Monday, 22 February 2010

J'aime beaucoup La France


We spent an unhurried half term in Normandy.
The house had been unoccupied since October so was predictably cold when we arrived at 11pm. However, the boiler fired perfectly and Father-in-Law lit the wood burning stoves while the ladies made up the beds. All went swimmingly until I found an extra electric heater, plugged it in - and plunged the house into darkness!
The darkness in France is unlike anything we experience in the South East of England - no street lamps, no light pollution, nothing but a few candles and the wood burners. I admit it - I panicked. Had it just been me I'd have probably gone into Girl Guide mode, but with 4 children aged between 11 and 2 and the prospect of a long, cold night, I did not see the funny side.
The men fiddled with the fuses, but it soon became obvious that this was not anything we could fix ourselves so we went to bed, fully clothed, and prepared to wait it out.
EDF came out the following morning - good service on a Sunday - and sorted the problem in ten minutes. Electricity - it's a much underrated commodity!
From then on, the holiday melted into the normal routine of croissants from the local boulangerie, DS games, card and jewellery-making, and nice meals en famille.
We went out to Alligator Bay near Mont St. Michel on the one warm(ish) day and the kids enjoyed tickling giant tortoises, watching torpid, overfed alligators and getting up close and personal with some fairly huge snakes. M found a 'baby dragon', so she was happy!
We took the longer ferry crossing to Caen this time, instead of the fast catamaran to Cherbourg and it proved much more pleasant. None of us were seasick and watching a magic show and 'The Princess and the Frog' made the crossing part of the holiday instead of a 3-hour endurance test at either end.
Roll on Easter when we can spend a little longer out there!

1 comment:

furrypig said...

Sounds great Kirsty except for the dark cold first night! How nice to have a regular retreat to France with all the family