Like a Gold Ring in a Sow's Nose

Experience life through the eyes of two star ladies - tat, clothes, tatty clothes...and Goblin beefburgers in a tin washed down with a pint of warm flat Panda Cola.

Two Star Ladies No Fucking Culture Tour 2007, Paris.

Dick Turpin a eu l'habitude de porter un masque.

* Dick Turpin used to wear a mask. Matey garcon.

The Last King of Saudi Arabia

The weekend started with us cutting it fine getting to the Waterloo Eurostar terminal just before the 30 minutes cut off time. Firstly this delay was attributed to the Saudi king when we encountered my route in front of Buckingham Palace crawling with feckin rozzers. Let me tell thee, his ears must have been on fire under that keffiyeh*...

"If we miss that fucking train cos of that oily bastard then I am going to..." blah blah blah. You can guess the rest.

*proper name for that tea towel type cloth thing they have on.

So then I attempted another way to Westminster Bridge only to be diverted due to a run-through of the Bleeding State Bleeding Opening of Bleeding Parliament as it is now known. It was with relief that we parked and hoofed it to the check in.

 

Once on board the Eurostar we had the usual seat  (twixt windows) so some shuffling was required in order to get a window secured from Calais onwards. We both realised the sad effects of our age on the trip when we had to make a second trip to the buffet car in order to get some water to take our respective drugs, none of which were illegal.

 

There was a giggle to be had by a guy fast asleep and snoring away in the Coma Carriage, a carriage which appeared to be aerated with knock out gas, a carriage full of sleeping and stretched out hindrances from start to finish. Our carriage of course rang with the sound of our giggling so no sleep to be had in there!

In Paris we set off towards our old fave hotel, the Libertel De Suede, just a short stroll from the Gare du Nord.  We were met there by the Little Fella, who had far too much hair gel in and locked our luggage away telling us to return at 3 to check in - it was 11 o'clock.  And according to the hotel notice it was a 1 o'clock check in. But if you're English then you can, how you say in Engleesh? Furck Oerff!

Anyway, off we went to get Churchill a watch and, after passing Ken Williams Menswear (Ohh Matron), we found a street stall selling every watch style known to man and Frenchman. Churchill finally settled on a tasteful little number sold by the Politest Shop Keeper in Paris.

He would be the last one of them we met!

Then we decided at 12.30 that we had enough of that walking shit and that the sun was over the yardarm and happened upon the Place de la Franz Liszt, with a nice Church and a bar opposite called Weekend. This was after spending five minutes in a Tabac trying to find my Euros. I then asked for stamps using the French "timbres" only to get a surly reply "non". Which is a bit like going in the fucking post office and getting knocked back.

Anyway, we settled in a couple of uncomfy chairs near the window and a rickety old balustrade, and eventually caught the eye of a man later identified as Jean Luc who begrudgingly brought us two smallish glasses of paint stripper for about 8.50 Euros. Upon getting used to the strange taste of this vinegar we ordered another two but could we catch an eye? Could we fuck. Eventually I catch the eye of a silly haired waiter know as LOM or Last of the Mohicans, and he got Jean Luc to dump another couple of glasses of varnish down for our delectation. Once we had been jostled a bit by a table being sat right next to us in the small window space and seen the 'steak' they ordered (last seen coming a cropper at Becher's Brook) we threw our money down and left..."barely tolerated" was the phrase Churchill used and it was an omen...

On the way back to the hotel we stopped off in the Rapide du Nord, scene of some serious drinking three years ago but now sadly not a bar stool in sight. Still, it was busy enough and the wine was slightly cheaper. And there was this cat, the establishment cat that the waiter kept nuzzling up to. Not content with ogling the food he also put his paw on the guy's arm...look at the size of it, not only were you expected to pay for your food but you had to feed their cat as well. See right...and it was sitting on his jacket.

 

 

 

Back at the hotel, after gaining essential bread, crisp and wine supplies from the supermarket, we were surprised to get a recently refurbished room... which was nice for a change, and with tea and coffee making facilities to boot.

 

It was probably the last nice surprise we had.

Still, plenty of nasty ones to come!

 

 

 

 

I had forgotten my electrical adapter and in a panic of not being able to survive without me hair straighteners we went to the local electrical shop who flogged us an unearthed adapter for 15 Euros. And everywhere in feckkin Paris is earthed. That's a good game played slow. So we had to take that back and Churchill used her masterful French, complete with a drawing of our socket (left) and a demonstration involving fingers in the air and a whistle, we got what we wanted.

