France: 31 May 1975

Very odd weather in the early hours – awakened by a peculiar scrabbling noise in the tent, and the weather then was misty (odd noise not explained, we think it was a mouse at the milk carton). Then there was a shower a bit later. Lastly when we did get up, it was fine and sunny! Ate our breakfast outdoors, the last of the bacon! Children then went into the pool as soon as they could, and as the weather was so good, decided to stay round the pool all day, so David went into Sarlat to do the shopping, while I embarked on an orgy of washing everything in sight, cleaning the tent, airing the bedding etc.

Sat by the pool most of the morning, lazily enjoying the hot sun, anointing ourselves with sun gel religiously. Numerous swimmers, including lots of the retired people, even Gareth had a go in the paddling end. Had our lunch under the trees near the tent – we really needed the shade today, and had pâté, cooked ham, salad, sparkling rosé and lots of huge, delicious strawberries. Enjoyed it all very much; as we were finishing a British car and caravan arrived in the next space but one, the family emerged looking rather battered – it was one of the Townsend Thoresen ones, and they’d never towed a caravan before they hired it! As we all agreed, car plus trailer/caravan is a very different proposition from just car, particularly when it comes to reversing and parking!

Sat in a more shady spot with the Coles in the p.m. – sun really hot, and didn’t want to get burned. Did my ironing as all the morning’s washing ready, pyjamas, etc., even washed David’s jeans in a fit of madness. Also went into the swimming pool in another such fit – water quite pleasant, but Andrew very rude about my swimming! Gareth spent the time playing with his little gang, they all chatter endlessly, and love to play armies. The other two in the water mostly, Sarah having spent nearly all day in there, and looking rather pink.

Chicken and chips from the café for tea, plus a rather revolting looking stew which I refused to eat, so David had it. I think it was the chunks of black pudding which put me off! Ironed David’s jeans which had dried from very wet in two hours and felt very virtuous.

Weather became increasingly ominous as the evening wore on, and the distant thunder got nearer and nearer. Battened down all the hatches and went down to the bar for hot chocolate as the rain came pounding down very heavily. Sat in there for some time, chatting and came back to the tent as the storm was really brewing up. Sarah distinctly frightened and Andrew couldn’t sleep, so we sat up by the fire reading till the worst had past. Still raining when we went to bed – just hope the tent stays water-tight. At times like this, it’s nice to be sleeping well off the ground in the trailer section.

Morning/Evening May 31st


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