By 2 o’clock Worth and Gates were home and greeted excitedly by Ola, who must have wondered where her companions had all disappeared to. Worth took to his bed whilst Gates tidied and unpacked. They had been promised dinner by The Elf and her friend Charlotte and they duly arrived later to prepare Carbonara with strawberries to follow. It was a treat to have a meal prepared after a marathon drive. To brighten Gates’s day, the Elf had bought some sunflowers which took pride of place on the hearth. At last at home.
There was no rushing to be away early when Worth and Gates left Beaune. Gates enjoyed a lovely French breakfast while Worth gloomily forced down a yoghurt. There was almost another 400 miles of driving to reach Calais and Gates realised there would be no assistance from Worth today. The trick would be to pace herself. The important thing was to reach Calais and get to UK. For most of the journey Worth dozed fitfully. At about 5 o’clock they reached the tunnel without incident and were pleased to find they could catch the next train in 20 minutes at no extra cost. Once on the “other side” their first stop would have to be to refuel and it was then they realised another 3 hours journey home on the M25 rush hour Friday was not something that should be attempted after such a long drive. So they made the decision to stop over at Gates’s mothers and start the last leg home the next morning.
Thursday evening saw Worth and Gates staying the night at an old favourite of theirs, the Beaune Hotel, in Beaune, obviously. It offers an ideal stop half way between the South of France and Calais, so was the perfect place to break their journey home. The evening was warm and pleasant and in the past they have strolled into the pretty town centre for their meal, but Worth’s poor health meant they needed to drive in. There was a band playing in the centre of the town and the whole place was relaxed and lively. Worth and Gates couldn’t help but contrast this lovely French town with the evenings they had spent in York recently which seemed more threatening and rowdy and not somewhere they enjoyed being. They shared a pizza and salad and then enjoyed a good nights sleep.
This was not the view Worth and Gates expected to see this evening. They expected to be on the beautiful island of Porquerolles but Worth was feeling so poorly they didn’t make it and returned to their home in the South of France. He was very sick again and Gates stood by to do what she could for him. It was a disappointing time for them but Worth rallied a little. They decided to get home as soon as they could and made plans for returning on Thursday.
Unfortunately today was a bit of a write off for Worth and Gates as Worth never really got up until the evening. He had a bad night with back and tummy pains and was sick a lot. The pain had eased by morning but was still there and he was exhausted.
Fortunately Biggles Flies East is a rather cracking spy story so Gates spent a goodly while reading it to the weakened Worth. True love shows itself in many ways. Biggles and Co have a bond and friendship that is very strong and with Gates, Worth feels he has something similar. She would do anything to fix him. Such a bond between people does in truth elude the majority so if you find such a bond, treasure it, guard it, defend it and Hell yeah revel in it.
They went to the restaurant below their flat for dinner. Gates was so looking forward to it and had dressed to please, wearing a magic slate of Murano glass in vivid green which Worth had bought her in Venice. The person wearing such a piece will always smile more but like all these things you are either a believer or a person who doesn’t allow magic into their lives.
They lunched at a restaurant sort of in the corner on a high level and overlooking the sea. They often go to this one and this time bad had salads. Pesquiere it’s called.
Worth tried a watch on, a Bell & Ross desert style BR1 with a ceramic case. Unfortunately it really suited him. He really wanted it but just couldn’t justify it in his head thinking how long he had left in this world. That made him sad and he had the same experience when he drooled over a Ford Mustang, which has to be the biggest head turner you can buy for £36,000! Gates pointed to a bracelet. Now that’s a purchase he could justify!
Free of shopping bags they left St Tropez for Gigaro. The route is beautiful through vineyards along narrow country roads. Worth turned the sports mode on, on their MINI JCW coupe and became Bond for 15 minutes. Gates Aks Moneypenny dutifully adopted the brace position in the passenger seat.
At Gigaro they lazed on the beach and swam in the sea and dozed in the sun. It had been a lovely day.
Back at the apartment around seven and suddenly Worrh got his back pain back. That was it day over and he had a bad evening and night of being sick which was to last to mid afternoon the following day.
Grab your fun while its there and kiss your gal when you can.
Gates and Worth took it real easy on their first full day in Port Cogolin. Worth was fragile in the morning so Gates did a shop at Geant. Later they popped back to the shops together for a slice of pizza each for lunch and for Gates to pick a new sun hat.
