Euro 4, 2012

The Olympic games have lifted off and before they bottom out, I’m already regretting not spending even more of my life online trying to secure tickets to events.

Any event would do – just for clip_image002the experience of actually being there. Instead we’re in a field of our own – and a very nice field it is too, in Brittany. Which as you know, isn’t anything to do with Britain where the Olympics are being held.clip_image004


Here in Brittany the competition for the all-you-can-eat frites and moules evenings is um, heavy? These hungry competitors are unlikely to gain international recognition but they certainly gain something.

clip_image006I tried to get tickets for the Women’s Beach Volley Ball but it was sold out. Quite possibly before I was born. I could have bought tickets from a tout but just as I was imagining it would be a spectacle like this (and why is this spectacle pointing out the obvious?), it turned out it was for the Saudi v. Iraqi teams – so I declined.

clip_image008I’m sure you’ve noticed the fascination the press have for this event is disproportionate to other Olympic events. Why? (I’m seeking journalistic balance), do other events not get photographed in the same way? How about Equestrian events from the same view?clip_image010

Or how about showing the Fencing competition from that angle?

You’ve probably heard about the officious Olympic Games “Brand Police” whose job seems to be to harass old ladies for displaying cakes topped with multi-coloured pineapple rings or for knitting yoghurt in the Olympic colours. But did you know that if you’re in the Olympic Village and fancy some chips/fries/frites, none of the fish and chip stalls are allowed to sell you chips on their own? You have to have fish with your chips unless you go to McDonalds because they are the “official chip maker” for the Olympics. Further ludicrous examples include the use of words such as “Olympic”, “gold”, “silver”, “bronze”, “sponsors”, “summer” and “London” which have been banned from business advertisements so as not to give the impression they are connected to the Olympics. Even pubs can’t have signs displaying brands of beer that are not official sponsors (i.e. anything other than Heineken).

It is a miracle that Britain actually managed to achieve the timely construction of the project. The proposed location was contested for sometime because the site was a protected area and home to the rare plant The Corky-Fruited Dropwort. And if you think I’m making that up, I’ll have you know I’m now the official corky-fruited supplier of dropwort for all the Olympic sites. (Psst!  Want fries with that?).clip_image012

If like me, you joined the 97 trillion others to watch the opening ceremony, I thought it was a stonking television spectacle. But did you notice how thrilled the Queen looked as she watched competitors from all those countries that she used to own waving at her as they paraded past?clip_image014

There have been a couple of official faux pas (as our French chums like to say). The first which nearly caused an international incident, was when a North Korean competitor was “honoured” by the inadvertent use of the South Korean flag. I’ve heard that this is the Seoul reason the official concerned is now looking for a new Korea.


The other one involved Britain’s favourite tennis player Andy Murray who keen to win his first Olympic gold medal, turned up at the tennis venue rather early. (Look at the date on the umpire’s seat).clip_image018


This Polish water polo contestant caught the wrong tube and inadvertently plunged into the shark tank at the London Aquarium. He soon realised that the residents assume that if you’re going to play in their pool, you’re going to provide the balls.

Here’s a question for you: If one synchronised swimmer drowns do the rest have to drown too? And, why at Olympic medal ceremonies do they present the winners with a bouquet of flowers? If you win a prize at the Chelsea Flower Show no-one comes up and gives you a javelin or a sailing boat. Speaking of sailing, the Somalis apologised when it was pointed out to them that Sailing and Shooting were actually two separate disciplines.

clip_image020We’ve been in France for nearly four weeks and all of that time has been spent in Piccardy, Normandy and Brittany. These regions are big on dairy products. What you also see is lashings of campervans bouncing along coastal roads and following each other into supermarket car parks in a sheep-like fashion. Like us they’re in clip_image022there to load up on wine and food. The cheeses from these regions are exceptional and delightfully inexpensive. Coupled with great French bread and a glass of wine this is a jolly nice part of France to hang out in. I confess I do enjoy a glass of red wine each night for the health benefits. The other glasses are for my exceptionally witty comebacks, sarcasm and flawless dance moves.

clip_image026Our preferred supermarket chain is Lidl because it fits in with our mini budget and the products are very good, even if their own brands have strange names. For example, our favourite breakfast cereal is Master Crunch and clip_image024if you’re looking for instant coffee you can’t go past one whose aroma is reminiscent of old ladies. Gran didn’t always smell like that of course. In her youth she was fragrant and overnight she became glamorous. I assume she was shopping at Lidl even in those days.


It’s now clean-up time for the van before it returns to its slumbers in a disused cow barn. But we don’t worry about it. Gran will be there to look after it. Her hat? I think it’s a new product from Lidl called





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One Response to Euro 4, 2012

  1. Exactly what genuinely motivated u to publish “Euro 4, 2012
    | Gruntle”? Iseriously adored the post! Thanks ,

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