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Paris – There And Back Again..

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A few members of the BOAD decided to go and lend some to support to David Hayes in his bout against Jean-Marc Mormeck in Paris on the 10th of November 2007.
We set of in GP’s pristine, unmarked Mitsubishi Warrior at around 5am on Friday 9th November.
With a few hundred miles ahead of us the excitement and banter flowed.
LJ (number 2) decided to put some corn on his laptop and project onto the rear window of the car – sure he must of caused some wagon drivers to have an accident (either on the road or in their pants!)
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We made it more than half way down without incident and stopped for brekkypoo’s at Toddington service Station – Full English’s all round!
As daylight crept in we saw off the final miles in England and Boarded the Ferry with Calais in our sights.
As we hit the French Tarmac a change of driver was called for and Laurence (Number 2) took to the Wheel.
A long drive down the Toll road in France found us in Paris.
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Fortunately we’d packed a TomTom sat nav, so we found the Hotel pretty quickly, although there were a few close calls with the nutty french drivers…
Such as a vespa Moped battling it out with the warrior…
After we’d located the hotel we had to find somewhere half secure to park the warrior, the lack of sleep, need for beer and the crazy little one way roads in Paris all came into play and it took nearly an hour to find a suitable dumping ground for the car.
A brief walk from the car park to the hotel and we’d officially arrived..

Hotel La Bruyere

The hotel was exactly as you’d expect for the price (£20 a night).
Four lads in 2 double beds…wonderful!
We dumped our luggage and put our fancy togs on and we headed out…
A brief chat with the receptionist about where the lively bars were told us that they were about 3 blocks north of where we were, although he did warn us that we don’t really want to go into that area at night as its rife with pick pockets etc….
Anyway we took his advice onboard and duly ignored it.
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The BOAD set a new record for ending up in the seediest, dodgiest place in town.
We had a brief stop in an Irish bar for a pint and then it was off to the dirty bars.
In under an hour of checking into our hotel we were in a strip bar (As the Waa said at the time – we were on our holidays)
Now I’m not saying this place was scary, but 3 of us needed a toilet break – and none of us would venture there on our own….
So 3 of us went for a girl p1ss together.
On our return the over eager waitress had seated us and was taking our drinks order (we’d paid 20 Europe’s to get in and this included the first drink)
the drinks arrived and a brief stage show started and finished…..
Then we were in trouble…..the vulture like strippers had spotted some fresh meat and were circling our way….
there was a brief power struggle to be as far away from the looming toots as possible, to which LJ lost….
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With the predators on the scene they observed the first rule of the jungle….always pick off the weakest of the herd…
With a (dirty) toot sat on his knee, LJ (being nice…it’s nice to be nice) politely offered to buy the girl a drink (this was the first of many mistakes)
The toot taking this (as do the rest of the known world) that he wanted a lap dance promptly dragged him off to what he thought was a secluded area where she started he gyration dance…
A few Minutes later after her (fully clothed) dance he returned with what could only be described as a look of horror and disappointment.
The area she had taken him to wasn’t as secluded as the boy LJ had first thought.
He started to tell us about the wonderful topless dance he had received and how good it was….
When in fact the place he was sat was covered with wall mirrors and we had witnessed his (fully clothed) dance too.
During the Demise of LJ’s funds the other dirty girls had tried to break the other war hardened BOAD’s.

One toot had planted herself on my knee and planted her hand somewhere else (i hope she washed her hands afterwards – lords knows where i’ve been!!)

At this point its fair to say that i panicked….Afterall we were in a dimly lit dodgy club with big meatheads on the door…

In the midst of the mild panick attack i managed to squeak out the words “sorry love, he’s got all my money and i’m not alllowed any in here” pointing towards the next nearest BOAD (in this case GP)

She then made her move on him and was met with the response “Sorry Love – but my wife would kill me”

It was obvious that she’d met her match with us 2 so off she sloped to circle for more carrion…..

