Day 5: Farewell France

19 Nov

Don’t ever travel with this woman.

For anyone visiting from Six Word Saturday who feels like they wandered in at the end of the movie: you did – this is the last of my posts on my recent trip to France.

I wrote this in my notebook when I got up on Sunday: Going home day 😦

I woke at five a.m., which was really four a.m. because I was still on UK time.  I washed, dressed, cleaned the bathroom, wrote the following day’s two posts and hung around on Viv’s upstairs landing; it is big enough for a thousand books, three chairs, a couch, a table and one sad Tilly.

We had our usual jammy breakfast and left by nine (eight).  We followed the rising sun toward Beauvais Airport; the sun was in our eyes all the way.  Poor Jock and Viv had to drive home into the setting sun.  You can read about it on Viv’s blog.  The journey took four hours exactly, including a ten minute stop to stretch our legs.  We fed French sparrows and marvelled at their lack of fear.  The Hub oohed and aahhed and took pictures at the rest stop but resolutely ignored the sparrows at the airport who were just as cute, but likely to fly into airplane engines if encouraged to hang around. 

The journey would have been dull if we hadn’t been entertained by Jock’s jokes and amusing stories; all-round good conversation; and a jolly old singalong that started in World War I and went on to cover six national anthems, though we did mumble through the Welsh one.


Photo courtesy of Viv


We had a picnic in the airport and enjoyed some smashing sandwiches.  All the way there Jock told us how much he was looking forward to his chicken sandwich, couldn’t wait for his chicken sandwich, loved a good chicken sandwich.  Eventually, Viv broke it to him that we were having turkey sandwiches.  He should have known that, because he was the one who made them.

We had a cup of airport brew, which wasn’t half bad, and then said sad goodbyes to our sweet and generous hosts.  I entitled this post ‘Farewell France’ because I may never get back there (though I sincerely hope I do), but Viv will never be out of my life.  She is warm and kind and funny and surprisingly short – she looks much taller on the internet.  She and Jock are lovely, lovely people (underlined in my notebook).

We queued for forty minutes for passport control, chatting to a woman from Liverpool now living in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  I didn’t know that was a real place; I thought it was just a choochoo.  I learn something new every day.

Our Ryanair flight was late boarding, but not as late as the Ryanair plane next to us, which had to be refueled and was at least thirty minutes behind schedule.  The Hub wanted a particular seat, taking for the photographs of, so we went in the back way and moved forward.  As we sat, an altercation broke out in the next row in front.  A middle-aged woman yelled at the young man, no more than twenty, trying to put his bag in the overhead locker that he was NOT to do that, he was to put it ELSEWHERE because her CHRISTIAN DIOR COAT was in the locker and she was NOT HAVING IT DAMAGED by some oik who didn’t know the value of a £450 COAT was he LISTENING to her he was NOT to do it she was NOT having it what was WRONG with him, the IDIOT her COAT was too VALUABLE.

The oik had not spoken once.  He looked too frightened.  A flight attendant came and the woman went off on another rant.  The flight attendant explained politely that space was limited and couldn’t be utilised to please one passenger.  The woman complained that there was another coat in the locker.  I piped up, ‘That’s my jacket.  I don’t mind it being a little squashed.’  I am writing to you as a shrivelled-up stump of ash.  The woman grabbed her £450 CHRISTIAN DIOR COAT which looked rather like a thin black jacket and which could have been folded neatly over her knee or on the spare seat beside her, complaining loudly all the time.  Other passengers said later that the woman had poked the flight attendant, but I was too busy wondering what was so great about her coat that she had to make such a fuss, to notice.

The flight attendant called her boss but Christian Dior Woman had subsided by the time she had forced her way through the passengers in the aisle watching the scene – and it was a scene; I’ve never seen a scene before but I knew instinctively this was what a scene looked like.  The Chief Stewardess contacted the pilot; the Hub was convinced Christian Dior Woman would be escorted off the plane because the pilot wouldn’t want to risk trouble amongst the passengers once we were in the air.  However, the Hub reckoned without Ryanair’s boss, who enjoys his position as Number One On Time Carrier, and would not have taken kindly to a delay over and above the twenty minutes we were already behind; especially as the plane next door had not yet taken off, despite being scheduled to leave before us.  The Christian Dior Woman stayed on board; the polite oik’s suitcase was put into another locker; and the flight attendant mouthed apologies to the surrounding passengers.

