Stranded (OS035)

Previously: We’re somewhere in France, avoiding going back home to my possible arrest as a cybercriminal, something I’m arguably totally innocent of. Unfortunately, the campervan has broken down and we’re waiting for the garage to repair the clutch. Last night we stayed in a derelict house which we both agreed not to repeat. The garage owner has gone missing but I’m guessing the van is not fixed as yet.

We both agreed not to spend another night in the Gite after being harassed by; mice bats, moths and other animals who were heard but not seen (fortunately).

I suggested we find a small hotel, hostel or park bench. Pam wanted to go to Euro Disney (which would have been my last choice). We compromised and caught the train to Euro Disney. Meanwhile, we managed to get through to the garage and Pam understood him to say, the van would be fixed tomorrow. We apologised for not using his Gite a second night but faked that some friends had invited us to stay. I’m not sure he understood (or believed) us.

The Euro Disney hotel was awesome. I’ve never been checked in by Mini Mouse before. I was mesmerised by the large chunk of half-eaten Red Leicester on the counter. That was impressive, if it is part of the characterisation, more disturbing if it was Mini’s own culinary choice (I mean the character in the latex uniform). Still contemplating this I wasn’t ready for her to ask:

“Would you like to dine with me tonight?”

I was still wondering how to reply to this as I’ve never been asked on a date by a rodent before (or anyone for that matter). Pam, seeing my plight, took over the conversation. No that’s OK, we’ll eat in the park, thanks.

“I think she was asking me, Pam” I whispered to Pam hoping to spare her feelings.

Pam to me aside explained “She’s not after a date. You can have dinner with some of the Disney characters, you know, in a group. Children love it. We could eat with her and other characters if you like but it reminds me too much of the Gite, even though she is a better class of mouse.”

I agreed that we should eat elsewhere which was a relief. Some of the characters looked like messy eaters. We turned down the date / offer, booked in and went off to the park.

I should mention that I’m not a big fan of white knuckle rides so I sought one out which looked pretty sedate, a mine train. I didn’t realise that it was a runaway train. The first few minutes was fine but then I guess we moved into the runaway section. It was horrendous. I was holding on as if my life depended on it, as I thought it may well do. Pam on the other hand was laughing out loud, probably at me and waving her arms high in the air. Scared as I was, I was ready to grab Pam’s arm if she showed any signs of exiting the train. She didn’t of course and after what seemed like several hours we slowed into the station. I’m afraid we kept the queuing public waiting a while whilst Pam peeled my hands off the safety bar.

When we exited the ride, various cartoon characters approached me. I think it’s because they want everybody to look like they’re having a great time and I just looked pale, traumatised and queasy. Tweedle Dee in particular was quite persistent but he left satisfied with himself when I managed to squeeze out a brief smile.

I calmed down with a gentle boat trip round “It’s a small world”. The gentle swaying of the boat and calming music helped but I couldn’t help thinking that at any time, the boat may go over a weir and into a section of white water. Fortunately, it didn’t and I got off practically as stable as when I entered the park. However, by this stage, I was starving. I thought we could pick up a burger somewhere. Pam insisted we eat in a sort of Castle courtyard served by princesses. Fortunately, Minnie Mouse was nowhere in sight.

My phone interrupted the meal. It was a message from my mother, in Crete, thanking and simultaneously criticising me for her Christmas present. I understood that she wanted toys for her two Chihuahuas, like the one I bought for the neighbour’s dog, Teddy.

She actually wanted a pair of Crocs (shoes) for wearing at the pool.  Sadly, Mum felt the crocs were ‘entirely unsuitable for the dogs’ who would ‘probably expire at the shock of them’. Luckily, I kept the receipt. At that point an announcement said ‘Mind the doors’ in a novel accent.

“Where are you?” Mum asked.

I still hadn’t told her where we were, or why, or who with and I certainly didn’t feel inclined to attempt it at the moment so I was economical with the truth. Well, that’s not true either. I lied and said:

“We’re at the supermarket. I think that was a delivery arriving.”

“Whose we?” Mum asked.

“Sorry Mum, the signals not good. I think it’s all the metal in the canned veg isle. I’m losing you. Mum….Mum…. can you hear me?” and switched off the phone.

“That’s going to be difficult to explain.” Suggested Pam.

I agreed but put off thinking about this for another day.

We stayed for the parade. Awesome. Then we returned to the hotel. Mini Mouse put down her cheese, cleaned her whiskers and gave us the key to the room.

The next day, we caught the train and got back to the garage where the campervan was waiting for us in full working order.

I realise it’s putting off making a decision about to return to my house or not and risk being arrested but I need more time and so we pressed on to Le -Touquet. We agreed to live off the grid for a while and found a small farm in the country. Pam talked to the farmer and he was happy for us to pitch up for a a while for a few Euros.

It was easy to forget the issue about whether to return home or not in the seclusion of the countryside which is exactly what I did.

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