Archive Article: 2000/02/18

18 February 2000

ITS the little tell tale signs that do it – shiny bag slung over the chair, music drifting down the stairs, tables laid for three when I get in from work and Sams lying on the floor in the kitchen. Yep – Cherrys home.

Tired and pale, shes home for a brief week of TLC after finishing her mock exams in Paris. Six hours of grammar one day, six hours of writing a commentary on a text the next, six hours writing an essay "en suite" and the final day three hours translating English to French followed "tout de suite" by three hours translating the other way round. Theyre allowed out to the WC and they can take in something to eat and drink, but otherwise its non-stop. Goodness, am I glad I dont have to sit exams.

She loves Paris, but desperately misses the fields, and being able to walk in the fresh air and, of course, her dog. Sam obviously misses her too, being the only male in the pack, and not having Cherry there to spoil him all the while, he has taken to jumping on the back of the tractor to accompany whoever is out feeding the sheep, or sitting by Yve Mouton who is re-pointing one of the old half-timbered barns – its a dogs life! Hes perked up no end since his young mistress came home.

Beth was home too, at the weekend – shes learning to drive and was elated after having driven around the "peripherique of Caen at 110kph – it was only her fourth lesson. Extremely brave of her instructor Id say. Youngsters need to be 18 before they can pass their driving test, although they can start learning at 16 and drive accompanied by a

qualified adult.

Once theyve passed their test they have to carry an "A" on the back of their vehicle for two years and drive 10kph slower then the required speed levels (20kph slower on the motorway) which I think is a good idea. Passing the test is one thing but practical experience is the only way to really learn how to handle a car and cope in tricky situations.

Slightly reducing new

drivers speed limits, Im sure, must minimise the risk. The "A" should warn experienced driver to be a little patient, but I dont know how effective it is.

Middle daughter, Abi is busy in Caen with a hectic social life in the drama field. She only makes it home for the occasional weekend, downtown Vimoutiers doesnt have much to offer a gal compared with cool Caen. I wonder if, as well be

lambing soon, shell be tempted home for the weekends to find some drama in the fields. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, we are still enjoying the fruits of her labours last autumn and, as we eat the stewed apples and plums, I cant help

wondering how different it will be this years with so many orchards destroyed in the storm. Im not going to dwell on that – I think Ill join Cherry in a walk with the dogs.

Chrissie is pleased to have daughter Cherry back

home again.

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