We arrived in France trying to kid ourselves it was a holiday with a bit of property viewing. Why we felt we couldn't be honest with ourselves, I don't know. It could have been the fear of being disappointed, or perhaps the magnitude of our intention was just too much to handle. After all, if we did move to France, it would mean us leaving our sons behind in England. They needed to carry on with their education and would be nearly 18 and 20 by the time we emigrated. At any rate, it was our dream, so why should we impose it on them?
The gite we'd booked to stay in was a very tiny studio apartment in Saintes; one room with a mezzanine housing a double bed and wardrobe. We felt as if we were taking our lives in our hands as we climbed the handmade/Heath Robinson staircase, the base of which could be lifted with one finger.
It was April and although the sun was out, the air had a definite nip, so I wasn't going to be needing my, carefully packed in a see through bag, sun cream after all. We had made the appointments for the following day, so decided we'd stock the cupboards from the local supermarket and for the rest of the evening chill out in front of the wood burner with a bottle of wine. At this stage we had no idea that the events of the following day would change our lives forever!