stuff, in plastic bottles.)

 3. Bread, two French sticks per person.

 4. Lardons, 1 to 2 packs per person.

 5. Milk of any sort

 6. Butter, cheese, frankfurters, shrink-wrapped in plastic, and ham, the essential survival diet!

 7. Something guaranteed to get crushed into an unidentifiable mess by the bungees, (impulse buy)

 8. Fuck it, I’ve got room for some more of that cheap Froggy red wine/beer, I’ll fetch some more!

 9. Anything you think no fucker else in the party will even attempt to eat when you aren’t looking!

10. Bottled water.


Once this little lot, (or a variation on the theme) was rammed in the basket/trolley, everyone trooped to the checkout, where, upon their turn to be served, stands there, looking worried, desperately hoping that the till dolly speaks English. When they are greeted with a phrase which sounds something along the lines of; “vigtcinqeeuroquatorzesilverplate,”all shit breaks loose, after a moment of standing there, looking dumb, everyone just starts waving their money, hoping that either; 



11

A, Max or I were in the general vicinity, or 

B; the till dolly is extremely honest!


Unless, of course, your name is Steely, who immediately started waving his ASDA employees discount card, expecting it to be accepted, as Shaz had been winding him up, by saying that the ‘LeCLERC’ stores were part of the ‘WALMART FAMILY’ prior to us entering the shop.

When this was politely refused by the uncomprehending check-out girl, he went doo-fucking-lally! 


He shouted across seven tills, causing all the staff to duck for cover, “Shazza, you fackin’ no good, lying’ ginger bitch! You made me look a complete twat!” to which she replied; “Aye, I agree tae the first part, you big blonde fanny, but you do the second bit all by yourself!


Once we had finished our shopping, we were joined by the majority of the ‘none too happy shoppers’ outside, where we seemed to present an overwhelming site to the locals, lots of whom were admiring the bikes. After about 10 minutes, or as long as it took Boo to eat three cream cakes, (well it saved me turning them into ‘item 7 on the shopping list’) Max & Claude Still hadn’t appeared, so we decided to pack our stuff, leave them there, as Max was planning to do a ‘Delia Smith job’ for her and Claude that evening, and go back to site. 

Whilst everyone was doing this there was another comedy act in full swing, Del & Stuey were busily putting their combined purchases away when, CRASSSHH! (Nothing to do with our Boo this time, just for a fucking change!) Stuey had dropped a 24 pack of stubby beers off the back of his bike, breaking all but three! Honestly, those pair were tuning into the 2009 version of ‘Hinge & bracket!’ Once we had that little mess cleaned up, well, kicked under some local’s car, it was off back to site. 


Oh what a laugh, I followed Steely & Dink back to site, (they were on his bike,) with Dink on the back. Holding the ‘shopping’ (the entire list from above). Apart from the French sticks, which he had stuck in his pannier, then promptly forgot about and went ‘speed filtering.’ 

Needless to say, the bread didn’t make it past the first traffic jam! Silly bollocks, forgetting about the shopping, and Dink come to think of it, went charging through and had a shopping/Froggy van collision. Half of one French stick bounced off my lid, and the other ended up nestling in my crotch. When we got back to site, the look on his face was extremely comical. 


Of course, I immediately got the blame for ‘stealing’ it. Our Boo, through an insane fit of giggles, had to explain it to him what had happened.

As soon as we had unpacked, it was dinner time, so everyone set about cooking, Doug, deciding that he wanted to add a little more flavour to his lardons, slashed his finger wide open, fuck me, there was blood everywhere! So, whilst Shaz, Boo, Dinky & Mo did a bunk, it was out with the biker first aid kit, i.e. some bog roll, one of his socks and some electricians tape from under my bike seat. 

Whilst everyone was eating, or in Doug’s case, self harming, Max & Claude reappeared, parked up and had a whopping great ‘domestic’ whilst they were preparing their meal, as Max had taken the wrong turn on the way back to site. This was amusing to the rest of us, as it ended with him stomping off, and Max shouting behind him, “my mate is right, you are definitely NOT boyfriend material!”


By now, the sun was high and beating down upon us, jeez but it was hot! So it was decided that we would go in search of ‘chilled refreshment.’ As soon as everyone was ready, we all took a wander down into the town, to the bar we had used on our previous trip, ‘Le Cigogne’. But of course, on the way there, we had to pass the kiddie’s roundabout/see-saw thingy that we broke in 2007. Well, the good news is that they had fixed it; the bad news was that Donna & Boo had another go at wrecking it! Whilst they were thrashing round on it, Wiggy asked no-one in particular “what is it with us and that thing?” as Donna came flying past, she slapped his arse and shouted “It draws us!” 


Once the ladies had finished playing ‘silly buggers’ on the ‘swingy thingy’ (as Boo christened it) we continued into town. 

Since our last visit, the town of St Junien has had a bit of a make-over, this, I can assure you, was not all down to us! The main shopping area has been remodelled and spruced up, but still retains its essential character. When we got to the bar, we found that it too had received a bit of a face lift. As had the church nearby, Doug pointed out that “they have even filled in all the bullet holes from when Steelys relatives had visited last.” (That got him a scowl!)


The bar owner, once he got over the shock of having our lot of idiots charging into his bar once more , seemed more than glad to be seeing us again, and promptly dived under the counter, (no, not for cover)  and fished out the “Grande bier” glasses!

We immediately took over the seating area out front and began partaking of some mighty cool ale! As soon as he sat down, Donna grabbed his nibs by the ear and said to him;” now listen here sunshine, none of your usual drunken antics today, we are going to behave, aren’t we?” and then she promptly turned round and dumped about a pint of the Butlers cheapo red wine all over poor Mo. 

We spent several hours getting ourselves immersed in the French culture, soaking up the atmosphere, or should I say their alcoholic produce. Stuey, having not learned his lesson the first time, decided to mix the beer and wine again, and Claude, in a slightly intoxicated state, went ’walkabout’ for about an hour or so, looking for cigarettes, and promptly got lost! 

12

When he eventually returned, we had a few more ‘for the road’ watching the sunset, and staggered back off up to the site. On the way back, Claude decided that the ‘swingy thingy’ was just too tempting and he and steely had a play, the result being that he was eventually, much to our little groups, and the locals entertainment, thrown off into the trees! On the way back up to the site, Max was warned most definitely NOT to harvest the leaves from the funny flora that we found last time!

Once back on site, and after Boo had eaten her supper and had showered, Shaz began the usual evening ritual of getting her hair untangled & plaited, whilst every one watched and cheered for one or the other of the two combatants.


The rest of the evening was spent sitting around drinking, whilst and Tim had had his sixth meal of the day, and having the usual crack, until finally, everyone drifted off to bed, a good day had by all.


Total mileage for Day 4 was 32 miles.


Day 5 Tuesday


Tuesday morning dawned; the sun came up, and quickly drove everyone out of the tents as it was another scorcher! Once everyone had breakfasted & showered, (and in Tim’s case, breakfasted again) a discussion was entered into as to what everyone wanted to do for the day. 

Bob, Mo, Tim, Stuey & Del had expressed a wish to visit the holocaust memorial at Oradour, and asked me if I’d mind taking them there? Well, how often do you need an excuse to go and play on the French roads? I decided to ask Boo along with me, mainly to give both her and Shaz a little ‘space’ from each other, mainly as they were still harbouring grudges against each other from the previous nights ‘hair combing, battle royal’. 

Well, she jumped at the offer, so away we went. 

Once there, seeing as I had already paid a visit to this memorial, I had intended that Boo and I would take a stroll round the new village, and possibly have a bite to eat, but oh no, the little bugger promptly announced that she wanted to go and see what she had missed out on in 2007, as her mum had decreed that she was too young the last time we were there.

So, for the 2nd time in two years, I had a visit to the Oradour memorial, this time, hand in hand with an inquisitive 12 year old. Boo, whilst walking round the exhibition, and the village itself, asked questions, and expressed the opinion that, it was “most informative and that mum was right, I wouldn’t have understood it last time we were here. But seeing as I’m doing it at school now, I understand it”

I’m not going to go into describing and explaining the memorial again, suffice to say that if you are anywhere near, you should consider going. 

Once everyone had seen enough, we met outside for an ice cream and then got ready to bugger off back to the camp site. Prior to setting off, Stuey explained that he intended to test his latest gizmo. He had manufactured a camera mount for his bike and wanted us to, when he signalled, ride past him so as he could firstly photograph, and then film us all going down the roads. 


I have to say, it worked perfectly, upon reviewing the recording back on site, he got some wonderful shots, and the video he took was really good, especially the bit of Boo and I carving it up round a roundabout, with Boo waving back at him! (Mummy wasn’t too impressed by either her or my antics though!)

As soon as we got back, Steely asked Boo what she had thought of it, to which she nonchalantly responded, “Well, I think your dad was a right bugger!” giving us all a good giggle! 


Whilst we had been away, the rest had taken another trip into town, (mainly to re-stock on the booze) and were all sitting there in various shades of pink, covered in sun block, except for one or two of them. Donna, the sun tan queen, who was slavering herself in baby oil, and lying there shouting “burn you bugger, burn.” Whilst Wiggy, ‘Mr happy’, and the Butler, Mr ‘pissed on the cheap red stuff’ had sought respite from the blistering rays, in the shade of the trees and were sitting in their chairs, snoring their arses off!


Once things had cooled down a bit, everybody’s thoughts turned towards having a bite to eat, except for Tim, cos he hadn’t stopped fucking eating since we got back from the ride out. Whilst we were sat there, munching and supping, (mainly supping though,) the following days travel arrangements came up for discussion. 

It was decided, through the drunken haze, that we would, once again, use a stretch of peage, to Junction 24 of the A20, then decide upon either the N20 to Toulouse, or the N140 to Rodez. Whilst this was up for debate, Steely asked; “is there anything that anyone wanted to do?” Quick as a flash, Stuey, with a totally dead pan expression, piped up with; “Well, I’ve always wanted to be able to juggle, but I don’t think that’s relevant at the moment!” 

This caused the whole lot of us to crack up and his nibs to stomp off muttering something about “smart arsed southern gits.” Then, just to up the ‘silly bugger stakes’, Max piped up, suggesting that, due to the peage prices, and the cost of the petrol, and that we were conveniently close to an airstrip, maybe it would be cheaper to hire a plane and fly us, bikes and all, to the med? 

Not wanting to be outdone on the bizarre statement front, Claude then suggested that Steely piloted it as well, (this is an old gag,) which caused Doug to just about spit his teeth and the rest of us all to fall around in hysterics.


Whilst we were still giggling away, Max then brought up the subject of ‘the food thief.’ The day previously, she and Claude had bought some items that had mysteriously disappeared, and no one was owning up to it! 

In the end, it was concluded that, during the previous night, Claude, being a bit of a dip shit at the best of times had dumped the wrong bag in the bin!

13

Whilst all this was going on, we were still actually discussing routes, and, as I wanted to see the fucking place, I suggested Carcassonne as a good destination. This is a 12th century walled city, and quite unique, but there were a few people who remained unconvinced. Eventually, Doug swung everyone round to the idea by convincing Steely that there was a 12th century McDonalds in there, so everyone wanted to go there just to watch silly bollocks go looking for it!


Once the next day’s destination and route had been loosely cobbled together, the ‘Boo-tique’ opened, Our Boo went round brushing everyone’s hair, and this year, didn’t charge a penny, she even got ‘Mr I hate kids’ (Wiggy) to participate! Unfortunately, we then had to move positions as someone, who shall remain nameless, (Steely) knocked the beer cooler, (a roll top sack full of water, tied to a tree,) flooding both his and his nearest neighbours (ours) tents! (It’s every fucking time we do this, I tell you. Our tent must have originally been designed with a built in swimming pool!)


Needless to say, the afternoon descended into a marathon bout of boozing that carried on into the evening. But there were ominous clouds gathering on the horizon, (no, not the prospect of the next days ride,) the weather was closing in. seriously. Within the space of an hour, we were surrounded by thick, slate black clouds, and we were treated to a light shower of rain.

Whilst all this was going off, Claude nipped off to the bogs. When he got back, he started one of the strangest (in beer) conversations I have ever heard; 


Claude. “I’ve seen some strange things before, but that tops the lot”

Wiggy. “What have you done, looked in the mirror?”

Everyone. (Laughs)

Claude. “I’ve just seen a bloke walking around with two ferrets on leads.”

Steely. “Fuck off.”

Claude. “Honest, and one of ‘em is called Harry!” 

Max. “Who’s called Harry?”

Claude. “One of the Ferrets”

Steely. “How the fuck do you know that”

Claude. “Cos he was shouting him.”

Max. “Who was?”

Claude. “The bloke was, he was shouting Harry, Harry.”

Everyone. “Bollocks.”

Claude. “I’m telling you its true!”

Steely. “Claude, you’re full of shit!”

Doug. “That’s rich coming from you David”

Everyone (laughs)

Claude. (With a bit of a sulk) “You’ll see, I’m telling you it’s true.” 


Just then, with the skies now solid black, the wind and rain came in earnest, with lightening flashes and the accompanying sound track too!

Needless to say, that wasn’t going to ruin the party, so we all upped sticks and moved, to the covered BBQ area up by the shower/toilet blocks to get out of the rain. Yet again, the gravity of the Jugsters party drew in a few people, firstly, two Dutch couples, who were also touring on bikes, came to join us, and we had a good crack with them, and swapped a few beers and some info about places to go and places to avoid. 

They said to avoid Paris, (no shit Sherlock! If you think I was considering taking the ‘goof troop’ through that motorized war zone you must be on drugs!) And we advised them to avoid Rouen, (total shit-hole!)


Just then, with the thunder and lightening still going full tilt all around us, the rain stopped, it was as if we were in the eye of a hurricane, as it was deathly still with not a breath of wind either! (This made it much easier for Doug to roll his fags, and for Stuey to keep Del sat upright.) we all just sat there, chatting and having a crack, watching ‘mother nature’s’ light show.’ 


It was about this time that the ‘Harry the ferret’ conversation raised its head again. As, amazingly, around the corner comes said bloke, with said ferrets on leads, probably to see what all the noise was about.

Claude. “Look, look, See, I told you!”

Steely. ` “Fack me!”

Butler. “Not whilst there are farm animals running free”

Everyone (laughs)


Whilst this is going off, the bloke is walking towards us, and, every time the ferrets stopped walking, 

He said, “Allez, Allez” (French for go, go) 


Max “Harry, Harry???”

Everyone. (Whilst laughing their arses off.) “Wanker!” (Even the Dutch were pissing their selves!)

Claude “easy mistake to make”

Stuey “if you are a twat!”



14

After all the booze was gone, (at about 02.00hrs,) we picked Del up and took him back to the tent and everyone turned in for the night. Well, until 03.00, when the storm hit with a vengeance, I looked outside and could just make out a fag end glowing in Doug’s doorway, so I knew it wasn’t just me that it had awoken.

0 miles done.


Day 6 Wednesday 


As the sun rose, so did I, and did three lengths of the porch, seeing as it was flooded due to the severe rain, as were both Steelys and the Butlers too! Not that it mattered, as the skies were clear and the sun was beating down.

We all had breakfast whilst the tents were drying out and then packed up and got ready to roll.

Needless to say, with us being the Jugsters, we had the usual fun and frolics whilst getting ready! Though this time it was not all down to Shaz & Boo and their ‘Ninja death match hair plaiting battle’, our guest comedy duo, Del & Stuey who supplied the majority of the laughs! As quick as Stuey was putting all the stuff that they had bought in St Junien onto Del’s bike, it was falling out of the cargo net on the other side.


We all rode up to the exit, to pay the final bill and collect both Steely’s passport and Del’s insulin, most of the residents of the camp site came to watch us leave, including the bloke with his ferrets. This prompted his nibs to lean over to Claude and say; “Aren’t you gonna say goodbye to your mate Harry then?” to which the answer from Claude through the chorus of guffaws and giggles was “fuck off!” 


We eventually hit the road at 09.30, we left St Junien and headed towards Limoges, got through there without too much of a hiccup, and then south on the A20 where we found some rather twisty bits, so Steely and I buggered off for a bit of a play!  

The A20 is what used to be the main road south prior to the peage being built and is a belter of a road, good surface and long sweeping bends both uphill and downhill and excellent fun! We spent several hours on this road as we were trying to avoid the toll roads, and it was worth it, you cannot see fuck all of France from the motorway.


Seeing as it was getting on for about dinner time, (which is any fucking time for Tim,) we were supposed to be searching for a café, and we found one. 

Now, so far, we had managed admirably, so it was about time the ‘fuck-up fairy paid us a visit, and oh boy, she paid us a good one! As we pulled into the car park, Dinky lost her footing on the gravel and dropped her bike. No real damage done as the luggage took the hit, but it bruised her knee and sure pissed her off! Once Dinky was back upright and the bike had been checked over, we charged into this roadside restaurant in search of a proper meal, and yet again, the Jugsters ‘point at what you want’ method of food ordering was employed by most of the party!

Once everyone had had a good meal, a ‘council of war’ was called, as a few decisions needed to be made. As we were heading into ‘tourist territory’ the closer we got to Carcassonne, it was decided to find somewhere the other side of Toulouse and have the rest of the day off, then set out for Carcassonne early the next morning, have a day there, then hit the Mediterranean coast late afternoon, and, maybe then, head into Spain.

 

Eventually we had to bite the bullet and get off the A20 and onto the peage to get round Toulouse, but this is where the 2007map screwed us again, as when we got to the main intersection of the E72 and A62 where the peage station was, there were about 40 gates, none of which tallied with the information and numbers on map! Now, bear in mind that, if I fucked this up, we were either going to end up in;

Down town Toulouse, during the rush hour. (definitely not a fucking good idea)

Heading down the A64 to Bayonne       (which is the seaside, but not where we are heading!)      

Heading down the A68 for Albi       (totally the wrong way, but hey, we’ll wing it!)

Heading down the A61 for Carcassonne      (result!)


This little dilemma led to me having to trust to instinct and ‘use the force.’ 

Unfortunately, this meant that we had to ride across 20 lanes of irate French motorists, weaving between all the cars, vans and Lorries, death wish styleee, and then ride over a chain barrier to get to what I thought was the first lane of exit we needed! Once there, I asked the rather incredulous barrier operator, who seemed to have been stuck dumb by our rather natty little manoeuvre, if we were in the right lane, (“Oui” was the bemused reply,) paid him, and fucked off into the first layby to wait for the rest, have a fag and calm my nerves!


Once everyone was through, and nerves were calmed, we set off down the A62 to the A61 and then headed off for a stop and another fag break to appease Doug. Whilst we were stopped we decided that it was time to hit the back roads.

With everyone in agreement, we set off down the D31/D813 in the direction of a village called Avignonet-Lauragais, where we planned to look for a camp site. 

Well, we found one, though on first impressions, not much of a one, it was in a valley, down a twisty track, next to a festering swamp and a stagnant looking river, but beggars cannot be choosers. It had all that we needed, bogs, showers and a mobile shop for booze! To be honest, I’m not doing it justice, it’s just that it was a privately owned one, and not a Municipal site, it was in fact spotless, just a bit on the old side and looking a little ‘provincial’.

Needless to say, as we pulled into the site, we gave our usual display of car park musical chairs and ring-a-roses until everyone was parked up by the reception. As per usual, the lady who seemed to be in charge of the site spoke next to fuck all English. So it was down to Max and I (again) to get us booked in, and sort out Del’s insulin in the fridge requirements.

15

Once we were all pitched, some down the bottom, (bad idea, they camped in ‘Midge central’) whilst the rest went up top, (a bit uneven but no midges,) everyone charged for the mobile shop to get booze. This is where Shaz handed the ‘shandy crown’ to Wiggy as he bought a case thinking it was beer, leading to him being nominated ‘dick of the day’, (which took the heat off me for the fuck-up on the peage intersection, cheers bud!)

Within ten minutes, the shop looked as if a swarm of alcoholic locusts had rampaged through it, and the woman that ran it, sensing that she was onto an earner, drove off to fetch some more. 

When she got back, our lot, with their immediate thirsts abated, formed an orderly queue, with a disgruntled Wiggy at the front!

Whilst we were standing there, the campsite owners husband, who spoke less English then even she, came waddling towards us, (he was a big boy, and not shy of asking for seconds, or even fifths, if you get what I mean,) dressed in a suit of chain mail, a white tabard and a full helmet, brandishing a Norman shield and the biggest double handed broad sword I have seen outside of the royal armoury! 


As he came bounding towards us, I turned to Steely and casually remarked “fuck me it’s ‘Humpty-Dumpty on a war footing.” This caused him to piss himself laughing and prevented him from trying to match the sword with that dodgey ‘Rambo’ knife of his! 

So, it was down to Max and me to find out what this fookin’ crazy Froggie maniac was up to. It turned out that he was in a re-enactment society, and, despite the war like appearance, quite friendly. 

Once we had got past the initial language barrier, (sorry, but my little bit of conversational French vocabulary does not contain words for such things as shield, mace, chain mail and “don’t give the ‘big knife’ to the blonde idiot over there,”) he surprised us all and offered the sword and shield round for people to try and hold. 


Whilst Donna restrained Steely, everyone else who wanted to, tried the sword & shield out. He even put the bascinet, (a sort of a chain mail balaclava and shoulder cover, all in one,) on Bob, and offered to ‘knight’ him, So we got him to ‘christen/knight’ him, with the nick-name that Shazza dreamed up for him, ‘Sir Bob-a-lot’ of Ripley, which caused Mo a fit of hysterics! All we heard for the next few days from Mo was, “Oi, Bob-a-lot, fetch me……………..” whenever she wanted anything!

To be honest, he was quite a giggle, and all of the locals were extremely friendly, one of them even offered us the use of his gas BBQ.

The lady who ran the site also did chips as a snack, so, as per usual; Donna & Shaz pooled the cookers so we knocked up a bit of a meal and ordered some chips to go with it. Whilst Shaz, Boo and I were tucking in to our stew, a brew & chips. Our other ‘neighbours’ (Max & Claude,) were also trying to sort their supper too. Max suggested that they do the same. To which Claude responded; “nah, did you see how much Russ has made, I’m gonna get some of that.” This statement caused all of us to giggle. To which Max dryly retorted; Claude, it’s a small stew and three packs of chips, he is not Jesus and they are not loaves and fishes!” which turned the giggles into a flood of laughter.


Whilst we were sitting around eating and drinking, (mainly drinking,) Boo went on a bit of a ‘nature ramble’ and came back with an arm full of what looked like a kind of Loganberry, and asked; “Oi Dad, are these edible?” 

Well, I wasn’t entirely certain that they were, and was leaning towards telling her to chuck them, (I don’t mind experimenting with the odd plant or two, remember 2007?) but I wasn’t going to risk Boo. 

But help was at hand, it turned out that Bob had come across them before and he confirmed my original suspicions that they were indeed a type of Loganberry. So, he, I and Boo all had a crack at them, and they were “really quite nice!”


As the sun started it’s descent towards the tree line, the wind picked up, which led this narrow vale in which we were camping in to be christened ‘tornado alley’ (mind you, it did clear the air of midges and mozzies, which cheered up the neighbours down the hill immensely!) though it made the routine maintenance on the chain drive bikes interesting, as I got more chain lube on Steelys hands and legs than I did on any of the chains! Or could that be down to the booze?

While we were there, the mystery of the ‘food thief of St Junien’ was solved, when Claude accidentally dropped out that he had, in fact, thrown the wrong bag in the bin, and, upon discovering his error, (or rather when Max had noticed that all the food she had bought was missing,) had gone back to reclaim it, but the bin had been emptied.


After Boo was safely tucked up in bed, the cheapo red wine began to flow; the route was discussed for the following morning. Now, Jugsters discussing routes is never a good idea. 

Involving Steely in any planning usually leads to the odd ‘hiccup’. 

Involving a half pissed Steely, and a map, is surely asking for trouble! 


So, when the Obergruppenfuhrer asked, “just how far have we got to go before we get to Kazakhstan pard?” (meaning Carcassonne,) it caused a few raised eyebrows, and Doug, who was attempting to roll a smoke behind his waistcoat to caustically comment; “well, if we’re planning on travelling to there tomorrow, hadn’t we better fill up first thing then?” which caused all of us to fall about laughing but flew straight over Steelys head!


Not long after that, everyone began drifting off to bed, and the camp fell silent, except for when Del walked into a tree!


Total mileage for the day 120mls



16


Day 7 Thursday


Everyone was up and ready to rock, (and some were still rocking due to the alcohol consumed the night before) with first light, and it was light! Blisteringly so! Once we were all ready we fired them up and got ready to roll. Just as we were about to leave, Doug pulled up next to Steely and said; “Ok mate, lets get going, it’s a long way to Kazakhstan,” Which earned him an evil stare and a “fack off wanker!” 

We headed back into Avignonet-Lauragais and then headed south on the D6113 (which we didn’t have to leave until we got to ‘Kazakhstan.’ This was probably the most enjoyable bit of the journey so far. The road was good, the traffic light, and the weather clear. In fact, we made excellent time, doing the 30+miles, including a stop for breakfast, in under 2 hours, (if you see what Tim refers to as a ‘light breakfast’, you’d understand.)


Whilst we were eating, it had been agreed that, if we got split up in Carcassonne, everyone should head for the old city, as that is where we were heading for. Yes! You guessed it, it’s ‘fuck up fairy time! As soon as we hit the first roundabout, it was as if someone had thrown a hand grenade into the pack! Fuck me, there were bikes heading in every direction!

At one point myself and the small contingent that I had succeeded to round up, briefly managed to catch up with Steely and his wing, but like a good Nazi fighter pilot should, he took evasive action! 


Firstly, he attempted to break contact by vigorous weaving in and out of the demented French lorry drivers. (Hard to tell who was more demented?) This manoevoure was fortunately without success. So silly bollocks really got on with it! Finally, he managed to shake us off by diving the wrong way round a roundabout and off the wrong way up a one way system! 

Then we bumped into Shaz, Donna & the Butler coming in the opposite direction! Whilst we were shouting instructions and insults at each other, from the opposing sides of the crossroads we were on, Max & Claude appeared from the right and pulled in with us to add to the discussion.

Whilst we held up the traffic to discuss the situation, and over all the horns and hooters of the none too happy French commuters, we agreed that myself and the gaggle I had with me would stay put, seeing as we were heading in the right direction, whilst they carried on down the dual carriageway and do a loop to rejoin us. 

It was also suggested that if they should come across Steely, they should ignore him entirely!


After about 10 minutes, and with still no sign of them, we all got off and surveyed the neighbourhood. Well, to say that we were in an interesting part of town would be understating things a little. We had chosen to stop slap bang outside a drugs rehabilitation centre, and I had a whale of a time trying to diplomatically answer some of the questions that our Boo just had to ask.


Boo. “Dad, why are the ladies over the road keep talking to the drivers of the cars when they stop?” 

Me. “They are just asking the ladies for directions honey”

Boo. “Why do they keep flashing their boobs at them then?”

Me. “They aren’t, it’s cos they’re hot love.” (While everyone with me giggles.)

Boo. “So, they’re not prostitutes then?”

Me. “Nooo, (whilst choking on a swig of her fanta,) what do you know about them then???”

Boo. “We were told about them at school.”

Bob. “Good school that”

Me. “Thanks Bob, bugger off.”

Boo. “Why don’t you ask them for directions Dad?” 

Bob. “Yes, why don’t you go and talk to them Dad?” (With an evil grin)

Me. “No Boo, I don’t need to, I’m not lost, fuck off Bob.” (Bob walks off giggling, to get a thump from Mo)


Thankfully, I was saved from the questions by the arrival of the rest of ‘silly buggers united’, Shaz and Donna up front and with Steely and his squadron bringing up the rear. 

So, once they had partaken of a smoke, Steely a rant and rave, and me and the rest a fit of hysterics, we were away again. 

We made it to the old city without any problems, except for the fact that we couldn’t get parked within 3 miles of the fucking place! We tried everywhere; we even tried to bribe a car park attendant but no joy. It was absolutely mobbed with tourists! Mind you, you can see why, it is one of the most impressive structures I have ever seen. 

It is a massive walled citadel, which has stood as an impregnable barrier for 25 centuries. In the end, we decided to give up and ride on, but not before ‘The Black Pearl’ had commented; “after 2500 years, Carcassonne is still un-penetrated, especially by the Jugsters!”

After a discussion, it was agreed that we would head for the coast, so we got back onto the D6113, and headed off, coastward. 

Bugger me, but it was getting hot, and, as we were riding along, I was informed that it was time for a break by Doug, pulling up beside me miming ‘smoke time,’ so, it was decided, we needed a ‘refreshment break’. 


We stopped for about a kilometre later, for something to eat and a beer, (or three,) at a very posh looking Taverna styled café, with a large airy veranda, and an air conditioned bar, just what was needed to get us out of the oppressive heat. It was so comfortable; Del promptly fell asleep whilst we were ordering beers. We were extremely pleased to find this place, even if the proprietor didn’t look as keen to see us!


17

After about an hour and a half of eating, drinking and hiding from the blistering mid day sun, we set off again for Narbonne, (the highlight of that part of the journey was seeing a knocking shop at the side of the road that was lit up with neon lights!) and once we got to the outskirts we scooted onto the D6009, heading southwards and parallel to the A9. 

After about 17 Kilometres of the D6009, it was it was decided that it was time for another break, (it was silly-fuckin hot) and some fuel, so we pulled in at a convenient roadside services just 4km south of Sigean. 

Once everyone had refuelled, and was swigging on cold drinks and munching on ice creams, we decided that we had had enough for the day and should start looking for a camp site. 

As this was happening, a lone motorcyclist approached and rode past, heading northwards, and, as soon as he saw the British plates, waved to us and sped off. Ten minutes later, the same rider pulled in behind us, jumped off, and walked towards us nervously, and introduced him self to us by saying “thank fuck, Brits, am I glad to see you lot!” (Which made a fucking change from “fuck me, Jugsters” I suppose!) “I’m Raphael Bouchaine, a 19 year old, civil engineering student from England.” 


Now, if you think our little continental forays are one gigantic rolling cluster-fuck, you should have heard his tale of woe. He and his friend, had worked for two years to finance their trip, and, three days into it, his mate’s bike, (a brand new R6,) had blown up due to using the ethanol fuel, the dangers of which, he knew nothing about. (‘Crotch rocket jockeys’ beware!) Having not taken out recovery insurance, thinking he wouldn’t need it (yeah, right,) he had to abandon his bike behind a garage in Portugal and hitch home to get a van to come & fetch it, and Raphael had been on his own for the last four weeks.


The poor little fucker had been riding around in Portugal & Spain, on his own, getting ripped off left, right and centre, paying up to 40 euro’s a night to camp in some places! In the end, he’d decided to cut his losses and head up to his mums place in France. It was quite obvious that he was I bit on the naïve side as he seemed to think that Wiggy was sophisticated, and latched onto him, (students eh?)

When we explained about the Municipal campsites and how we just ‘winged it’ he looked at us in disbelief. But when we told him we were heading off to find one now, he asked if he could come along and see how we did it. 

Though he still didn’t think we would do it for less than 20 euro’s a head, and told Wiggy of this doubt he had. Wiggy, (who is not overly known for being free with his money, bless him,) turned to Raphael and said, in his broad Yam-Yam accent, “Have some faith, we aint lying, If Russ don’t get us in for less than 10 euro’s a head, I’ll pay the difference for you.”


We headed off for the nearest town, (Port Leucate,) but the first campsite we found was nudist colony! With that one quickly vetoed, we set off again. When we set off his time, it was with some vague directions that had been supplied by the first camp site manageress, who, of course, spoke no fuckin’ English.


Well, I suppose the ‘fuck-up fairy’ decide to introduce herself to Raphael at this time as we somehow ended up doing three laps of a load of country lanes and then pulled into a train station car park,  Which promptly caused a collective giggling session when Del to ask out loud, “are we going on a choo-choo then?”

The next two we found were, a, full, and b, for caravans & campers only, so we drew a blank there. 

By this time, you could see that Raphael was wondering what the fuck he had got himself into, but, bless him, he still stuck with us.

The next town we tried was Fitou, but there was no camp site there. We were directed to follow the D6009 again to where it became the D900 as there was a camp site on that road at Avignonet Lauraglais, about 9km south of Fitou and 17km north of Perpignan.


We pulled in and went through the usual rigmarole of booking in, though this time with a bit of a difference. As this site was a bit more expensive than our usual site, at 8.50 euro’s p,p,p,n. Max and I did a bit of negotiating and got it down to 7.50 a head and a discount on the beer! 

As we walked out, after a marathon session of pigeon English and poor French, Raphael complimented myself & Max on our grasp of the French language, and explained that, seeing as his mum was French, he was fluent in it, but didn’t want to interrupt as he thought he might offend!


Once the tents were up, it was time for a shopping trip! So, Jugsters being Jugsters, once free of all luggage, we shot out of the site and headed in every fucking direction! Myself and a few of the hard core idiots, with Raphael in tow, headed back north, as we wanted to have a crack at an interesting ‘twisty bit’ that ran under the railway, and ended up doing our first days shopping in a spar at the little village of Les Cabanes de Fitou. When we parked up, Raphael just shook his head and referred to us as a ‘bunch of crazy bastards’ and laughed his arse off!


Once we had filled all spare recesses with beer and plonk, we went back in for the food for the evening & breakfast and headed back to site. The Butler had us all amused by perusing through the ‘quality wines’ on offer in the SPAR and spent about 5 euro’s on three bottles, claiming that; “this is quality stuff.!”

Once back on site, a meal and a chill out was the order of the day!  Max and Claude nipped out to search for a cash point and got totally and absolutely lost, ending up 3km up a dirt track, in the middle of a fucking vineyard! (That’ll teach her to trust Claude’s, sense of direction!)




18

When Del and Stuey returned, after their first shopping foray alone, they had us all cracked up because they had bought ‘alcohol free’ beer, which, in Stuey’s words; “seemed like a good deal” and had to go and get some more. When they got back after the second run, having also found the vineyard track and a few other interesting little detours, Stuey announced that; “he would never forget what ‘sans alcohol’ means, EVER again!” Cue more laughs at their expense!

Once we were all back on site, and fed and showered, some serious drinking commenced, the Butler keeping us all in stitches with his wine connoisseur gig. We also got Raphael totally wankered and had to show him where he was pitched.


Total mileage for the day 120mls.


Day 8 Friday


Everyone slept in, and slept badly, due to the cicadas chirping away all fucking night. Once everyone was up and about, it was decided today was a ‘do nothing’ day. So off to the pool! We all sat around the pool, drinking & swimming, well, nearly all, Claude gave it a miss, (but then again, that dirty little bugger is probably allergic to it in any case!) 

Steely wouldn’t enter the water in case he rusted, but amused himself by taking the piss out of Shaz and Boo as they jumped in and out by shouting things like; ”I’ve made more of a splash sticking a knife in custard you skinny bastards!” to which, Boo responded with; “at least I don’t look like an egg on legs!”


Once the main heat of the day was over, some of us took a ride to Rivesaltes, to the Carrefour supermarket on the D86 that we had been told about. Having left Boo by the pool with her Auntie Donna and Uncle Steely, Shaz and I planned to go and buy the stuff we needed without getting ‘mugged’ for cream cakes and sweets! Fuck me! They said that we wouldn’t miss it but that place was taking the piss! This was the biggest shop I have ever been in. Doug was impressed too. He reckoned that the ‘fresh fish section’ was bigger than the Nuneaton ASDA!  Needless to say, it also had the biggest booze section, suitable for the biggest gluttons as well! 


The Butler surpassed himself by picking up a selection of 8 ‘fine wines’ for 10 euro’s the lot, (just oozing quality eh?) When he announced this, and said that “these are all good quality table wines, suitable for a fine meal.” Tim, as he was passing, (laden down with two baskets, filled with, breakfast materials, booze and all manner weird and wonderful things,) took one look and said; “yes, if you’re having fish & chips and are short of vinegar!” 

Del and Stuey were spotted in the beer aisle, where Stuey was overheard shouting at Del; “make sure it don’t say ‘sans alcohol’ this time you old twat!” Douggie stuck with his fall back meal of lardons, eggs, ham and bread; (he makes a cracking campfire omelette, does our Doug!) 


As we were wandering round, looking for something for an evening meal, and scoffing all the free samples, (the boy would have been in his element,) we went past Bob and Mo in the fish aisle, where Mo was doing her best to avoid looking at the red mullet staring out of the ice, declaring to Bob; “you can bugger off, I cannot buy, let alone cook something that is bloody well looking back at me!”

Wiggy was in an ‘oil av may wun of them’ frenzies!  Having neglected to bring a stool with him on this trip, and having managed so far by just ‘hijacking’ any chair or stool that was left unattended or unoccupied for more than 30seconds! He came charging out of the home & garden section with a frying pan and a camping chair.


Once we were all loaded up, we set off back, and once there, got settled in for the night. Unfortunately, the wind picked up, dramatically! It was a case of everyone jumping up and tying their tents to trees and boulders, and, in desperation, the bikes to stop them collapsing or blowing away. This led to our camping area being christened ‘Tsunami terrace’.

Whilst we were securing the tents, the subject of politics raised its head. Steely, whilst trying to tie his tent (unsuccessfully) to a tree root, shouted out; “My dad (Adolph) wouldn’t have stood for all this, he’d have sorted this weather out!” 

When it was pointed out to him by someone, (me,) that this ‘breeze’ was blowing in from Spain, which was formerly a fascist state. He promptly claimed, much to our amusement, that “I must have relatives in Spain then.”  It was agreed at that point that, (at Doug’s suggestion,) if we should bump into any 6foot tall, blonde, neo-Nazis, in the vicinity of the French/Spanish border, steely could call them ‘cousin’.


The wind then really picked up in strength and speed. In fact, it was in direct proportion and almost equal to the hot air that the Butler produced due to the amount of the locally produced ‘anti-freeze’ he was consuming! He drunkenly burbled “I guarantee that it will have died down by 20.10pm!” When that deadline passed, he claimed “to shtill be on English time and it will have pashed by 21.10pm, trusht me.” From out of his tent, Doug warned him; “if it isn’t Kevin, you’re banished to your tent.” 

Needless to say, by 21.15, there was no let up, in fact, if anything, it was getting worse, In the end, for a laugh, I even fetched my helmet and sat there in it, taking the piss out of him, but by that time he Butler was so incoherent he couldn’t have found his tent, let alone the funny side if anything! In the end we all gave up trying to get him into his tent and buggered off to bed, leaving Kev, sitting with his anti-freeze, sorry, wine, muttering and slurring to himself; “it’ll get calmer in a minute, the Butler ashures you, hic!”

During the night, the wind reached ‘gale force’ proportions, and everyone had to, at some point, get out and ‘re-rig’ to prevent total collapse, as opposed to the Butler, who had collapsed totally, breaking his tent in the process! Max ended up putting him to bed absolutely covered in dust.


19

Total miles for the day 10mls


Day 9 Saturday


During the previous evening, it had been agreed by me, the Obergruppenfuhrer, Doug, Wiggy, and the Butler, that we would make am early morning, ‘cross border dash’ into Spain, to try to find some cheap tobacco, as the cost in France was fookin’ extortionate! Well, we were all up in the near darkness of the early morning. (When I say all up, I mean that we left Kev snoring in his pit as there was no way in hell he would be in any fit state to focus, let alone ride!) As we were all getting ready, it was still blowing a gale! It was that bad, we were unsuccessful in getting a brew on because the stoves couldn’t hack it in the wind. 

