Monday, August 27, 2007

Part Five: On to Cheverny, and then the Object of Our Mission...

The Chateau of Cheverny. It inspired Georges Remi (Hergé) to create Moulinsart, Captain Haddock's ancestral home. Our contact was here somewhere.

Hergé must've thought it a bit too fancy for Haddock, as he lopped the two wings off.

Et voila!
You have Moulinsart (or Marlinspike, as we Brits call it).

Magnificent, ain't it?

Sickers was more impressed with the man mowing the lawns. He made me take this picture.

Inside the Chateau.

He looks like a rather stylish chap, what? The OFM in his salad days, I'll warrant.

Ugh. I hate this picture. Creepy-looking kids. Puts me in mind of "Village of the Damned."

A rather delightful breakfast table.

A magnificent and famous Renaissance tapestry. It is called "The argument over the restaurant bill."

Ha! Ha! You can see that old geezer's winkie!

I liked this place. I usually like places like this.

No idea what's going on in that pic, but it looks dashed odd. You'll have to make up your own silly caption, I'm afraid.

Our contact had left us a coded message in the hand of the chap in the ruff. We memorised it to decipher later, and carried on with our visit, posing as tourists to keep up appearances.

Here's Sickers, indulging in a little mindless vandalism inside the Tintin exhibition. Well, he is a teenager now, what do you expect?

Professeur Tryphon Tournesol's famous submarine from Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge.

And his sonic weapon from L'Affaire Tournesol.

And here's that one again from another angle, in case you missed it.

Some mementos from Le Secret de la Licorne.

Haddock's illustrious forebear, giving some pirates what-for.

So we left beautiful, tranquil Cheverny, and moved on yet again. Well, it would be tranquil if there weren't so many bloody tourists there.

We saw this Caddy in the car park. Here's Sickly leaning against it and pretending to be an Hispanic gang-banger from Los Santos.

The decoded message directed us deeper into rural France.

Along roads that to me, were the very quintessence of France.

And then we saw it: An ominous cloud of steam in the sky.

We followed it for miles.

Blistering Barnacles! So that was the cause!

Napoleonic France, thanks to the meddling of Cardinal Richelieu, had developed Nuclear Power! There was no time to lose. Stealing all nuclear secrets we could lay our paws on, we fled to the coast. We had to inform the Admiralty, who no doubt would pass this intelligence along to the Ministry for Gross Anachronism in Whitehall.

Our rendevous with Facetious was at the picturesque resort of Honfleur.

Lovely, though even more crammed with bleedin' tourists than Cheverny was.

The streets are littered with artists, trying to sell their work. Instead of buying this one, I merely took a photo of it. Ha! That'll teach him to slip off to the loo and leave it unattended.

So off we sailed, leaving France behind.

Back on the quarterdeck of Facetious, this time flying her true colours. I told Sickers to stand still until I said, as it was one of those old Victorian cameras. Gave me a chance to slink off for some peace and quiet for a bit.

Come cheer up, my lads! 'tis to glory we steer...

... To add something more to this wonderful year.

Ooops. It's got dark. Better go and fetch him. He's still standing there. What a twit!

Later, in the Great Cabin, Plynkes and Sickly perform some of their favourite Dexy's Midnight Runners, plus some lighter pieces, too.

Finally safe home to Spit Head and Pompey. There's the controversial Spinnaker Tower, built by the Cybermen during their invasion of 2006, by the looks of things.

And that, believe it or not, is HMS Victory, taken from the deck of Facetious. Remind me to get a more powerful flash for the camera.

So, another successful mission over. Later we learned that thanks to our efforts and the diplomatic leverage gained thereby, Britain was able to emerge advantageously from the 1816 Treaty of Milton Keynes. The French agreed to refrain from using nuclear technology until such a time as it had actually been invented, and to only use the military application of said technology against our nations' mutual foe: The Polynesians. So that's all right then.

The world sleeps safe again tonight.

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