Boared: Wed 11th Sept 2019

Bassist Andy and I were looking forward to our adventure; driving his car full of music gear across the English Channel via Newhaven to Dieppe. The Guiseley Brothers had two gigs at Gabariers Pub in Saint Simeux.

We were in good time for the ferry and sailed at 7pm

We made great progress after landing in France at around 1am. Andy had managed to avoid running over a beautiful owl sitting in the middle of the road near Chatres. A close call.

Another 80 miles south on the N10 and we weren’t so lucky. Near L’Enfer, just before where the D19 meets the N10 a wild boar decided that this was his preferred crossing place .

A glancing blow was enough to wreck the front near-side wing and front panels. The radiator was smashed and every warning light came on. The boar was probably dead; hitting a Land Rover doing 60mph can’t be good.

Andy managed to eventually find a safe place to get off the road and out came the warning triangle and hi-vis vests. The 4×4 was in a bad way. If we had been in a small saloon car it could have been a lot worse.

After 2 hours of talking to Land Rover UK and L&V insurance we finally got a tow truck (we had to drive on to the D19 as the N10 is designated as a ‘motorway and recovery vehicles have different protocols).

We were driven to a Peugeot garage in Cloyes, a tiny village with no B&Bs or hotels so we both had a fitful sleep in the damaged car until we could make calls at 9am (8am in the UK). The ‘specialist team’ and L&V just said, ‘Keep receipts and get home’. Marvellous. Thank god for mobile phones and money. We decided to hire a van and continue onwards to keys player Paul’s house in Bouteville.

I stayed with the gear (the car wouldn’t lock because of the damage) and Andy got ripped off (60€) with a taxi to Vendôme. Andy had booked a van via his laptop but the garage said they wouldn’t let him take a van from Vendôme and leave it in Angoulême, he could have a Opel Zafira but charged him the same price as a van (b**st*rds). The seats in the Zafira wouldn’t fold down so we played real Tetris and got all the equipment in!

14 hours later than planned Andy got us to Bouteville with no further incidents. He was knackered and the shock of hitting a living thing took a while to get over, although part-vegetarian, he vowed to eat any pig offered to him.

We had lovely gigs at Gabariers Pub

Andy and I came back with Paul’s wife Mel on Tuesday. Andy’s Discovery was still at the Peugeot garage as we passed it on the way home.

At the time of writing it’s still there. Andy can remotely access his car’s location.

Let’s hope he gets it back soon!

Not the adventure we envisaged but ‘the show must go on!’