Chamonix – We Are Sailing

The Prologue

“Woe, woe and thrice woe” as Lurcio used to say (Up Pompeii, UK Gold). As night fell we had all gone off to bed. Having coped with Martin’s injury, various bumps and bruises, stomach cramps and travel sickness we were convinced that all was now well and we could relax. How wrong we were. The geeks – sorry, Mr Whatcott and Mr Hughes – had finished the blog and gone to bed so all was quiet.

Suddenly, just after 01:00 am, Miss Angus was woken by a riotous knocking on her door. From the incoherent and extremely upset pleas she gathered that something truly dreadful was happening in one of the girls’ rooms. Heading along the corridor she was running through possibilities. Could it be a wild animal from the local forests ? Are there poisonous reptiles in this area ? Could it even be an attempted alien abduction ? Bursting through the door she sized up the situation. Not only was it worse than she imagined, it was far, far worse than she could ever have imagined.

There, cowering against the wall, were two wide-eyed, terror-stricken, traumatised girls (Megan and Tyler) trembling with fear. There in the middle of the floor was the threat, silent and immobile, exuding a terrible menace. Holding the girls with its baleful gaze was – even worse than the Basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets – A MOTH !!!

What was Miss Angus to do ? Not being in the Home Economics Department, there were no deadly weapons to hand. However, showing the cool control she always displays in abundance, she whipped off her slipper and smashed the moth, sending it to that great Flies’ Graveyard in the sky. Settling the girls down, things quietened down rapidly. However, woe betide anyone who disturbs her for something trivial at that time of night.

And so, once again, to bed.


So once again, the dawn broke. This many times in a row it has to be more than just a coincidence. The rising sun’s rays gently caressed the horn peak at the head of the valley (there’s a picture of that) as the farmer next door started up his JCB and started digging trenches in the field next to our hotel only an hour before everyone had to get up. Thank you kind sir. 07:00 and the teachers started knocking on the doors. Somehow, there is the distinct impression that this service is not wholly appreciated: about as welcome as a skunk in a spacesuit or one of Mr Whatcott’s jokes. Josie was up and about before everyone else so was charged with waking her room-mates up. Bet she was popular.

However, everyone got up promptly. Breakfast was eaten and lunches made in really good time. We were on the road to Annecy by 08:45. A smooth run to Annecy and we headed for the bus park beside the lake. In previous years drivers have employed various strategies to get there (usually unsuccessfully) and we have visited parts of Annecy not even seen by most residents, taking ages to get there. Our drivers tried something incredibly novel this year. They followed the road signs. Strangely, we got there in no time at all and, for the first time, never even saw the centre of the town. Normally we have seen that at least twice on our way in. So, firstly, to take advantage of the shopping opportunities. And that’s precisely what happened. 90 minutes of retail therapy. Meanwhile the teachers had a moment of star-struck magic. Colin Jackson the well-known Olympian and sports personality was having coffee at the same cafe. Mr Whatcott tried to be a paparazzo but failed miserably (photo’s there somewhere)

Meeting back at the allotted hour, we all shot back to the bus, grabbed the packed lunches and swimming gear before heading off to the swimming pool just a couple of hundred metres across from the bus park. A couple of hours were whiled away swimming and chilling out under the trees then, when hunger pangs struck, having lunch.

After the swim it was time to head back to the lake. Mr Whatcott had bought the tickets earlier in the morning so the group was booked on to La Belle Etoile for 15:30. The drivers came on the cruise too. An hour was spent cruising around the lake, enjoying the scenery and some good craic. Then it was back on the bus a good time having been had by all.

Evening meal was salad and tartiflette followed by just one cornetto (strange how you sometimes feel a song coming on isn’t it ?).

La Meteo

You’ll note there’s no mention of the weather in the above. We’ve been following the weather reports for the other trips. Hail, thunder, heavy rain seem to have plagued the Holland trip so far. Naturally our sympathy went out to them. We even sent them condolences. Weather problems can make life so difficult. However, we have our problems too. Our pupils are disorientated. They don’t understand what’s wrong. It’s taken us three days to convince them the strange golden ball in the sky is not an alien craft tracking us.

Every day, all day, the sun – relentless and remorseless – beats down on us. It’s getting hotter every day. We reached 36 degrees today. Being a teacher on the Chamonix trip is a tough job but someone’s got to do it and we’re rising to the challenge. Pass us each another ice cream please.

However, on reflection, we feel we resemble prime steaks. We were definitely blue when we left Prestonpans. As the days have gone by, we are becoming medium rare and by the end of the week most of us should be quite well done. There are exceptions though. Mr Hughes looks as though he’s char-grilled already whilst Miss McCredie has decided to remain pale and interesting. As for Mr Whatcott ? Well, he’s just pale.

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We saw a cloud today. It peeped over the horizon, saw it was going to be lonely and crept away again.

Quote Of The Day

“Jam – now that’s a completely different kettle of fish”

Standardising Responses

Every time someone asks “How long till we get there ?”, both teachers and drivers reply “About an hour”.

Philosophical Question Of The Day

“How does your body know when it’s time to die ?”

(mmm – from a 12-year old.)

8 thoughts on “Chamonix – We Are Sailing”

  1. The blog’s very good. Annecy looks beautiful and everyone looks very happy. Hope the sun keeps shining, enjoy the rest of the trip. See you Friday Valerie.

  2. Looks like everyone is having alot of fun. Hope you all enjoy your trip to the chocolate factory. I have enjoyed reading the blog every day and the pictures look amazing, See you soon Rachel Love Mum

  3. The blog and photographs have been excellant…wish I was there!! Certainly looks like everyone is having a great time. Enjoy the sunshine, it is raining here.
    Jamie try not to eat too much chocolate!!!

  4. Hi Caris,
    That cloud you saw briefly on Monday found it’s way to Prestonpans, but had increased in size and contained what is commonly called “rain”. Please bring some of that sunshine back with you.
    Keep anjoying your holiday and we will see you at Vogrie in August.
    Love from Karen, Laura, Nicola, Mairie, Jade and the rest of us. xx

  5. Hi Guys! How lucky are you? In beautiful surroundings, stuffing your faces with chocolate getting a tan while we’re all dodging the rain and praying it stops before the holidays next week. You all look like your having a ball. Enjoy the rest of the week and see you Friday. Miss you like mad Ava xxx Mum,Dad and Jabe XXX

  6. Greetings! Port Seton calling!
    All looks excellent so far. Annecy looks beautiful – wish I was there.
    Wonder why I’m surprised Josie was 1st up! – need to put that to the test I think.


  7. Looks like you’re all having a ball. Love the pictures and the blogs are great – with or without unauthorised amndments! Ruairidh you were definatly missed at karate monday night! Rhianna and the fur balls missing you too.

  8. Blah-ed to see you’re all having a great time. The weather and the scenery look great!! Have a great bus ride home!!! As for blog wars – apportez-le dessus Whatcott, apportez-le dessus!!!

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