Arrived home on Tuesday 12th March lunchtime after a night on Homebase, Warwick’s car park which is at the end of Richard and Aoife’s road. A large sign says “Overnight parking strictly prohibited” but R and A assured us that many of the locals park there after the store has closed.

We had a lovely meal with Richard and Aoife here on the Monday night after calling at my friend Jean’s for lunch in Bedfordshire. Prior to that we had driven through blizzards in Calais and Kent but the journey was not too bad at all considering the conditions. It was good to be able to break it up in stages and to see different people along the way.

We arrived home in Bolton to the smell of our tea cooking, Drew’s speciality bolognese sauce was simmering away in the oven though he, Alana and Hattie weren’t in so we had to wait even longer to see them!

But it was worth the wait, Hattie is developing a real character and is delightful. We are very proud of Drew and Alana, they are doing a great job!

The title of this blog refers to the amount of “stuff” we are having to remove from the motorhome before it goes off on Monday for its service. We have been emptying it bit by bit and finding temporary homes for things. We decided it would be best to empty it completely so that nothing is in the way for jobs to be done.

So the garage now resembles a plastic storage box outlet…. they are an absolute boon for organising things in the MH but I think we had forgotten how many of the blooming things were hidden in cupboards, under the floor, in little nooks and crannies!!! No worries, they’ll be going back in when it comes back from Newark. 

Tomorrow the grand clean starts, I wonder how much sand will escape our dyson….quite a bit I should think! 

Sunday 24th March

The motorhome is back in Newark now for its service, been a busy week. Last Sunday Richard ran a half marathon and completed in a very good time, very proud parents! He has trained hard for it so deserved to do well. My sister came over on Tuesday to meet Hattie and we all had a good day. She  even stayed for tea and didn’t get back home to Rotherham until 10.30pm and what’s more she didn’t turn into a pumpkin! We’ve also had catch ups with friends which is always lovely. I’ve had the privilege of watching Hattie at her water babies class and going to a playgroup morning with them and Alana’s yummy mummy friends. Great memories to take back to France with us and for me to ponder when I’m missing them all. 

We’ve had lots of things to organise this week but I think we are almost ready for the trip back to the boat. One of the many things Nigel has done is to organise a new internet provider, our service has not been good in all the time we have lived here so we are changing to cable and my biggest hope is that we will get skype and facetime running smoothly, we were very disappointed not to be able to keep in touch this way over the winter. 

How naive I was thinking the car would be nearly empty this time! However I am not taking any foodstuffs apart from tea bags. My experience in Morocco has taught me that we can survive very well with local produce and without the luxuries and anyway, there are plenty of supermarkets in France. If I can’t find exactly what I want then we will do without! Notice the word “want” there and not “need”. Morocco has taught us that there’s a very big difference.

This week we have two more visits to the boat confirmed, my sister is coming out early May, around my birthday and Bill and Mandy for a long weekend on 18th May. Visits from the UK are now easier as there is a new Ryanair service from Stansted to Dole (20 mins drive from the marina) running twice a week. So as long as we are at base, it is very simple for people to come and stay.

It’s certainly been a return to winter for us, a few bright days followed by snow which is still covering the garden. But surely winter is nearly over?????