renovation, restoration, duration-Summer 2010
My son-in-law is a huge Land Rover Defender fan. He was determined to make the trip to France in his latest model in July 2010 and overrode my daughter’s protestations that it would be better to fly in reasonable Ryanair comfort (?) with small wriggly child. It was going to be an ADVENTURE.
Small child was no problem, strapped into his comfy seat with Spiderman and Chipmunks DVD’s playing on a loop , he was perfectly happy provided he got frequent food and drink breaks.
Trev & Greg in the front seats were also quite happy ambling along, commenting on the scenery and arguing with the satnav, which had been set up with Darth Vader’s voice for the journey.Example, when the boys ignored it’s deeply intoned instructions to take a particular road it said “Your lack of faith disturbs me!” in a particularly threatening manner.Kirsten and I, relegated to the back on the thinly padded bench seats with no windows and all the luggage, were marginally (?) less comfy.
We whiled away the time with a newly invented game of “Ten things your husband/partner will not say to you on a marathon trip to the South of France in the back of a Land Rover”.. such as , “ are you two comfortable back there?” or “ Do you want to swap places for a bit?” or possibly “ “Sorry darling, I promise we will fly in future” .
This was entirely the kind of adventure I embarked on when I was young and it certainly brought home the fact that I no longer am.We did see a lot of France ( well the boys did) and had a stopover in the Loire Valley to check out the châteaux and break the journey at a typical French farmhouse B & B where I cracked my head on the low beams in the attic bedroom at least three times, twice in broad daylight.
Handy hint- Do not think that you will get used to ducking under charming bedroom beams in dim lighting- you won’t!
We arrived in the village safely, and I clambered out of the back door with a very numb backside to the amazement of the the Matriarchs on the bench in the square.
“They are wondering why you stuck the best mother-in-law in the world in the back ” I told Greg, who looked a little sheepish and concurred that I probably was…
My grandson shot off down the street and straight up the stairs to the terrace bedroom.“Open the doors Nana!” he shouted “ let’s put the cushions on the bench and get comfy NOW!”.
He arranged said cushions artistically, then went off down the stairs on his bottom to find his paddling pool.