When I get back to the house after my walk there is no time for the luxury of a hot bath and feet up with a good book. Oh no…. the Cholseys’ ferry will be docking at Cherbourg around 8 o’clock and there is a welcome to prepare. All the beds are made and it will be a question of putting some kind of spread on the table for them to graze. When they burst through the front door there are hugs and greetings and then they spill out of the back door and I hear the unmistakeable sound of the little red and yellow plastic car being ridden around the terrace. The little vehicle is iconic, they have all been playing with it since the earliest St Vaast days………… 10 years ago………… when Sam was 4! These days they squeeze into the driver’s seat and the older children push the younger ones around. The little red car is intermittently whizzed around the terrace for the duration of their visit and sometimes we have to call a halt when we struggle to hold a conversation against a background of noisy trundle.
We have 10 days ahead of us. In this time we will spend time at the beach, joined by the Tuttle children for water play and cricket. The Tuttle children also join our lot chez eux; they have a great afternoon playing Mölkky, a Finnish throwing game which is a bit like skittles, and delving in Claire’s dressing up box. The Tuttles entertain us to an evening BBQ where I get to have a go at dressing up too! They love the game of Sardines and play this at both 104 and 125.
Barney takes the children climbing at La Glacerie. We all chip in with inventive cookery; Joel and I make a squid curry for which the children come back for seconds and thirds (!) and Lukie makes a fab Beef Wellington. Joel makes scotch eggs which are so yummy and he spends time with Nick preparing smoked mackerel for our famous pate. One evening we have a Degustation of Fruits de Mer and the children gamefully try things they have not eaten before. I have delved in the freezer and found a box of ready-prepared escargots which I grill and serve. Amelie tries one and chews it thoughtfully. She is rather inscrutable at the end of it, I am not sure if she liked it or not, but I think she is pleased to have tried.
All too soon their holiday is at an end. They have been with us just over a week and it has whizzed by.