And it was all going so well!
Then in the middle of Rouen the car came to a sudden halt. Of all the places to break down, she chose the main street running through busy Rouen. I won't go into details, but things got worse and worse.
We had already experienced delays, an awful meal at the hotel we stayed at, and Billy being sick a couple of times.
The Breakdown man drove us (and the dead car) to Dieppe, and left us at a garage. They instantly diagnosed the problem; the timing belt had broken, and it would cost more than the car was worth to mend it.
We gave the man the car with a full tank of petrol worth about €100. Then from Brighton my darling son, Kimbo, organised a lovely dog-friendly hotel for us, and booked himself a ferry crossing to pick us up the following day. What we would have done without him I don't know. We had a car full of 'stuff', and Billy. It was a nightmare.
To add to our misery, I went into Dieppe town to get some money from an ATM, and it chewed my card.
By this time I was thinking of throwing myself under a bus, when I heard the WORST NEWS IMAGINABLE, that a very close friend had died (more on this tomorrow). Things couldn't have got worse.
Kimbo arrived in Dieppe at about 5 am, and we were back at the garage by 8 am. We transferred everything from one car to the other, then caught the ferry back to Newhaven. We were home by 2.30 pm.
I have never felt happier to be back home than after this nightmare of a trip.
The hero of the day, without doubt, was Kimbo. I am so blessed and privileged to have a son like him.
Thank you Darling; thank you, thank you, thank you! You saved the day.