 


This is the view from the hotel window, of the Sacre Coeur...nice weather, no rain!

 

After Churchill had a disturbed afternoon ,nap the serious drinking needed to be gotten underway. We got the Metro to Trocadero, emerging outside the Cafe Kleber where we found it surprisingly busy. Grabbing a table round the side we waited five minutes for a surly fucker to come out and take our order with as much warmth as a day in Antarctica. He then took as long as an ice age to bring the drinks,  no crisps or even a coaster, very shoddy indeed. No tip later and we tried the Trocadero over the road.

 

 

This was looking more promising with a brazier AND olives but after we decided on some food lest we got bollocksed too early the waiter had it away on his toes with our olives! Anyway, here is the photo of Churchill in the Trocadero...

...and this is the view from my seat, which was next to a right couple of annoying Brits discussing the Tennis Clab Dahling.


 

 

 

After our meal we walked over to the Trocadero where we saw the view of the Eiffel Tower all lit up  which was taken by Churchill as Magneto's hands were a little shaky by now...

Our time at the Trocadero was taken up by trying to get a photo of us both in front of the Tour Eiffel which resulted in this gallery...and a lot of jostling from a lot of people - again Paris was tres tres busy this year.

 

The first two are noticeable by the lack of the tower, the third one is our Hard Faced Stare Pose, and the third cuts my nose off so it's perfect - Churchill likes it of her too. After this we needed a Metro line back to the Gare du Nord region as we had cut into our drinking time fannying around here. And there we found NFO - no fucker open and it was only 10.30. So we settled into a bar opposite the Gare du Nord for a beer and a wine, no nibbles, no coasters and no smile. We retired to drink in our beds, much more ambient! I was getting worried about the coaster shortage, at this rate I wouldn't get even a sniff at nicking one.

Saturday is alright for...being scammed.

Amazingly enough, we awoke to have breakfast, despite my first image if the day being an empty Cote du Rhone bottle. Bleary eyed we had our requisite hard French bread, cheap cornflakes, orange juice and lovely coffee before deciding on a day of discovery down the backstreets of Paris. After exiting the hotel and throwing our empty wine bottles in the bin outside a fast food place, we were called over by the vendor who asked us whether we wanted a kebab. It was midday but he knows his clientele well when he sees empties going in the rubbish.

So off we set to be almost immediately scammed by Gypsy fucking Rose Lee and her routine - "Ooh look what I have found, a solid gold wedding ring, but wait! I cannot wear gold to due to my religion so please you keep the ring, lucky for me, lucky for you. Oh and can you please give me some money before my mate here forces it out of you". What a performance, give her an Oscar.

After this floorshow and in possession of a 'lucky' brass ring, off we go towards the canal. After a while we happen upon a shop selling lots of tat for the house and garden, I think it was called Antoine and Lily's or some such, and Churchill bought herself some lovely decorative tat for her house, whereas I agonised over buying some cutlery. I eventually relented and bought some with spots on, only to be served with a chill in the air and my cutlery not exactly safely wrapped in tissue paper before being put in a bag far too big.

Churchill's purchases were wrapped in bubble wrap and gently placed inside her bag. And this is the difference between me and Churchill. On the way down the road I was thinking "Great, I've got to carry this fucking bag around all day now" whereas Churchill was thinking "I'm so glad I have my lovely decorative bag."

We carried on down the canal for a while before deciding that, again, we had had enough of this walking shit and it was time for a livener. After rejecting what we thought was a bit of a dive, we went to the Canal Cafe. And this is where the fun began...

We were "bonjoured" by a tall streak of piss at the door who turned to take an order so we decided to seat ourselves at a nice four seater table by the window with comfy chairs. The tall guy then comes over and gestures towards the other side of the room, a banquette and chair side, whilst telling us the table we were sat at was reserved - fuck knows who for. So we moved to the middle of the banquette and settled there...but not for long...our drinks were ordered and when he came back with them he made us move again cos it was not the custom to sit in the middle if the end seats were free! Now we have been here several times and never come across this before. We should have fucked off then but we moved and settled in for our wine and beer. Then I turned the bill over...fuck me! He'd bought me the most expensive wine in the place for 8.60 Euros a glass, and it was about a goose egg cup full to boot. Fucking bastard! Then he crammed loads of people next to us and gave the comfy seats away to others. I wanted to do a runner but Churchill paid up. No tip was left there, fucking robbing chien.

