Little Egypt: The Second Crusade
Day, the First, in which our heroes yet again visit the scene of earlier triumphs
In 2006, the Morris Men of Little Egypt paid a spectacularly successful and enjoyable visit to the Languedoc.
Never knowingly having given up an invitation to have Another Good Time, Little Egypt's response to John and Maureen's suggestion of a return visit in 2008 was seized with both metaphorical hands and several industrial-gauge grappling hooks into the bargain.
The account that follows was furnished by Brian "Baggie" Stephens, along with the photographic evidence, for which I am, as always, eternally grateful.
Thursday 12 June
It started at Carcassonne Airport - for some it started in the bar at Stansted but that's another story.
A blustery but mild day welcomed Little Egypt to the Land of the Cathars. The coach was waiting to whisk the intrepid travellers to the Canal Du Midi where a sumptuous picnic had been prepared by Maureen and her helpers.
There was food and wine aplenty before we boarded the bateau for a trip along the canal. Our charming French hostess told us something of the history of the building of the canal which links the east and west coasts of France, and whenever she paused for breath someone from Little Egypt was ready to entertain with a song or a tune on the melodeon.
We almost danced, but when we heard the canal was eight feet deep we changed our minds and sat back to enjoy the scenery.
The coach was waiting to take us to our hotel for a brief freshen up before the evening's entertainment at the village of Alaigne.
Here we were welcomed by a fine crowd which had gathered at Le Cafe Galloise.
The Welsh owner had beers such as Guinness and Murphy's Red to tempt us before we started dancing. A local chanteur called Jean-Paul helped the Squire with French translations to explain the nature, history and significance of each dance.
As the sky clouded over and the wind increased the locals ran to the bar and we swiftly followed.
Just in time as the rain thundered down. We were nice & dry inside since, as everyone knows, "it never rains on Little Egypt".
Some impromptu going ahead started with both Little Egypt and the French customers taking part.
A fine first evening.