Neither of us wish to see the inside of a van cab again for some time to come, but having said that, the 'Berkshire Van Hire' truck served us well over a week. We flew back to Maidenhead to sort out the garage and 'framing room' and get everything that we hoped to bring back to France packed up and ready to load. We had a day to pack the van - at first it seemed to swallow up all the boxes and equipment, but we soon ran out of space and ended up balancing our favourite Lloyd Loom chairs on top and squeezing as many plants in as possible before deciding that there was really no more room to spare. We set off early and drove through France on Friday 29th April - I was sorry to miss 'the wedding' but had regular updates from Lucy and Mum and Dad.
We arrived at La Maire before midnight - so not bad going! Because the van was loaded, we had to travel as freight with Eurotunnel, which meant leaving the van in the open and joining the truckers in the seating carriage for the crossing. Unsurprisingly, I was the only woman there!!
We had four days here to unload and cut the grass. We also managed a large Ikea shop with the van on Tuesday, before setting off to drive through the night back to Maidenhead. The night drive was better than we expected. We both managed to doze a bit and were surprised just how many lorries there were on the motorway - at least it kept us alert. I was also surprised how hungry we were through the night - breakfast of juice, coffee and a couple of fresh pastries at the tunnel terminal building was one of the best I have ever tasted! That evening we also drove the van back to Gatwick to collect Daniel and 4 bikes from his Prague/Vienna bike tour with 3 friends-so the van did serve us well!
So now we are back here at La Maire for the final push to get everything ready. We have spent the weekend assembling furniture and working on the garden outside the Pyrenees Suite. The aim is to finish it by the end of this week -so hopefully by next weeks blog...................
The weather yesterday was very blustery, but today has turned calm again, and also very warm. We didn't eat until 8.00pm but sat outside as it was warmer than inside the house. It was so lovely to just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet apart from birdsong - and a tractor in the distance.
The photos above show the van (before unpacking), then the Pyrenees Suite so far - still quite a few finishing touches to add, including putting pictures up, but actually looking like a proper room at last! The final photo is of our lovely climbing rose at the front of the house - quite a picture!