We returned to the UK as a family of six: two parents, two boys and two dogs, and resume our tour as a family of five: two parents, two boys and a dog. We have given Meg’s puppy, Jess, to my cousin and her family. It was a very hard decision, but one that we feel is best for Jess and makes life easier for us. It would have been more help if she’d taken one of our boys, but she wouldn’t.
We had a trouble free drive from Blackheath to the Champagne district of France. 1 hour 5 minutes to Folkestone, then through the tunnel where we met a pro-Brexit German towing in a trailer what I believe he described as a 1966 Porsche 906.
From Calais we drove on empty motorways to here, arriving some time after 6pm.
Apart from giving away pets, we haven’t been idle while home in the UK. We have a new lower bunk mattress, new pockets for the front seat backs, a dash cam and wind out awning panels to make a really large enclosed tent area attached to the van, or a simple overnight storage area.
We’ve also jettisoned, as well as the puppy,, some of our excess baggage: the Burley bike trailer that bounced down the mountain in Flam with the two boys, hauled by me on my Brompton; the pop-a-loo that we never used; sleeping bags; and the electric hook-up cables that the solar panels make redundant.
The use of the boot space has been reconfigured, and packing the car is really slick. Both Ben and Jack are now on Group 2 child seats, and that helps a lot. We also now have quick release connectors for the gas stove and gas BBQ. The next nine months away will be a doddle.