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Reminiscing THE Toulouse weekend of 2008

Last time I was here in the pink city I was with a whole bunch of friends. The memories I hold dearly as it was, in my book, my favourite foreign Bath Rugby away trip to date. Sadly so many of us have not travelled en masse since. Life has moved on, priorities have changed for so many. For some of us tho, they have not!

For those that were with me on the weekend I thought I’d take some time to reminisce for a moment and list the memories that will make many giggle, and bring back what I hope will be for them too, many happy memories.
Ring of fire – da da da dadadada daaaaa
Meeting Peter & Andrea for the first time
Meeting Nick, Dick & Vince in the German blue berets brought especially for the trip (now sit almost next to my season ticket seats & wavers of THAT massive flag!!
Hearing all about how Nick’s wife was throwing empty beer cans at the tv in frustration with the ref during the match
Meeting Ellie’s Greg properly for the first time
Their flicking the bird game from anywhere & everywhere
Jim’s Angels
Running away from freaky Bath supporter in Frog & Rostbif ALL evening
Taking pictures of Lousia chatting to jandarniere!
Glow sticks
Pea flicking & trying to get photos of them coming out mid air
Rich ‘pole dancing’ in Frog & Rostbief
Rich being filmed for French TV prior to the match in full gear
Nick being interviewed & responding in pissed French for French tv
Drinking the bar dry of: Magners, White Wine & Corona
THAT conga line which included the bar staff at the end which we only realised having led it outside, down the street & turning round
Being spotted on TV & getting a mass of texts from back home of people spotting us
That tackle on Butch which did so look like he was dropped on his head
‘Racing’ each other on the merry go round in Place du Wilson
HGs sleeping position & me re enacting it
Ellie faces
Jizz hands
Licking the ice cream plate clean – tut tut
Finding the French version of Diagon Alley down one of the back streets in Toulouse
Seeing people wearing the ‘eye heart Bath Rugby’ t-shirts we created
Being the FIRST person to spot a ‘stranger’ wearing one and scaring the crap out of her with our squeals
Paddy’s one liners – fluffy dirty springs to mind only at the moment! Can’t think of the others at the moment
Those grapefruit glasses I now have on permanent loan from James – stupidly failed to bring them this weekend.
Hearing about Jock’s visit to the Red Light district whilst he was talking to us with his hands down his joggers – eeeewwww
Being given a very smelly drunk old man’s Toulouse shirt – didn’t have heart to say no as he was so adamant I had to have it. Washed as soon as I got home and donated to the next SOS Kit Aid collection!

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Bear Hug Heaven

After a fairly decent flight, the success at Heathrow of getting all the Hen Party stuff through Security as hand luggage and not letting the cube with THE dress, appropriate bra & fat pants in (I kid you not) & of course my Bunny leave my sight and literally NO sleep, I finally made it to Durban to be greeted as soon as I got off the plane by a waft of hot air. It certainly didn’t do that when I landed in Jo’Burg a couple of hours earlier! We were inside too!!

The cube with THE dress, underwear and Bunny in!

The cube with THE dress, underwear and Bunny in!

Oh good god I’m going to spend the majority of the week sweating, beats freezing I guess like back at home! Waiting for the luggage to arrive (with fingers crossed & begging for it not to have got lost on route) I ‘slipped off’ the oh so attractive DVT socks – I really have no idea why the hell some bright shmuck has put L and R on the toes but then I did buy them on the way back from Australia in the summer. (Incidentally, did you know I went on the Lions Tour?!?)

I spotted my La as soon as I got my big bag and headed for the exit doors. My heart rushed to my mouth as I tried a faster pace with but with my two roller bags and my big ‘hand bag’, I’d say, as I’m now in Africa, that I had about as much grace as an elephant running (ie ALL OVER the place). Let go of everything for THE biggest and THE best bear hug EVER. I think we both even managed to squeeze out a tear or two!! It was just amazing, amazing, A-MAY-ZING to see her & have our pined for hugs we’ve been Whatsapping about for months. We quite possibly could have been stood there for a whole while longer, but we were kind of blocking the exit! That welcome & that emotion of seeing her. That was worth the ticket price alone. Never mind the ‘real’ reason as to why I’m here!!