So, having been unable to get a brew going, we decided to try to find a café on route so we all mounted up and rode off site, except for Wiggy, the dozy yam-yam, who neglected to switch his brain on or connect his eyes to it and rode straight into a dead end on the site and had to push himself back out!


Once silly bollocks had finished pratting about on his ‘one man mystery tour’, we set off down the D900, heading for the Spanish border. All went well, sort of. Due to bad signposting, (and the fact that I didn’t fancy leading all four of us on a suicide dive underneath and through a couple of Spanish Artic’s)  we had a bit of a tour through the seedier side of Perpignan, oops, and then got back on track. 

We could have just jumped on the Peage and sailed down, but, having had a look at the map beforehand, Myself and the Obergruppenfuhrer had decided that we would have a play on some of the ‘twisty bits’ where possible, and trust me, when you get south of Le Boulou, it is possible! It is proper, high speed, ‘yee-ha’, stuff for about six miles, until you get to Le Perthus and its traffic jams, which we obviously ‘speed filtered’ by, until we got to the blokes in uniform with the machine guns!!!!!


We immediately assumed the ‘just your average British biker on tour’ look, (well as much as we could, with Steely’s SS collar tabs glinting and flashing in the early morning sun!) and trundled through the border control, dead casual like.

About 2 miles after that, we rode into La Jonquera, which is best described as a glorified truck stop, and passed through its customs area, and pulled over where the shops were for a cuppa and something to eat. Once we had had a brew, we trooped round all the tobacco joints trying to get ourselves a bit of a deal, but it wasn’t that much cheaper than France. So we hopped back onto the bikes for a run further into Spain. 

The further we got into Spain, the prices dropped on the petrol station signs, oh yes; it was getting cheaper, in more ways than one! Oh the sights we saw, the road was lined with flower stalls, fresh fruit and veg stalls and prostitutes. PROSTITUTES!!! Dozens of the fuckers, all of them sitting there, in lay-bys, waving their bits at the passing motorists. You could see Wiggy was frothing at the mouth! 


We ended up in a town called Figures, where, after a, riding around for 20 minutes, getting distracted by pretty senoritas, wearing none too much in the clothing department and then a 20 minute fruitless search for cheaper tobacco on foot, we just filled up on the cheapest fuel we had seen so far, and returned to La Jonquera, where Doug swore he had seen tobacco at 1.35 euro’s. 


As we pulled back into the outskirts of this 1(000) whores town, we saw another discount booze/tobacco joint so we tried in there. The tobacco was no cheaper, than anywhere else in this flea bitten hell hole, but by buggery, there were some good deals on the booze, it was a real struggle getting Steely out of there! 

They had for sale, a special, promotional bottle of Jack Daniels, 25 FUCKIN’ LITRES of the stuff, and it worked out piss cheap. 

The same way it would be cheaper if you buy your petrol a tanker load at the time! I tell you, in the end, we had to physically drag him out, and all the while we were doing so he was muttering , lowly and solemnly, like some occult incantation; “kulfuckinkillmeiwannitbutdink ulfuckinkillmeiwannitbutdink ulfuckinkillmeiwannitbutdink.


Eventually, after getting everyone back on their bikes, and off back up the road, we went to where Doug had seen the tobacco at 1.35. Was it bollocks! The silly old bastard had been looking at fag papers! So we all bought a pack each of the (slightly) cheaper tobacco, to last us till Belgium, and set off back for the border. 

Jesus. H. Christ! The buggers with the machine guns had called up for reinforcements! 


There were at least half a dozen more of the buggers, and these had pump action shotguns! Whilst we were queuing and trying to look casual, Doug pulled up between Steely and I and asked; “I know less Spanish than French, (fuck all,) what do we say to them if they stop us?” 


I turned to him and said; “Well, I don’t know a great deal of Spanish but, before we came over the border, I rehearsed something that I thought might come in handy.” I then dug in my pocket for my note book and read out to him, Yo no llevo nada pero el uno con las canas como una chica tiene drogas en su pasaje de atrás” Which, roughly translated means; I am carrying nothing, but my friend with white girl’s hair has drugs in his bottom hole.” Which nearly caused Doug to fall off with laughter, and a shout of, “WANKER” from his nibs, loud enough to attract the attention of the guards!



20

Despite all our efforts, we got through with no problems, and did what seemed like a good idea and did a runner back to the camp site. We had a slight diversion on the way back, due to a road accident. We were sent off down a diversion which took us past a great big, fuck-off, prison, before dumping us back on the right road. Once past the traffic problems and well on way back we called in for a beer, (well, it was dinner time and it would have been rude not to!) we also called at the Carrefour as well, for a few odds and ends, (booze, a new note pad for me, batteries for Doug, and some more booze!)


We got back onto site just in time to say goodbye to Raphael, after marking some likely places for municipal camp sites on his map, as he was heading off to Lille to see his mum. Unfortunately, the ‘fuck-up fairy’ also wanted to say goodbye too, and we had to bump-start his bike for him. Once he was away, we trekked up to the pool to the rest of the troop for a cool down and a well earned beer. 


After a swim and several beers, Shaz and I were joined at the table by Max & Claude, who had also been out and about. Whilst we were sitting there, chilling, Max was reading a book. Thoroughly engrossed, she reached out and grabbed Claude’s, hand. He turned, to her and said; “what’s up, is it scary?” 

With an exasperated look, she turned to us, laughed and exclaimed, “ever the romantic eh?” and promptly turned her back on him. So, he buggered off to carry out running repairs to the ‘rampant rabbit’ which had, as usual, been attempting to shake itself to bits!


Whilst we were all sitting around, in between diving in the pool and drinking cold beer,  ‘Sir Bob-a-Lot’ did his ‘Steve Irwin’ impression, and carried out a successful stalk, thereby capturing one of the cicada’s which the site seemed to be infested with, but no fucker could see! He called Boo over to show it to her. She examined it, exclaimed; “cool,” which immediately led to a”NO” from me, (cos I knew the next question would be; “can we keep it?”) 


The sun was blazing down, and the beer and laughs were flowing. Whilst all the fun and games were carrying on, it was suggested that, seeing as it was going to be our last night there, we would all have a meal together, in a restaurant, all ‘posh like.’ This was agreed upon, so everyone shot off to get showered and changed. 

Fifteen minutes later, the gentlemen were all assembled at the bar, (naturally,) prior to the off, awaiting the arrival of the ladies, who would be some time; you could hear the squeals from our tent from inside the bar!

Whilst we were sitting there Steely announced that; “this is a good idea, it’ll give the girls a night off from the cooking!” 

(Fucking fat chance, Shaz hadn’t touched the pans all holiday. When it was suggested that, she being in the catering industry, she might like to have the odd crack at, in the very least, switching the stove on and making a brew, the response I got was; “Get tae fuck, I’m on holiday! Have you had tae swing the fuckin’ spanners whilst we’ve been away?”

When Steely then pointed out that, both he and I had been lubricating and adjusted her chain for her, the response was “well there’s ya fuckin’ luck!”

As the ladies approached, it was noted that the sun had done its job on some of them. Donna and Mo were, to use Donna’s phrase, “done on both sides”, Boo was a lovely toffee brown, and Max had got a bit of a tan too!  


Shaz was still white.


We all trooped out of the complex, to the restaurant next door, only to find that it was shut for refurbishment, so it was back into the camp site for dinner in there. Well, we had escaped for fifteen minutes, and we are Jugsters!

Once we were back on the site, we spoke to the owner and arranged for our group to dine together, but, due to prior bookings, this couldn’t be until 9.00pm. So, we had to spend some time drinking by the pool, whilst we waited. (What a bastard, eh?)

Someone handed Steely a menu, which threw the whole lot into chaos, with him trying to order his own food. 

Once someone had taken the menu away from him, (Boo,) and that little diplomatic incident had been smoothed over (Donna), we all sat down to eat. The food was fantastic, most opted for the steak, (perfectly served,) Boo and I had the mussels, (exquisite,) Tim ordered everything, (glutton,) Butler ordered some wine, (cheap!) After eating, we retired to the patio area for a few more beers, then, seeing as we had planned an early start north the next morning, we headed back to the site for an early evening.

Of course, it didn’t happen that way. Once back at the tents, everyone decided to ‘have a night cap’, and the wine and beers started rolling again, this time, under the pretence of “lightening the loads for tomorrow.” Butler came to the fore, once again, by announcing, after taking a swig and passing on the bottle he had just opened, “this is the one I’ve been saving ‘til last, cos it’s the best,” (2.50 euro’s a litre, so it’s the good stuff,) “it’s got a bite to it!” 

Tim, after taking a swig, (and wincing as if he’d just eaten a lemon,) announced, “Fuck me, cider shouldn’t have a ‘bite’ like that, let alone wine, are you sure you didn’t pick up vinegar by mistake?” 

There was a lot more drinking done, and a bit of falling off stools, (eh Wiggy?) and walking into motorbikes (eh Del?) before bed time, when the usual sights and sounds were seen and heard. Farting, giggling, the occasional shout of; “Oi, no funny business” the response; “shut up Boo!” Del crashing around, trying to get undressed, Stuey, laughing his arse off. All in all, a good night.


Total miles for the ‘Spanish Assault Squadron’ 80mls




21

Day 10 Sunday


Everyone was up and dressed early, quite a few nursing a hangover. A quick breakfast consumed, Boo went to the restaurant with Mo and Bob to keep her from under my feet whilst packing. There were several people in the party who wanted to go over the Millau Bridge, so a slight re-tracing of the 2007 journey was required, so once again. So, once we were all ready, ‘ye olde mappe’ was pulled out and the route was discussed.

Once the route had been discussed between those who showed a remote interest, was time to crank on some serious mileage! (Well, at least 100 before dinner!) Now, bearing in mind that it was a Sunday, so, limited fuel stops available, once everyone had brimmed off their tanks on the outskirts of Narbonne, we set off northwards, hopefully heading up the road towards Beziers. 


When we got to the outskirts of Beziers we then headed for the N9 which in that usual quaint French custom, designed to fuck up tourists, turns into the A75! We rode past Conas & Pezenas, (where we had stopped in 2007,) and headed onwards in the glorious sunshine.

Those of you who are unfamiliar with the French road system are gonna get confused by the next bit, I always am! The A75 also becomes the E11 and the N9! It turns into the E11 just north of Lacoste, (probably a ‘style’ thing then,) and that’s where it becomes interesting! 

It traces its way along the bottom of a steep valley, then buggers off up the side of it, where it becomes ‘whacky races time’ on the run-up to the first tunnel. From there on up to Le Caylar services it is every Jugster for themselves, as the road is simply epic. Constant non stop, high speed, leant over, left, right, left, right tomfoolery all the way! 

With me up front, and Steely on my six, we set off for a little bit of fun, we sped off at the first sight of the ‘twisty bits’ and steadily pulled away from the ‘cruiser squadron’ , but this wasn’t a problem, as everyone had been briefed about the stop at the services at the top.  


As Steely and I were hooning up the pass, swapping the lead and carving our way through the traffic like a couple of demented gibbons, I caught sight of ’The Black Pearl’, diving in and out, giving chase, and going for it big time on her Bandit 6, with Claude valiantly clinging onto fourth place on the ‘Rampant Rabbit’. 

In fifth was the ‘psychotic Jock’ on the ‘Pan-Galactic Ditch-Pump’ (SV) with Dink in sixth, after that I could not tell, nor was I too bothered; I was concentrating and giggling like a loon. We had one moment with a Twat, in an Audi , on Belgian plates, who had decided that ‘thou shalt not pass’ and refused to pull over, then he tried to go faster to keep us behind him. After he had nearly lost it by going partially sideways he soon backed off and got out of the way though!


As we pulled into the pumps at the services, I looked across at the Obergruppenfuhrer and he was also grinning like a big kid, but it was Max who stole the show, for as she stopped, she pulled off her lid, smiled, and stated; “Hmm, I guess that was ‘bandit country’ back there then?” Both I and Steely nearly dropped the lot due to laughing! 

Shaz had a moment at the pumps, when, for some reason, her card was refused by the attendant, (brave bunny!) and whilst she stood there, ranting and raving, I had to go and park up and go back to pay for the fuel.

The rest rapidly pulled into the fuel pumps in quick succession, filled up, parked up, lit up, and then got themselves a drink, then the stories of the ascent started to flow. 


Whilst Dinky was pulling the material of her seat covering out of her arse where it had bunched in sheer terror, (her words,) she explained about the close call she had on the way up, when some dozy bint tried to run her wide into the Armco. In her words, all she could think about at the time was “oh poo!”  

Doug, whilst rolling a smoke, explained his theory behind Tim’s approach to the pass; he reckoned that “Tim was saving fuel by having an Artic ‘push’ him to the top.” (This comment caused a chuckle or two.) When Tim objected, Doug explained; “well, that’s what it looked like!”

Stuey and Del both complained about the noise that Dinky’s pipes make, and Stuey also expressed his concern about Mo’s antics on the way up, as she was trying to take pictures of the group, both up front and those behind, as Bob was cranking it over!


Once everyone was fed and watered, especially watered, as it was getting to be bloody damned hot, it was back onto the road heading for Millau. Prior to setting off, Stuey set his camera up on his home made, and rather clever camera mounting, so as he could film us all on the way over the bridge. Once we were back on the A75/E11 the ride was steady, Bob pulled out front and then slowed gradually to allow Mo the chance to photograph us all individually, as we were riding along in the brilliant sunshine, and she took some excellent shots, (I treasure the one of Boo and I especially.)


We rode onwards towards the Bridge at the usual speed but, as we got close we Steely and I slowed the pack right down, in an attempt to have a bit of a gap in front, for a clear run across. Yet again, the view from the bridge is beyond belief, worth a run south in its own right, and, once we were over we pulled in to the viewing area on the north side for a ‘photo opportunity’. 

As we pulled in and switched off all you could hear was Stuey, ‘effing and jeffing’ as his camera batteries had run out just as we had hit the bridge!

After about an hour at the vantage point, we set off north again, heading for Clermont Ferrand and beyond. As we weren’t planning on stopping or getting off there, prior to getting within 10 miles of the place, all of the ‘bee-aiches’ were bundled and corralled in the middle of the pack, so we didn’t have a reoccurrence of the 2007, ‘lets bugger off on our own, get separated from the lads, then stop in the middle lane of the motorway cos we don’t know where we are going’ debacle! 

22

After safely negotiating our way Clermont by 14.30, the road changed names again, this time becoming the E70 for a bit, before turning back into the E11, (not according to my map matey!) 

Just north of Riom, with everyone needing fuel, it was time to get off the main roads and find a camp site. We headed off up the slip road, paid our tolls, stopped for a fag break and Wiggy did his ‘standing around with his trousers down like a ‘wrinkly rent-boy’ in an attempt to cool off routine’ again!


Once the ‘oldest swinger in town’ had re-dressed, and Max had regained control of her ‘giggle mode’, we saddled up and found a ‘LeCLERC’ supermarket petrol station, gassed up, and headed away from town, looking for a municipal camp site for the night.

Yet again, ‘trusting to luck and using the force’ we selected the D2009, and followed our noses for a few miles, (15 actually,) calling at a few small towns and villages, without any luck until we reached a place called Gannat. Which we had selected as the most likely target by using the tried and trusted method we employ. 


Bingo! On the run into town, the municipal site was signposted off to the left, so we followed the signs.

What a site we found, absolutely lovely, though the management didn’t seem too keen on us being there. He tried to fob us off with, “terribly sorry, we only have two spaces left” to which we responded; “that’ll do, we can get eight tents in there.” And that was that. 

During the negotiations in the reception, I noticed a fridge around the corner, with ice cold beers in it. So, once Donna, Max and I had finished dealing and paying, we promptly bought as much as we could carry and wandered off to find the others. 


Arriving with an armful of cold beers has a funny effect on Jugsters, it sets off a sort of primal urge, and this time was no different. As soon as they caught site of the bottles it immediately sent the lot of them into a ‘feeding frenzy’, causing all tent erecting to cease immediately and a mad rampage back up to the site office to begin. Well, if nothing else, it is always good for a laugh, and it’s one way of ensuring that you get the best possible spot for your tent!

As soon as we were all set up for the night, Max offered to wash any items of clothing that anybody wanted doing as she had found a ‘coin-op’ washing machine and wanted to make up a full load. Immediately, there was a pile of mouldering socks, (Doug,) and other various items of smelly underwear piled in front of her in bags. So of she went. 

15 minutes later she was back, bags still in hand, and apologetically asked everyone to come and reclaim their still smelly clothing, as, unfortunately, the white goods she had espied wasn’t a washer, but a tumble dryer. (She aint bright, but she’s happy!) 

Once she had doled out all of the rank clothing, off she trooped back up to the laundry block to hand was her stuff, still singing to herself. Twenty minutes later, she was back again, but looking worried, she announced; “I’m sorry to say, we had a couple of escapees, I found these in my bra.” She then held up one of my socks, and a pair of my boxer shorts. From one corner of our little camp site came a shout; “well, I wouldn’t complain if I was in there,” (Wiggy,) and from the other side came the comment; “with the size of them I’m surprised you didn’t notice earlier than this, even in your bra!” (Doug.)


Needless to say, everyone had a wee bit to drink after dinner, though Del and Stuey made absolute beasts of themselves. Del got so pissed that he passed out lying with his head on Stuey’s leg. Eventually, Steely and I had to carry him to his tent as he was giving Stu a dead leg! As we were just exiting their tent after rolling that, (as Steely  so succinctly summed him up); “useless, daft, pissed up old smurf”  onto the air-bed , old ‘captain legless’ (Stu) decided to join in the fun and, with a crash, fell straight through the door and landed on top of Del, collapsing their tent in the process! 

It has got to be one of the most comical performances I have ever seen; it looked and sounded like a couple of giggling epileptic ferrets in a dark blue sock!


We eventually, through tears of laughter, got the ‘dynamic duo’, (and their tent,) sorted. But the laughs didn’t finish there, oh no. As we were sitting there, we all fell silent, and then began pissing ourselves laughing, listening to the ‘dynamic duo’s’ conversations. 

Firstly, it started off like a ‘good night Jim Bob, Good night Mary Ellen’ Routine, and then descended into gibberish and giggles. The grand finale was a statement that really put pictures/nightmares in everyone’s heads through tears of laughter, it went; “Del, get into your sleeping bag, I’m sat here, stark naked in the living room.” (What a chat-up line, eh?)

After a short while, the ‘dynamic duo’s’ giggling stopped and the snoring began, but that was soon drowned out by what sounded like an ‘ethnic all night rave’ from the somewhat less than posh estate down below, (that is a bit of an understatement, it looked slightly rougher than down-town Soweto,) that we had rode through to get to the camp site. To put it mildly, it was annoying, as it now sounded like fucking Soweto too! This led to this particular site being christened ‘ZULU ROW,’ and a comment of “bang goes the neighbourhood” from Doug.


Another wave of laughter swept through us all when our resident ‘Mr Happy’ (Wiggy,) finally cracked, stood up, and shouted down the hill, at the top of his voice, in his broad, ‘yam-yam’ accent; 

“Will yow shut the fuck up, if yow wunna moike that rackiiit, whoi downt yow fuck orf back to your own cuunt-ray! 

As we fell about laughing once more, he stomped off to his tent muttering; “Bluddoiy foreigners” (The irony of that statement was lost in him I feel!)

Not long after that, we all turned in, and fell asleep to the combined sounds of ‘jungle drums’ and chanting from the neighbours, Stuey and Del snoring, Wiggy grumbling, and Tim eating again.


23

Total miles for the day 275mls


Day 11 Monday


The next morning, whilst Doug and I (the early risers,) were sat there having a brew prior to packing up, we were treated to yet another of the ‘dynamic duo’s’ unique conversations; 

Del. “Morning mate.”

Stu. “Morning.”

Del. “Why aint I in my sleeping bag?”

Stu. “Cos we got wankered again.”

Del. “Good, what happened then?”


As the rest began to appear and join us, the conversations got even more insane. The first one, instigated by ‘The Black Pearl’ revolved around her and Claude’s breakfast menu, namely a pack of canapé biscuits that he had bought and max had eaten. This then evolved into the story of Claude’s piss bucket, which he keeps in the garage, (to save the dirty, lazy little bastard having to go upstairs!) Apparently, one morning Max had to enter the garage for some reason and found a frog that had drowned in it. (Typical Jugsters, every conversation we get involved in degenerates into either sex or shit, or piss in this case!)

Whilst this conversation was rolling along, Mo came over to join us, mug in hand and announced as she sat down; “I’ve just had a lovely bit of cheese for breakfast.” A few feet away, from within their tent, Bob shouted; “it had nothing to do with me!”


Once everyone had eaten, it was time to pack away and get on the road. Needless to say, I was the last one to get finished as the ‘Lay-dees’ didn’t want to play and had a lie in. By the time we were eventually ready, it was decided that it was time to break out the waterproofs as the skies were looking rather foreboding, with big black clouds in the direction we were (hopefully) heading. And yes, sure enough, as we were riding off the site, the rain began to fall.

We got back on the D2009 and we were well along that road, at Moulins, our first stop of the day, before it had cleared sufficiently for us to dare remove waterproofs. We then hopped onto the N7 heading north(ish) passing Magny Cours and its famous race track, where the French road system threw us another wobbler and the road changed into the A77. When we got to Nevers, a stop was planned as several people needed to find a cash machine, so we headed into the centre of the town.  Getting in was easy, getting out of there was a nightmare, what a one way system, how many traffic lights!


Once we had got the gaggle back in one bunch, I followed the first road I found out of the fucking place and 

We headed off the main roads in search of ‘the real rural France’ (rough translation, we took a wrong turn and got lost for a bit!)

We ended up on the D977 and decided to follow this road for a bit, riding through the wonderful countryside, some of us like a bunch of loons, cos it was rather fast and flowing, until we got to Varzy. When we got there, we took the N151 which still seemed to be heading in the direction we wanted. (Generally north-east, and away from Paris.) No way Hose was I considering taking these twats through there!


This was a fantastic road, it was race track smooth, as some of our party tried to prove, (eh pard, hee, hee,) and we had a whale of a time. We had so much fun that we had to pull in at one point to allow us to get back into a group again as some of the party were not as keen on the rapid overtaking an general lunacy that tends to occur on such amazingly well maintained and fun roads. 

We pulled into a layby for a smoke and a drink, and a talk about the next bit of the journey. ‘Ye olde mappe’ was dragged out of the tank bag and spread on a picnic table and it was agreed, by those who could be arsed to join in instead of diving in their panniers for a quick three course meal, (eh Tim,) that we would get through or round Troyes, (‘Ye olde mappe’ wasn’t too clear on this,) and follow the general direction of the A26, (but not on it,) as we would then look for a suitable town and campsite for the night. 

After this was agreed Shaz amused herself and the rest of us immensely, by pelting Steely with crab apples and causing him to fall into a ditch whilst he was attempting to have a piss.


Once everyone had had a rest, drink, piss etc, we got back onto the road which was still fine and clear, but as we passed Clamecy the skies began to close in again and we started getting the odd spot of rain.

As we were sitting at a set of traffic lights on the very outskirts of Auxerre, I had what I can only describe as a ‘momentary lapse of reason’ and involved Steely in a planning decision again. 


I had spotted a sign for a Municipal site and suggested we stop before the rain came on. He suggested that we carried on, stating; “It’ll come to nothing pard, just like earlier, we’ll just get out of this traffic and then we’ll just ride through it, trust me!” This is when I had my second ‘momentary lapse of reason’ for the day, and believed him! 

(Yet again, the proof is in the pudding, it always goes to rat-shit whenever that silly bastard is involved in any decision making process!)

Ten minutes later, picture the scene, still stuck in traffic, with the rain lashing down, and Steely pulls up next to me, with water running down inside his visor and off his nose and says; “nice day for a ride.” 



24

Now this is just what you need when we were frantically fighting our way through French, rush hour traffic, and I was trying to keep us on course AND find somewhere to safely park the gaggle, so as everyone could get their waterproofs on. I’m concentrating like fuck and silly bollocks playing for laughs! Well, he got them!

Needless to say, we got split up so finding somewhere really became a necessity. I had to find somewhere, fast, and I did, a layby outside a hospital, opposite a cemetery. (Maybe not safe but useful, as I was planning on killing the twat, and I could either dispose of the body on one side of the road or they could patch him up on the other when we left!) 

Whilst we were getting dressed, the rest of the party came around the bend, with the butler bringing up the rear and pulled in with us, and began doing the same. They must have been wondering what the fuck was going on as ‘his nibs’ and  the rest of us were giggling like a bunch of twats at the situation, mainly as shit for brains was just recovering from a ‘prat fall’ after comically hopping onto a tree, trying to get into his rain suit.


We eventually found our way out of Auxerre and onto the A77, and then the rain really came on! It wasn’t measured in inches, but in gallons per minute! The road was fantastic but treacherous, due to the rain bouncing back up from the surface to the height of about four feet. The countryside around there, (well, what you could see of it through that fucking downpour,) was beautiful, but was also very open, which meant the side winds were also buggering us about too. One point we were nearly blown off the road by the bow wave of an artic that was coming the other way! 

A fuel stop was getting to be a bit of a necessity by now, seeing as we had done about 120 miles, so we pulled in at a village called Auxon, filled up and had a fag break there. Of course, when we pulled in at the petrol station, it was still lashing it down, but it didn’t stop the locals all came out for a look at ‘le fucking crazy Anglais dans le motards.’


As we set off the rain eased a little, just becoming light patchy showers, and the roads began to dry. This allowed us to safely overtake the long lines of traffic that had been building up as you could now see past the traffic in front of you, and we needed to as traffic began to build up dramatically as we approached the outskirts of Troyes. We eventually worked our way to the head of the slow moving queue to find what was holding things up. 

It turned out to be an abnormal load, (no, not Del’s bike,) so as soon as the moment and conditions were ripe, namely a nice big, fuck off, dry, straight bit of road, we made a dive for it.

Now, due to circumstances beyond my control, not all of our party made it past the lorry and therefore we got split into two groups. The first and largest group pulled in at a safe place for a head count and to wait for the rest. This group consisted of; me, (and Boo, obviously,) Steely, Dink, Shaz, Wiggy, Max, Claude, Bob & Mo and last but not least, Stu. The other members of the group, (namely Tim, Del boy, Doug, and the Butler,) where nowhere to be seen. 


We waited for a good twenty minutes, in which time we hatched a plan to head for a town called Arcis-sur-Aube, and then, seeing as we couldn’t get an answer by phone, fired off text messages to all of the missing party, telling them to head for Arcis-sur-Aube also, which is situated on the D677 heading north, in the direction of Chalons-en-Champagne, about 15miles outside of Troyes. Once we had done this, we set off that way ourselves, almost. 

After a quick tour of Troyes, just for the fun of it, (missed turn, oops,) we found the correct road and set off down the After about five more minutes of hurricane force wind and rain, things calmed down to a constant drizzle, which at least meant we could pick up the pace, well, right up to the point we hit the traffic jam from hell. Bit by bit, we worked our way to the front only to find the road blocked by Gendarmes. 


I switched off and went and asked him if we could sneak through, but just received a curt “non, la rue baree.”

As I trudged back to the bike, his nibs pulled up next to mine, switched off, and jumped off, (quickly followed by Bob, and the twisted sisters, with the rest in formation behind,) flipped his visor up and asked; “What the fack’s goin’ on pard, any ideas?” Before I got a chance to say a word, Mo, whilst wringing out her scarf observed; “there you go, the Jugsters reputation is finally preceding you, they don’t want us in the village.” 

“No, just that blondey, yeaded bastart,” Offered Shaz, (to no one in particular.) 

Then Donna had a pop, “no fucker wants him, I speak from experience!”


We stood around for about ten minutes, within a few yards of this French motorcycle plod, who was casually chuffing away on a cigarette whilst staring at the Obergruppenfuhrer’s shoulder tabs, (and probably trying to think of some reason to arrest him. If he’d asked, I’d have suggested ‘having a fuckin’ loud gob in a built up area’ for starters!)

Another five minutes passed, and silly bollocks decided to go ‘rambling’, and dived behind someone’s garden hedge for a piss, seeing a chance for a bit of a practical joke, I gave him a minute or so to ‘get into the flow,’ then started my bike. He came stumbling round the corner, stuffing his clothing back into his waterproofs and nearly went his full length on the banking. (Well, it lightened the moment.)


Whilst he was calling me all the tosser under the sun,(much to the amusement of all of us, AND the plod,) a couple more motorcycle plod came past, escorting four massive lorries carrying a fucking great big wind turbine in kit form. Once these started to pass us, we started the bikes up, and the nice policeman, who was still smiling, held the cars back, and waved us past, shouting “bon vacace” as we pulled off.

We rode into Arcis-sur-Aube, and found the signs for the camp site, only to find that the road to it crossed a bridge, and this was being dug up, with no way through. We turned left and I spotted a safe place to stop to ask directions.

Fuck me, talk about picking a right one! I just had to choose what turned out to be a Gallic version of an extra from the film ’Deliverance.’ This poor fucking specimen, (boss eyed, limping, crooked teeth, a bad twitch, a stammer, denim bib and braces, you get the picture,) looked at me, (well, I think he looked at me, I’m not entirely sure,) dumbfounded, he barely spoke bastard French, let alone English! 


25

So, with the ‘goof troop’ giggling away behind me, shouting helpful things like; “squeal like a pig boy.” “We don’t git many strangers round these here parts,” and “diddle-ling-ding ding,” I attempted, through a suppressed giggle, to get directions from him. 

After about five minutes, he cottoned on, and started pointing and explaining away, whilst I fervently hoped that I hadn’t asked to shag his mother in whatever language he spoke, (that was obviously his Granddads job,) I said a quick “merci” and jumped back on the bike, and we fucked off sharpish.

It turned out that he was right, after taking all the turns he had mentioned we rode over a small bridge into what can only be described as heaven! (Our Boo described it as the most beautiful site so far!) The camp site is a private one, situated on an island in the middle of the river that runs through the town. The owner is Dutch, is very welcoming, and speaks fluent French and far better English than the Yam-Yam that we had with us!


As I came out of the office after, doing a deal on the price,  booking us in, and explaining about the missing ‘four amigo’s’ in five minutes flat, (a record,) guess who should come rolling over the bridge, but the ‘lost boys’ themselves. They had received the texts, and followed the directions with no problems at all. (Fuck me, a Jugsters plan that worked!!!)

He directed us to the far corner which was set aside for tents, (as this was predominantly a caravan site,) and told us to get set up, and then come back and see about paying him. Once the tent and airbeds were up and sorted, and I had collected everyone’s money, and all of Shaz, mine and Boo’s soggy gloves, socks and anything else that had got wet, and went in search of the owner. 


Once we had sorted the cash out, I asked about drying facilities. He explained that there was a drying room, but it wouldn’t be of any use, judging by the state of the water dripping out of the carrier bag, and promptly grabbed the lot, took us over to his house, and threw it in his own tumble dryer, what a star! 

He then set about explaining where all the pubs/bars/restaurants were, and told us which he recommended. So, with this information, Boo and I went back and told the rest of the group.

That was that then, straight to a bar!


We set off out of the site, over the bridges, (after a quick photo call,) and up the road, in what was now warm summery evening weather, (fucking typical,) dragging Doug behind us, as he had now recovered from his peevishness due to the days horrible weather and road craft performances, due to seeing all the huge trout swimming under and around the bridge. Being a keen fisherman, he was seriously on about going back there with his tackle some time.

The first place we tried was a pizza parlour, so we ordered beers, and then food, only to be told by the owner that his wife, the cook, who threw an almighty tantrum as soon as we all trooped through the door, couldn’t/wouldn’t cater for us all. (Scratch that one then!) 

Tim, who had only eaten four times so far on that day, was starting to panic. Wiggy was that pissed off he threw a can of coke all over the place. 

As we stood outside trying to figure out where we were going to hit next, an English bloke who was with his family, introduced himself and told us to follow him as he lived there and knew somewhere that would do us proud, and he was right. 

We followed him into the bistro he took us to which was on a street corner, opposite a church which was covered in bullet marks, which, according to the now cheerful Doug, (mainly due to the fact he was engaged in his second favourite sport, ‘Steely baiting’,) was in that state due to us; “evicting Steely’s dad’s lot and giving them a right duffing over in the process, back in 1944.”


We thanked our fellow Englishman and immediately got stuck in, (beer,) and looked at the menu. Amazing, a three course meal for E 10.50 a head, with a bottle of wine thrown in, this was the best price we had seen so far on the trip. 

The food was plentiful and excellent, and the beer was reasonably cheap too. Needless to say, as soon as the food started flowing out of the kitchen, everyone realized that Boo had picked the best thing on the menu yet again. This led Doug to say that from now on, he was; “only going to order the same as the babe, or stick to lardons or cheese and ham sandwiches.”


Once everyone had eaten, we all gathered on the tables outside, for a few more sociable ones, in the still warm early evening, enjoying the sun on our faces, as it set, for the first time that day. By 9p.m. Boo was falling asleep so Shaz, Boo and I, with a few of the others, headed back to camp, (she was shattered, bless her,) leaving the rest attempting to drink the bar dry. 

We were back on site by 09.30 and Boo was asleep by 09.45, leaving Shaz and I to have a brew and a few minutes together in peace. Well, until the rest turned up anyway. They all came rolling down the camp site track, pissing themselves at his nibs, who had excelled himself again.


The camp site manager, due to a suggestion from one of our party, (no names, no Butler, oops, I mean pack drill, sorry Kev,) pulled a wind up on Steely, telling him that the plod was looking for him. This got him worried as he had gone for a piss up the front of the church wall after the bar had shut and, according to Doug, (who was ‘Steely baiting’ again,) had been spotted by them as they drove past. (It was actually a taxi.)


Total miles for the day 198mls



26

Day 12 Tuesday


What a surprise I had when I got up, the ‘dynamic duo,’ (who were obviously getting pissed off with us ripping the shit out of their usual comedy ritual of starting packing ready for the off at the same time as everyone else and still being last ready,) were out to prove a point as they were ‘wrapped, stacked and ready to rock’ by 05.30 and sitting under a tree, drinking coffee.

This turned out to be an even bigger joke than usual due to it being an utter waste of time, seeing as, during the previous evening, in the restaurant, the ladies had decided that today was going to be a ‘late start day’ as they all wanted a lie in!


With nearly everyone up and about, the days itinerary and route was discussed, funnily enough, lots of people took more than just a passing interest on this morning, (could it have had something to do with yesterday’s rolling cluster-fuck I wonder?)

With the day mapped out, the majority trooped off into town for a breakfast, leaving Steely and I to raise our respective ladies from their slumbers and get packed ourselves! 


After waking my two members of the ‘Jugsters coven’, and getting a size 8 bike boot thrown at the back of my head for my trouble, (No sense of humour my missus, and definitely not a morning person!) I thought I’d give them some space and cleared the blast area by going and collecting our now totally dry, and pressed gear from the camp manager’s wife, what a result!


By the time the chow hounds got back, team Williamson and team Steele, as well as Max and Mo were all finished and ready to roll, so we saddled up and rode up to the gate to get sorted for the off. The camp owner was waiting, camera in hand, and took a group photo of us. Unfortunately, one person was missing, yup; you guessed it, Del Boy! His luggage had fallen off. 

Once ‘Papa smurf’ had finished playing silly buggers with his luggage, he attempted to join us for the off but ‘the fuck-up fairy’ had obviously smuggled herself into his panniers as the silly old bastard took a wrong turning and got lost in the fucking camp site, in the end, Stu, with the cry of “God, give me strength” had to go and find the silly old twat!

Once the dangerous brothers were ready, we set off out of the ville and got onto the A26 which then became the A4, heading for Riems, once past there it turns back into the fucking A26 again, (you tell me why,) and then, just to be typically fuckin’ awkward, becomes the E17, which we stuck with all the way to Saint-Quentin. 


We were cruising along, making good progress, reasonable weather, in our normal manner when a strange thing occurred. A rare creature was spotted, and not just by me, all of the rest saw it too! 

It is a very rare creature, not often seen, it’s Latin name is a ‘Buggermeitsa Timinfrontovus’  More commonly known as a ‘Lesser spotted twat playing out his ’easy rider’ fantasies!’


He came chugging past on his v twin, Japanese concrete mixer with the wheel barrow handle bars and buggered off about a mile in front, off on his own sweet planet. Now, bearing in mind that he still hadn’t got a fucking clue where we were going, this was a rather brave move on his part, especially as some of our lot desperately needed fuel and would have to turn off at any moment. 

Eventually, he slowed down to the point that we caught him up and after ten minutes of his erratic ‘yo-yo’ throttle action, pissed us all off enough that we overtook him again, (with the odd hand gesture that questioned both his sexual orientation and his sexual practices,) just prior to pulling in for a refuel and a petrol station forecourt dinner. Oh the luxuries of French ‘Haute cuisine!’


When we had refuelled, had a smoke break and eaten, we got back onto the road to Saint-Quentin, once we got there we pulled in and consulted a the map more closely, as we were off on one of Max’s little ‘magical mystery tours’, though due to the nature of this one, no-one was objecting, but some of the hardened veterans of 2007 were looking a little worried.

Those of you who read the 2007 France trip diary, will probably recall what happened when we took one of Max’s little ‘side trips’ that time, it nearly ended in a castration for one of our party, as the ladies were none too impressed with the route we ended up taking that time!

Max wanted to visit the grave of her great uncle, who had given his life during the conflict 1914-18. She felt that someone in her family ought to pay their respects, and, seeing as she was passing by, (????????????????) she wanted to be the one to do it. From there we hit the back roads flying blind, in search of a place called Peronne.

As we rode along these now quiet and empty roads, it is hard to imagine the horrors of the past that happened there. But, if you look around, the scars of war were still visible. 

Even after nigh on a hundred years, you could still discern the remains of the horrific and bloody battles that were fought in this area, everywhere you looked, you could see the marks of massive craters made by cannon and shell, and the furrows of the trenches that time and nature had yet to totally erase. 


If you were unable to spot the tell tale signs of the ravages of war, it was hard not to miss all the war graves and cemeteries, there were literally hundreds of them, all along the roads that we took.

We made it to Peronne where, whilst having a smoke break, we found a huge great big, (and rather helpful,) map in the middle of the square, which the war graves registrations commission had provided for mourners and visitors. From this, we got directions down some unlisted roads to the Dartmoor cemetery which is just outside Becordel-Becourt, just outside the village of Albert. 

27

The cemetery is in a tranquil vale, on the road out off the village, and as we pulled in and switched off a local appeared from the cemetery grounds, with his gardening implements in a barrow, nodded to us, said “bon jour” and headed off up the road. 

As with all of such places, is tended lovingly by the locals, with the graves kept neat and tidy, the flower beds tended and the hedges trimmed. They seem to remember the sacrifices made, even if some do not.


We all split up and respectfully searched for Max’s uncles grave, which I found for her. She paid her respects, and had her photograph took with the headstone, commenting, “I wish I had some flowers or something.” In a moment of insight, I reached into the hedgerow, where there were some poppies growing, picked two and handed them to Max. She placed one on the grave, and placed one in between the pages of a book, to take home with her for her Mum.

We then set off in search of the Thiepval memorial, which is situated near Pozieres, which is dedicated to all of the missing British and commonwealth servicemen who died during the battles of the Somme. 


We headed out of the village of Albert on the D929, and rode past literally dozens of other cemeteries until we reached Pozieres, where we turned off to the left for the Thiepval memorial.

