A short ‘break’ in France

Former Triskele Sword member, Rick Prentice, has moved to Southern France in search of the good life. Naturally, the team has a standing invitation to visit and dance in the area. Co-incidently the local village, Montguyon, is host to the Mondiofolk Festival each July and although we were not able to visit during the festival the opportunity to enjoy some sun and introduce the locals to rapper, seemed too good to miss. Being a truly cosmopolitan outfit, Triskele shanghied one or two willing dancers from elsewhere, including Smuttypengwynkingsmusic, Eilidh Brinsley, who takes up the story...

We were sitting on the plane waiting to take off after a 45 minute delay, with Kirsty as excited as a 5 year old who's just been given their weight in sweets. Derek was desperately trying to read his book while being poked every two seconds. An hour or so later we arrived with a rather large bang on the runway at Bordeaux and stepping off the plane we had our first experience of something that we rarely get in England, Sun!

We arrived at Rick and Jan's ‘chateau’ in Montguyon, hurriedly put our bags in the room or the caravan in Derek's case and were then shown around their fantastic home and gardens. A little while later we were all soaking in the sun on the patio when we heard a horrendous noise followed by the roar of a motorbike engine, the boys had arrived! We were a little confused when a tall, leather clad man appeared but then Jason bounded in from behind him and introduced his biking friend Phil. After they had put their tent up we had a quick practice and then went to dance for the Mondiofolk Festival committee, hoping to persuade them to book Triskele for the following year. Later Nigel and Ais arrived and we all went back to the chateau for dinner, one final tour of the gardens and practical jokes (mainly turning the boys tent and bikes 180 degrees round. I had no idea bikes were so heavy!).

The next day was spent touring round local towns and sunbathing at the chateau. In the evening we were invited to a fantastic barbeque hosted by expats. We did a couple of rapper dances and danced a little to the disco. On Sunday I had my first new experience, I rode on the back of a motorbike and it was amazing! Ron however was, prophetically, more worried that one of his dancers might get hurt! On Monday, we went to Chalais which had a large street market, and so in true rapper style we danced at every opportunity . After the market we were taken to a restaurant where we had a great seven course meal – we decided to dance outside the restaurant before we ate. With the meal finished it was back to the chateau for my second new experience, learning to ride a motorbike. I finally got the hang of it after dropping the bike a couple of times much to Jasonís and Philís horror.

Tuesday was spent relaxing at Rick and Jan's, which in Kirsty's case and mine involved slowly roasting in the sun. We soon got bored of this and played volleyball, then football and finally a bit of gymnastics. This is when I had my third new experience while doing some ‘tumbling’ practice I fractured my wrist!

A few hours later and I was being admitted into a French hospital having been x-rayed and told that I would be having an operation to put a pin in my wrist the next morning. By nine on Wednesday morning I was waiting for my anaesthetic and by midday I was back in my room wondering how much longer Iíd have to stay. At three Triskele came to visit me bearing gifts and hoping to take me home but unfortunately that was not to be as I'd had a general anaesthetic and so I had to spend another lonely night in hospital. Wednesday morning came rather quickly and again by nine in the morning I was dressed and had been for my final x-ray. By midday I was told I would be released and able to go and have fun again! The “Petite Femme Anglais” was free and thanking the lord that Iíd remembered my EHIC card.

I was welcomed back to the chateau with some amazing cake kindly bought by Jason and Phil and Ron looking more colourful than a couple of days earlier, especially when I told him there was nothing to pay for my hospital stay! My final new experience was later that day when Rick taught me how to drive the tractor mower. I was exhausted after such a busy day and so went to bed with a sad heart thinking that it was my last night in France and I'd missed most of the dancing.