Problème technique

While we were on holiday in France last week our time was bugged by euphemistic “technical problems”

The first was in the ferry. We’d done an overnight crossing without a cabin, because they were fully booked when I bought my ticket. So we had spent hours on uncomfortable reclining seats that it’s not really possible to get comfy on, and just wanted to get OFF the boat and get on with our lives.

But then there was an announcement saying that a technical problem would delay our departure. In the end we waited around for at least an hour after docking before we could continue.

As we left, all cars leaving the ferry had to go through a police cordon and have boots and luggage examined.

So in the first case we think the technical problem was probably a euphemism for “the boat is being held by the rozzers.”

We later found out that their caution was due to the G8 summit being held a little down the road in the Normandy seaside town of Deauville.

Our second technical problem was eating out in a little Relais in the middle of a forest. We were drinking my favourite sweet Norman cider, which comes in champagne bottles and is only barely more alcoholic than apple juice, and we’d ordered tartes flambées, and were waiting. And waiting. And eventually the waitress came out and said there’d been a technical problem and it would be another few minutes, sorry.

In this case, I think the euphemism was easily explained in the kitchen: the chef had burned our dinners and had to start again. Or maybe forgot to turn the oven on?

In any case we minded a little less than on the boat and just had another bottle.

The other reason the meal was memorable was for the huge Alsatian dog that was around – either resident at the auberge or had come in with some of the patrons who seemed to know the owner. Anyway, this dog pricked its ears up mightily whenever the cheese plate came out and when it was our turn for cheese, it sat there and begged for crusts. Silently at first, and then by actually barking, which made us jump the first few times. For ages we didn’t give her anything, and then her owners did say that it was fine, clearly enough for us to understand, and we relented.

The final technical problem has been one of blogging. I’m now co-hosted with LDV which had some serious non-euphemistic technical problems over the time we were away which involved a third change of host in as many years. This blog was down for a couple of days before returning, and although the automatic stuff here, the tweets in particular, have been churning out regularly, I haven’t been able to log in and post new articles or approve comments.

It’s strange, for days I have been thinking “ooh, gotta blog that. But I can’t!”

And now I’m back looking at the “post new entry” screen the enthusiasm is draining out faster than David Fisher’s embalming fluid.


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