In the South of France this week as the crowd expectantly awaited the arrival of Papa Noel aka Father Christmas / Santa, the children were heard comparing this year’s favourites.
The whirr of an outboard engine disturbed the chatter, there he was, Papa Noel waterskiing in behind an IRB (inflatable boat) to Collioure Bay to the cheers and awe of the crowd.
Perhaps a little unusual, especially in the middle of winter, but you know, he’s pretty innovative these days.
Then, to the shock of the crowd, Santa had a massive stack about 150 metres off shore. Disaster! He quickly sunk under the weight of Europe’s answer to Eggnog, Vin Chaud. All that remained was his hat and the waterski.
Minutes passed but Santa failed to surface. The crowd drowned along with him and the mood became sombre. Chatting stopped.
After an eternity and maybe five minutes more of reciting Prancer, Dancer and all, a miracle ensued.
Papa Noel emerged from the deep cold water. Clambering aboard the Floating Commando Training Centre he waved with gusto and the sighs of relief may have been heard worldwide. (It is of course not possible to Google any information on the Collioure Commando Training Centre, the IRB, Santa, the skiing accident, submerged divers and all).
A beach landing, happy and excited children, sharing of festivity, Xmas cheer and much vin chaud followed.
It will be a Merry Xmas after all.
Enjoy the festive celebrations, many happy hours in the saddle and see you in 2013 for more pedal-powered ‘esprit’.