Semi retired. Travelled all over Europe but first time to travel further
  • Day10

    Green Parc

    July 17, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Early start for Green Parc. The Gomersons have decided to opt out. Wise decision really. We circled St Chapte- home of Green Parc- for 15 minutes before we found it. We parked in a cornfield. Our expectations were lowering by the minute but we pressed on regardless! Entry was10 Euros for adults and 9 Euros for children over one. We paid and entered. The girls got up close and personal feeding the goats in the compound. The horses ignored us- as did the potbellied pig and hens. We gave the rats a wide berth. Onto the water slide area. We had already realised that this was basically for under 10s with adults only allowed with smaller children. Beth , Tiger and i sat and watched through the fence while meg and Julian put the Blissett girls through their paces. Worth the admission fee just for that. A great number of shady picnic areas for us to enjoy our sandwiches. An ice cream courtesy of Beth and a quick turn on the trampolines and castle for Julian before the heat got the better of us and we headed for the car.
    The Gomersons had held the fort and we spent the rest of the day round the pool/ villa -just Ellie and Jamie heading out for a quick drink.
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  • Day9

    A Couple of False starts - A Good End

    July 16, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    It's Sunday. We were going to have a picnic at Green Parc today but suspected that the French were big weekend picnickers and took a rain check. However to be prepared ,and as supplies were running low , a raiding party was sent to Carrefour. It's amazing how much food 7 adults, 2 babies and a toddler can eat. It's quite mind boggling deciding which of the 10 kinds of Camembert you might choose.
    The Gomersons head off for Nimes and later bring back good reports.
    The Blissetts and Beth have the pool to themselves as joe and I head off for " one of France's most beautiful villages"- La Roque sur Ceze. Sadly we get so far along a road with fabulous views and then no further as the road is shut. We chicken out of the diversion and head for the Gorges de Gardon. Sadly again we overshoot the parking and decide we can't be bothered to turn back so take the Uzes road and park up in the town. It is so beautiful. Lots of alleys to wonder around. The Splendid Maison de Uzes with its Michelin star. Little boutique shops. We stumble on the Medieval Garden and pay our 6 Euros to wander the garden and climb the King's Tower They throw in a history of the Haribo factory and an artists exhibition. There is a toxic section of plants in which I take an interest- watch out Joe. We pick our favourite picture from the exhibition- a giraffe knocked down- 1600 Euros. Difficult to arrange transit with Ryan Air so pass. The Kings tower has 100 small winding steps but the view is magnificent.
    Arrive home. Better Call Claude- problem with the Gomerson bath. Call was for tomorrow but Claude appears later. It's serious. Needs a plumber. Difficult to get one in July and August says Claude. So it's not just a British problem.
    BBQ night. So much protein!
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  • Day8

    Market Day

    July 15, 2017 in France ⋅ 🌬 27 °C

    Joe and I hot footed it into Uzes early doors for The Saturday Market. The Gomersons had been disappointed in the few stalls on Wednesday but today was a seriously large market. Breakfast was a priority and La Nougatine- a wonderful Salon de The - was where we were heading. The Englishman abroad chose Le Petit Dejeuner Anglais. Fruit juice, a large coffee, two fried eggs and bacon plus half a seeded loaf. Fortified we headed for the market. Vibrant textiles, jewellery, scarves, all manner of food and drink and clothes. Lots of beautiful things to want but nothing we needed. We then bumped into the Blissetts but were quickly moved on by the stallholder selling very many very mundane socks.
    The Blissetts reported that they then had delicious banana and Nutella crepes before continuing to wander around. Their next stop was the Cathedral where preparations for a wedding were underway. The organist was playing and the church was full of all manner of white flowers. Footnote - they had all disappeared next day when we went to the cathedral.
    Meanwhile Tiger and I had spotted a white linen flat cap- the sort golfers wore in old black and white footage and joe had always yearned to own. It was a Stetson. It was beautiful. Guess how much? 72 Euros. Did we buy it?
    As we walked home we bumped into the Gomersons and Beth strolling into the market. We relieved them of Albie and they continued on their way to eat and buy soap.
    Eventually we all returned to enjoy the facilities !
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  • Day7

    D Day

    July 14, 2017 in France ⋅ 🌬 27 °C

    Beth's exam results are out on line at noon British time so there is an air of tension about the place. Beth thinks that she has passed one and failed one. In the interest of a good holiday we all hope that she's got it wrong and has passed both.
    Everyone is lounging around the pool clock watching. Beth has told us that she won't look until 4pm French time but she sneaks inside at 12.55. Then a shout goes up and she has passed both! Tiger and I hot foot it to Carrefour for a couple of bottles of champagne and come out with a full trolley!
    Rest of the day relaxing by the pool.
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  • Day6