This magnificent and massive structure can be seen for miles around and is a fitting monument to all those young lives that were lost in those grim days gone past. Whilst some entered the visitors centre, the rest went to the memorial itself. 

This is a very poignant place, very beautiful and tranquil, a quiet resting place for those who made the ultimate sacrifice; and of whom there is no known trace. God knows that they deserve such a peaceful resting place after the noise and horror that they witnessed and suffered in their all too short lives.


It was a very sombre group bikers that rode a way from there, back on the D929, heading to Bapaume, when we got there, the first thing we needed was fuel, so, just to lighten the mood and cheer us all up, the Obergruppenfuhrer took the lead, and, in a moment of supreme brilliance, led us all into the back yard of a carpet warehouse in search of fuel????! 

Once we had all done a 30 point turn and got back onto the main street, we spotted a petrol station, filled up, had a smoke and then headed off onto the A1 (peage) with the intention of the next planned stop being Calais. (But then again, when has a good plan EVER stopped us fucking up? We stayed on this road until we got to Arras, where we rejoined our old friend the A26 again. 


Once we had all collected our tickets at the booths, we regrouped and set off though things didn’t go too smoothly. As we were pulling away, Shazza had a bit of a run-in with a Gallic, white van man, who carved his way into the pack and nearly had her off. Once she had regained her composure, and with the help of her partner in crime, Dinky- Doo, she did her usual trick of slowing right down to about 30mph, at the bottom of a hill and once this had been achieved, hitting the launch button and leaving him miles behind.


When we pulled in at the peage station at the end of the pay-as-you-go section of the A26, we all gathered round for the usual smoke break and pow-wow as to the intended destination. We had all agreed that we would try to get our arses in at the camp site at Escalles, seeing as there was a good chance that they would let us back in there as most of our party, (not pointing any fingers,) hadn’t behaved too badly when we stayed there in 2007. The fall back-plan, (in case they remembered us,) was to try any of the several others in the area, and hope that the owners didn’t ring around warning each other that we were back in the neighbourhood!


Once this had been agreed, I was questioned about a little bit of erratic riding that I had done on the way down the road by Steely. When I explained to him that it was due to a large fly getting in behind my visor, he laughed and said; “Oh, right pard, I thought you were having a fit.” Then he asked; “do you know when I get shit and crap in my helmet?” to which the response from many, in an almighty chorus was; “every time you put the fucker on?” leading to most of us falling about laughing including his nibs, as he stomped about and shouted rude names at us all!


Once we were all giggled out, we got ready to get back on the road, well, we thought we were, Steely, still not recovered from the last bout of self induced laughter, decided to try a bit of spontaneous bike theft. He climbed aboard and fiddled with his keys in the ignition for a good minute until Boo said to him; “Steely, why are you buggering about with my dad’s bike?” bless him you can take the bloke out of Nuneaton, but you cannot take Nuneaton out of the bloke!

Once silly bollocks had finished playing musical bikes, and we had stopped laughing once more, we hit the road again, on the final leg to the channel coastline. We blazed the last few miles and headed into Calais in one group, the old memory served us well and I got us through without any ‘directionally challenged moments’ at all! 


What was even more surprising was that we negotiated the town centre, during rush hour and we left Calais on the coast road in one group too! 

Especially (as I found out later,) that we had a bit of interference as well. Claude got the shock of his life in town when, whilst checking over his shoulder to make sure we were all still together, he found a group of teenage locals on their ‘chicken chasers’ mixing it up in the pack, and ‘bigging it up’ to all that looked cos we obviously looked impressive to them. 

Once Claude had given them the evils, they then went out to prove how well they could ride and fucked off sharpish on a bit of a suicide mission, carving their way off at the next roundabout and almost becoming a grille ornament on a French lorry.  



28

As soon as we got onto the coast road proper and we were all safely out of the town we picked up the pace, rapidly passing through the notorious village of Sangatte, heading towards Escalles. As we were leaving Sangatte, Both Steely and I spotted a couple of ‘hippy style’ camper vans and, immediately suspecting that they were heading to the same place as we were, shot off and blasted past them, to make sure that we got to the Escalles camp site before they did, and absolutely NOT because of the brilliant bit of road with the interesting set of corners as you drop down into Escalles, oh no, nothing to do with that at all. (mwu, hur hur!)


Unfortunately, we also attracted the attention of a couple of the local Gendarmes who, according to the bride, looked as if the were a French version of CHIPS, (pommes frites, ) as were ‘making brisk progress’ past the large queue of traffic behind the hippy buses, and, according to Shaz and Donna, they attempted to come after us.


Not that they stood a chance as both ‘Big blonde and dangerous’ and myself both had the bits between our teeth and were heading off like scalded cats, so two Froggy plod on a couple of their clunky old BMW bikes didn’t really stand a chance, especially as we had the drop on them and we were doing 120mph+ when we shot past them.

As we dropped down into Escalles on the road overlooking the site, things did not look promising, the site looked as if it was full to capacity, but we dived into the camp site, switched off, and I shot into the site office and tried to get us booked in. (Whilst I was in there waiting for the staff, I heard police sirens go by but thought nothing of it, oops!)

 Not only did the staff remember us from 2007, they welcomed us, and, by shuffling around the reservations cards they managed to get us two of the last three available pitches, side by side, AND I managed to wangle us a discount, (E21.50 per head for 3 nights, instead of E24.00, with no pitching fees and Boo went for free, result!) 

 

As I was doing the bargaining, the rest of the group began to arrive as well as both of those ‘hippy wagons.’ One of the soap dodging, tree hugging, foreign monkey types jumped out, shot into the office attempted to book in with another member of staff, only to be told that there were no more spaces as we had took two of the last three available slots. Well there’s your luck! 

Oh how they glared at us as Boo and I walked out of the office towards the rest of the group, past that bunch of smelly, eco-warrior types, smiling and Boo singing “we’re in, you’re not, we’re in, you’re not” at them! 

We rode onto site and parked the bikes up, and then set about the usual routine of making camp, only this time, as per usual on this rather popular camp site, we had to get intimate. Nine tents, plus 13 bikes into two small pitches does not leave much space for privacy, we managed, but the setting up was done ‘keystone cops style.’ 


As soon as we had unloaded, I sent Boo off to the camp shop, out of the way, to buy us a few essentials and to treat herself, mainly to beat the rush, because as soon as everyone had finished the tent erecting, they hit the shop in search of booze. Both myself and the Obergruppenfuhrer had bought ours whilst booking in and waiting for the others, well, to be truthful, Boo had taken ‘Captain Chaos’ out of the way for me whilst I was doing the negotiating and we had, between us, bought up all of the Leffe in the fridges.


As we were all settling in for the evening, Bob and Mo returned from their little shopping expedition with Mo laughing her arse off at him. As they sat down, Mo still trying to catch her breath, Bob reached into his pocket, took out his French phrase book, announced; “well that thing has proved itself to be fucking useless” and threw it into the rapidly expanding pile of empties, causing Mo to have another fit of the giggles.

Through her laughter, she explained that Bob had decide to have another crack at ordering everything in French and made yet another complete arse of it, so much so that the lady behind the counter had took the book off him and told him; “monsieur, votre livre est inutile, en fait c'est des déchets” (roughly translated, “mister, your book is a piece of shit!”)


So, whilst we all joined with Mo, having a laugh at Bob’s expense, Wiggy, never one to pass up a chance of ‘summat for nowt’ picked up the book and started to have a go at it. He had obviously decided that, with two French tours under his belt, in which time he had learnt the grant total of “uunay grandie boire sayee vouee plaiyit” it was time to have a go.

 Fuck me! It is amazing how the French language, supposedly, ‘the language of love’ loses all of its appeal and charm when a half pissed Yam-Yam tries to wrap his tongue and three remaining teeth around it! He had us rolling around on the floor!

Whilst this was going on, Mo, still laughing her arse off, tried to open a bottle of cider, and, in doing so, due to her laughing so much, it exploded, sending the cork into Bob’s eye, knocking him out of his chair and the majority of its contents down her cleavage and into her lap!

Seeing as Sir Bob-a-Lot had been playfully but mercilessly ragged for about an hour, mainly by Mo, Doug went in search of a fresh target, so he set about asking rhetorical questions like; “what kind of twat pulls out into the fast lane, shoots to the front, and then slows us all down?” Yes, it was Tapeworm Tim’s turn to be target for the night! 

Whilst this was going on, Shaz rang home as the boy had been trying to contact her and had left several missed calls on her phone, when she got through, he explained that ‘a state of war’ currently existed between him, (and obviously us,) and the next door neighbours. 


Apparently, something had killed some of their chickens, and they were pointing the finger at the bride’s slightly demented Staffordshire bull terrier, ‘Manson’, (you remember, the one who should have been named after Charles as opposed to Marylyn.) 

When I spoke to him he explained that there was a bit of circumstantial evidence against us, but nothing that would stand up on its own.

29

The prosecutions case was built upon;

The garden fence was broken in the corner, (which, in our defence your honour, had gone rotten due to him piling sand against the fucker for two years, and then doing fuck all about it.) 

The pen door was, yet again broken, and had undergone several previous ‘running repairs’ whilst we were away from Danny himself, his Papa Jake, his granddad Maurice and Alex, the boy wonder too!

There were feathers in our back garden.


 Now our Dan, having had some experience in dealing with authority, (ahem,) when questioned by the neighbours, ‘claimed the 5th amendment’ and denied all knowledge of this, and being the sort never one to waste words, simply told him that “it was fuck all to do with him/us,” and walked off. 


Whilst he was telling me that he had blocked up the hole, (and spirited away the evidence by dumping the remains back over the fence,) and I was telling him he had done the right thing, that pissed up Jock bint I’m married to had told the party what had happened, giving them a right old laugh at our expense in the process, and was shouting away in the background helpful things such as; “tell the bastarrts tae get tae fuck,” and “tell ‘em yer dad will be back the day after tomorrow and he’ll fuck him up if the twat starts anything!” 

Once the bride had finished ranting and raving, which was her way of being constructive and helpful, I told him not to worry, keep an eye on the pen, and that I would ring him tomorrow and said goodnight to him.


Once everyone had finished having a few laughs at our expense, they moved onto the Butler and his wine list, which was always good for a laugh, and then finally, we moved onto Del, not that he would know, seeing as he had been in his tent porch, pissed off his face and comatose since nine p.m. He didn’t stay that way though, seeing as Stu, when we were all turning in for the night, just happened to pull off a ‘crash landing’ on top of him, and all of their food, booze and cooking stuff at about midnight, with an almighty clatter and the shout of; “Whahey, pissed again!”


Total miles for the day 260mls


Day 13 Wednesday


Late the next morning, I awoke to the gentle sound of light rain and what turned out to be ‘dustman Del’, (Postman Pat’s smaller, stupider friend,) clearing the empties from the previous evening and separating them for recycling, (I told you this was a hippy commune, we had to recycle everything,) whilst his bitch Stu, now fully recovered from the previous nights excesses was doing his ‘galloping gourmet’ routine.

Whilst I was listening to those two idiots pratting about I was playing ‘hunt the kettle’ as the bride, in her haste to get outside of her fair share of the beer last night,  had just chucked everything into the porch with the cry of “feck it!”  I eventually located everything needed, except for milk, which I scrounged off Stu.


As everyone was rousing and began to gather around, the itinerary for the day was discussed. Seeing as Steely and I had been reasonably good boys all holiday, the ladies had decided to let us off on one of our now infamous ‘tin hat and sand-bags’ expeditions, as we wanted to go and see the V2 factory and launch bunker called Le Blockhaus, at a place called Eperlecqes, near St Omer, whilst they went shopping and to the seaside. 

So, whilst we prepared ourselves to ride carefully and courteously to our intended destination, or, in other words ‘we got ready to go and play silly buggers, hooning around in the French countryside like lunatics’, the word went round that we were off exploring, this led to several others opting to tag along with us, and see the sights. 


In the end, the group that rode out was, Me, Steely, Doug, Claude, Butler, Bob and Mo, and we had a gentle ride to the site, (ahem,) and found it with no problems. It only cost E6.00 to get in and, as a biker, you get a discount! 

Bugger me, but it was one huge big, fuck-off, block of concrete, a proper Teutonic masterpiece, which immediately led to Steely to claim that it was “his dad’s garden shed” and comment “fack me pard, were you in on the design stage, it looks ‘robust’ enough to be one of your projects!” 

“Not robust enough though, if this was his garden shed, it looks like bomber command gave it a right duffing over when it came and did the gardening for him” stated Doug. 

whilst we were walking round, and listening to the automated commentaries, just to rub salt into it, Doug kept nudging Steely and pointing out all of the damage and saying things like, “we fucked your lot up good and proper in there didn’t we pard? 

As we passed into the building, Steely stood there mouth wide open in awe at the now seized and immobile concrete and steel blast door, (which weighed in at a ‘robust’ 270 tonnes,) Doug just had to comment, “forget it pard, it’ll be no good for your workshop.” Which earned him a “fack off you wanker.”  


After having explored the interior of the structure, we went outside and began having a look at all of the static displays. Whilst we were looking at a bloody great big howitzer, The Obergruppenfuhrer went and stood in front of it, and, totally by accident, (naturally,) someone, (who never actually owned up to it at the time, sorry pard, it was me,) started buggering about with the mechanism, managed to wind down and hit him on the head with the barrel, oh how we laughed whilst he was jumping about cursing and rubbing his nut! 

Then we all had a go at playing silly buggers on a functional, though fortunately deactivated Bofors gun which became a ‘photo opportunity’ for us all.


30

Once we had seen enough, we decided to head off to Wissant, but, being Jugsters, it was decided that we would, instead of heading back the way we had come, we would ‘wing it’ across country, relying on ‘Ye olde mappe’ again. (Risky or what?) Things went swimmingly, right up to the point that the road we were heading down suddenly stopped. And I mean fucking stopped! Dead!

According to the map it was still there, and you could see where the bastard thing had run, but the frogs had dug the fucker up and the roads that we had to use from then on didn’t even exist as far as ‘Ye olde mappe’ was concerned! Talk about going ‘off piste’ I was well ant truly ‘piste off’ I can tell you.

 I had to rely on luck, the old internal compass, and pray that the ‘fuck-up fairy’ had stayed with the others, back at the tents.

Believe it or not, luck was on our side, and after a good 20 minutes of ‘winging it big style’ and a fair bit of ‘warp factor nine mr Sulu’, we rolled into Wissant and parked up next to some familiar bikes, which were, funnily enough, parked outside a bar. When we walked inside, we found Del, Stu, Wiggy and Tim, who couldn’t wait to tell us about the ladies and their little adventures!

Well, it would have been rude not to grab a few cheeky wet ones whilst we listened to their version of the ladies antics wouldn’t it? So we grabbed a few beers, (Tim grabbed himself another meal,) and we settled down for a while, in the glorious sunshine, for a bit of ‘Jugsters Jackanory’. 


It turned out that ‘The fuck-up fairy’ had stayed with them after all, as the ladies had done a bit of cross country riding themselves, but they went the whole fucking hog! Apparently, Donna had taken it upon herself to lead them to Wissant, fucked it up, big style and got them well and truly lost! 

Well, seeing as it seemed like a good idea at the time, they had ploughed on regardless, (and I mean ‘ploughed’ in it’s most literal sense,) and ended up doing a bit of impromptu ‘trials riding’ down a rutted farm track for a few miles then they had to cross a field before ending up on a road that eventually took them into Wissant, (her old man is rubbing off on her! NO, NOT LIKE THAT, dirty minded bastards! )


After their exertions in the special episode of ‘the Jugsters bints do Froggy kick-start’, they had done a bit of shopping, (you know, retail therapy,) done the ‘ladies at lunch’ routine, and been down to the beach. From there they went back to the bikes to find ‘The fuck-up fairy’ waiting there for Shaz. 

The helmet lock that she had used to secure both her and Boo’s lid to her bike had malfunctioned and she couldn’t get it undone. (It was at this point that Tim reappeared, with yet more food, so he got christened, Jugsters style, as ‘Tapeworm Tim’.)

Eventually, Stu had turned up and stepped up to be her ‘knight in tarnished armour’ he had to spend a good half hour chopping away at the cable to get the lids free or her. Oh how we laughed, for this was ammunition for when the bitches start on us for being away so long! 

Once we’d finished a beer or three, it was time to head off. As we got ready to roll, Tim excused himself as he had to go and get some fags, so, after asking him to pick me up some papers whilst he was there, we bade him farewell and rolled out of town, heading back to Escalles. 


As we pulled out of town and onto the coast road, you could just sense that there was a bout of ‘playing silly buggers’ in the offing. The stretch of road between Escalles and Wissant is only about 3½ miles long, but the road rises and falls like a rollercoaster and the tarmac is excellent and has two really high speed bends on it. So, seeing as there was no real reason not to go and have a ‘wee bit of a play’ on the way back. (Not that I necessarily approve of such behaviour of course,) some tomfoolery was definitely on the cards.

 Needless to say, two total lunatics set off like ballistic missiles for a bit of fun, and to terrify some of the locals on a couple of matching blue Bandits in the process!

 

When we, I mean they, (ahem,) got back to the site, we, I mean they, (ahem,) were grinning like a couple of kids, (and yes, the blondey headed bastard won, by foul rather than fair means though, not that I’m a sore loser though, YOU PSYCHOTIC WANKER,) not that the grinning gave it away, as we parked up, Donna strolled up and casually commented; “been playing have we boys?” “No” says we, “bollocks” says she, “we heard two crazy twats going for it from two miles away, and we knew it was you two!” (Cue a few more schoolboy giggles!)


The rest of the party arrived whilst we were getting our bollocking, with the exception of Tim (the dim,) when he did eventually arrive back on site, he admitted that he had got lost in the village, he then excused himself, did a quick turn round and fucked off back to Wissant, after admitting that he had forgotten my cigarette papers as well! (Not bright, but very happy!)


When we had originally arrived on site, we had attracted a lot of attention, especially from a young Dutch lad named Hein who, along with his Mum, Froukje, Dad, Bas, and little sister, Meike, were sited on the adjacent pitch to ours. This little lad was mad keen on bikes, and whenever he got the chance, you could see him wandering around looking at them. His parents, once they got over the initial worries of such unusual neighbours, and of their children possibly getting eaten or something, were very friendly and explained that his dad had a bike too. 

Well, he and Claude became great friends, (possibly as they were of the same mental age, 5 or 6.) when he came past on his little scooter going “vroom, vroom” Claude asked him; “Can I have a go?” 

Without a qualm, the lad handed his toy over and silly bollocks started tooling around the camp site on it. When he had finished, he turned to this lad’s mother and said to her, “do you think he’d like a spin on mine?” 


31

Now, when he said that, Max came out of the tent like a whippet out of the traps, ready to intervene as, if you know Claude, as in the man and his morals, you would know that the statement he had made could be taken either of two ways, and no one would put anything past that dirty little fucker! She needn’t have worried though; his intentions were entirely decent, (for once,) so she went across and assured the boys mum that he would take his time.

Believe it or not, his mother allowed Hein to get on behind Claude, and go for a spin round the site on the back of ‘the rampant rabbit’. When he pulled off, Hien’s face was a picture of terror but by the time he got back he was grinning from ear to ear, according to his mum, it made his holiday!


The evening then subsided into its usual state of affairs, only more rapidly than usual, as the Obergruppenfuhrer had found a bottle of cheapo bourbon down in the village, and, after knocking the top off it, passed it round. Which was quite handy really, as it helped a Stu and Del get over their evening meal. The intrepid ‘Finger of fudge detachment’ had decided to ‘go it alone’ on their last shopping trip and had bought all of their shopping themselves. Whilst they were sitting there, Stu cooking and Del ‘directing operations’ I happened to notice the cans which they had emptied into the pan and asked them; “What are we having tonight boys?” 

Del said, “some kind of a stew, what is it mate?” to his manservant. Stu, without looking away from the plates onto which he was pouring their dinners said; “I dunno what it is, but the picture looked good on the can.” I picked up a can read the label and nearly pissed myself laughing, it was dog food! When I explained this to them, Del promptly threw his plate to the floor, and his stomach followed Donna’s, (who had been listening to the conversation,) on a quick lap of the camp site. Stu picked up the discarded can and said; “I had wondered why there was a cartoon dog on the label.” Then continued to eat the concoction that he had prepared with the comment; “it doesn’t taste too bad though!” whilst Del and Donna’s stomachs did another lap and we all took the piss for a bit!


Whilst this was going on, a German chap had come up and introduced himself, he was also a biker and was happily swapping tales, and beers, (which he sent his daughters to fetch,) with the lads. Unfortunately, the bourbon went straight to Claude’s head, (well, they say that fluids will always find, and fill a void,) and he got a right strop on! 

Fortunately, it started to rain and the German chap bid us good evening and ran for cover before Claude did or said anything too dangerous, (though we did have to keep him and Steely apart for a few hours until Claude passed out,) whilst everyone else ducked into the nearest available tent.


The impromptu ‘party’ went on well into the night, and it was quite to say the least, a little on the snug side, with nine of us, all trying to drink and smoke in Steely and Donna’s porch!

On my way back from the toilet I had a bit of a laugh to myself at the state of their tent, as were lumps and bumps poking at all angles and the bodies were silhouetted in the torch light, it looked like an all in wrestling match in a blue condom!



Total miles for the day, (Blockhaus visiting party) 60mls


Day 14 Thursday


The morning dawned rather dismally as it was still raining. Two of our contingent had not fared too well because of this. The Butler had fared the worst, seeing as he had broken his tent, (whilst pissed,) when we were camped near Perpignan, the top had blown off during the night and he was floating around in his very own 6” deep swimming pool! 

Doug hadn’t escaped from the worst of it either; his porch was in more or less the same state, mainly due to pitching his tent whilst in a pissed off state when we arrived. But, being as resourceful as ever, Doug combined two of his housekeeping tasks into one, by mopping the worst of the water up with his rancid socks, wringing them out, then hanging them up to dry along with all of the rest of his gear with the comment; “it’ll save me washing them when I get back home!”


Once we had all eaten, it was mission on! Seeing as this was to be our last full day on the continent, the morning had been set aside for a foray into Belgium for a ‘duty free run’, for those interested. It came down to just four of us who were up for a run over the border. These intrepid explorers were, Doug, Steely, Wiggy and I. 

It was quite amusing really, watching Steely having a go at everyone about remembering to fill up before we got onto the motorway, seeing as the last time we went from Escalles to Belgium we had spent most of the journey there trying to find fuel for Wiggy, his final statement was; “has everyone got what they fackin need? It isn’t rocket science!” and, with that, we bimbled out of the site and headed for the border. 


By buggery, it was windy. We were getting blown all over the road in what was obviously the tail end of the previous night’s storm, but we got over the border and into Adinkerke with none of the usual catastrophes that befall ‘Jugsters on the roll’, so, obviously, we believed that ‘the fuck-up fairy’ was having a lie in.

WRONG!

Did I say no catastrophes? Did I? Well guess what, someone fucked up! 

BIG TIME! 

In his haste to get us away, ‘Big, Blonde and simple’ had obviously decided that it was his turn, once again, to give the ‘fuck-up fairy’ a run out. 



32


Whilst he was getting ready, he had either a ‘blonde’ or a ‘senior’ moment and neglected to pick up the envelope containing the money he had carted around all holiday, just for the purpose of buying a box of tobacco. We didn’t laugh much, honest, as ‘his nibs’ who, whilst having a ‘teddy out of the pram’ moment was jumping around like a deranged gibbon, cursing and swearing like a Glasgow docker! 


Once he had retrieved his teddy from the canal on the other side of the road, and we had stopped pissing ourselves, he turned to us and said; “There’s no fackin’ way I’m goin back to England without some cheap tobacco, I’m gonna have to ride back to the tent and get it.” Grabbed his lid and began to get ready to head back ‘home’ for his cash.

Before he got any further than that, Doug, his oldest mate, handed him a life line, and offered to pay for Steely’s tobacco with his credit card, (a bit more expensive but still cheaper than you can buy it ‘hooky’ and way cheaper than English shop prices!) 

Once we had all made our purchases and bungeed them on, we set off back to the site in what was now a glorious summer morning, well, except for Steely who, due to his bad mood, was riding underneath his own personal thunder cloud like the creepy coupe out of the whacky races!


Once we got back on site, and the rest of the piss-taking had run its course, we settled down and tried to decide what to do for the afternoon. During this conversation, Claude came stumbling out of his tent and looking rather shame faced, (as Max had explained to him, at great length, the error of his ways,) and made his apologies for his getting trolleyed.

As this was going on, Bob, Mo, Stu, and Del returned. They had been to the ‘West wall museum, Batterie Todt’ at Audinghen, which we had discovered and camped next to in 2007. Bob had asked for directions to it prior to us buggering off to Belgium, and they had thoroughly enjoyed the run out and the museum itself.


When everyone was talking away, I was asked by the bride to nip and fetch some ‘girl things’ from Wissant as there were none suitable in the camp shop. 

At Tim’s suggestion, I took his ‘ride’ for a run out as my bike was now totally boxed in, and there was no fucking way that the ‘Highland Terror’ was going to lend me hers after mine and Steelys performance yesterday on the road back from Wissant.


So, with an open mind, I accepted his kind offer and took the ‘pan galactic concrete mixer’ for a run out. 

Fuck me! It took me seven attempts to negotiate the bends out of the bleeding campsite gates! Tim had ‘customised’ the riding position to cater to his personal needs and, to be honest, he needs a fucking beating! After five minutes on his contraption I thought I would need a personal chiropractor! 

The bars were in such as position that whenever I tried to turn the fucking thing, they cracked me on the kneecaps and the foot pegs were so far forward and splayed apart that I thought I was sitting on a fucking birthing stool for a hunch-backed orang-utan! 

I can tell you; it was with some trepidation that I finally took this burgundy bus out on the main road. 


Once I had got this bloody great barge rolling, it wasn’t too bad at all, as long as you don’t mind virtually no control and a hurricane blowing up your trouser legs and freezing your knackers. The really fun bit though was cornering, there were sparks flying everywhere, (oh, I forgot to mention that to you at the time mate, sorry,) and I thought that that would be the worst of it. Wrong again!

Filtering through traffic and slow speed handling in town, what the fuck is that when it is at home? 

Oh, but it was a giggle though, right up to the point that I got back to site as I had to wrestle the ‘AMOCO road star’ through a 3million point turn back round a sharp 270 degree bend off the main road and then through the gates.

As I kicked down the side stand, slid off the seat, and screamed for our Katie to come and walk up and down my back, silly bollocks looked up from his 4th breakfast, (or possibly his 2nd dinner,) and asked; “How was that then? Did you enjoy it? When are you buying one? 


To which I responded through gritted teeth, (as Katie was realigning my vertebrae with her size 6 bike boots,) with just four words which were; “Un-nerving, not particularly”, and “never!”  

Without a smile on his face he said, “it is an acquired taste, I must admit, you’ll get used to it” “bollocks” said I, “it’s like riding a wheel barrow” to which the reply, with a smile was “go fuck yourself then!”


Whilst I was undergoing my ‘emergency chiropractic therapy’ (which cost me 5 euros, she’s been taking lessons from her brother,) the decision was taken that we were going to the beach, (cue more silly photo’s then?) As soon as we got there, we had to form a chain gang to carry Mo over the six inch deep channels of water running over the top of the beach, (to prevent the short arse from drowning.) 

After we had spent a bit of time on the beach, the pub began calling, so we all trekked back up the pathway to the top of the cliffs, though Stu fancied a bit more exertion, (probably trying to work off the hang over he was still suffering from,) and decided to climb to the top of cap Blanc Nez to the monument situated there. 


We did try to warn him about the folly of this idea, (we did the bugger in 2007 and some of our party very nearly needed oxygen to reach the top,) but he went for it anyway.

We sat and watched him striding out on the lower reaches, until he disappeared from view, then thought ‘fuck it’ and shot off back to site as the beer was calling!



33

Kevin, the wine connoisseur, set about a two litre bottle of a special reserve, ‘Chateau du Glycol de Antifreeze’ of 2009 vintage and got shit faced, which made it all the more amusing, (for us at any rate,) when his wife, Mary rang him. First of all, he tried to play ‘the sober card’ (epic fail, she saw through that after he had burbled incoherently through the ‘greetings’ stage.) 

Now, none of us know what was said, (by Mary,) but after the first scream, he sat there, giving her a ‘damn good listening to’ for ten minutes, with just the occasional “yes dear.” Whilst this was going on, Doug, ever the man with the pertinent comment, turned to us and said; “maybe we ought to do him a favour, kill him on the ferry and bury him at sea, that way he will suffer less and it’ll save Mary the job.”


Not long after Kev’s phone call had finished, Shaz’s phone lit up, it was Danny calling. She answered and asked him how he was, but all he said to her was “Put my Dad on, it’s serious.” She handed me the phone and stood there to find out what was up. The phone call went something like this;


Me. “Hey up son, what’s up?”

Dan. “Hi Dad, we’re in deep shit this time.”

Me. (With a sigh) “What’s happened now?”

Dan. “Manson broke out again, and she’s been at next doors ducks and chickens.”

Me. “WHAT??”

Sharon. (From behind me) “Wassup, wassup?”

Me. (To Shaz) “Your fuckin’ dog, that’s what’s fuckin up!” (And the crowd start sniggering!)

Me. (To Dan) “Carry on mate.”

Dan. (With a giggle) “Yep, that crazy fuckin’ mutt has attacked them.”

Me. “Can you be sure it was her?”

Dan. “Trust me Dad; know for certain that it’s her this time, she’s killed the fuckin’ lot.”

Me (with a sigh) “How do you know it was her?”

Dan. “Well, with what I saw and what the neighbours told me.”

Sharon. (From behind Steely) “What’s happened now?”

Me. (to Shaz) “She’s killed the fuckin’ lot!” (And the crowd start laughing!)

Sharon. “What? What’s she killed?”

Me. (losing patience now) “the Royal fuckin’ family, what do you fuckin’ think, next doors fuckin menagerie, that’s fuckin what!”


(It was at just about this time that the majority were laughing their arses off, so I had to speak louder to get the lad to hear!)


Me. (to Dan) “How can they be certain it was her?”

Dan. (With another giggle) “Oh I think they’ve got a ‘rock solid’ case this time Dad.”

Me. (resignedly) “Just how solid is ‘rock solid’?”

Dan. “Well, seeing as I heard the squeals, and then saw her diving back through the fence with one in her gob, which was the last one she killed, at Lisa’s feet, in their kitchen, I think she’s pretty much ‘bang in the frame’ for it this time Dad!”

Me. “Oh crap!” and then I told the rest of them the ‘good news’ (cue the hysterics!)

 “What has been said?”


Dan.    (Now laughing too) “Well, Jules went fuckin’ nuts about it, can’t say as I blame him really”

Me. “what did you say to him?”

Dan. “Well, when he started swearing, I told him to “fuck off, you’d be back tomorrow, and you’d sort it”


Me.     (The sarcasm showing) “Cheers for that son, thanks for mentioning it, anything else happened, no other ‘little problems’ there then? You know, the cars still there is it?  Is the house still standing? Not sold my works van to the Gypo’s?”

Dan.    (Totally missing it) “No Dad, the house is fine, I’ve not touched the car, and I aint seen any gypo’s. The real reason I’ve rang up is that there aint no food left; so I’m living out of the chippy.”

Me.     (In total disbelief) “Ok bud, just as long as you’re ok, see you tomorrow, bye.”


I threw the bride her phone, and then sat down to give everyone a ‘blow by blow’ account. With that over and to the sound of uncontrollable laughter ringing around my ears, I grabbed the first bottle that fell to hand and fuck me; I must have been desperate, for I hit the Butlers wine! 


Bob, Mo, Claude and Max went off for dinner in the on site restaurant, which is excellent, whilst the rest of us began to lighten our loads for tomorrow morning and get rid of our excess alcohol stock. When they got back, they agreed that this was; (to quote Max directly,) ‘a jolly good idea’ and joined in with the plan enthusiastically, which in other words meant that we all sat around until well after midnight and got ratted! 



34

Total miles for the day, (Audhingen visiting party) 20mls


Day 15 Friday


The next morning dawned all too suddenly, (for some of us, after the previous evenings events, I felt like fucking off back to Perpignan,) and we all began the dreaded ‘last pack.’ Needless to say, my ‘ladies’ wanted fuck all to do with the whole affair and, whilst everyone else was either seeing to breakfast or getting a wash, they stayed in bed until I finally lost the plot and threatened to drag them out on their fucking air beds! 

 As I was on my way back from the shower block they passed me going in the opposite direction, and oooh, if looks could kill, I’d have been buried in France!


When I got back to the tents, I noticed that near enough the whole posse were standing in a group discussing something but as I approached, it broke up and they all went back to their packing. When I asked the Obergruppenfuhrer what it was all about, it was brushed off as just a discussion about the ferry, so I thought no more about it, mainly due to the fact of what I was going home to, I didn’t want to even think about the ferry!


Once we were all ready, (my lot were last, as usual,) we started to fire up the bikes. As soon as the first one started, Hein, the little Dutch boy, and his sister Meike, shot out of their tent and came to say goodbye. He insisted in shaking everyone’s hand and described us as “his coolest neighbours ever!” So once we had said our goodbyes we set off for the run into Calais.


This was a pretty uneventful trip, well, except for my bike cutting out and me having to switch to reserve on a roundabout. We pulled into one of the harbour car parks and waited there for an hour before heading to the ferry port via the centre of Calais.

Ooops! Would you credit it, we got all the way through the middle of the town without any problems until I took us into the wrong entrance for the terminal, my one and only (major) fuck-up of the entire trip. God, I was laughing my arse off at the irony of it as we threaded our way through the bollards in front of a load of bewildered gendarmes! 


Once we finally got to the correct gate, Doug went to try to get us on the earlier ferry that was still boarding, but without any luck. He explained that when he had attempted to do this, they had said they couldn’t take us all, but, they could take one or two. In a moment of selfishness, he admitted to having considered saying “fuck them” getting on anyway, and abandoning us all!

Whilst we were waiting for the next ferry, several of the party went ‘walkabout’. Whilst they were gone, I got out some boiled eggs that I had prepared for our breakfast and we sat and ate them. Once we were finished, I sneakily stuffed the shells into Steelys helmet, luggage and gloves as he was one of those who had gone A.W.O.L. in search of a toilet. When he got back, there was Doug, sitting there eating boiled eggs, so he got the blame for all the shells in the Obergruppenfuhrer’s gear! (It served the old bastard right for thinking of abandoning us!) 


Whilst we were waiting for the ferry, several people were wandering around looking at the bikes and several of our lot were chatting away with our fellow passengers. You could spot the ‘booze cruisers’ a mile off, but one bloke stood out in particular. He had a large Mercedes and it was rammed to the limit with cases of wine. The Butler ended up in conversation with him, which several of us overheard.

You may remember that, as we were tooling around France, everywhere we stopped for booze, Kevin went buying the wine, and, to be honest, not the best that France has to offer. 


He would sit there, getting pleasantly sozzled on this glorified brake cleaner and, whilst he still had the ability to do so, before passing out, he would state things like; “this has got a bite.” Or, “this is one for the butlers list!” and then, (much to our amusement,) he would pull out his little note book and drunkenly attempt to write down the details from the labels before falling off his stool.

 Well, it turned out that the bloke he was talking to ran a wine shop somewhere in the Buckinghamshire area, and was a bit of an expert, and the Butler latched onto this. Whilst they were in conversation, this bloke with the ‘jolly hockey sticks’ accent  was showing Kev some of the bottles he had picked up and began discussing things like ‘grape must’ and ‘chalky vineyards’ with what was obviously a great deal of knowledge on the subject. 


The Butler, with a great deal of interest,  listened on and stood there nodding and agreeing with him for quite a while before he announced that he too had collected himself a list of ‘fine wines’ from the regions of France that we had visited and intended to seek them out when he got home.  

Immediately interested and obviously surprised to find another fellow connoisseur to exchange notes with, (especially one standing there dressed in a dog eared cowboy hat, a fringed leather jacket and a pair of none too clean combat trousers,) and asked The Butler, “May I see your list old chap?” “Certainly” says the Butler, dug in his grotty combats for his notebook and handed it to the unsuspecting fool. 


This poor fellow looked up and down the list several times, and even turned the page over, frantically but fruitlessly searching for something of quality, before he turned to Kev and said, (rather diplomatically,) “well, they are, ahem, how can I put it, a bit on the cheap side aren’t they?” which caused most of our lot who were ‘ear wigging’ to fall about laughing! Then, just to top it off, Kev came stomping back to us muttering “fucking idiot, he knows fuck all!” which just sent us into another round of the giggles.

35

About five minutes after we had regained composure, the dolly dimple at the boarding gate started to move towards us, so we all shot back to the bikes and got ready to roll. Sure enough, we were signalled forwards and a general melee began as the Jugsters began weaving between each other and the other bikes attempting to board, trying to secure the prime spots towards the stern, (the blunt, non pointy bit of the ship,) for a quick getaway when we docked.

Obviously, the Fuck-up fairy had decided to hand over the reins of command to her mate ‘General Chaos’ as it all went to rat shit as soon as we hit the car deck! Somehow, we were all separated and split up! 

I had no choice but to get Katie Boo to a place of safety and ‘El Bandito’ strapped down before I could worry about anything else!


So, I got Boo off the bike and safely rammed her in a corner of the deck, with the gentle fatherly words of; “don’t you fuckin’ move an inch!” “Why not, I’m hungry?” was the immediate and snotty response, to which I replied; “Cos ‘Daddy-fuckin’-waddy’ has got to strap the fucking bikey-fucking-wikey down. So, if you even attempt to ‘do one’ I’ll strap you down too you little git! Your mothers gone missing and I could do without losing you as well as that silly tart! 

Steely and Dink came to my rescue and took Boo to the restaurant with them, whilst I went in search if ‘mummy dearest.’


Tapeworm saw me searching for the ‘highland nightmare’ and explained that they had held some back as they were sending them to the other deck and Shaz was with them. He also explained that they were going to meet us in the bar or restaurant. I then ended up helping him to strap that barge of his down too!

So, happy that the bride was with some of the others, and that I had done my good deed of the day by helping a  pensioner in distress, I went to rescue Steely and Dink from ‘Little miss 20 questions’. 


When I found her, she was sitting at the table next to Steely and Dink, stuffing her face with a dinner of poached salmon, green beans, new potatoes and a pudding, (which she had bought herself, ”as I was hungry!”) without a care in the world! When I asked her if she’d seen her mum, she didn’t even lift her face from the plate, but simply said; “what? Who? Oh her, no. she hasn’t come in here yet.” And calmly carried on munching away without a care in the world!

Dink assured me she would keep an eye on the uncaring little shit for me, so off I went on round two of ‘hunt the haggis-basher’. I immediately found Kev, who assured me ‘stroppy-jock’ was safe and had parked next to him, and had come upstairs at the same time as him too, so I went via the bar, back to where Boo was hopefully still eating, to find her waiting there for me.


Once we had eaten, and then hit the ‘duty free’ for Boo to buy some fluffy toys that she wanted, we headed up to the smoke deck for a bit of fresh air. 

As we got outside, the difference between the outward and homeward journeys was obvious; the straights of Dover were like a mill pond, the sun was shining, and Shaz wasn’t ‘green and heaving.’ As we sat there chatting, I got the feeling that something was going off, and sure enough, I was right!


BASTARDS! 