We already had jobs to do with a trip from the airport straight to La Lucia Mall (yes I’m sure I looked & smelt a beautiful sight having been in the same clothes for the last 24 hours). The vest top purchased at Heathrow in Fat Face suddenly became the best buy ever as I had a quick change of top in the car park (with a fair few onlookers). One of the things I guess I learnt at Boarding School (AKA the institution) was the ability to dress & change with out displaying any ‘bits’. Job done. It wasn’t just a shopping trip though we were there to look at a sample of the table displays for next weekend & to buy a fan for my room – I needed one there & then, I tell you I was frickin melting by this stage and I’d only just arrived. It was, to my credit, 33 degrees so I think I had literally every right to feel a wee bit ‘glowing’!! We caught up with La’s folks too there who had only arrived last night from Botswana (& without their bags, I’d have been spitting chips hey! And of course Ray who chipped up just in time to see the arrangement for the centre pieces of the tables.

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A sample of the centre pieces for all of the tables, created on an oasis on driftwood that La & Ray had collected from the beach

 

Back at home I got to meet the doggies – Kye and Luna, Jack Russell’s as divine as anything and, as warned, absolutely no knowledge of personal space!! But I’m an animal & kid lover – it doesn’t phase me & they both calmed down after the initial MASSIVE excitement!

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Kye and Luna on one of the charis in the flat

 

Vienna: 19th February 2004

I got up when they left this morning as I wanted to have a relaxing shower again but I also wanted to make sure that I was going to make it to the Spanish Riding School in time to see the practise in case there was a massive queue.  I had a tiny bit of trouble in finding it as what I thought it was turned out to only be the museum for it which in the guide-book it says not to bother with. After a couple of wrong turns though and a bit of asking I managed to find it. Of course it set my nose and asthma off but I really enjoyed it.  Having been to the digital shop to find out why my camera wasn’t working before I came out (to establish that the batteries weren’t strong enough, how stupid did I feel!) I was now able to snap away to my heart’s content which was great. I have since managed to drop my ticket to get in and so I couldn’t stick it into the diary but luckily I got some postcards whilst I was there – only thing that I seem to have been buying!

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The flags that you can see just under the gallery weren’t all up but other than that it looks the same! I got a text from Tom wanting to know if I fancied meeting for lunch today as I was feeble and didn’t bother yesterday as I was in the middle of a gallery spout and so after finishing watching the practise at the Spanish Riding School I headed off to meet him. Some of the horses were huge and I think that Mum and Dad would have loved it. I can’t remember if they said that they been here before or not. I shall have to remember to ask them when I get home.

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I really regretted not bringing any gloves as I was walking to meet Tom for lunch my fingers were freezing.  I just tucked them up inside my jacket as compensation. The cafe that we went to Tom had previously mentioned and it wasnt actually that bad. It was a traditional style coffee-house.  Thank god the menu was in English as well as German as I decided to order a coffee whilst I waited as I was a little early and so I had a look at the menu – I changed my mind though after looking at the menu and had a traditional Viennese hot chocolate instead which was blooming lovely.  It had cinnamon and vanilla and loads of whipped cream (well spray cream I think is probably a better way to describe it!) so it didn’t actually taste that warm. I texted Tom to let him know where I was in there as he may not have found me straight away as I was almost hiding! Just as I texted him he appeared from behind the coat rack that I was sat behind – timing or what!

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Tom left to get back to work and told me that the Haus der Musik which was a * in my book, meaning one of the things that I wanted to see was just up the next door street and so I decided to head there for a quick visit before heading on anywhere else.  It was just behind the good old Irish Pub from the first day – anyone would think that I was obsessed by that place.  But anyway it was really modern inside but I had clearly timed the whole thing very wrong as there was a bunch of screaming kids in there at the same time who must have been about 48 I reckon. It was a very interactive place but they were always on everything which really was rather annoying and they were so loud and badly behaved so I made sure that when ever I walked past someone who looked like their teacher I shook my head and put my really annoyed face on. I did however make quite a funky CD which I did by adding bits and pieces together and even myself humming on it.

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