Sun and warmth for a change
For years now the family have been coming over either at the end of the year or early in the new year. It is nice because it is the festive season and all that, but it is rarely warm and we have been burdened with snow, sleet and hail for the past few years: no matter when we have organised ourselves.
This year I suggested that September would be a better moment for my parents to come across because in theory it is still warm and sunny. August turned very hot and I actually got to the beach on a number of occasions, but as we approached September didn’t those grey cloud glyphs start to proliferate on the weather maps.
The Monday morning I had one of my plaques to deliver to the builder at Bénifontaine who was constructing the wall ready for my first inauguration for the 48th Highlanders of Canada (photos will follow). It was a given statement that the Maire of the village would turn up and instantly invite us for a drink. He was true to form and having sorted out just how I wanted the wall built and the plaque positioned we retired to the Lens Aerodrome café for a glass or coffee.
The work done we slowly drove back down towards home with me wondering what we could do. Here and there it looked pretty black but we seemed to be dodging the rain and as we approached the Somme the sun came out and the showers drifted past either side of us.
So we ended up at Long on the banks of the river and went for a walk in the sunshine. The last time I was here it was the very end of autumn and although sunny very chilly.
The following day we had to start by going shopping for mother. You can never plan a 60th wedding anniversary too far in advance and she was looking for some inspiration from some of the French shops. Off to St Omer we went and the time spent in comparing colours of table cloths, candles and serviettes was well spent but the early evening had gone and once again it was looking miserable outside.
Sandra and Peter had told me about a canal lift somewhere in the area, so despite it getting dark I thought we could go off and try and hunt it down. All I knew was that it was somewhere along the canal (obviously) and close to the steam train that runs near Arques. Well there were no signs for a lift until we managed to find the train. From there we noted signs to the ascenseur.
It is an impressive piece of kit and although it was too late to visit the building we did get an idea of how it worked. Something to go back for.
I had originally considering visiting St Omer town, but as it was so dark had put the idea aside. Then as we pulled away to drive through the town, on the way home, the sun came out and it turned into a lovely evening. We got our walk in the park after all.
Ault and Cayeau sur Mer
The following day was a case of the short trip or the big one. All depends on the weather. Word was: Thursday better than Wednesday, so I did some more inauguration work in the morning and we set off for a potter around the coast in the afternoon.
Never been to Ault so we started there. Big, frightening, white cliffs. You can see where part of a car park has fallen into the see. It was a beautifully clear afternoon and we could see all the way to my beach across the far side of the bay of the Somme. Now I know whose cliffs I am looking at whilst lounging on the sand.
After that we took our time driving along the coast until we got to Cayeux sur Mer which is known for its boardwalk along the front of the ‘Victorian’ beach cabins. We stopped for a coffee sheltering from the wind. It was sunny but it was definitely blowy along the coast.
Back home for a good meal, decent wine and a film.
Posted : 1 October 2012