Scarlet and the Golfers

Scarlet and the Golfers

The Cast:

Snow White – played by Scarlet Jones

The Seven Dwarfs – following the tradition of my blog they have been given alibis – which will also avoid the little problem of who should be allocated the name of Dopey.

  • Golfer Number 1
  • The Professor
  • Gel
  • The Jezter
  • Sneezy
  • Fast Car Driver
  • Tango Man

Once upon a time, early one morning, huddled in a driveway in the Kentish drizzle,  Scarlet was introduced to the Seven Dwarfs.  Cupping mugs of hot tea the group re-established old acquaintances with insults and jibes

I already knew four of the dwarfs and I was relieved to discover that the other three were just as nice, all with the same crazy sense of humour.  Downing our mugs of tea we piled into the cars and set off at a rate of knots for Dover and the ferry.  The duo in the fastest car with the satellite system promptly ignored directions, separated from the convoy and set off along the wrong motorway in what was to be the norm for the whole week.  Despite having the satellite system they continuously sped away from the convoy – not so bad in the UK but it would be a bigger problem in France with no road maps between the group.

We managed to meet up at the ferry port and got ourselves on-board for the crossing and the subsequent drive down through the foggy French countryside to the tiny hamlet of Manninghem near Montreil-sur-Mer – about an hours drive from Calais.

our little pad in the French countryside

our little pad in the French countryside

Golfer Number 1 had struck gold with the gite.  Sleeping up to sixteen there was ample room for the eight of us in the rabbit warren of rooms, which included a games room with billiards table and table football, four bathrooms a huge kitchen and large gardens.  We excitedly explored the farmhouse accompanied by much swearing as we repeatedly bashed heads and other parts of our anatomy on the low beams, narrow staircases and jutting chimney breasts.

Five of us then piled into the fast car for what should have been a twenty minute jaunt to the supermarket but turned into an epic hour and a half tour of the area.  My sides were aching from laughing as we hurtled up lanes only to find ourselves coming back on ourselves ten minutes later.  The Professor disappeared into a church for ten minutes – claiming he went to ask the priest for directions but we reckoned that he popped in a quick confessional whilst he was in there, he took so long.  I would like to know how ‘go straight along this road’ computed as ‘turn right’ to Fast Car Driver but myself, Gel and The Jezter who were all squooshed into the back couldn’t speak for convulsing with laughter, whilst in the passenger seat The Professor tried to hold it together as kamikaze oil tanker drivers attempted to shave off layers of paint as they hurtled past us.  We finally found the supermarket (the wrong one as it later turned out) and bought provisions of milk, bread, nibbles crates of beer and wine to keep us going until I cooked the dinner.

That first meal of chilli, rice and nachos was surprisingly edible and to my surprise they wolfed down the lot.  Maybe they were just starving after a long day but I shall credit it to mine and Tango Man’s cooking skills.  The guys all settled down for an evening on the Wii – until The Professor realised that he had left a small but vital piece of kit home.  Personally I reckon his kids hid it from him in retaliation for him taking their Wii away for a week but without the Wii everybody settled down, dotted around the huge living area in groups, listening to music, chatting and playing card games. Tango Man who towered above everybody else and was very much a man’s man commented on the work of art that was the lace curtains and provoked a conversation among some about the art of lace-making.  I felt as if I had been dropped into a surreal parallel universe.

Tango Man - his identity has been preserved

Tango Man – his identity has been preserved

The next morning with Gel announcing that the monsters in the shower were not spiders but housemates, Tango Man, much to my disgust, produced an amazing breakfast as he set the bar very high for subsequent days. They took ages loading the car with the paraphernalia that goes with golf and eventually set off to their first golf course.  I was disappointed to discover that there was no internet access, but after tidying the farmhouse and prepping the tea I settled down to my writing.  Later in the afternoon I welcomed them back with cold beers at the ready as they hi-ho’d their way home after a long day on the greens.  It only needed bluebirds and butterflies fluttering around my head to complete the scene.

After dinner on that second evening the living room resembled a nursery school with the guys fighting and jostling for place in front of the TV as England were due to play.  If anybody dared to go and fetch another beer or pop to the loo, their seat was taken as everybody dived for better viewing positions.  Eventually, fed up of being relegated to the corners, The Professor, Golfer Number 1 and Sneezy moved the table out of the way, picked up one of the sofas and plonked it right across the middle of the room.  Bearing a loose resemblance to a cinema, they were now all relatively happy.  Fast Car Driver and The Jezter cosied up in the back row and they all settled down with their beer and nibbles to jeer rowdily at the screen, breaking at halftime for snacks of cheese, crackers and more beer.

The following day I was allowed out of the house and I went with them to the golf course at Le Touquet.  I had visited the town a couple of years before, having rented a gite in the same area one Christmas, so I walked the three kilometres into the town from the golf course, feeling like Little Red Riding Hood rather than Snow White as I wound my way through a little path in the forest to the town.

The beach at Le Touquet

The beach at Le Touquet

Avoiding the wolves I arrived safely at Le Touquet and reacquainted myself with its little shops and the enormous expanse of beach where land yachts were charging around in the howling gale and then after spending fifteen minutes in the street stealing wifi from a butcher’s shop I went and found myself a bar.  Following the example of the French, I ordered a beer and sat at my laptop, pleased to have found free wifi, and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.  Unfortunately, beer on a (mostly) empty stomach got the better of me so when the dwarfs finally tracked me down after their game of golf they were not too hopeful of a decent evening meal.  I think that I managed to amaze them by holding it together until after the meal but I vaguely remember being fleeced of my euros as they took advantage of my lack of concentration during the card game Chase the Ace, however it is best to gloss over the rest of the evening!

Attempting to produce a full English breakfast for eight with a storming hang-over was not the wisest move but I made it without the vodka making a re-appearance and I quickly packed them all off out so that I could have some peace and quiet and could lie down in a dark room.

This was to be Golfer Number 1’s pretend birthday (his official one was to be the following week) so I hung some balloons up and stuck some candles into some little buns on a plate and once they had all arrived back we decided to go to the local motel/pizzeria for a meal.  My choice of fashion – a maxi dress and flowery baseball boots – was met with complete derision by these obviously not so men’s men as we set off down the road but I had the last laugh when we had to stumble back home along the lane in the pitch black.

The dwarfs’ final day on the green started off quite damp and drizzly.  I remained home, cleaned the gite and made a warming beef stew for their dinner.  We received our security deposit back the next morning and we set off in convoy for the ferry port – making a detour via Wimeraux to collect a refund of some golf fees which had been overcharged earlier in the week.

Following a group hug  we all got into our respective cars for the final leg home in the UK.  I had a brilliant week with a fantastic group of blokes and I was very sorry to leave them as we said goodbye but after just one night in Kent I would be setting off for Stanstead airport early the following morning.

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