All good things must come to an end … in order for something else to begin. Or so Jean-Michel Guyon, in philosophic mood, told me yesterday as we were packing up our cars and preparing to head home to England. I’d said it was hard to leave, it was so beautiful there. But he just smiled and made his philosophical remark. It was a gorgeous morning, the sky blue and a wonderful light bathing the 17th century farmhouse, Manoir de Laize.
We were all up early. Jonathan and Lyndsey went off for a bike ride before loading their car.
I made some tea and carried it to the barn, as had become my custom over the week, to sit at a table there and write my morning post for the blog. The two goats joined me … as was also the custom. The baby one climbing onto a nearby hay bale.
Soon it was time to load the cars and clear Le Pressoir of our belongings.
Final cleaning is included in the price so we didn’t have to do any serious cleaning (a great bonus with rented holiday homes!) but we did want to leave it tidy. We all loved the open living space with its high ceiling.
Le Pressoir has its own little courtyard with a gate leading to the front. We didn’t actually use it much, as we had a large wooden table with chairs at the front and garden armchairs to relax in, but it was a pretty area if we had wanted privacy at any time. There was also a Weber barbecue for our use … and it was well used as you’ll have seen from previous posts for the week.
There are three bedrooms. The master bedroom is a large room with a juliet balcony and view across to Le Manoir.
As we set off for Calais in the two cars we decided there was no point in trying to keep together and we’d see each other on the ferry. But it turned out we did easily stay in sight of each other and with the aid of a few text messages we decided to stop at Neufchatel en Bray for lunch. We’d all loved the Neufchatel heart-shaped cheese so it seemed an appropriate place to stop and was well into our journey. Unfortunately we arrived just after the market finished. We didn’t want to be long so we bought takeaway food in a nice charcuterie … then sat at a bar for coffee (mainly for a toilet stop!) and where we could keep a watch on Jonathan’s car loaded with their bikes.
We’d been caught in a long queue for the toll at Pont de Normandie which slowed us down but after that had a good run considering it was Saturday and always a busy day to travel, especially in August. As we approached Calais we thought there was a good chance of getting on an earlier boat. What we didn’t reckon with was the horrendous queue to get into the port. In the end, we did get on an earlier boat … but one so delayed that we only gained 10 minutes. We were told that bad weather at Dover had caused delays earlier in the day. Bad weather? We looked up at the clear blue sky. The light was so clear, once on the boat we could see Dover and its white cliffs from our seats on the deck.
The crossing was a quick one though and soon we were back in England and heading home to London … and for Nicola, then onwards to Birmingham. It had been a wonderful holiday and back home, I have a few things to remind me of it … apart from my memories, the blog and photos, of course!
I managed to bring home two of Jean-Michel’s chickens’ eggs without breaking them and they’ll be my lunch today; a large courgette from Claude’s garden. There are also two of our favourite Normandy cheeses – Livarot and Neufchatel. From our day following the Route de Cidre, there is calvados, apple juice, cider vinegar and apple jam. Also the three little antique cups I bought in Cambremer and honey from the market at St Pierrie sur Dives. I’m going to go on enjoying a bit of Normandy for some time to come.