I bet Christian Dior Woman wishes she hadn’t stayed on board.  The polite oik’s female friend was a typical northern lass: loud-mouthed and opinionated (I write this as a northern lass myself).  Throughout the flight she made loud remarks to and about Christian Dior Woman and her coat and her high but apparently misplaced self-esteem.  I was starting to feel a little sorry for Christian Dior Woman, who had engaged in argument for a while but then told Mouthy Girl she was no longer going to listen to her; but then she looked around at the other passengers – all of whom had remained silent in appreciation of the unexpected entertainment enlivening a routine flight – and told us we were all YOBS, UNEDUCATED AND IGNORANT, she was GLAD to be going back to AUSTRALIA where people KNOW HOW TO BEHAVE and couldn’t STAND  such THUGGISH BEHAVIOUR.  Then she put on her black sunglasses (by this time it was night outside) and went to the back of the plane to put her side of the story to the prodded stewardess.  What I found most interesting about her statement about Australia was that she had a British accent.

The seat belt light went on; Christian Dior Woman didn’t sit down until ordered to; the plane landed on time, despite being so late leaving.  Michael O’Leary must have been waiting to kiss our pilot on the tarmac.  Then we waited twenty minutes for the steps to get off.  Trouble flared again between Mouthy Girl and Christian Dior Woman: something about she should get on the phone to her genie to whisk her off the plane ahead of us louts.  Polite oik who, it transpired, was not so polite after all, or else had been encouraged by his mouthy friend, then told Christian Dior Woman she was a c**t.  There was an audible gasp all around, including my own, and then the plane door opened and people disembarked before it turned really nasty.

It was an unpleasant end to a wonderful five days.  Christian Dior Woman brought a lot of it on herself; she was unnecessarily obnoxious: perhaps she likes attention, even if it is negative; but Manchester Youth was not on its best behaviour either. 

I am blessed with great friends: friend A collected us at the airport so we didn’t have to pay for a taxi, and brought along a monster pot of stew and dumplings for our dinner, and…a baguette!

Boys and dogs were waiting with open arms for their presents.  We greeted the dogs outside because Molly has a tendency to widdle in excitement.  She didn’t let us down: she peed on the path, the carpet, the kitchen floor, my jeans and my jumper.  It might have been worse: it could have been one of the boys.

61 Responses to “Day 5: Farewell France”

  1. Susan in SC November 19, 2011 at 14:00 #

    Oh my goodness. That altercation on the plane would have made me nervous. Sorry you had to end your wonderful trip like that.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 19:50 #

      Luckily, it took my mind off my terror of flying 🙂


  2. artjen1971 November 19, 2011 at 14:09 #

    Those “in-flight” movies are great! It’s as though they are happening right in front of you! I’ll have to watch for “uppity-not-so-australian w(b)itch takes on once-polite-but-eventually-resorting-to-below-the-belt-tactics-Manchester-youth” coming to a flight near me!


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 19:51 #

      For your sake, I hope it doesn’t 🙂


  3. Elaine November 19, 2011 at 14:15 #

    I am tempted to carry the photo of CDW with me when I go on flights in future so that, depending on how I feel, I can either avoid her like the plague, or speak loudly as I sit beside her about my Chanel coat* or my Gucci handbag* and my Jimmy Choo shoes* to make her feel envious. Silly woman…

    * in my dreams…


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 19:56 #

      I think she’s rather sad and unhappy, to behave like that 😦


  4. kiwidutch November 19, 2011 at 14:42 #

    Shame on Ryanair for not providing popcorn to go with the show…


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 19:58 #

      We’d have had to pay for it; it IS Ryanair, after all: they want to charge passengers for using the toilet.


  5. mykidzmomnow November 19, 2011 at 14:46 #

    WELCOME HOME! WOW! What a trip home… I would have been rather thuggish.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 19:59 #

      Not a good idea on an aeroplane 🙂 I think those passengers causing a commotion were lucky not be in trouble for it.


  6. vivinfrance November 19, 2011 at 14:54 #

    And I bet you forgot all your fear of flying in watching the rumpus. Thank you for the wonderful press you have given us, though I’m not so sure about that last photo: could you crop me fromnit?


