Anne and I were in France. It was the first time I’d been on holiday in France (apart from a week in Montmartre, 12 years earlier, dossing down in a friend’s garret) although I was 35! Put that down to all those years studying Spanish and Portuguese.
We were on our honeymoon (aw!) in Brittany. We had a tiny dome tent and nowhere booked, so we wandered from complet camping to complet camping until one took pity on us, perhaps because they saw the Just Married sign on the car. By coincidence some close friends were also on holiday in south-west Brittany at the same time – as we discovered at our wedding the week before – and we all met up for a day at Beg-Meil. My friend Sheena found this photo recently.
It brings back happy memories. I grew up with Andy and Sheena. We were in a band together. I’ve known Brenda for nearly as long, and I was at university with Roger. So much has happened since this picture was taken; Katie, the little girl on the far left, now has three children of her own. Tom is a lawyer, Adam is a drama teacher, Lucy a university lecturer, Nicky an actress… they’ve all done well. And we oldies are all still alive, unlike some of our unfortunate contemporaries.
Back then, we were just happy to be on holiday, swimming in the sea and laughing in the sunshine. We didn’t think we would ever buy a holiday home abroad. We didn’t see how we could ever have afforded it. It has been money well spent – not as an investment (it hasn’t been) but for the fun it’s given us.
We are on our way there today. Almost exactly 29 years since our wedding on that boiling hot day, we are once again on the ferry to Saint-Malo. I must have driven that road, back and forth, 70 or 80 times, but I never lose the excitement of being in France. It’s the magic of leaving our island and arriving at a place where they drive on the other side of the road (mostly), speak a different language, use a different currency. Brexit or no bloody Brexit, we’ll be back.