Steely, (the chief bastard!) announced that, due to the general consensus of opinion, there had been a whip round amongst the group, and they had bought me a little something for getting them round without any worries and presented me with a bottle of my favourite tipple, (Jim Beam.) He also explained that this was the reason that they had been having the Pow-Wow this morning. When I offered them my thanks and told them I was speechless, it fell to Doug, (as usual,) to come up with the one liner; “Well that’s a first!”


 I will be truthful with you, as I as with them at the time, it was totally unexpected, and unwarranted, as I had immense fun on the trip and would even do it again, with all the stresses involved, just for the laughs. The thing that had summed it up and made it all worthwhile for me was when we were discussing the route somewhere along the trip. I had asked if everyone was happy just to follow along and Stu had stated; “I trust you so much I would follow you into a quarry full of shit.” (A unique way of putting it, I have to admit, but it sure as hell assures you that you have at least one person’s total confidence in your abilities!)


Prior to docking, we all agreed that seeing as we were all scattered in every possible corner of the bleeding ship, (especially Shaz, Butler, Max and Claude, who were on a completely different deck!) that we would meet up at the petrol station just outside of the port. So with that organized, we all set off to get set up for the off.


Believe it or not, having done the ‘Port of Dover, whacky races’ bit through all of the foreign lorries and stupid car drivers without any incidents even the customs didn’t even bat an eyelid at us and let us sail through unmolested, so we headed straight for the petrol station and, once we were all together once more, filled up and said our goodbyes to Stu, who was heading off home, down on the south coast. Once we were all ready, we sallied forth once more to do battle with the traffic exiting Dover, and headed off on the road home. 

The journey up to the M25 was as uneventful, as it was boring, but the ‘fuck-up fairy’ ensured that we all had a bit of trouble from there on in! We all did a bit of ‘speed filtering’ to the South Mimms service station, which is, coincidentally 101miles exactly from the first garage out of Dover port.




36

Once we had refuelled, we set off for the Dartford crossing, which, due to a ‘cunning plan’, the majority of us managed to get through in one group, though that ended up as a bit of a waste of time as it all fell to bits in the traffic just afterward.


We never managed to totally re-group, as when we pulled into the planned ‘last rendezvous’ at Watford gap, we found that we had lost Tim, Wiggy and the Butler. We later found out that they had done a ‘splash and dash’ at Toddington and then sailed past us while we waited for them at Watford Gap.

Once we realized that they weren’t going to come to us, we said our goodbyes to one another and not long after getting back on the road, began splitting off and heading our separate ways. 

The last ones that Shaz, Boo and I separated from were Bob and Mo, who gave us a wave and a smile, and Mo blew Boo and I a kiss as they continued northwards up the M1 when we peeled off at Jn22, on the last leg of our Journey. This took us no more than ten minutes and we got home, unpacked and managed to get the bikes put away just before the rain started. 


Journey over, job completed!


But not our day! 


After having a bath, Shaz and I had to go round and confront the less than happy neighbours. But that is another story.











































37





















































 

 20th BOSTED BLADDER 2012

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU! 

Once again- we've pulled it off! Over three hundred folk braved the weather forecast to come and party hard with us. As it was, apart from half a dozen showers and a spectacular hail storm, it wasn't that bad at Netherseal! I think we had our own personal micro climate as more riders came in from early Friday, soaked to the skin. The field was becoming a little sticky as the day wore on, and we were pulling in all comers to help extricate some of the traders' wagons. By early evening, over two hundred folk had settled in with their camps and were ready to play! Exhibit A were our band for the evening, and by god did they play! Once again St Peters Club was bouncing with a crowded bar and dance room - and outside,  where the bonfire pulled a good number of pyromaniacs. The crowd were entertained by a pair of lovely young ladies spinning neon globes to music- very entertaining. All had a great time until the small hours- when the bonfire came into play for those who wanted to watch the sun come up.

Saturday started with a beautiful sunny day, with more riders coming in from early on. Campers availed themselves of our excellent catering facilities- provided by Laura on the snap wagon and Wazoo tea emporium. Others staggered down the Seal and the Holly Bush for reasonably priced full English brekkies. The weather held until mid afternoon when we had a couple of showers and then the mother of all hail storms! The ground was white over in marble sized ice balls in a matter of two minutes. Luckily, it was warm enough to melt away soon enough- ready for the appearance of the Ginger Ninja's!

Shaz and Barko strike fear into the heart of rally virgins all over this fair land. Three converts to bikerhood were goaded/pushed/dragged screaming to the edge of the bonfire site where they lay in wait... Clad in white coveralls and masks, they went gleefully about their task humiliating, defiling and damn right scaring their prey. All manner of foodstuffs, fluids and downright dubious looking substances hit their targets to a great cheer from the throng of onlookers (Probably thinking; thank god I haven't got to do that again!) I personally think they would do this for a job on a daily basis- such is their dedication.

The evening came soon enough and one and all wound up for another great time. Tonights entertainment came in the form of KRAP- yes, that is their name- and they are far from it! With some brilliant rock covers, Kez on vocals could shout the house down. Such was the frenzy on the dance floor, I was literally bouncing of it! 

In our interval, we had a charity session which involved raffle, charity auction and a toss the pound at a Bottle 'o Jack, altogether raising the marvellous sum of over £460.00 for SHINE, a charity dealing with hydrocephalus in children. Well done all for that!

 The awards were given out for Furthest Male Rider: D Gable 180 miles. Furthest Female Rider; Barbara ? 189 miles. Club Turnout; Antelope MCC (what a surprise!) Club Mileage; Oddballs MCC. Best Bike; Rocket III Alien/Predator hybrid. Best Trike; Boomer with snake effect. Tale of Woe; Doubling his mileage to get round all the Olympic bullshit going on- Captain Smurf! As a special surprise to the Jugsters, Antelope MCC presented a beautiful trophy congratulating us for twenty years of holding rallies. Thank you Antelopes! We appreciate the recognition and the friendship of your esteemed club!

With the whole pub bursting at the seams with happy folk, KRAP put on a brilliant second half, tying up the weekend for us all. As usual, for the finale', the Jugsters took to the dancefloor to headbang to the entire version of Freebird (I'm gettin' too old for this!) to close another glorious party. The bonfire then became the focus where loads of happy punters sat round drinking and talking until the sun came up on a cold Sunday morning.

Gray.

Y'know... I think we might do it again next year....

 Bugsplatz Get It On Rally 13-15th May 2011

Or

Jugster Girls Go On Manoeuvres

Or

5 Go Freaky in Staffordshire!

By Dibley

 

Unlike our usual starts  this was quite civilised with a cuppa at Shaz’s and another at Dink’s.

Checked we were heading for the correct location as there were two Knightons in the same area and set off.

The first thing I said to Joe; as I was tail gunner, was “don’t worry about me, I won’t come past you unless I have unforeseen braking issues!" (remember France 07?) LOL.

Dink led the quintet (as she had written down the directions!) out to the petrol station;1 mile and by that time we had to don our waterproofs, as it was what the weather people described as significantly raining!

We have just had the driest April on record and the past week hadn’t been half bad, so why do we get this?

Joe and Jan hadn’t ridden in the rain before and needed  some guidance and reassurance, then off we went again after some deliberation as to whether we should just give the rally bollocks and go down the Kingswood?!

We didn’t struggle to find the venue at all as it was only really a couple of roads and the club had it well signed too.

We only had a few hairy moments:

a)    When a foreign van driver cut me and Joe up on a roundabout

b)    When the road surface turned to marbles due to gritting works (the 125 girls next new encounter)

c)     When mayhem ensued as Jan stopped dead in the middle of traffic to (possibly) think and then Joe stalled as Dink had spotted a necessary lane change and had squeezed into a gap. I confess to saving myself at this moment!

On arrival (after Dink tried to take us to a beer festival; hey not a bad mistake?) we found good camping, nice and flat and grassy at the rear of a pub with a big fuck off marquee (just what it said on the tin really).

Had heard our men folk thought we would get lost -,NOOOOOOOOOO and then Dink found we had the club flag too, so “Jog on kitties!”

Quickly camped up, after a very nice man from the Oddballs pumped up all the airbeds for us, sending his missus into a tail spin, as it was her bike he used to power the pump! They thought we were an advance party for the rest of the club and were surprised to find out we were on our own, and I’m not sure what worried them more?

Dink shouts up “we’ll be alright later girls, I’ve brought a bottle of vodka!” -only to discover she had brought some forgotten bottle of ouzo instead LOL.

Off to check out the snap wagon. The girls played it safe on burgers, whilst I stupidly picked a chilli, which took forever to arrive and although plentiful with an abundance of kidney beans; in the absence -I fear of meat, was presented to me with a comedy fork, which by its diminutive size would be suitable for eating olives or for the less epicure amongst you dear readers, pickled onions.

Bands, beer and banter were good. Shaz spotted the bar staff drinking bright blue drink, checked it out and decided we were having some of that “washing up liquid”.

During the course of the evening Jan revealed that she had brought snowboarding clothes with her as she figures they would keep her warm, so then commenced a weekend of mirth, somewhat at Jan’s expense, as I for one could not imagine Jan snowboarding or any kind of surfing to be honest and neither could the others.

Around the witching hour we headed back to the tents, although the bands and disco went on till about two, as we were cold in the marquee and presumed we would warm up in our doss bags......WRONG!

Shaz and Joe were quickly ensconced in the micro tent, whilst Jan and I sat in Dinky’s porch slurping the rogue ouzo and having a toke -Enter NINJAN!

Jan gets her thermals on after an age of near nakedness

Jan:“Max will you hold the torch still?”

Max:“No not really Jan, I don’t really want to look and no one else wants to either”

Dink:“Jan that’s your leggings not your top”

Eventually Jan transfers into a Ninja creature of stealth (sic) or perhaps the man from the milk tray advert?

More piss taking ensues:

“Is that your snowboarding outfit Jan?”

“Av you got a knife between your teeth Jan?”

“Is that one of your snowboarding positions Jan?”

“Av you got the chocolates Jan?”

And so it went on until our sides hurt from laughing and I crawled across to my tent.

So much for balmy summer nights-it was flipping freezing!!!!!!I don’t know about the others but I had all of my clothes on including leather jacket and still I shivered.

You could see your breath in the tent and there was a frost on the ground. Now I do the Druids’ Icy Ale rally in December and the Frozen Bladder and I swear they’re are not as cold! True I had not prepared myself by wearing winter rally clothes but man! it was brass monkey temperatures.

It was as I was contemplating what I would do to get through Saturday night e.g. go home, buy a cheap duvet in town, check into a B&B, when I heard a throaty groan outside.

Was that someone shagging to keep warm? Well it was comin’ from Dink’s tent!? Then I heard Dink ask incredulously

”Jan, what’s up?”

 Turns out to be Jan groaning ,with teeth chattering, stating that she didn’t believe that teeth chattering was real and was only seen on cartoons-BLESS.

Well we all had a crap night’s sleep, due to extreme cold, shivering and/or holding our muscles tense.

Saturday dawned warm and sunny for a while at least. Our immediate neighbours packed up and left without speaking to us-we’ve had that happen before hey guys? Was it something we said/did or had they been scared off by Ninjan and her groaning?

We breakfasted on a lack lustre presentation of a full English in a box, but it filled a hole. We asked about a shop only to discover we were truly in the middle of nowhere.....”Let’s go to the pub” decides Dinky.

We bagged seats and a table early as the pub was tiny and got packed out quickly, and so spent the day in there drinking cider. We were going to look at or even take part in the silly games later, but by that time it was raining so we stayed put and carried on.

From this prolonged stay in the Haberdashers Arms (as these things do) the Freaky Five plan was hatched, along with designing special patches and choreographed actions in somewhat of a homage to the flavour of the weekend. It involves karate hand gestures and simulated surfing positions (yep Jan gets in there again) It’s far too complicated to describe here dear reader, you have to see it really.

Well after a lot of cider it had come to such a time where Dink had thrown it in her lap, so cue to leave for the marquee, raffle, prize giving etc; Joe had been confused all weekend as to the presence of a giant rat on a block of wood in the control tent and as the best bike was announced pipes up “do they get the rat?”

 I must admit I was hopeful of a distance trophy, having always won them in that neck of the woods,but could not beat a bird from New Zealand. Shame as they were great trophies.

More good bands but it was still freezing.

I decided to buy more “washing up liquid”, although Dinky tried to protest that she didn’t want anymore, but I was undeterred.

We “chinked” our plastic glasses, in a display of camaraderie,  knocked it back a bit and Dinky promptly threw up! She really hadn’t wanted anymore!

The troops rallied round her; apart from Jan who ran away! By the time I returned with a bottle of water, Dink assures me “I’m alright now” LEGEND.

Still had no idea how we were going to survive the cold of the night. Only one thing for it...Freaky Five all in one tent.

Imagine this scene if you will, us lot, tall, short, thin and fat, all squished in the tent together with cries of:

Joe: ”I’m not going on the crack”

Jan: ”How am I going to get out?”

We had some funny looks off folk I can tell you, but it was a hell of a lot warmer! RESULT!

Still drizzling in the morning so straight into waterproofs again, pack up and fuck off, with the Hollies cafe on the A5 in our hearts and minds.

A hearty breakfast and a hot brew later, we were revived sufficiently to carry on till we split for Nuneaton and Netherseal respectively.

The weekend had an epiphany feel to it for me at least­, so I hope there will be many more in the future, with more Jugster girls joining in along with the fun.

 The Bosted Bladder Rally 2011.


This was one of the most sucessful rallies we have put on for years. It was truly marvellous to see so many people enjoying themselves so much. To be frank, it took us all a bit by suprise. With the state of the country, job losses and the cost of living, we had 'downsized' to a smaller site expecting a drop in custom. But you guys said F**k It! - and came anyway!

We hope you had as great a time as we did, and we do appologise for the chow wagon running out of food- that I think being the fly in the ointment- but it shows how inundated we were. We definately won't get it wrong next year! Speaking of next year, it will be our 20th Bosted Bladder Rally and we're aiming to make it the best yet! More details as we get nearer the date- so remember to keep mid April free!

To those who could'nt make it...

Whooo Boy!  You missed a cracker!

The site started filling up friday morning- which is unprecedented by my experience. Then came a steady stream of bike clubs and individuals right up until ten at night. As is usual at a Jugsters bash, a chilled out atmosphere ensued as we had a few sherberts and made contact with old friends and made some new ones. Looking over the camp site was awesome. A full size football pitch with a fifty foot border all round was a sea of chrome and canvas. Where the hell were we going to put Saturday's arrivals?

Jumbo Johnny started off the proceedings on the decks but unfortunately became "poorly" - it may have been something he ate.... Anyway, the night rolled on in a packed club with many more outside enjoying the unseasonably good weather. Then our band kicked up. Phantom Rock were bloody awesome! A young band from the West Midlands, Crip had 'discovered' when he booked them to play at the Kingswood Tavern. Not only had they a magnificent hold on the classic rock tracks, they burst into a set of rock and roll numbers that had an amazing effect. Now I've been on a good few rallies- but I have never seen a dance floor so full of hairy arsed bikers and their women jiving and twisting the night away since the seventies! Bloody awesome! This seemed to set the precedence for the weekend and everyone to a man & woman was determined to make this a great time had by all.

Saturday morning came and another steady stream of motorsickles rumbled in. The field was getting cosier by the hour. Blessed by brilliant sunshine all day, it took on a carnival atmosphere as folk wandered round the site, browsing the stalls and having a real chill out. A friend of the Jugsters brought in a beautiful hawk and a Barn owl for the guests to admire, although sadly the hawk could'nt be trusted for a flying display- it took three days to get back last time!

 A whole bunch of people actually admitted they were Rally Virgins. Now, for the folk who know the Jugsters and especially the Ginger Ninja's Barko and Shaz- that is not a clever thing to do. Oh the humanity! They were treated to an inititiation that was on the border of vicious with all manner of stuff smeared, splattered and poured over them... Nasty. The afternoon wore on and Eggy set up the dizzy pole slalom where blinfolded contestants had to wheelbarrow their partner around poles bursting balloons; who then galloped round the dizzy stick, back up the other end of course for another dizzy stick and then open and chug a bottle of booze. Finally, running back down the course and across the finish line- it was hilarious! To claim their prize, the winners had one more task to fulfil. They had to eat a bra made of candy off the ample bosom of Gill- a fun filled lady member of the Jugsters. It's a tough job but someone had to do it... Steady on with the teeth next time lads! The fun continued with a duet on the car park knocking out some great tunes, keeping it mellow in the warm afternoon sun. A great reponse was given by the appreciative audience seated on the grassy bank by the bowling green.

As evening came, a steady stream of locals joined the fun along with more bikers in for the night session. The function room was filled to bursting point and again the dance floor vibrated to the throng of folk getting jiggy with it. Trophies were handed out to the winners of the categories; Long distance male 283 miles. Lady long distance; 145 miles. Best bike: a cherry Norton Commando. Best Trike: a cracking VMax with lady rider. Club turnout: Antelope Mcc and Club mileage: the Kamikazi Kangeroos. Crip wrangled a load of money out of the throng for our chosen charity event; the Dystonia Society, by having a coin toss at a bottle 'o Jack. Our friends and guests made a total of £250.00 Then the mighty No Spring Chicken struck up and set the tone of the night with a great set of rock to keep the party going strong. As the finale', the members of the Jugsters who could still stand got up on stage and headbanged their way through the full version of Freebird as is tradition. The audience went crazy and joined in, creating one of the best scenes ever at any rally I have attended. With a final,wild congratulations marathon from both sides, the party sadly had to come to a close, although the boozing and friendly atmosphere continued by the bonfire until dawn.

Now. If you were'nt there- don't you wish you had been.... Don't worry! We're daft enough to do it all again next year! Think bigger and better!

A big thanks to Cowboy as well for getting the Bosted Bladder in print with Trike Magazine. Cheers Pard!

See Magazine articles.

 2007 Jugsters M.C.C. Tour De France

(Otherwise known as, A “Trip” too far!) 
Cast of Characters

Name               A.K.A.                                     Role                             Riding   Style

Tommy The Terrible                                          Pathfinder                 Beer in one hand, throttle in the other .

Nicky               Toms“Er” indoors                     “Pillion”                     “Oh god Tom Nooooo” 


Steely               The Obergruppenfuhrer          Captain Chaos             
“Just winging it, pard”

Donna              Twisted Sisterz...                    Steelys minder          “Don’t care, long as it’s loud”

Shazza              Twisted Sisterz ..........          Tourettes on wheels    “I wanna be on the left”

Russ                 Wing man                                 Keeper of the diary   “what front tread? Sit still Boo”

Boo                  Li’l miss 20 questions             The sensible one!!!        “Just singin’ in my lid”

Doug                fag break monitor                    Donor bike                   “No corners please, I don’t do twisties”

Claude             Bro                                          Comic sidekick              Tryin’ to keep the Buell in one chunk

Max                 Too many to list                        Claude’s minder           Wringin’ the kwak’s neck!

Browny            “jibber-jabber”............             wild card                     “Just along for the ride man”

Wiggy              Hinge (the lodger)                     little ray of sunshine       Thinks he’s still in his artic’

Kev                  Bracket                                    Tail gunner                  “At the back & happy to be there”

Well, I really do not know how to start this tale of our “holiday tour” for the things that we witnessed were so many & so varied that it would justify a book in its own right let alone a report! It is written in the 1st person & in the form of a diary as I took notes on the way round. I will spare you a lot of the boring detail where possible.
Quite a lot of people were shocked, apprehensive or downright worried at the complete lack of thought & planning that was put into this trip, let’s face it, the only information offered to interested parties was, “were gettin’ off the boat & turnin’ right pard” (which put quite a few people off!) But, if you are not fazed by chaotic, ill-conceived, erratic, cock-eyed, half baked, ill-planned, inept, disaster movie scripts in the making, (me, I’m immune to all the above, after all, I work at the same place as Steely!) this was definitely a holiday trip to go for! Anyway, why be worried, life is too short to worry about these little obstacles, that’s why you pay for holiday insurance & there are British consulates & Diplomatic missions scattered all over the world!

Day 1 
04.00hrs 25-07-2007 
Dragged Shaz out of bed, Boo virtually flew out of hers; talk about excited, you would think she was on speed! Whilst the ladies were getting ready, (Boo was having breakfast & Shaz was sulking) I dragged out both of the bikes, carried out final checks & loaded the luggage. On the road by 05.00. Hrs prompt. Fuelled & on the M1 by 05.15, to meet the rest of the goof-troop at the Watford Gap Services.
All of the crew present at 05.50 so we had a fag break whilst arranging fuelling stops approximately 100 miles apart (to suit Tommy & Dinky’s tank ranges & also Shazza’s “Butt on seat discomfiture duration” & meeting points if we got split up etc.

08.30 (ish) we knew that things had started to go down the shit-pan at the South Mimms Services!  No sooner had we refuelled than, much to the rest of the gaggles combined amusement /amazement,  Obergruppenfuhrer Steele, closely followed by his old schoolmate, Douggie the Dim, decided that they had already had enough of this half-arsed trip that big blonde & Stupid had loosely cobbled together & decided to brighten up the morning for us, Jugsters style!
As soon as both I & Browny realized that they had missed the appropriate turning, we had given chase but we were too late to stop their headlong charge back onto the M25, heading northwards to France!

 1
After a quick “pow-wow” on the SOUTHBOUND slipway, an executive decision made by Donna (Steely’s long suffering missus) which was “Fuck that pair of idiots, I’ve got the tickets, money & tent so we’re carrying on without ‘em, they can catch up!” So, once more, we were on our way SOUTH again!

10.00 (ish). After a rather uneventful Journey SOUTH (Yes, these little highlighted words are all aimed at you pard) we eventually all met up with our intrepid wanderers at Dover, which can generally be found SOUTH of London, where we had a coffee whilst waiting to board the ferry.

10.30 (ish). Somehow, Wiggy managed to get through customs/check-in without going through the barriers.

11.30 (ish). All aboard, cast off the lines, splice the mainbrace & we put to sea, SOUTHBOUND, heading for Calais, (not north to Grimsby) orf to reintroduce “Johnny Frog” to the Jugsters!

13.10 (ish). A tannoy announcement warns us that we are immenently docking, cue a mass drinking up display & exodus from the bar at warp factor nine!(Steely & Tom seem to be under the misguided impression that you cannot be arrested for drinking & riding if you get pissed in international waters!)

13.15 (ish). Needless to say, at this point, we had Jugsters scattered all over the ship, from stem to stern, crows-nest to bilges, half pissed, stumbling about, asking everyone they met in a crappy Inspector Cleuseau accent, “boney jawer mezdammes, wheeere heervve hiay leurrffft mhaiy meuuutoooor-ciycuuulle? Monseweres, Harrvvve yeiu seeen eeeeet ayneewhoirre horrey-vowire?”

13.40 (ish). All present & correct, suited & booted & a great big, fuck off,Le Mans style start, weaving in & out of cars, caravans, campers & artics to the 1st bit of clear road for a stop, a fag & a plan of attack! (200yds down the road, we hadn’t even got out of the port!) It was decided to call it quits, (especially as Boo was on her chinstrap from the early start,) find somewhere to camp nearby & get drunk!

14.00 (ish). After the first bit of continental town riding, heading SOUTH, (which, really buggered up Donna & Shaz) we stopped for petrol, after a slight technical hitch, where the dozy petrol station attendant (a Gallic version of the usual type of invertebrate whom are usually employed to man these establishments & McDonalds outlets as well) accused us of stealing petrol, threatened to call the Gendarmes & set a bloody great big mastiff on us!

15.00 (ish). Problem resolved, Kev had paid for mine & Shazza’s petrol as well as his own, but not Wiggys,(Obviously, it just had to be Johnny the Frogs Fault; it couldn’t be the butlers could it?)

16.00 (ish). After a short but frantic ride along the coast road to Wissant, (we spent most of the time “reminding” Shazza which side of the road to be on by, in the end, “corralling” her in between me & Steely)
We found the site recommended by Browny to be full, so we went to Cap Griz Nez & found a delightful little site in a village called Audinghen (no, really, it actually was a nice place!) behind a WWII German gun emplacement called “BATTERIE TODT” which was actually a museum. This immediately impressed the fuck out of “Herr Steele” who christened it “my Dads Bungalow” (He also had to behave himself as he had to surrender his passport as security, hah!)

18.00 (ish). After having a fuckin’ good old laugh at Wiggy’s expense, (he had brought a tent without any poles, the fuckin’ dozy Yam-Yam! Eventually Kev, through tears of laughter, agreed to give him a home) And a group effort to erect the monstrosity of a tent that Claude had brought along for Max & himself! It was back to Wissant for Provisions, (food, BOOZE, BOOZE, BOOZE & MORE BOOZE!)for a quiet night in & an early start the next morning.

 

2
19.00-22.30(ish). That plan mostly went to rat-shit within the 1st sniff of a pub, though we did get provisions &, some of us, (Donna, Shaz, Max, Boo, Claude, me & Steely) took ourselves off for a proper bit of French cuisine.(You couldn’t see Boo behind the huge bowl of Mussels they brought out for her! In her words “they were very nice”) then, once some of us had eaten, it was back to camp for a proper drink!

22.45 (ish). Back on site, put Boo to beddy-byes, had a few beers outside the “rave tent” (as we had christened Claude & Max’s marquee) took the piss out of Wiggy some more, then it was off to bed.

Day 2 Thursday
 08.30 (ish) Whilst the Twisted Sisterz were off having their showers, myself & “Herr Steele” snuck off for a look(or, as Dinky & Shaz  refer to it, a “tin Hat & sandbags session”) at the museum  & a few of the lads nipped off with us as well.

10.30 (ish).  On the road again. Heading SOUTH, The conditions were rather bad, a howlin’ gale to be precise, thunder, lightning, rain the lot! Max’s old “B” reg GPZ550 was struggling to make 70 m.p.h. up some of the hills as we were riding face first into a fucking gale! We went through Rouen twice, (oops! Eh, Browny)

14.00. (ish). had our 1st stab of the journey at a peage, this went well, right up to the point that we realised that we had lost Kev Bennett, observant as we are, this was noticed as soon as we had left the peage!

15.00. (ish). After a rather frantic phone call a few of us headed back as “a rescue party” i.e. Steely, Me, Browny, & Doug (donor bike)

16.30. (ish). After yet another lap or two of Rouen, we finally re-traced our steps back to Kev. (Oh boy was he keen to see us!) Shazza phoned us to enquire as to how things were progressing, when I told her that we had just found him, she, in her normal compassionate & caring way, stated “What the fuckin’ hell are you fuckin’ silly bastards fuckin’ about at, get your fuckin’ fingers out & fix the fuckin’ thing or we will be fuckin’ here all fuckin’ night!

17.15. (ish) Got Kevs bike fixed, (dodgy fuel pump) much to the amusement of Doug, who kept coming out with little witticisms such as “These later models aren’t any where near as reliable as the older ones are they?” (Cue a bright red Butler!) Whilst we were having, a bit of a giggle at his expense, The Tartan Terror rang us again to inform us that we were booked into an F1 for the night, just down the road, cos they were sick of waiting. Shaz commented at the time “where’s fuckin’ Dude when you fuckin’ need him, we could fuckin’ do with his fuckin’caravan”)

18.00. (ish)  Arrived at the Formula 1 Hotel at Val-de-Reuil, got a shower & a change.

19.00. (ish).  Off down into the Village in search of food/beer. Found a cracking restaurant, great meal, few beers.

22.00. (ish) Boo tired, took her to bed, the rest went on a proper swilling session.

23.45. (ish)  They tried several bars but ended up back at the restaurant, where they really tied one on. Until eventually the manageress finally called time & they had to find their way back to the hotel.
On their return journey, Kev’s bike breaks down again, so he chained it to a tree & got a lift back to the hotel with Doug, who was laughing his cock off all the way back, braying on about “the old ‘uns being the best ‘uns!” Donna & Steely smashed a shower trying to have a bit!

 

3

 

Day 3 Friday 
08.00 (ish). After breakfast, & a wee bit more piss-taking, Doug, still giggling, Kev (on the pillion) & Browny set off back to investigate the problem with the bike. Literally, in a flash, all three on their respective bikes 
were back, Browny looking rather shamefaced, Mr Bennet looking kinda’ peeved & Doug positively wetting himself!

It turns out that whilst we had been down the village the previous night, Browny had turned off Kev’s petrol and, having neglected to tell him, conveniently forgot about it himself! Mr Bennet, wouldn’t have a bar of Browny’s excuses, branding him the “saboteur”, cue Doug falling off his bike!

09.30 (ish). Set off in glorious sunshine, heading SOUTH via Evereux &  Dreux, planning to stop for dinner at Chatres, where Mr Brown had suggested a visit to an ancient cathederal was well worthwhile. Things were going tickety-Boo right up until just SOUTH (ok, pard, I think I can stop the directional digs now, eh?) of Evereux, where the heavens opened & we witnessed a flash flood whilst we were struggling into our waterproofs.

12.00 (ish) Arrived in Chatres, found a bar that sold the usual coffee, beer etc; Boo had the first of what was to be the stickiest, sickliest, biggest, patisseries (cakes) I have ever seen! By the way, “it was very nice!” whilst we had a fag break & a drink. This is where the now famous “’B’flat farting shuffle” first came to light, (don’t ask me to explain, you have to see it to understand!”)

13.30 (ish). Eventually found the cathedral after much merriment trying to get into the underground car-park.

14.15 (ish) finally got out of the cathedral before we were thrown out for the following reasons;
1. Donna getting told off for playing hopscotch wearing Doc’ martens in the vestry on a 5000 year old maze.
2. The font water finally boiling dry cos Steely had stayed in there too long.
3. Boo, (bless her) having bought a candle & said a prayer for Uncle Weaz & Becks, thought that the rest were free & tried to have ‘em away!
4. Shaz swearing like a Glasgow docker (so what’s new there?)
Went to a bistro right next to the cathedral, for dinner (it was still pissing it down) which just happened to have a model of the airship “HINDENBURG” (complete with “doctored” Nazi insignia!) hanging from the ceiling.(Ooooh, his nibs was in heaven, claiming that it was all fate & he was, “following in his Uncle Adolph’s footsteps.”)

16.00 (ish) back on the road again in what was possibly the most inept, disorganised, slap-dash, directionally challenged bit of pack riding I have ever been party to (though the poor, bewildered people of Chatres, saw it at least twice & some of the lucky ones saw it three times, good one Tommy!)

17.00 (ish) weather improved but had lost a lot of time due to the conditions, we also “lost” Browny after a fuel stop, when both he & Kev caught us up at the next stop, Kev was looking rather smug. It turned out that the dozy wanker had “sabotaged” himself & forgot to switch on his own petrol after the fuel stop/fag break!

18.00 (ish).  Due to heavy traffic on the motorways. (It was the first day of the French national holidays) in which, during a bit of “speed filtering”, Shazza “scuffed” a few caravans with her luggage. (As the sides of the bags showed!) We finally gave up for the day & started looking for a campsite south of Orleans, we found one in a place called La Ferte-St-Aubin. This site was alarmingly/worryingly cheap.
It didn’t bode well when we arrived on site as the first thing we saw was a burnt out toilet block, causing Doug to start muttering under his breath something along the lines of  “Steely’s been here before then eh?”

4
We had to do a bit of negotiating as the attendant was a bit dubious about having bikers on the site. So we wheeled out the secret weapon, Boo! (After all, can we be anything other than respectable, with a ten year old girl on the trip with us? Needless to say we kept Steely out of site during the negotiations!)

Whilst we are on the subject of “lines” we had all just finished pitching in the far corner of the field when, out of the blue, a fuckin’ express train came thundering past above where we had camped, not 60 feet away from us. The faces of some of our “happy throng” were a sight to behold. Cue Doug commenting “no wonder it was cheap, that’s what you get for letting Steely pick the camping sites!” It turned out to be a (to paraphrase our Boo) “a very nice place.”
Yet again, Steely had to be on his best behaviour as on this occasion Dinky surrendered her passport, so, we just went down town for provisions, & then hit the on site bar, (oh boy , did that turn out to be a “Bazil Fawlty moment!) 
They didn’t speak a word of English so we bumbled our way through the menu, (Boo just wanted chips!) and, just for a change, got shit-faced again. Claude spent the night out in the rain, pissed off his face!

DAY 4 Saturday 
06.00 (ish). We were all awoken rather rudely by the Paris express train, so, it was a case of up, breakfasted & showered, (Steely & Claude for the 2nd time this holiday)

09.00 (ish).  We had a group Pow-Wow & decided to stay on this site for another day. So, time for another quick shopping trip, and to fill the tanks for tomorrows ride, cos it was quite a distance to the next main road & the next day was a Sunday.
Steely decided he was going to “pace” himself that evening so he bought himself some red wine (5 litres of the good stuff, 45 cents a litre!!!!!!) & then hit a bar/bistro for lunch.
 
15.00 (ish). In the end, we got soo shitfaced, it was down to Shazza to lead the way back to camp for a bite to eat, then a nap for some of the more inebriated members of the tour. (Cue the usual “bare arse above the sleeping drunk’s head” photo call, eh, Goldilocks?)

17.00 (ish). The girls & most of the lads hit the showers, where it was discovered that, unlike the bogs next to where we had camped, these were that French speciality “the squat & drop pot.”  This was much to the amusement of those who attempted to use them! Max announced her 1st shit in France was one to be remembered! Boo’s hairdressing salon opened, where she proved that she also has some of Danny’s entrepreneurial flair, as she charged a Euro a time to comb/brush everyone’s hair.

18.00 -02.30 (ish). The usual drunken antics ensued, Steely’s red wine turned out to be about as drinkable as petrol,(& have the same octane rating!) he opened it, & then refused to drink it, stating that “Pard says that you have to let this stuff breathe, like his home brew” 
(Disclaimer. That stuff is far more fuckin’ godawful & potent than anything I have ever brewed! ) 
After this proclamation, Doug was heard to mutter (after a surreptitious slug whilst his nibs wasn’t watching)“Let it breathe, for fucks sake, it needs mouth to mouth!” During the evenings banter, Max was “Christened” Dibley, after owning up to a couple of incidents, one  with a ping-pong ball & one involving a drunken chocolate binging session. This also led to their tent being re-named “The Vicarage”.

Day 5 Sunday
08.30 (ish). No express train, just a fuckin’ great big, slow moving, goods train that virtually shook everyone out of bed! Claude came out with the unforgettable statement “the crows don’t sound French”

10.30 (ish). All packed up & ready to roll; Steely noticed that he had “lost” his keys. (Donna had hidden them the night before to teach him a lesson!) Boo split her welly, (cue a tantrum!)

5
Whilst travelling along the N20, Browny lost his fags (the last fuckers he bought all holiday!) then a roll of shit-paper unrolled out of his saddle-bag & he left us a little pink paper trail for 30km till it finally ran out!

11.30 (ish) From the N 20 we took the A 20 round Chateauroux to Jn 28 just before Limoges as we were heading for a place called Oradour-sur-la-Glane.

14.30 (ish). After the usual petrol station debacles & a dinner break, we finally arrived at Oradour-s-le-Glane. This was the scene of one of a Nazi atrocity in1944. In response to Partisan actions an SS Division encircled the place, rounded up all of its inhabitants, & some who were not, such as the occupants of a tram that was passing through. 
They then separated the men from the women & children & Machine-gunned them, they then herded the women & children into the church, Machine-gunned those as well & threw in some phosphorous grenades to burn the evidence. They then systematically looted, then torched the whole village.
The French have preserved the village & have enshrined it as a national monument to all those who died at the hands of the Nazi war machine.
After a tour round the visitor centre, (which lists & categorises all of the mass murders, not just this one) you are free to walk round what remains of the village, which still holds on to the odour of the fires to this day. The smell must be leeched into the very stones that the place was built from. 
It was agreed by all that went to see this place that it was one of the most haunting, thought provoking & mournful places they had ever witnessed. (Steely kept his waterproofs on all the way round, for fear of getting lynched, by the end he looked like a “boil in the bag” beetroot!)

17.00 (ish). Back on the road, whilst the rest of us were in the village, Shaz & Boo (whom she had decided not to take round the exhibit, lets face it, if the French had thought it wrecked before that little bugger got in there, they had seen nothing) had found a tourist information site & got us directions to a nearby Municipal campsite at St Junien.

18.00 (ish). After one small stop on the outskirts to ask for directions (right outside the local Gendarmerie, well done Tom!) Arrived & booked in at St Junien Municipal site, which was conveniently located next to the fire station.(Mileage to date, 779 for the Butler rescue party, 745 for the rest!) This was, in my opinion anyway, the best site out of all the ones we found.
Donna surrendered her passport again; (This has got to be a better way of keeping his nibs under control than morphine & a straight jacket anyway!) & we pitched tents. Mr Sweetness & light himself (Wiggy) started complaining due to the fact that there were kids next door & Tommy went exploring. When he got back he reported that there was nowhere open except a petrol station, good job we were mostly provisioned up, and a bar. (No prizes for guessing where we ended up then!)

19.30 (ish). Hit the bar, found a café/pizzeria/kebab joint, fed Boo, had a few wee drinky-poos! Made a complete arse of myself by trying to be clever & conduct a conversation in French with two brummies.

23.45 (ish). Boo was tired so I elected to take her to bed, as I pulled out, the wife was behind me, after two corners she wasn’t there, so I pulled over & switched off. Spent the next 15 minutes laughing my arse off as the tartan terror, pissed off her face, careered round this quiet provincial town in 2nd gear on the SV , passing me several times, heading in all directions except the correct one!
When she eventually saw me, she attacked the roundabout the wrong way round, (still hadn’t got the hang of continental riding, had we dear?) pulled up next to me, (facing the wrong way, naturally) opened both eyes, attempted to focus  & announced “I think I have got this “drink riding” down too a tee, HIC!”

00.00. Back on site, Boo (and the drunken bint) tucked in, had a can myself and awaited the return of the rest of the drunken twats.

6
00.45. The rest of the goof troop arrive, more or less in the same state as ‘er indoors, after Steely had given the locals a demonstration of his skills at covert “drink riding”, just so as not to draw attention to the group, Silly bollocks started doing rolling burnouts up & down the road outside the bar & then got them all lost in the backstreets!

So, upon their return, a party ensues. Mr happy (Wiggy) starts moaning on about introducing France (which is the home of “haute cuisine”) to real food, he wanted to know why they didn’t have fish & chip shops! 
Then, Mr Sweetness & light himself started complaining due to the fact his (or rather Kev’s) tent was pitched next to a now screaming brat! (It was his yorping that had woken the damned thing up!) 
Donna ever so gracefully,went face first into the tent whilst trying to locate the cooker to knock up some supper! My camping chair finally gave up the ghost. After they had partaken of supper, be it solid or liquid, everyone drifted off to bed (before anyone had chance to call the Gendarmes.)

DAY 6 Monday
09.30 (ish). For some strange reason, lots of people packed & left the site this morning! Including the miserable sod who was camped down from us, (no, not Wiggy) talk about ignorant; he didn’t even talk to his missus, let alone us! Group decision was reached to spend another night on this site as it was so nice. 
Steely had another shower, as Donna had told him he wasn’t getting back in the tent unless he did! Shazza had to have a cold shower cos he had used all the hot! When she complained, Steely stated “what the fuck do you need hot water for, you need to run around to get wet you skinny bitch! (I shall not repeat the reply; though I am not entirely sure that I know the meanings of all the words she used, needless to say he flew into the tent out of harms way!)