Later they went down to the pool and both had a swim. It had been a long time for Worth and he enjoyed it.
However, there was a lot of traffic on the French toll roads even through the night and they lost more time. By the time they reached Lyon it was really snarled up. They have had far worse journeys but this was still bad. They elected to take the scenic route and arrive at the apartment even later but at least enjoy some fine driving rather than endure the nose to tail motorway experience all the way to St Tropez.
They headed for a place called Cruse then picked up the Napoleonic route before cutting to Draguignan then dropping down to Ste Maxime on the coast. This way they arrived at their home just after 6.
Worth had taken them off the motorway to a lunch and refuel stop after which Peanut took over the wheel. It was funny how the scenery became stunning almost immediately and the roads brilliant to drive. Rusty driving skills were soon sharpened up and the MINI JCW Coupe thrived.
Both were tired on arrival but the apartment was clean and tidy and Peanut hadn’t brought much luggage so they were soon settled in and opted for a Miami Burger Bar for their evening meal from a place at the entrance to Port Cogolin. A fair burger in truth.
Bedtime and Gates read Biggles, an exciting one where Biggles buries a hatchet and rescues his arch enemy Eich von Stalhein. However, Worth had to laugh as Gates kept falling asleep reading it. The despair they felt at the loss of their cat Alfie and the challenges of the long drive down had emotionally and physically drained them both. They slept the sleep of the shattered.
On the morning of July 22nd our beloved cat Alfie was fatally run over. It was quick he felt nothing, knew nothing about it but his life was snatched from him and from us. We cannot begin to describe the pain and upset that we feel.
Peanut phoned me at work to break the news after a local vet rang her. Alfie had been brought in and he was identified from his chip. I just cried, I couldn’t ask how Peanut was I was just so shocked and broken hearted. I was crying as I put the phone down. My mates knew something was wrong and Kasia kindly gave me some tissues.
Later when I rallied I phoned P to check on her. She was crying and blubbing. She had been strong talking to the vet and strong breaking the news to me but then it all caught up with her. It was awful hearing her cry on the phone utterly forlorn. My comrade in arms, broken and defeated.
Peanut’s first cat passed away at a goodly age from a tumour in his lung. He died with great dignity taking himself off to his favourite embankment to fall asleep in the cold weather and not wake up. He succeeded on his third night and his pain was done. I learned from Murray. I learned.
Ola a stray kitten had joined our team but she did not fill the gap left by Murray. We visited the Worcester Animal Rescue Centre with our dear friends Ray and Gail and I met Alfie, a handsome black cat who looked like he might with Ola’s help, fill the gap left by Muuray.
I loved him immediately, and after a few weeks of bonding we took him home. We collected him on the way home from me having chemo treatment at hospital. It was the 23rd February 2011. I was so excited that day, more so than when I got my first house or first car.
He had a big job to do. Fill the gap left by Murray, but also be our friend and part of our family as I continued with my fight against cancer. He was to be there for Peanut come the day I can’t be. He was to lover her, distract her, busy her. His job was to be Alfie. Silly soppy Alfie.
He did all we could hope. He was fun and loving and loveable. Every day of his life our hearts loved him to the core.
Whoosh and he is gone. That was Friday morning. Peanut had to spend the afternoon packing a case as that evening we were off to our home in France. It was a very busy drive. In the end we detoured a scenic way along the Napoleonic route and arrived at our apartment at six on Saturday. We talked about Alfie on the way down. We laughed and we cried. We would suddenly get overcome with waves of utter sadness. I hope we are done with crying but I suspect not but we must make sure we smile when we remember.
We were a unit at home. Beastie, Peanut, Ola and Alfie. Our team has been hit hard and Ola is at home without any of her team, trying to understand what she never can. Soon enough we will be back with Ola and the team will grow strong.
Now though we must smile holiday smiles while we grieve and cry, lamenting the passing of our beautiful Alfie. We love you Alfie.
Worth finally had his PICC line removed today. Apologies for the yucky photo but Worth has some fine bruising to show for his surgical adventure today. He’s not a hero often but even he felt he was one today.
Gates is proud of her man. The salient point about today is that Worth has milked the situation for double snogs. He’s not always the fool you might think he is! 😉