On the 5th day of Christmas Rollo and Terry crossed the Channel to come and stay with us. They arrived late at night, after we had spent the early part of the evening with Fefe and Francois in their lovely terraced house in the town. Their back gate gives out onto the quay and the house itself is full of artefacts and objects. There is joyful colour throughout. Fefe collects elephants.
We met them through Ty and Claire, and Nick and Francois instantly found common ground in their enthusiasm for fishing. We drank champagne and ate delicious savouries including baby boudin noirs dipped in chilli salsa. They were utterly toothsome.
During Rollo’s visit we made an excursion to try and trace her long-lost French pen-friend. With only the name of the village and Rollo’s memory of the house she had stayed at, we conducted our own enquiries which took us to Villers-Bocage and eventually to St Louis sur Seulles where we found Francois living with her English husband, someone Ro had worked with and dated when she was in London. The trio of former friends swapped news of the intervening years and we left at the end of the afternoon with some gifts of wine from Mike’s cellar.
The weather was less than kind to us during their stay but we did manage a walk round La Hougue. We also drove up to Gatteville intending to walk a stretch of coast back to Barfleur but were distracted by the snorting of a very large seal close to the lighthouse causeway. We watched him for a good while and the weather closed in, so we retreated to 104, stopping to buy patisseries for afternoon tea.