Archive Article: 1998/08/21

21 August 1998

ONE Sunday in mid-July, after checking the oil and water in the Renault, slinging my bag and books in the boot, hugging hubby in the parlour and kissing Abi goodbye in the attic (she was still asleep) I was gone, nose pointing north for Calais and the tunnel. I havent been home since.

My two-week teacher training refresher course in Canterbury was amazing. In a class of 20 English teachers from 12 different countries, creativity was in abundance. I learnt a great deal, first about myself, but also how to freshen up my lessons and use a more imaginative approach. I was fed regularly (bliss) – no cooking, washing-up or housework, and met some fascinating people.

However, back at the ranch things werent going so well. When I left, my dining-room and kitchen were empty bar the kitchen sink. The floor tiles had gone and Tim had uncovered beams in the kitchen which had previously been plastered over.

Abi was coping extremely well "camping" in the lounge, and between childminding stints at the chateau she was mucking in helping the men.

Disaster struck the first weekend I was away. Cherry and Abi went off to see their sister Beth who was 60km away with a drama group working on a summer project. As she was self-catering, but only had a bike as means of transport, the two girls did a supermarket shop to keep her supplied with food.

After filling the trolley, Cherry nipped off to "spend a penny", but came out without her bag. By the time she realised it was missing and went back for it, it had already gone, along with her car keys, passport, credit card etc.

Luckily they met friends who took them in until Tim could collect them, but they have had a terrible time trying to get the car back (if we have spare keys they are boxed up with all the kitchen stuff across the yard in the barn) and getting new papers. Cherry needed her passport. She has since gone to work as an au pair in Switzerland.

At the end of my course, Tim came over and we went up to Cheshire together. He had no trouble finding room on the boat. He was carrying Livarot and Pont lEveque cheeses for Nantwich Cheese Show – Livarot is particularly whiffy! This was the first time he had entered, and while the cheese didnt get anywhere it didnt matter. It was a good opportunity to see some old faces and family. Its a very long time since we last went to the show.

Now Tim has gone home with his Dad and big brother Al to hopefully install the kitchen and Im keeping out of the way for another week. Arent I lucky…

Tim and Chrissie Green enjoyed their visit to the Nantwich International Cheese Show even though their Livarot and Pont lEveque missed out

on the prizes. The cheese tent was impressive, says Chrissie.

See more