Catching up with Friends
We set about getting ourselves acquainted with everyone. I first met Carol in a photocopying room at work as a 22 year old moaning about my lack of promotion prospects. I was working as a secretary at the time and Carol was a manager in the treasury department. Carol gave me some blunt advice, the first of many. A few months later I was working for Carol as a treasury assistant and, due in no small part to her mentoring, my last job was a group treasurer of a FTSE 100 company. All in all, I owe her a lot and it was fabulous to get an opportunity to see see her on our trip.
Carol and Tony were also joined by their friends, Ben, Rachael and Jason plus Tony’s son, Brody. Dog wise, Juno got acquainted with Carol and Tony’s dogs, Phantom and Jet, two gorgeous and cuddly dogs who are as obsessed as Juno with fetch. The three of them spent the majority of their time waiting for someone to throw things for them, it was very cute to watch.
We spent time at the nearby river playing ball with the dogs and watching them swimming around, walking around the grounds admiring the vegetable patch and hearing all about the realities of living in France. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what our future holds, and what life we want to come back to after our travels and so naturally we wanted to find out as much information from Carol and Tony about what they had done, the challenges, what they enjoy etc. It probably felt like 20 questions for them sometimes! Life in the “van” does give you pause for reflection on the small space that you are living in, without the luxuries of home and how actually you are pretty happy doing it. I don’t think Greg and I thought that we would be this comfortable.
I also mentioned to Tony that we needed to learn to roll a kayak for when we are in the Antarctic (we have signed up to do kayaking trips off the boat, but had to sign to say that we had some basic kayaking skills) and discovered that he and Ben were something of an expert on the subject……..a lesson in the swimming pool began. I didn’t manage to do the roll but managed to stop panicking when upside down in the kayak. The guys were really helpful and I am now looking forward to the next lessons we get rather than being terrified.
Apart from spending a lovely couple of days with friends, we had added bonuses for all four of us; Greg and I enjoyed having a shower that we didn’t have to press every 2 minutes – luxury, Juno enjoyed stealing Phantom and Jet’s food and Knigel enjoyed his holiday resting up. We also enjoyed sleeping in a bed which wasn’t ultimately on wheels, and thanked Brody for having given up his room for us.
Sad to leave, off now making our way to Biarritz where Mommy and Daddy Dovey are joining us for a week.