Bathed in glorious May Day sunshine, we set off for the long drive from the barren moors and frequent rain of Greater Manchester to pick up the Ferry and begin a much needed holiday. In previous years we headed for Holyhead to cross the Irish Sea to visit the husband’s homeland of Southern Ireland. This time we were heading for Portsmouth to cross the Channel. We were going to Normandy.

We were going en France !

I had visited Monet’s garden, seen Audrey Hepburn in ‘Gigi’ and Gene Kelly in ‘An American in Paris’ and one of the husbands favourite films (amongst any that involve men indulging in manly confrontation) is ‘The Dirty Dozen’, but we had no real idea of what en France would actually mean and Normandy in particular.

The husband had booked us a cabin for the seven hour crossing over the Channel so we could ‘crash out’ for the duration.