We are abandonned again, while Mum and Dad go off adventuring in the old project restoration 2CV, "Mademoiselle". After the short test to Birchington and the shake-down run to Brighton, the old girl is finally ready for "the big one". You'll know she was a twinning gift from the French town of La Chapelle d'Armentieres (near Lille), to the Kent town of Birchington, it so happens 20 years ago almost to the day.
So the La Chapelle Twinning Committee have invited Dad and his 2CV cronies down to join in the fun, show off the car(s) and lead the carnival parade. Dad is driving Mademoiselle, accompanied by Andy in his old UK-built 1955 car and supported by Mum in the modern car in case anything happens. The 2 2CV's have less than 900 cc's and more than 100 years between them. The word has gone out, too, to the 2CV crowd that if anyone else is in the area and wants to join up, they'd be most welcome.
They give us a sweetie at 7am on the Friday, and that's the last we see of them, left as we are to the ministering Angel B and Uncle Jim. They (Mum and Dad) return at 11pm pm on Sunday buzzing and laughing with the sheer fun and crazy happiness of the weekend. They were welcomed in by the French, feted and treated like celebs, greeted by the Mayor, invited to Civic Receptions, a show by local school children and a gala cabaret night. The cars just caused universal delight where ever they went (the French just LOVE a "Deu' ch'vaux" (2CV) - most of them seem to have owned them, or learned to drive on them and they have a warm place in every French person's heart, it seems.
It was insisted that the visiting 2CV's lead the carnival parade, a bizarre and crazy event with more people in it than watching, huge groups of school kids, fitness classes, people dressed up, marching bands, Morris Dancers from Birchington, footballers, kick-boxers, old people - just everyone and anyone seemed to be in the parade. They just go mad for that stuff.
Delighted too that the cars performed well and made it there and back with no problems. Mademoiselle and the "Slough-built" are now safely back in the lock up near Blean. The next outing is to the Birchington "home leg" of the celebrations on June 21st.
It's nice to have Mum and Dad back.