After muttering my way down to the Place de la Bastille, we decided on a Croque Monsieur and again picked a place that didn't look too expensive. We were sat and given menus with frogs legs on - dirty bastards - but Churchill got us Croque Monsieurs and beer. There were sparrows nibbling on bread in the restaurant and the Croques weren't really Croques but nevertheless they were nice. Then we paid and I was astonished to find that the Croques were 9.50 euros, 3 more than in a cafe opposite Notre Dam! For cheese on toast!
As I took this info in the bar maid was muttering "servis servis" at me and, had I been a violent woman, I may have hit her. I demanded a receipt, left some change and exited - more ranting was heard wafting down the boulevards on our way to Notre Dam. The prices were extortionate and the service shit, the streets were dirty and there was more piss than ever in the streets. Paris had changed.

Still, time for a quick photo in front Notre Dame's flying buttresses.

Next we went on the Batobus and the operators were women! Mon Dieu! But we had our 'Apple Juice' to drink and the life jackets were still very very bright.

 

Of course they were, and our Apple Juice - very fine rose wine - went down very well indeed.

 

 

 

The bright spot on the horizon was the Cafe Panis, where the waiters were friendly, the drink reasonable, the location wonderful and the lighting dark - perfect for a woman of a certain age!  After more in there than we had planned (for the receding reasons) we decided on returning to the hotel for a spruce up and a meal near the station in a very French restaurant, but one of the few with a fixed price menu (which we felt we needed after the rip offs we had suffered) called by the very hard to pronounce name (but I will have a crack at it).. Buffalo Grill (goes round the outside, round the outside, round the outside.)

Yes, a French steak house. We were seated immediately by a man called David (but to me he was Declan) and before we knew it we were pissed up, laughing like drains and I was thrusting my tits out for some reason to demonstrate something when Declan came round the corner and got an Eiffel. 

Anyway we had some lovely Buffalo rouge wine and there was no need here for the Top Cat Manoeuvre that I had used in Paris last year when I left a one euro tip and then palmed it on my way out. We rounded off the meal with a very nice coffee and brandy that was listed on the menu as Cafe Sherif. It went down the hole very nicely indeed Sweep.

The bill was settled before we had finished the brandy - Declan must have been on a promise - so we invented the Tarrant Manoeuvre and placed a 5 Euro note down as a tip to entice Declan back, only to say "I don't want to give you that" (well not yet anyway) when he did return. We wanted another couple of Sherifs matey garcon. Or a couple of Omars or a couple of " I shot the Sherifs..." The giggling was reaching very loud proportions and my belly was hurting. Then we counted out Declan's real tip in change. That went like this:

Me: "Ok then, we have 1.50, 2.50, 3.50 and 4.50. With forty cents that makes it 4.90, 5.90..."

[I lost my train of arithmetic here]...

"5.90...Joe 90..." then another fit of giggles overcome me before I just dumped all the change on the plate and began singing my version of  Rhinestone Cowboy, Wichita Lineman and singing along to Blanket on the Ground. What a good night we had.

And I had my photo taken with the Muffin Necklace on.

 

All the bars around the hotel were in a state of NFIT - No Fucker In There, so we went back to the hotel after getting further wine supplies from a bemused shopkeeper. There we opened up the wine and laughed at some of the worst porn that has graced a TV screen, the French have shit TV. In the morning they are hawking an all over body girdle type thing and telling you can eat loads and never exercise cos this invention will make you look great, then at night they are trying to get you take it off with shit porn.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Sunday morning came and went, we didn't sleep until 3 so we got up at 12 and decided on a trip to Montmartre. Once there we were staggered by the amount of people, it was heaving. We bought a baguette and watched a precocious pigeon kicking little French brat and some Jap tourists feeding the pigeons by chucking bread in my direction. I was getting me dander up and coming over all Tony Soprano so we left and walked up to the church (below) where I was calmed by the Jesus Mosaic and being served by a nun in the shop.

We then went for a further wander only to find it time to rest with a glass of something...but where? We were getting jostled and Justine was getting poked and the shit art there was topped off with signs saying "no photos or video, think of the artists' eyes" - which is amazing when you have to wonder, looking at the work, whether he used them anyway.

