Houlgate Plein Vent: 25-27 April 2014  
  Webcam     www.plein-vent.fr
At least it was warmer than 2013!!!        

Departed Portsmouth ( Webcam) on Thursday 24th April @ 08.15 (early start for Keith tee-hee)
Six hours on board ship... you may wonder what mischief we found to keep us occupied for that long...
Arrived Caen Ouistreham ( Webcam) @ 15.00 and drove 16 miles to Houlgate for "moules et frites"!
You gotta watch this pretty video - Click Here

This year the GOGs stayed at the Centre Sportif de Normandie as well as at CPCV
Bienvenu à Houlgate!
We believe this was a deliberate ploy to reduce the risk of snore-induced earth tremors!

Keith had an idea for a little Git-style competition...
"Look for this street sign - first person to find it wins a GOG spot prize!"

Well... they might have done, if somebody had remembered to bring it...

Some brief notes about what occurred - photos and more reminiscences to follow...

Well, that was one LONG weekend that will be remembered for a variety of reasons!
The rain, she rained... the sun, he shone... the wind, he blew (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot)
There were times when our gazebo (kindly provided by Houlgate Plein Vent) was full to bursting
with people sheltering from heavy rain - and this was when our new friends Lutz & Lotte Treczoks
brought out bottle after bottle of eggnog (advocaat) and cheered up all of us!
- but then he also brought round the eggnog when there was no rain, and on several other occasions
which for some reason are slightly blurred in the memory now...

Special thanks also to Christophe & Laetitia Beauducel for their home made cookies,
their beautiful orange & grey collection of kites, banners, fish & animals,
not forgetting their 2 delightful children - all attired in matching orange waterproofs!

Thursday morning - WELL before sparrow fart, on the road to 07.00am rendezvous at Portsmouth Aldi
before joining the queue for the Mont St Michel where we enjoyed a (slightly reduced) FEB.
FEB on board

Minkey and his nuts

sea chart

Thursday evening - we headed straight for Rue des Bains looking for "moules et frites"
we started at Le Globe - got in a round of much needed beers and only then studied the menu...

"Zut alors - il n'y a pas de moules!" ... blessed place has turned into a burger joint!
Drink up and move on - back to the restaurant that served us so well last year

Le Marigot made us all welcome and even helped pull Alan's buggy up the entrance ramp!
So we order another round of drinkies, and study le menu... still no moules... what's going on?

We decided to stay put and make the best of what was available - and it was LOVELY
inside le Marigot
We had some of the best food we had ever seen in Houlgate - delicious thick Teriyake beef
and Filet Mignon steaks (medium rare, which we would would never have normally) helped down
by several bottles of the "vin blanc de maison". We must have made a good impression, as
M'sieur Le Patron left a huge bottle of Calvados on the table, and we didn't ignore his kindness!!!

Friday morning - First job - assemble the GOG "Absent Friends" Memorial Bench in our gazebo
memorial bench engraved back rest

Next- we set up shop... feeling just a little fragile... time for a brew!
Git Gazebo

And then a few Linda banners, and "Uncle Ron" specials - lovely!
Git Gazebo with Linda banners and Ron Dell mementoes

Jacqui's wine box disintegrated in one of the several rain showers - so we improvised!

We managed to find our way back to "our" little supermarket (now changed to Carrefour) and stocked
up on comestibles including a typical Git stockpile of milk, biscuits, teabags, coffee & white port.

Keith found a new friend with similar extreme views on fashion and hair styling...
Keith and Lutz
NEWSFLASH... Lutz has since suffered a major stroke - please follow the Facebook link
below and send him a message of support along with a "Thumbs UP" photo - Thumbs Up for Lutz

If you can afford it, please consider buying some of his stuff
ALL of which has to be sold to raise money to pay medical bills...
Items For Sale Here

  It is with heavy hearts that we must record the passing of this fine man on 15th June 2016, 
 following a second severe stroke. Our hearts go out to Lotte and their three children. 

"If you seek his monument - look to the skies"

Friday evening was fun - this time we got our "moules et frites" at CPCV along with all our new friends
- and many old friends too - Minkey was kissed & fondled in ways that would make a maiden blush!

That's quite enough of THAT, thank you Claude!
Poor Minkey hit the bottle and was soon dancing on the tables (again)...

The British contingent really impressed with their prowess in making paper aeroplanes
out of paper table mats - and lobbing them through that window on the right!

Saturday morning - young Mr. Beauducel introduces his Minkey to Jacqui
with our Minkey and new assistant GOG mascot, Dudley (the Brummy donkey)

Check out the beautiful orange & grey "Poulpie" and Megamon!

More beautiful items in orange & grey - seahorse & shark!

Peter's train of 12 dolphins (only 8 in sight) - before it was hit by a squall and was scattered for half a mile

Saturday evening - was great - off to the Casino for a 3 course meal and much jollification

- we introduced our friends to the joys of rocket ballons, which caused great hilarity!

- not sure what they thought of the lasers, but we enjoyed them!

Afterwards, we wrapped up warm and all headed down the promenade to the display arena to watch
the night flying. Nice music, and some neat formation flying , but illuminations a little disappointing
this time - Last year they used follow spots to illuminate the kites - but this year the kites had white
marker lights on board & the only ground illumination was a dozen "moving head" disco lights,
synchronised to the music, but not targeting the kites, and frequently shining in our eyes.

Megamon by Christophe Beauducel

We made our own contribution to the night, shining laser patterns on the sea-front buildings
and handing out lots of LED finger lights to the children passing by, which they seemed to really enjoy!
The local (teenage) lads were much more restrained, so when we started lobbing Cyalume light sticks,
it was the little kids who ran to grab them off the beach, while "The Lads" just looked on!
We did our best to scare them - but they just looked confused!

Sunday morning - two goldfish and an 'Ugly Face' in the sky over Plage Houlgate - the goldfish
flew surprisingly well for a 'cheap & cheerful' Ebay item - we hope to get a whole shoal.
- all went well until a sudden lull, when Dicky's fish went for a swim!

When the weather chose to be kind, it was very pleasant!

Lutz, Jacqui & Lotte - with Jacqui's Cody, designed by Lutz and now modified and signed by him as well!

Meanwhile - one particular GOG and 2 Camp Followers were displaying unexpected wisdom...?
3 wise monkeys

Sunday evening - we chilled with our friends at CPCV, networking, nibbles & drinkies in reception,

then more food - salad starter, chicken in creamy mushroom sauce with potato boules,
then a nice bavarois followed by a fight for the cheese board!

Monday morning - Squeezed Alan's buggy back into Keith's van, along with a mass (or mess) of wet
ripstop and a few kilos of coarse sand, then off on a 'Magical Mystery Tour' in convoy with Andrew
& Sandra leading the way, followed by Peter & Jacqui to a 'Fromagerie' at Livarot which had a very
impressive shiny, automated production line and splendid visitor's viewing gallery where we could
observe the whole process (très hygienique) before buying some smelly "cadeaux pour nos amis".

"Well Done" to Fromagerie Graindorge for splendid disabled access, wheelchair lifts & ramps.

Final stop was the Carrefour hypermarket at Caen, for cheap bubbly, sweeties and picnic lunch fodder,
before dashing round Lidl looking for something that might have been seen recently at Aldi (don't ask!)
and then down to " Port Angleterre" to queue for "Normandie".

Facebook Albums by:- Keith + Sandra + Andrew Scott + several Gits + Collin Marshall,
and with their kind permission... Houlgate Plein Vent © Jean-François Baulon
and finally, some splendid KAP © Michel Dehaye

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