Monday 25 April 2016

Today finds us still in Albert.

It rained and rained and so we took the opportunity to work on the Blog again (when you read last week's Blog you will appreciate how overwhelming this was to do) and then we set to and did our Tax return. Imagine what a morning we had!!! This is life, not a holiday.

For a break in the afternoon we went to do a bit of geocaching around the lake but French geocaches are often not at the co-ordinates that the say they are and the "hints" are pretty useless!
Well that's the excuse anyway, we could not find the first two and when it started to rain again we gave up and went home for a bowl of hot spicy soup. This is something that we used to do on a cold winters night in England. Not something we would expect to do in late spring!!

We were able to make a phone call to Frankie today to check how our Grandaughter Scarlett-Louise was and to see how they were all doing. We are so glad that the phone signal and internet connection is now so much better.


Again, this morning it was cold, hailstones, rain and snow. This is not according to the plan.
Perhaps we should have gone further south? There is a good chance that we will do that when we return to France after our holiday in Sussex in May/June.

The day did brighten up and we took the opportunity to take a few photos of our lovely surroundings and our very small visitors!

The last photo was taken especially for our friend Clare R at W&P. We fed the ducks Clare and there were plenty of them. You would have loved it!!


Today we wish Dorothy's Godson's son, Scott, a very Happy 6th Birthday.

We decided that today we needed to start on our way further north. At the weekend we expect to be going to another Geants festival at Prouvy, Nord pas de Calais.

Allan couldn't resist another photo of a war cemetery. This time it was back at Pozières The notice board said that this was the first day's objective in the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916.
It was just under two miles away and took us less than 5 minutes in the motorhome to get there. It took three weeks for the soldiers to get this far. We are here to think about the First World War but this is just unthinkable.
Because the ground was so churned up, with all the comings and goings of the many battles,
most of these graves are of brave Soldiers of the Great War whose identity was stripped from them and so they are "A soldier of the Great War known unto God"

We found a good Aire de Campingcar along the way, just south of Cambrai in a village called Marcoing, on a hill just above the canal.
Free electricity so that is a bonus. We found the place after a bit of a detour as a travelling Funfair was setting up in the main street.

Before parking in our new home for the night we went out for some shopping. This was the first Cora shop that we have been to. It was one of the biggest shops that we have been to and surrounded by lots of out of town retail units, some a big as English supermarkets.

We switched on the free electricity and nothing. We found out that the electricity is linked to the street lighting and so came on at 9.40 and went off at 6.30 in the morning. Still fairly useful but not as we expected. Dorothy wasn't too keen on doing the vacuuming at 10 o'clock at night and getting up before 6 in the morning to do the washing!!!


Allan made sure that the water was heating for Dorothy to get busy doing the laundry this morning. Allan set to and worked on the Blog.
After lunch we took a walk around the town and Dorothy made her first withdrawal in Euros from an ATM in France!! (and has worried about it ever since!!)


Today we left Marcoing and headed to Prouvy. Along the way we stopped at Auchan to restock the food. Auchan is usually one of the biggest stores with absolutely everything. This one, on the edge of Cambrai, was no exception. It actually felt like we were in a busy covered market with lots of stallholders giving samples and trying to sell their wares. There was even a wooden apple press producing freshly squeezed apple juice and of course, after tasting, we had to buy some!

When we arrived in Prouvy it was after 5.30 in the afternoon and the Town Hall was closed. As there is no Aire de Campingcar here we had to try and find a suitable parking place. The first place that we tried was in the local supermarket carpark. Unfortunately on leaving there was a big crunch as Allan took off the rear lights of another car that had reversed into our path and then went back but not back far enough, into their parking place. There is now a lot of plastic to be replaced to the side of our motorhome and Allan is a bit embarrassed.

A friend of the other driver said that we can park in their garden across the road. So that is where we spent the night, in a farmer's town residence. It was more like a very large courtyard to a very large house. We were offered free water and electricity and if we got cold we could come in to be beside the fire. Allan explained that we have all of this in the motorhome but thanked the farmer very much. It was so kind of them to provide us with a safe place to stay where we could collect our thoughts and deal with the insurance company in the morning.


This morning Mark the farmer called to see that we were OK and brought Dorothy a bunch of Lilac and some freshly picked rhubarb for us. After dealing with the insurance company and finding our feet a bit, we decided to thank Mark the farmer for his hospitality and move to the cemetery carpark which would be closer to the start and finish of the parades.

At night time the carnival parade started with lots of led lights, music and colour.

We also met up again with Mark and he introduced us to his wife Bridget whilst we were waiting for the parade to pass by.

Click here for the link to the Night Time Parade photos


Today is 1st May, Labour Day. It is also the day of the Fete de Muguet (Lily of the Valley). It is a Public Holiday here. The French do not move it on to the Monday if it falls on a Sunday so this is it!!

Prouvy has a Giant named after this festival and it is her Birthday today. There was a huge festival today where Giants from all around came to celebrate. The programmes said that they set of from four locations at 2 pm and all meet up along the high street to finish the parade at the top of the town. One of the start points was just outside where we had parked so we went outside for some photographs and one of the giants was even setting up next to our motorhome! Lately, our visitors seem to be very large or very small!

Click here if you wish to see photos of the Giants Festival in Prouvy

The 2 pm start became later and later and eventually they set off at 2.45. The usual sort of thing at these events, they are never on time.
After a very long but enjoyable day we returned t the motorhome t
otally shattered after a busy weekend.


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