This time, we arranged to stay a little longer so I could attend my last RES Council meeting and go to the Patron’s Lunch in the Mall! We had a day between Tim and Deb leaving on the Sunday and our ferry booking on the Tuesday…. plenty of time to sort ourselves out, for Edward to go to his gardening job, pack and take Jim to the cattery, or so we thought…..
A change in career?
Moving to France has been an exciting adventure – finding our new home, making new friends, both French and English, finding our feet and settling in. However, eventually we shall need to find some form of employment. Edward has made a good start, working in the garden of a local man but this was only meant to be a temporary arrangement. The difficulty for me is that I don’t yet speak the language well, so this limits what I’m capable of doing at the moment. We considered my returning to the field of pesticide regulation, and it may well come about in the future. In the meantime, we have engaged with a company based in France, which organises holidays for French children staying with English families to help them with learning the English language. During the school holidays, the children come to stay, usually for a week, on full board, taking a lesson in English in the mornings then having a fun afternoon activity, and all the while we speak only English…
So, we had confirmation from the company while Tim and Deb were with us that they wanted to work with us and we thought, great, we’ve got the ball rolling and we can sort everything out when we get back from England – wrong!!! On the day before we travelled to the UK, we received emails from the director of the company, asking for photos of us, the garden, the house, inside the house; she wanted lists of activities we could offer at our home and for fun afternoons out with the children, she also wanted a description for each of us along with signed and scanned copies of the contract – all before we went away so that she could set up our page on her company website….. She was very exacting and some photos had to be re-done and resent – by 9pm we were about done, then it was time to do the packing!!!
I think this was one of the most stressful days we’ve had since we arrived (!) but we got there and our page went live the next day. It’s a little daunting but also very exciting and something we both feel we could do well and which will fit in nicely with our new lifestyle out here. So far, in less than a week, we have 3 separate bookings for July and August 🙂
Back to Blighty
We stayed with my parents again and we think that having a few extra days made the visit more relaxed and enjoyable. On the evening of our arrival, we popped over to Whitstable to get some money out. We took Mum with us so we could take a stroll along the sea front..
It was a lovely evening to stroll through the little streets….
and take in the views of the sea and the harbour…
Later in the week, we had a day out with Mum and Dad – they took us to see some gardens near Boughton Aluph and what treat it was! The photos don’t really do it justice but the gardens were wonderful, set in around 3 acres with pristine lawns setting off the full borders, just brimming with shrubs and herbaceous plants. We were really inspired to think about the planning of our own garden and came away with new ideas and lists of plants to look out for!
One thing we shall certainly be doing is to start planting roses… We didn’t really have the room for them in our garden in England, but here, we can easily manage a few and they add so much when planted into a mixed border….
So, our car boot was full again for the return journey – roses, shrubs, herbaceous plants, annuals, some bought and many given to us by my Mum and Aunty Gill – plenty to keep us busy back home!
Actually, it was Gary and Barry – our good friends from Kent. They have recently purchased a new car and we made arrangements to go and see them, and it, during our stay this time. Another treat was in store as Gary drove us over in his vintage Mustang to Sandwich Bay for a fish and chip supper!
What a lovely car! You couldn’t help but grin as we drove along the country lanes with the roof down 🙂 Next time, Gary’s promised I can have a go driving it – I guess it depends if I can reach the pedals!!!
It seems it was a visit full of treats and surprises. On the Saturday I helped Mum set up her stall at a local craft fair. Next to her were a couple of vintage cars, in which you could sit for 50p – I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a photo with Magnum P.I. in his Ferrari…
By Royal Appointment
Well, not quite, but we had tickets to attend the Patron’s Lunch in the Mall on Sunday 12 June. Another exciting day, which is covered in the next post. ♥