10.00 (ish). Wiggy once again, showed that he is, shall we say, just a little bit on the uncaring side where children are concerned! Whilst I was making use of the “facilities” there was a little kid, no more than 3 or 4 years old riding round the block on his big wheel tricycle, shouting “beep-beep, brum-brum.”  From one of the nearby cubicles came the shout, in (broad yam-yam) “beep-beep, oile beep-beep yer in a minoite yer littlul fuuuker, piiisss orf! (Cue the rest of our lot who were “in the traps, so to speak” bursting out in a fit of the giggles)

11.00 (ish). Over breakfast, we had also decided what the fuck we were going to do for the day, Whilst waiting for the rest to decide, Doug & I spotted Steely’s little armoury. (Which he brought along, “just in case” In case of what exactly? World War fuckin’III?) I tell you, if he had been stopped & searched, the Gendarmes would have put him in the “big Hotel” without passing go & definitely without collecting the £200, then thrown away the fuckin’ keys!
The centrepiece of this selection of offensive weapons was a fucking great “Rambo” job, with the survival kit in the handle! Upon inspection, we found that the compass was about as honest & reliable as its owner! 
No matter which way you stood facing & after even resorting to tapping it, it still wouldn’t register north!
This provoked Doug to comment “When I’ve gone home, promise me one thing, if things get bad, and you get totally lost, if he suggests using this fuck-eyed useless thing, do yourselves a favour & stick it up his arse!” once we had finished laughing & the ladies were washed & ready it was off down town.
 
11.30-12.00. (I will drop all the “ish’es” now, as you should all be aware that punctuality, as well as directional ability, has never been a Jugsters strong point either!) Spent ages outside a launderette, giggling our arses off, watching Claude make a complete arse of himself, eventually a nice local took pity on him and she showed him what to do!

12.15. Boo threw a strop in a corner shop, cos Shazza wouldn’t buy her a magazine on dogs that was totally in French! Max & Claude got into a bit of a tizz trying to buy postage stamps, eventually aided by a multilingual local.

7
12.45. Some of the required shopping completed, found a bar, saw a drunken old French brasser staggering about, Butler said to Wiggy, “go on, chance your arm & show her a good time, buy her a pint & you might be in there!”

14.45. Moved on from the bar, (Boo still in a strop), found a cross between a see-saw & a kiddies roundabout, started playing silly buggers, talk about a laugh, you have got to see the pictures!

15.00. with only two minor casualties (Wiggy & Steely) and Boo in a much better mood, we carried on with the shopping trip. Every one else elected to find another bar, myself, Shazza & Boo went back to site to take Boo swimming at the leisure complex adjacent to the campsite.

16.00. Having paid to get into the swimming baths, I was informed that long leg beach trunks were not allowed in the pool, only speedo style ones, so I had to borrow a pair from the reception desk. (Talk about feeling like a twat, I looked like “The only gay in the village!”)

18.00. After a good session in the pool (thank god there were no camera’s allowed in there either!) back to site, with Boo running on ahead, pissing herself laughing, to tell everyone about the “dads pants” incident. (No amount of bribery could have shut her up, anyway, even if I had succeeded in buying the little buggers silence, her mother would have “grassed” me anyway!) Also along the way, broke my flip-flop chasing the little git!

18.15. Upon arrival on site, we found a rather serious discussion going on about the hallucinogenic properties of some of the local flora. It turned out that Max had been a bit of a “hippie” in her time, (or had some friends who were at any rate) and, she reckoned that one of the plants she had seen (which will remain nameless) was reckoned to be a cracker! Needless to say, she & a “press-ganged” Claude had been out & harvested a few of the leaves. This was immediately jumped on by the usual suspects & the rolling of a “big one” was attempted. 
(This failed miserably; Steely claimed he had got a bigger high smoking cabbage!) It was suggested that it be dried out & another attempt be made at a later date.

19.30. After we all had a quick bite to eat it was back off down town, except for Max, who had over done it at dinner time (on foot) for a night on the lash!

20.00 - 23.30. The usual evenings events unfurled, except for the surprise appearance of the “Steely fan club” Kev & Doug had brought a selection of wigs all the way from the U.K. to take the piss out of “Herr Steele”. We had tracked down the local “wise guy” whom the regulars reckoned was most likely to be into the odd bit of “chemical enhancement” & tried to obtain a bit (turned out to be a bullshit artist!)

00.00. Boo was tired so I took her back to bed, leaving Sharon with the rest of the crew.

00.00 -001.45.  Whilst sitting outside the tent with a beer, letting Boo settle, I could hear that bunch of drunken bastards coming from about a mile off, these were the highlights of what I had missed & then what happened;

1. They had had another crack (literally) at that roundabout thingy & broke the fucking thing!
2.  Wiggy had suddenly disappeared! He had fallen backwards into a fuckin’ great big flower display.
3. The ladies walked an extra mile shepherding Wiggy back to site as he couldn’t walk straight. (They christened him ziggy-zaggy Wiggy after that!)
4. Steely, Browny & Claude “harvested” the rest of the “interesting” plant from some poor local’s garden.
5. Woke up all of the surrounding “neighbours” on site on the way back in, a heated row then ensued between Wiggy & the French bint, (with the yet again squawking brat,) who had shouted “you noisy eeengleesh pigs!
6. We had a few more beers!
8
Day 7
07.00. All up early, packed away & said goodbye to Tom & Nicky ,who were heading for the Normandy coast to try & find Chillys bar at Le Tranche-sur-la-Mer on the way, and Douggie, who had to head home due to work commitments.

08.30. Said goodbye to Doug at the petrol station as he would be breaking off, heading north part way down the road. Shortly after this had occurred, we found ourselves lost in the delightful city of Limoges. (No doubt Doug was chuckling to himself all the way home at that little fuck-up!)

09.30. So it was an about turn & back track to where we had last seen Doug, follow his tracks back to the A20 & turn south for the Mediterranean.  Just south of Brive, we had a fuel stop & then turned off onto the N140 which was the best route for Millau, (the bridge there being one of our target destinations.) this turned out to be the most fun-packed bit of the journey so far, long sweeping bends both up hill & down dale, (Doug would have hated It, the ladies were none to impressed either!)

14.00. After the twisty bits we got to Rodez where another little fuck-up occurred. Shazza needed a bank so it was arranged that the rest would find somewhere to stop & “team Williamson” would nip into town, find a bank & then rejoin the gaggle on the main road. One slight problem with this plan, Steely neglected to tell anyone about it!

So, when we parted company, Steely carried on down the N88 & everyone else followed us into Rodez! Whilst Shaz hit the bank, Claude, Browny & Wiggy hit the nearest bar!

 15.00. Rounded everyone up, set off in search of his nibs, did two laps of Rodez in search if big, blonde & stupid(couldn’t find him) so did the sensible thing & headed off down the road in the direction of Millau.
After 15km at a slow pace & not a sight of him I pulled in, to find out that the silly twat had joined in at the back & neglected to inform me he was there!

16.00. Back up to a faster travelling speed, we got to a little place called Laissac, on the N88 out of Rodez, Orstgruppenlitenfuhrer Steele decided to impress us yet again, with his leadership & navigational skills. He took command & led us off up a goat track to nowhere in particular in search of a restaurant that we had obtained directions to! (Lethal combination really, we should have known better than to trust him. His nibs not speaking French, the locals not speaking idiot & a miscommunication in the old sign language!)

17.00. Back into Laissac, had a coffee & a fag break in the restaurant which had now stopped serving food, (Well done o illustrious one!) and discussed options. Group decision made, put Steely at the back where he can cause less mayhem & find somewhere to stop for the night as weren’t going to make it to Millau that day. We also had a bit of a problem developing with one of the bikes; Claude’s hyper ditch-pump (Buell) was leaking a bit of oil. He reckoned it wasn’t too serious but set about it with the Allen keys just in case, as in his words “its always shaking itself to bits”. Donna & Shaz took a good look at it, jiggling around on its stand and christened his bike “The Rampant Rabbit.”

18.00. Back onto the N88 searching for a campsite, by the way, this stretch of road we travelled today after leaving the A20 has got to be one of the most scenic roads in the world, yet again you have to see it to believe it! The road winds its way downwards and then follows the path of the river, with so many wonderful houses in such tranquil villages, it is so easy to see why the French are so laid back. 
We eventually found a campsite just off the main road, near Severac-le-Chateau, booked in (using Donna’s passport again) & promptly shit ourselves at the price! (Over double the 5-6 Euros per person we were used to paying!) It turned out we had landed in a 5star complex that charged 5 star prices! (16 Euros for 2 x 1liter glasses of lager) Needless to say, we had a quiet & early night that night, ready for the next morning.

9
Day 8
07.00. Up & away as fast as possible, as the prices were, shall we say, a little bit steeper than we had been used to paying, & headed off to a café which Browny reckoned did the best breakfast in the area, so that’s where we went.

08.00. Arrived at café, found it to be shut & not opening until 11.00, so a quick fag break, a photo call, (took a great photo of the Millau bridge, even though it was about 20km away, it really is that fuckin’ big!)

08.30. Back on the road, heading for Millau itself, looking for the visitor centre.

09.30. Got to Millau, and, after a couple of quick laps, just to get our bearings (ahem) and with Jugsters scattered all over this rather busy little town we decided to find the town centre & test the theory/ rule we had agreed on, which was, “if we get split up in a town, go to the town square & wait”. 
This was an utter catastrophe, as soon as anyone got separated from the gaggle; they immediately jumped off their bikes & headed into the nearest bar, wherever they were, automatically assuming that they were in the middle of town!

10.15. Eventually everyone got back together at the visitor centre, photo’s a plenty of this amazing structure, quite a feat of engineering & no photo will ever do justice to its enormity! We also a group photo of the “Southern France Expeditionary Party” & then slipped down the road to a café we had passed en route for a spot of breakfast/lunch combined & a proper break

12.00. Back on the road, out of Millau on the N9 (An uphill twisty section that didn’t please the ladies) Half way up the hill out of town we realised we had lost Wiggy, so we pulled into a layby which conveniently allowed a photo-call of the Millau valley & Browny to scare the shit out of Steely by pretending to push him over the edge! The comment that his nibs came out with was “I nearly cacked my pants” Wiggy eventually turned up & off we went again “up the cliff face” as the ladies put it!

12.45. Then onto the D999 heading for a place called the “Circque de Navacelles.” 
This was the next of Max’s bright ideas, explaining that some friends had recommended it to her but they had been “unable to get to it in their camper van” (when she made that statement it should have rung alarm bells, but when it was suggested, we were all, shall we say, under the influence!) This was a rather interesting road, which took us past the Knights Templars castle at or near La Cavalierie, then through an army gunnery range! (Portentous omen or what!) Then, much to the delight of the ladies, the twistiest roads we had seen so far! (They were definitely unhappy bunnies at this point!)

13.15. With everyone short of fuel & the only petrol station in the area closed until 14.00. We stopped for a break in Nant, yet again a picturesque little place with scenery to die for.

14.00. - 16.45. Refuelled & ready to fuck off on the 2nd leg of Max’s “magical mystery tour” heading for Le Vigan via Alzon. In Alzon I spotted a sign for the Circque de Navacelles which said something about “via la valee”, quick pow-wow ensued; we decided to “go for it.”
Now, this turned out to be the best/worst decision anyone could make, depending upon your riding ability/experience. It would take a dozen pages to slightly explain these roads and still not do them justice. When we finally got to the viewing point above the village there were several different points of view! I personally found it to be exhilarating, wishing I had not had luggage or a pillion, as did some of the other lads. Though, in all truthfulness, the brakes were used to their extreme & beyond. In some places, for some, it was definitely a case of “phuuurt, Nurse I’m ready & adrenaline is brown”. 
Claude, on the other hand, in his own words “fuckin’ detested it cos i was on the wrong bike” claiming he had done 3 years worth of gear changes in two hours!

 

 2007 Jugsters M.C.C. Tour De France

The ladies all looked like rabbits caught in headlights! Donna had been heard at one point, whilst stopped at a junction, talking to her bike, she was heard to say, “there, there baby, I’ll kill the nasty man when we stop.”

The bride was quite forthright in her opinion at this little “short cut” I had discovered ; she jumped off, marched across looking rather menacing and exclaimed, “Does that fuckin’ SV look like a fuckin’ KTM? Do I look like a fuckin’ mountain goat? What the fuck are you lot playin’ at ya fuckin’ iiijits?”(It was agreed by all that Doug would have just stopped & called “International Rescue’s” Thunderbird 2, to come & fetch him after the 1st 15 minutes!) One comment made was “that made Sutton bank seem like Tuttle Hill”

Needless to say, we let them calm down for half an hour before breaking the news to them that they had got to go further down, into the bowl, to get back out onto the main road, and that the hardest part was yet to come! (Upon breaking this news, I nearly got castrated!) The section of unlisted, bomb damaged cart track, back onto the D25 made the rest seem like a doddle, I could feel the glares from the back as the girlies seethed.
.
Fortunately, for me anyway, not him, Browny then took over as the “target for tonight” by admitting he had cocked up & we hadn’t had to do the last couple of miles in the canyon, but for the fact that he had taken a wrong turn!
When we finally got onto the D25 the difference was amazing, this would have been, to some of our happy throng at least, a technical, twisty bit, prior to this afternoons experience. But, from my viewpoint at the back, you never saw so much as a flicker of a brake light all the way along this road!

17.15. We rejoined the A75 at Jn 52 near Lodeve & then hammered on towards Pezenas in search of a camping sight for the next few days.

18.00. Rolled into Pezenas, and it all went to rat-shit again, we found a campsite, no good, only one pitch left and it wasn’t big enough for all of us. So, off in search of another site, this was known to Browny & Wiggy as they had used it before. Well, at the 1st roundabout/junction we came to it was a case of “Squadron scramble” in the traffic, with bikes heading off in all directions. Eventually, a sign was spotted for a campsite so what remained of the gaggle went for it, this turned out to be the one we wanted according to Wiggy, but we couldn’t understand why the rest, being led by Browny, weren’t already there?  Butler went on a recce.
(Yup, you guessed it, when the Kev located them; they were sitting in a bar in the middle of town!)

1.     All back together on the site, agreed to use the site for 3 to 4 days, booked the last two adjacent pitches 

and started about the usual rigmarole of making camp, which was a bit of a struggle, the ground was rock hard! In the end I had to go & pull up a kerb stone & we took turns using it as a hammer!

18.45.  The young Dutch couple whom we pitched next to, came back, took one look at us, disappeared, came back 10 minutes later, loaded their car & physically carried their fully erected tent to another pitch on site. Probably didn’t help our appearance, waving fuckin’ great chunks of concrete about & taking showers under a garden hose! 
Whilst we were in the process of setting up, Steely turned to Max & asked, in his own charming way “Well then, Max, what the fuck have you got planned for us tomorrow then? “A quick jaunt to the Pyrenees & a stab at riding up Everest with dustbins on our backs?”

(Geography has never been his strong point, as we all know! Oh how we laughed along with him, if we had known what Max had in store for some of our band, maybe we wouldn’t have laughed so loud!

19.45. – 20.10. With everyone set up, off we went in search of a supermarket to stock up on provisions; we searched the town in the usual efficient Jugsters fashion, i.e. rode around causing havoc, darting hither & thither, shouting waving & pointing like a bunch of demented gibbons. By the time we found them, they were shut. So, time for “plan B”, straight down town for a pint & find a restaurant.
11 
20.30.  Chaos ensues once more as we end up trying to find somewhere to park in town, which ended up with all 9 bikes crammed onto a traffic island no bigger than an a fag packet, slap-bang in the middle of the street (The only reason we managed that was down to the fact we manhandled a little “rev-N-rip scooter out of the way!)
 
21.00.  After the mad scramble to the bar in search of whatever large glasses they had, 2 pints a piece downed & food ordered, things were looking far rosier.

22.30.  Meal finished & about 6 pints a piece quaffed, all cash was collected & the bill requested whilst most had drifted outside for a fag.

23.00.  The bill arrived, oh boy had they fucked up! We had calculated it to be in the region of 300 euros, they only billed us 84 euros for the lot! Needless to say, without showing too much surprise, Max & myself, pocketed the extra, quietly herded the rest outside, and left them 90 euros, (they were chuffed with the tip!) we then very casually, sauntered back to where the bikes were parked, so as not to draw attention to ourselves, mounted up & shot off in a Le Mans style start, in all directions away from the restaurant! Met up at the traffic lights on the other side of town & buggered off back to camp sharpish!

23.10.  Upon riding back onto camp, we were met with a rather puzzling site, all the French were having a bit of a party, and, as we rode past them, they were stood up, clapping, cheering & shouting Anglais, Anglais! I stopped to see what was going on, to find out that they were mostly pissed & trying to invite us to their party!

23.20. We were up & partying with the locals, (well, it would have been rude not to) drinking the free wine & Boo was pigging out on the free watermelons! We ended up having a sing-song with them & Wiggy was virtually nose down inside this rather busty & slightly tipsy, French mommas dress! 
She didn’t speak a word of English but that didn’t matter Wiggy wasn’t interested in having a conversation, just the view!

23.30. Shaz took Boo off to bed, and we carried on drinking.  The French then started singing their national anthem, so not to be outdone; we gave them God Save the Queen, whole lotta Rosie & Stairway to Heaven. Mister Happy manged to draw himself away from “Madame grande funbags” to observe “the only time we ever needed Tom’s great big gob and he aint here!!” In the end we had to concede the win to the French in the singing competition, but we were determined to win the drinking contest! By the end pf the night there wasn’t a single Frenchman standing; even “Madame massive cleavage” who had seemed to be able to drink like a fuckin’ fishhad been carried off to bed by her sons, (much to Wiggys disappointment!)

00.30.  The campsite manageress informed us that we had drunk all of the beer that she had on stock, (result! Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the winners, from Angleterre, La Jugsters!) So we wandered off back to the tents to see what we could pool together out of our own stashes.

00.35.  To be honest, a pretty poor yield, 3 bottles of cheap red, 1 bottle of white & 12 cans of warm lager, well beggars can’t be choosers so we finished that lot in the very fine drizzle that suddenly started & then turned in for the night, after all, we had crammed a lot in on this day.

Day 9
03.30.  Fuck me, what a night; it suddenly started to lash it down. We, the lucky ones, who were on the upper end of the pitch, were ok, but Hinge & Bracket had their porch flood, and if the downpour had lasted much longer, were in danger of getting washed into the adjacent vineyard! (Ah well, it gave Wiggy something fresh to moan about!)Whilst Kev was baling out, as drunk as a fucking monkey, he witnessed a disturbance in the neighbour’s caravan, with “Madame massive cleavage” screaming & shouting.

12
 (No, it wasn’t Wiggy, he was snoring his arse off in the tent!) In the morning, we found out that the caravan roof had suddenly burst & soaked the lot of them!

10.30. Once everyone was breakfasted & bathed (yes, yet again, even Steely) we set about taking Claude’s bike, “the Rampant Rabbit” to hand. Being a yank it was all imperial fittings but, with a bit of initiative & my socket set, we managed to hammer some Torx bits into it & cramp up all the bolts as he had been unable to get hold of a replacement gasket, but had found out where to get hold of some oil. He decided to just keep an eye on it keep topping it up when required & run it as a “total loss system.”
To which there was a round of general piss-taking & chorus of “so what’s new there then, it’s a Harley engine!

12.00.  All ready to roll, so it was off down town, with the exception of Claude, who was off in search of an oil supplier. (I had suggested Kuwait; due to the rate that the Buell had been leaking, cue more giggles & jokes about Harleys!) & Browny, Wiggy & Kev Bennet, who went to find the seaside & a bank for Wiggy.We rather carefully avoided passing the restaurant we had visited the previous evening, choosing to do a bit of sightseeing & shopping, then hit the bars!

15.30.  Claude rejoined us, and then Wiggy, we had a few beers, then off to the supermarket for a bit of shopping. Whilst there, we used all the money we “saved” the night previously (ahem) to buy a “community pool” of beer & wine for that night. By Jesus, you should have seen the mountain we had to load onto the bikes; I will never take the piss out of Bungles load out ever again! (Well actually I will, I just can’t resist an easy target!) We must have looked a right nobby site, rolling down the road like the rescue party for a shipwrecked alcoholics outing! I took Boo back to site for her to go in the pool whilst the rest went in search of more refreshment!

17.00.  From my seat at the side of the pool, whilst Boo was setting diplomatic relations back a hundred years or so(she was using the usual method that we English resort to when dealing with the French i.e. treat them like idiots by speaking slowly, loudly with an accent straight out of “allo, allo!) I witnessed the return of the booze-hounds, as they wobbled past, loaded to the gunnels with booze & food.

18.45.  Got Boo out of the pool (no deaths or reportable incidents) & down to the campsite to watch Shazza burn tea & Kev set off on his self appointed task as “Ant Warden” carrying out his daily task of annoying the local ant population by blocking up the ant holes. The beer was decidedly tepid so a “beer cooler” was rigged using Wiggys dry, sacks & the hosepipe.

19.30. Some dickhead knocked over the cooler, flooding our tent!

21.30. Boo went to bed. Wiggy produced a bottle of Bourbon “ooh, that will do nicely” was the shout, (Didn’t make him smile though!)
22.00.  The next of Max’s bright ideas came to fruition, over the course of the evening as we were working our way through the beer mountain, (and Wiggy’s whiskey) the ladies decided to make some “Tea” out of the harvested leaves as they were showing no signs of drying out. Then, the fateful comment from “Herr Steele” (which will stay with me forever,) was uttered. “Yeah, fuck it, it’s got to be worth a try Dibley, its done fuck all so far, but I don’t hold much hope. Personally, I think you are winding us up!”
23.00.  Like a scene from Macbeth the ladies had sat around the front of Donna’s tent ripping up the leaves & cramming them into the largest pot they could find, whilst adding water to this disgustingly pungent concoction. Well, it was declared ready by the “hubble-bubble sisters” as the spoon had dissolved! Shaz stuck her finger in it for a taste test and declared it to be “fuckin’ disgustin’”  (which is rich coming from her, for saying she is a professionally qualified chef, she makes fuck-awful tea at the best of times!) 
13
It was immediately pounced upon by the blonde one who gulped down about a cup full, then Max, who had a larger cupful, I had about half a cupful of this absolutely evil tasting brew & with everyone else declining, Browny had the rest, (about a pint!) I remember nothing much after this except going to bed.
03.00.  (This is an estimate.) The next thing I remember is waking up with it still dark, feeling skull-fuckingly drunk & needing to throw up, crawling out of the tent heading for the bushes & getting rid. I then went back to bed feeling decidedly better; I crawled back into my doss bag, hoping to sleep it off.
Day 10
06.00.  I was next woken by an almighty thud, then another, behind my tent, so checking the time, got up, (effects all gone, except for an upset stomach) the sight that greeted me was Browny, hauling himself up from the floor using Max’s bike, wobbling about, and, from behind me, insane gabbling coming from The Vicarage! I asked him, “Browny, are you alright mate?” 
He turned to me, smiled a shit-eating grin, tried to focus and said “Flubble, flubble-blubble-blogawahoga-cololop-chooka-wibble-bluvafop –whugga humpf ga-muff” pointed at me & winked! (I can only imagine what my face must have looked like at the response I received, but Kev Bennet, who appeared out of the half light, not too far away, suddenly burst out laughing! 
This is were I sobered up faster than a speeding bullet & started taking notes like never before in my life, just in case we had to call an ambulance! This next section is what happened whilst I was in the land of nod, as retold to me by Claude, Kev, & Dinky-Doo after things had calmed down.
(Time not recorded)      Claude, after tucking the virtually catatonic Max into bed, was suddenly, awakened by the sound of Browny, in just his pants, struggling around & throwing up. He dived out & round the back of the “vicarage” to find Browny eating his bedroll! He then spent what he estimated to be the next hour trying to control a now severely “tripping” Browny! Then, all of a sudden Max popped up like some kind of insane, gibbering jack in the box, and started the same tricks as their “Neighbour from Hell”!                                                                                                                                    He estimates that he spent at least another hour alternating between shoving Max back into the tent & fetching Browny from up trees & in or on other campers tents where he had fell into them! All of a sudden, much to Claude’s abject horror, Steely climbed out of his tent in just his tee-shirt & socks looking like a zombie! Much to His relief, Donna was with him, after he had relieved himself, Donna shepherded him back into the tent. 
At this point “the cavalry” arrived, in the form of Kev Bennet, (Kev reckoned Claude looked rather stressed to say the least!) With a look of semi relief, he said to Kev, “Brownys gone thatta way, (cue a crash & a muffled shout from somewhere in the distance) get after him whilst I handle her.” The pair of them then went their separate ways, to deal with the inhabitants of “Planet Ga-Ga” With Mr Bennet getting the short straw!                                                                                    He had to untangle Browny from several collapsed tents & rather agitated Frenchmen. Whilst explaining that one, Browny was crawling about on all fours after falling over again.
That’s how things went on more or less the next couple of hours or so, he even managed to almost get him into a shower, but at the last second, Browny refused & decide to play with the hose that the campsite manageress was using to clean out the showers with! (Cue another explanation!)  Whilst Kev was dealing with that incident, “Mr Jibber-Jabber” took off again, back towards where we were camped. Whereupon he collided with the caravan behind my tent, headfirst, TWICE! (That’s where I reappeared on the scene!) He then went on to admire the “architecture” of the breeze block wall. Claude seemed to have Max pretty much under control so we concentrated on calming the stuntman down, eventually getting him to sit outside his tent. He then started trying to get dressed & grabbed his helmet, with a flash of inspiration I checked his bike, found his key & pocketed it. We then spent a rather worrying, but very comical, 2 hours watching him trying to get dressed with a background accompaniment of the “planet Jibber-Jabber hit parade” from Max, who was singing complete bollocks! 
14
He then lay down & began jabbering away, through the tent fabric, to Max, who, to our extreme amusement, was answering him!      
08.00. By this time, most of our lot were up, including Steely, who surprisingly, reckoned he was absolutely fine & hadn’t slept so well all holiday! (I am sure the old bastard is indestructible, maybe he’s immune or something, what with all the substance abuse he has inflicted upon himself over the years!) Whilst he wandered off, chuckling at the state of the two “magic bus passengers” fag in chops, bog roll in hand for his morning constitutional, Donna (who had not slept a fuckin’ wink) filled us in on her night! Apparently, he had woken up with a start & started struggling with the door. 
Donna, thinking he was going to throw up, asked him if he was ok. With the answer she received, she knew he wasn’t!
He replied “wibble-gronk–fluuurgle-shuurk-spolt-whang-buurgle-sneek-graffaaaar-gloop-badger. So she pinned him down! After a few hours of his silly talk (personally, I don’t know what she was complaining about, I have to listen to it all fuckin’ day at work!) he started to become more coherent & then the paranoia kicked in! He threw himself across her, (for a fleeting moment, she thought her luck was in, her words pard, not mine!) Pressed her head down gently & started going on about saving /protecting her as the plane was crashing. He was also raving about having to fix or close the door!
Eventually “Group Captain” Steele brought his tent in for a safe landing & went to sleep for a bit. He then got up, went for a piss, (that’s where he terrified Claude, he told me later that, at that point, when the blonde zombie appeared, he was ready to run up the white flag & go & find somewhere to hide!) climbed back into his bed, farted & rolled over snoring his arse off, allowing Donna to relax! (She even considered bungeeing the old twat down just in case, but couldn’t find any!)
08.30   Browny was still off his face; Wiggy gets up and is laughing his arse off at the state of play. Everyone there reckons that it’s the first time he has smiled all holiday. (We thought he had broken into a smile once or twice before, but, upon reflection, it was probably just wind!) Max was still talking in tongues, she also had a little accident in the tent, Shazza & Dinky rinsed her sleeping bag out & hung it up on the washing line to dry. Boo got up & promptly fell about laughing her little blonde arse off at Browny!
09.30   Browny is now asleep and the twitching & spasms have subsided. Claude found the rest of the leaves & promptly and without any ceremony, dumped them over the fence! I suggested calling it the kinky cabbage, Claude, looking none too happy, shot a glance over his shoulder at his tent & stated “whats so fuckin’ kinky about that!” Shaz & Dink & Claude checked on Max, who was sitting there, half naked, humming & talking to herself in total gibberish, sorting out an imaginary library! Steely has a theory as to why Claude has got the grumps, he reckoned “It’s because you’re havin’ to be the sensible one for a change! (That got a smile) he retorted, “I never got a chance” to which Steely replied, “you snooze, you lose!”
10.00.  Browny awake again, though he has started to come down, he is no longer as agitated but he is still talking mainly gibberish, no one could understand him except for Steely “probably, (said Wiggy) cos he talks gibberish at every time he gets pissed” Started bollocking coffee down him. Max is now asleep. Prior to drifting off, Claude asked her how long the effects were likely to last. (The answer he received caused him another panic attack!) She replied, in a dreamy voice, “days”. Group conclusions made from last nights little experiment; A. That stuff is Fuckin’ lethal and B. Never trust a hippie!

10.30. Mr Brown seems to be back with us, and nigh on in full command of his faculties. Even though he still gets the occasional word jumbled, he is fully alert, we carried out a few co-ordination tests on him without his realizing we were doing so, (such as making him catch things, deliberately walking in front of him, walking the line etc)and he passed the lot! 
15 
Max is fast asleep and no longer distressed, she had spoken to the girls & stated that she was fine but was staying in bed all day as she felt like she had been run over by a bus, Steely shouted over, “no you were beaten up by a triffid”. After another half hour & a couple more cups of coffee we gave him his keys back & started to get ready to go to the beach. 
10.40. Houston we have a problem, my Bandit wouldn’t start, found to be a sticking solenoid, a quick whack with a spanner (which greatly amused Donna) and we were up & running again. All assembled & off to the coast.

11.00. Lost again! Well, that’s not exactly true. Browny, (who was, in fact, causing me grave misgivings as to the fact we had let him have his keys back!)   was obviously feeling much better cos he was up to his old tricks!
He pulled off one of his now infamous last minute overtakes & motorway exit manoeuvres combined. Unfortunately, not all of those in pursuit were able to make the exit 
Namely Shaz!   Whilst we came to a halt on the exit of the slip-road & informed Browny of what had occurred the Tartan Terror went sailing over above us, looking down, waving her fist!

So, Mr Brown shot off, back up onto the main road, which was a waste of time, as ‘er indoors had seen us, & done no more than a complete 180 in traffic, on the flyover & rejoined us with a look of pure malevolence in her eyes, demanding to know. “Just whose fuckin’ silly arsed, bastard idea was that then?” (Naturally, we “grassed” Browny up!) We waited for about 10 minutes with no sign of him returning, then buggered off to the beach at cap de Agde. Claude had already buggered off in search of a Harley Dealership.

12.00. After a few wrong turns in the town, Following Kev Bennet for a change, we eventually found our way to the beach. I went out onto the sand with the “The Beach Belles” (Shaz, Donna & Boo) whilst the rest, (the dumbbells)sat in the shade. Though, I must say, Steely did venture onto the sand, in his usual beachwear. (Doc Martens, jeans, tee shirt & leather waistcoat!) Then, being unable to resist the urge any longer, Wiggy went off on one of his now famous “oil ave may wun o them” shopping sprees, with Kev following up the rear.

13.00. Donna, Boo & I all went swimming in the wonderfully warm Mediterranean Sea to cool off & then did a bit of sunbathing. Boo busied herself building sandcastles & having a whale of a time, Donna busied herself building a “Sand phallus!”  Whilst we were enjoying ourselves, out of the blue, (or whatever colour the sky was on his planet that morning) Mr Brown roared into the car park, sauntered over to where we were on the beach, stripped down to his pants & dived into the sea! After about 15 minutes, he climbed out, lay himself down on the baking hot sand & fell fast asleep.

14.30.  Seeing as it was getting far too hot for even Donna to sunbathe, we all got changed & headed off up to the bar, just prior to leaving, Donna kicked Browny to make sure he was still alive. (He just grunted & turned over!)

15.30.  After a couple of pints, Hinge & bracket reappeared, having purchased some natty looking camping stools, Mr Brown also joined us, seeing as he was now done on both sides! Then, Claude arrived, so a few more beers and then went for a wander around town. (Cue some drunken buffoonery in a water feature in the market square!) 
Once all the silly antics were over, it was back off to Pezenas for tea. Upon arrival back on site, we found Max to be back with us but feeling rather sorry for herself. We had tea & went off to the bar area for a few drinks to leave her in peace & quiet, to get some rest before we began the journey back north in the morning.

 

16
19.30. Whilst we were partaking of a few cold ones, Max rejoined us, claiming to feel “almost human”, cue a rare Wiggy witticism “well, that’s more than your boyfriend will ever be!” “Fuck off, yam-yam” being the reply.

22.30. Seeing as everyone was pretty much well oiled, it seemed a good idea at the time to consult the map. The route for the next day was drawn up & an early night was decided upon and we headed off back to the tents.

23.00.  There was then, over supper, a rather silly discussion over whether or not we had seen what Browny adamantly claimed to be a satellite and yesterday evening & the early mornings’ events.  This went on for a bit whilst the wine bottles & remaining beers were passed around & consumed. It was then, as in the immortal words of Zebedee, it was “Boing, time for bed!

Day 11
07.00. Everyone was up at first light with the exception of Boo & Shaz, so I had to do the old “let the airbeds down” manoeuvre to get some reaction from the both of them. The reaction was a mouth full of obscenities from the bride & a king size tantrum from Boo!  With dicression being the better part of valour I left them to get on with their individual strops over breakfast & got on with the packing away.

09.00.  On the A75 heading back up towards Millau, we had a close call when one of those pop-up tents shot off the back of a trailer on the motorway, causing us to “squadron scatter.” We found our way to the bridge with no problems & sailed over it lapping up the fabulous vista laid out before us on this radiant summer’s morning. Days like this one were made for motorcycling!

The road from the bridge onwards, climbed & snaked its way sinuously through the hills on its way northward, there was even another tunnel for Donna & the “V” twin boys to play in, the bunch of noisy bastards were revving the knackers off their bikes, whilst Donna kept revving & shutting off to cause backfires you could see, let alone hear! Shaz sat there, pathetically put-put-putting away, hanging her head in shame! At the next stop, the first thing she said was, “I wanna race can, so as I can play!” 
We stopped for a sightseeing stop at the Viaduc de Garabit, not long after stopping for fuel. Yet another impressive structure though not built for cars!
As we headed further north, on these long, grinding uphill sections, Max’s poor old Kwak was struggling a bit, but, Max, bless her, carried on regardless doing her damned best to carry any speed she could pick up onthe downhill stretches! At one point Steely, Claude & Browny were sitting behind her, watching her “fast traffic action” with a mixture of awe, horror & disbelief!

Steely described her darting about as being akin to “an angry wasp lookin’ for something to attack! (And the noise her bike was making, throttle pinned to the stop was reminiscent of one as well!) 
Though one of her “overtakes” did get her a telling off from “his nibs” as, in his words, “that fuckin’ bike is called a Kawasaki not a fuckin’ Kamikaze Dibley, you crazy tart!” To which Max retorted. “In 20 years of riding I havenever had an accident! Though, to be honest, I’ve seen loads in my mirrors!”

12.00.  After one fuelling stop, the ladies took off in the lead, Dink out front, Max next & Shaz watching the back door for the three of them. Oh boy and did they take off, talk about scalded cats!

They had a very long downhill section to aid Max & off they went, taking turns to be the leader & doing marvellously, right up until the point that they realised they hadn’t got a Scooby-fuckin’-Doo where they were actually supposed to be going, missed the required turning prior to Clermont and came to a virtual halt on the middle lane of the motorway, staring at each other & shrugging their shoulders, whilst traffic roared past them on either side!

17
13.30.  Having had to negotiate Clermont city centre during the lunch hour, (thanks to the ladies!) We finally got out onto the road for Volvic. This road was definitely a great deal of fun, all the way there it was good tarmac & super twisty! (Funnily enough, the ladies were hardly fazed by this road at all, they were flying along!)

14.30.  Hooray, after a few wrong turns we successfully found Volvic, did a few laps as per usual, parked up in the very picturesque town centre & went in search of a beer & a meal! “Fuck me! How much!” was the 
General shout, as we perused the menu of the restaurant in the town square. We had decided to stop for a bite to eat prior to going on the hunt for petrol but, at those prices, we were thinking of moving on after a quick half! 
Mr Brown then piped up, on our way round, he had seen a little café, (well, I suppose it made a change from pink elephants, interesting architecture & trees that talk!) So we nipped round the corner to give that a try. The initial response to our questions was that there was nothing doing, as the kitchen was closed, but seeing as we were bikers, she agreed to start crank out something quick & easy, time to wheel out our secret weapon, the little blonde “Ace in the hole.” One look at her & the kitchen went into overdrive!

Then she got to talking to us, via one of her regulars who spoke far better English than my French. It turned out that Mme Poulidor, who is the owner of the Café, (in which we were now warmly welcome ,) is the chairman of the local Motorcycle club & rides a Pan, according to our translator, like she fuckin’ stole it!

I tell you, food was positively flying out of that kitchen, everyone had agreed to what we were offered (omelette) as something to tide us over until we found something else. 
When the “omelette” turned up, it was with a generous platter of cold meats (the usual basket of bread that never empties) & bowls full of chips which we were initially told were not available! 
Wiggy nearly caused a riot when he produced his bottle of brown sauce to put on his chips!

16.30.  After finally completing what I thought was an excellent meal, (and, by the looks of everyone else, sitting around & puffing, no one was going to argue, not even Wiggy) another round of drinks, we had to bade farewell & head off in search of petrol & a campsite for the evening. 
Mme Poulidor sorted us out with directions for both & asked for our club E-mail address, web site etc & to send her a postcard when we get back home, (which I will do when I finish this!)

17.00.  Back onto the D941 and heading for Limoges again, and enjoying the ride, at one point we didn’t see another car coming in the opposite direction for 20mls! When we pulled up at a junction I shouted above Donna’s exhaust noise to Browny “We will just about make Aubusson,” Claude, the cloth eared twat, chipped in “whaddaya mean,we’re gonna make it to Hayabusa?”

17.45.  A little bit further along the road I spotted signs for a campsite & pulled us over, (this is where Max decided to liven the day up & carried out a “fly-by.”) 
Suddenly, over my shoulder, I saw everyone “scattering” & Max barreling through the middle with about a fag papers clearance on either side! She went between Browny & I with mere millimeters of clearance with the look of a terrified Kamikaze in her eyes! She carried on for about another ten or fifteen yards before coming to a halt. 
She then, very casually, turned round, rode steadily back up the road to us, stopped, smiled & nonchalantly stated, “I’m not certain, but think that I may need some new pads in the front!”

18.30.  Finally reached Aubusson & navigated our way through its narrow cobbled streets, following the signs for the Municipal campsite, only to find that the town had a bypass, & the campsite was just off that!

18.45. Booked in with a little more rigmarole than usual, no English spoken at all, had to use the secret weapon again, and got directions to the supermarket.
18

19.15, As soon as we were all pitched up, it was off down to the supermarket for provisions. We then planned to find a suitable “watering hole” for the evening. After completing the shopping, me getting the food, Shazza getting the beer, Katie getting a selection of extremely sticky cakes & a couple of bags of sweets. Which were “very nice.”

20.00.  After a frantic search all over town, it became apparent that there was absolutely nowhere open for a beer at all, (Thank god, the wife, bless her, had bought that case of 24 stubbies of lager! She reckoned it was extremely cheap as well! I will let her buy the beer again!) So, it was off back up to site for a quick supper & a few well earned beers!

