The Gallery #4

The theme for The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers this week is “Travel” and, I must confess, I’ve found it quite hard to pick the right picture (hence my belated entry).  Eventually I settled on this one, which is the view we woke up to while on holiday on the Ile de Noirmoutier, France, in 2009.

I chose it because I like it, because I took it, and it’s half decent (in my opinion), which doesn’t happen often when I am in charge of the camera, and because it reminds me of that beautiful place – picture postcard perfect – we stayed in when we had our first camping trip together (the “we” being Richmond Daddy and I).  Yes, you heard me right, camping… so this was the view we woke up to from our tent of a morning.  Pretty idyllic, no?

Anyone who knows me, knows I would not be easily identifiable as a potential camper (I went on a tour of Vietnam with a wheelie case, I kid you not).  But, Richmond Daddy – or David as he was then – insisted that camping would be lots of fun and he was so keen to go that I gave in (thinking that at least I’d never have to go again once I could say I tried it and hated it).  After 10-days or so touring around various parts of la belle France however, I was a complete camping convert!  Nobody was more surprised than me.  Well, actually there were quite a few people more surprised than me, but anyway you get the drift, one and all we were surprised.

Yes, it’s not the luxury holiday I usually crave and yes, sometimes having to get up in the middle of the night and walk across a dark field with a torch tripping over hedgehogs to get to the loo is a bit (a) scary, (b) weird, (c) frantic – because you’ve left it until the last possible moment to get up and go in the hope that the desire to go would pass if you waited it out and of course it never does…. But, I must confess, hand on heart, that it was truly one of THE best holidays I have ever had.  And here’s my run down of why:

1) we got to spend quality time together without the usual holiday distractions of a hotel TV with 10003 sports channels.  This also meant we properly talked to each other too, about stuff, it was good.

2) we were out in the great outdoors and so did lots of activities like walking and cycling and generally getting out in the fresh air, which made me feel a bit Famous Five but it was good for the soul.

3) evenings in our reclining chairs (essential for any camping trip), drinking French wine, eating French cheese, and watching the sun go down while enjoying a view of rambling fields, a château on a hilltop, a beautiful river, or the open seas (we moved campsites a fair bit!) were just magical.

4) playing after dinner Scrabble together by the light of a small gas lamp and citronella candle (okay, arguably that makes us sound old before our time but trust me it was fun!)

5) hitting the open road, enjoying our very first “road trip”, and discovering just how good the Archers is as a soundtrack to that road trip (okay, two things to highlight here, 1/ okay possibly we are old before our time, but frankly I’m okay with that and don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, and 2/ BBC Radio 4 was bizarrely the only radio station we could tune in to in France that didn’t play terrible Europop or trance).

It really was a wonderful holiday and one I’ll always remember fondly.  I had wanted to keep a diary of that trip but in the end I was having so much fun, I abandoned it about 2 days in and just soaked up the moments instead of worrying about capturing them continuously.

This post is for week 65 of The Gallery: Travel –

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