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June 10, 1997

Leaving Shop and House for Last Time

I'm back in Dundee to clear up things in the house as it's now sold & the new people move in on Thursday. I went into the shop last night for the very last time to check if I'd left anything. Then I closed the door & left. Zamindar is in Camaret, near Brest. I am drinking again & in fact, right now I'm finishing off some Wiznouwka which was in the house. I am happy I guess. The house & the shop are sold, I've got the yacht out of Guernsey & I guess things are pretty good. I really enjoyed being back in Guernsey & it's great seeing all my old friends up here again.

June 20, 1997

In Beaucette Laundry Room

Friday night, Saturday morning.

So I'�m sitting here in the laundry room at Beaucette Marina. I�m waiting for my clothes to finish, then I can head back into town & go to bed. It�s a bit of a damp, miserable night on Guernsey tonight & I can hear the wind whistling outside.

I got back onto the island yesterday morning, & last night Chris & I partied. We went round some bars then got seriously drunk in Follies. I had good reason to as well; I came back to a letter from Deborah (the first for many, many months) in which she told me how much she missed me & how unhappy she was. I was planning to stay with Chris & Paul, but their family were turning up for a holiday. I was, however, saved by Peter Pearson, who offered me the use of a Sigma 362 in QE2!

The drier has just finished so I�m going to leave it there for the night - I did after all decide that I wasn�t up to going out tonight �cos Chris got me up at 9am this morning. Off to bed I go...

June 21, 1997

Out with Mark

So Im driving along the Esplanade in town & someone flashes their lights as they pass me - its Mark, who I havent seen since the evening I left. We stop & decide that going out drinking on a Saturday night has to be done.

June 22, 1997

The Golden Monkey

Anyway, to continue the story... So we meet up & head out into town. We start to consume huge amounts of alcohol & pretty soon we are both having vision problems. Off to the Golden Monkey we go & continue our drinking session. We do some serious grooving to the dance music & as usual when out with Mark, drink far too much.

June 23, 1997

Almost arrested by Harbour Patrol

Im sitting on the ferry, Emerauds Solidor 3, right now heading over to St. Malo. Id gathered together so much stuff to go back to the yacht that it was going to be a serious hassle getting trains & ferries so I bought a five day return for the BMW & myself & decided to take it over. Apparently Autohelm sent a complete replacement set of ST80 instruments over to the island an hour after I left, so Im going to change them over with the set on board & then bring the old set back with me.

Unfortunately theres always loads of kids around when I get ferries & they always seem to end up sitting near me. One of them seems to be unconscious with seasickness at the moment, and wheres she sitting? Yeah, behind me!

Last night I met up with Chris after he finished work, in Christies. He sat down and unable to resist his just when I have a drink cigarette, he had to visit the vending machine. We have our Club sandwiches (would we change?) & a couple of beers, then head back to the boat that Im staying on, Chris giving me a lift part of the way on the back of his bike.

We start playing Diablo, which is really quite scary in the dark, then Chris heads off back to Beaucette. Im just switching off the laptop when I hear voices. Its after midnight, the marinas normally empty at night & I really shouldnt be living there! I kill the lights & listen. They seem to have gone, so I have a look out the port. Suddenly I see two harbour patrol officers walking quickly along the quay! Theres a full moon outside, so I can see them clearly, I watch, & they come down the ramp to pontoon F. Ahh! How did they know that Im here? Did they see a light on? Did they see Chris leave? Theyre obviously going to think that Ive broken in & I cant say that Peter said I could sleep here, so what do I do? I strip down to my boxer shorts as quickly as I can & dive into my sleeping bag. I lie there knowing that theres every chance I could get arrested here, & hope they dont come over to the boat. No luck! Maglites get shone in all the windows, & they jump up onto the deck. Theres no way of locking the companionway & I know they can come in. Looks like theyve gone, I hear one of them say, but they carry on looking & trying to open the boat up. Harbour Patrol, they shout, Anyone in. At this point I know that if I dont answer them & they find me inside they wont believe any story I tell them, so I get up in my boxer shorts, trying to look like theyve just woken me up, & say,
Yeah?
Is this your boat, sir?
No its not, Im delivering it to the mainland first thing in the morning and Ive just been getting it sorted up for the trip.
Who are you doing the delivery for?
Castlemain. Peter Pearson, do you want his home number?
So, they eventually go, & I breathe a sigh of relief. I talked to Peter this morning & apparently they called him & werent happy at all.

June 26, 1997

Mont Saint Michel

Im in Mont St. Michel tonight, about to go to sleep in the BMW in the car park just outside it. I sorted the yacht up a bit then drove over here this evening. It wasnt until late last night that I thought of doing this - DJ mailed me from Melbourne & told me about his trip here & I thought, hey! Its really impressive too - I went on the candlelit evening tour of the abbey which was probably much better than going during the daytime; less busy, no screaming kids & much more atmospheric. They had some quite high tech lighting too - sort of a cross between a nightclub & a church; certainly the first church Ive been into that had dry ice! Its somewhere Ive always wanted to go since I saw it in an Audi advert years ago (I could live there I remember thinking). Its only now that I realise that it must have been somewhere else that was featured in the advert of him driving across the causeway with the tide coming in (the one in Cornwall?) as there isnt exactly a cobbled causeway going to this!

Im sitting here in the car looking up at the magnificence of it floodlit before me. Its starting to rain outside & I can hear the sea roaring not far away. I decided this evening that although I hate tourists & doing touristy things, maybe I should try to do more. One of the reasons that I wanted to do my Grand Tour was to see some of the fabulous & famous sites the world has to offer. While walking around the abbey tonight, the smell of burning candlewax reminded me of fires on the beach at Balmerino; I should make a point of having more beach fires as well.

Todays quote, which is from the new Batman & Robin film: Why do all the gorgeous ones have to be psychopaths? Or is it just me?
Goodnight.

Mont St Michel webcam

June 27, 1997

St Malo Ferry Terminal

I finally decided to order an L series Canon lens on Wednesday, my first. Its about 1000, but the lens test on it classed it as optically perfect. I was starting to see some flaws in the lenses Ive been using & Id really like to manage to sell some of my shots - at least now the only thing that can let me down is me. Having said that I dropped my camera last night on the ground when I pulled my top out of the boot, but it was fine. Felt stupid though.

Im sitting in line at the ferry terminal in St. Malo right now, just waiting to drive on. So far 3 911s & an M3 have come off the ferry from Jersey. I seem to have acquired some degree of fame myself in Guernsey; I was sitting in the Chinese last week waiting for my order when the woman behind the counter mentioned my number plates to someone she was talking to. The other girl then replies, Yeah, hes living on his boat over here.... Customs here took an interest in me & my BMW as well - didnt search me but asked where Id been & how long my boat had been in Camaret. I wonder if Guernsey customs will pull me over this time.
Ive really quite enjoyed this break over in France. Its been really pleasant driving through the countryside & seeing so much more of it.