July 14 is Bastille Day across France, when the nation comes together to commemorate the Storming of the Bastille in 1789, and the Fête de la Fédération, which celebrated the unity of the French people on this day in 1790.
Celebrations are held throughout the country and Evian was no different, as the day ended with a spectacular firework display, both in the town and on the lawns of the hotel.
There were celebrations in the Clarets camp too as first Tom Anderson and Aiden O’Neill, then Ben Mee all signed new long-term deals.
And it was a privilege to be involved in some small way in the latter, as Ben’s all-important paperwork was emailed across to me and printed off at the hotel for the defender to sign (I locked the door), then scanned and fired back across the Channel to ensure all necessary documentation was in order ahead of the 5pm announcement.
Can I have your autograph please Ben?
There was then a spontaneous round of applause from the rest of Ben’s team mates, when the news was relayed while the players trained in the evening sunshine.
We also welcomed Premier League Productions (PLP) into the camp today.
You may not even have heard of PLP, but they are truly a global player. The league’s own television company is responsible for providing coverage from the league’s 20 teams to the watching world, with a dedicated 24-hour channel output, broadcasting to over 180 countries overseas and enjoyed by billions.
With a budget to rival a small country, they had no hesitation in flying a crew out to film training and garner some exclusive footage for programmes that will air worldwide in the run-up to the new season.
It was a pleasure to have Chris and Andrew with us, and after five player interviews (Gray, Boyd, Lowton, Mee and Marney) and an extended sit down with the gaffer, they certainly went away with plenty of material to edit. Non-UK residents, keep an eye out!
And finally, I mentioned Danny Stones yesterday and I leave you with an impressive tale of how to service your client. With a brief, three-hour window of free time between organised events, a few of the lads had the bright idea of trying to get a round of golf in.
A quick hopeful call was lodged to Danny and within 10 minutes the players were being chauffer driven to Evian Golf Club, with green fees, clubs, shoes and a buggy all organised.
The lads then drove off the first tee within 30 minutes of having the brainwave, and were home, changed and back at the golf club in time for the evening BBQ!
That’s more impressive than Lefty's record-equalling 63 at Royal Troon!