Thursday, June 9, 2016

Back In The Sunny UK!

 I haven't done a blog for a while as the signal where we are moored up is very dodgy, but tonight we are getting a lot of bars!

So back to last week.........So what do you do when driving for five days on your own......take automatic selfies of oneself driving of course.

A week ago today this was my overnight mooring, a lovely little French Village called Salasc. 

I took the boys for a walk round the village, it was like most little French villages, very quiet, but oh so fascinating. 

The next day I continued heading north right through the centre of France, I drove over the famous Millau viaduct, it is a spectacular piece of engineering. 

A shot nicked off of the web!

As I continued north the weather deteriorated, it was bloody cold and the rain was hammering down, the Spanish weather was well behind me.   

My next stop was yet another lovely French village called Menetou-Salon, the free motorhome Aire here had free electric hook ups as well as the usual water and waste disposal. For motorhome touring France is easily the best in Europe for facilities, with most of them being free or a small nominal charge.

This chateau was just behind the parking area. 

I left early the next morning stopping at a small town for my breakfast cross ants! 

I then got pretty lost because the roads were flooded and the sat nav couldn't get me out, it kept sending me back to the same blocked roads. Luckily Mr friendly white van man in front of me helped me out of my predicament and I managed to escape.  

Now the fun part of the trip happened......I had been using toll roads all the way and had been doing about 500ks a day. When I crossed the Spain/France border I was pulled over by the border control police, they asked me how long I had been in Spain, where I was living down there and where was I heading, no big deal I thought.

Two days later and I am at the last toll gates before Paris, nothing unusual, but I did notice some cops on motorbikes just after the tollgates. As I left the toll gates I was struggling to put my belt on as I have to climb over the other side of the van to pay the toll,  no big deal I thought. A couple of ks down the motorway two police motorbikes pulled up alongside me and signaled me to follow them, one went in front and one behind, the had the lights and sirens on and slowed me down to about 50 ks. I followed them for another 5 ks or so until we came to a slip road, we went up the slip road with the bike in front clearing and stopping the traffic as we went. We went though the little village then turned off down a side track and stopped.

I got out of the van, to have a chat with the two cops, they had balaclavas on, which Im not sure was for the cold or to protect their identity. One spoke pretty good English, they then asked me loads of questions of where I worked where was i going, where do I live what was I doing in Spain, I explained about Elaine flying home and I was following with the dogs.  

Next a cop car and a cop  van arrived, they asked me to get the dogs out of the van and put them on their leads, they then brought over the dog and he went rummaging through the van.

They did a lot of talking amongst themselves then said I was free to go and they would take me back to the motorway.

I asked them if I could take their photos for the blog!!! A very definite kin no chance.

I asked what they were looking for, they wouldn't tell me they just said you are English, on your own, not touring but doing 5oo ks a day and they have been monitoring me from the border. I can only presume they use the toll cameras to pick up certain activity.

What they didn't realise was that I had the whole being pulled over and follow me on my dash cam, but in my haste to download it later in the day I managed to erase the file....doh!!

So Im guessing it was either drugs, illegal immigrants or explosives etc. It was rather exciting, a lot of the villagers were poking their heads down the lane to see what was going on.

Back to the humdrum.....

Bombo navigated for the first half of the trip, Sammie navigated for the second half, he was also crap! 

This was my mooring for Friday night, its a great Aire for the ferry or the tunnel, you cant get much closer.

There was a van full of cops parked up on the Aire, I presume he was there to make sure the illegals didn't try to climb in any motorhomes. 

It was an uneventful foggy crossing, I slept the whole way, I was feeling a tad tired by now. 

Elaine's sister lives in Maidstone so I picked her up on the way through to Macclesfield. She was going to spend a few days with Elaine.

I arrived in Macclesfield on Saturday afternoon after a 5 day drive. 

I am staying at Jarman farm, its a lovely working farm just on the outskirts of Macclesfield.

Of course the next problem was what are we going to do for transport, the little Citroen was still in Spain!

Elaine's lovely friend Jane came to the rescue and has lent us her lovely Volvo car, it is much appreciated and makes it so much easier to get around and to visit Elaine in hospital. 

So finally and most importantly the reason we are back in the UK......Elaine's health! 

As soon as she arrived back in the UK she went to Macclesfield A&E  they did various test etc and relieved the pain but passed her over to the Christie specialist cancer hospital in Manchester.

She has been in the Christie hospital since Sunday, she was admitted in excruciating pain, today they fitted a drain to her belly so she will be able to drain her belly herself, obviously a district nurse will come to visit us to show us how to do it at first. This is the op that they couldn't do in Spain, she will be in hospital for a few more days yet as they are also going to recommence chemo treatment, and she need to rest before they start.

The care at the Christie hospital is absolutely amazing, they have all the latest equipment and the place is absolutely immaculate. From Elaine's point of view she also feels a lot safer being able to communicate in English.