21.30.  Boo fed, washed & off to bed, time to crack into those beers. We had handed round & finished the loose ones that we had left over from yesterday & so did everyone else. The beer was flowing well. We all had a laugh at Wiggy’s face when the kid in the camper van just past where we were pitched started screaming! 
Then we took the piss out of “the Dibley Motor Cycle stunt team” for a bit. Soon enough, it was time for us to crack into the new case. I popped the top off of the first one, tipped back my head, opened wide, shouted “cheers everyone” & took a draught of, cold, refreshing lager shandy!!!!
“SHANDY???? FUCKING SHANDY????? WHAT THE FUCKING HELL POSESSED YOU TO BUY A FUCKING 24 PACK OF SHANDY????” (Says I, just slightly on the incredulous side!) 
“Well”, (says she, rather sheepishly) “it looked like beer, and it was cheap” 
“I’m not fuckin’ surprised it’s cheap” (says I, still reeling with the shock) “its fuckin’ pop! Didn’t you read the packet? You just looked at the fucking prices again, you tight arsed jock Bint, didn’t you?” 
(Cue everyone having a good laugh at Shazza’s expense, seeing as she’s tripped herself up, yet again, by living up to the Scottish stereotype!) 
“Yes, …fuck!.... I mean no, fuck…I mean…..but……, oh fuck off you bunch of bastards! Anyway, I don’t do fuckin’ French & we’ve got a fuckin’ early start tomorrow; no beer will do you some fuckin’ good.” (Says she, trying unsuccessfully I might add, to worm her way out of the shit!)
“You don’t do thinking either, you dozy tart! So I guess some of your red wine will do us better” (says I, as I sprinted to the tent & wrestled the bottle out of her hands! Cue more laughter.)

23.30.  Every one turns in for the night, Steely rubs salt into the bride’s wounds by calling to her, “Good night, Shandy Bass Shaz.” “garn tek a flyin’ feck at yerself” was the reply.

Day 12 Sunday
06.30 – 08-00. We were up early, showered, packed & on the petrol station forecourt, fully fuelled & away. After a lap of Aubusson due to a slight directional problem (ahem) we got onto the correct road & made good time to Limoges, and then onto the A20 heading up north. The skies were clear & it looked like we were in for a hot one and we were hoping to crack off some serious mileage today. We possibly could have gone further had one of our regular occurrences not reared its head again.

10.00.  For some reason, whenever Max/Dibley got within 100 yards of an automatic Peage booth it would spit its dummy & refuse to work. Meaning that as soon as any peage came into view, carnage ensued! What immediately occured was a “whacky races” style scramble for position. (The position being “anywhere except behind her”)Leaving “Peage Pauline” to struggle whilst we had 3 fags & a drink! It usually ended up with Claude having to go back & help. 
Whilst we waited for the machine to deem to give Max a ticket, it gave Steely a chance to have a whine at the “Tartan Terror” about the way she had deftly swooped round the outside of him, (in his words) “like Mick Grant at the fackin’ TT” on the long sweeping corner entrance to the A20. To which she replied, with a wink & a cheeky grin, “If you & ya big old bus cannae’ dae corners that’s no my fuckin’ problem!” (Who says that the Circque Du Navacelles didn’t have its good points?)
19
11.00. Brunch time! Stopped for a bit of brekky & fuel, agreed that it was definitely getting warmer.

12.30.  Temperature is soaring! After exiting the next fuel stop, a dozy frog tried to ram his way into the lane nearly hitting the ladies, so he was then treated to a couple of kilometres worth of the pack “swarming” him to teach him a lesson! Just to remind him that he had mirrors, a couple of well placed boots showed him where they were! Eventually his nerve cracked & he dropped back, never attempting to pass us again!

13.30. By Christ it was hot, if you opened your visor to try & get the breeze, the air coming in was warm! We were stuck in a bit of slow moving traffic due to an accident up ahead. For the first time on the whole trip, Boo started to complain, she was boiling up & starting to wilt in the heat! Let’s face it; she was never likely to catch much sunlight, let alone the chance of a breeze, sat behind me! All agreed to another big stop to cool down.

13.45 -15.00.   A quick refuel & a big style break was agreed upon to get out of the heat! Seeing as the Gendarmes were patrolling round the car park, everyone piled their clobber on or around my front wheel to “camouflage” the tyre. Stripped Boo down to just her leather jacket & combats & started bunging cold drinks & ice creams into her & ourselves as well.

16.30.  It is still damned hot! We finally turned off the A10, just after Orleans & onto the N154. Well, we almost did, Max had her usual problems with the barriers so it was time for a break whilst we waited for her! What an impressive sight we must have been. Max (Mrs 10 mile tailback herself) virtually kicking the peage machinery to bits, trying to pay so as the barrier would raise, whilst we stood there, taking the piss & pouring bottled water over ourselves! 
Then to top it all, once Max had finally beaten the machinery into submission & was herself cooling down, Wiggy started parading up & down the road with his trousers round his ankles. He looked like some kind of wrinkly “rent boy”, touting for business!

17.30.  After a spirited ride along the N154, where we narrowly missed a Gendarme speed trap thanks to the early warnings given to us by motorists coming the other way, and Shazza yet again, deftly carved Steely up, this time, diving under him on the inside, on a roundabout!  We got to Chatres & easily located the Municipal Campsite. Booked in & pitched for the night.
 
18.00.  Wiggy announces that he is going up to the shop on camp, immediately, he is inundated with requests for purchases by various people. Good old “Mr happy” responded to the various requests with, “What am oi? Do oi look loike the CO-OP delivery service?” 
To which, quick as a flash, Browny retorted, “Just get on with it, you’ve done fucking nowt all holiday, except moan & sit at the back like some weird, bad shaped tourist attraction!” “Fuck orf” was the reply as he hobbled off up the field grumbling away to himself. 

Max, at this point, popped out of the vicarage & observed to no one In particular, “He actually turns moaning into an art form, doesn’t he?”
Whilst she was unpacking, her bike, Shazza found that one of her “bargain purchases” at the last stop, (remember the shandy incident?) 1 ½ litres of red wine in a plastic bottle, 0.80 cents a go. “So it’s the good 
Stuff!” Was how she had described it, (trying unsuccessfully to convince me,) had burst, but it wasn’t a problem, seeing as she had wrapped it in a pair of her “big” pants inside a plastic bag, so hardly any damage to everything else in the rucksack!

18.30.  Once pitched, Claude & Browny “disappeared” off site, for a bit of a nose round, in search of somewhere that sold fags & “baccy”& possibly a meal & a drink for the rest of us.

 

 

 2007 Jugsters M.C.C. Tour De France

19.45.  With everyone else fed & watered, it was off up to the on site bar for a few well earned cold ones. Max ordered a pizza for her & Claude, even though he wasn’t there, with the statement. “If he doesn’t hurry back it will be more for me!”

20.30.  The wanderers returned & at soon as they had a beer in their hands, and with Claude attacking the remains of the pizza, Browny told us of their exploits. Once in the middle of Chatres, they had managed to find a solitary bar that was open, grabbed a beer & tried to order fags etc. 
No fags for sale there, but got directions to somewhere that was open. Whilst enjoying the one beer they were allowed as the bar was shutting, they saw what Browny described as “the oldest, most drunken slapper they had ever seen” which was expanded upon by Claude as, “a proper French tart that looked about 80 years old”, he then added, “but she would do for Wiggy!” (Cue the laughter & a “fuck orf” from the corner, where he was dozing.)Mr Brown then took great pleasure in letting us know about his “wing man” for this shopping trip, getting blown off by a “rev & rip” scooter! (Which was much to our amusement, and Claude’s embarrassment.)

21.00. Drank the 1st barrel dry. The manager changed the barrel & informed us that the bar would be shutting at 10p.m. A mad dash to the bar then occurred, buying as many beers as they had glasses for, to tide us over, & also as much bottled stuff as we could manage, as a “carry out for later.” Shaz took our carry out back to the tent with Boo, as she was tired, within 10 minutes of her head hitting the pillow, she was snoring her head off!

22.45.  Back to the tents for a nightcap & a snack, under the biggest streetlamp on the site. Which lit up the whole area! Steely reckoned that this had been a “cunning plan” on his part, so as we could all see to go to bed. A brilliant idea, well thought out, if you don’t mind sleeping somewhere as brightly illuminated as a football stadium! 
It also meant that the ladies were unable to just “nip behind the tents” during the night, but luckily, a nearby weeping willow served as the “midnight potty”. This led to it being christened, the “peeing willow”. 
Just prior to bedtime, another “In beer” discussion was instigated by a drunken Mr Bennett, about the existence of “Attack Badgers” & Steely complaining that, yet again, his tent had become the “Municipal dump.” 
To which Donna commented, “Well, let’s face it babe, you look like a tramp, you might as well live like one.” Claude then stated, “My stools gone all rocky” to which Shaz, Dinky & Max simultaneously started up singing. “Duur duur duuuuur, dur dur duuuuur, dur du dur ……da da da de da de da, daaaaa, daaaaaaaa!  Missing that joke completely, the pissed up twat started on about having been told you could look at the Chaves rally he had attended last year on that internet thingy. On “Dougal” earth! 
This was the final straw, with everyone cracking up with laughter it was decided it was time for beddy-byes.

Day 13. Monday.
07.00.  Woke up to find ourselves in the midst of a thunderstorm & then having to break camp & pack up ready for the off.

Fed our Boo, dressed her in her waterproofs, put plastic bags on her feet as we had not been able to find anywhere that sold wellies as yet. (You should have seen the funny looks we received, when we were trying to by a replacement set in the south of France, during a heat wave!) & sent her to sit with Wiggy & Kev, who were all ready to roll, whilst Shaz & I packed & loaded up. 
Of course, this improved Wiggy’s mood immensely, spending 30 minutes trapped under that tree with “little miss 20,000 questions.” Once we were all ready, we rode up to the top & had a coffee prior to riding off. We then spent 10 minutes sitting in the rain, whilst Claude, (bless him) had his own little fashion show, trying to decide what to wear for the journey. Meanwhile, all the locals are out taking photos of the “craysssey Eeengleesh”, whilst Browny was riding round & round to stop his goggles steaming up!
21
08.00. Up, up and away, Back onto the N154 heading for Rouen (or should that be ruin?) and then onwards for Calais. (It didn’t totally stop raining until Evreux!)

10.30. Oops! Another teensy-weensy technical hitch! Having missed the first sign for the Calais turn, I didn’t see the next one until too late to get the entire gaggle across 4 lanes of traffic & safely onto the slip-road. 
So, I took us off at the next junction and it was time for a bit of “winging it!” 
Needless to say, this turned into a complete & utter cluster-fuck, almost as large as the last time Steely had led!  
We ended up bumbling around in Rouen city centre for a couple more laps, stuck in the one way system. Eventually, we found the right road, the A28, and then found a petrol station, as some were desperately low on the old go-go juice.

12.45.  We pulled into the next services, for a fill up & something to eat. After filling up & a smoke, most of us sat down to a freshly prepared & delicious meal, (steak, chips & salad) and ate without a problem, Donna was so happy with her meal she decided to wear it as well! Somehow, she managed to dump the whole contents of her plate into her lap! (She was probably preoccupied with pre-chewing his nib’s steak for him.) Notthat it bothered her one iota, oh no, she scooped it back up & carried on regardless!

The contrast between France and Britain was more evident here than at any other point in the Journey. Where in the British Isles, could you pull into a motorway service station, decide to eat, order your meal, cooked as you request & have it delivered to your table by a waiter and wished “Bon Appetite”! 
If you should desire, you may even partake in a glass of wine or a beer with your meal! (It sure as shit beats the spotty oiks with the sullen attitude and the soggy “Mc Fall Apart Burger” & cardboard fries which is the typical fare to be found on our motorway services!)

14.45.  Reached Abbeville & Back onto a Peage section, we had the usual fifteen minutes whilst “Peage Pauline” did her usual tricks, fucked the machines up to kingdom come & caused a tail back 5 miles long! Whilst we were hammering along this stretch, Max decided to liven things up again with some more of her kamikaze manoeuvres, leading for another name to be added to her ever growing list, this one was “Captain Carve-up”

15.30. Reached the end of the Peage near Boulogne, yet another fifteen minutes spent whilst Max set about torturing the machinery again. Whilst this was going off, Donna nipped off for a “hover”, whilst she was in there, she had the novel experience of having a trap door behind her head open & a high pressure hose pipe appear, ready to commence cleaning! One alarmed shout “Oi” and, once the hose disappeared, so did Donna!

Steely made an arse of himself, yet again, by starting to rant & rave about how his tyre was new before this trip & all of a sudden it was now knackered! Then we pointed out to him that his bike was at the other end of the parking bay, he was gobbing off about mine!

16.00. After one more small section of dual carriageway & another tunnel for Donna to play silly buggers in, we shot gratefully off onto minor roads, heading for Cap blanc Nez, en route we saw a wild deer, bounding along towards the road, as soon as Donna shut the throttle to slow down for a better look, the usual cacophony erupted, popping & banging for all it was worth. The deer must have thought that some bastard was after it with a machine gun! The poor thing stopped turned & fucked off sharpish!   
 We got turned away, yet again, from the campsite at Wissant as it was full, so rather than back-track, we headed up the coast, looking for another, with the plan that if all else failed, we could go back to “Steely’s dad’s bungalow” at Audinghen. As per usual, fortune & the sun, doth shine on the righteous, & found a site in the Village of Escalles about 4km south of Calais.

22

16.15.  After once again, having to wheel out the little blonde secret weapon, (as the management seemed to be a little on the dubious side about letting all of us lot onto the site) we booked in for 3 nights, on the plot on offer. It was a good job we were all mates though, as it was a bit of a squeeze, getting all five tents into the one pitch, we were, in some cases, sharing tent pegs, but there was a separate area on the other side of the road, where we were told we could park the bikes.
This sight turned out to be, though still very well appointed, not as well equipped or maintained, as what we had become accustomed to, though it was “hardly roughing it!”(It was privately owned as opposed to a municipal run site, so that is to be expected!) It was probably the best situated one we had all holiday, with the beach just 5 minutes walk away,, a high class, sea food restaurant & bar right on the doorstep & another one just down the road. We also let Tom & Nikki know where we were via text so as they could rendezvous with us the next day.

16.45.  All pitched & ready, half of the gaggle headed off on a shopping trip, the remainder, namely Kev, Max, Boo Shaz & I, got cleaned up & had a chill. Then, with the exception of Kev, who said he would find us later, we went to find a beer. We did, and we had a few, and damn fine they were too!

18.30.  With no sign of Kev, & 3 or 4 pints despatched, we walked back to site to get Boo & ourselves a bite to eat prior to tonight’s impending drinking session. Not fancying cooking anyway, the smell of the chips coming out of the Restaurants kitchen window proved irresistible to us all, so that was tea sorted!

Fuck me! How much? (No, not at the cost, the portions! They were enormous!) I had ordered 2 large & 1 small portions of chips, 8 euros worth, not knowing what I would get, & struggled to get the buggers back to the tent. As I was walking back, the happy wanderers returned, when they saw the portions that were given out, there was a mad dash for the window! 
In the end, we couldn’t finish what we had ordered, so, seeing as the hippies next door were just sitting down to dinner we offered their kids the large portion that we hadn’t touched!

To be honest, the whole site was a bit of a hippie / surfer dude / new age traveller type of place, not a problem for us like, but, I was wondering how these “I live in harmony with nature” types were going to react, when 9 drunken bikers come staggering, shouting & crashing back onto site after the bars had shut! Not that I gave a fuck like, but, I could just see the funny side of it!

19.30. What a surprise, we’re off to the pub, with the exception of Max, who had had enough earlier on and was “Tired & emotional”, picking up Kev, who was half pissed en route, (he had gone to the on site restaurant bar instead!) We went to the bar in the village and had ourselves a cracking night, mainly at Kev’s expense, as he was going on about a “Spanish, monkey faced, water dog!”

23.00. Back on site, still ripping into Kev, who was, by now smashed, (we had done our best to catch up with him though) for a nightcap & beddy-byes!

Day 14
10.00.  With nowhere to go & nothing to have to do, everyone had a bit of a lie in, then once awake, a leisurely breakfast. Whilst we were lounging about, Tom & Nicky arrived, as soon as he had put the bike on its stand, & pitched the tent, with beer in hand; the catch–up session began.
 
Once we had separated, they had gone towards the coast and had made it to Le Tranche-sur-la-mer, they hadn’t been able to find “Chilly’s Bar” as the whole place had changed so much! They had travelled round a few sites, having a couple of days here & there, & had a few beers whilst they were at it. Nicky had also developed a taste for drinking from ashtrays, (I will let her explain that one!) and they had met some interesting people, seen the sights & basically had chilled out couple of days! They had then started moving northwards to eventually meet up with us.
23
When we told them about the trials & tribulations that we has gone through, I think they were glad they had stayed on their own, (Nicky especially, seeing as the girls had filled her in about the Circque du Navacelles experience!)

12.30.  After the catching up session, Tom & Nicky shot off on a shopping trip, after arranging to meet up with us on the beach later. It was then decided that we would have a beer, a spot of lunch & then head for the beach. So it was into the on site Restaurant for a bite to eat. 
This place was fantastic, the menu was varied, (though obviously sea-food orientated,) the prices reasonable & the food was beyond belief!
Everyone elected to eat, even Steely, though he did have the beef as, in his own words “he doesn’t fancy eating anything that swims.” Boo had the 6 large “langoustines” (crayfish) as we had convinced her that they were “baby lobsters”! (We had spent all holiday trying to find a restaurant for her, that served lobster, but without any luck!) She ate the sodding lot, a bowl of chips, salad & then attacked my mussels in cream sauce as well!

14.00. Time for the beach, so off the ladies trotted heading for the surf, whilst five of us, namely, Herr Steele, Claude von Clinkerpantzen, Herr(less) Broun, Capitain von Bennet & yours truly, went off on a “Tin hat & Sand-bags session” to investigate the monument, old bunkers & gun emplacements which towered over the Cap blanc Nez promontory. Wiggy, not fancying the climb, buggers off on his bike for a play.

14.45. Bloody hell! What a climb, at one point I thought we would need oxygen for one certain member of the group, it was a very, very steep climb, but the view was worth it! “His nibs” was extremely impressed, claiming to be able to feel that his “Uncle Adolph” had stood on the same spot! The bunkers just begged for investigation, though some were flooded or deliberately “filled in” some were open, whilst Steely & Claude were posing for the inevitable photo opportunity; Browny threw a clump of mud & grass in at them, shouting “Grenade”. Prior to leaving Claude, proving that he is a delinquent at heart, scrawled “Jugsters M.C.C. were here” inside the bunker!

15.45.  Back down from our little expedition & met up with the ladies. It is cool & breezy but still hot so the girls are catching some rays whilst Boo terrorizes the other visitors to the beach.

18.30. Back to site for a spot of tea & to prepare for this evenings onslaught! Wiggy returns from his little jaunt. Boo finds a chicken roaming round the site & gives us all a damn good laugh by starting to feed it chocolate biscuits, in the hope “of catching it for a pet”. 
We all, (well, the lads did anyway,) admired the view that a pretty little French woman unintentionally afforded us, when she hitched up her rucksack & dragged her skirt up with it. Then she stood there, with her pert, cheekily exposed, scantily clad arse, facing toward us for about 10 minutes talking to her friend. (By this time, Wiggy was foaming at the mouth!)

Claude went shopping for fags for himself & Browny, (which meant he had got some at last!) he then carried out running repairs on the “Rampant rabbit.” Tom offered round his fags to which Boo piped up “no thanks, I’m on the patches, anyway, I’m too young,” & we sat around having a general laugh & joke with the obligatory few beers, “which was very nice”.

19.30.  Back off down to the village to check out the other establishment therein. It turned out that it was closed & would have been twice the price of the bar we used the previous night. So back we trooped across the road to that place.
Once in there we found that, instead of the nice friendly barman who had made us so welcome before, there was a right miserable old bag & her offspring, running the place, who made us about as welcome as a pork pie in a synagogue! So, with nothing else doing, we sat there & ripped shit into old “frosty chops” & her weird little daughter who looked like a scrubbed clean “Waynetta Slob.” 
24
Anyway, this turns out to be the owner; we found this out when we tried to book a table for us all for the following evening. Whilst sitting around that afternoon, we had decided to all go for a meal together, as a sort of a farewell thrash. So, with this duly arranged, we got down to some serious drinking.
Oh what fun we had, with “old sourpuss” glowering across at us whilst we sat there, bollocking beer down ourselves like there was no tomorrow. We also had a laugh & joke with an English couple & their teenage and rather busty daughter; whom had definitely attracted someone’s attention, so much so that people kept tripping over Wiggys tongue!
At exactly ten thirty she attempted to stop serving, by eleven she threw towels over the pumps & stood there with a face like a slapped arse, whilst her weird shaped offspring apologised to us. So, off we trooped, back onto the site for a night cap.

Day 15.
07.00.  Up early for some of us, as were heading for Belgium, for a “duty free run,” with Steely in the lead?

08.00.  Off we go then, talk about vague directions, I asked      his nibs, “Do you actually know where we are going?” To which he replied, “Yes pard, I’ve been there dozens of times with Douggie” “where exactly are we heading for then?” asked I, just as Tom came & joined us, “Belgium, it’s that way” says he, pointing roughly in the direction of Italy! 
With this he troops off in search of his lid, whilst I muttered to Tom, “If we’re goin’ that way to Belgium, I’m finding a petrol station & brimming the fucker as soon as possible!” (Cue Tom choking in his beer!)
“You won’t need to pard,” says his nibs, looking all hurt, “I know what I’m doing, it’s only a 50 mile round trip from here, honest!” so, with a little voice in the back of my head saying “You’re gonna regret this” off we set for Belgium.

08.15.  There we are, Mr Bennet, Tommy,  Wiggy, & me, sat at a crossroads, in the middle of nowhere, behind Steely, who was alternatively staring at a road sign, then his map, which, judging by his confused expression, were both written in Ancient Greek!

08.25.  After a brief discussion, (where Wiggy also informs us that he needs fuel,) we are back on the road, this time with Tom at the front, to show the “Obergruppenenfuhrer” the way to the main road, Steely in 2nd & the rest of us following on behind pissing ourselves laughing!

1.        Well, we are on the right road at least, (no thanks to Camp Hill’s answer to Christopher Columbus!)

 

09.00.  Oh poo! After starting to make good time, getting well past Dunkirk, we are now in & out like a dogs dick, at every stop on the road, diving in & out, mostly without stopping, frantically searching for petrol for the Yam-Yam! In the end, after a “discussion” during of these “fly-by’s” we have to head off the main road, heading for god knows where! And, to top it all, it’s started raining.

09.10. Guess what? Yup, you guessed it, we are back in Dunkirk! Travelling in the wrong direction. On a shitty, back road, all the while dodging pot holes & all the potential illegal immigrants, in search of petrol.

09.20. Petrol station located, Wiggy & Tom top up, and Steely had a rant at Wiggy, whilst we had a fag break. Then we’re away again trying to get back onto the main road.

09.30.  After a few “sighting laps” on a roundabout, (ahem) we are away again. Yet again, the town of Dunkirk was a bit of a fuck up for the British!

09.50.  Over the border & into Belgium without a hitch, past a very serious bus crash, still trusting Steely to guide us to Eastenders.

25

10.10.  Off the motorway & into a fucking huge traffic Jam, Steely starts “speed filtering” like a man possessed, deftly carving up anyone who gets in the way. We follow on, gamely trying to keep him in sight!

 

10.20.  We stop in a little town which is jam packed with said traffic, his nibs gets off & walks back to us & states “I can’t remember the way, but I do remember having a nice dinner in that café over the road on one trip!” (The selective alzheimers has kicked in then!) 
We sit there, with are thumbs up our arses, whilst he bimbles off across the road to ask for directions, trying to ignore the scowls being thrown in our direction from some of the motorists we have annoyed as they re-pass us!

10.30.  Off we set again, in the opposite direction this time, with directions to the place we want.

10.40.  Judging by the speed at which we are travelling, & his nibs’s body language (10mph, with his head swinging from left to right like he’s at a tennis match) we are lost again! We stop outside a tobacco shop by a canal, where Steely, so as not to draw attention to us, cleverly parks on the zebra crossing, (thereby blocking it,)right in front of a plod car! He then announces, “I dunno why I can’t find the fackin’ place, so this will do!” (Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “you should have listened to that little voice!”)

11.00. With tobacco, booze & chocolates bought & loaded up, we are ready for the off. Surprise, surprise, we find the motorway 1st time of trying and head the right way along it!

11.20. Seeing as this “50 mile round trip, honest pard” (as we were assured by big, blonde & stupid,) has now taken 95 (and we’re still not back into fucking France) a fuel stop is required. Where I notice a wee problem, the bride (bless her) has gone through my wallet (again) & removed my “emergency 20 euros for petrol” stash. So much to his annoyance, Steely had to pay for mine as well!

11.50.  Well, against all odds, we’re back in France, still on the right road & Steely doesn’t know which exit we need. Fortunately Tom, who was taking his turn, sitting in 2nd place “babysitting” the fucking idiot did. So we headed off the main road back to the campsite.

12.00.  Back on site and time for lunch, Boo had been to the on site shop & bought a melon, which she was handing round, with the usual phrase, “you must try this, it’s really very nice.” When Steely had finished his slice, Tom observed that the pattern left on the rind (by Steely’s lack of dental furniture) “makes it look like a sprocket!”

13.00.  Decided to go down into Wissant, for a “look round.” (That will be a “look around” inside all the bars then!) So, off we went, down the road, in our usual chaotic formation, and within minutes it had gone to rat shit. Max was unwilling to risk an overtake on two caravans, due to her bikes lack of power, so when it was clear, & she did scream past, the front runners were long gone!

13.15.  There we were, the whole lot of us, individually riding around Wissant, with no idea what the fuck was going off, or where we were actually going. Boo even spotted Claude, who was going in the opposite direction, and asked me. “Where’s he going dad?” To which I replied, “Well, if he’s got any sense at all, he’s not following Steely and buggering off back to camp.”

13.30.  In the end Shaz & I got fed up of playing “here we go round the mulberry bush” Jugsters style, and parked in the square. The rest of the “posse” then found us, on foot, a few minutes later.

 

26
14.00.  After a walk round town, it was into a beach front bar, for a little “light refreshment.”

16.00. Leaving the rest of the “Booze Hounds” hard at it, Shaz & I went shopping, looking for wellies for Boo, “65 fuckin’ euros for a pair of bastard wellies!!!! Fuck that” (says Shaz, the tight jock bint,) “we’re off to the Spar for some more fuckin’ carrier bags!”
We then went for a bit of a ride round and headed back to site. Boo had a “snack” (a bloody great big in of pasta in sauce & half a French stick) just to tide her over until the evening. Shaz then took in hand the task of “taking her for a shower” as the little bugger definitely had a “camping tan” (pasta bolognaise coloured!)

17.00. The rest return to site, just in time to see Sharon, locked in which would appear to be, (to strangers at any rate,) mortal combat with her “mini –me” as they dragged, pulled & screamed at each other on the way back from the shower block. This is a very rare spectacle that they were witnessing. It is a Williamson speciality, a full contact, freestyle martial art called “combing Boo’s hair properly.” (I shit you not; I have seen this start in her bedroom & end at the top of the garden!)
We also watched a troupe of Gypsies move onto the site, everyone decided to take all their valuables with them this evening, just in case, seeing as no sooner had they unhitched than their kids started “casing” the site.

18.00. With both of the spitfires now having finished their ablutions, dressed their wounds & finished their sulking at opposite ends of the campsite, I remove my referee’s hat, put away the 1st aid kit & get myself washed & changed then go in search of a beer!

18.45.  We arrive at the bar/restaurant to be greeted by “frosty chops” (still not a happy bunny) & are ushered straight into the dining room, where the beer starts to flow and, as has happened all holiday, the “eating out ritual” occurs. This is how it has worked, pretty much, all holiday.

1.     Everyone sits down, everyone is handed a menu. (so far, so good)

2.     A frantic search ensues, back & forth, through said menu, searching for the “English Bit”

3.     Upon realization that there is no “English bit”, start looking for words that they recognize.

4.     Nothing they can decipher, (time to Panic!)

5.     Do the “Brit abroad thing” call the waiter & start talking, loudly & slowly in the “allo allo” accent

6.     The waiter/waitress doesn’t speak English any better than your French, (now you’re screwed.)

7.     Start shouting down the table (at Max & I who are doing the translations) “wots froggy for steak?”

8.     Being greedy bastards who cannot wait, collar waitress & start either pointing at the other (now rather alarmed) diners’ plates, or my personal favourite, “miming your meal” (cue two “funky chickens” and six idiots doing “the pantomime moo-cow”!)

9.     Confusion ensues, with Steely compounding the issue by trying to order a rump steak by doing the above & slapping Donnas arse!

10. When asked how they would like it, Max & I manage to stop them just short of setting fire to a napkin to signify burnt! (Eventually, we had managed to write down the correct phrases and their meanings in Claude’s Diary!)

11. Food eventually ordered, cause panic amongst the staff by all getting up & trooping out for a fag except for Wiggy, Boo & Max.

 

21.00.  Meal over, everyone hands their money to the ladies & shot into the bar. The ladies tallied it all up whilst Boo is still munching her way through what everyone agreed was, the biggest & tastiest piece of veal ever! She had passed pieces to everyone with her usual statement. “You must try this, it’s really very nice!”

22.00.  The biggest surprise of the evening was that “Old vinegar tits” (as Donna had referred to her) started to ease off with the “attitude” towards us & started smiling & having a bit of a joke! (Lets face it; she couldn’t have got much worse. Her previous demeanour would have gotten her thrown out of the SS for being too cruel!) 
27
She even took a shine to Wiggy, pretending to lock him out when he went outside for a breath of fresh air! So much so in fact, it became so obvious that even Claude, in the state he was in, noticed & said to him, “looks like you’re in there mate!”

23.30.  Yup, we even got a bit of a “lock in” (by French standards anyway, though you could hardly call it a Mr Crip special!)  Where, as per usual, we downed several more beers, (just to be sociable of course!)   Then, bearing in mind the fact that we were travelling in the morning, we headed back to site for the night.
Of course we went straight to bed, NOT! We had to make sure we disposed of all the loose bottles & cans of beer, just to lighten the luggage for tomorrow!

Day 16 Thursday.
07.00.  During the night, it turned out that, at one stage or another; more than one of the less paralytic members of the “tour” had heard someone or something lurking around the tents & had got up to see what was afoot! You guessed it, the fucking Gypo kids were “on the snoop” they were spotted several times, “buggering off sharpish” at the first sound of a tent zip opening!

08.00.  Breakfast over, & the “last pack up” was carried out, ready to commence the task of fulfilling our promise to the youngest member of the group, our little Katie Boo, this was a “cross our hearts & hope to die” special, which she was determined to hold us to & we had no intention of  forgetting. 
Once everyone was ready, we set off and out of the gates, homeward bound, with a wave from the campsite staff & guests. We rode out of Escalles & down the last bit of twisty coast road, via Sangatte, to Calais.  

08.30. We rode straight into town, and, after a sighting lap in a car park (ahem) we rode straight through, in one solid pack. Round & round we went, but to no avail. Eventually we gave in & pulled up outside the tourist information centre!  Browny got off & casually sauntered in and up to the desk, where the lady was waiting & asked her, which was quite possibly, the weirdest question she had received all year.
He removed his helmet & goggles, wiped a hand over his shaven head, straightened his wind-blown beard, smiled and asked her “Bon Jour Madamoiselle, I wonder if you could help me please? Does Calais have a McDonalds? If so, could you give us directions?  With the help of a map, we were sorted.

So, it was time for the Jugsters to show how to do a quick formation about turn in the road. (In other words, it was time for us to prove that we couldn’t organize the proverbial “gang-bang in a brothel!”) As per usual it was atotal two wheeled catastrophe!We had bikes heading in every direction, up kerbs, down paths, through flower beds, the wrong way down one way streets, you name it, and we did it, trying to get sorted, in the middle of rush-hour traffic!)

08.45.  Would you believe it, we actually found the McDonalds after only having to make one stop, to wait for some of the gaggle who had become separated at some lights. But it wasn’t open yet. So, fag break!

09.00. Would you believe it, only we could go to France, the home of Haute cuisine, and, for a last meal in this wonderful country, have a McDonalds for breakfast.

11.00.  Saddle up, move em’ out, get them dogey’s movin, RAAAAWWWW Hiiiiide!’ it was time to head to the port & get ourselves booked in for the ferry trip home. For once, things went smoothly & we were through with the minimum of delay. Whilst we were sitting waiting for instructions to board, we noticed that we were behind several of Steely’s relatives. 
Talk about German arrogance! There were about half a dozen of the “master race” all astride their matching squeaky clean, BMW, Ewan & Charlie specials. 
They all looked round at our motley collection of bikes which looked, shall we say, slightly travel weary, & seemed to sneer as one. That got a few feathers ruffled, so, it was race on!

28
12.00.  As soon as the ferry Marshall gave the nod, it was a “drag start” up the ramp to beat the boxheads on board, which we did, though it was in vain, as the cargo handlers then proceeded to jam us all in together in the same area! As they started strapping down, with scant regard to anyone else, it couldn’t be resisted any longer, so, after the biggest, ugliest fucker in their group, had bumped Shazza’s bike for the 2nd time, whilst still struggling unsuccessfully, to strap his Bavarian bus down, (in the end, he had to get a crewman to do it for him!)
I said to him, “I take it that you have not been over the water to England before?” When replied “nein” I said to Steely as we were walking away to the exit steps, “Well its no surprise, the twats couldn’t manage the fucker in 1940, why should they be any better at it now?”

1.     Yup, we were in the bar/restaurant again!

 

12.30. We’re off; cue everyone charging upstairs for the last photos of France & a fag, only to find the fucking boxheads in the best seats, Claude reckoned that “they had put towels on them during the previous night!”

13.50.  We’re back on the car deck, where the bikes are parked, where we find out that “Hermann the German” wasn’t lying when he said that he hadn’t been on a ferry before, the dozy twat had left his helmet resting on his luggage & it had fallen off, breaking the peak!

14.00. Which now becomes 13.00. As we are back in the U.K.       
We have un-strapped the bikes, turned them round & we’re ready to roll before the ferry is berthed! Much to the annoyance of “Herman” & his mates, who cannot get near their bikes until we have finished. Then as soon as the first cars start to move, Wiggy is off, like a dog out of the trap, blithely weaving in & out with us lot following on in his wake.
Quite surprisingly, we clear customs without a single one of us “getting a pull” (quite possibly due to the fact that the Obergruppenfuhrer is wearing his waterproofs & helmet,) we are out of the terminal & back on the left side of the road, (which totally fucks up our illustrious vice Chairman again, it took us a week to get her used to the right hand side!) 
The first thing you notice is the total carnage & chaos all around you, as everyone is trying to get the fuck out of Dover, and a good idea that is too. So what do we do, we bimble along through the traffic, with Claude up front, get to the 2nd roundabout & do an about turn, straight back into the middle of it all! 
Claude needed fuel, & decided that now was the time & here was the place. So, we all topped up & had a fag break, we hadn’t actually beaten the record set in Calais on the way over, but it was close!

13.45.  Hoo-fuckin’-ray, we’re off again, only this time it was like we were in the “whacky races” weaving in & out of the gaps, nose to tail, like a pack of deranged, suicidal lemmings!

14.00.  All back together again, just on the outskirts of Dover on the A20 & riding normally, (well, as “normally” as our lot are capable of!) and things are going well.

14.30.  I spoke too soon, “Tommy the Terrible” pulled off an overtake & then a “Kamikaze dive” style exit into a services, which caught everyone by surprise. The reason he gave was, “a shortage of refuelling points from hereon until the M1, and I needed a fag”. Claude & Browny decided to head straight to the Bulldog Bash.

15.00.  Off we go again, we dive back into the fray. The traffic that we have encountered back home has come as a bit of a shock to us all after the 15 days on the relatively deserted roads of France! All of a sudden we are in the congestion prior to the roadworks & it is hell. We are doing no more than 25mph at best, but, at least moving, which is more than can be said for the cars, vans etc.

29
16.00. We finally make it through the Dartford tunnel (1 hr to travel 35miles, what a fuckin’ joke!) whilst waiting in the immense queue for the toll booths (with Max at the back, naturally) I turned round & asked everyone “Hands up all those who want to turn round & go back?”Everyone’s hand went straight into the air!

16.30.  We are finally on the M1, still in roadworks though! & this is where it all went to rat shit! The pack was split up in the heavy traffic. I was carved up by a dozy bint who was on the phone & nearly had an “off” & as we tried to catch up with the rest. The last I saw of the rest of the pack was Max doing what she does best, carving the fuck out everyone!  Further along, as we were catching up, the bride “overshot” the entrance to the services at Toddington as she was blocked by a lorry pulling out on her, leaving only the slightest chance of making the slip road, so she didn’t!(If she had tried to “go for it”, I would have been having a serious word about it with her, after a quick pant check!)

17.00.  We have to hit the next services at Newport Pagnell, as Boo is hungry, both she & Shaz are getting a little saddle sore & we are both in need of go-go juice. So we refuelled & then took Boo for a Kentucky Fried Chicken.

17.45.  We head off again; heading for the next arranged rendezvous at Watford Gap, except for the fact that no-one had mentioned it to Shaz! So, she sailed right on by, heading for home, through the commuter traffic & I stuck with her.

18.45. We were home; Boo shot straight upstairs to get a “Playstation Fix” as she had been suffering terrible withdrawal symptoms, due to the fact that her Nintendo DS had run down the previous night & I hadn’t re-charged it! 
We set about un-packing & chucked everything in the back room, then found out that the power had tripped & the freezers were almost defrosted, so shaz dealt with that whilst I put the bikes away. The odometer/trip-meter was showing a grand total of 2270mls completed from door to door. This figure meant that Shazza’s SV had done more mileage on the continent than in the U.K. (Only slightly overdue for its 4k service, eh dear?)

We then fetched the boy & went to the pub where a few texts were exchanged between the “Twisted Sisters” assuring each other that everyone was ok.
We were more fortunate than Tom & Nik though, we found out on the following Sunday that when they had got back, they had lost all of their frozen food & the kitchen floor was covered with two weeks worth of congealed rotten blood & snot! Ooops, Nikki had forgotten to top up the meter!

This concludes the tale of the “Trip too far.” I would like to thank everyone who went on this trip for all of the laughs & good times. For those who didn’t go with us, you missed out on the holiday of a lifetime, the whole trip, from start to finish was thoroughly enjoyable.

If I have omitted anything, I can only apologise, it will have been purely unintentional, or down to the fact that I was unaware, uninformed or unconscious! For, as you know, I will always endeavour to nail anyone who fucks up, even myself!

I would also like to state, to certain people who, shall we say, have been “critical” of the “casual” attitude that is prevalent in the planning department for everything we do, “Yes, weactually could “organize a piss up in a brewery” just by “winging it & trusting to luck!”

 

END....... AT LAST!!!!

 

 FARMYARD PARTY 2007

Well, where to even begin to sum up this weekend, (I would personally like to erase the whole event from my consciousness!) as arranged, myself, “She who must be obeyed”,& the boy wonder, all met up at the services  at Jn 22 of the M1 with Bungle to await the arrival of  the Nuneaton contingent. As we stood around there waiting, comparing luggage amounts (Bungle won as per usual, 3 full curries & a slab of bitter swung it!) It started looking decidedly dodgey on the weather side of things. Shazza decided to play “musical outfits” with her clothing & tried about a dozen different combinations before deciding what she would be comfortable in, at one point getting down to her bra, much to the pleasure of the old codgers waiting there to travel (no, not Steely & Doug, they hadn’t arrived yet!)

