Just arrived back on UK soil….

…and the sun is continuing to shine. We left France at 10.06 (French time) and arrived in the UK at 9.35am. We really are time travellers.

We have had a lovely time away and if it wasn’t for the looming hospital appointments we would have liked to have travelled further down south and perhaps into Spain or even across to Portugal.

For now we are just grateful for having the energy and better health to have been able to have spent the time away we have had. The motorhome makes things pretty easy going as we have everything we need with us. Most stops we made were either at free Aires or just a few Euros each although it was good to be able to stop off at a campsite for a couple of days at the more pricely sum of 18 Euros per night. We only needed to fill Helga up twice with diesel at 1.24 Euro/ litre which works out about 99p and we still have more than three quarters of a tank left, so we are pretty impressed with Helga’s performance.

It was also a bonus to be able to enjoy the sunshine and a glass of wine or three with our good friends. We had great fun French property hunting together before the idea was abandoned in favour of more travelling around in our motorhomes. We also got to visit Futuroscope again which never fails to impress us.

Here are a few photos that I wasn’t able to upload from France although some of you may have caught sight of them on Facebook.
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Thank you again to my ex colleagues for my retirement gift of Euros which helped make this holiday possible. We both really needed this break and feel much better for it. Let’s hope there will be many more motorhome adventures to come.

Deborah xxx

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Tues 30th Sept I forgot to mention…

..a few days ago we met this amazing guy at the campsite in Bellac. He had cycled all the way down from Caliais and is on his way to Gibraltar. We have been travelling on the same roads and although they are pretty straight they are very undulating which must certainly make cycling a pretty hard challenge. He was previously a veteran himself and is now raising money for Combat Stress a charity that supports the mental health of these brave men and women. To find out more please visit Aaron’s face book page by searching ‘On yer bike son’ or following this link:

https://www.facebook.com/aaronjdebnam?fref=photo
Good luck Aaron!

Last night we enjoyed a cheese fondu party in Helga with our mates from a couple of vans down. Such fun!

This morning we are heading off for a campsite in a forest somewhere near Rouen. We have just noticed Sue and Angela set off already but we are a bit slower to get going nowadays so will probably be about an hour behind. Still the weather looks promising so we should be in for another good day.

Deborah x

Mon Sept 29th and we have wifi……

…hence the ability to update the blog at last.

We are at a very pretty free Aire in Chateaudun. It is in the shadow of an enormous Chateau and next to a river used for canoeing and kayaking. Unfortunately the excellent photo Colin has just taken for me won’t upload so you will just have to take my word for how pretty it is.

We have had a lovely few days house hunting with Sue and Angela, but after much deliberation they have decided to wait awhile before investing in the French property market. It was however a great experience seeing inside some, seemingly untouched for years, petite French Maison’s

We also spent a lovely afternoon enjoying a picnic next to a lake, reading, chatting to our good friends and watching the water activities. Photo’s will just have to wait.

Having enjoyed another late lunch of steak and chips with mange tout and a lovely sauce made from onions, red wine, mushrooms, redcurrent jelly and Roquefort cheese, we are having a little afternoon nap (again). This really is the life, the motorhome more than caters for all our needs and France is so well set that you are free to travel along until you are ready to take a rest. There will always be an Aire somewhere close by and if not a very reasonably priced campsite. I just wish we were as welcoming and as well organised in the UK.

We are thinking of delaying our channel tunnel ticket by a day so plan to travel back to the UK on Saturday. If it wasn’t for hospital appointments looming we would probably have stayed even longer, never mind there is always next time.

Love to you all

Deborah x

Thursday Sept 25th and th sun is shining.

Here we are at Futuroscope. I think it is probably our eighth visit here and as always it brings back many happy memories of previous visits with the girls when they were about eight and ten. On this occasion we are enjoying some time together with Sue and Angela. We met here yesterday afternoon and shared a few glasses of vino together before settling down for an early night.

We were at the doors of the park as they opened at 10am and with the help of my disability badge were given priority access to all the major attractions. I even managed to hire a mobility scooter to save Colin pushing me around in the wheelchair. The only disappointment was that the magic show was cancelled due to some technical hitch.

