Yes! The holidays are here and the Brits are coming!
The summer hols here are long, two months long. The entire months of July and August in fact. A lot of manufacturers close for the month of August and many small businesses close up for as long as they wish to.
In our household, we will be having a stay-cation split into three parts, as our family and friends from the UK join us for the summer.
Our first week off has just ended, my beaux parents (parents in law) spent a week with us, and what a week is has been.
Wednesday: Airport run
Our nearest airport is Limoges and from the cafe you can see the planes landing/taking off, baggage being loaded/unloaded and your loved ones getting on/off the plane. My daughter loves to watch the planes and helicopters and is thrilled to be able to watch her family getting on/off the plane and wave to them.
Thursday: Day trip to Montlucon
The grandparents were brave and took the birthday girl into a toy shop to choose her birthday gifts. After prising our girl from the display models of slides and ride-ons she did eventually choose her gifts. We lunched by the river Cher, followed by more shopping and a meeting with our estate agent about our barn, which is for sale.
Friday: Bastille Day
Morning entailed a trip to Gouzon to visit the annual brocante (kind of like a boot sale but it takes over the entire town centre) followed by coffee before heading home for lunch. In the afternoon we braved the heat to walk around the annual dog show held in Cressat (our village). It has to be said this is the liveliest I have ever seen our village (with the exception of the village fete in August). This is the first year we have visited the dog show as a family. In 2015 I was heavily pregnant in 40 degree heat and due to give birth the next day (our darling daughter arrived on time on her UK due date) and in 2016 we were too busy to go, so it was nice to finally get to visit the show.
Saturday: Day at home
Spent the day at home with the family so darling daughter could enjoy opening and playing with her gifts.
Sunday: Chenerailles woods and Antique Fair
The woods in Chenerailles (a few km from us) boast a mile-ish long walk with an obstacle course thrown in. Of course the obstacles are way too big for our toddler but with a little help from Dad she tackles nearly every task. This was followed by a quick visit to the antiques fair in the sports centre.
Monday: Shopping in Gueret in the morning followed by fun in the garden in the afternoon.
Tuesday: Day out at La Base de Loisirs de Courtille de Guéret
This place is great for all ages, so much outdoor fun to be had on the lake. A splash park for the little-uns, boating, swimming, obstacle courses, petanque, mini golf and more. When we eventually persuaded our soaked toddler to vacate the splash park we headed off to find a shady picnic bench only to be distracted by the paddling beach for the little tiddlers. After a quick paddle we ate our picnic lunch then headed back to little kids beach. We cannot keep our girl out of the water and she had a great time despite the heat.
Wednesday: Airport run back to Limoges
We sadly bid our family farewell after a quick coffee in the aiport cafe and Saffron watched the aircraft coming and going as we ate our picnic lunch on the grass practically next to the runway and waited for her grandparents to board the plane for final farewell waves. We saw a private jet land and wondered just who was arriving, there had been a big police presence at the airport all morning.
After we watched the grandparents take off we left the airport and as we headed home were followed by a police escourt, again we wondered just who had landed at our little local aiport and was following us home. The cavalcade passed us by, motorbikes followed by 7 cars and more motorbikes. It turned out it was the secretary of state and the minister for economy visiting La Souterraine. I had imagined royalty or a film star but no, just some politicians.
Our week passed so quickly and now we are back to work until our next break on the 24th July when we head back to the airport to collect more visitors. The next few days will be filled with catching up on admin, re-arranging the house, a market for me at Jarnages and maybe a little creativity in the atelier.