Without too much of a wait, the Nuneaton lot arrived & then things started heading rapidly downhill. Whilst rearranging the vast amount of luggage on the back of his bike. (Not quite as much as Bungle but close!)Jumbo John’s XJR decided to have a “little lie down” & bent his clutch lever almost double (talk about portentous omens, I had images of a repeat of the Durham run all over again!) After a quick re-distribution of Jumbo’s tackle around other bikes, we then set forth upon our trip to Helmsley.

At our 1st stop we noticed that we had lost Doug, The last person to see him was Alex & he reckoned that he “Just disappeared” after we took the turning for the M18! We assumed that the “dozy old twat” (Steely’s phrase pard, not mine!) had missed the turn off & was going straight up the M1 & chancing it through the road works & reported flooding!
Amazingly enough, we didn’t get any of the wet stuff until after said refuelling stop & then it came down firstly as a drizzle, then gradually built up until it seemed to be coming by the  fookin’ bucketload! Though, it had eased off by the time we got to Sutton Bank, though it still made it “interesting enough” for Shazza’s first solo ascent of this “interesting” piece of road design! 
If the rain wasn’t enough, Whitty, (that feckin’ bastart, muppet, her words!) made it even more perilous for her by deciding to become an “instant chicane” in her path! This was due to his clutch cable “Just falling off”. (Oooh, you can just hear all the broad Jockanese swearing now can’t you?)

After booking in & receiving what Steely referred to as “the fackin’ gayest wristband ever” I obviously must have subconsciously decided to join in the fun and games & had a little “incident” myself!  Following the rest down the field at about 3mph, I managed to find the only hole for miles around & promptly rode straight into it! Down went the bike & off flew fat lad ‘ere landing rather heavily on my shoulder, (lets face it, could I land any other way, before anyone else says it!)

Many thanks to the guy who picked my bike up for me & didn’t even hang around for me to even get his name or shake his hand, I looked for you all weekend but never found you, probably due to the copious amounts of alcohol I consumed to numb the pain. Well, that’s my excuse & I am sticking to it!
Fortunately, there was only minor damage incurred, bent bars, broken indicator etc, but this was enough for me to conclude that I am possibly not cut out for this stuntman malarkey!

 Whilst I was doing my “Evil Knevil” bit, her indoors rode calmly by & set about putting the tent up on her own. When I finally got to where we were camped, the compassion shown by the love of my life was, quite frankly overwhelming! I was greeted with the caring words, “Now you have finished buggering about get them fuckin’ poles put in you dozy shite!” (Talk about overflowing with the milk of human kindness!)

1
Once everyone was set up, (By the way, well done to H, Nick, Steph & Dave, well chosen site, next time though just have a scout about for potholes & trenches as well, just for me eh?) it was up & away to the site for a look round & get our bearings so to speak. First port of call was the café for something to eat, which upset Shaz immensely. So much in fact that Steely had to physically restrain her from entering the beer tent until she had eaten something! (It’s the jock in her; it’s like being married to a cross between Rab.C.Nesbitt & a Nazi stormtrooper.)

As soon as we had eaten & Steely released Shaz, we went in search of refreshment, (dead easy to find, we just followed the steaming tracks in the mud that the Celtic terror had left in her frantic rush for the bar!) Whilst savouring our first pint of the afternoon, Doug rang, we were right in our assumption that he had missed the turn for the M18, but, unfortunately, due to the dreamlike state that his new toy seems to lull him into, he had also missed the turn for Thirsk, & was sitting in a service station in the vicinity of Scotch corner having a cup of tea! 
The “thick yeaded twat” (yet again, Steelys words not mine!) eventually turned up about an hour later!

By the time Doug found us in the bar, And much to Donnas disgust, Steely was in full swing, as per usual he stated that he was “pacing himself” (but unfortunately, the pace was “warp factor nine Mr Sulu”!) We were treated to one of his more outstanding performances on this occasion, as he set about trying to win over everyone sitting around with his legendary “charm, tact & diplomacy” routine. As for the demonstration of how he became the 1974 U.K. surfing champion (ahem!) on the low table well, that had to be seen to be believed! (Well, at least he cleared a good area for us to sit in, truth be told, he cleared enough space for Ghengis Khans hordes to sit in, and had much the same effect!)

At some point in the proceedings there was a wedding celebration of some sort going off, at the same end of the tent as we were sitting. The happy couple were duly toasted & photographed by their friends & I also believe that the Yorkshire M.A.G.  Photographer was there as well. The wedding cake was quite novel, it was a three tier pork pie! Needless to say, somehow or other, a shitload of the “cake” found its way into our possession, and, seeing as it could have been obtained shadily, we rapidly “disposed of the evidence”. (Don’t worry folks, as it turns out, the groom passed a plate load round to us but I had been at the bar when this happened, it’s just that Steely was “hoarding” it as opposed to having “swooped” it!)

By the time the evenings entertainment had started on the main stage, his nibs was “fully fuelled” & raring to go! On route to see the bands, the ladies indulged themselves with a little bit of speed shopping.
 Donna came away from one stall inordinately happy due to the fact that she couldn’t get into a little leather dress that had took her fancy because her tits were too big! Shazza point blank refused to even put it on as it was that short it wouldn’t have covered her belly let alone owt else! 
From there we carried onwards to the arena, Donna dragging the now staggering & incoherent(“what’s new”, I hear you say,) Steely along with her.

His antics in the beer tent paled into insignificance compared to what he got up to in front of the stage.(The next morning, Donna actually stated that she would have rather taken a two year old baby to the rally!) The rest of our lot (and the majority of the crowd!) distanced themselves from him whilst he wreaked havoc until he finally collapsed & Donna dragged him back towards beddy-byes.

 

2
The bands were all excellent & the final act of the evening were a band named  “The Rile” who played mainly 80’s Punk covers literally blew the crowds socks off, top notch! Her indoors had a bit of a bop & a lot more to drink & then finally came up with the most obvious statement of the weekend. 
She stared at me, all glassy eyed & announced “I think I may have had enough to drink” & promptly fell flat on her arse in the mud! With that, she picked herself up off the floor & wobbled off back to the tent.

After the bands were finished on stage & I had seen the bride back to bed, I nipped up to the 100% biker tent to have a look-see but the place was rammed so we headed back to the campsite (via the beer tent to pick up a few tinnies, well it would have been rude not to, wouldn’t it?)

Most of the team were still up, sitting around the fire & swigging away, including the muddy jock & cannonball Steele, and by the looks of it, had been doing so for quite a while! We also had a couple of visitors, namely Andy “The mad Irishman” & some of the Beavers M.C.C. who were camped adjacent to us, needless to say, the swigging & banter went on to the early hours. (Well, the late hours actually!)

As dawn cast its watery light over the tents, I found myself unable to sleep. (Full bladder syndrome) I arose & stepped out of the tent to the sight of what looked like the remains of an alcoholics rave up (nothing unusual or unsurprising there then!)There were broken chairs, empty cans & bottles & full bodies, scattered all over the place! It was all a bit too much to cope with at 04.30ish so I went back to bed.
A few hours later, I crawled out of the old doss bag (no, not the wife!) & went in search of a hot kettle, needless to say Doug was brewing up, possibly on is 3rd cup of the morning, so I joined him for a coffee & we both sat watching enjoying the sights & sounds (and there were some sights, oh, the things you see when you aint got your gun) of the other piss-heads regaining consciousness.

Once everyone was up and about & Steely had done the rounds apologising to everyone, (Donna had filled him in on his previous evening’s antics,) we set about deciding what we were going to do for the day. 
Seeing as my bike was a bit on the bent side & ‘er indoors considered herself still too pissed to ride, we decided to have a day on site. 
Almost everyone else decided to stay on site as well, seeing as the weather was looking decidedly dodgey, except for H, Nick, Steph & Dave who went off visiting friends in the area, though Stephanie & Dave went on pillion, leaving their 125’s behind on site to give them a rest.

During a quick bout of “taking the piss out of the state of my bike”. (Well, it was something for them to do, wasn’t it?)   The mad Irishman turned up again, like some kind of alcoholic jack-in-the-box, with a bottle of ouzo in one hand & a red wine in the other! 
Needless to say, they took some serious hammer, Steely necked ¼ of the ouzo & announced he was “Gonna pace myself again pard!” (“Oh god we’re doomed, he’s off on one” muttered Doug, he can’t spell the word pace, let alone do the fucker!)

Once we had polished off the bottles & said bye-bye to the girls, (they had decided to go back to their respective beds, Donna due to a migraine, Shaz due to a colossal hangover!) we took a wander down to Helmsley village to give the local hostelries the benefit of our presence! 
Well, by the time we had got to the village having had to virtually carry Doug & His nibs due to the distance they had had to walk, to our disappointment, the 1st pub we got to was closed, (I thought the pair of them & Irish Andy were going to have formation coronaries due to the shock of no immediate refreshments at the end of the trek!)
3
Some kind soul took pity on the state of us all & announced that the pub over the road was just opening up. Bad move, bad fookin’ move, for they were immediately trampled under foot as we all caught our 2nd wind & took off like racehorses with about a pound of baccy rammed up our arses!
Once inside the pub, things rapidly went downhill, as Mr “I’m pacing myself” & the mad Irishman went on the “top shelf whiskey trail”, which wound its way downhill at a great rate of Knots into Legless-Ville after a couple of stops in Bullshit town, Silly-fucker Road & Incoherent street!

I am quite certain the locals were, for all the tolerance & restraint they show, shall we say, less than impressed with what was occurring. So, before we wore out the warm welcome all bikers get in Helmsley, it was decided to head off back up to the site, and taking with us “Team Skullfucked”. 
(Oh it was a giggle watching them staggering up the drive, trying to cadge a lift from complete strangers & taking the piss out of Wiggy, calling him “Old ‘2 o’clock feet” as he limped along in front. Trust me; he was making a better job of the walk than that pair!)

The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting around the small fire that was still smouldering away, swigging beer & taking the piss (or, as in someones case, taking the beer & swigging the piss, eh pard) whilst Shaz sulked due to spending money on bits to repair my bike which, in the end, we didn’t do anyway, (lack of the correct tools & way too much alcohol consumed!) 
I decided to ride it home as it was & repair it later with all the correct tackle to hand, so it was out with the electrical tape & a quick bandage job on the remains of the broken indicator & off up to the beer tent!

After a swift 6 or 7 & a good old banter with some of the happy people therein, we all trooped off up to the main arena again, en route bumping into a dis-chuffed Alex, who informed us that he believed that the Streetfighters stall had got the hump with him about the tattoo on his back (the Streetfighters logo) & threatened him with legal action over a copyright infringement! 
(We assured him that in our opinion they were most probably “yanking his chain” let’s face it, who is gonna get pissed off at free advertising after all!)

We finally got to the main stage in time to see the last few songs performed by _______________,(what I heard of their set, I thought was excellent, I just wish I had heard more) who preceded the main act of the evening “Guns & Oatcakes” who gave a brilliant performance on the stage whilst a troupe of fire eaters helped out with the special effects down at the front.

Towards the middle of their set, Mr “im gonna pace myself’s” batteries finally wore down, so he staggered off into the night, in search of food, semi-assisted by the not quite so drunken “Twisted Sisters” leaving the rest of us to enjoy the second half of the bands performance in peace, assured in the fact we would not have to keep picking him up or extricate him from some form of “one man war-zone” every five minutes!  (Oh how the diplomatic corps lost out when he became a biker!)

After a couple of encores, at the end of their performance “Guns & oatcakes” said goodnight & buggered off stage sharpish, so, it was time to find some other form of entertainment. (Especially as our one man cabaret show had gone back to the tent with a tray of cheese & chips!) 
So, the remaining Jugsters set off for the tents as well, somehow losing Witty & Co along the way, though to be honest, it was we who took the wrong turn, not him (for once!) 
We ended up stumbling upon another bar, Where we found Jon-Jon, who had turned up late on Friday & hadn’t been able to find where we were camped, so had just “pitched where he had stopped” (which had pissed off the marshals at the gate, so he un-pitched & carried on into the site! Only Joking!)

4
Whilst we were having a laugh & a chat with Jon-Jon, I was accosted by a young lady who, after asking me for a light, attempted in a rather forthright way to “Seduce” me! 
(Well, seduction is a bit of an understatement, calling it seduction was like calling the Hiroshima bomb a fart in a bath or gang rape a “mild social deviation”!)

I am not going to go into details about this “little incident” because the wife was not too terribly impressed; suffice to say, thank god for the witnesses present, who corroborated that I was totally innocent, after declining her “offer” yours truly & the others who were present drank up & ordered another beer. (I ordered another two & a big JD as well, for the shock you understand!)
As we finished these drinks we decided to bugger off back to the tents pronto, as it was time for, in the immortal words of Zebedee, “boing, Time for bed!”

The next morning dawned & the usual Sunday morning on a rally rituals ensued, we all had a jolly good laugh watching each others, (but especially Whitty & Jumbo’s) attempts at re-packing with a hangover, then all headed for the exit back up onto the concrete, where the field had begun to resemble the Somme, (myself more tentatively than most, after my Friday afternoon antics!)
It was a case of slow but steady and then pick your moment to ease yourself onto the hard stuff through the traffic, except for Shaz, who treated her SV 650 as if it was some sort of 2stroke crosser & attacked it like she was on the Weston-super-mare beach race!
With everyone up & out of the quagmire safely we set off home, en route partaking in the best hangover cure in the world, “Sutton bank downhill” (If Carlsberg made attention getters, they wouldn’t be a patch on that fucker!)

At the first fuel stop & fag break, Doug casually wandered up, & started peering at the clocks on my bike, when asked why, he responded with, “ I thought we were gonna take it easy for the first bit, obviously Bandit speedo’s don’t start reading until 85!!” (Sarcastic old twat that he is. My words pard, my words!) 
We had agreed to stop twice more on the way home, mainly to assist in the hangover recoveries of certain members of our inglorious rabble! 
As we were bumbling along in what passes on a Sunday morning for Jugsters in formation, to our collective surprise, Shazza started weaving her way up to the front, having been “arse end Charlie” all the way up north & most of the way back, she decided to see what it was like “up at the sharp end!” Needless to say, no sooner had she barged her way into 3rd place, Steely & Doug started to make the international signals to each other for a smoke break & a cuppa, (she thought they were telling her to fuck off!)

So, when we pulled for stop number two, she was reet pissed off & stood there, quite miffed until things were explained to her over a cuppa. Bless her, she was quite proud of herself, having found the front at last, though her mood changed when she had to pay for the coffees! 
During this stop, Wiggy Mr “I’ll av may wun o them” whilst having a cuppa, found a service station couch cushion much to his liking, deciding that it would come in useful, (possibly to ease his piles!) so it was rammed up his jacket & smuggled out of the door as fast has he could go without attracting attention to himself (which, given the way he walks at the moment, was a bit hard, if not “Mission Impossible!”)

Once everyone was ready & we had all successfully remounted for a change (Eh Whitty!) & refuelled, we set off again at a much better pace, right up until we hit the traffic on the M1, time for a bit of speed filtering, cos by then, the Saturday night curry was biting back & porcelain heaven was required!
This was the point where Alex noticed a problem with the bike in front (Jumbo) and quite possibly saved the lives of both him & his pillion!

5
At the next stop, Alex pointed out that Jumbo’s back tyre was catching on the undertray & had rubbed right down to the banding. It was decided that it was far too dodgey to continue riding on, so it was time for a quick call to “Crips best friends” for a recovery job. 
Having made sure he was ok & that the AA were on the way, we bade farewell to Jumbo, & set off again, this time with Shazza blasting off at the front like her arse was on fire! This was the beginning of the end, as far as pack riding was concerned anyway. With Bungle heading off to have himself some “love” & Alex buggering off sharpish cos he was bursting for a piss, people started peeling off to head their separate ways (especially Wiggy, who decided to take his own route home to Nuneaton rather than join the rest of the boys on the A42!) He waved bye to me & Shazza as we turned off & headed to the pub for a quick one! 
All in all, a good weekend for most, a bad weekend for some, & a downright ugly bugger for me, Viva the Farmyard, long may it continue.

 

 2007 OGRI RALLY

Seeing as it has only been two weeks since our return from the France trip, the malarkey of packing & loading early in the morning was still ingrained upon my inner being. So, it was up, ready, bike out & bungee the holdall on, then away to work.
I had initially tried to get the time off for this one, but, seeing as they had caved in over me buggering off to France for 16 days I had decided not to push the issue.
Needless to say, when someone turned up to cover for me I was more than a little surprised!(Though not at my employers, they make the Jugsters look like a well oiled machine!) So much so, that it took me all of 1minute to get changed & be out of the door, I didn’t even care about the unnecessary early start!

Now, there was no point heading back home at 09.30 in the morning, seeing as, prior to meeting up with the rest of us, the bride was taking the kids “shopping,” (better known as a bribing spree) prior to bundling them of to the grandparents for the weekend. “Any way, (I thought to myself,) “its 30mls in the wrong direction.”
(“When has that ever bothered a fuckin’ Jugster?” Whispered a little voice in the back of my head, it’s the one that normally talks sense!) Decision made, knowing that he would be up & about, it was off to Nuneaton to scrounge a brew out of Steely!
Several brews later, Wiggy & then Doug arrived, (Doug for the 2nd time, as he had been round for a brew earlier!) then, with Dinky ready to roll after her “quick wash & change routine” after her return from work, & Shazza arriving on the dot, the “Less than magnificent six members of the Jugsters Scouting Party” were assembled & ready for the off!

Now, you are probably wondering, “why have they only got six of them attending this do?” Well, the reason is, when we announced that we were going to give this one a try, there was an awful lot of interest put forward, but unfortunately, not a lot of fucking money! (Typical Jugsters, short arms & deep pockets, for fuckin anything, that isn’t’ beer!)
So, when the deadline expired, (i.e. the tickets were on sale,) six members had paid up, so six tickets were sent for. Another attempt to purchase tickets was made the following weekend. But, by then, they were sold out! (We were warned that, “You have to get in early for the Ogri, it’s dead popular!”)

We were on the road earlier than planned, which, as it turned out, was a damn good thing. “I had received a text from a friend of ours (Jasper) warning us that the A429 was “murderous,” and, seeing as the original plan of meeting me on the “old fosse way” on my route from work could now be abandoned, it was decided a new route would be taken by those in the know. (Namely, Doug, Wiggy & Steely. “Oh fer fecks sake,” I know, you’re now thinking to yourselves, and “didn’t you learn a soddin’ thing from France!”)

Away we went, after a refuelling stop, into the wilds of Coventry, on the A46, the plan being to cut through & past Warwick to the A429. With me & the bride not knowing Coventry at all, we were sticking like glue to Doug, who had been elected as “leader for the day.” Unfortunately, seeing as Doug never uses his indicators, (seeing as these are a “new fangled thing” to him) we needed a crystal ball to guess which lane we were using next!

Once we had finally negotiated the Coventry & Warwick bypass, things really went to rat-shit! The 429 was nose to tail with traffic, all of which was heading south for the bank holiday! Things got worse when you got to any built up area or two bit junction with traffic lights, where things just stopped totally. After we had stopped for a “fag-Break” in Moreton-in the Marsh (Doug had reached his nicotine deprival limit,) we were off again.

 Time for a bit of the old “Speed Filtering” then! It became obvious that due to the traffic lights etc, there was a certain rhythm that you had to get into, whereby you had nothing coming for ages, and then a batch of cars, Lorries etc would all come thundering along the opposite carriageway together.

1
Timing was everything, (we are as famous for our lack of timing, as we are our directional abilities!) Needless to say, we careered along the road, sailing round blind bends, with everyone keeping one eye on the traffic & the other was looking for where you were going to dive in next!

Well, some of us were, Doug & Steely, (good old “Captain Myopia” himself) slightly over-reached themselves at one point & had a bit of a “Showdown” with one wagon on a right hander! (Ooooh, the language! He used expletives that even Shazza had never heard of, let alone used!)

Once we were on the Cirencester bypass, it was time for “yours truly” to take point as, once upon a time, in my previous career, I had “visited” Kemble Airfield as it is now known! With no problems, (for once) I got us to the gate of this former RAF base, only to be “out-braked & punted” out of the way by Shaz, the reason being that, as she explained later, she had “never been the first fucker onto a fuckin’ site!” 
Once we were booked in, it was a case of finding somewhere to pitch the tents, which was no mean feat, I can tell you! The prime areas to pitch were gone, but we found an area of suitable size for our needs & got cracking! 
Once pitched & all were ready, it was off to investigate the delights of  the beer tent, which had been advertised as having  30 real ales & a 24hr bar, get fuckin’ in there my son!

The way the site was arranged was very well thought out, we were very impressed with it all, and all were in agreement that is the best set up we had ever encountered. Though, apparently, according to some acquaintances we spoke to, though acceptable, it was not up to previous standards. (We wouldn’t have known the difference, seeing as to the best of my knowledge, we were the first Jugsters ever to have attended this rally!)
After purchasing the required tickets we found the lure of the bar irresistible! As per usual, Steely announced that he was going to “pace himself,” (and, as per usual, we knew he was full of shit & braced ourselves for the inevitable rampage!)  He stated that, “seeing as I aint a bitter drinker, I’m going on the cider” (Well, it was actually a scrumpy called “Old Rosie”, 7.3%, oh fuck!) Donna, Doug, Wiggy & I staged an assault on the real ales, with the intention of “doing the lot”. Shazza, being the only “lager lout” had to fend for herself in the general melee that was the normal bar.

As the Ogri lads were doing their best to enforce this fuck-eyed smoking ban & it was sooo fucking hot, we dragged a table & chairs out into the brilliant sunlight, and got down to some serious “beer tasting” and sunbathing all rolled into one.
In all truthfulness, I felt quite sorry for the bands, who were putting on absolutely excellent performances, but to a virtually empty marquee, this being due, in my opinion anyway, to a combination of the fantastic weather & the smoking ban.
The rest of the day soon descended into the usual mess, with our happy throng, who had, by now, been joined by Jasper, Kim & Andy, “The mad Irishman.” It seemed as if everyone was hitting the beer with the sole intention of not getting past 9pm.
 
Shazza also had a crack at the wares on offer in the food marquee, where they were catering for all tastes! It was apparently rumoured to have been run on previous years by OGRI themselves, or rather some of their military contacts. 
How true this is, I do not know, but this year it seemed to be a contract caterer who was dealing with things, the food was reported to be of a good standard, (by her indoors, who is in the contract catering business herself) though, yet again, we heard people saying it had been better in previous years!
 (On this point I would like to state that, in the past, OGRI M.C.C. have obviously spoilt you stupid, cos the grub was fucking good!)

Without a hitch, everyone got themselves into silly-fucker land, thanks to the excellent choices in the beer department. Donna & I were working our way rapidly down the list, with reckless abandon, as were Doug & Wiggy, but in a more reserved manner. (What Shazza was lacking in choice of beer, she made up for in quantity & speed consumed, lasting until about11pm before sliding under the table!)

2
After taking our little “Pissederella” back to beddy-byes, it was time for some more ale & a bite to eat. I had a curry, which was also very good!
In the early hours of the morning, we all staggered back to the tents, having had a fucking great night, for a bit of a nightcap & then the plan was to “turn in”, ready for tomorrow.

In actuality, we were treated to a bit of a “sex show.” The neighbours, who had turned up & pitched next to us after we had gone in search of beer, were going for it “hammer and tongs” “how do you know this?” I hear you ask, well, obviously in the heat of passion, they had forgot to switch off their light, so we saw the whole lot in silhouette, with all the accompanying grunts, groans & moans! Who needs the porn channels when you can get such a show for free; Wiggy was positively foaming at the mouth!

The next morning dawned, just as bright & promising as the previous one. As per usual, Doug was up & knocking up a brew before anyone else had surfaced, you gotta love the guy, his first words to me were, “mornin’ mate, do you want a cuppa?” Who could ask for more from a friend? (Except for possibly, a couple of paracetamol’s? As unfortunately, my head was throbbing!)

Soon enough, after the usual “dawn chorus” everyone was up & about. Our illustrious Vice-chairman, whilst climbing out of the tent, noticed that Doug was wearing his baseball bumper boots. 
Well, seeing as she had packed hers as well, she mentioned to him as she dived back in, “seein’ as it’s so fuckin’ warm I’m gonna put my fuckers on, and my shorts.” 
 
Five minutes later, she re-emerged from the tent, all red faced, still wearing her bike boots with her jeans! 
Doug asked her, “where’s your trainers, I thought you were changin’ em’?” 
To which, with a reddened face, the dozy bint admitted that she had packed one of hers (size 7) & one of our Danny’s (size 11) Thereby giving us all a laugh & starting the day off on the right foot!(Well, the left actually, the right was Danny’s!) 
(It has to be said at this point, in all truthfulness, I never married her for her brains, she may not be bright, but she’s happy!)

With us all having a bit of a chuckle at her expense, she trooped off to get a breakfast with Steely & Donna, clumping along in sunglasses, tee-shirt & bike boots, like a photophobic “storm-trooper.” Still muttering to herself about us being a “nae good bunch ae fuckin’ sarky bastart’s!”

Prior to joining them for a spot of breakfast, a few of us sat around the tents, attacking a 4yr old bottle of sloe gin, whilst Wiggy & the mad Irishman went out for a “play” on their bikes and to go shopping in Cirencester, they also went for a meal, just like an old married couple. Meanwhile, the rest of us just sat around “chilling” & sunbathing.

After about an hour or so, I wandered up along with Jasper & Kim, in search of the others, (it doesn’t take a “Rocket scientist” to figure out the most likely place they would be!) 
On the way up there, we were passed by the “happy wanderers” as they returned after their little trip though, they had swapped bikes for the return leg. Apparently, Andy, “the mad Irishman” is trying to sell his Triumph & it could have been a “marriage made in heaven” if he had managed to catch Wiggy in one of his now famous, “I’ll av may wun of those,” moments!

After letting them know where we suspected that we would find the rest, we carried on up the field, having to stop for a short time, whilst Kim dragged a positively drooling Jasper away from a yellow Ducati 748 & cleaned the slobber form the tank.   
Yup, there they were, sitting outside the beer tent, supping on the “piss weak, gassy crap” (as Donna so succinctly phrased it) awaiting the opening of the “real ale” bar! 
In between pints, the “food hall” was paid a visit, where the breakfast menu was perused, agreed upon & devoured. (£5.00, for a full English, top bollocks!)

 

3
Once breakfast was complete, it was time for round 2 of the Jugsters “lets get smashed” race. Steely got off to an early lead by hitting “Old Rosie”, whilst Jasper & Kim tried to level the playing field by bringing out their secret weapon, (that sloe gin) & passing it round. 
(For those of you who have not had the “pleasure” it tastes like Venos cough mixture & has a kick like a fuckin’ mule!) The twisted sisterz were slugging away at that whist going for it on the beer as was I, whilst Doug stuck to the beer alone.
Irish Andy then made a challenge for the lead by starting on the Whiskies & then magically producing a box of red wine, needless to say, Donna started ramming that down His nibs as well, claiming it had aphrodisiac properties where he was concerned!

It was at this point that Bowser, the OGRI Chairman arrived on their club chariot, (an old dog of a C90 with a chair grafted onto the side.) This contraption immediately caught Steely’s eye, you could see the cogs, if not exactly whizzing round, were definitely grinding away, lubricated with alcohol, formulating a “cunning plan!”  
The OGRI Chairman then went off to do his master of ceremonies bit at the rally games that were organized. I popped out to watch the entertainment for a bit. Yet again, a well organized affair. The moped assault course/time trial was very funny, whilst the “Jousting” was downright hilarious.

As soon as I sat back down, Donna, who had been sitting there cross legged, asked me to “mind” his lordship for her, as she desperately needed to “Hover.” No sooner as she was out of site, he was off, leaping straight onto the “combo,” cranking it up 1st go, and away he went, drunkenly careering through the crowd, murdering a rendition of that old classic by Steppenwolf, “born to be wild” as he went!
After about 5 minutes, he noticed that Donna still hadn’t returned, so off he went, weaving up the field, to fetch her!

We were warned of their impending return, by the screams from both Donna & all of the “near misses”,
As soon as she had climbed off the plastic chair, the mad Irishman was “in like Flynn” and away they went, upon what seemed to be a mission to get the few people that had not been either scared half to death or wounded on the first lap!
Eventually, he was cornered by a loose coalition of several members of the OGRI & Donna, who “persuaded” him to put it back. Surprisingly, he did as was requested, though he couldn’t get it to stop. For five minutes, we sat there taking the piss as he vainly tried to get it to stop. (Oh how we laughed, when he gave himself several belts from the HT lead) he even attempted to “stall” it.

Eventually, I could bear the pathetic pleading no longer & went across & “strangled” the fucking thing(no, not Steely, the moped. Though, to be honest, some people would probably wish I had done the former,) by sticking my hat over the carb inlet.
After a shit-load more beer, Donna was persuaded to stick her bike, (Dinky’s broomstick) into the custom show. So, off went the “Twisted Sisterz” back to the tents to fetch it. The reason that both of the drunken bints went was so as Shaz could take care of the directions, whilst Donna concentrated on not crashing!

When they eventually returned after weaving their way up to the top & entering the goddamned noisy bastard thing into the show, the bride and I went off for a bite to eat and a tour round the stalls & the custom show, which was set out in the middle of the area shaded by the trees, and surrounded by the stalls. 
This had loads of entries; god alone knows how they judged that as the standards were very high. The stalls also offered a wide & varied choice for the discerning shopper, needless to say, there were a few purchases made, much to the annoyance of the “walking, talking, breathing, seething, Scottish stereotype” that I married!

Whilst we were away, Steely had gone “walkabout” with the weak excuse that he was going to catch up with “some old mates in from the Antelopes.” Prior to this, he had convinced a young Lithuanian girl, who had announced that she was a lesbian during the conversation, (probably as a deterrent,)that Donna

4
“occasionally batted for the other team” too! Thereby giving Donna another problem, as if she didn’t have enough on her plate! 
This got the young lady interested in chatting to Donna, whereby he made his escape! As he left, at a great rate of knots, he shouted over his shoulder, “be careful, you’ll make Shazza jealous & give Helen something else to worry about!”

Whilst he was in “unsupervised mode” he attempted to get his ugly mug in a photograph being taken of a group of active & former members of H.M.Forces personnel, who had raised a load of cash for charity! When challenged, as to his right to be in the photo, he stated “Oh shit, you’re right; my dad was on the other team!”

 With the custom show over, Donna persuaded Shaz to collect the “broomstick” & then they managed between them, to weave & wobble it back to the camping area in one piece.  On their way back up to rejoin us, Shaz went for an impromptu “bath”. Two members of the OGRI sidled up either side of her as she was peering into the murky water of the jousting pool and, after giving her chance to pass her stuff to Donna, they promptly threw her straight in! (Donna did a runner) 
After about an hour sitting in soaking wet, though rapidly drying clobber, she wandered off again, to get changed, returning a short while later, wearing a bra top, cut off shorts & bike boots! (Catwalk Queen or what, Claudia Schiffer, eat your heart out!)

The entertainment for the afternoon was a series of musicians playing outdoors in the brilliant sunshine, most probably down to the fact that there was virtually no-one sitting inside the marquee. (It gets more & more like a police state every bleedin’ day! If you feel inclined to agree with this sentiment, visit the website w.w.w. magna carta.co.uk. It’s quite an eye opener, very informative!)

To be honest, I don’t recall any of their names, as I was as “in beer” so to speak, but all put on a good performance, the female vocalist was good though, i do remember that! 
All of these performers served as a form of warm up for the afternoon’s major event, which went by the name of “the Glam Rockers.” These went down a storm, (and all of whom were OGRI members apparently) they were a real laugh, and kept the gathered crowd entertained with a full on “Gary Glitter” performance, (and no, before you start, it didn’t involve under age kids!)

Whilst this was going on, for no reason other than it was fucking hot, a water fight ensued, trust me it was more than welcomed, you could have fried an egg on a plate in that heat! Of course, things just had to progress to wine & beer, mainly just the dregs, though, as I was talking to the missus, I ended up wearing a pint of cider, so shit-head got the wife’s lager in his face for his trouble! (Well, I wasn’t going to waste my “real ale” on that twat was I?  That would have been stupid!) 

The final “act” of the afternoon was a poor misguided fool, whom I can only assume, was on a dare, when he staggered up to the mike and drunkenly slurred his way through a classic, all time rock anthem, As originally performed by those ‘hard rockin’ heavy metal gods, known to all as “The Muppets”, the song he chose to grace us with was none other than,   “Munum-anum, doo-doo bi-doo-doo”!

It was round about this time that the mad Irishman decided that he fancied trying a bit of “cross dressing”, he persuaded a by now, semi-paralytic Kim to part with an item of her underwear, which the Aussies refer to as an “over the shoulder, boulder holder.” (By fuck, what a contraption, he referred to it as a double hammock for pygmies!)

Whilst he fought his way into the damned thing, Shaz started to ‘help him out’ by stuffing it with her socks. (I got a thump round the back of the head, when she overheard me mutter to Jasper, “Yup, that’s her normal practice”) He then started trying to “pull a date” for the evening, though, in the end, we did have to warn him about his behaviour, let alone his attire, as Wiggy was starting to get agitated.  

 

5
As the evening approached, the sun started to gradually descend towards & then behind the hangar roofline, the temperature started to fall. To be honest, this was a merciful release for some, judging by all the “painfully pink bits” that were on display! 
She of the Highland ancestry, had even managed to turn a slightly different shade of white, which is quite good for her, seeing as it took her four days on the Mediterranean  coast just to add a tint to her usual pale blue! Steely reckons that it looks like she sunbathes in a fridge!

Yet again, the evening’s entertainment was of the highest calibre, (and yet again, I cannot recall any of the band names) with those who were inclined (and not totally pissed) doing a lot of leaping about & enjoying themselves (generally) in time to the music. Needless to say, the big blonde one was, by this stage, leaping about like a chimpanzee on speed! Having managed to appear to drink himself sober, he was now hell bent on getting shit-faced again! He also gave us a display of his prowess as a table-top dancer. (Steely 1 – Table 0)

It was during one of these (very rare) moments of clarity that he “disappeared” again, this time in the company of Doug, in an attempt to carry out the “cunning plan” that they had hatched whilst “in beer.”
The previous evening, he had spotted a fucking great big Suzuki racing banner which was adorning the back wall of the marquee, and had decided that he was going to “acquire” it. (Most people would call it stealing, he calls it acquiring”)

Well, without attracting the slightest bit of attention to themselves (yeah, that’ll be a fuckin’ first, I hear you mutter,) they marched into the nigh on empty marquee, & ‘sidled’ their way up to the back wall. Once there, they stood with their backs to the wall, casing the joint, trying (and failing fucking miserably) to look all casual & innocent. Once they were certain that the coast was clear, they set to work.
.
Quick as a flash, they set about hacking through the strings that were holding this monstrous banner in position. How the fuck they thought that no-one would notice I do not know. I could see what the dodgey looking pair of twats were up to from 50 yards away! 
Obviously, being as subtle as they were, they had attracted the attention of a few onlookers, some of them just happened to be a couple of OGRI members!
As soon as they had cut the final one and began to roll it up, a very nice member of the OGRI team tapped them on their shoulders, put out his hands & said, “thank you.” Talk about ‘rumbled’ they bumbled back over to where we were sitting, like a couple of naughty schoolboys!

Once we had all stopped laughing at that dozy pair of twats, the spirits started whizzing round, (no, I’m not on about the sort that the Twisted Sisterz summon up over the cauldron.) Wiggy produced a bottle of Scotch, and, lo and behold, it magically vanished! As did the bottle of rum that I had “stashed” in my waistcoat. It was at this point that Kim finally gave up & staggered off to bed, all tired & emotional, with Shaz not far behind her.

The other bottle of Whiskey, a few more beers & the rest of the wine was consumed before Steely announced that he wanted a cheese sandwich. 
Donna gave an evil little smile, and then announced “come on then sunshine, I’ve got plans for you after that” and off they went, Donna propping him up as they headed off in an attempt to find him one.

Seeing as the bands were all finished for the evening, all of the real ale had finally been consumed, and to be honest, we were mainly rat-arsed. We had a couple more pints & headed off back down the field towards the tents. When we got there, the remainder of the beer was consumed, and everyone started to turn in for the night.

Or so we thought, from out of the darkness came the unmistakable silhouettes & sounds of Steely & Donna. Just prior to letting him into the tent, and against all of his protestations she proceeded to stuff about 12 Viagra down him & washed them down with the last beer.

6

With all the commotion going off, Shaz stuck her head out to see what was going on just in time to see Donna beginning to “Rape” her big blonde & senseless hubby on the way into the tent.
What followed was something so comical, you had to be there to really appreciate, but needless to say, despite all the noise from the “neighbours” we managed to giggle ourselves to sleep. (I haven’t laughed so much since I pulled his tooth!)

As the dawn broke anew, looking as promising as the preceding morning, there were stirrings around & about the campsite. The bride arose early & went to fetch the coffees with Kim & Donna, who was wearing a very self satisfied smirk, the rest of us sat around having a giggle whilst nursing a multitude of sore heads. When his nibs put in an appearance, he was a sorry site; he looked like he had suffered a severe mauling. 
The biggest laugh came when he went off in search of an unoccupied (& unblocked) bog. He was walking like John Wayne after a week in the saddle! Doug observed, over his 3rd cup of tea, “It looks as if Donna has had her monies worth out of those viagra’s then.” as he waddled away, trying his best to stop his jeans chafing.

By the time he returned, the ladies were back from the coffee run. As soon as he had taken a swig, he asked Dink, “why did you bollock all those down me babe?” To which she replied “to get a reaction.” He said, “Yeah, you got one of those fuckers all right, but my heart was goin’ ten to the dozen, you could’ve killed me!” 
To this statement, she looked over the rim of her coffee cup, smiled an evil smile, and stated; “then I guess I was in a no lose situation, I was either going to get a fantastic shag or, if you had croaked, a load of insurance money & gone shoe shopping!”

After a while, we all summoned up the courage, energy & enthusiasm to tackle that old favourite of everyone, namely ‘packing up’, once this was completed, we said our goodbyes to Kim, Jasper & that deranged ‘mick’ maniac, and set off steadily for home. It did raise a smile though watching his nibs, trying to find a comfortable riding position, seeing as his 3rd leg had reappeared, due to the vibrations from his bike.

It is at this point, “the fuck-up fairy” paid us a visit. Whilst we were riding along, I somehow missed the turning for the A429 & blithely led us onward to the A419, heading for Swindon. Suddenly realising my error, I pulled us up & then I took a wee bit of shit! We then did an “about turn”, and went back down the slip road, and retraced our steps back towards Cirencester.

This is where the “fuck-up fairy” (who had obviously been riding pillion with me,) jumped seats & went for a spin with Steely for a bit! Off he shot, with scant regard for anyone else, as if his arse was on fire. (It was most probably his groin). Wiggy (bless him) gave up with the whole idea & headed off on the A417 to get onto the motorway, as he had to go to work that evening. So, it was down to Shaz & I, with Doug & Donna behind us, for about two junctions and then they disappeared!