We opted for Cafe Chasseurs and were immediately blown off by the staff and seated in a right crap place.

 This is the place on the right. What a bunch of wankers they are in there. Maybe we should have gone back to the place opposite where Simon sucked off his crème caramel...

We'd had trouble in here before when we had a fatty boeuf bourginon and I see they still had the worlds more uncomfortable chairs. And I wanted to loos but resisted the temptation to ask for them by using the phrase "Ou est la Thunder Box? I need a wicked shit"

Anyway, the thunderbox was so awful I couldn't bear it and so I returned to the table to find our drinks had arrived. Two beers had been interpreted by this wanker of a waiter as two pints of beer in pint glasses.

And not even pints - 50cl - and not even elegant continental glasses either, a standard British pint glass for fuck's sake!

 As Churchill said, why not just go the whole way and give us fucking dimpled mugs!

This was nothing compared to the shock of turning the bill over. "Don't look at the receipt" urged Churchill as I flipped it over. Fuck Me! 17 fucking euros! £6 a pint! Jesus fucking H Christ!

So we decided for this price we could sit where the fuck we liked and we moved. No sooner were our arses on the new chairs when one of them came over and ushered away prodding the table and going "reserve," fucking wanker.

So we sat down somewhere else and then two waiters came over and debated about the bill, jabbing it on the table as if we weren't even there. And we got a mouthful off some French wanker as Churchill was sitting on the edge of his bird's coat, cunt. As it was so busy outside I reckoned we should have done a runner but Churchill wanted to pay and when we tried to the waiter blew us off so we fucked off and left the money but I have the receipt.

 

 After this experience we decided not to risk our usual Sunday night restaurant, Chez Ma Cousine, and we headed back down the hill to the Cemetery that always calms me down, I love a good stroll through the mausoleums and I instructed Churchill what I wanted - I want a small one, weeping angels and a copper door with a sign on it saying "No Free Papers".

 After this, and a debate about whether we should use the toilets in the Hotel Ibis again as we did a couple of years ago, we decided on an Irish bar whose prices were okay and service was fine too. Just the half carafe in there and we were back off to the Gare Du Nord and a quick change after more wine supplies were purchased.

So it was back to the Ranch for us but Declan was missing and we sat in what was a corridor really. Still, some Margaritas took the edge off, even when the waiter said we couldn't have the menu from the previous night as they had no chicken or steak. What? This is a fucking steak house!

Anyway, he seemed to magic some up from the more expensive menu and it went down well with a bottle of red. But we were served by Tyrone (later revealed to be called Bruno) and not Declan, Where was Declan? After two more Omar's he appeared drinking in in the bar...in his civvies. I managed to get a photo of him but it's shit...

After we had exited the Buffalo Grill we were strolling along and thinking that maybe we should have a night cap. We knew we wouldn't be coming back next year and so we gave the Rapide Du Nord another chance. After ordering a coffee and brandy we took at seat in this shit hole that had one other customer, a drunk man so badly intoxicated he staggered away from the bar and fell against the pillar behind him, then went on the floor. The waiters calmed him and soothed his shame by saying that its okay, they're just English.

Fuckers.

Then I looked at the bill...Fuck me ragged! 20 Euros to sit in this shit hole and get slagged off. And the glasses were full of bits (cat dander as it has since been called) and the coffee was one euro more than it said on the menu in the window.

Fucking robbing wankers. We left, leaving no tip, and we shant be back again, Ever.

 

 

 

The wine was finished in the hotel room before sleep overtook us and we got up to go down for breakfast at 10.25. Breakfast being served until 10.30. Well, a clipboard was thrust at me and then I was gestured towards the buffet which had some dried wedges of cheese (about 3), 2 slices of dried looking ham, cereal and bread. Justine took her life in her hands and went to ask Mother Theresa if we could have some butter only to be berated in French about not coming down early enough and tough shit basically, she wasn't going to put anymore out. So we gnawed on some bread before she started to cough uncontrollably in the kitchen, the worst cough I have ever heard, it will finish her off for sure. Then she came and slammed one of the room doors shut, and started to remove food from the buffet. Well, that was the perfect end to a weekend of perfect service and charm! Miserable auld bitch.

We checked out, had shit service in another cafe and then got the Eurostar home. We can laugh about it now...well we were then but next year it's Turin, Easy Jet fly there from Luton!


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