The warmth of William’s sick seaping through my clothes and covering half of the cabin was enough to make me chuck up big style. It was possibly the worst ferry crossing ever, I had to wrap a bed-sheet around my body and visit reception to request a new, clean cabin……..while lorry drivers made their way via reception, from the pub to their beds. I certainly did not look like some Roman goddess dressed in my bed sheet, but I did manage to generate a few laughs and surprised glances.
The next day was spent travelling south. I don’t know how we used to manage to drive all the way to Sentein without stopping, this time we really noticed and felt the amount of effort and concentration required. It must be something to do with the children being present and demanding a drink, or apple, or Dora on the DVD player…..continuously.
Our gite was amazing, really special – the sort of place we’d love ourselves and it reminded us a little of the Gendarmerie in Sentein. The children fell in love with Alfie and Sally the goats, enjoyed feeding the ducks and chickens and generally felt at home running about, benefitting from the land and the fresh air. As for ‘clicking’ with the region, things didn’t start off well. Jez and I love mountains and as we explored the eastern side of the region it was flat, completely flat. The next day we ventured to Futuroscope which was an expensive and not all that brilliant family day out. The literature and website certainly exceed the standard of the actual park, which was a shame as we were hoping for something really spectacular. Maybe it would have been better if the children were older.
As for towns and villages, to begin with we were a little disappointed but after a drive west, followed by a trip to the beach we were a lot more inspired. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the beautiful mountains in the Pyrenees compared to the few hills in this area. It’s making me consider what we want from France and trying to work out why on earth God has put this desire on our hearts and whereabouts He really wants us to live. I just have to remain faithful, trusting that God will make it clear to us, I know that His plans are to give me hope and a good future – what more could I ask for?!
The rest of the break was spent viewing houses and visiting some of the pretty towns and villages in the west of the region. We discovered the Gatine Hills, which offer really beautiful rolling countryside and found the properties very interesting, each one is lovely and it is hard to decide which is then best or most suitable for us…………although we do have a favourite.
Since being home we’ve realised how much we enjoyed our break away, I feel we may have fallen for Poitou Charente. We just need to pray for God’s will and for His spirit of patience as He prepares us for this next stage in our lives. This morning we were encouraged by Ecclesiastes 11 which we love.
1 Ship your grain across the sea;
after many days you may receive a return.
2 Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
3 If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
6 Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.