So we have said goodbye to Sainte Cecile and begun the European tour. We drove away from a calm-looking Max (being looked after by the tenants) with the car jam-packed with our belongings. For some reason I have four bags of bathroom products; there are just so many things a girl can’t live without such as lavender oil, cleansing nose-strips and fake tan.
Included in the contents of the car are also; one electric keyboard for the girls to practice their piano on, one VAST coffee machine so Rupert can get his daily fix which sat on top of Olivia all the way to dance class yesterday, two rugby balls (almost as essential as the nose-strips), 27 bottles of Arrogant Frog wine, tennis racquets, too many unread copies of the New York review of books, yoga mats, Olivia’s new Nintendo DS (birthday present from her godfather), several sun-hats, the entire works of Marcel Proust in French (guess who won’t be reading those?) and Marco the brown and white furry dog.
The children were all given new suitcases from IKEA which have a smaller bag inside where they were told to pack essentials. Leonardo was the most impressive packer by far. Inside his bag are one wooden sword, one soft-toy cat called Findus, one MP3 player with no headphones, one copy of High School Musical CD, 17 toy cars (when asked why he needed them all he replied “I love them”), one water-pistol and one Spider-man climbing doll. There’s a boy who knows how to travel lightly, unlike the rest of his family.
So far we have managed to lose the children (actually we’re leaving them with Chantal for a week) and end up a full hour away from home in a dreamy place called Peyriac de Mer where I am writing this listening to doves and church bells.
After a walk we are heading up to one of my favourite places in the world; the Ile de Re, where we will spend two days. Then it’s off to explore more French islands before we head back to the Languedoc to watch the girl’s ballet show, squeeze them and Leo’s bag back in the car and head off to the Savoie followed by Sweden, England, Wales and who knows where we might end up?
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008