For the first time in ages I find myself in front of a blank screen and with nothing pressing to do. The novel is published and starting to sell a few copies, Marion's gone to Carley Hill Hair to get her pre-holiday haircut, we've done almost all of the packing, cleaned the house and we're really just winding down before we head off on the long drive to Avignon which begins on Thursday.
We're heading through the Channel Tunnel for the first time and then driving down through France and staying about 350 miles south of Calais in Avallon at a B&B called La Cimentelle. I don't think I can recall a place with such good reviews on Trip Advisor.
Out of 153 reviewers, none has deemed it less than very good . It's only a couple of miles away from the Autoroute but, with such rave reviews, we decided to make a short break of it and stay for two nights and visit the famous Chablis vineyards nearby to stock up.
On Saturday we're heading to the Hotel D'Europe in Avignon where we are staying for two nights. Marion has found a restaurant on Trip Advisor that has equally glowing reviews to the B&B so she's booked us in for a meal there on Saturday night and then on Sunday we meet up with our tour organisers Deluxe Cycing Tours who are leading us on a five day circuit around Provence. We've looked at some of the photos on their site and worry that we may be a bit old in comparison to the young and athletic clients depicted but Marion's a good cyclist and I should be able to keep up. We're staying in six different hotels with Deluxe and all are promoted as luxury accommodation. I hope that they are as we've certainly paid luxury prices for the trip.
When the cycling is over we're heading to Bonnieux to this villa for a week. It looks really lovely and is situated within a stones throw of the town centre so no need for too much walking after the exertion of the previous week. The villa sleeps six so we should be rattling around in it and have plenty of space in which to wind down.
And then it will be all over and a long drive back to Framlingham. While we are away a builder is working at the house to remove all of the cracked render at the back (which resulted in the disastrous leak a few months ago) and then he's re-rendering it so we can hopefully have a crack and leak free existence in future. After that the hectic schedule will start all over again and today's luxury of sitting down with a blank screen and nothing to think about will be a distant memory.