First day of trip - from home to Dover, ready for early ferry next day.

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August 25th 2011
Published: August 26th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

Sunny day in Staffordshire Sunny day in Staffordshire Sunny day in Staffordshire

- as we headed along the A50 en route for Dover.
Worked out on the drive down that I have been out of the UK for 18 weeks out of the last year (5 + 3 in Australia, 3 in Thailand and 3 + 4 in France). Have tried to make the most of some good sunny and dry weather to have a relaxing 2 months of summer at home but that has not always been possible.
We have been home for 2 months since returning from our trip in May / June to the French Alps and South coast. As Bob ended up in hospital in Sanary-sur-Mer the first thing we had to do on returning home was get him checked out to ensure that the severe urinary infection he had suffered there was now OK. Several doctor and consultant appointments, two courses of extra-strong antibiotics, one abdominal and one bladder scan, one cystocopy later - all appears to be well and Bob possibly holds a record as the man with the most internally photographed organs. We had to delay arranging this September trip until we were sure that he was fit and well so planning was very much last minute.

Far more exciting than hospital appointments was the
Our campsite, a CL, just outside DoverOur campsite, a CL, just outside DoverOur campsite, a CL, just outside Dover

sheep in adjoining field for company
3-week, eagerly awaited, visit from Australia of Jenny and family. 'Baby' George has never been ‘the right way up’ before, having been born in Melbourne, but he took to it very well and was his usual, very smiley self and Isobel was, as always, my lovely and favourite granddaughter. So good to see them all when we met them at the airport and spent a few hours with them in Malvern and then they all came to stay with us for 5 days, a great treat to spend this time with them all. A week later we travelled down to Hasfield for George’s christening and a week after that, I stayed with them in Malvern for the last 2 nights of their UK holiday before they flew back to Melbourne. Drove home alone very sadly.
I had deliberately arranged to be busy next day and had a table at a Midsummer Meyhem event in Newcastle where I had a lovely day selling glass. Have made and sold lots and lots in the last few weeks, some through my Folksy shop and some just via enquiries from my website.
The garden fortunately has managed to look after itself, after the bit of TLC I gave it before the last trip and as it has been really rather nice and sunny, has been looking pretty good and very flowery. No idea how it will be when we get home, very bedraggled I should think as it has been so dry that several plants have been struggling in the last couple of weeks.

Just days after Jenny and family had left, after their planned 5-day stay with us, and moved on to Malvern, we found ourselves with a houseful of extra visitors for two full weeks in the form of Jane and family who arrived on their UK summer visit from Thailand. So really we have barely had the house or any time, to ourselves, had time to breath this summer, between getting back from first trip and getting ready for this one.
We’ve also changed the car. Our trusty 15-year old Audi A4 has had to go and has been replaced by a silver A3. We’ve managed to drive it a few miles here or there in the 8 weeks we have had it including two visits to sister Liz on campsites as actually taking a night away in the Tandy has been out of the question. Also managed to see other sister, Rosemary, at George’s christening which was a treat.
Bob has had several jobs to do to fill his summer, fixing the outside loo which sprung a leak while we were away on the last trip, securing the side wall which had moved several inches from its base, etc and this while he was for several weeks rather badly affected by his infection and then the antibiotics.
So time for another trip to set us up for the dark winter months at home. This is why we are now sitting in the Tandy, in a field, a CL, just a few miles out of Dover ready to catch a ferry to France at 8am tomorrow.
Destination is Bordeaux by way of the south of Brittany, Vendee, Ile de Re and Royan and then returning via the Dordogne and the Loire Valley. It is raining at the moment and we have not had time to check the weather forecasts in France but hopefully, by the time we get there, the sun will be out and we will have our usual lovely trip.


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