1976: August 25, Le Brévedent

Thick early morning mist, took quite a long time to clear but the day eventually became bright and sunny. Went to Honfleur along the back roads as a dummy run for avoiding the Pont l’Eveque traffic jam this evening, and it was a very easy journey.

Honfleur looked as lovely as we remembered it with lots of boats in the harbour, artists painting around the edges and the whole place drenched in bright sunlight.  Boys made a bee-line for the shop which sold ‘Atlantic’ toys (rather like Airfix) and came away with a large pile of boxes. Shop had some very expensive toy animals including stuffed giraffes 6′ high.

Bought some haricots jaunes in the market, and resisted the temptation to buy shrimps, remembering how long it had taken us to shell them last time… watched the artists – the one we liked best was a water colourist who produced lovely effects from a minute tin. Went around some art galleries, and particularly liked the tapestries done by Simon Chaye, they were colourful without being crude.

Ate our picnic in the jardin publique in the welcome shade of some enormous trees. Boys played with their new purchases, rest of us just ate. Had another walk around, watching the local boys diving into the harbour, showing off like anything. The water was a revolting yellowish green, looked awful. Children had ice creams, watched ‘our’ artist lay out another picture and then drove along the coast to find a suitable beach. Found one more or less opposite the part of le Havre harbour where the ‘France’ has been laid up. Tide was going out fast, so we lazed around and the children bathed. David and Sarah spent hours trying to disentangle the string of the kite, got about halfway through it and the wind dropped anyway! Sarah in disgrace for leaving the car keys sticking out of the boot – had nightmare visions of car having been stolen, us stranded, insurance refusing to pay up, etc.!

Arrived back at the site along the minor roads in time for a swim in the pool. Ate a large tea of chunky chicken and haricots jaunes, followed by large golden plums. Teeth gnashed when a very expensive outfit of enormous white caravan towed by large white Mercedes driven by sunburned man in little white shorts drew up. Family of 4 all looked very prosperous and far too young!

Wen to the bar and spent a while with the couple from Esher, who gave us various useful pieces of information about other sites, including places and times to avoid, especially August 15th at La Grangeoire!

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