Anyway – we finished our round of drinks and left as we weren’t about to waste any more money in that establishment, as LJ had just chinned 100 Euros on his entertainment.
The rest of the night was just the usual – a few more bars and a few more beers….
we decided to call it a night and stumbled back to the hotel – obviously finding a kebab shop on the way….
With the excitement of an adventure in a new city ahead of us we made an early rise on the Saturday and headed out into the big wide world.
With lots of tourist sights on our list to see we headed to the tube station to buy a day ticket and then set off in the direction of the Bastille.
Once we’d seen the Bastille (its just a column with some kinda gold fairy on top of it – dunno what all the fuss is about myself!) we headed in the direction of the nearest bar for a breakfast/lunchtime pint.
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After an hour or so in the bar the BOAD got a hunger on and were in need of a feed.
We set off in (what we thought was) the general direction of our next landmark sight (Notre Dame) and happened across a cheeky little pizza restaurant where we went in and each picked a pizza and a bottle of red wine (mmm Chianti)
The pizza’s arrives and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it as they each had a fried egg in the middle of them….they are a strange lot these European types!!!
A second round of red wine was discussed but we thought we’d better get a hoss on as there was sights to be seen and a boxing match to get too.
On leaving the restaurant we resumed our previous heading towards (we thought) Notre Dame.
After about half an hour of walking we decided to consult the map, as it should only of been a brief 10 minute walk from the Bastille…
In true BOAD style we had head exactly 180 degrees in the wrong direction when we left the Bastille area…
We found the nearest tube station and we were back on track.
As we got of the tube at Notre dame, we looked up the road and could actually see the Bastille in the near distance….about a 5 minute walk away if that….d’oh.
We did a brief circle of Notre dame taking a few snapshots here and there….
After a short while we were all in need of a beer….(its hard work this sightseeing you know!!)
On the way to the (next) bar we came across some sort of weirdo street fair.
At first it just seemed rubbish as it was just some bald geezer talking foreign and laughing…..Okay…?Okay….!
After a few mins of watching this he got on his bike and started doing some *really* good stunt type riding…we left there impressed by it…
we had more important stuff to do, like drinking beer….oh and that boxing match too….
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The Next bar was called Louis XI – this place had a picture of President Clinton hanging on the wall – apparently he’d visited the bar when he came to Paris.
We ordered a few beers and the BOAD settled down for a relaxing drink…after all we had plenty of time to get to the boxing, somewhere around 3 hours..
The Waa and Myself we starting to feel the effects of no sleep and lots of ale, so we each ordered a large Cappuccino.
The drinks arrived and after about 5 mins of digging through the froth with a teaspoon we finally hit the coffee….
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At this point, purely as a point of memory, the likeness between the a cats anus and the end of a hot dog had us all in tears laughing (I suppose it was one of the things that you really had to be there to get!! Either that or we’re just a bunch of weirdo’s!)
As time slipped by along with the good times – the boxing event started without us….(not sure how that happened, it was 3 hours off 5 minutes ago!!)
We speed a hasty retreat to the tube station and boarded the next train only to find that the line we needed was closed for renovation. We legged it off the train and to the nearest taxi rank, where we Queued and waited.
When the taxi arrive ( a usual sized car) all four of us tried to enter the taxi, only to get the door slammed in our faces, they don’t like more than 3 in a car there…
So it was back to the queue to wait for a larger car.
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Eventually one turned up and we were off to the boxing…
After showing the taxi driver the ticket with the address and also saying “we want to see the boxing” several times slowly and clearly in English (that’s how you speak French isn’t it??) we were on our way.
We got to the event and it was an impressive sight, with flood lights creeping all over the building, and a large laser flicking about with the dom king logo.
We got in and tried to buy a beer, only to discover that we had to firstly buy a drink voucher from the other side of the hall before we could start supping again..
Anyway, we got seated and watched to undercards and before we knew it the main event was on…
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I won’t bore you with a blow by blow account of the fight, all you need to know is that the English bloke chinned the French geezer (in his home town – he he – what a loser)
We left the arena and sniffed out a bar where we had a few beers and a rather nice steak.

Gp, who had reached and breached his limit of large whiskeys decided he wanted to tell us about his great new idea he’d had…

To set the scene, just picture Dragons Den….

Gp set off explaining about his wonderful new project – It was basically a large sheet of material, with lots of “legs”  that when inflated over a large jet engine (to provide an updraft of warm air, would fill out and provide a marquee like covereing for events such as weddings etc.)

It was around this point that we all let GP know where we were……we were out…..!

He seemed puzzled with the complete lack of interest???

Although I think he understood where we were coming from when we said…..why not just replace the jet engine with some sort of large pole…..and maybe call it a Big Top Tent…… or indeed a Marquee….

Anyway, after a few more drinks (we were in there for a few hours) we ambled back to the hotel for the second night of parisian sleep .

