The French Connection

It was on a school trip to France when I think I felt connected to one of Big Nick’s friends.

It would have been while we were in year 9 and myself, Big Nick and Mickey G put our names down for the trip. It was a good 7 months before the trip took place and a lot happened in the mean time. Matt had put his name down later as had Danny Mellish which presented a minor issue of who would be sharing rooms together, I can’t recall how the decision was settled  (we probably drew straws) but it ended with Big Nick, Myself and Matt sharing a room for three and Danny and Mickey sharing a room for four with two other lads.

We had quite a bit of fun, with Big Nick and Matt trying to make believe I climbed up the wardrobe and swung off the ceiling beam in my sleep and we later discovered that our room key fitted every door on the floor, so we had great fun rearranging Daniel and Mickey’s stuff. Man, we were little bastards weren’t we? Before you think we got up to any saucy Carry On antics you are going to be disappointed  or possibly relieved.

While on various excursions it was decided that out our trio it would be muggins here who would do all the French speaking, which lead to us trying to buy a watch at the market to deploy my best school boy French. So in my best attempt I asked in French, “excuse me sir,  I would like to purchase….” it was that moment I realised I couldn’t recall the French for watch, so rather then give up I mimed a watch on my wrist and asked for “Un tick-tock.” The market seller looked at me and answered in the broadest Cockney accent I have ever heard: “You wanna watch mate.”

There were various bits and pieces over the course of the visit but the one which also stands in my memory was that we visited onthe Hotel owner’s birthday and the teachers provided us with a birthday message to say to him. We were told it was “we hope you have a very happy birthday and that the forthcoming year provides you with prosperity”, what we were actually saying was “My Haddock is dead, I am very Lonely. Happy birthday, I fart a lot.” Only two students fell for it and luckily I was not one of them, I can’t recall who did but they were both girls in the year below.

After this trip Matt and I got on better, I won’t say we became great friends as we didn’t, but we developed a rapport at least.


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