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The sun never sets on the Tricoleur

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The head of tourism for St Pierre, Martinique, pauses in his tour of the fomer capital city, largely levelled thanks to the eruption of Mt Pele, a nearby volcano, in 1902. We are going up the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – or Rue de Ciel, so-called because there was a religious seminary at the top of the flight of stone steps. “And a lot of prostitutes too,” he jokes, “for a different type of heaven.”

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Why working with children is a nightmare

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“When can we go and play at Restaurants, Mum?”

No, I love our children. And OF COURSE I’m delighted that they are here with us. As I said to Mr Millard “just think – we have three months unlimited time with our children, how lovely, no nannies, no aupairs”…and then REALITY hit. Read More…

One down, five to go

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Examine the two photos below. The first is us leaving St Pierre et Miquelon in the freezing, wet and thick fog. The second is taken some 40 hours later (after a stop over in Halifax, Nova Scotia) and shows us arriving in Martinique, also a French overseas territory (actually a Department) in the sweltering heat. Read More…

Having a lovely time in the fog

Well, they said it would come, and it has. No sooner had we checked into the wonderful Hotel Iris in tiny St Pierre (loads of room, little kitchen, tres comfy beds) than the fog rolled in off the coast and even the lighthouse at the bottom of the street was obscured. It’s no wonder they call this the graveyard of the North Atlantic – over 600 shipwrecks are dotted around the treacherous coastline of around this island. Read More…

Rosie and family getting at one with nature

Hoorah! Out of the cubby hole under the stairs in St Pierre and off on a speeding ferry to sister island Miquelon. On the way, the hardy family saw two whales and experienced one instantaneous vomiting, so I think that makes us slightly ahead. Visiting Miquelon, population 600, is like being at the end of the world. Or the beginning. Either way, its like a pioneer village with the ocean lapping at either side of the strip on which it is built, and seals popping out to say hello.
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In sunny St Pierre et Miquelon where even the milk is imported from 4000 miles away

1821328Here we are, then, visiting our first of the French overseas empire. And what do you know – it’s very French. By that I mean rude hotel staff, toilets which are broken and croissants which are utterly delicious. We are all staying, that is the children, Mr Millard, and myself, in a single room which is part of a Butlins-style motel. Well and good, except for last night. Read More…

Our journey begins on the Caledonian Road

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“WHERE are you going?” asked the friendly woman on the 17 bus. “Round the world” answered Lucien, 4, excitedly. The woman collapsed with laughter. Well, you would, wouldn’t you? Particularly as we had about 15 bags with us. Hardly travelling light. We nearly didn’t make it to the end of the road. And as for “I am only using hand luggage” – well, that was a great principle. We still have a majority of hand luggage, its just we have a LOT of hand luggage. Read More…