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Another half decent timed start to the next day meant we had plenty of time to see some other sights, such as the Eiffel  tower etc…
After much fannying about we had to find our way back to the warrior to drop our bags off….
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Now in true BOAD style, we then decided to leave the warrior where it was and commute across town to the Tower on the tube (don’t know why we didn’t just drive there – oh yes I do….we’re eejoyts!)
we got nearish the tower and found a bar where we settled down for a few drinks and a spot of lunch.
We all got something semi sensible – apart from the Waa….
Being in a different country etc he wanted to sample some home town dish….His choice was porc de fumer – smoked pork….
A more fitting translation would of been “rotting dead pig that I found in the gutter, quickly rinsed and then micro waved for 2 minutes”

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Seriously….this was, without doubt, the single worst thing that I have ever seen served up on a plate….(And I’ve seen the boy clive puke on his dinner and carry on eating!!)
To be fair, the Waa did well to even meet this dish eye to eye (I’m sure it was winking at us all!!)
The lil French waiter dude found this all truly amusing, and could not make eye contact with any of us without totally losing control and laughing…
After that trauma we ambled down towards the tower and all took a few snaps…
With time ticking we decided to head back to the warrior and get on our jolly way back to the homeland…We had planned (but not booked) to stay in Margate, to mirror Only Fools and horses jolly boys outing trip.
As we set off with our new driver (The Waa) we had our route laid into the sat nav and we were off…
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One thing that I had forgotten to mention was that I had set the arc de triumph in as a waypoint.
Now this place is seriously nut if you drive to it…..it’s basically a 10 lane roundabout, with absolutely no road markings or rules….it really is every car for themselves….

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As I’d been before I knew we were getting close, so I started to Hum the French National Anthem..
Gp cottoned on straight away and as we went round the corner, so did the Waa….

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arc de triumph

There it was, looming ahead of us…..Waa made a valiant attempt and got onto the mad roundabout….within seconds we were off again and he was calling us a few choice words….
Little did he realise that he had got off the roundabout way to early and had to do a U-turn and get back on it….
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Everything went fine (for Us passengers that is!!) and in a short time we were heading north again…..
Half way up the toll road we decided to add another country onto our list – as the Belgium Border was only a short distance from us we nipped across the border and  made a stop at a town called Poperinge..(plenty of history in the village from WW1)
By this time we had pretty much missed our ferry place that we had booked so we had a beer and relaxed for a while.
After the pit stop we set off north again, and before too long we’d gone through adinkerke and Dunkirk and were back in Calais.
We made a stop at a wine warehouse and loaded up the warrior with crates and crates of the red stuff.
As we work on BOAD time, the ferry we’d booked had already set sail (some 4 hours before we got there!!)
The cupid stunt that was in the check in kiosk made us stump up another 50 odd quid so we could get the next boat home…..
It was around this point that 3 of the 4 decided to form a cunning plan…
As the Waa was driving – he obviously wasn’t allowed to have a drink….”Operation Cowhide” (leathered) was formed ad put into action….
It wasn’t really a complicated plan….it just involved the rest of us drinking as much as we could in a short a time as possible so that the Waa would have 3 dribbling eejots to contend (we hadn’t booked any accommodation and it was around 10pm by now)
Best efforts were made, although Lj tried too hard to get GP hootered by constantly topping up his already large whiskey.
GP admitted defeat and said he couldn’t drink it that strong, so LJ offered to swap his drink with his own, which GP accepted…..
After 2 mins of devious planning a new plan was formed….this simply involved distracting GP long enough to swap back their drinks….needless to say the plan was executed successfully…
We disembarked the ferry and promptly found a holiday inn or some other hotel chain and booked in.

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It was at this point that the pristine unmarked warrior received its first battle scar….
As the Waa was reversing into a tight parking space I offered to watch him in.
Obviously being a proud (and stupid) BOAD, he declined the kind offer and promptly hit the solid square Post behind….

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We enquired as to where the bars where and what time were they open until, only to be answered by disappointment…as it was Sunday they would be shut about 5 mins ago….
So we all called it a night.
We’d booked breakfast so we all made the effort to get up and made it to the restaurant with loads of time to spare (around 10 mins before it shut)
We filled our boots and set off, homeward bound….
The final leg of the journey was pretty uneventful….apart from me trying to get the warrior to flip over by doing 80mph round steep corners…

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All in all it was a belting trip…..one I won’t forget in a long time…..Never laughed so long and hard in ages

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Here’s to the next BOAD road trip…

BOAD Neet

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After great deliberation BOAD Neet (Yorkie) has been restored to it former position of Wednesday having been moved to Thursday for a variety of reasons. To mark the occation several BOAD member ventured owt and toasted the occasion with a bottle of the good stuff and Absinthe chasers! A full report will follow once my hangover has done one! Â

The Good Stuff