I've been working hard, which is why you haven't heard from me in a while. And although work has been the most demanding thing during the past few weeks, there have been some lovely incidents that I want to tell you about.
Him indoors got all romantic and booked us into a smart hotel just outside Le Havre for three days to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Great - or it would have been but for a couple of minor glitches. It was raining, not a light drizzle, but stair-rods coming in off the sea horizontally. But when you're feeling romantic, what is a little wet weather? Fine. Only problem was, he'd booked us in for dinner on the first night - he likes his food - and the restaurant is highly recommended, with a very interesting menu. Shame. The ferry was cancelled. We could get another one, but it didn't leave until after seven that evening, which meant we would get to our hotel late at night.
Off we set, the crossing was fine, I'd taken my tablets so I wouldn't go green around the gills and ruin the entire journey. We arrive in France at close to midnight. We don't know how to get to the hotel, for we have been deposited in Dieppe, which is at least an hour further east than we'd wanted. The rain was coming down, him indoors - who was driving - I don't do the left-hand thing - was getting redder by the minute. I can always tell when he's losing it, his ears go pink.
We arrived to find the poor owner sitting waiting for us. The room is wonderful, the view from the balcony lost in the black of night and the rain. We go to sleep.
Next morning, it's still raining, but we can see the sea, and a wonderful gothic house perched right on the shore. It has turrets and tiny windows, little round rooms sticking out, and iron birds hutched at the pinnacle of rooftops. Weird, and a little eerie, if the truth be told, but as an author - or simply someone with a heated over-imagination, I began to think up all sorts of stories about this house. There was a tiny window in a small round turret that could have come from a fairy tale. Think Rapunzel and all those poor fair maidens who needed rescuing.
I needed rescuing, and so after breakfast we visited Honfleur, which was gorgeous, so gorgeous that it actually stopped raining. Lots of wine later, and with far too much good food inside us, we came to our last day. Or what should have been our last full day. The ferry was cancelled again, so instead of leaving La Belle France at eight thirty in the evening, we had to race to Dieppe to catch the lunchtime one - it was either that, or a much later boat to Portsmouth. Still, we had a lovely time, and although it was a bit of relief to get home, the romance was still in the air, so some good came of it all.
My proudest day came shortly afterwards. My daughter had passed her diploma course in psychiatric nursing, and her graduation day loomed. Mother, father, father's new wife, mother's new husband - we all turned up in our best clothes to celebrate. The Corn Exchange in Brighton was the venue, and we shed tears, drank champagne and generally had a wonderful day. The four of us left her to it and caught the last train home, happily tired, rather tipsy, but still with tears of pride in our eyes.
I'm off for a while now, leaving my desk for a bit of rest and recuperation before I begin the third part of the Oceania Trilogy. Have a lovely summer - keep everything crossed that the rain has stopped, and that we will really have a summer at last - and send me your comments. love and fluffy things, Tamara