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Published: September 28th 2018
Gabby the motorhome is sitting on a large plot in the town of Calais in the campsite La Bien Assise. We come here often. It is close enough to drop into on our way down France and handy for the tunnel coming home. It is late and the office is shut for the night so there is nowhere to pay. We will have to do that in the morning. As Glenn wires us up to electricity I head off for the restaurant hopefully to book a table for two. When I get there I am told we can have a table but outside . It is raining, it is cold and windy - why would I want to sit outside? Inwardly seething I sidled off cursing our luck. Why couldn't we book you probably wonder? It is September late on, surely there should be room at the inn. But no , the site is heaving with Brits and we are particularly late getting here . So why are we so late?
Rewind back a few days. We spent the last few days racing round picking up deeds for Glenns mums house from the solicitors and delivering them to our solicitor.
The house has sold and the buyers have instructed their solicitors, their building society and just now need a survey. It is a waiting game. We had more viewers on our home. A couple called , they liked it, they told us they could put their table in our lounge, the garden was just right not sloping like the one up the road. They liked the blinds which were cream and strangely looked pink on the brochure. Then they disappeared into the woodwork never to be seen again. Another couple turned up and loved it. The kitchen was bigger than the one up the road but the garden was an issue as she had health issues. To be fair they came back for a second viewing , still loved it but felt it would not work for them. Finally just before the holiday we found a house we liked. Right place, right price but the vendors would not put themselves out for us to view. We despaired and wondered why we were putting ourselves through it all.
So Gabby was ready for the off as we were. She was fully loaded and ready to go. Before we left we
suffered a storm of biblical proportions. The water ran down the road like a river and we probably would have been better building an ark. We received a phone call. Could we agree to a viewing before we left the country. No No and more emphatic negatives were exchanged. But they are coming from Lincolnshire and have sold their house. Why we agreed I shall never know. The train was booked for 14 .50 allowing us a quiet run down to London and Kent. It also gave us time to get to Neufchatel to Camping St Claire for an evening meal. Against our better judgement we gave in. They can come 10.30 but they must be on time. We cannot wait for them we said. Oh no they will be on time said the estate agent. If you believe that then you are a better than me. I hoped they would arrive on time but at the back of my mind I had this niggling doubt . Sure enough 10.30 came and went. 10.40 we rang the estate agents to check that they were still viewing. They returned the call to say that they were 5 to 10 minutes away. We twiddled our thumbs with the clock ticking loudly. It was now 10.50 and still no sign of them. The phone rang and the message was relayed that they were at least 15 minutes away or perhaps nearer 30. They were going round in circles. We had to be rude and tell them not to bother coming. We had no choice but to set off otherwise we would miss our train and our dinner at camping St Claire.
The M1 beckoned with its road works upgrading it to smart motorway status. Work that will continue until Spring 2020. Traffic around London was bad. We got snarled up over the Dartford crossing. We noticed the hedgerows were turning yellow and crimson, Signs that Autumn is just round the corner. Arriving at the tunnel the machine picked us up before we got to the barrier. Mrs Jones you are late it shouted at me , you have missed your train. Only by half an hour but enough time to ensure we were going to be sitting in the car park for another hour and a half. So that was goodbye to Neufchatel and goodbye to a meal, Still we could stop at Guines and make up for it. So here we are at Guines, it is cold and dark and we cannot have the meal we were looking forward to. What a day. We should have said no and stuck to our guns but we are here and tomorrow we head south looking for some sun.
Let come what comes, let go what goes, see what remains - those words of Ramana Maharishi should be our watchword.
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