17 August, France – ‘All Over The Place – Europe’

Travelled from Brussels to Nice yesterday. We’re not living the glamorous South of France lifestyle you might expect – we’re holed up in a hotel between the airport, a motorway and the railway line. Cracking view of the planes taking off from the runway though.

This morning we all bundled into a bus and set off towards Cagnes-Sur-Mer, a beautiful old mountaintop town with narrow winding streets and an ambience you feel has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Unfortunately those lovely streets were a bit too narrow for our bus and it got stuck between a house and a cliff, so we had to scrape our way out back down the hill and find a smaller bus to get us back up.

Things were a lot more relaxed once we got to the top though. We’d come all this way to take part in the 35th Square Boules World Championship. Because the town is on such a steep hill the locals began playing boules with square balls that can’t roll down the slope, and now hundreds of people come from all around to take part. There were over 50 playing squares marked out on the streets and people of all ages were having a bash. Everywhere you walk you have to tip-toe through games in various states of play, and it’s pretty addictive once you get into it.

By the afternoon Johny and I had got ourselves a team together and went head to head for our main event, drawing quite a crowd of vocal French supporters who applauded and cheered us on, sometimes becoming quite vocal when they thought one of us had fouled or not. I had a fiercely competitive mother and son making up my team who were determined to grind Johny’s team into the dust, but the game took several twists and turns and we were the first team to 13 points by the skin of our teeth. It had very little to do with either my or Johny’s skills, but that didn’t stop me gloating about my victory on camera. Off camera I was slightly worried my team had won – I’ve won 7 of our 9 events for far this series, so things are getting a little one sided!

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