A couple of days after I wave my French visitors off, Claire arrives with the Crazy Gang of Four. We are all going to travel over to France together for a week of familial fun and frolics. In fact Nick and I face a month playing host to assorted familial configurations. Once arrived we already have an appointment for a Tuttle BBQ, before then a seashore safari organised by Claire and me which involves cartwheels in bathing suits.
Joel and I slope off to Paris for his jolly, then we come back to find the Perrymans have arrived for their long weekend during which we will celebrate Charlotte’s birthday with a return BBQ with the Tuttles chez nous. With CJ and Ry in charge it will be good. The sands of time are rushing through the Cholsey holiday hour-glass. They have had quality time with cousins, aunts, uncles: But before they return to the UK Joel and Claire cook us a fabulous evening meal which is a dummy run (but nothing dummy about what we are offered!) for Joel’s forthcoming Charity French Lunch. We enjoy his own brand of French Onion Soup, with a choice of Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourgignon as the main dish. And then there is Crème Brulee 🙂
After the Gang of Four return to Oxfordshire Ted stays on with Nick and I. He gets some fishing in. In fact we have a fabulous day which Ted thoroughly enjoys at all stages. He is very willing to help take the fish off their lines and into the bucket, and to help Nick process the gutting of our catch and the distribution of heads and guts to a horde of seagulls. It is a spectacular sight. Nick takes Ted to the small Zoo at Montaigue la Brisette whilst I have a very long overdue appointment with Manu. Bar And so Ted’s departure day rolls round and he and I board the good ship ‘Barfleur’ bound for Poole where his mother will pick us up. We stay overnight at TOW and the following day drive to Weymouth to have lunch with Ted’s Great Granny. This is a happy visit and after they must drive to Godalming and I stay on at TOW another night before going back to France to await the next visitors…….
……….who arrive the next day. Marian, Katharine and David come to us every year and it is a welcome week in which to catch up with them. We can always count on David to tweak our computer systems, although Nick seems to take the lion’s share of this. After his sessions with David I have not the heart to burden David further, even though he is more than willing. By way of a small thank you Nick does give the Bradleys a master class in crab dressing. The week slips by and Katharine and I get some night-time bathing off the white wooden steps near La Chapelle des Marins at the town end of La Hougue. We join Dede and his granddaughter Oranne at 10 o’clock and on the first evening the water feels even tepid. As the spring tides approach there is a greater mixing of the waters and the temperature drops somewhat. But I retain the physical memory of that first night-time plunge. Above all my aging self appreciates the stable wooden steps with handrail. What an elegant way to enter the sea!
After they leave we have a couple of days in which to prepare for my sister and her family and that is a whole other post…………..