July 1994, Abbeville, France.
Once I was given notice from my nannying job, I needed to work out quickly what my next move should be. I decided it was time to go home, so with Del’s help, started to get everything organised.
Del packed up all the things I had left at her house in West Norwood and brought them to her cottage in Normandy, along with Rich, his school friend Alastair and my cousin from New Zealand, Rachel McsShane, who had recently arrived in the UK for work. Unfortunately Rosie was unable to come that weekend so we arranged for her to come to meet me a week later for a day out at Boulogne. Saying good bye was a bit traumatic as I had no idea what the nasty stamp in my passport meant. I had asked several times when I would be allowed to revisit the UK. Each time my grumpy tormentor answered “How long is a piece of string?”, no matter how I phrased the question.
Our time at the cottage was taken up with leisurely breakfasts, lunches and dinners, interspersed with walks, a bit of sight-seeing and lots of nattering. Croissants and other delightful French pastries, were purchased daily from a mobile shop in the back of a van. The proprietor supplied the local farms in the region with most daily necessities, such as bread, milk and cheese.
Young Roo gobbled up copious numbers of pain au chocolat (chocolate filled croissants), anytime he could get his hands on them, gleefully turning our stomachs by slathering them with nutella, additional to the dark chocolate filling it came with. He was able to work off all the extra kilojoules doing what little boys do, helped on by my good-self during a frenetic water fight with him and Alastair. I was undoubtedly the loser, ending up immeasurably wetter than my faster moving combattants.
These photos were taken at Abbeville railway station on the 3rd of July on my way back to Paris. They were to be my last European photobooth photos for some years.