Monday 1st May 2017

Today is the Muguet Festival in France.  There are two meanings of the word but in this case it is the May Day holiday and it is symbolised by giving the of Muguet which is the Lily of the Valley flowers.  We wish we were there but we will have a restful day relaxing on the Newhaven West Beach.

The Shoal public seats in Seaford were officially opened today be we didn't go as we had planned, we just had a quiet, relaxing day.

Tuesday

This was going to be an emotional day. 

After spending the morning at Mum's, we left to travel to the Brighton Crematorium to pay our respects to our very dear friend Kevin T. 

Allan has known Kevin since we were schoolboys together.  We played together, we got into scrapes together!, we drank together, we went to sea in the Merchant Navy together.  He was involved in so many local groups and associations.  Kevin will be really missed by us and all who knew him.   

The Crematorium had advised us that we could park our motorhome easily in the grounds and we think Kevin would have been amused to think of his old mate Allan turning up to his funeral in a motorhome!   Goodbye old mate.

After the service at the Brighton Crem. we had a bit of a quick dash to get back to Newhaven West Beach before 5pm when the gate to the beach car-park is closed for the night.  John was very kind and made sure we got back in.  This was very convenient for us as Kevin's wake was being held at the "Hope Inn" just outside the gate. The Hope was also very appropriate as it was one of Kev's favourite places and in fact, it was where Dorothy first met Kevin, when she and I started going out together all those years ago.  

Wednesday

We spent the day quietly on the beach before travelling to Hailsham to meet Helen, whom Dorothy used to work with, now that she has recovered from her recent illness.  It was lovely to meet up and we had a good time chatting over a meal. 

We then moved on to North Hailsham as we have arranged to see James, Frankie and Scarlett tomorrow.

Thursday

We spent the day with James, Frankie and Scarlet.  Our little granddaughter is sure growing up.  It was so nice to have the day with them as we shall soon be leaving and won't see them again for quite some time.

 When we left them, we travelled to South Heighton as we need to be at Truck Services in Newhaven early tomorrow morning.   

Friday

After having a minor job done at Truck Services, we travelled to Saltdean where we met our friends Martin and Dawn again.  They are really nice people whom we spent the whole of summer with in 2013 on Newhaven beach.  We have a great time whenever we meet up.  We decided to visit the Brighton marina and took them for lunch at the Wetherspoons there.  After that we hit the shops and it was so nice for Dorothy to have someone to go clothes shopping with.  She never has this "girlie time" and it was good to see her enjoying herself shopping with Dawn.   Her new  summer wardrobe is now sorted!

In the evening we we stopped off to spend some time with Mum and Tony before driving over to Eastbourne for the night.

Saturday

We spent the morning in Eastbourne, getting some last minute shopping, then we caught the bus up to see James, Frankie and Scarlett.  We had a lovely visit with them but it was so very hard to say goodbye as we will not see them again for several months.  After Scarlett not wanting us to go and then waving at us and blowing kisses, Dorothy was in tears.  Oh, how we will miss them so much.

We caught the bus back to Eastbourne and got ready to meet our friends Zelie and Martin H who were taking us to the Moorings Restaurant in Pevensey for a farewell dinner.  We had a wonderful evening with them.  Thank you both - we will miss you both too.

Sunday

And so, finally, today is the big day.  The one that we have had to put off for so long, since Allan's Heart Event back in early January.  We are now able to continue our travels.  This is not without concerns, but is an important step that we must  both take.

We leave Eastbourne and go to Mum's in Seaford for lunch and spend the rest of the day with her and Tony.  After another tearful farewell, we made our way to Newhaven Ferry port to catch the 5 pm ferry to FRANCE.

We board the ferry and as it is a nice evening we decide to watch our departure from out on deck as usual.  We've said all our farewells but we need to take a last look at our home town as we leave.  

Imagine our huge surprise when the ferry moves down the harbour and we suddenly see Mum and Tony there waving at us, accompanied by Zelie, Martin, Kirstie, Richie and baby Sebastian.  None of them said they were coming down so what a great surprise it was to see so many of our family and friends there on the quayside.  This led to even more tears for Dorothy.  Although we have done this many times now, leaving never gets any easier. 

And so, late in the evening, having put our clocks forward an hour, we find ourselves back here in FRANCE.  We made our way to Montville where we have been so many times before.  But it is always nice to come back.   This trip, Dorothy has asked that we take things extra slowly and stay at places we know.  At least until we know all is going OK.  At the rate we move around, if we took it anymore slowly than usual we would probably not get much further than 50 miles down the road!!!

At last, our journey really does continue!

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