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By Beccy Phipps (aged 12) who stayed at Le Petit Mas

The other day I started reminiscing about our holiday to France probably because it was a wet rainy day here in England.  Last summer our family went on holiday to Charente in the west of France. We stayed in a 16th century manor house with two other families that I’ve known all my life. There were seven children and six parents (sounds good already!!) I remember looking out at the sunflowers from the car window; they seemed to go on and on, a carpet of bright golden yellow flowers. There were other things that I remembered as well.  How could I forget the breathtaking view as I woke up in the morning, the trees and the houses in the distance! The hills that always looked misty in the morning and the clean fresh smell of the garden, especially of lavender when we arrived. The games of sardines and hide and seek in the beautiful garden, bursting with flowers that went on until nearly ten o’clock at night. I laughed when I thought about when we went looking for the tennis court nearby and finding it locked, we went looking for the town hall (that’s where it said to go), not finding it and giving up and going paddling in the stream. Later we found the key in the pot at the house.  I loved canoeing, I was in a boat with mum and when we started we went through nearly all the trees at the edges of the river and kept crashing into the bank. We got out and had a picnic and worried about the canoes drifting away. When we finished we found half the river’s foliage in our hair. My favourite thing about the house wasn’t the garden, or the views, or the glorious weather (after the first two days!!) but the pool. The hours we spent in the warm water, all the children and sometimes the parents. Diving in, getting splashed by dad doing cannonballs, playing a huge game of a sort of water polo with kids against parents in which all the rules were broken (that was the best bit).  Then I sighed and thought how we should go back there this year, and maybe we will...

Phipps 6

Phipps 1

Phipps 4

Phipps 2

Phipps 5