One of the things that Elaine wasn't looking forward to was  seeing  the oncologist, she was worried that they would scold her for running away to Spain and refusing treatment here back in January. She was so wrong, the head oncologist came to see her, which is pretty unusual, she told him of her worries and having egg on her face etc. His response was that they are not there to judge, only to help, he said this whilst holding her hand, it was quite touching.    

So that's that all up to date.

One last thing........and it has been bothering me for well over a week.....

As well as writing the blog I also write to a few friends mostly in Australia giving them updates on what is happening with Elaine, and yes its usually not such good news, plus of course I am focused on Elaine 24/7 so probably don't ask what is happening in their lives which of course in no problem to them at all apart from one person!!!

The reply I got from this friend was absolutely shocking beyond belief, apparently I wasn't interested on what was happening in their lives and only sent them bad news!! It made me so angry and continues to do so It also upset Elaine no end which pissed me off even more.
Twenty minutes after sending me the disgusting email this person then sent a very long email to Elaine detailing every event that had happened to them over the last month but not once asked how Elaine was!!! We have have been what I thought was really good friends with this person for probably 18 years or so. 

It was without a doubt the worst email I have ever received in any private or  business dealings. 

I was tempted to publish their email but better not lower myself to their standard.

Thankfully 99.99999% of people are terrific and supportive and for that we are eternally grateful. 


  1. Hello Paul & Elaine, you don't know me but I have been a long time blog reader/lurker (we too have a blog,as we live in a motorhome in New Zealand.
    Just wanted to send our kindest thoughts to you both in these what must be tough days, stay strong or as we say here Kia Kaha.
    Bernice & Roy

  2. Glad to hear that you are both reunited together again. Ignore the unpleasant emailer, vile as it may be, that´s his / her personality problem not yours.
    We continue to think of you both, the kindness you´ve received from genuine people close by must be truly heart warming. Hugs and kisses from Heth and Dave xxx

    1. We have had so much kindness from all parts of the globe. xx

  3. The French are obviously monitoring for either terrorism or illegal immigration. Good in the respect that it appears they are on the ball, but not particularly what you needed at this time. Please pass on our best wishes to Elaine, and don't forget to take care of yourself. Remember we are just 15 or so miles away.

    1. Cheers Peter, we will pay you a visit when she is up for it.

  4. We all want to know what's happening in your lives so ignore the annoying ones and just concentrate on yourselves. Glad Elaine is feeling safer and glad you and the boys didn't get thrown in a French jail.xx

  5. Well yes the Millau viaduct is indeed spectacular, what's more is that although it was built by the Eiffel company it was designed by the Brits :)

    Oh dear you've fallen foul of the French attitude to vehicles displaying a UK number plate and being driven by a lone male... (you must be smuggling something, n'est pas?) wish I could say that it hasn't happened to me over a dozen or more times... LOL

    But more importantly you are back, Elaine is receiving the medical care she requires and you are there by her side.

    Good luck & best wishes to you both.

  6. I'm so pleased you got through such an obstacle course to be beside the lady you love, and that Elaine is feeling safe and in the best place for her health care at this time. The majority of people are there to help in these circumstances. take care, Caroline

  7. I suspect either your 'friend' has failed to comprehend your current circumstances or they aren't really a friend. Get mad and then get over it. You have far more important things on your mind!

    Best wishes to Elaine

    1. Yep glad it is now out of my system, feel much better now.

  8. Hang in there - and save your energies for Elaine, the most important person in your life. It's always sad when supposed friends turn our to be less than helpful - it happened to me some years ago when I had a cancer diagnosis myself. Needing positive and caring friends around you or even just a friendly ear to talk to, at this challenging time, you are better off cutting them loose from your lives.
    Sending Kiwi wishes to you both, Jenny and Robin.

  9. Its one bad un out of thousands of good uns, so all good.

  10. Glad you made it back to the UK safely to be with Elaine. I do agree about the Milau viaduct - spectacular. What a shame that your friends are not the friends you thought they were. As they say 'there is now't so queer as folk'. All the best to Elaine and do remember to take care of yourself as well. Jennie & Chris, nb Tentatrice.

  11. Just to let you know we follow your blog and just wish you both all our love and best wishes. Ignore the negatives ! Just surround yourselves with positive people - and get rid of the others !! I carry around a small reminder of that ! Negative people need to be avoided at all costs !! They are not friends so ditch them !!
    All good wishes
    Win & Jack
    NB Firecracker

  12. Best wishes to you both. So glad Elaine feels comfortable where she is. Well done getting her back.

  13. Paul and Elaine. Communication is a two way street. I communicate to you and tell you my news. In return you communicate with me with your news. In tough times I am only interested in your news. You both have great friends - tell the other toxxers to get out of your life. Elaine is in the best place now and you are with her, Stay strong the two of you.

  14. So Sam and Bombo get away with the gun/drug running yet again...??

    Glad to know you are safely back to God's own Country and sending very best wishes to Elaine.
    X Lesley

  15. Thank you for the update on the Maccie!!!
    Let that negativity flow on by and don't look back, you have so many friends in Blogland.
    Glad Elaine is in such caring hands for her treatment, she must be so happy you are there too.
    NB What a Lark