17. May, 2022

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TUESDAY 17-05-22

We started something after we put our chairs out yesterday evening as other followed, chairs, large mats or dogs, small tables and a partially opened awning.

The night was peaceful enough and we were able to greet the noise of the morning rush hour from the comfort of our own bed.

We were away soon after 09:00 having let everybody who needed to dash somewhere, do so, without us getting in their way.

The first stop was just behind us at the Camperstop dump station and then it was off down the road back to the Carrefour supermarket for a few bits and pieces. I also expanded my wine cellar. I have almost drunk the five litres of brake fluid I bought at the beginning of the trip. It was priced at about fifteen Euros but when I got to the till it was only ten. Well blast me, yesterday morning the same thing happened. I bought a box of a brand who's packaging I remember, but why I remember it I have no idea. Got to the till, and again, fifteen or so Euro's reduced to ten. Now there's a reason it's reduced to ten Euro's. It's because that's all it's worth.

So this morning I bought a three litre box and this time it did cost me about the fifteen Euros, so for that money it should be decent stuff. As well as that I bought a bottle of both white and Rosé wine, just in case we find ourselves inviting a couple over for a drink, or need something to take with us if we get invited ourselves. It doesn't usually happen, but it's nice to be prepared.

Then I was the eight or nine miles back to Camping la Plage (N44.824453° E1.169497°) where we departed yesterday. It really is a nice little campsite right beside the river Dordogne. The only drawback is that there are no shops anywhere near here, just tourist shops and restaurants, so campers have to come here loaded up with enough food to see them through their stay.

On arrival we had  the option of going in to our old spot next to our very nice neighbours from Snowdonia, but the owner told The Chef that he was about to cut the grass in that area. That worked to our advantage as we touched lucky and managed to bag a good sized pitch right next to the river. 

I finished reading Billy Connolly's book 'Tall Tales & Wee Stories' two or three days ago, and am now reading 'Get Real, Get Gone' by Rick Page. It's a book for those who fancy turning their backs on the rat race, buying a boat, doing it up and become a 'Sea Gypsy'.

For a number of years, during my unhappiest times I would buy the 'Yachting World' magazine. I would read it cover to cover, and would re-read it and look at the pictures until the next monthly edition came out.

There were articles from 'Blue Water' sailors of their adventures around the world as well as lots and lots of pictures of sailing boats for sale. When I went to bed I was free to dream of being one of them, to sail away from everything and just enjoy the sun on my face and the freedom such a lifestyle would bring. Looking back it was my way of escaping my reality.

When we get married we do of course intend to uphold the vows we take, in my case before God in church. I didn't make Grade 'A' 'Until death do us part', but achieved a 'B' - 'Until the kids have grown up and been left home for a couple of years'.

Towards the end I remember in my mind, standing at the entrance to a very long, dark tunnel. I knew that whatever the cost, whatever the pain,I had to make that journey through it, and it filled me with fear. It was a very long tunnel, and as I walked through it I didn't know what lie at the other end for me. There were times I looked over my shoulder to see the diminishing light from the entrance to the tunnel, and thought that perhaps I could turn back, back to the life I had known. But even if I had walked all the way back it wouldn't have been the same, nothing would be the same as when I left. People would have moved on themselves, and besides I wasn't happy, and going back really wasn't an option.

Thank The Lord, when I arrived at the other end, the sun shone down on me and I felt warm and comforted. I had made the right decision. On the way through that tunnel I learned that unless I am happy myself I cannot make someone else happy.

I now have the most wonderful and mentally peaceful life I could ever have imagined or wished for. I love my darling Rosina with all my heart, and she is my life, and I thank God that we met and became a loving partnership. Being selfish, I wish we had met years earlier (we've been together about 25 years), but that wouldn't have been possible. Our paths wouldn't have crossed and besides we both had our individual commitments to raise our families before we could move on.

This woud be an appropriate time to record my sincere thanks to two former coleagues and mates. Steve S, and Pete C, who was my regular paramedic crewmate during the latter stages of my marital breakdown. Without their support I don't know where I'd have finished up. Looking back I was as close to a mental breakdown as it was possible to get. But they helped me through it, and I am forever grateful to them. There were others who would have helped me had I asked, but I didn't want to ask.

Anyhow - enough of that.

We have enjoyed chilling out this afternoon in temperatures reaching 32°C. We're so glad to be here with grass under our feet, shade from the trees and a nice view. It beats frying on a piece of tarmac with no shade any time.

The Chef has been over to Reception and booked two drownings places on a canoe trip tomorrow at 13:30. Our very nice previous neighbours told us they'd done it yesterday, and by booking it through the campsite, got a ten per cent discount and got picked up from the campsite in to the bargain.

Today I have finally finished the five litres of red drain cleaner I bought back in Calais I think it was. My liver has sent me a letter of thanks. I don't have the heart to tell it I've bought another five litres of who knows what.