Saturday, 6 September 2008

Visiting the Browns

Family portrait with Alan and Shirley Brown.

We hadn't done much planning for our summer holiday trip. We knew that we wanted to go to Paris, and to catch up with the "French Boys" whom we had contacted beforehand. But as for dates and other destinations, I preferred to leave it until we were on the road. So it wasn't until the day before that I had rung Mr Brown, my old French teacher, to see if he was home and if we could call in and visit. All we had to do was veer a little to the left on our way to Paris, and we arrived in Sainte Cecile, and found his house out of the village in a nice rural setting.

A beautiful rural setting for the Browns.

Alan and Shirley Brown were only in their twenties (with a 12-month-old baby) when they escorted a group of teenage girls to France in 1982. I was part of the group, as were my two younger sisters. We had stayed in La Roche-sur-Yonne, which is not far from where the Browns live today. Alan had a DVD of the video we had taken on that trip, which was very interesting to watch, especially for my kids. It's hard for them to imagine that their mother was once seventeen!
The Browns live in a small stone house which they have completely renovated. Now they also have a little studio where friends can stay. When we rolled up the kids thought we would be staying in this tiny caravan!

Shirley's caravan.

But no. Next door the cottage is owned by some English people who are friends of the Browns, and they let us stay there. It was a lovely little holiday cottage, which I have portrayed in this collage of images below.

Cottage collage...

Walking in the countryside. Roger is talking to Dave, our sharefarmer
on the mobile phone through Skype.

In the afternoon we took a walk in the countryside and wow, what a field of ryegrass we walked past. For a hayfever sufferer it was not a nice discovery, and the kids and I felt very unpleasant and itchy after that.

The offending field.


Girasole said...

Love the montage!

Ian Pavey said...

Hi Caroline, Roger and family. Love reading about your adventures, just makes me want to visit France again. Must catch up sometime when you return. Beautiful photos Caro!


Ian Pavey

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Michelle, I live in WA (Nedlands) and study Pharmacy at UWA. The Brown's are my family (my mum's sister is Shirly)! So good to see the house again, it looks fab. The blog brings back lots of great memories! Enjoy your trip around France.

Michelle :)

The Telfers In France said...

I am glad you found our blog Michelle.
It was great to catch up with Alan and Shirley again. They have a lovely spot there at Ste Cecile.