Shaz & I sat & waited in a lay-by on the A429 for about 10 minutes but to no avail, we eventually decided to set off again, riding at a moderate pace, hoping that they would catch up & we would possibly catch up with Steely. With no joy on either score, we pulled in for petrol & a smoke.
After refuelling we received a call from Dinky-doo, to find out where we were, after a brief conversation, we set out again, only to find them in a lay-by about half a mile further on! 
We never did find out how they got past us, seeing as we didn’t deviate from the exact route we took on the way to Cirencester, but they had caught up with his nibs & had been bumbling slowly along waiting for us!

After another smoke, and a giggle at his nibs hobbling about, we set off again, heading for the next petrol station en route as they all needed to refuel now and as yet, hadn’t passed a petrol station!

7
When we pulled in at the next services just outside Moreton in the Marsh, Shaz & I sat & waited for the rest, laughing away at “Big chief Swollen Tackle” trying to get comfortable, I even suggested to Doug that we should buy a copy of ‘Razzle’ or something similar, then tape it to his tank,& then watch him really suffer!

The rest of the journey in the most part was quite uneventful, we did lose touch with Doug for a while, but he reappeared just on the outskirts of Warwick. The ride through Coventry was just as uneventful, except for one minor incident, on one roundabout, a 4x4 with a Chav at the wheel, chatting away on his mobile, decided that he didn’t need to stop & pulled out on us. This caused a mini chicane for us to negotiate after a flurry of brake lights. 
We stopped off at the Tavern for a pint & a chat with Crip, you couldn’t ask for anything better really, a good weekend away, a ride in the countryside on a beautiful day, a beer with your mates & a good session of  “taking the piss out of Steely” as his burgeoning erection was still showing absolutely no sign of fading!

After we had finished our pints, it was off home for Shaz & I, where we just unloaded the bags, leaving them virtually packed ready for the next weekend in Wales. (What an international, Jet-Set, lifestyle that we lead!) We then headed off to pick up the kids, back home again & time for a bath!
Once we were washed & changed, it was off up to the Man within compass in Whitwick, for the music festival which is now in its second year, where we had arranged to meet up with Claude.

If you appreciate live music, this would have been the place for you to be! This is an event which is now being run on every August bank holiday Sunday for the charity called the “access to music programme”.   This organization (A.M.P.) is trying to encourage & assist young people who wish to learn music, by providing instruments & training which, I was informed, seems to be seriously lacking within the school curriculum due to budget constraints

All of the bands & musicians who participated in this event donated their services for free & some of them doing the same with their merchandise as well. 
There were a variety of acts to suit all tastes, ranging from an acoustic stage with folk singers etc, to a full mobile events stage! The set up was fantastic, as soon as one band finished on the main stage, another started on the acoustic, and then vice versa, so there was no sitting around waiting. 
Though, to be honest, nobody would have complained, seeing as the sun was shining & the beer was flowing, all in all, everyone seemed to be having a grand old time!
 
Within an hour of us getting set up Claude arrived, coming straight there from a rally himself, having called at a couple of “watering holes” on the way! Needless to say, within four pints, Claude was lying there fast off, with the folk singers doing their best to compete with his snoring, though he did wake up in time for the major performances of the day. 
One of the acts for me, stood out, a band called “no friend of mine” who, if you get chance, I would heartily recommend that you go and listen to, they are a kind of a cross between the Chilli Peppers & Metallica.
The last act of the evening was called “The Blues Brothers Reloaded” and they were also excellent, well worth the £5 on the gate for these two performances alone!

Once the entertainment was over, I said goodbye to Claude & headed off home to bed, thanking whomsoever responsible that I had the bank holiday Monday off to recover from it all, as we had booked tickets  for the Wandering Celts rally on the following Friday. Ah well, no peace for the wicked!

 

 SILSDEN SEWER RATS RALLY 2007

You know, sometimes, you know things aren’t gonna go right as soon as you get up in the morning, well, the Friday was one of those days! Due to work commitments, I had to get up, load the bike & be on the road to work to be there for 04.00, just so as I could go on this rally, it was so much of a laugh last year that no-one wanted to miss it. 
So, there was I, bungeeing my kit onto the bike at ten past three, in intermittent murky drizzle, wondering if it would improve any! I rode to work (30mls south) did my shift & then headed off from site at about 12 in a thunderstorm to meet up with the rest of the club who couldn’t get the full day off & were travelling at around dinner time. 
The recce party made up of, Ajey, No-Nails, Rob & Tammy, (Team Atherstone) had met up with Bungle, Claude, Max & last but not least, Shazza at Jn 22 on the M1 at 09.00, with the “cunning plan” in mind to get up there & set up “before the rain set in.”
Well, Just as I got to Steely’s lo & behold, it stopped raining (yippee) & I received a phone call from ‘er indoors, to inform me that, after a showery ride up, they had successfully found Silsden, (well, the first pub, at any rate!)
As we were supposed to roll at 14.00, Nick & Helen turned up at about 14.15, (they’re gettin’ as bad as Bungle) bringing with them a fecking downpour! So, off we set, riding along under a perpetual rain cloud like the spooky mobile out of the wacky races! The ride along the M69 was eventful, what with 3inches of standing water & “white van man” trying to swap paint with Donna, I was being quite philosophical at this point, thinking to myself “it will be better when we get onto the M1”, WRONG, WRONG, TOTALLY F*@KIN’ WRONG !
We were making reasonable progress, but unfortunately had to pull over at the Donington services as Donna could smell burning rubber. After a quick inspection, (nothing major, new tyre catching slightly on the mudguard) & a refuel off we set again, and rode into the worst traffic snarl up in possibly the worst weather  ever experienced by anyone who was there! We were filtering in a torrential downpour at 10 -15mph, not able to see at the very most, more than 30 feet! 
(Not fun, not fun at all, especially as we had the usual collection of jealous self abusing sons of bitches, who, as per usual, tried to stop us filtering through! Though it is possible that they didn’t see us, so, just to be helpful, like the nice guys we are, a well placed bit of luggage “adjusted” their mirrors for them, hee-hee-hee!)
Eventually it got past a joke, so we pulled in at Trowell services for a brew etc. Whereupon we had a good laugh at the state we were in, Donna decided not to go for a “hover” as, in her words “these jeans are that wet, I’ll never get the bleedin’ things back up!” It was here I received a rather interesting phone call from the Tartan Terror enquiring in her unique & caring way, “What the feck are you playing at we have been here ages, hic!” (I take it you’re still in the fuckin’ pub then, eh dear?)  
Whilst I was explaining at great length & extreme depth, in my own unique style (much to the amusement of Steely, who, whilst in a fit of the giggles, dropped the roll up he was trying to build) just what the feck we were actually dealing with, to my semi-sozzled other half,( we spoke to one bloke, who told us he had only managed to move 12mls in 3hours) Witty Joined us, with a rather soggy & unhappy looking Sandy on the back, having done a bit of the “speed filtering” himself,(he probably just followed the path we had cleared, deftly avoiding all the broken glass & plastic!)
Once we had had a brew, & wrung out our gloves & Sandy had dried her hair under the hand dryer(talk about futile gestures, it was about as effective trying to plait fog!)  We got back onto the road (river) again, where the traffic was still moving about as swiftly & predictably as a herd of morphine dosed wildebeest! 
(it turned out that, just to compound the problems with the weather, some wanker had caused a smash in the roadworks!)
1
Once we had got to JN38 we baled out & headed cross-country into the wilds of “Ooop North” making good progress as we took in the scenery, (Well, what we could see of it through the incessant piss-eyed rain anyway) dodging speed cameras, cow shit, dead badgers, a tractor driving local who looked like an extra from the film “deliverance” etc & blasting past a load of unhappy looking scooter boys who were also en route to a rally in the area. It was somewhere around there that Steely once again, proved himself to be a master of understatement, when he pulled up next to his missus Donna, blew the water away that was running down the inside of his visor & said“Lovely day for a ride eh, dear” (she nearly fell off laughing, I would have said pissed herself but she did that just short of Jn 38 on the M1, well, she couldn’t get any wetter & as she said “at least I was warm for a little while!”)
We wafted through Huddersfield & had a quick lap of Halifax! (Ahem, well, Jugsters being Jugsters we just had to fuck up somewhere didn’t we?  So, why not there, in a strange city centre, during the Friday rush hour, in a bleedin’ hurricane!) 
Once we were back on the right track it was a piece of piss to find Keighly, where we stopped for more fuel & a fag break then back on the road for the last leg of the journey.

Upon arrival on site after booking in, things (for me anyway) took a dramatic turn for the worse! To be quite honest, I was looking forward to changing into some dry clothes in a nice dry tent then getting myself a well earned pint after that 5 ½ hour epic of a journey. FAT FUCKING CHANCE! 
Where the dozy bint had pitched the tent was beyond belief! It couldn’t have been in a lower spot in the field if she had dug a fucker specially! There was virtually a river running past & under the bastard thing, it looked like an upturned life boat from the Titanic! 
Whilst I was stood there in total disbelief & everyone else was having a fuckin’ good laugh about it, she was inside the 1st tent in Jugsters history, to have its own running water supply, snoring like a good un’ sleeping off the 6 pints & one or two of Robs “special herbal” cigarettes!
Needless to say, once I had attracted her attention, (by grabbing her by the ankles & plonking her arse in our own private pond!) and got her involved in unpacking Air bed, sleeping bags, dry clothes etc, whilst I eventually managed to get changed into something dry, Donna took Steely of up to the stalls to get him a change of clothes. 
He came back with a rather natty looking two piece waterproof over suit, the bottoms of which he had to wear for the evening too as he had nothing else dry!  Once Steely had treated us to an impromptu strip show & fashion parade, we buggered off up to the marquee in search of a well deserved beer! Just in time to see Tom & a very bedraggled Nikki turn up! 
Tom was all right though, in his brand new, waterproof “romper suit” having palmed off his 2nd hand, knackered, manky, smelly, leaky, old stuff onto his long suffering wife, who was perched on the back of his FireBlade as he bounced & slid his way down the muddy track, with a look of sheer terror/shock/exposure on her face!

The rest of the evening pretty much went down a storm, (Quite literally, seeing as the supposed smoking area gazebos took off for Scotland at about 7p.m!) The bands were good, the beer was cheap & plentiful & much fun was had watching the drunken idiots falling or intentionally diving headlong (oh yes, o illustrious chairman, the drunken idiot & diving bits refer to you!) into the mud wrestling pit cum marquee floor that most ingeniously, doubled up as a dance zone! 
God alone knows what time we eventually made our way back to “waterworld” (I mean the tent, which was quite hard to find, seeing as it was being blown virtually flat by the gale force wind) but it was pretty much light, the end of a damn good evening after a feck-awful day!

 

2

I awoke in the morning, checked that my feet hadn’t started growing webs, (captured my socks, which were taking it in turns to dive off the top of the chair into the helmets) gave up trying to dry out my sleeping bag and, seeing as I was feeling fit & needed to warm up, swam seven lengths of the tent porch to build up an appetite!
 Seeing as the stove wasn’t functioning (rusted shut!) I went in search of a cuppa in the main field. Well, what a site to behold, the arena looked like the Somme battlefield! I tell you, it was as if we had our own mini-glastonbury! It was that bad, I heard someone complaining that he thought he might be in danger of getting “trench foot”. 
(Due to the amount of water in our “not so des-res”, I was more worried about getting “trench-bum” after sleeping in a puddle of diluted cow piss for half of the night!) 
Little by little, in ones & twos the rest of the team arose, & stomped off in search of refreshment/hangover remedies, Surprisingly, Claude was one of the 1st   ones up & about!
It turns out that his long suffering missus (Max) had thrown him out, for the cardinal sin of pissing on her sleeping bag! Strangely, they had been sharing said bag at the time because the fuckwit had forgotten to bring his! (You would have thought he would have noticed it was missing wouldn’t you? Let’s face it; it’s not as if that old BSA of his exactly overflows with storage space!)

Once everyone was up & about it was decided to take advantage of the bus service into town for a beer or seven. After a quick roll call, it was noticed that “TEAM ATHERSTONE” was missing. A quick phone call established that in their desperate search for ale, they had decided to walk down there rather than wait for the bus & they had found a pub open at about 10am! We soon found them, lounging around in the sun, pint in one hand, burger in the other, at virtually the 1st pub you see when you alight from the mini-bus! 
After a quick pint with the boys, myself, Shazza, Steely,(still wearing nothing but his new waterproof suit bottoms & his leather) & Donna went in search of the launderette that we had been told about. 
Sure enough, we found said establishment, Bundled all of our grotty old wet stuff (no, not Steely)plus what seemed like the rest of the clubs gloves in a tumble dryer. Then sat about in the sun with a picnic of Pringles, Strongbow & Stella Artois (“Oooh,” I hear you say, “How cosmopolitan & cultured”. Yup, we know how to live the high life, do we not?)

 

 FARMYARD PARTY 2006

After Action Report

 

Well, I dunno about you lot but I had a good time, this is how the weekend went as I recall.
My farmyard weekend began with all the best intentions, having arranged with Steely & Donna for them to stop at ours on the Thursday night. With the intention being a couple of  beers, something to eat and an early night, ready for an 08.30 start the next morning when the rest of the crew turned up, not forgetting to leave the back door open for Wiggy to let himself in at about three a.m. after riding over at the end of his shift. 
Needless to say, that “Cunning plan” went to rat-shit within 20 minutes of the first can of Stella being hefted! When Wiggy arrived, at about 01.30 a.m. the four of us were as pissed as a tramps mattress! Well, we couldn’t just go to bed when he turned up could we? That would have been rude! So, the party continued on till about 02.30a.m!

Roll the clock forward now to about 07.45am & picture the scene, where everyone is trying to get ready like a scene from a keystone cops film, cos the rest of the posse have arrived on the front doorstep & Shaz isn’t out of bed yet, let alone got the bloody kids down to the mother-in-laws! Believe me the only thing on the menu for breakfast was a paracetamol sandwich & a cup of tea!
Some of the (soon to be) members were up to the usual club standard as to finding places, what with Rob & Tracey missing the turning by 200 yards, over-shooting by 2 miles & still managing (after one quick phone call for re-directing back to Whitwick) to be at front door by 08.00 (even Bungle was early!) This gave us time to check all luggage was secure, (no names, eh Alex!) & admire Ajeys new toy, a VN1600. (The ashtray was obviously full on his year old 1500. He’d only taken it in for a new back tyre!)
We were on the road for just after half past eight & en route, confusing Ajeys mate Paul by going round the Jn 23 roundabout to collect Trev, (who was looking thewrong way!) Poor old Paul thought we were living up to the club motto big style by heading south for Yorkshire!
We had agreed to travel at about 85m.p.h. & that the first stop would be at the usual spot on the A1WRONG! We ended up stopping at the 24A services so as Steely could issue me with a bollocking cos Rob’n’ Trace couldn’t keep up! (Rob confided in me during this stop that our 85m.p.h. was a bit faster than his!) We managed to get to the site by about 12(ish), after a successful sortie round the York ring road, and tackling a rather “interesting” scenic route. (Now there’s a fuckin’ understatement!)

Nick, H & the Young uns had picked a good spot (dead easy to find, near a bar!) and had commandeered a shitload of wood for the fire into the bargain! Then all we had to do was pitch camp & have a drink till the rest turned up! We then had a few tales of woe, Poor Trace suffered a low speed “off” in traffic, but did nothing more than break her clutch lever & put a minor dent in both her tank & her pride, Well done!

 

1
Weaz made it up the Sutton bank in a slow but steady manner then, after setting up, went of with his sis Wendy to get beer & promptly ran out of fuel at the gate on the way back in again! (Cue a pearler of a teddy out the pram moment!)

The Friday entertainment was top notch (and I’m not on about the bands!) Crip started the evening’s entertainment on a high with his old favourite titled “Erecting the tent” and it ended on an equally hilarious note with Steely doing the poorest impression of a cat burglar ever, trying about 6 tents on his hands & knees before Donna, from within their tent, relented & hinted upon the right direction with the subtle phrase “This way shithead!” Whereby he promptly fell into my fucker!

Saturday dawned with the sun coming up at “Warp factor nine, Mr Sulu” which didn’t help some of the heads sitting round the camp one Fuckin’ bit! The usual morning “Dawn Chorus” ensued. (That immortal scene from blazing saddles has got fuck all on us lot!) Steely, as per usual, carried on his time honoured tradition of the “Tight as fuck,butt-cheek two step” to the woods for his annual “al fresco” dump!

 The rest of the Saturday daytime, as those who were there will recall, was a “cluster-fuck” of magnificent proportions! His nibs’s plan being “We’re gonna visit Smithy & Mother but I can’t remember where the house is Pard.”  I says “you get me to Caton, I’ll get you to the house” “Right-ee-ho” says he “not a problem” WRONG! After one “U” turn, through a petrol station, back to a roundabout & then with Steely pointing at every exit like a demented Gibbon, The Jugsters shot off like stabbed rats down all 6 exits & were scattered all over north Yorkshire! Unbeknown to us he had forgotten to put on his glasses & was asking Dink “wassat say – wassat- say!”

Eventually, we found Caton, had a pleasant visit with Smiffy & Mother & then headed off, back to site, obviously calling for a beer on the way! Then, en route, a quick stop at the bargain booze shop. Not such a bargain for some though! Wiggy managed to lose 8 of the 10 cans of Stella he was carrying for Steely when the letcherous old twat stopped to pick up the hitch-hiker with the big tits!(How good does a £5 can of beer taste pard?)

Back on site, normality resumed. Witty got pissed as a rat in about 40 minutes flat! The Twisted Sisters went on a shopping rampage the Vikings would have been proud of! Though, Shaz was to later regret the fact that she & Dink purchased matching “Nobody knows I’m a Lesbian” tee-shirts!(Seeing as a real one tried to trap off with her in the queue for the bogs!)
The trophies & awards for that evening were as follows; Helen excelled herself winning outright the “get pissed, dance like a looney & fall over dead race” Agey,s mate Paul won the “get one on a promise & then get blown out competition” 
Steely won the “most deserved A.S.B.O. award, for singing out of key!” (Well done Witty, nice one!)
Later, back round the camp-fire, Doug won the “Falling off a log competition” & Wiggy collected the “Fred Astaire of the Farmyard award” for his drunken Break-dancing routine!

 

2

Sunday morning dawned all too quickly for most of us I suspect, & after the usual morning rituals such as the gentle cries of “ooh me fookin’ head,” the usual dawn chorus & Pard trooping off to “Feed the badgers.” People started to pack up in preparation for the journey home. Oh what a laugh, watching Wiggy trying to fasten on the extra 220 pounds of Rally tat that he had bought on one of his “I,ll av may wun ov them” frenzies! Crip & Trace, doing a rendition of the old favourite, “well it all came in that fookin’tent-bag” routine! 
Some people’s preparations, I have to say, were slightly more exotic than others though. Weaz made a late grab for the “waste not, want not” breakfast award & promptly finished off Crips half a bottle of J.D. from the night before! 
He then valiantly led Team “headache from hell” out of the gates on auto-pilot & onto the road home(Where he won the “sleep-triking” award on the M1, not once but twice!) 
The ride home was an event in itself, starting with dodging all of the “Left luggage” half way down Sutton Bank. Then we had to contend with Weazels antics as well as Rob & Buzby frolicking around at the front of the pack like spring lambs, whilst the rest of us hang-over suffering fuckwits tried to second guess which lane those fuckin’ maniacs were gonna choose next! (Or in weasels case the hard shoulder as well!)

Then, at the second stop, we finally got back into touch with Doug who had been lost on the way & we also managed to catch up with some of the others who had decided to “Burn it” but had given up on the idea! At that point, Shaz, yours truly, Bungle & the boy wonder had to separate from the rest of the pack as Shaz & I had to get back for the kids. But, to my knowledge there were no more incidents worth reporting. (Or if there were, you fuckers have kept them to yourselves!) All in all a top weekend!

 

 2006 Frozen Bladder Rally Report

Well, where do you start trying to sum up such an excellent weekend? After what had been quite an enjoyable Friday for me for a change. (Day off, so I had a lie in till 8. Then bundled the monsters of to the grandparents, Yaaa-fooookin-hoo, freedom!)  Uncover, then load up the bosses’ new toy, and then scare the fuck out of the neighbours & passers by with the familiar strains of “staaaart yer feckin’big ugly black piggin’shitheap!  On the 3rd attempt it fired up, then things went down the shit-pan in the following order,
 1. Reverse off drive (not a problem in itself)
 2. Go to pull forward (ditto)
 3. Snap throttle cable (Fuck)
 4. Investigate possibility of quick repair (not a chance in hell!)
 5. Cut thumb on sharp edge of bracket (ouchyafuggincuntinbastardintwattinwhore!)  
 6. Just about burst knackers, pushing the bastard thing back up the drive (pants)
 7. Unload the cuntin’ thing again & re-wrap! (Big pants!)
 8. Get the bikes out & re-pack everything to suit. (Bunch of arse!)
 9. Bundle as much as possible onto the flying foo-yung! (har-har carry your own crap   for a change ya bitch!)
10. Set off, pissing myself laughing, behind the flying Scotswoman, who was doing her damnedest not to wheelie all the way there under the weight of the 4tons of “girlie crap” in the luggage that she deems “necessary”

Needless to say, by the time we got on site I was ready for a pint or 6! This was facilitated by the fact that the tent was already up (I had been over earlier to deliver stuff to the site in the van & had put the tent up then.) All I had to do was park up, unload & stomp off to the bar, leaving the domestic arrangements to the bride (bless).
I have to say that, from my point of view, the whole weekend seemed to be reasonably hassle free. When asked, club members went and did various tasks without a grumble, everyone seemed keen to muck in, (so I left the cattle prod I had brought along for El Prez in the tent!) The highlight of the weekend, for me anyway, was watching our esteemed Vice-Chairman’s face, every time a subtle hint was dropped about sorting out replacements for the gate security or suchlike. All he kept saying was “why me, pard? I aint into all this responsibility crap!”  To which I mentioned that maybe He would like to do the security again, like last year? (We all remember how well that went, don’t we?) Quick as a fookin’ flash he was onto it like a man possessed, shouting “I aint goin’ near the door all fackin’ weekend” His mood improved noticeably when Dinky-Doo returned to the Rally unannounced. He was under the impression that she was just dropping him off then going home to look after the dog, but after a little bit of conniving with the other “Twisted Sister”  she persuaded Nicky & Ridg to “Doggie sit” for her, shot back, & pitched the tent without him knowing a thing about it! 
Another outstanding event from the Friday afternoon Was Wiggy, trying valiantly to figure out how the feck to assemble his latest “retail therapy” purchase, it was a typical “I’ll av may wun o them” jobs that, (& I quote him directly)…….

1

“Thray undrid quid, this woz, you can put im up in a gale on a mountain you know!”
 But, alas, it appeared that it was beyond the capabilities of a stone cold sober yam-yam pitching the fuckin thing next to a bowling green in calm weather though, eh bud! (It still didn’t look right on the Sunday morning!)  I was quietly pissing myself laughing whilst trying to help him when I was called away by Geoggers to go on a mercy mission.
Some poor bugger had broken down on the way to the rally. He was stuck in the layby near the A42 junction. So, off we went to try & help him out. Spider (bless ‘im) had stopped & picked up this blokes poor frozen missus & brought her to site along with the majority of their luggage but he was stranded with his broken down bike.
In the end, the only option was for us to tow the poor bugger all the way to site behind Di’s car on the end of a dubious looking bit of rope! We caused the biggest motherfuckin’ tailback in the history of the A444. There we were bimbling along at 15 M.P.H. in second gear, in the pitch black, towing this poor hapless chap on a sportsbike who, to be truthful, didn’t know us from Adam, didn’t know where the feck he was going & was entrusting a couple of Jugsters to act responsibly! (I tell you, braver man than me matey! I get scared asking Sue for money, let alone the wife!) 
Di’s clutch finally started to cook on the road into the village so I jumped out & helped him push it the rest of the way to site whilst Geoggers went off to explain the impending death of his beloved’s car. Oops! You have mentioned it to her haven’t you mate?

The rest of the Friday nights entertainment went down a storm, the Hoosemates tore the place to bits, absolutely top bollocks! I have never seen that dance floor soo full of happy jigging drunks. The highlight of the evening was Steely & Shazzas drunken gymnastics display, in which Sharon was an unwilling participant! His nibs, through a drunken haze, decided to “help” her off the stage! Oooh you should have seen the bruises, they were more colourful than her general language! (Warning, you are still on her shitlist pard!)
The bonfire was a raging success. (Yet again, oops!  Possibly the wrong choice of metaphor, eh Nick, that’ll teach you to pitch downwind from a pyromaniacs wet dream wont it?)

Saturday morning dawned, warm(ish) & dry, so we, as Jugsters, did what we normally do on a Saturday morning on a rally weekend, we trooped off to the nearest pub in search of food & beer, £5.00 for a pint & a full English, Well done that man, the Landlord of the Seal inn. Lets face it, the grub he put on all weekend was much better (& better value) than the crap available off the van on site!
Things went just as well on the Saturday, entertainments wise. Though I felt it was not as lairy as the Friday. Both bands (in my opinion) gave a good performance and got the people up & dancing.
Dinky & Shaz went out & about with the raffle tickets & sold the friggin, lot, £126 quids worth.Nice to see that Steely & I aren’t the only ones they rob blind! 
 After chucking out time, another party started round the bonfire, with an impromptu sing-song with guitar accompaniment that went on until about 5 in the morning! Good place to find things though…such as purses, luckily we managed to trace its owner the next morning. It belonged to Donna, (Max, Claude’s missus, the drunken bint!)

2
Sunday morning dawned, and our guests started packing up & leaving. There were a lot of over imbibed, but happy faces to be seen as they were heading out. We even had a few enquiries about buying tickets for next year! Then all we had to do was clear up. This turned out to be a very easy task as all we had to do was a little bit of litter picking & then chuck it all on the bonfire. Not a problem you might think, right up until we “load tested” Dumpys pacemaker, when one of the bags exploded! (I had visions of us having to “do an E.R. job” on our illustrious leader with a set of jump leads & a Vauxhall Corsa battery!) Which Maddie (Weasels daughter) had tried on herself, judging by the state of her hair when she finally arose!
With the tidying up completed, we retired to the bar, and so there endeth another successful Jugsters rally.

 

 The Durham Run 3rd- 5th Nov 06 A.A.R.

Well, this little outing was definitely one which will be memorable, when the gaggle turned up at our house, Dinky-Doo was off the back of Steelys bike before he had stopped & through the door like a heat-seeking missile! (I mean that in both senses of the word, I thought we were gonna have to chisel her off the radiator!) The phrase “I don’t do cold” was about all we could get out of her all fuckin’weekend! After the obligatory cup of tea &10 fags, a quick service on Steely’s bike, running repairs to Doug’s luggage (I want my bungees back you old bastard!) & Jumbo John raiding my wardrobe, we were off oooop north!

By the first stop for a fag & to meet up with Geoff (who couldn’t be arsed to wait!), everyone was askin’ each other“Just whose fuckin’ stoopid idea was this exactly?” (Cue Crip slinking off into the background before anyone remembered, whilst Dink & Shaz stood there shakin’ & chatterin’ like a pair of mismatched love eggs!!)

By the next stop things were warming up (but not enough to placate Dink, who had by then finally remembered whose fault it was!) Crip kept himself warm by dodging the various kicks & insults she was throwing his way! Shaz kept herself warm by quietly seething at the motorway fuel prices & that the bog seat was cold! The rest of us just stood around & took the piss out of Dumpy’s fuel tank capacity, (well it was something to do!)

The rest of the journey was reasonably uneventful (I will skip quickly past the bollockings I got from a, Steely, (the speed filtering.) b, Doug, (not enough fag breaks) & c, Dumpy (overall average speed) to mention the first of the several Team FireBlade fuck-ups that occurred this weekend! Jumbo John won the award for the “most novel way round a roundabout” This manoeuvre had us all awestruck! (I will leave him to explain that one!)

We arrived on site at about half past one after a little “detour” past the site entrance (Ooops, well it would have ruined our reputation if we had made it there without one little fuck-up wouldn’t it!) & promptly drank a full urns worth of tea & coffee trying to warm up whilst booking in! Then we began to set up camp. Where we were then treated to the spectacle of Team FireBlade Fuck-up number II; we had the honour of watching Jumbo Johns bike decide to have a “little lie down” (it was probably tired after such a journey carrying all that weight!) I thought I had heard every excuse possible for a bike falling over until the idiot tried to shrug the blame onto Mother Nature for making “dodgey branches.”

Seeing as John was down in the dumps about his little accident, Steely & Crip promptly set about lightening the mood & giving us a good old laugh with a rendition of the old favourite “putting up a tent without the women!” (It just goes to prove that old adage about an infinite number of monkeys & typewriters!)
Once we had all recovered from that comedy turn, we set off up to the hall in search of a pint, only to be told that the bar wasn’t open until 7p.m. (that didn’t bode well) we were informed that the local pubs were within easy walking distance though! So off we set in search of a pub that one of the East Durham lot had informed Steely was called “The Bare Arse” Well, all I can say is that the locals lied like cheap Japanese watches! (If that was half a mile, I will show my arse in Woolworth’s window!)
It was all well & good for some of us, but I thought we might just have to order a taxi or steal a fookin’ wheelbarrow for the return journey to help some of our less agile members!

1
We eventually found the pub, which actually was named “The Bay Horse” (I suppose the confusion over the name was down to the fact that his lordship was unable to decipher fluent Geordie & the locals do not speak fluent idiot!) and got down to some serious “attitude adjustment” with some of the crew attempting to get from vertical to horizontal at “Warp factor fuckin’ nine Mr Sulu” as the pub didn’t serve food! We then set about impressing the locals with our “formation speed drinking” routine whilst Geoff gave an impromptu display of his “Projectile vomiting” trick just outside the front door of the pub in front of the local Womens Institute tea party!

We were then saved from having to kill & eat Dumpy by one of the locals informing us that the chippy opened at 4.30 & he promptly gave us directions to it. They were, “Just tek yersells oot the dowar, torn left an gaan a wee bit ov a weay fooortha alang the roooede, yers cannit miss It man!” (He doesn’t know the bleedin’ Jugsters then, does he?) Havingkept Steely well the fuck out of this conversation to save further confusion, we went for a bite to eat, (or, as in Jumbo Johns case, a fuckin’ shitload, I thought he would need that fuckin’ barrow) & then set off back up to the site for the evenings entertainment.
Well, I can sum that up in one word SHITE!  (There was less atmosphere than on the moon! Cue for more beer then!) Apparently, the disco they had booked had let them down so they had a substitute in at short notice. But he sort of filled the gap until the band who to be quite honest, I do not remember much of.

As soon as the band kicked off, Noah & the missing 3rd of Team FireBlade (Witty) turned up (he was the reason no-one could remember the rest of the Friday night!) brandishing a bottle of Pocheen & a dopey grin. (This is the main reason no-one remembers Friday night!) The Twisted Sisters promptly embarked on what Shaz later admitted was “not one of their best ideas” & started making their own cocktails containing said pocheen, vodka & red bull (with a drop of Jack, Which they “borrowed” out of Crips Jacket, just to take the edge off it!!!!!!!!)They then started a falling of their chairs competition!
Needless to say, at the end of the evenings entertainment, we all enjoyed the site of those two pissed up bints staggering & falling as they weaved their way back across the field to beddy-byes. (Though Steely had other ideas!) As I was struggling to stop the Ginger Ninja from trying to crawl under the air-bed, I had to laugh to myself as I could just make out the pathetic wheedling of his nibs trying to get his hole, whilst Dinky was grumbling from the depths of her sleeping bag “Fack off! It’s too cold!)

The Saturday morning was a time for miracles, as Geoff (old vomitus maximus himself!) arose from the dead & claimed that it had to have been the proverbial “bad pint” Crip got up before 09.00 (without the aid of wild horses!) & Shaz, (amazingly) made good on her oath to Dink & fetched (and paid for) the teas & Bacon butties as promised as an enticement to get her to go on the rally in the first place!

After everyone had partaken of the excellent breakfast that was available (in John’s case twice) we had a straw vote & decided to go and give Darlington the benefit of our company (or rather their licensed premises at any rate!) 
So, off we trooped, en masse, to the BUS STOP for the ride into town, (with the exception of Geoff & Den who had decided to have a crack at finding Durham instead) to the sounds of Steely grumbling “Big hard bikers! We will never live this facka down if it ever gets out.” To which Dinky retorted” shut the fuck up tosser, it will be warmer than the bike!”

2
 Funnily enough, we found a sympathetic bus driver who took pity on us & just to make everyone feel comfortable, proceeded to drive the bus like a bike! (By this I mean he went off like a racehorse with a pound of tobacco rammed up its arse & took every corner on two wheels!)

Conveniently, he dropped us off at the stop where we would re-embark for the return leg of the “Darlington TT” which just happened to be on the doorstep of a pub so, we nipped in. (Well, it would have been rude not to, wouldn’t it?) We then proceeded to “Sample” the delights of Darlington (through the bottom of lots of beer glasses) at various establishments around town where we were eventually joined by Geoff & Den (Typical Jugsters, they had failed to find Durham!)

We eventually “struck gold” so to speak by finding an ideal pub for our requirements, (seedy as fuck, £1.30 a pint)& started impressing the locals, Jugsters style! 
Just prior to being asked to leave, we decided to go & do a bit of shopping. We visited the shopping centre, where Shaz & Dink tried to wobble off with the credit cards (we had to physically remove them from a toy shop, where they were running amok with a pair of space hoppers & water pistols, shouting “ try before you buy!”)

We then decided to mozy on back to the rally site. So, we headed in the direction of the bus stop with a quick stop at a chip shop to grab something to eat (cue Jumbo John’s 5th meal of the day) then back in the Nags for a quick one whilst waiting for the bus (well, it would have been rude not to, wouldn’t it?) cue the 3rd instalment of Team FireBlade’s fuck ups! Jumbo, whilst STILL munching his way down through the biggest portion of Kebab meat I have ever witnessed, managed to terrify a load of pensioners by dropping & smashing the non too hetero lager glass he had  “borrowed” from the seedy boozer. (Yes, all who were there will remember the glass; the one Steely was drinking from!)

The return leg of the Darlington T.T. was quite amusing as well, what with a slightly tipsy (pissed) Witty dribbling over some poor local girl & Shazza tying the fringes of Steelys jacket to the bus seat. Then, after we had disembarked from said bus, Big, Blonde & Brainless Announced to all present (from behind the tree where he was pissing on his shoes!) “No Facka mentions the bus ride to anyone, I have a reputation to maintain” which prompted everyone to attack him so as he pissed all down his own trousers as well!

The early evening entertainment was a “do it yourself” arrangement as there was none, so we amused ourselves by ramming booze down  our necks like it was going out of fashion down at the tents. Then, lo and behold, Browny turned up, after a rather circuitous journey to the rally!
The actual evening’s entertainment laid on by the East Durham lot paled into insignificance after Browny set about helping Steely get into the “party mood” with a little bit of the old white “chemical enhancement.” Better known as “columbia’s finest export”
Yet again, the disco was a last minute substitute with a record collection that wouldn’t have amused a party of 8 year olds let alone drunken bikers, but it seemed to do the trick for his nibs. Off he went, like a cocaine fuelled jack-in-the-box, dragging poor unsuspecting women up onto the dance floor with him, whilst he “strutted his funky stuff” to such heavy metal classics as “the birdy song” and “agadoo.” And, I ask of those who were present, who will ever forget his moves to that rock classic by S club seven, “reach for the stars”!

3
After he “hit the dance floor” so to speak, the shit hit the fan, big style! We later found out that the woman involved in the incident was a “civilian” (non-biker) and also a card carrying schizophrenic psychopath! Whilst old “John Travolta” was cutting a rug, he inadvertently caused her boob tube style top to fall down! Then, (from what we could make out) when he realised what he had done, he tried to help her get back into it, which she took as him trying to grab her tits & accused him of rape!
Needless to say, things rapidly went downhill from that point. Whilst Crip, Steely & I were carrying out a damage limitation exercise that the Labour party post Iraqi invasion spin doctors would be proud of, the “ladies” set off on a seek & destroy mission to find the crazy bitch and to quote Dinky “give her a fuckin’ good hiding.”

In the course of this, Shazza possibly set the North/South diplomatic relations back a couple of hundred years. On her way back from the bog, some bint stopped her and said “Oh another Jugster, do you want to feel my tits as well?” Shazza thought she had found her target & promptly smashed the “smart mouthed tart” (her words, not mine) in the chops! Ooops! 
(Oh how the Diplomatic Corps lost out when she decided to become a cook!)

It was just some other bint, trying to be funny. According to witnesses, it was hilarious watching her fall on her arse though! (It was reported to have been a fuckin’ good punch, obviously Shazza graduated from the Gordon Ramsay School of charm & catering!)
It turned out that the “psycho bitch from hell” was rapidly escorted off site for her own protection after she & Steely had apologised to each other over this little misunderstanding.

The rest of the evening descended into the usual drunken debauchery for which we are usually blamed, with both Witty & his nibs taking a lie down for a bit, Crip & Shazza playing hide & seek with Witty’s JD bottle, which the East Durham lot were trying to confiscate. Various other members of our happy throng took the opportunity to show the locals just how talented they were & took the art falling of a chair to new extremes of hilarity.

I will skim over the details of the nightly task of trying to get ‘er indoors into her sleeping bag the right way up, rounding up Witty, who had decided to try & molest the sheep in the adjoining field, shouting “come ‘ere ya bastards, I only want a comfy pillow!” & Jumbo John & Noah’s nightly fight for who slept on the uphill side of the tent (for Jumbo it was a matter of comfort, for Noah it was a fight for survival in case Jumbo rolled on top of him!) I will not even mention the pathetic noises coming from our next door neighbours tent as Donna decided to take advantage of Steelys cocaine fuelled vigour! (The only reason she even contemplated these shenanigans was down to the fact that Shazza had bought her a hot water bottle earlier in the day!)
As the sun rose & cast its cool warmth over the horizon, there were signs of life in our area of the field, though, everyone was showing the signs of such an extensive nights partying, but we absolutely amazed the East Durham lot by getting up, packing up & being ready to roll by 09.30 a.m. with the exception of Bungle who just had to go for his third shit of the morning!

Once we were on the way home, we thought we had seen the last of the silly antics of Team FireBlade but we were wrong! After a rather interesting detour (Ahem), we eventually stopped for a Fag/coffee/petrol/piss (and for Jumbo, a 3 course meal) break, Witty’s bike decided (the course of him re-mounting), that it wanted a lie down too!

 

4
He was rescued from beneath his “napping” Blade by Dumpy & Shazza whilst everyone else stood around & offered helpful advice, such as “get some stabilizers you drunken twat”
The blame for this was laid squarely on the shoulders of part of his luggage (the cargo net) taking a liking to his boot heel!

The rest of the journey back to Netherseal was uneventful, & we made it in good time for the A.G.M. much to the surprise of the rest of the club members!
Though this was not the end of the antics of Team FireBlade! Oh no, Crip bless ‘im, had obviously felt a little bit left out of the proceedings this weekend, what with the other two idiots being on such top form. So, good ole’ Cripless, determined not to be outshone, decided to end the rally with a bang (literally!) & promptly “rear ended” Windy Wendy’s car on the way back to the Tavern!

So here endeth the tale of the East Durham Rally, which will be forever remembered as

“The Rally too, Far / cold / drunk / daft / dangerous!”*

 

 

Make a Free Website with Yola.