St Blaise. November issue.2014.
Bonsoir mes amies.
“Wonderbox, Realisateur de reves” Finding your dreams.
“Thank you Tash and Franklin, an early birthday present, book a hotel for us and we will be there.”
“It’s probably best Mum that you do not Google ‘Ferme pedalogique de L’Oiselet’, but you will have a wonderful experience”
You have been invited to spend a night with breakfast on our working farm, sleeping in a genuine Mongolian Yurt.
The yak is a long haired bovine found throughout the Himalaya region of south central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau. Wild Yaks stand about 5.2 to 7.2ft tall. They are the only bovine of this size with extremely dense, long fur that hangs down lower than the belly.
The Mongolian Yurt is a traditional portable Mongolian habitation consisting of a wooden frame and felt walls, held together by Yak hair straps.
A Yurt provides the atmosphere of a nomadic lifestyle, and the ease that air circulates through a Yurt makes it warm when the temperatures begin to fall, and you can view the night sky through the opening in the roof!
JS retired from veterinary surgery 15 years ago, because he was allergic to animal hair!
So, on with the story.
GPS cannot find the farm, so we ask a couple of guys in a white van the location of ‘Ferme pedalogogique de l’Oiselet’ who, apart from trying to hide a smirk, escort us to our quarters.
We are greeted by Ma Larkin.
22 stone at least. Ruddy coloured cheeks, missing her front teeth (a yak must have got her) and wearing an apron splattered in feathers and what appeared to be blood.
“Bonjour, mes amis, (into English!) I have just plucked Nancy, shame really; she was such a good layer”
Her daughter arrives, a look alike to Ma Larkin, and offers us une verre de Muscat from their own vines near the Village of Beaumes de Venise, probably where poor Nancy used to roam free range!
“Let me show you to your Yurt”. MA has great difficulty in mounting the steps to our highly decorative yurt front door, all of 3 feet high. The Mongolian tribe are very little people, but ever so strong!
I give JS a quick glance suggesting it may be an idea to make a dash for it now, preferably to the nearest 5 star with en suite bathroom.
It was the smell that hit you first. “Dead Yak” JS exclaims.
Now, as far as I am aware JS has never treated or smelt a yak at his Erdington surgery. I may be wrong of course. Sutton Park may be swarming with these beasts!
At our disposal we have three single beds, a wardrobe, one low emission light bulb (Colin would love that), and a ceramic chamber pot!
“Where’s the coffee machine, the choice of pillows, the en suite bathroom, the phone to reception so we can order breakfast in bed! And not even a fridge to keep my champagne chilled”
It was midday, and it looked like midnight in the Yurt!
“Now, for a tour of our eco-friendly working farm.”
“Help yourself to any of our fruits, grapes, apples, pears and one pomegranate, all of which were well past their sell by date, except for the pomegranate, which was only possible to pick if you were a yak! A scented garden, overrun by weeds, Nancy’s relatives and the most aggressive Canadian geese, Clarissa and her gang, guarding the fennel. So any attempt to pick the fennel was an impossibility. Clarissa, clearly hormonal, (she needs to visit my man in Edgbaston!) made a charge for JS’s little ankles. He backed off pretty smartly. Meanwhile Ma gave Clarissa a smart boot up the backside! “That’s the way to treat that little bastard; it’s the pot for you my little darling!”
The grand finale to our tour was the outside sawdust loo!!! “Only for the adventurous” giggles Ma.
“Let’s head to a restaurant Nessie, I can’t take much more of this!” as JS takes yet another allergy pill.
9.30pm: We attempt to settle down for the night. 80 mph mistral, lashing down with rain, our yurt swaying from right to left. “Keep your knickers on Ness, with this wind our yurt, with us inside, could be jettisoned to Avignon any minute”.
The early hours: JS needs a pee.
Fumbling around in the darkness; he eventually finds the chamber pot, steadies himself against the rocking Yurt, pitch dark, aims and misses.
“Bugger, too bloody Small!”
“”What is” I shout
“The pot of course”
Dressed in only his Armani designers, he locates the door, successfully attacks the steps, and ventures outside. 5 degrees now.
JS has absolutely no sense of direction in daylight let alone the dark. This can be confirmed by all family and friends. Some considerable time later the intrepid explorer returns.
“Where have you been?”
“There are four more of these yogurts, yakults, wretched yurts right behind ours you know, and they all look alike in the dark, how was I to know which one you were in?”
Me thinking….. The one with Frank Spencer written on it would have been a safe bet!
6am. Woken by Claude the Cock crowing his heart out, having positioned himself no doubt right outside our Yurt, followed by jets overhead. The French air display team practising their manouveurs, based at Carpentras.
OH, I really love this healthy outdoor peaceful way of life!
“Right, it’s a quick shower, breakfast and head for home ASAP” suggests JS. I have absolutely no argument with this decision.
Not looking my best, we follow the signs for the showers, 500 metres away, dodging Clarissa and her gang en route, and the little shit that woke us up at 6am.
Into the only shower available, which could be described more accurately as a dribble of water coming from a hole in the wall. Took forever to get the hair conditioner out!
JS jumps in after me, lathers up, and the dribble stops.
Well, I have to admit it was at this stage that I could no longer control myself, and burst into uncontrollable laughter. You know the sort, when you can’t stop. The madder JS got the more I laughed.
Breakfast is speedily dispensed with. Organic confiture’s, Nancy’s last egg, probably fried in the now deceased Clarissa’s goose fat!
We say our goodbyes. Ma clearly doesn’t want us to leave, grabs JS and launches him into her ample bosom, and shakes him gently from side to side. Close to suffocation JS appears to be enjoying this part of the trip!
Thank you Tash and Franklin for my unforgettable birthday experience.
Moral of the story. Go for the chateau and not a yurt!
All my love