Scandalous dognapping incident at Argeles

The AM3 demo team nearly took the traditional van mascot to another level with an actual live dog rather than our usual Kinder Egg toys and customer find stuffed bears.

This little cutie made the mistake of straying around the Argeles store for three days, and spent a night entertaining the courier team in Sirene before your Newsblog correspondent managed to reunite her with her proper humans courtesy of the local vet and the ID chip in her neck.


Will and his new friend

Bit of a loss for the demo team, but good news for Marine (as she turned out to be called) and her family.


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

Camping 70s style

Courier accommodation isn’t the only thing which has moved on over the past half a century. Who’d recognise Camping La Sirène at Argeles from this photo?


Old skool at Argeles

Big changes since 1967 when site owner Eric Carletti decided to pack in his electrical goods business and buy a two star campsite instead. Sirène celebrates its 50th anniversary this season – check out their Facebook page for more retro camping pix.

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!