Monday 20th June 2016
Rain, rain and even more rain for most of the day. During the afternoon when the rain did stop we watched a small funfair pull onto the Martello Fields in Seaford and start to set up their rides for the Armed Forces day next weekend.
In a previous life about 20 years ago, Allan worked casually as a Candy Floss man, Street trader and Market Trader, so got talking to two of the men setting up the rides. Don't expect Allan to return to this part of his life any time soon. Although it was great at the time, retirement is so much better.
Last minute preparations were made for tomorrow's journey.
As we are returning to France early this evening, we need a quiet day today so after breakfast we went to the recycling area to get rid of our bottles and rubbish and it is also where we can empty the toilet. Then we went back across Seaford to where Dorothy's Mum lives to spend the day with her. We used her shower today to make things easier and Dorothy did the last few remaining bits of washing. Thanks Mum!
It was so nice that James, Frankie and Scarlett-Louise were able to come over and spend most of the day with us too. Mum had cooked a lovely lunch for us all and afterwards Dorothy took Scarlett for a walk - which will be her last chance in a long while.
We were able to have lots of playtime with Scarlett and James took this photo for us to take with us.
As 3:30 approached we all said our farewells and bon-voyages and we set off for Newhaven ferry port.
The ferry was exceptionally
low on vehicles and passengers and so we boarded very quickly. To our surprise
the ferry turned around in the harbour to go our frontwards. This is not often
done and made the start of our journey a bit different from usual.
We had a really smooth crossing on the 5:30 pm sailing. Expecting the onboard prices to be high we usually take a bottle of cola but this time we checked out the bar prices and they were quite reasonable so we invested in a pint of beer each. Dorothy did some of her rug making on the boat and as usual, Allan was bored out of his mind. It was unusual to see the beautiful red sunset over the stern of the ferry boat so late. At about a quarter past ten in the evening the sun finally went down . Quite late but then we are on CET or French time now. We arrived in Dieppe, France after four hours sailing.
Although it was 10:45 pm French time when we arrived, we had slightly more than an hour's drive to Cleres for our first night back in FRANCE. We messaged James & Frankie to say we had arrived and were on our way to our first stop. Although the book says that the electricity in Cleres needs tokens there was another motorhome next to us with an electric cable (EHU) lead so we thought that we would give it a try and see if it is still pay for electric. However, the electricity came on and we were luckily enough to be on free electricity all night. As it was late we did not want to disturb our neighbours on the other side of the hedge so Allan said he would check it out in the morning. He thinks that there may be one pay slot which makes 4 electric points live for 12 hours so perhaps the French motorhome has paid for it already. Tomorrow we will investigate.
Happy Birthday to our Nephew Nicky S, soon to be a Dad for the first time xx.
This was the Aire in Cleres where
we have made our first stop this trip. Nice hedge marked double pitches but
the school children were a bit noisy when outside the school!
Our first breakfast in France was tomatoes on toast, yum yum. The weather, although cloudy with sunny intervals, was a very comfortable 17 degrees with no wind. We had a lazy day and during the afternoon Allan used his Father's Day mug for the first time to drink some ice cold lemon squash.
Messaged James & Frankie with Dad's photo (or should that be "Mug" shot !) and Dorothy phoned Mum in the evening to check everything is all right back in Seaford.
Today we had a little walk around
the village and then enjoyed the afternoon sunshine outside a pavement cafe.
Last year Wednesday 28th October the motorhome broke down. The clutch failed during the evening rush hour in Elbeuf, which is a busy district of Rouen. The Insurance company sorted out a recovery vehicle for us and we were well looked after. First we stayed in a secure compound over the long weekend and then four nights in an hotel and two taxi rides, first to the hotel and then to the repair garage.
This year on the 29th April Allan crunched four large skirt panels including the wheel arch and also the rear lights of another vehicle.
Obviously the insurance/breakdown was going to increase this year as it always does and then, there are the claims on top of that and losing the no claims bonus. Oh Dear...........
You never know how good your Insurance is until you need to make a claim. Adrian Flux is the Insurance Agent that we have and they have been there when we needed them. They have been really good and looked after us extremely well. We are very pleased with Adrian Flux and highly recommend them. The premium did increase but only by £53 so that was a relief, phew.