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:00 #

      I did forget!

      I love this picture of you 🙂


  7. vivinfrance November 19, 2011 at 15:25 #

    dash it: from it. For my first wedding, I wore shoes from Christian Dior, which had cost me a month’s salary – our golden retriever puppy ate ONE of them. He survived.


  8. laurieanichols November 19, 2011 at 15:32 #

    Your trip to France was wonderful, I hope that you do it again sometime. Wow for your plane ride home; in all years that I have been flying from New York to Europe and elsewhere, I have never had any scene happen in front of me ever. I’ve had turbulence where the plane and the atmosphere were having their own altercation but never a human one. It must have been a drag on an otherwise glorious time spent with Viv and Jock, I’m glad you are home safe and sound.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:03 #

      Thank you 🙂

      The only other to do I’ve known was a drunk on a VERY turbulent flight from Germany who wouldn’t sit down. The stewardess gave him a right telling off. I don’t think he noticed.


  9. Ron. November 19, 2011 at 15:35 #

    Much as I have (greatly) enjoyed your tale of The French Sojourn, this telling of The Homeward Odyssey is a rip-snorter.

    I’m envious.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:04 #

      Tell me when you’re next flying and I’ll see what I can do. Though you have given up smoking: get you on the wrong day and you can make your own scene 🙂


  10. Dawn @ Guiding Light November 19, 2011 at 15:55 #

    Welcome home! Sounds like you had an eventful time…blessings!


  11. Brenda November 19, 2011 at 15:58 #

    How much fun….now you have enough for more than one post…I’m sure you’ll remember more as the days go by!


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:08 #

      I’ve already written four other posts and got two more planned – and we were there less than a week 🙂


  12. joursdemots November 19, 2011 at 16:06 #

    Wonderful stuff. I hope Australia knows what is about to hit them.


  13. kateshrewsday November 19, 2011 at 16:14 #

    Plane flights 😦 You can’t choose your fellow passengers and they can make or break the time on the plane.

    Glad the rest of the hols were so nice though, Tilly. the pictures are lovely.


  14. gigihawaii November 19, 2011 at 16:26 #

    Sheesh! What a pain in the rear-end that woman was! And I really don’t like loud people, either. Well, at least, you weren’t bored.


  15. SchmidleysScribbling November 19, 2011 at 16:27 #

    Your flight reminded me of a flight I had from Paris years ago. I was a traveling alone and had a jump seat beside my first row single seat. The jump seat was for the flight attendent and faced backward toward the rest of the passenger seats. Some oik (Love the word) sitting in the second row, behind me, pulled the jump seat down and put his feet in it. I mentioned to him the seat was for the flight attendent, so he took his shoes off and put them right back on the seat at which point I told him his feet stank (they did).

    About then the flight attendent came over (we were taking off) and told him he had to remove his feet because the pilot would not leave the ground until she was seat belted. After we were airborne, the flight attendent got up and did her duties.

    The yob behind me began to kick my seat, which he did throughout the flight. I said nothing more, but left my window shade open during the movie which irritated him terribly (and is allowed, BTW).

    At the end of the flight, the attendent came over and asked me in very loud words, “How are you doing.” It was obvious, the crew had seen the fellow’s behavior. Several of them asked me as I got off the plane if I was okay.

    Today, the jerk would be thrown off the flight or banned from flying in the future. We don’t need people like that on flights.

    PS I do not have a Christian Dior coat. Last time I looked they were made in Guatemala or some off coast location and were not well made.



    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:19 #

      What a jerk. But the crew should have asked you DURING the flight, not as you were leaving. 😦


  16. Janie Jones November 19, 2011 at 16:35 #

    Looks from here like you had the time of your life. What a lovely vacation.

    Nothing like someone else’s drama to distract you from the end of vacation blues. What an hysterical story. I would have liked to ask CDW if she could afford a £450 Christian Dior coat why wasn’t she flying first class and purchasing a second seat expressly for the comfort and safety of her precious coat.

    Welcome home.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:22 #

      The thought did cross my own mind… 🙂


  17. Jim November 19, 2011 at 17:06 #

    You had a NICE day for waking up sooooo early! 🙂 I am imagining that Christian Dior Woman has many BAD days and many more to come.
    At first I was thinking that by the time you drove four hours to the airport you could have swum across the channel.
    Happy 6WS! My post has a picture of a dinner aboard the EuroStar.


