We have made the journey back to France to prepare for the new camping season. It’s a little earlier than usual. This is mainly as last year we had to rush home for the birth of our first grandchildren. Our daughter had twins Jacob and Rosie who are now nearly 6 months old!! Time flies.
We have spent a happy winter being grandparents and seeing them developing their own personalities and seeing them smile and roll over. The return has of course been bitter-sweet leaving them all behind but looking forward to being in France and working on the campsite.
I also worked the winter in the UK managing a children’s home for a few months whilst it was between managers. I always get caught up in these roles and enjoy the challenge. When I think back though I don’t think that I would like to make it permanent. On the drive down to Portsmouth I was full of mixed feelings and feeling quite emotional about leaving.
Things I will be missing are family and friends, the last couple of years it's been difficult for people to visit with all the restrictions. Hopefully, this year, they will be able to visit and hopefully we will have a couple of weekends in the UK.
We had a dog-friendly cabin on the ferry which is better for the dogs especially Digger who is getting on in years now and has definitely slowed down.
It's funny but, like us, the dogs get unsettled when we start to pack up. As soon as we arrive they soon get into the French routine, finding their balls to chase. The first thing that Digger did when we went to the campsite was rush to the lake and have a swim. He is a typical Labrador and loves the water.
It’s the same for us. We arrive and see all our friends in France, including having a few beers with Mercedes at the restaurant who arrived back the same day. And then we are off.
The first days are hard especially after a sedentary winter. There is a lot of physical work to open the site. It's almost like we should get into training for the work. After a full day on the campsite yesterday I am aching this morning. But that meant I slept well.
We do however have a month to get ready for our opening at easter and the weather looks good part from today which is a bit wet.
I forget how beautiful it all is: the lake, the trees and just the calmness. I mean the bird song is amazing and this year it really struck me. That is the reason we come and just being proud of how the business has developed over the last 8 years and that it has exceeded all of our expectations.
It has been a challenge. The language, Brexit and Covid have tested our resolve but as I say to people, we do get the best of both worlds.
We will be welcoming campers old and new from Easter to the end of September. I can't wait to see you all again.