Saturday, 5 May 2007

Day Three: Dieppe to... Dieppe

I left the French doors (What do they call them I wonder?) onto the gallery open and I'm awoken by the dawn chorus. I'm absurdly warm and comfortable and watch the day develop through the frame of the curtain. Meanwhile Martin uses the single bath-full of hot water that the aging boiler can provide. My swimming-pool sized corner bath is to go unused. I sluice myself with an icy jet from the shower and seethe inwardly.

Like a bleaker version of Morecambe in February

The weather is appalling. The windsock is horizontal and the clouds are shouldering each other aside in their haste to dump icy rain down the backs of our necks. Flying today is as attractive a prospect as eating a spaghetti dinner with John Prescott.

We tinker with the Cub’s radio then put it away and prepare for a day’s R&R.

Lunchtime in Dieppe harbour, and we’re importuned by a restaurateur in a rococo shirt. It’s magnificent – a shiny turquoise-purple with swirls and arabesques of metallic thread. The collar points are half way down his chest. He assures us that our gastronomic perversion is no barrier and cooks us a great leek pie. A few glasses of vin de maison and we’re feeling gloriously relaxed. Martin doesn't drink so he qualifies automatically as nominated driver.

Another great meal. I love this country

Unfortunately the restaurant is closed tonight, and Le Clos Normand doesn’t serve dinner on Mondays. Monsieur avec le chemise magnifique offers to open it for us specially. He’s just flown in from the States and is seriously jet-lagged so we let him off. He recommends the Restaurant du Port.

After stooging around Dieppe for the afternoon we arrive at the Restaurant Du Port. Shirtman has phoned ahead to let them know we’re coming. If anyone ever criticises the French again in my hearing, I’ll hit them. Sadly, the meal is… bad. Adrian’s sea food platter looks impressive, but he reports that it tastes more Birds Eye than briny. Martin and I get some cold boiled vegetables and a plate of soggy chips. Ah well.

See the green phone box on the end? It's less inspiring than it looks
Planning for tomorrow includes the suggestion that Martin or Adrian drives the car so that I can get some time aloft. Now we’re talking.

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