Twins on tour

Hattie and Joe’s French Adventures: a change of scenery 

Hello! Back to our regularly scheduled holiday posts with the news that we’ve upped sticks for a few days and left Pat and Richard’s ever-welcoming accommodation to stay with Tristan’s father Tony and his wife Janet, who have travelled from England to see us. We drove for a couple of hours this morning, after seemingly spending half a day in packing and preparation, and have ended up at a charming little country hotel about half an hour from Bergerac. 

After unloading the car we were starving, so we beat a hasty retreat to the nearby village of Villeréal (‘vee-ray-al’), which has instantly taken the Title of Jacq’s Favourite Place in France – sorry, Brantôme, but look at this place:

It’s got a 14th century covered market, half of the houses in the surrounding streets are medieval, and the church is absolutely stunning inside. But we didn’t discover most of that until after a late lunch at local restaurant:

I had a damned fine salad with goats cheese and smoked duck breast (two of the specialities of this part of France):

Hattie and Joe had eaten a lot of sandwiches that we’d prepared earlier, so they dined on ice cream. It came liberally decorated with whipped cream and smarties. Hattie decided that she absolutely wouldn’t eat the whipped cream, so I had to eat it before she would deign to touch the ice cream. Joe was delighted with the whipped cream, but then flatly refused to eat his ice cream. I really need to write a blog post about fussy eating…

Lunch was enlivened by the village fire siren going off twice, seemingly 5m from where we were sitting. Hattie later re-enacted the dramatic response from all of us (although in reality I blocked her ears and left mine unprotected, and will probably need an old-school ear trumpet in later life as a result: when I say ‘fire siren’ I actually mean the loudest air siren you’ve ever heard:

Anyway, after lunch we had a cruise around the village, soaking up its prettiness. We also visited the aforementioned lovely church, and Joe was so moved by its ecclesiastical splendour that he came up to me and solemnly whispered that he needed a poo. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent unpacking, and splashing around in the pool – although the sun was so strong at 4.30pm that I couldn’t stand it for too long. The kids had a picnic dinner and we in bed by 7pm, and asleep by 7.01pm… but not before Tristan overheard Joe call over to his sister from his bed, “Hattie, are you OK?” Such cuteness, checking up on his sister. 

Actually, this whole trip has been a good opportunity to see Hattie and Joe’s twin bond in action, and it’s adorable. Any time we’ve arrived somewhere new, or met somebody for the first time, and they’ve felt a little uncertain, their first instinct has been to reach for their sibling’s hand. It’s lovely to see that they obviously derive a lot of support from each other, and it makes me realise how lucky they are, and how lucky we are too: I’m sure that things like the transition to kindy has been easier as a result. So if you’re a twin mum reading this and your two are younger, and it feels like endless toil at the moment (and really, that pretty much summed up the first year for me), take heart! Twins are awesome. 

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