Normandy to Kent

Saturday morning and we headed over to the Super U at Gorron to collect the van we had hired for the long weekend to England.  We were pleasantly surprised as it seemed bigger than we had expected, so hopefully would make it easier for bringing the plants back from Mum and Dad’s.

We had to stop at the cottage first to load up all the furniture we had bought on AngloInfo, Brocantes, etc., which we were going to drop off at the house on the way to Calais….

It didn’t take long to unload everything – it is starting to feel like ours now and was a wrench to leave it.  However, we knew we’d be back soon as the removals company was due to deliver our belongings on Wednesday… we couldn’t wait to be reunited with it again!

So, the drive to Calias was uneventful and unstressful – the roads were clear and we discovered the van had cruise control, making driving even easier.  It was a beautiful morning…

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However, as we neared the northern region of Normandy, the clouds started to thicken..

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and by the time we’d passed Rouen, we were travelling in driving rain, not unlike our trip over back in July!

Thankfully, the weather improved again as we neared Calais but we were disappointed to find long queues at the Channel Tunnel – so near but so far, or so it seemed!!

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In the event, we were probably only delayed by about half an hour and we still managed to catch the train leaving just before the one we’d booked….  So, we arrived at Mum and Dad’s around 6.30 pm, and we sat down to chips and egg – lovely and just right after a long journey!!  Then I had a surprise from Kitt – she’d made me a ‘special’ birthday cake….

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Complete with hand made numbers (don’t look too closely!), made with black-berry flavoured chocolate to match the blackberry and chocolate torte and sparklers – it was delicious!  Thank you Kitt xx

Rushing about…

Sunday morning and I was up with the lark to go to a boot fair with Mum.   It’s somewhat a tradition that we go to one whenever we see each other!  While it was bright, it was very cold and having acclimatised to the Normandy weather, I hadn’t come properly prepared for the sharp mornings in England… Still, it didn’t deter me from snapping up some bargains for the house!

We were back home before 9am, then Edward and I headed into Canterbury to collect a fridge from Argos we’d ordered and a visit to the Range for other bits and bobs we just haven’t been able to find (or afford) in France!

Early afternoon and we were back with Kitt and Steve, who were taking us over to Faversham to see the Hop Festival.

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– the streets were full of stalls selling food and beer, many with hop-related themes or flavours –

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Trailers of hops were set up and wreaths were made for hats and as head-dresses…

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Kitt and I soon got into the spirit of things….

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Back at Mum and Dad’s it was time to head out again, this time for Dad to take me, Kitt and Mum to see my brother in Hawkinge.  It was a shame to miss Debbie and the children but nice to catch up with Paul and see what he’d been up to in and around his home…

Back again and it was all change as we got ready to go over to see our friends Gary and Barry, who had prepared a wonderful meal for us, Kitt and Steve…. It was so lovely to see them again – they are always great company and it was a lovely evening…

Then, it was home to bed – Phew!  What a day!!!

Preparing for the return home and the SAC

Monday morning and Edward and I went back into Canterbury with the aim of buying a new lap top as mine is about to give up the ghost… unfortunately, PC World didn’t have any of the one we wanted in stock – frustrating but perhaps we’ll pick one up elsewhere…

We then loaded up the van ready for our early start back in the morning…

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My afternoon was spent attending a speed awareness course (SAC) – it was sobering but we weren’t badly treated (!) and there were some really useful hints and tips to take home.

Returning home

Up at the crack of dawn and we were ready for the off…

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Mum and Dad came out to see us on our way!

The return journey seemed even easier, perhaps we were getting used to the van.  It was lovely to see the countryside that we love and is becoming more familiar to us…

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and even better to get the first glimpse of the house again as we rounded the corner…

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We had a lovely surprise as we came up the drive – someone had been and cut the verges and also been on the property and mown the lawns – it looked immaculate and just in time for the removals team arriving in the morning!

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It took just an hour to unload the van and the plants dotted around the buildings have already made a huge difference to the feel of the place….

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Again, it was a wrench to leave the place again but we were so excited to think we’d be reunited with our belongings and to see the team again from Burke Bros in the morning.

Back at the cottage, all seemed well and we were extremely grateful to Charles and Carol, who between them, had done a great job of looking after Jim, Mouse and Colin.

Sadly, Jim seemed to have deteriorated a little as his eyesight was very poor, if not gone completely.   We’d been to the vet with him before we left as his medication for his blood pressure was running out (he also has renal failure and a heart murmur, but perhaps he’s not doing so badly at 19 years of age) . We’re using an alternative medicine and we wondered if the change has made a difference and isn’t controlling it so well…. we’d make an appointment with the vet in the morning….♥