In the evening we rang Frankie and followed this with a call to Mum and Dorothy's brother.
We spent the morning washing and hoovering etc. and after lunch left Clere and travelled to Rugles, doing a shop and diesel stop on the way.
You will all know that we have been to Rugles several times before and it is always a good place to stay for a while, perhaps for the free electricity. But there are 3 boulangeries, butchers, newsagents, tourist info. a corner shop and several other shops. After we had settled in we took a stroll into the town but found that the Tourist Office didn't open until Saturday! However, we noticed on a poster that this weekend was the Rugles Festival and so we had obviously timed our visit just right. There was something going on in the Hall that evening, we think a meal and dancing, but as we hadn't booked we gave that a miss. We introduced ourselves to two English couples on the Aire - Jill & Bim and Rex & Dawn. Jill and Bim have an Autotrail Mohawk similar to ours and soon got chatting about them!
This morning Allan went for some bread for breakfast and we then walked into the town. We fouund that the old Church was open and inside was a photographic exhibition. This was very convenient as on our previous visits this particular church had always been closed and as it is a very old church we had wanted to visit it. Then, all around the town we found photographs displayed on the walls and in shop windows. This is the Rugl'Artr Festival.
Photography and Graffiti combine
throughout the weekend. Graffiti or street art is being aerosol sprayed onto
sheets of plywood that have been hung on the walls, to preserve the walls and
We called into the local corner shop for a few groceries and the man there whom we have met on previous visits was chatty about the recent British European Referendum. He is from Morocco but said that many French people are jealous of our referendum and that many French people also want to exit.
In the afternoon we went back into
the town to watch the cycle race, passing music in the park and a wedding at
The Marie on the way.
Dorothy wouldn't stand where Allan was standing as they came round the corner a bit too fast for her liking!
A relaxing evening was planned after a busy day!
Another lovely day.
We wandered into town and saw how
the artworks were coming along.
These four photos show how this piece was transformed from Friday through to Sunday, with a lot of help from the young people.
Even Allan was encouraged to have a go at one!!
Then, in the afternoon it was time for the big parade or cavalcade as they called it. This is only a small town of 2,300 people, so we were not expecting much. We went to the main street and there was nothing to be seen there. We went to the furthest end of the town and found nothing and then back through the top park on the north side and also drew a blank. We know that the French are extremely good at hiding themselves away but this was getting ridiculous!
We went back through the town and we spotted some locals in a doorway. They confirmed that this was the day of the big parade and it was coming past here through the middle of the town. But where does it start and where will it finish, we ask, and they look at us dumbfounded as they give us the "French Shrug".
We don't think that we have ever mentioned the French shrug before. The older French people are so laid back as we might say, they don't care much what happens. If something happens then so what! there is nothing we can do about it and if it doesn't happen, Oh well! never mind and then they open their hands to the sky and shrug their shoulders.
After not finding the start of the parade, we went back to the motorhome and there we find the parade setting up in the street right outside the Aire de campingcar. Never mind says Allan cheerfully, we had a good walk around the town and its all good exercise.
When the parade eventually started
it was quite a good display. Bearing in mind that one of the the bands came
from Ostend in Belgium, this is not a small town affair.
There was an African dance group and another from the South Pacific complete with grass skirts. But we think that these were local clubs or societies.
The parade made it's way into the town where it then had a break for a rest.
In and out of costume!!!
ooops!! We should have saved some of the confetti for the return parade!
Then it was time to reform the parade
and march off again.......................
Guess who was the target and who got wet!!!!
And in time, we were all back where we had started from!
A very enjoyable day and we were off back to the motorhome for a rest.
BUT WAIT........... yes, there was more to come.
And Fireworks very late in the evening!
We went up to see them with our motorhome neighbours Rex and Dawn.
This display, accompanied by music, seemed to go on and on.................
Sadly our little camera phone could not do it justice.
Then, we really did have to go home for a very well earned rest!
We always have a great time when we visit Rugles but this weekend the lovely people of Rugles have excelled themselves.
Thank you to everyone for this lovely weekend and for again making us feel so very welcome.
Usually we take more photographs than we use on the blog, some are totally useless and some are almost good enough to use but are similar to the ones that we do actually use. If you wish to see some of the photos that we have discarded this week please click here