Simon Pocock - Blues in Brittany

Doing work experience in a big city or joyriding in the countryside? Not quite the same thing. I’m not really sure which of these would appeal more if I was a bored teenager in rural surroundings…

Well, my youngest boy quit school before the Summer holidays and very quickly got himself a “job” (the technical name is work experience but this is full-on work which he might even get paid for).

This employment is from a local roofer who has offered him an apprenticeship and for the past two weeks he has been working and training in Paris; not a bad result for a 16-year-old! I must say, his Mum and I are very proud of him.

Old rusty tractor on farm

On his return home this weekend, though, he told me a funny story about two friends of his who are still at school and were bored last week (aren’t they all at that age?). They were wandering aimlessly around the countryside one afternoon when they suddenly came across an old abandoned tractor. They hi-jacked it, driving it through the village and down country lanes but then just as quickly lost interest and the tractor was abandoned once more.

It sounds like a stupid prank, but thinking of comparisons with inner city joyriding where cars are left regularly as burnt-out shells, this is pretty harmless: the old tractor will do perhaps 15mph and is virtually impossible to destroy, even though, ironically, the make of the tractor was Ferrari!

Person picking a strawberry from a plant

The two lads did put a video on Facebook originally to brag about their adventure but sensibly took it off again as they realised the local authorities would not have been impressed and would also have probably wanted a chat with them at some point.
Ideally, if they were that bored, they should have been at the strawberry farm with me when I spent a day there last week. They could have helped us, driving their ancient tractor (officially, no need to joyride there!) while Kas and Karen planted 6000 new plants. Having said that, I have to be honest: I found driving at less than walking pace for 8hrs very dull. A couple of bored teenagers yearning for excitement, perhaps wouldn’t have enjoyed the experience after all, who knows? Not quite as thrilling as a good old-fashioned joyriding experience.

Apart from that, this week has been very busy musically, as the band played at quite a few events, including a lunchtime gig performing for a retirement home at Lannion, followed yesterday by a ceremony to mark the retirement of the local chef for the firefighters (les pompiers in French); today we play once again, this time at Tonquedec, in a valley where two partisans were shot by the Germans during WW2.

The French are very “fidèles” to their war heroes, which is more than can be said about DSK!

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