Hi folks, thought I'd have a go at this blogging and tell you about my move from the UK to France. This is not fiction.
OK, there was me, Nick my man, Luther, Patina, Finn and Tucker the horses, Katie the dog and Jasmin the cat, it was actually Jasmin's home she, part of the landlords household.
However her cat lodgic impelled her to move in with us.
Home for us humans, dog and cat was an unsatisfactory caravan secreted in an unusual place.
Home for the Horses was a nice barn with their own rooms but miserly turnout. We had moved 4 times in 4 years and needed to find a home.
I'll tell you about how we found our "Place in France" later.
After waiting months for Parkers the horse transporters to give a date of travel we did expect ample notice, however it came sudden, they would arrive for departure in 2days......... “PANICED”, .......“COPED”
The day arrived, all ready to go, horses ready to load.
Maggi, a gorgeous raven haired beauty who painted Romany Bow topped Wagons with mystical scrolls and alluring animals sat whimsical by the door of her Gypsy's wagon watching.
"That's one on." she said.
"That's two on." she smiled.
"That's three on." she grinned.
"That's four on." she smirked.
Her Gypsy Man, had been cheerfully anticipating "a bit of fun" expecting merry entertained enjoying the ineptitude of a gorger (gorgers = me and other non Roma ) he was sure my horses would refuse to load.
As always they were perfect............I felt smug......
Then anxiously watched my precious horses leave on their 2 day journey via Calais, the short sea crossing. It was all systems go for Katie, Jasmin and me to catch the overnight ferry via Portsmouth St.Malo , we must arrive first..
Nick who was still loading the little old lorry with all our worldly goods would follow next day. - Phew!!!
Arrived France and frantic all would not be ready for my darling beasts raced about madly putting beds down, finding water, mains electricity and phone - all done -
Phew! now they can come - ...........they didn’t............. - seconds agonized by, waiting solitary in the little 12' caravan I realized every useful item was in the lorry.
What had I put in the car?
HORSE FOOD OF COURSE.
Had scrap of English change no phone numbers no bank details - in a foreign land.- neither Nick or I had a working mobile...... 0000err!!! .....the day wore long ...... night loomed ...... no horses. ..... Oooooo Dear !!!
It was in the dark black of night with me in somber thought when Parkers rang.
A “French fishermen blockade! “ delayed them at the ferry, they had not crossed till evening, had stabled the horses, would come next day.
Found out later to keep prices down they never book their crossings just wait in line for a place, why didn’t they tell me??????
Horses were safe across the water - sigh! -- but was Nick ok ?? the lorry was old had been standing for a very long time - mind, it had just been plated and the "experts" said the tyres were fine. - .
Didn’t sleep much that night.
Meanwhile Nick set off and immediately wished we had less “useful stuff” as he realized cornering was going to be a bit tricky.
Portsmouth was a very long way from North Shropshire but he had loads of time to get there, could take forever negotiating each roundabout, there was absolutely no rush. .
But, a fact that anyone who's driven a small horse-box on the A34 south of Birmingham will know, is that big lorries have worn deep grooves in the road for miles and miles, these grooves alarmingly wobble little lorries.
It was twilight Nick did not know of them and could he see them.
Was a wheel loose? he looked,” No!,” “bloody hell feels like it might tip over”, crept along time started to run out, then BANG a tyre blew -
“Hell !!” -
“Thank god it’s a rear there’s 4”, still upright creep to next services to put spare on. “Sorry mate” “don’t do that here”.
Douse with water the single tyre hot as hell from the extra work, creep on to next services, same again and so on. Time was flying.
Perilously close to missing ferry pray for rain to cool tyre - God was smiling, it rained. Nick crept on to board just in the nick of time. “what an Ace”.
St.Malo, off ferry, in a few hundred yards first garage changed tyre No Problem.
“Vive La France”.
Hour and a half later saw him arrive at La Clairaie to find me standing in the road saying “Have you seen Parkers ? they are lost !”
Roadworks had sent big lorries the scenic route - aaarrrgh!! finally we found them with horses fit and well in luxurious state of the art vehicle Parkers had looked after them fine.
We had arrived.