Published by Avon
ebook and Paperback: 18 May 2017
It’s a delight to be taking part in the blog tour for Just For the Holidays published this week. Sue Moorcroft has been a favourite author for a long time and her books just get better. I expected to have finished the book by the time of my turn on the tour but unfortunately life has got in the way recently and it hasn’t worked out (- its totally untrue that I’m delaying from finishing the book because I don’t want to say goodbye to Ronan!) 😉 I’m over three quarters of the way through though and will be posting my review separately. In the meantime, I have a guest post from Sue on what sounds to be a very challenging start to a holiday!
A holiday in France … with added challenges
by Sue Moorcroft
In Just for the Holidays, Leah goes to France for a holiday with her sister Michele and family and things do not go well for her. Although her story is not my story, I do have a ‘holiday from hell’ story of my own.
It was over twenty years ago and quite probably things that happened then wouldn’t happen now because the world has become a smaller place in terms of communication and standardisation of technology.
At the time, my family owned a third-hand trailer tent, which saw many a happy holiday within its slightly musty canvas walls. We decided to visit Brittany for a beautiful fortnight at a camping ground close to the sea.
I count myself an organised person but our journey did not go to plan. We booked a ferry to cross the Channel, though I don’t travel well on boats, because the Channel Tunnel had barely opened and I didn’t fancy that either. It was cheaper to cross very early in the morning so we arrived at the docks at dawn, having travelled through the night. I’ll draw a veil over the actual crossing but, suffice to say, I did not enjoy it.
We arrived safely on terra firma, however, feeling optimistic on a beautiful sunny morning.
As we’d travelled through the night it seemed responsible to find a lay-by and take a nap, just for an hour or so. Fast forward four hours and we wake up to realise the day’s getting away from us and sally forth, remembering that we need to fill the car with petrol because we don’t have enough to reach the camping ground on the west coast and hadn’t been able to find a 24-hour fuel station on the English side.
We very soon discovered that France shut at noon on Saturdays.
Seriously, it just shut. We passed garage after garage, all closed. Then finally! Just as we were beginning to think we were going to run out of petrol on the hard shoulder, we found a garage! Hooray! It had self-service pumps only. And took credit cards only. And you needed a PIN. It seems amazing now that we all use our PINs every day but at that time a PIN with your credit card was optional and I had not opted in. Someone tried to help me but I have only rubbish French and his English was even worse, so we had to give up, with me nearly in tears.
Glumly we travelled on until, hooray again! We saw a sign off the main road for a garage selling ‘essence’ and the sign said the garage was ‘ouvrir’. Hiding our misgivings about leaving the main road, which, by then, wasn’t very main, we struck off up a network of lanes. No SatNav in those days, of course, and we were soon lost. We stopped and talked to some girls whose English, thankfully, was at least good enough to fill in the big blanks in my French, and eventually found the village.
The garage was shut.
But … this is where our luck turned. There was a wedding nearby and some very tipsy men came out to see what the problem was. I explained in my Franglais and hauled the owner of the garage out of the wedding. He unlocked his petrol pump and filled our car. Relief! One of the men at the back of the group then came forward to chat in excellent English. He hadn’t spoken earlier because he thought my Franglais was so funny.
We set off again, found the main road with no problems, then discovered after an hour that we were now travelling along it the wrong way. A summer storm blew up and we cut our losses, hit the nearest campsite for the night and lay under canvas wondering whether the tent was actually going to lift off us in the wind.
But the next day the beautiful sun had returned, we had an easy journey to the campsite by the sea and had a lovely, lovely holiday.
C’est la vie.
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About the author:
Best-selling author Sue Moorcroft writes women’s contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes. Her last book, The Christmas Promise, was published by Avon Books UK. It reached #1 in the UK Kindle chart and did well in mass market paperback both in the UK and in Germany (WinterZauberKüsse). Her next book, Just for the Holidays, will be published on 18 May 2017.
Sue has won the Best Romantic Read Award, been nominated for a RoNA and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. She also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’.
An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a typesetter, but is pleased to have wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.