What Doin?…..Frenchin’ Day 2

Syd and Jims diary

Day 2

Jim – I didn’t wake up to a cockerel. I woke up to the site of my wife to be’s back as she watched out of the window the cockerel that had woken her up.

Syd – O god what is that noise, where am i? A cockerel? Huh?! This is how I woke up. To be honest I had a little bit of a disturbed night what with my pre-set alarm going off on my phone at half past 3 and Gemma the dog barking at invisible aeroplanes. Now morning avec le cockerel!

Jim – Now, car hire is of course an option but only for people with credit cards it would appear! I being the most blacklisted being in the world can’t get a credit card so there for, no hire car for me! This was circumvented by Adele who is a great friend of Mary’s who simply said “Have my car for the week I’ve got another one!” Talk about my luck changing for this holiday! Alright the cab didn’t turn up to take us to the airport but we got another one and now there is a really nice car in the drive way waiting for our bums on its seats and to whisk us off to unknown lands!

Syd – I also am black listed beyond doubt so therefore I cannot get a hire car either. So the kindness of the people living over here again excels itself to the lending of a free car which we are exceedingly happy about.

Jim – we jumped in the car and Syd drove us to the little village so we could forage for food to fill our stomachs for the coming day. She drove great considering the wheel was on the wrong side of the car and we were on the wrong side of the road. We found the co – op yes even in France the co – op is king lol! Jambon Pain et le fromage simple pleasure but it was great to sit out on the terrace and consume fresh everything! The best thing about France is fresh everything.

Syd – Of course im the only one with proof of an actual driving licence though we both claim to have them so therefore I am driver and this is scary as I have never driven on the damn wrong side of the road before. It turned out not too bad apart from the constant stalling of the car in the most awkward of places but I didn’t kill anyone too much. The only thing I would say is its hard not to reach for the invisible gear stick on the left hand side in these French cars? Made it to the co – op inside we were greeted by a barrage of French through which I stood there goldfish like and a little bit dumb. The woman behind the counter didn’t realise we were English of course and Jim dealt with it with his pigeon French. Breakfast was great thanks for asking!!

Jim – After Breakfast we were told that there were guests joining us for our evening meal and spending the night! This was all good until I heard myself say “Its ok ill cook for all six of us no worries!” What the hell was I thinking! Anyway I asked Syd to come help me shop and she came in the afore mentioned car and we set off for Mirambeau! We went to Super U which is a smallish supermarket where we proceeded to spend a kings ransom on the biggest piece of pork I have ever seen vegetables and all manor of goodies to wow my father’s guests! Super U is much like a Tesco’s just with better food quality larger prices and far far less staff but all this said we managed to buy everything we needed to get the job done! Driving home I had a go at the left hand drive car on the right hand side roads and just drove as I normally do fast and a little erratically but we made it home safe and even managed to take some photos on the way!

Syd – I must say the French super markets are truly excellent the difference in the quality and the amount of food in them compared to England is quite vast. All the fruit and vegetable produce looked immaculate and incredibly fresh. The fish cheese and meat counters were twice the size of the ones we have back at home and have every type of fish and meat you can think of, I even saw a lamb’s brain for sale mmmmm yum!  Another thing we noticed was the complete outrage of the French at Jim’s choice of skin adornment it turns out that tattooing is not seen as ordinary as it is in England!

Syd and Jim – Just to let you know we both bought sunglasses and now look exceptionally cool thank you very much that is all.

Jim – I was a bit worried about Syd at one point as she has completely disappeared! I’m shouting her name and the dogs are chasing about but she was no where to be found as she was Lizard hunting right down the garden! Yes Lizard hunting ill let her tell you,

Syd – Mary gave me an SD card for my camera as I left mine back in England. So now I can take photos and as I had noticed a lizard that lived in a lavender bush on a tour of the garden with Jim’s Dad this had become my obsession to capture this lizard on film or in this case on an SD card.  So I spent quite a lot of time pretending to be a statue holding my breath waiting for the lizard to perform. Eventually I did capture him and you can see the evidence of this in the slideshow at the bottom of this post! My next mission is to capture last night’s ghost mouse also on my camera! Watch this space.

Jim – Finally we get to the end of this busy day but not before the small matter of cooking for 6 people, 2 of which I didn’t know or I thought I didn’t any way! I asked Syd to be my sous chef and we worked well together like an oiled machine and we set about veg and meat both and prepped it all in record time! I was ok with it all timings were all good and cooking was going swimmingly until I realised we had a fan oven and the meat was done way earlier than it should have been! Me being on the ball enough to realise it was done was a miracle so I took it out and set it to rest while I manically ran around trying to hurry the veg along to be ready sometime before the world ended! Its all came together so well im happy to say especially the gravy! I have never made gravy from meat juices and wine before but with a little help from my sous chef (actually she saved the whole thing from being shite) we sat at the table and we ate the best dinner I think I have ever cook! Great time for a bit of luck right!?

It turns out the guests weren’t unknown to me as the man Bob used to sell me fish in Warwick way in London, small world or what?

Syd – I pealed potatoes, that is all!

Tip of the day if you have bitter gravy just add sugar and taste.

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The making of shrimpton

Prawn star

Prawn star

Plucky crustacean of the deep blue sea. Shrimpton finds it hard to stay out of trouble. Ducking and diving through the shipping lanes and reefs. This is one tough prawn with his beady eye on the prize at all times. Lover of the lime light the red hot shrimp is the oceans natural prawn star!!

The making of…. Shrimpton

Shrimpton came to me as a natural progression from previous designs and characters. He was created as a type of henchman character for a mafia style boss of the sea called Strange little fish. Through creating stories and developing various plot lines involving some shady behaviour and a Clam Intelligence Agency. A shrimp with attitude was born.

The original concept was to have a regular prawn sitting in a dark and dingy bar, bent over a beer with nothing much to hope for and most of life gone by, the typical down and out. But Shrimpton grew younger as the character developed and the sketches got stronger. The final design is based on a doodle I drew at work. This in turn was coloured cleaned up and is the shrimp we all know and love today.

Shrimpton has his own range of t-shirts at http://www.bigeyestuff.co.uk.
As well as some of the other characters in the range. Go check them out and make shrimpton the prawn star he is.

There is something not quite right about the prawn!!!!!

Enjoy 🙂

Prawn star!

Prawn star!