The highs and lows of your school trip to France, hour-by-hour

IT’S been 30 years, but you’ve never forgotten that magical two-day trip to France that ended with Stacey throwing up shoplifted camembert on the ferry back. Here’s what you got up to:

5am Saturday: Your whole household gets up early to rush you to the coach idling outside school, waiting to take two classes of 14-year-olds to Calais to ‘practice French’. By 5.30am you’re on your way and have eaten three bags of Space Raiders and four Breakaways.

6.15am: The coach waits at a service station for Martin’s parents to deliver his passport, which they’d forgotten he’d need. A further 20 minutes elapses to locate Lindsey and Natasha, who have spent £30 on pick ’n’ mix.

9.45am: On the ferry over, Wayne gets seasick and throws up on his trousers. He forgot to pack a spare pair so has to wash them in the toilet sink. For the next two years of school he is known as Chunderpants.

11.30am: Everyone’s ready to leave the ferry, except Susan and Nathan, who are missing. They’re discovered snogging on Deck C, causing huge ructions as Hannah had told Susan that Emma fancied Nathan, and Susan was only snogging Nathan to get back at Emma for flirting with Ryan.

12.25pm: Lunch break. The French are renowned the world over for fine dining. Class B3, however, eats the remainder of their packed lunch in a service station car park on the way to Dunkirk. Mr Muir confiscates a pack of Gauloises that Martin managed to buy and is seen throughout the weekend smoking them himself.

1pm-4pm: Dunkirk. History teacher Mr Turner attempts to teach the class about the Dunkirk evacuation in the location it happened in. B3 is preoccupied with having seen Miss Hudson and Mr Bishop groping each other when they thought no one was watching.

6pm: Hotel. Cheap and vile. But there’s a visit to a French disco to look forward to, which is an educational lesson in how staggeringly bad French music is. Emma gets off with an 18-year-old French boy called Guillaume until Miss Hudson separates them.

9am Sunday: Nobody has slept. Mr Muir placates the furious manager when Martin and Julian have a sword fight with baguettes at breakfast.

11.30am: Visit to Calais hypermarket, or the only reason the teachers agreed to come on the trip to stock up on duty free wine. B3 roam the aisles like feral dogs, stealing anything they can. Stacey makes it out with a wheel of camembert up her NafNaf sweater.

3.30pm: Stacey is throwing up over the side of the ferry home, having learned that camembert tastes how it smells. Nobody will sit with her on the coach.

4.30pm: The coach, now safely back in Blighty like those Dunkirk soldiers, is alive with rumours of what happened between Hannah and the lads on the back seat. It is widely believed to be a five-way orgy.

6pm: Your parents collect you asking how it was speaking French all weekend. ‘Très bien’, you say, not mentioning that the only French that passed your lips the whole trip was the chorus of Joe Le Taxi at the disco.

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Corporate arsehole to creepy loner: landlords from best to worst

WHETHER scum, parasites or bastards, there are few professions lower than the landlord. Here are the varieties they come in, in descending order:  

Your parents

If you’re the kind of student whose parents bought you – or worse, already had – a two-bed city flat, then you’re already as bad as them. Anyway it’s an investment, or so you’ll tell everyone to try to justify it. Deeply uncool, but at £200/month rent and no bills who gives a f**k?

Rich kid wanker

If you’re not lucky or contemptible enough to be the above, you may have the good fortune to rent from one. They don’t need the cash so they’ll be pedantic about the rent down to the last penny. But they’re so thick you can scam them easily, or negotiate a discounted rate by selling them weed.

Chaotic family

It’s never clear who exactly your landlord is, because every time you phone you’ll speak to a different person. Try asking for a plumber and you’ll get a random man with a plastic bag who may or may not be another relation. Friendly and not too rapacious, but the creative electrical wiring does make the place a death trap.

Obvious criminal

By their very nature landlords are criminal, but this type clearly does it as a day job as well. An exacting list of instructions, including a list of names to deny all knowledge of and never to enter the locked attic which is clearly a cannabis farm, came with the property. Deeply illegal shit is going on. On the other hand, you pay rent weekly in cash and it’s f**k all.

Creepy loner

Who is he? Where is he from? How does he own a rather nice flat? Nobody knows. His jokes about wanting to be invited around more are, it is increasingly apparent, not jokes. His ‘surprise inspections’ where he lets himself in of an evening are becoming more frequent. He may have fitted hidden cameras. But it’s a nice flat.

Corporate arsehole

Despite the shiny exterior, any request for the most basic standards of living will be met with the sighs and complaints of a petulant teenager. You’re paying huge sums in rent, it doubles every lease renewal, and he’s already explained that he ‘doesn’t return deposits’. He finds your lack of respect for a man trying to run a profitable business so disappointing.