    • Jim November 19, 2011 at 17:07 #

      We can drive from Houston to Dallas in less than four hours! Or to Mrs. Jim’s birthplace in Louisiana! 🙂


      • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:24 #

        The journey was twice as long as it needed to be because of the flight; we’ll go another way next time 🙂


  18. Karen S. November 19, 2011 at 17:37 #

    You just never know who is gonna be flying with you…but so glad you had such an awesome trip! Lucky you!


  19. misswhiplash November 19, 2011 at 18:11 #

    Coo that was a laugh! What a kerfuffle! I must admit I have wondered why someone who can afford a genuine Christian Dior coat would travel Ryanair..maybe it was picked up at a charity shop or the local flea market!

    I take it that you had a great time..has it given you any ideas of moving to France?


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:27 #

      You have to wonder, don’t you? Maybe she spent it all on the coat 🙂


  20. nrhatch November 19, 2011 at 20:09 #

    Wow! You and Cindy have both witnessed the “best” of humanity this week, eh?


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 20:10 #

      That we have(n’t). And have: Jock & Viv and all the lovely French folk we met more than made up for them.


  21. colonialist November 19, 2011 at 20:14 #

    That beats all the in-flight entertainment I’ve ever had! Are you sure they aren’t extras employed by the airline, like on cruise ships? … Er, nah! Not Ryanair, or you’d have got a bill for it. The language seems, on the whole, milder than what one gets on the TV anyway.

    I have to admit I’m a South African racist. I don’t like Australians. Not even the ones that sound like cultured English.


  22. rumpydog November 19, 2011 at 20:30 #

    What an interesting flight! No wonder pilots want to carry firearms on board.


    • Tilly Bud November 19, 2011 at 22:49 #

      lol! That’s one way of looking at it – misbehaving passengers? Kill ’em!


  23. betty November 20, 2011 at 01:45 #

    How neat to have had that France adventure, but sorry it ended the way it did with that unpleasantness on the plane home. I had to laugh about the widdles from your dog. Glad you and hubby got home safely! Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!



    • Tilly Bud November 20, 2011 at 17:55 #

      Thank you! Here in the UK we don’t celebrate it, but I hope I will someday.


  24. belleofthecarnival November 20, 2011 at 02:05 #

    Au revoir France! Hello England! I would have been very sad to leave…


    • Tilly Bud November 20, 2011 at 17:56 #

      I was, but my dogs (and boys) made it worth the effort 🙂


  25. Piglet in Portugal November 20, 2011 at 10:40 #

    I enjoyed reading this! What an entertaining flight 🙂


    • Tilly Bud November 20, 2011 at 17:57 #

      At least I wasn’t shaking in terror that we would crash 🙂


  26. Lorna's Voice November 20, 2011 at 16:22 #

    An adventure to the very end! Don’t you love being greeted by your dogs? You feel like the Queen of the entire world, not just England!


    • Tilly Bud November 20, 2011 at 17:59 #

      It’s true! There’s nothing like a dog for letting you know you’re the best person in the world 🙂


  27. Gobetween November 20, 2011 at 17:23 #

    Sounds wonderful, it is rare to find such good hosts.


    • Tilly Bud November 20, 2011 at 18:00 #

      It is; that’s why I made the most of them 🙂


  28. Pseu November 20, 2011 at 23:08 #

    Spoiled child. What ever age she was, she obviously got away with it as a child and thinks its OK to behave that way still. Hahaha. I think I would have been terribly tempted just to laugh.


    • Tilly Bud November 21, 2011 at 09:49 #

      I would have too, but there was a nasty undercurrent and at one point she was surrounded by outraged passengers. It could ahve turned into a mob if it had been on the ground.


  29. Perfecting Motherhood November 21, 2011 at 07:02 #

    Haha, the way your story was going, I thought this woman would have been French, in all her rudeness! Who knew Brits could be so rude? Really, I had no idea. My big mouth and I would have been right up her face to put her back in place. I can’t stand bullies and they only get what they deserve in the end.

    I’m glad you had such a great trip to France and I hope you make it back there someday.


  30. eof737 November 21, 2011 at 14:19 #

    At least the drama made for a memorable return home… never a dull moment with you Tilly and welcome back! 🙂


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