We have now come back to the motorhome for a cup of tea and an afternoon nap before the evening show. All is going better than expected and we are really excited about going to see the French house tomorrow, that Sue and Angela are just about to purchase.

We are managing to eat pretty well too and cooked up a great steak meal on Tuesday I even remembered the essential red current jelly!

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Time for that rest now before the evenings exciting events.

Deborah xxx

Mon 22nd Sept 2014 Bonjour from across the Channel.

Travelling to France through the channel tunnel is the way to go. It was so quick and easy. No sooner had we driven on to the massive train and undone our seat belts it was time to start up again and head for our first Aire. It literally took 35 mins and because we managed to get on a much earlier train we were in France by 2pm (3pm French time).

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Our friendly satnav successfully guided us through pretty country lanes to our first stop only a short distance from the boarder. It was a pretty quiet location on a farm not that dissimilar from home. There were about eight other motorhomes there already and a few more arrived later, all of them French. For 5 Euro’s a night it was a bargain and we were especially delighted to find out that we could still get English TV so managed to watch the first episode of the new series of Downton Abbey.

We are now enjoying a beer in the sunshine at another Aire in a little town called Serifontaine. Unfortunately it’s too far up a steep hill to walk into the centreville so I shall have to wait until tomorrow to visit the local patisserie.

Internet is hit and miss with our Mifi and uploading photos seems to take ages so if you don’t hear from us blame it on the web.

Thank you for all your lovely comments.

Deborah x

PS. Jo, it would be lovely to meet up with you and Keith but I don’t think we will make it that far down south this time around. We hope you both have a great time away it was fantastic to read that Keith is feeling so much better. Let’s hope we can both enjoy plenty of French wine and good life for some time to come. XXX

A busy week

At the beginning of the week I wasn’t sure how I would find the strength to achieve all that I had planned. Each day however I have been getting a little stronger and I am delighted to report all has gone very well.

My first challenge was to have an evening out with some old colleagues back from the days when I worked at the Lister Hospital. It was something I haven’t been able to do for some time now.  I was kindly picked up by one of my friends and we met up with the other three girls at a lovely Turkish restaurant in Hitchin. A good time was had by all.

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The next day a shopping trip was organised with Pollyanna. Planning ahead I called Shopmobility at the Cambridge Arcade and booked myself a mobility scooter. I found this quite emotional as I just wanted to be able to wander around with my daughter, as I was able to do, less than two years ago. It was however very helpful and worked out much better than being pushed around in a wheelchair and gave me the independence I needed. It is a free service and you even get to park for nothing and once I got the hang of it I was whizzing around in and out of all the shops I could get into.

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It was also our 10th Wedding Anniversary on Thursday, and I felt very grateful for all the wonderful times Colin and I have spent together. We really are soulmates.

Friday was spent cooking and preparing for a family lunch on Saturday and packing up the motorhome for our trip away. This was something I couldn’t have even dreamed of doing last week when even getting downstairs was still quite a struggle. It was also great to feel I was able to help out a little and not leave everything up to Colin.

Yesterday was a lovely day as we were joined by Pollyanna, Jem, Elliot, Lucy (still in her mummy’s tummy), my nephew Charles, my parents and my Aunty Mo and her partner who were visiting from Australia. It was very exciting to see Mo who has been a great support to me, from the other side of the world via the internet.

So here we are today travelling down to the channel tunnel. The sun is shining and I am able to put Myeloma to the back of my mind. I am enjoying life again and taking full advantage of feeling well for the first time in many months. It is day 73 (of my Stem Cell Transplant) and I can assure my fellow myeloma buddies that there is light at the end of the tunnel. This was something only a few weeks ago I dared not to believe myself.

So very soon, slowly we will meander through little French villages, stopping at local patisseries for fresh croissants and a baguette or two. We shall sample local wines and enjoy some Moules Mariniere and Frittes. Most excitingly, we will be meeting up in a few days time, with our best friends Sue and Angela, who are already in the Haute Vienne region in France. We have every convenience on board our motorhome and we will enjoy relaxing, reading and just spending time together. This really is the good life, long may it last!

Much love to you all and thank you for helping make this possible.

Deborah x
PS. Just stopped off for a fry up as we are so early for our channel tunnel train.
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