Posted in Living in France, General

Just because you travel, doesn’t mean you don’t accumulate more stuff!

Travelling with your family and pets is great fun, but it means that you have to be selective with what you take with you and carry around. For us it means what we can get into our car. Well it is supposed to be, but somehow we just keep adding more things!

When we left the UK for our trip we had the car (Meriva), two kids, two adults and one quite large dog. It was tough deciding what to bring and what to store, but we did it. Maybe looking back we only had our eyes on the short term as we did not know how long we were going to be away and the fact it was summer and we would be doing lots of stuff outside.

That was 18 months ago, still away and now we have so much more stuff and still only the Meriva!

Some of the things we have picked up on the way:

  1. 1 x extra dog (very big and weighing about 45kg!)
  2. 75kg free weights
  3. Pogo stick
  4. 1 adult bike
  5. 1 x childs bike
  6. 1 x toddler bike
  7. 1 x rug
  8. Toy horses, cars and a garage
  9. Christmas lights
  10. A childs desk
  11. 2 x dining chairs

So, our last move came after our long term house sitting assignment ended and we moved about 4 hours away to a rented house for a bit to contemplate what our next adventure would be. This time we sent 4 x boxes of toys and books by delivery van and just about managed to get everyone and thing in though it was a squeeze!

We did buy a roof bag.

No matter where you are or what you live in sometimes you just end up with stuff! We are pretty lucky that my parents in the UK store our things at their home – though this is sometimes not that helpful. The kids (mainly my 9 year old) know that they can ask for something to be brought over on a visit with the promise that it will be for something to be sent back. Usually nothing goes back and we have everything here!

It may seem a random set of things, and looking at the list I can see we might look a bit crazy, but there are reasons for some of the purchases. The desk and chairs are for my daughter and husband to do their work on. They were bought, (and will be returned) at the local charity recycling store when we leave. The bikes have been great, and we have a bike rack now.

The weights, whilst not essentials are for our my husband mainly who likes to keep fit and it is cheaper than joining a gym wherever we go. Despite being heavy they don’t actually take up much space, we can always sell them if we need to.

The extra dog. Not really in our plans, didn’t really need one but was the right thing to do for us (adopted from Yes, it has made the travel a bit more of a squeeze, yes we have had to change what we do, and yes she can be challenging when she jumps the fence but what we get is so much more.

Who knows where we will be off to next, but it will be with a full car and happy people.

Posted in Living in France


On nearing Troyes, we realised that our phones were not working to enable us to access emails and therefore were unable to find the name and location of the hotel – we had not printed the details off as we assumed we would be able to use them! We remembered what the outside looked like, and that it was an old and popular one. We pulled over and my husband jumped out looking for the tourist office who we hope might be able to help us.

After 15 minutes he returned with no news. The office was closed. We drove to a different part and out he jumped again looking for the building.

Whilst he was away, I managed to get on googlemaps – this would not let us move ask for directions, but somehow knew where we were. Amazingly, and I do not know how it did this as I don’ have any recollection of doing this – it had put the name of the hotel on the map – I was relieved to day the least. My husband returned and off we went. I don;t think we would ever have found it without this and would have had to go to a freebie place for the wifi eventually

The hotel was lovely, it had a slippy floor which was not great for the dog but we managed. Off we went to find something to et. The place was so busy, with loads of restaurants that were on lovely old streets – a task now was to find something veggie!

Posted in Living in France

Troyes: Night 1

Our travels were taking us to our first arranged house sit near Lyon, due to start on the 11th August, so we had one night to get down there from Calais. We had looked into the route and decided to make for Troyes as it was a nice distance to travel and people loved it, stopping for a quick break on the way in Reims.

The middle was really nice and spacious with loads of people sitting outside eating lunch and the sunshine. We only had a short time there but it looks great and we would like to go back at some point.

We jumped back in the car and headed for Troyes!

Posted in Living in France

August 2018:The Adventure Begins!

On August 9th 2018 we finished packing up our house to go off adventuring in France for a bit. We had a ‘plan’ for the first few months and after that well we weren’t sure and left those decisions for another day.

We sent a van load of stuff with my parents who had kindly offered (again) to store our things, donated some other stuff and the essentials (which grew by the end of the day) were squeezed into our car. At 4pm we left our home near Oxford for the previous 3 years to drive to Dover, UK for a ferry the following morning.

We spent this night at ‘The Grand Burstin’ Hotel. A huge hotel on the seafront. It was dark when we arrived in Dover and we had takeaway Pizzas in the car, before going up to our room. An ABBA tribute band were blasting out the tunes, but as we had the dog with us we sadly couldn’t go down.

At 6am the following day we were on our way!