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Normandie 23 August

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Well, here we are in France. The M27 chaos meant we a bit late at Portsmouth, and there was a monumental queue for the evening ferry. But eventually we got through waving our bits of paperwork etc and turned in. Note that BF are pretty strict about mask wearing and no exemptions for elderly blokes with a hear bypass and scouring of the lungs ... the usual fairly unsaatisfactory nights coma on the shelves provided in the 2/4 berth cabins followed by a fairly long queue for breakfast, the proper restaurant being out of action for COVID reasons. The usual mask on / mask off / mask on theatre. A reasonable offload and clearance with a nice French lady who peered at our paperwork and waved us on our way. And so to the cottage which is in fairly good order apart from rampant wisteria and a water leak (curses). Now for some shopping, a few good meals and down to the pharmacie to book a depistage for the return journey ...

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Water leak now fixed (just a dead washer). We turned the heaters on and opened the windows to give the place a good airing and retired to an excellent small hotel / B&B we know of for a good nights kip. Extensive shopping with serious mask-wearing in evidence. Today we went down to the coast to a seafood shack to partake of the moules / frites along a zillion French persons. Most excellent, and some sense of normaility is returning ...


Edited by veryoldbear
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Well, we had a week at the cottage and Mrs VOB gave it a good clean out. The washing machine had died so we shoved everything into a giant machine down at the local supermarket and sorted that out. Had several very good meals out. Toddled off to get Antigene'd at the local pharmacie (Euros 25 a pop), ordered Day test kits, filled out the Passenger Form and were back on the Normandie last night. I would say that traffic is getting back to normal and there were quite a lot of cars and a substantial number of HGVs. Being an overnight crossing we didn't circulate much, concentrating of getting our heads down, just emerging for basic breakfast. Portsmouth Ferry Port was working remarkably smoothly, with four Border Force shacks operational, and the Port Marshalls were making the best of a bad job (but why they were required to wear masks in the open air eludes me). Rather than fight the early morning M27 and its vile roadworks, took the back road via Bishops Waltham, and here we are.

Hint: With all this darned paperwork it's very handy to have your own printer. I brought fresh cartridges over in case it had dried out. It all saves waving your phone frantically at the various dignatories and commissars. And even the restaurants seems happy enough with the NHS printout

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Glad you had a good time, VOB. Our washing machine died on day 3. Of course, not only was the washing machine centre in Bricquebec just starting his Conge, but so were most other local tradespeople. However, we struck lucky with a local guy, and within 5 days were €600 lighter, but with a sparkling new machine. (the replacement part for the 10 year old would have been €350 plus labour). We were charged €25 and 1 cent for our tests at the chemist. I still haven't worked out what the extra cent was for.


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