    Trip day

    July 13, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Tiger, Biffy and I head off for Aigues Mort pretty early. We arrive at the same time as half of France but manage to squeeze in Car Park 4. We sample some splendid ice cream- my raisins were full of rum or maybe rum essence- before we tackled the ramparts. Very impressive construction. They don't build them like that anymore. The sun did beat down but we did the mile round trip and were better informed re French history. We formed a particular attachment to Louis 1X who founded AM and banned frivolity (amongst other things).
    We then continued our trip heading for The Camargue. Our tick list was white horses, bulls, rice paddy fields and flamingoes. Sadly no flamingo spotted but white horses abounded.
    Home to find that the Blissetts had given the thumbs down to Ales but the Gomersons had loved the Pont du Gard.
    Maddie, Alice and Albie all loving the pool. Albie not so sure initially but loves it now. Wonderful to see everyone in the pool enjoy ing themselves. Maddie very keen to help joe with pool maintenance.
    Albie is suddenly sprouting hair. Is it true heat makes your hair grow faster?
    All heading for bed when the fireworks go off.
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  • Day5

    Hello Claude

    July 12, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Indeed yes he's back again. The electric has now gone off. The boys are concerned about the meat mountain in the freezer. The babies are sweating. And I was going to make a nice cup of tea to calm everyone down! Emails were exchanged with owner in England and presumably relayed as our man soon appeared. Claude did have a weary way to him today- we are taking up an awful lot of his time. Anyway this time it apparently involved chopping something off the wall in the garage and replacing it with the same (very technical). It took a few hours but I wasn't around. I was on my way to one of Frances' most beautiful villages. Lusson was very beautiful but appeared uninhabited.
    Post evening meal we all walked into Uzes into the beautiful square for a drink.
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  • Day4

    Pont du Gard

    July 11, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Really this was just meant as a family record of the holiday rather than a blog. We won't be going far. Tiger and I headed for the Pont du Gard whilst others were poolside or enjoying Uzes.

    Enjoyed the Pont du Gard. Lots of people canoeing and swimming. Read the history and took photos. Spookily we literally bumped into Ellie , Jamie and Albie at Carrefour. We're all in search of dairy free food for Albie.

    Claude has been summoned as the sink is blocked. He is keen to clear it au naturelle so is putting a mixture of bicarbonate and white vinegar in there. We communicate in my pigeon French. I say it may work : Claude says it most certainly will work. Two hours later he's back with a more aggressive solution.

    Another splendid BBQ after which Beth and I head into Uzes with Tiger.
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  • Day3

    Day 3. No footprints really

    July 10, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

    Splendid breakfast pastries thanks to meg and Beth taking an early morning stroll into Uzes. Very small detail -Jamie and Beth- head for Lidl towards Uzes in search of baked beans to supplement Albi's diet. The rest of us are poolside. Enter Claude stage right. Not with a locksmith but with a lock exactly the same as the one before. He leaves taking the large piece of wood which had wedged the unlocked door shut. We make a call and he returns with said wood - probably pee Ed that we don't trust the lock.
    Magnificent BBQ courtesy of Jamie.
    A lazy day.
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  • Day2

    Bump in the night

    July 9, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    3.50am our bedroom door opens. It's meg- did we hear the loud bang and noise downstairs? Julian had switched the light on but wanted back up before he went downstairs. We had a look around but all seemed in order- significantly we didn't try the front door.
    Next morning we had the first detail to Intermarche to pick up supplies. Double blow of poor exchange rate and dearer prices. Also the French don't do allergies- or to dairy products anyway. Bad luck Albie.
    Joe and I walked into Uzes. Beautiful place to wander around.
    Later as we all headed for the pool I went to lock the front door but there was no outer lock. Our" bump in the night " was an attempted burglary. They had removed the outer lock with a piece of kit and julian had heard them entering the house. Call to the owner in England - my French not up to having that conversation with Claude. Said Claude soon arrives and summons the gendarmerie. Maddie very excited whilst Ellie and Jamie talk with the police family. Apparently the burglars target houses with hire cars looking for money and jewellery. To quote Jamie " they have some balls to climb the wall and go for a house with 3 hire cars outside".
    Claude tells us that there's no way to fix the lock tonight so the door is wedged firmly shut with pieces of wood.
    We have a surprisingly relaxed BBQ before heading for bed.
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  • Day1

    Manchester airport didnt upload so here

    July 8, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Two days into the holiday I start the blog. Horrendous at the airport- the Ryan air experience never fails to disappoint. On a plus note Albi slept for the entire journey. The journey to the villa was longer than it should have been as they've moved the A9 since our sat nav was updated. We lost track of the Gomersons on the way and thought that they could be a while after us only to find they were waiting with Claude to greet us. Claude shook our hands and gave us the French tour- probably managed to understand around 50%! A late supper and off to bed.Read more

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