Tuesday, 20 April 2010
3,000 KM, 30 black bags to Oxfam, 13 stops on the autoroute to throw up.
Good journey through France, gradual changing foliage, appearance of sheep in place of vines, stayed awake by listening to Oliver Twist and Dracula - an odd contrast with sun and springtime but it seemed to work.
Few intense days of clearing a million items from Mark's mothers house. Compared the UK tips to the French ones, and gave more stuff to Oxfam than they knew what to do with.
Oddly enough they weren't going to let us into the tip as we didn't have a van permit but one of the employees came over and started asking about rugby and then Blanquette de Limoux. He was from Tours, but had lived near Liverpool for 37 years, and obviously thought we deserved a break. Merci mon brave!
Following, was an enforced trip to Ikea to collect Ezra from his aunt in law; escaped with only one rather dandy cushion and a washing up brush. Nothing like clearing four van loads of unwanted stuff from a house to make you realize that you really don't need that rather funky unusual table lamp (oops, don't forget 58,000 people on the planet have the same one).
Homeward bound. M6 nightmare, closed lanes and near misses with tired lorry drivers.
30 miles from my Godmothers for night stopover, Mark swore; a rare event — could only signify end of the world. At that point it seemed like it. He had booked the return date for a week later. Drove in black silence thinking about volcanic ash cloud-mass transport panic, van hire companies reaction, our lovely house sitter, dogs, etc.
Phew. New ticket, and few hours later were on slow return ferry.
Dead calm, great; no lying on anything horizontal for hours, even managed to eat late lunch. A big mistake. Four hours later I started to feel nasty. Delayed psychological sea sickness? Worry about where we were going to put the van load of stuff we seemed to have acquired? No, roti de agneau (roast lamb) farcied with lively bacteria.
Horrible journey down France, swerving to halt in Starsky and Hutch style to verge to throw up every half an hour. Stopped at Tours and checked into an auto hotel so I could vomit in comfort. Actually amazingly well designed and smart place 'B and B hotel'. A change from weird old rambling places with 1930's plumbing that we would normally opt for.
Arrived in Limoux next day at 6.00pm: sun, people in shorts, the square full of people lounging in baggy holiday fashion, and back at home, rampant spring garden. Onward and forward with our own house purge. Vide grenier, Pauligne this Sunday!
Picture of me proving that I can stand up on a ferry.