The Diaries that started it all....Charlotte's Baps 2002

Hello good people,

I apologise for the delay but I am in the middle of a brief but bloody skirmish with British Gas.(but that's a different story!!)

Anyway, when Annette had finished unpacking all the "pots & pans" and things that go bang,(don't remember packing any Steel band equipment but must have done) I decided I couldn't sleep in the day time either. My suggestion that Annette join me on the bed to relax a while was also fiercely rejected as she was still cold stone sober!

It was not meant to be anyhow because shortly after I had splashed some old water on my face to force my eyes open in toddled "Minime" complaining that Andrew snored louder than mom and that he wanted a cup of tea. So we all had a civilised cup of tea and a nose at the WW1 book collection that would in all likelyhood put the Central lending library to shame.

At this point I wish to pause and do a quick flash back to our arrival at the farm as I feel I have omitted some important part of the narrative but if it feels disjointed and disorientated then you will get the real feel of fatigue that was with us for the best part of two days on our arrival.

Be that as it may, Andrew had been keeping up a furious flirtatious stream of e-mails with the lady of the house "Charlotte of Varlet Farm" (does sound a bit Emily Bronte to me too) and unfortunately she was out when we arrived and we were greeted by one of the sons and possibly the father.

Sample of e-mails to and from Varlet Farm:

A.M. "what will I have for breakfast Charlotte?" C. "for you Andrew I have two big baps!" A.M. "ooh! I like them nice and hot" C. "not too hot to handle I hope!" etc.

Anyway, as luck would have it Charlotte's daughter spoke fluent Flemanglo (Flemish/Dutch-English) so we established that her mother was out but would be back shortly and was expecting us. ( and was warming up her baps for Andrew!!!) Andrew established that the daughter was a bit of alright but on the smelly side of tasty!

Charlotte duely arrived and began a creeping barrage of endless durration on the local history of the farm and region in pretty damn fluent English that meant we could forget our Flemanglo phrase books for the moment. It was all good stuff and I would have given her the WW1 module at Wolvo University to present anyday of the week but after the long day that had passed it all meant very little.

Eventually she got the hint we were tired (my snoring quietly resting my head in the empty tea cups probably helped) and she took us up to our rooms and more importantly pointed out the fridge on the landing with the BEER. Drink what you want but keep the bottle tops (not for drunken impression of Vivian from young ones but...) for inclusion on the bill at 1.5 euros a bottle - not bad as the general expenses went. It was at this point that we went off into our seperate rooms for the "sleep" we needed with Andrew asking Adam's opinion on Charlotte's daughters breasts!

Back up to date(film rolls from black and white flashback mode into glorious technicolour). We had our brew and Andrew awoke feeling a little hungry so we all got cleaned up and changed for a trip to Ypres to catch the "Last Post" ceremony at the Menin Gate and get some grub. Charlotte had recommended an eating establishment that gave her customers a free drink. Well that was it - free drink - no competition. They also spoke passable English which was good as Ypres part of belgium is mainly Dutch speaking and all I could remeber of my Dutch was "Tee Coop" (for sale) and "Let Op" (exit).

And so I leave you once again as we set forth to Ypres for some grub and free booze running against the clock for the Menin Gate.

Stay tuned.....Dave