Chapter *9.39*

Tour de Farce

We did eventually find the others, but not before another ‘photo session' that once again brought a people jam to Hall 4!

“Where've you guys been?” Con asked.

“Around.” Steff answered a little quickly.

“Oh come on, we've been through all the halls and we haven't even caught a glimpse of you lot, oh by the way this is Freddy.” I stated.

“Hi Freddy!” they chorused, poor sod turned redder than a red thing on red day in Reading.

“Er hi, I um ought to be going.”

“Okay mail me okay?”

“Sure Gaby, I'll send you the photo's, er bye everyone.”

“Bye Freddy.”

“See ya Gab!” and with that he turned and was lost in the crowds.

“There's some brill stuff at the back of Hall 5.” Nena suggested.

“We've not got there yet.” Con noted.

“Like what?”

“ Dampf-Punk.” Anna grinned.

“And what exactly is that?” Con voiced the question I was thinking.

“Come on, we'll show you, there's this cool stand where you can like dress up and stuff.” P enthused.


“Gab, you look like uber cool in that!” Brid mentioned.

“If you say so.” I replied, not convinced by what I could see in the mirror.

To the uninformed, me, Dampf-Punk or Steam Punk is a fusion of 19th Century fashion with science fiction gadgetry and additions, think Jules Verne and H.G.Wells. The girls managed to convince me to ‘model' some stuff on the ‘try it' stand so here I am. What am I wearing? Good question!

Let's see now, Victorian style button boots and a kind of saloon girl dress in a tweedy material which doesn't have much at the front! The dominating bit of erm, clothing however is the corset, now I've worn one before, not the most comfortable bit of attire to be sure but this is something else. Not only is it laced but its adorned with a variety of straps and buckles – once inside this you ain't getting out without help!

There is more, various bags, like ancient flying goggles and a Victorian piled on top hair style complete the look. To be honest I'm not sure what to think of the outfit, it is more comfortable than it looks but I can't say that I'd want to dress like this very often.

“Oh come on Gab, you'd look good in an Abfallbeutel!” Steff giggled.

“If you say so.”

“Come on, let's get some pictures.” Anna enthused.

“Come on Gab,” Con sighed, “There'll be no peace until they get their way.”

Con had managed to avoid the er Wild West whore look and was squeezed into brown leather trousers, big boots and another of the apparently essential corsets, hers was in green tartan with a myriad of eyelets and loops for decoration.

“I guess.”

And so I stuck on a grin and the pair of us posed for the girls…and then the stand organizers… and then a bunch of others passing by. It was getting a bit old by the time I was released from my prison and allowed to re-dress in my almost apposite attire.


“Flippin' ‘eck, it's nearly five!” I moaned, sinking into a sofa in the ‘lounge' area – a refuge for the exhausted.

“I'm starving.” Steff observed rubbing her tum.

“Could eat a pferde myself.” Anna agreed.

I slipped my shoes off to massage my sore feet, I'm glad I didn't go with anything with much heel; these low wedges are bad enough after seven hours!

“So what are we doing tonight?”

“Doing?” Pia sounded a bit unsure.

“To eat, there's not a lot of choice here is there?”

“We could eat at the hotel?” Nen suggested.

“I've got a better idea if everyone's up for it?” Anna suggested.

“Which is?” Con enquired.

“A place I heard about near the Dom, I was thinking we could freshen up back at the hotel and then go into the center.”

“As long as there's not too much walking.” I noted.

“Yeah, count me in.” Steff joined in.

“One last whizz around?” Anna then suggested.

We did indeed have one ‘last whizz around' as Anna put it, the others would be back again tomorrow but for me it was with a bit of regret that I wouldn't be.


“You sure this is the right place?” Brid asked as we eyed up the building.

“Positive!” Anna grinned. “Come on.”

She led the way under the sign that announced the place as ‘ Brauhaus Sion'.

“This looks like a pub to me.” I whispered to Con.

“Yeah.” She agreed.

“Ladies?” a stern faced waiter type greeted us inside.

“Table for seven?” Anna queried.

