Beach Garden

Romance on the decking

Plans for a romantic ceremony in an idyllic Mediterranean setting almost fell apart for Canvas customers Steve and Aimee when they were refused permission to hold a blessing for their marriage at Marseillan Plage.

The couple married in secret in New Zealand, but planned to surprise friends and family by revealing the good news and holding a service on the beach.

Seems the French are a bit stuffy about these things, though – first they struggled to find someone to officiate, and then at the last minute they found they couldn’t use the beach after all.

But Beach Garden’s couriers saved the day, setting up an impromtu venue on the decking of one of the site’s new Moda mobile homes.

Aimee & Steve 30.6.17 Marseillan Plage07

Romance is not dead after all

Aimee & Steve 30.6.17 Marseillan Plage46

Confetti for the happy couple

Expect next season’s courier training to include wedding planning and Elvis impersonation.


Gardeners’ question time

Confirmation today that courier live emplacements offer a higher standard of living than your Newsblog correspondent’s actual house, with gardens outside every other live mobile. Really, some of us barely have space for a geranium.

Most of our gardeners have gone for the practical vegetable patch approach, though if this is in a bid to supplement wages with home grown produce, you’re probably out of luck – John and Julie at Holiday Marina reckon you’d be lucky to break even once you’ve bought pots, plants and compost. Still, you do get the benefit of fresh organic veggies, with the occasional free-range slug for bonus protein.

Château de Boisson have gone largely for tomatoes as usual, though Heather professes to be a bit disappointed with yield this season, blaming early hot weather.


Looks like decent tomatoes to me.

Beach Garden have branched out into aubergines and courgettes as well as tomatoes, generating most of the ingredients for a decent ratatouille.


Impressive aubergines at Beach Garden ….


….. and the rest of the ratatouille. Nice tomatoes.

The award for Most Productive Allotment has to go to Holiday Marina, where John and Julie have managed a crop of actual potatoes on top of the usual mediterranean veg, as well as at least one melon and what looked like a year’s supply of chillies. They also stand to score for a fine crop of wild blackberries, though the body armour needed to harvest them safely could add substantially to the general gardening overhead.


Holiday Marina’s market garden


Nice melons!!! Sorry, childish innuendo.

Meantime, Cat and Kate at Sirene have ditched this practical approach, and gone largely for the hippy wildflower garden vibe, combined with what can only be described as a touch of trailer park chic, using a velour-upholstered massage chair vultured (er sorry, recycled) from the tip next door as a centrepiece.


Team Sirene – a unique approach to courier horticulture.

Newsblog, meanwhile, hasn’t managed anything more spectacular than a couple of pots of rather meagre geraniums.


Letting the side down with my mere geraniums

Home improvements

Courier accommodation has come a long way since the bad old days of leaky tents on odd scraps of wasteground next to the rubbish dump and half an hour’s walk from the shower.

Mod cons have moved on to the extent that we seem to have not one but two sites with car ports, which puts them one up on my actual house. Expecting to see a hot tub on someone’s decking any minute.


Beach Garden’s Canvas-branded garage.


And Chalain’s facility – room for the bikes as well.

Festive roundup

Nice to see couriers across the programme keeping up the tradition of baffling the foreigners by mounting full on Christmas celebrations in the middle of a June heatwave.

A few people managed trees, with Beach Garden going for a modern minimalist look (baubles by M&S for added class), gwhile Dol stuck to the traditional pine tree with fairy lights combo.


Newfangled avant garde treeage by IKEA …..


….. vs traditional pine tree and coloured fairy lights.

Sirene wins a prize for sophisticated table decor, though Newsblog is prepared to bet on the civilised vibe having gone for a burton in fairly short order once the beers were opened.


Fancy table decoration at Sirene

What Beach Garden’s rather more rustic approach lacked in sophistication it more than made up for in conviviality, with couriers of several nationalities bonding in mutual bafflement over exactly what a Yorkshire pudding is actually for.


Bonhomie at Beach Garden. Rubbish carafes though, must try harder with the glassware.

No complaints about dinner though, with the sprouts in particular receiving top marks. Let’s face it, we’ve all been through the horror that is a mushy sprout on Christmas day. Good to see the tradition of massive over-catering religiously observed as well, with enough leftovers to keep the entire courier community in chicken sangers and bubble ´n’ squeak for a fortnight.


Home cooked yorkshire puds and perfect sprouts, winner.

So that’s it once again until next year. Back to scrubbing those toilets!