When I was 18 I visited the south of France with my first 'real' boyfriend. We went for three weeks and we travelled in a Renault 5 van! We had little money and, unlike these days, it was totally unplanned, unfinanced and unannounced, a sort of spur of the moment decision.
It was a tumultuous relationship which lasted over ten years and through 2 marriages, his and mine (to other people). But I digress!
Freedom in France was glorious. We worked our way down the west coast from Mont Saint-Michel to La Rochelle through Cognac and so on. So many lovely places but sadly I can't remember the names of them all now. The weather was warm and we lived on baguettes and cheese.
When we reached the south we camped in a two man tent. The campsite was large but there was lots of space, so we went to the far end away from the crowds. There was a toilet block nearby, which was convenient and I took myself off for a shower sometime during the first day.
As I walked into the shower block I noticed that each shower cubical was quite open, three walls and no shower curtain. I had experienced all sorts during the previous week, the 'hole in the floor' loos being the highlight, so the fact that there were no curtains was not really a surprise. Luckily there was no one else there so I walked to the end cubical, which was a little more private, and stripped off. The shower was a bit chilly but at least I felt clean. I dried myself down hastily as I was sure someone else would be bound to come in soon, and knowing the French, this could easily be a unisex block! As I trotted out at speed I only just avoided a couple of planks of wood lying across the door way. I hopped over them and turned around. There was a french man there, hovering outside. He was wearing painters overalls, covered in white paint (the same as the colour of the walls of the shower block) He spoke to me in French, I didn't concentrate well in my french lessons at school so I had no idea what he was saying but I got the gist. Just beside the planks of wood was a sign which said something like 'closed for refurbishment'! How had I missed that on the way in? I had a towel to hide my blushes, but I never really knew just how long the little French painter had been standing there for!