“Sure, this way please.” His face softened to a smile as he led the way through into a dining room. “The corner okay?” he pointed across the crowded room.

“Fine thanks.” Anna agreed.

Once we were settled in Pia mentioned something I'd been thinking about.

“Now I know why you wanted us to dress up.”

“I hope we don't get carded.” I noted.

“Why should we? If anyone looks underage it's you and you're on coke anyway.” Anna whispered.

And so we started an evening of drinking and debauchery – just kidding, in the Sion Brauhaus and enjoyable it was too. It was certainly a bit of a laugh when the American tourists at the next table took delivery of their ‘Grosser Würst', a full 100cm of German sausage which of course was served on a special wooden platter. I mean it's obvious that it's a joke item on the menu but the clever tourists just have to go for it!


“Come on , Gabs!” Anna squealed when the bus finally stopped.

“I'm coming.”

The three of us tumbled into the airport and headed for the escalator up to the check in desks for Terminal two.

“Better not mention last night to your Dad.” Con opined as we rode up.

“Yeah he might get the wrong idea.” Anna agreed.

“I wasn't planning on it; there he is, down the other end!”

As soon as we cleared the escalator we set off pell mell towards Dad.

Dave was fast approaching the toe tapping stage when not just Drew but Anna and Connie came careering along the concourse in a cacophony of arms, legs and squeals, scattering other travellers as they went.


“Made it!” Connie panted.

“I was starting to get a bit worried.” Dave admitted.

“There was a crash on the autobahn so the bus had to take a diversion.” Anna supplied.

“I did try ringing.” Drew added.

Dave pulled his Blackberry© out, “I didn't hear it go, damn it's on mute.”

“Parents! So much for that plan.” Drew rolled his eyes with a smirk fast creeping across his face.

“I didn't expect to see you two here, where are the others, where's your luggage?”

“We promised we'd get Gabs here so coming with seemed the best way.” Con told him.

“They've got a room at the hotel where you can leave bags; we'll collect them when Pia's dad picks us up.”

“Well thanks for bringing trouble.”

“No probs, see you Thursday Gabs, early shift.” Con grinned.

Drew groaned, he'd forgotten about the bakery.

After a quick hug the girls headed back towards the bus station whilst the Bonds made their way to the check in for their flight to the south of France.


“I told you to make sure you had everything.” Dave hissed at ‘ Juliette '.

“I showed it to you.” Drew whimpered.

“Well be thankful that they accepted the ‘typo' excuse.” Dave couldn't keep up the hard line stance, “ Come ‘ere.”

Drew leant over for a quick hug, not easy in the cramped confines of a 727. In truth the check in clerk had barely blinked at the ‘error', he looked enough like his sister's passport photo to be readily accepted as her.


They'd been perched on a rock near to the summit of the Tourmalet for two hours before the caravan hove into view and all their fellow fans rushed to the roadside to see what freebies they could get. In truth it was largely a load of tot but just being there, collecting the pens, key rings, paper hats and so on is as much part of the Tour experience as watching the riders. The last of the promotional cars passed them followed closely by an official car with loudspeakers blaring.

“What was that?”

“Something about fifteen minutes, my French isn't up to much.”

“I'll see if that guy in the Telekom shirt knows, I saw him in the hotel last night.” Drew suggested hopping back down to the road.

“Excusé moi, er parley English, bitte?” Drew's French was appalling too despite his teacher's best attempts over the years.

“Kleine.” He replied indicating a little gap with thumb and fore finger.

“Ah deutsche!”

“Ja, von Frankfurt kommt.”

“Great! Any idea what the announcement was? Dad and me are both terrible with French.”

“Me too, Josef by the way, but I think they were saying the race is coming.”

“Kewl, I can't believe I'm here! I'll go tell Dad.”

“You are coming down to watch?” Josef asked.

“We were going to stay up on the rocks.”

“Ach! You'll never see anything up there, go fetch your father, I'm sure we can squeeze a small mädchen to the front of the crowd, you'll be right with the riders.”

“Really? Um Gaby by the way, I'll fetch Dad.”

to be continued....

© Maddy Bell 18.12.2011

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